Nashville Guide

Eat your way through NashVegas

Nashville is much more than the country music capital of the world; it also has an insanely delicious, and ever growing, food scene. While this was only my second time visiting this vibrant city, I feel a sense of ease and welcomeness that I haven’t experienced many other places. Maybe it is because I’ve had family living there for the past 6 years, or maybe because the live music at every bar just makes me happy, but whatever it is, I’m here for it. Whether you are planning a family trip or a bachelorette party… or, a strange combination of the two, which is what we did… I’ve got the recommendations to make your trip worthwhile. A special thanks to my Instagram followers who provided many recommendations of spots I, unfortunately, wasn’t able to check out!

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Pesto Pasta with Lamb Meatballs

Joe’s best addition to FF

As if you all can’t already tell, I’m enduring a serious love affair with all things lamb. Sure, I always liked lamb chops – an appetizer at any wedding or event you can guarantee I’m chasing after – but recently, it’s been taken to whole new levels. By trying different cuts of lamb, my eyes have been opened to endless possibilities and I am so ecstatic about it and ready for this ride of all things Greek dishes. The other week, when I mentioned to Joe that we should work on clearing out our freezer that happens to be filled with different cuts of meats, he suggested lamb meatballs. Truly, I’ve never loved him more. Usually he is a “whatever you’re in the mood for” kinda guy, which, I always appreciate, but there are nights where I need direction and this was one of them. Fortunately, we happened to have the majority of the fixings needed for this dish in our fridge so it was a no-brainer. He was at first not into the idea of pesto pasta as the base, but I’d say his cleared plate and request for seconds was the real sign that he enjoyed the meal. If you’re intimidated by cooking lamb, this is the perfect dish to start with!

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Joshua Tree Guide

A few days in nature’s heaven

As a New Yorker who constantly craves nature and all things outdoors, Joshua Tree was more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. An extremely small and quaint town, with not much, if any, of a night life, allows you to relax, enjoy some peace and quiet, and focus on the real reason you came here: the national park. Grab some food for the road and focus your days on the park and all it has to offer. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

I did this trip as a solo excursion and have never felt so relaxed in my life. The breathtaking views, energy, and overall calmness were exactly what I needed. If you’re someone who is interested in solo vacation / exploring, I highly suggest it! Although traveling with friends, family, or significant others is also wonderful, it is an extremely rewarding and relaxing feeling to travel somewhere on your own. You are able to go without a set plan, do whatever you truly feel like doing, move at your own pace, and truly connect with yourself. Joshua Tree was the perfect place for this. With such a low-key town, there is no pressure to be out at night. Also, the hikes and trails are all very well populated so I never was technically “alone” or felt at risk.

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Greek Lamb Tacos

A flavorful combination of two of my favorite things

I wish I was lying when I said these tacos legitimately came to me in a vision like format. I was lying in bed, day-dreaming, before getting up and starting my day. Usually, and embarrassingly, a lot of this time is spent thinking about food. No lie, it is often the first thing I think about when I wake up. Moments like this, I’m grateful for these “visions”, because it gave me this incredible combination. I don’t know why I’ve never thought about combining these two delicious things (tacos and Greek food), but oh my God, am I glad I did. I have a recent, and serious, love affair with Greek food, and majority of it is centered around the flavorful punch lamb packs to a dish. These tacos are no exception.

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Expo West 2019 Recap

A rundown of my favorite finds

IMG_3616.pngExpo West – the land of free food samples, overeating, socializing, and high anxiety levels. For those of you who don’t know, “Expo West” is the Natural Products Expo that is held twice a year: once in the West (Anaheim, CA) and once in the East (Baltimore, MD). It is the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event and pulls over 85,000 attendees from around the world. These four days are jam-packed as attendees try to see as many booths as possible in the extremely overcrowded trade show floors. While I’ve now been to Expo East twice, this was my first West experience. Sweet Jesus, this thing is massive. Three years ago, I vividly remember constantly refreshing my IG feed to stay up-to-date with all of the posts that food bloggers were sharing from their trip and feeling extreme jealousy that I wasn’t able to be there due to my current job. As my first self-employed March rolled around, I knew it was the year I’d finally get my butt to California.

