For a stretch of about a year and a half I felt like I had been to Israel a million times. It seemed like every Jewish person I knew was going on Birthright and heading Israel for 10 days with a bunch of strangers. Like clockwork there would be the obligatory "Going to Israel today!" post on Facebook and then depending on the wi-fi situation, either radio silence for a week or artistic shots of desserts, hummus, and group pictures with their new BEST FRIENDS.
Summer produce waits for no one, so don't be late for dinner with me. Can I get a sign like that made? It would come in awfully handy, especially when I was in my crab cake phase. If you came over for dinner in 2012 I probably cooked you crab cakes with a raw corn and tomato salad. Or that was at least my planned menu. The crab cake always appeared but the corn and tomato salad usually wavered between totally raw, slightly warm or in the case of one very late dinner guest a mixture that was so cooked it could no longer be called a salad. No matter the temperature or level of cook, corn and tomatoes are such an easy pair in the summer. If you go raw then toss the two of with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If it's warm then add a little bit of garlic when lightly sauteeing the corn. High heat quickly cooks the corn and softens the garlic, toss that with with the raw tomatoes and you've got an easy side. Or at least that's the plan, until your friend is late and you're [Read more...]
My sister talks A LOT. It's not like a lot where she dominates every conversation. It's a lot where if she is telling a story then it will take a very long time and if she senses you're not paying attention then the story will be restarted. Usually these stories unfold during dinner and when my sister and I still lived at home, my mom was basically Courtney's hostage. And it's not just big stories that are given detailed retelling. It can be as small as no one refilling the water for the office Keurig, with every detail broken down to extreme minutiae. It's fine, it's fine, all of this forced listening made me a very good reporter. When you're trapped at a table where you're punished for even daring to look away from the storyteller for a moment you can get a little hungry. Dinner becomes a distant memory as stories about the doctors my sister works with come tumbling from her lips. To placate Courtney and to keep our blood sugar from running low, my mom in [Read more...]
Sometimes I'm a bad friend. Not malicious like tell all your deep dark secrets to the town but occasionally inconsiderate. Like the time I forced my vegetarian friend to wait in line for hours for fried chicken when she just wanted some donuts. But hey, it was really good chicken and she eats it now.
My sister and I might hold the record for youngest dine-and-dashers. It's probably not a proud title to have but oh well. We once bailed on the check at Friendly's when I was no more 8 and she was maybe 4. I swear it's not our fault, sorry Friendly's, but it's not like little kids carry around money. No, I guess the actual dine-and-dash title would go to our grandparents. Because that night we sat in Friendly's scraping the bottom of the metal sundae dishes that were once filled with black raspberry ice cream as we waited for the check. And waited. It was super crowded and crazy, as most Friendly's are at night when every student within a 5 mile radius is celebrating some random school event like a concert or play. But unlike a bunch of teenagers with endless amounts of time stretched out in front of them, my grandpa was not going to wait any longer. So in a haste we left. I don't think anyone even noticed that we had left without settling the bill. And I'm probably [Read more...]
When a friend comes to visit it probably isn't the best sign when they're falling asleep on your couch before 10 on a Friday night. I swear, I'm a good host! The infamous Chris Stover works overnights for CBS news but the potent booze-filled ice pop I handed him the second he got off Amtrak probably didn't help. I was in the middle of a popsicle spree when Stover arrived for a weekend in Bmore.
I don't know about you but when I travel it's all about the food. Whether it was riding an endless train in Chicago for some goat or arranging the perfect girls night meal in Ocean City, I like to plan my meals. Usually this means watching endless episode of Anthony Bourdain to see if he's been where I'm going or stalking the Instagram feeds of friends who are always headed somewhere new.
I have found the secret equation for good reality tv. It's simply: food deprivation plus leading emotional questions equals reality tv magic. I'm not sure if that recipe fits for every barely based in reality show but it was definitely the path to success when I shot an episode of Say Yes to the Dress in the fall. And you can watch what happened at my appointment on Friday May 20th at 9pm on TLC. While you watch consider making a tray of these homemade peanut butter cups, they were the light at the end of my Say Yes tunnel.
The packing list for a girls weekend getaway to Ocean City, Maryland usually includes a bikini or two, a lot of wine and artichokes. Wait, artichokes? Ok, maybe that's not the first thing you toss into your bag when taking a trip, but 6 girls at a fake bachelorette party cannot live on grapefruit crushes alone. And as soon as our travel plans were nailed down I started to obsess over when we'd hit up Seacrets and what snacks I could make for a half-dozen tipsy women.