So What If I Slept a Little Late

My Daddy Always Told Me….

…..that you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s Pistache.

Actually, that makes no sense, mostly because he said friend’s nose, not Pistache. But trust me, you my dear, dear friends, would much rather pick to have brunch at Pistache, than your friend’s nose.

Let me show you why.

What did you say, cute French waiter? Would I like a cocktail?

But of course I would.

This Bloody Mary may be short in stature, but it certainly is was not short on flavor! So tasty, I nearly ordered another, but then got my self control in check.

That self control thing was very short lived when this joli bébé (pretty baby) arrived.

Veggie and Gruyere cheese omelet with the tastiest potatoes I’ve had in a long while. Délicieux!

Makes me want to visit West Palm Beach again soon just to pick my best friend’s noses have brunch on the patio of Pistache. Oh wait, I am going to WPB tomorrow. How convenient. 

Love to all,
~the “just because I don’t speak French doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a French breakfast feast” gal, Jess

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The DC Food Tour: Eggs First, Please

So, you’ve seen the groceries, and the froyo….but let’s get on to some real food, ok? Becca and I met up with her sister, Kaycee to explore another part of the city centered around U Street…. and after an incredibly fun night of wine, cheese and techno/old school bar dancing we were in need of some brunch.

Ulah did not disappoint.
Best Benedict Ever! This was the Chesapeake Benedict, so instead of Canadian Bacon, that is fresh lump crabmeat you are seeing. Orgasmic, really. The potatoes were very tasty, too. I would eat this every morning if given the chance!
Kaycee’s Mediterranean Egg White Omelet looked great too.
Becca ordered a salad, which I usually wouldn’t crave for brunch, but when this beautiful chicken salad arrived at the table I was drooling a little bit. Something to try next time, perhaps?

 Located across the street from our brunch choice is the DC staple (and apparently a national icon of all  chili dog hook-ups, I had to brush up on my history and if you want to too, click the link!) Ben’s Chill Bowl. Ben’s was a cornerstone during the Civil Rights Movement and is still a cultural phenomenon that I hope to experience first hand in a future trip to DC. So many restaurants, so little time! Other claims to fame for Ben’s: Ben Cosby gets his meals free there and apparently so does President Obama. Pretty sweet place to hang out I think!
Speaking of our prez, he so kindly snapped a picture with me. What a great guy!

Stay tuned for a DC Restaurant Week dinner and other thoughts about my trip to the nation’s capital!
Love to all,
~the “maybe I could combine all my loves together and be a lobbyist for healthy foods in our schools?” gal, Jess
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Farmer’s Market Feast

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me, that I love food…especially fresh, flavorful foods. So, it’s really no shock that when given the option of dinning out for an expensive brunch on a beautiful Florida Spring Sunday (which already feels like summer since it was 95 in the shade!) or hitting up a farmer’s market to support local food artisans, I’m going to pick the farmers market.

And that was just what Jenna, Jesse and I did last Sunday. Yes, it was hot, but but the food was great, as was the company, and I’ll take any excuse to go walk around Lake Eola and soak up my favorite Florida City that I am currently detached from.

I love the Eola Farmer’s Market, because most of the same vendor’s are there every weekend and it’s like a little (well, actually pretty big) family! I had delicious samples of kettle corn, cheese, pound cake and plantain chips (oh my goodness, so GOOD- I will buy a bag next time for sure!) while walking around, browsing all the tents, but the real stars of the show I enjoyed sitting down:

Classic Arepa (griddle corn cake with melted mozzarella cheese)

These Jamaican patties really made my day though. The one you see split open was the veggie mix that caught my eye (I’d only had meat ones before). Turns out the deal was 2 for $5 or 1 for $3 so, I got a normal beef filled one (in the back of the picture) to share with Jesse. In the future I’m just going to get 2 veggie ones, because my loves this was divine! Crumbly baked pastry filled with savory, spicy mix of veggies. Totally put the meat one to shame. Check out the Jamaican Bakery tent if you ever attend the Eola Farmer’s market.

Love to all,
~the farmer’s market loiter, Jess

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The "Low Key" Birthday!

So, I turned 24 last week. No big deal, I mean, last year was my “golden birthday” and it felt like I celebrated all month long (I turned 23 on the 23rd of April) and next year will be big because hello, 25 is a quarter of century! But eh, 24 is just another year right? So I didn’t really want to do anything big….well, things got a little bigger than even I expected, and well it was amazing!

Things got kicked off right on Friday with Mom and I hitting up a local spa for manis and pedis. Then Jenna rolled in from Otown and we hit up Akins for some classic country cooking (I didn’t take a picture- just chicken tenders, okra and mashed potatoes with white pepper gravy, tasty but not earth shattering) and then trekked over to Christine’s to have a girls night in (well, the girls and Ross!). My Gville bestie is the Bestie and got me this lovely bottle for my bday.

