Martini Pizza?! What did you just say? Stay with me on this one folks, I promise you'll love where I'm going... In case you didn't know, one of my favorite things is to unwind at the end of a long day with an icy cold gin martini, shaken, a tiny bit dirty, and packed full of tasty blue cheese stuffed olives. My other favorite thing...is anything Mediterranean. You know how much I love to cook Italian food, and use Italian inspired ingredients. Well this time, I decided to switch it up a bit, and venture slightly outside of my comfort zone. For this recipe, the Iberian peninsula beckoned to me. The bold flavors of Spain found a way into my kitchen and into my cocktail shaker. Mainly, since I'm obsessed with EVERYTHING olive and I always love to Have An Olive Day, I made flavorful and delicious Spanish olives the star of my martini pizza AND classic gin martini.Read More
Just a quick drive from the hustle and bustle of Chicago, you’ll find Grand Rapids, Michigan. (Brand New Full Episode at End of Blog) Or as locals and travelers alike call it… “Beer City, USA.” Even though Grand Rapids is only 2.5 hours north of Chicago, I had never made the trip until now. The saying “better late than never” has never been more true. Here are some things about Grand Rapids you may not know:Read More
Fall is upon us and with the changing of the leaves comes a changing of the palette. Our tastebuds yearn for flavors that are warmer and more full-bodied. Spicier and more herbal. And no, I'm not talking about Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I'm talking about Fernet Branca. The Italian mother of all digestifs.Read More
Ok, so yeah, everyone knows I love tacos. I mean, who doesn't?! And Taco Tuesday is a weekly celebration of everything delicious that can be stuffed into a tortilla. Sometimes it's fun to prepare the feast at home... with the whole fam or friends participating. Or sometimes it's fun to go out to a restaurant and wash down those delicious Mexican creations with a cold margarita. But how can we switch things up a bit? How can we take Taco Tuesday to a whole new level?! Well friends, I figured it out...
When I cook at home, I love to make a creation in my head come to life. I'm also a stickler for balancing bold and unique flavors with healthy, organic, and SIMPLE ingredients. (I'm sure any busy guy or gal out there can appreciate that last one.) But that’s usually the challenge – combining convenience and wholesome ingredients so recipes actually TASTE amazing. Well friends, I found a way to up my taco game AND accomplish all of the above. I have teamed up with Seeds Of Change- and organic seeds and food brand- to create some yummy concoctions with their brand new Organic Simmer Sauces. There are several new and delicious flavors, like Sesame Ginger Teriyaki and Tikka Masala, that add bold authentic flavor to your favorite recipes and make preparing dishes a breeze, but for this recipe, I chose their Taco Roasted Chipotle Sauce. Normally, I stay away from pre-packaged foods as I enjoy "starting from scratch" and making everything myself. Plus packaged foods aren't always healthy or organic... they're usually filled with preservatives, ingredients you can't pronounce, and a ton of sodium. But Seeds of Change is different-their products are only made with certified organic ingredients, have no artificial colors or flavors and are grown by trusted farmers who share the brand’s passion for goodness. That's a HUGE change from what we're used to in the packaged food isle. I also love that Seeds of Change is a true seed-to-plate brand, committed to helping people cerate healthier and greener communities by donating 1 percent of sales to support and develop sustainable community based farming and growing programs across the country. Eating well AND doing good all in one bite...love it.
I decided to do a "4 Pepper Tacos" Recipe and let me tell you, it was delicioso y muy caliente! What's cool is that even though I used a simmer sauce, I was still able to make the recipe my own and add my own personal touches. Oh, and did I mention they were DELICIOUS?!
4 Pepper Tacos
1 lb ground organic ground turkey or chicken
1 poblano pepper (finely diced)
1 jalapeño pepper (finely diced)
1 yellow bell pepper (finely diced)
1/2 medium red onion (finely diced)
Seeds of Change Taco Roasted Chipotle Simmer Sauce packet
1/2 cup crumbled Cotija Cheese
1 avocado sliced
1 Cup of cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/2 cup of fat free Greek yogurt
6-8 corn/wheat tortillas
Brown ground turkey in a large skillet (until cooked through). Add all veggies and sauté for 3-5 min over medium heat. Add Seeds of Change Simmer Sauce and heat over low-med heat for 5-10 minutes. Serve taco mixture on a platter along with all toppings including Cotija cheese, tomatoes, avocados, and Greek yogurt. How easy was that?!
And if you want to see an awesome and EASY recipe video using Seeds Of Change, just watch below to see how I made a simple Italian Shrimp Risotto.
This post was sponsored by Seeds Of Change.