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Steak Fajitas

A new take on #FFTacoTuesday

This past week my girlfriend and her fiancé came over for a birthday celebratory Taco Tuesday and, when I gave her some meal options, she immediately jumped at the idea of a steak fajita night. Dare I begin #FreckledFoodieFajitas on top of #FFTacoTuesday!? Probably not, but it was a fun mix-up! Plus, oh steak, how I love you. For a food that so many people love, I find a lot of us are intimidated by the act of cooking it. Sure, having a grill is pretty damn sweet and makes the entire process way more simple, but after living in NYC for almost 6 years and relying solely on my cast-iron skillet, I think I may enjoy the end result more than a grilled steak. Surprisingly (or not, depending on who you ask), I find a cast iron steak to have more flavor. To help those of you intimidated by the task, I’m dumbing it down with a super at-home easy to follow tutorial of how I make my steak so crisped on the outside with that perfect medium rare middle.

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Valentine’s Day Date Night In Roundup

Two delicious options for a great Valentine’s Day date night in

Let me start this post by disclaiming how much I love love. However, in my opinion, Valentine’s Day is up there with New Years… two of the most ludicrous excuses of a holiday. If you’re single, Valentine’s Day kinda feels like a personal attack by shoving everyone’s relationship, happiness, and love in your face. If you have a significant others, it poses this weird stress that I relate to New Years in the sense of making sure you have the “perfect” night. Luckily for us New Yorker’s, we have all the restaurants in the world to capitalize on this by creating pre-fixed menus at ridiculous price tags. Unless you plan on signing a pretty hefty check, I suggest taking this holiday to the four walls of your own home. In the five years Joe and I have lived in NYC, we have successfully avoided this mayhem by creating delicious at-home Valentine’s Day meals in our kitchen.

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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Almond Butter Cups

A glorified Valentine’s Day chocolate covered strawberry

Considering chocolate covered strawberries are basically only consumed on Valentine’s Day (okay, and maybe New Years, but that’s a bit of a stretch), I knew they had to be the hidden star of my V-day themed dessert. Instead of replicating the exact treat that I could purchase anywhere, I decided to get creative. As a girl who loves her layers, and thinks that almond butter is just about the perfect addition to any meal, snack, or dessert, my mind immediately led me here: chocolate covered strawberry almond butter cups. These three-layer treat are the perfectly creative dessert to cap off your meal with and the reinvented version of the oh so classic and (dare I say it?) kind of boring original. Make for your friends, loved one, or yourself – everyone will enjoy!

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The Evolution of my Relationship with Exercise

Why I stopped obsessing over miles and learned to listen to & love my body

Growing up, I never thought twice about working out. That’s not because I wasn’t doing it (hell, I was exercising basically every day), but because I was constantly playing sports and getting in some form of “work out” on the field. Playing soccer and lacrosse my entire childhood, my nights after school and weekends were filled with about as many practices and games as a schedule could possibly permit. Fast forward to college, where I went to play Division 1 lacrosse: one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and something that has shaped my character today, but a signed contract to exert some type of physical activity just about every day for the next four years. Again, “working out” was never something I thought about. We had practice almost every day, games twice a week (while in season), and lifts and conditioning sessions on top of all of that. Was I consistently working out? Duh. I was in the best physical shape of my life. However, these practices and games provided me with something that I never realized until after graduation: there was no contemplation about what I should do for exercise, I just had to show up. I thoroughly enjoyed the sports I played, and therefore it never felt laborious or as if I was doing it to stay in shape.

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Grainless Pistachio Coconut Granola

Dare I say better than the bagged options?

This weekend I found myself in a very unfamiliar situation: without any granola in the apartment. As someone who loves to add some type of crunch to all of my yogurt parfaits and needs that extra fuel, granola is something I rely on heavily. (That being said, I am especially pick about which ones I purchase and consume). Surprisingly enough, I have never attempted at making my own. Sure, I’ve heard it’s easy, and I know it’s delicious based on some of my friend’s creations that I’ve tried, but I’ve never been the one mixing the ingredients for a fresh new parfait topping. That is, until this past Sunday morning. Opening my fridge to tons of tasty yogurts and beautiful fruits and realizing I had nothing to top it with, I decided to get creative. Considering I always have a stocked pantry, it wasn’t too hard to whip up a combination I loved. I’ll still be purchasing a few of my favorite brands going forward, but, this one will definitely be added in to my rotation!

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