It is another Flemish Red and has that similar sour note that I adore, as seen before in my beloved Dutchess and new luuuver the Vichtenaar! Does the girl know me or what? Thanks again, Christine! 🙂

The next day after Ashley so bravely made the 4.5hour tek up the Turnpike/I75 from WPB to BFE she gamely hopped out of her car and over to mine, and the 211 girls zipped over the Cedar Key to enjoy an Arts Festival that just so happened to be going on. We were successful at picking up a few things for the upcoming Mother’s Day and Father’s Day holidays, and I satisfied my local seafood craving with this tasty Clam Bake:


A steamed mess of clams, sausage, corn and red potatoes. Oh so messy and delicious…just like the birthday girl herself! haha. With a sweet tea, of course!

Check out this awesome hat! I really wish I would have bought it now….oh non-buyers remorse.

After a long hot day by the bay….I mean gulf, we came home and dipped in the very chilly pool (only 71 degrees!) before getting cleaned up for a night out in Gville.

Oh course we had to photowhore a little before leaving, by the said pool.


Now, where else would this crazy 24 year old want to go for her birthday dinner than La Fiesta? So we did!

Started off with a pitcher of 1800 margaritas- and the homemade chips and salsa of course! So goooood on both accounts!



And I know you all have seen my favorite dish at La Fiesta many times before, BUT it was my birthday dinner and this meal is EPIC- so I present to you, yet again, the Vegetarian Chimchanga.

Now, were else would this particular girl want to spend the rest of her birthday night in the “big city” of Gainesville? You guessed it! Stubbies and Stiens!

I started the night off with the Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale. You know how I love my Brown Ales and this one hit the spot. It had a sweet smell, but more of a bitter, burned nut taste. It was thoroughly enjoyed!

I was craving something more sweet though and after the bitter, dry hopped nature of the Pecan Nut, I changed gears and got Abita’s Strawberry Harvest Lager.


Good lord I wish they brewed this year around. It is sweet smelling, but has a wonderfully crisp and nearly dry finish. It reminds me of cream soda, but no one else got that impression. We also found that if you took a sip of the ridiculous Imperial sludge that the boys were drinking before tasting the Strawberry Harvest it would taste like gram crackers- true story.

I finished the night on another fruity note with the Great Divide’s Wild Raspberry Ale.


I had been eying this beer since I had Big HOSS the other week and it was all I could have hoped for and more. Light, refreshing and not sickly sweet like some fruit beers can be.

Of course things got a little silly….here’s just a taste of the fun times!






And who do I have to thank for my wonderful trio of brews? Well the one legged man in the kilt of course!

Thanks again Ryan for picking up my Bday tab and for sporting the kilt in my honor. You are the best!

Now, that sounds like quite a successful celebration, don’t you think? And I would certainly agree. But did we stop there? oh no….well, I mean, we stopped there for the night, but after drinking off the tequila and barley malt there was brunch to be consumed!

The other 2/3rds of my 211 girls had to jet off to other engagements in there respective cities, but Christine and I enjoyed a street side brunch at the Top and took in the wonders of Gville on a Sleepy Sunday Morning, with a side of refreshing rain.

Oh, we had some good food too:

I had the “mess of grits” which was true to it’s name.

Yellow grits topped with onions, peppers, two fried eggs, cheese and faux chorizo sausage (I wasn’t a fan of the fake sausage so I picked that off) with a biscuit and bacon. I ordered the Applewood bacon and Christine got the Seitan Bacon and we each swapped a slice. I enjoyed them both, and am curious to explore more of the “Wheat Meat” seitan uses.

Christine asked that I photograph her colorful “that brie thing” (I love the Top’s dish names!) which was 3 grit cakes topped with eggs, spinach, tomatoes and brie cheese.


I nearly ordered this myself…so many great options. I am looking forward to going back again for brunch soon!

So, that was my crazy “low key” birthday! When this girl celebrates she does it in style I guess? Thanks again to all my wonderful friends for living it up with me, it wouldn’t be a real party with out you!

Love to all,
~the just can’t keep things simple, Jess

Categories: Celebrate Good Times-Come On, Midday Munchies, So What If I Slept a Little Late, Stubbies' 100 Beers in a Year Challenge | Leave a comment

Mother Daughter Orlando Weekend Getaway Recap

You already saw the sweet hotel room and the fun we had at IKEA, but Mom and I stirred up much more trouble during our vacay last weekend.

Check it out!

Friday night, Wine Room of Winter Park with Jenna and her mom, Eileen.

I actually go to Wine Room pretty frequently, or rather as often as I can, whenever I am in Otown, but it is pretty hard to take pictures. If you aren’t familiar with the premise of Wine Room, let me explain real quick like: It’s a do it yourself wine tasting place. You load a card with a certain amount of money and then can choose from 100’s of wines that are just loaded and waiting for you to taste them, love them, buy a whole glass of them (which is actually the best deal, fyi).

If that didn’t make sense, let’s try it in pictures (admittedly blury….between the low lighting and my need for a 4th or 5th hand at this place, it’s a wonder I got any shots!)

Browsing the “interesting reds” section, this label catches my eye.