Detroit has long been one of those cities that has been very mysterious to me, so I partnered up with Pure Michigan to help me unravel it and learn more about this amazing city. It’s home to an abundance of world famous companies, franchises, and sounds: General Motors, The Red Wings and Motown, just to name a few. Surely it’s at the forefront of American prestige? Then you hear of the many struggles and hardships this working class city has endured over the last several decades. I’ve heard many things over the years but I’ve never SEEN Detroit first hand. Which I must admit, is a bit strange since I have lived in the closest major city to Detroit for almost 4 decades. I think Chicago and Detroit have always had a bit of a rivalry (Blackhawks-Red Wings, need I say more?!). But Chicago has been first to garner the spotlight on the economic, tourism, and food fronts. However, there’s a MASSIVE buzz on streets. Detroit is making a comeback. A big one. Just how big? Well I went there to see it for myself, thanks to #PureMichigan.
Naturally, if I’m going to a new city, I want to dive right into the food and music scenes; It's always my measure of having a good time. I also HATE feeling like a tourist; I love doing as the locals do. So in this case, I wanted to be like a “Detroiter”. I’ve heard that Detroit has been emerging as a foodie destination for a couple years now and I was definitely intrigued. My best friend Aggie (who is just as obsessed with food and music as I am) and I ventured out into Detroit to check it out first hand.
Right when we arrived, we were impressed. I instantly felt the cool and edgy yet historic vibe the city gives off. Especially since our hotel was a part of history. We stayed at the newly opened Detroit Foundation Hotel. It is a renovated historic fire station that has been turned into THE place to see and be seen in Motor City. This also brought us to our first culinary experience. The Apparatus Room is the hotel’s very own restaurant/bar and it felt like it was Detroit’s own “Soho House”. The scene was hot with an artist/biz professional vibe. It reminded me of Chicago’s West Loop scene. Oh, and the food and cocktails were On-Point! I had their version of a Negroni (my go-to cocktail) that was so unique and flavorful. But WOW, their pasta! I had their Saffron Chitarra pasta with oysters, sea urchin, and fennel pollen. It was perfection.
My other favorite meal was a simple surprise. We took a quick Uber to the hip yet established neighborhood of Royal Oak. We started off our Saturday afternoon with a quick brunch at the adorable Le Crepe. We got a sweet and a savory crepe and they were life changing! I love that the cutest little neighborhood spot was a perfect hidden gem. Now that we were full of yummy crepes, we figured it was time to get our beer on. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few decades, you’re aware that Michigan has one of the biggest craft beer scene in the country. So we headed to Royal Oak Brewery for a tour of their facility and to try a few expertly crafted cold ones. One of the many great things I learned about Royal Oak Brewery, from their head brewmaster Richard, is that they really stay true to the authentic German style of brewing. They keep it old-school legit. And it more than pays off as EVERY beer we tried was outstanding.
The storied history of Motown’s music past is rich and diverse. What Berry Gordy and Motown Records did for music is like what Martin Scorsese or Quentin Tarantino has done for film. They created something new and massive that will forever change our nation’s soundscape. And even though Motown left Detroit in the 70’s, it left a music culture so strong that it has also evolved into other genres. Aggie and I checked out St. Andrews, a rock club so edgy that we felt like we didn’t even have enough tattoos to get in (and we have a bunch). We also hit up a cool bar/venue called the Majestic to see Michelle Branch (a blast from 2003) but get this…her drummer is the one and only, Patrick Carney, drummer/co-founder of The Black Keys. It was ALL coming together.
Finally, we capped off our amazing experience by taking a stroll through the super cool Dequindre Cut nature path, along their beautiful river walk. This is not just any river walk…as you gaze across to the opposite river bank you realize you’re staring right into Canada. How cool is that?! A different country just across the river. But of course on the Detroit side, the monstrous and stunningly gorgeous towers of the Renaissance Center dwarf everything in its path and reminds you that Detroit IS American, it is a part of our history and a bigger part of our future, and it is here to stay.
This post is sponsored by Pure Michigan.
Starting Eat Travel Rock was the best decision I've made in my life. It's been a long and winding road and the hustle has been real yet incredibly rewarding. Every single day I am thankful for the massive blessing to be able to do what I do and share my passions with all of you.Read More
Living in Los Angeles, California is an insanely drastic change from living in Chicago. I've been a Chicago resident my whole life and being in California is inspiring me to take advantage of every single second that I'm able to be outside. Springtime in SoCal opens up so many new chances for adventure, travel, and appreciation for our environment.Read More
If you have followed any of my social media over the last 8 months you will know that I'm beyond obsessed with Switzerland. I was fortunate enough to be invited TWICE by Switzerland Tourism to explore and fall deeply in love with their country.
It's incredibly difficult to not be enchanted and immediately mesmerized by the scenery, the culture, the food, the adventure, and most of all, the people. Truly some of the friendliest and well cultured people in all the world. Since Switzerland is an international melting pot, you get to experience so many cultures, languages, cuisines, and people all within the borders of this tiny Alpine nation.
The purpose of this blog is to help recreate my journey that traverses 4 cities and 2 seasons. I intend to show you the extent of my adventures through the dynamic videos that my team and I created over our 2 visits to Switzerland.
I'll start with our most recent trip this winter in December 2016. We started off in Zurich for the purpose of being the FIRST people to partake in the inaugural ride of high speed train that goes through the brand new Gotthard Base Tunnel. This tunnel has been a dream of the Swiss for over a century and is finally a reality. See why Swiss Travel System has been elevated by this incredible feat of engineering.
Next, we took the Glacier Express train all the way to the Swiss/Italian border to the stunning Alpine city of Zermatt. One of the most revered ski/snowboard resorts in the world. Not only is the mountain infrastructure the most advanced I've seen at any ski resort, but the views were surreal. Not to mention, waking up to the sight of the Matterhorn was like a dream in and of itself.
And if you didn't see my Eat Travel Rock TV episodes from the summer, well, here you go! First up is the rolling hills of Bad Ragaz. A breathtaking country side that was the backdrop for the world famous novel, Heidi. Famous for their healing thermal waters, I indulged in the world's most luxurious spas. This episode also features several Swiss Deluxe Hotels, not only in Bad Ragaz, but in Gstaad and Zurich. This hotel company encompasses some of the most prestigious hotels in all of Europe.
Gstaad is THE MOST picturesque town that is oozing with prestige and luxury that I have ever seen. Not only does the small village house some of the world's most posh name brands, but the hotels and restaurants are in a class of their own. However, in this episode, I explored the countryside, and even milked a goat... yes the ones used to make some of the greatest cheese on the planet. You don't want to miss this one!
Hope you enjoyed my travels around Switzerland and I hope it inspires you to make it your next international destination. If you've been to Switzerland or want to go, please comment below and let me know your thoughts, thanks!
There really is nothing better than recharging and having a little down time with some of your best girlfriends. And what better way to do that than having a spa night with delicious food, tons of laughs, hot tubs and saunas galore, and a movie night?!
We had a delicious Mediterranean feast catered from Bernie's Lunch and Supper from right down the street. We noshed on Paella, hummus, roasted chicken, grains and greens salad, and roasted cauliflower. Pretty healthy for the most part since we were all in our bikinis and were about to hit up the hot tub.
Finally, after a hot dip, we cooled off in the Sauna ;) Then made it up to the swanky theater room for a movie and a night cap. Fortunately, we had the room all to ourselves so we were free to goof off without disturbing anyone.
All in all, it was truly a night to remember and we didn't even have to venture out to a bar, restaurant, or club. We were able to stay cozy indoors at The Parc Huron and celebrate some good ole' fashioned female bonding!
During the holiday season we need all the extra happiness and cheer we can get, right? So when a company goes above and beyond to spread some festive love to their customers this week, ya gotta give 'em a shout out. If you haven't used the ride-share/taxi-service app, LYFT yet, you're missing out.Read More
When you think of putting a little cowboy in to your get-up, it's usually during the summer months. What better way to show off your Southern Style than wearing a pair of cowboy boots to a summer music festival, usually complimented with a fringe vest and some ripped jean shorts, am I right? Well, winter time welcomes the Western look as well. Given my obsession with Country Music, this casual Americana look has always been a go-to. But now I'm going to show you a way to make it even more chic...and keep you warm this winter.Read More
Today, I was featured on the Thanksgiving Day Special on WCIU, You and Me This Morning. It was a blast because I found a way to sneak some booze into all of my food... and of course pair each dish with a complimenting cocktail. I mean, a little booze helps to make it through the crazy holiday season, am I right?! I covered the 3 major food groups, Vodka, Bourbon, and Cachaca. Here's what I made!Read More
Ahh it's that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the weather is getting crisp, and the food is getting quite comforting. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and experiencing a unique spin on typical Turkey Day fare can really elevate the holiday. I was so excited to be invited by Morton Salt to the "Next Door Chef" Pop-up dinner to indulge in Thanksgiving favorites...with a twist.Read More
The music industry is full of stats. Oftentimes artistry can become overshadowed by the sordid topic of numbers and sales. But hey, business is business, and album sales keep the machine greased up and able to crank out more "art". Sometimes the specifics of who sold how many can become mundane and tedious, albeit necessary. But other times, those numbers deserve to be celebrated and revered, especially when they catapult an artist into a stratospheric level...where he hovers...solo.Read More