Boom Boom Shiraz. So I read the description:


Sounds like my kind of wine, layered with flavors, including Chinese 5 Spice!

So I chose the middle pour, which is a 2.5 oz glass.

Oh, this was soooo good! I am now on the hunt for it in the stores (fyi- you can buy the whole bottle at Wine Room, but they tend to be a touch inflated in price). Hand down, the best wine I had all night, even better than the Malbec I tried, to continue my current Malbec Obsession and the Bridesmaid Blend that Jenna suggested I get- haha, love you Bride to Be!

Speaking of Jenna, here is a cute shot taken by the cute bar tender of our Mother-Daughter crew

The Blonds and the Brunettes: Mom, Me, Eileen, and Jenna!

Notice all those empty plates? Well, they sure didn’t start that way. The four of us split a 3 cheese plate, plus two starters.

Goat Cheese Bruschetta


Margherita Flatbread with Balsamic Glaze

Our Fromage Plate Consisting of:
Rogue River Blue (Oregon)
Drunken Goat (Don’t recall the origin)
Lavendar Cheddar (Oregon)

All of the three plates were happily consumed and I really liked the earthiness that the goat cheese added to a traditional Bruschette. Of the Fromage Plate the Rouge River was my favorite, both the Goat and the Cheddar where a bit mild for my personal preference, but it worked out well, as Jenna and Eileen are reluctant cheese lovers!

Overall it was a great night, and such fun for Jenna and I to finally introduce our Moms to one of our favorite venues in Winter Park, as neither of them had been before.

I think Mom really had a great time…here she is trying to decide which of the Malbecs she liked better, we each got one, although I didn’t write down what they are, so of course I’ve forgotten now, but I think we both decided that “hers” was better. 😀


Fast forward past our IKEA trip and a few more shopping stops, including some great buys for mother-dearest at Urban Outfitters and a Fabulous Dress for me at my the beloved Anthropologie-( pictures to come, when I wear it…hopefully soon, it is too blasted cold right now!) we met up with Jenna, Jesse, Panda, Sarah and a co-worker of Panda’s- David, at Blue Martini.

I had my standard fare of 2 Dirty Gin Martini’s plus an order of the Fruit and Cheese plate for the table to share, and then splurged and got a “round” of the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail for Mum and I (we hadn’t eaten since our very early, and light, lunch at IKEA that morning). Unfortunately, (or fortunately) the food, drink and company was so good I didn’t take a single picture. This is why I’m not the best “food blogger” at times, since I get wrapped up in the moment and don’t want to pause life to take a photo. I’m not apologetic about this though, because I think living every moment of everyday is more important that photographing food I’ll order again other night!

We said our goodbyes as everyone split up for various dinner destinations. Mom and I had a serious goal in mind: PIZZA! Mellow Mushroom to be exact! (PS. seriously, click on that link- they have the best website- so fun and interactive!) Ever since our Mellow closed in Gville back in the fall I’ve been having serious withdrawls- so we cruised back up the the Winter Park location (which luckily is only a few blocks from our hotel).

I love the hand made pretzels, which I knew would totally ruin our dinner, but what the hell! A 1/2 order was ordered, with a side of crack, I mean Esperanza dressing. Whoozer! Totally the worth the 35 cent extra charge on our bill (seriously though, who charges for a side of dressing?)

I enjoyed a pint of the local Orange Blossom Pilsner, which is brewed right in Orlando and I adore, while Mom sampled a paddle (four 4oz pours) of Purple Haze, Seadog Blue, OBP and Great White Ale- none of them earth shattering to a beer connoisseur, but all full of the wheat/fruit combo we both love!

Apparently the martini’s at Blue hit me harder than I realized because these are the only two pictures I got of our meal at MM:


One lonely pretzel (the 1/2 order is 3) and the remaining 1/2 of our 10inch pesto base, half- Mega Veggie and half- Magical Mystery Tour. Both were divine and we left floating high on garlic, tufo, jalapenos and love.

A little too “high” if you will, since I woke up the next morning at 5:45am not sure if I had locked the car, etc.

After recovering from my self induced (or in-drunked if you will) panic attack I nooshed on some leftover pizza and then got cleaned up to wander amoungst the stalls of the Lake Eola Famer’s Market and drag Mom along to drool over all the craftsman houses in Thorton Park.

After all the dragging and drooling we hit up Dexter’s for brunch with Jenna, Jesse and Jerry (Jesse’s Dad). You guys know how much I love Dexter’s. I have raved about it many-a-time here on the blog.

Started with a Bloody Mary of course.


I ordered one of the specials- the Frittata Sandwich- which was literally a chorizo sausage and veggie frittata served on French Bread with Avocado Creme, lettuce and tomato.

With a side of delicious potato pancakes! LOVE.

Phew! That was a mega-post, but it was a Mega-Weekend and totally worth every penny and calorie! I love my Momma, and Orlando, so what a great combination!

Love to all,
~the very lovey, Jess

Categories: Celebrate Good Times-Come On, So What If I Slept a Little Late, Take Me Away | Leave a comment

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