Bryant and I are still developing the travel guide part of my website but I figured I would share the basics of our Italy adventures since I've gotten so many questions about where we went to eat and what specific Airbnb we stayed at in Positano! Our official travel guide will incorporate way more detail about how we got around, what the people were like and how much money to expect to spend! (Yea, we documented every penny, like absolute freaks.)
We took a private car arranged through our Airbnb host from the Naples airport to our place. Click here to see where we stayed. (This is where Bryant proposed! Full story to come in our more official travel guide!!) Our place was uphill (and if you're looking at a map) west of the main public beach in Positano. There were busses that ran every so often (signs with times at every stop on the main road) and then there was a sort of hidden stairway that you could walk all the way down to where you will find the main public beach area, the ferry ports and restaurants & shops. You could also walk down the main road which leads to an area near the main beach, there are tons of restaurants and shops along the main road.
This is the first place we ate, we wandered a bit down the main road to find lunch. The first thing they brought out to the table was bread and chili oil (LOL) and then olive oil too. I ordered the spaghetti vongole with tomatoes (and by tomatoes, they literally mean 3 cherry tomatoes) and then Bryant had the bolognese. Both were BOMB, because well, it's Italy.
Il Fornillo Ristorante
We went here for dinner on the first night shortly after the engagement! They had cacio e pepe on the menu so naturally, i was like F*CK YES gimme dat. The pasta was a little more al dente than I would prefer but I just got engaged so I basically didn't care at all. Bryant had pizza, he ordered pizza a lot and it was seriously amazing at every single place.
We (or maybe it was just me) were super hungover after the engagement celebrations and wandered down this like 3 mile staircase to the restaurants on the beach. We picked this one because it was under really pretty green vines, there was tons of open air and we saw a plate of calamari walk by that looked divine - it was, we loved it. We shared the ravioli, and we didn't love it.
This place was BEAUTIFUL. To get to it we walked through a little alley way of shops and they had a special truffle pasta special that I will regret not ordering for the rest of my life. It was by far the fanciest/most expensive dinner we had but the atmosphere was really pretty and you could tell it was a classy place. Side note: they offer cooking classes in the morning which was cool too.
Ristorante Il Capitan
This was our last dinner in Positano! (Tears.) It's part of a hotel called Hotel Montemare. It overlooks the water and the beach from up high and it is the perfect place to watch the sunset while you eat. I really wanted to try squid ink pasta while I was in Italy so I ordered it and was super grossed out. It tasted way too fishy for me. So I proceeded to drink a ton of wine and eat all of the amazing pizza that Bryant ordered.
I LOVED CAPRI. Mostly because of the boat ride that we went on which we found through our Airbnb app's "Experience" tab. As soon as we got off the ferry we were hounded by locals trying to get us to sign up for their boat tours, and we saw them while we were on our boat tour. Their boats were bigger and crowded with tons of people holding their phones up in the air trying to take pictures. Our boat was 8 American millennials drinking beer/wine and having a great time. I HIGHLY recommend booking though Airbnb experiences, you will not want to be on the other boats full of tourists. My favorite part was swimming! The water was freezing but also the most clear water I've ever been it. One second I was looking down at fish and the next second I was looking up at mountains covered in green trees with foggy smoke surrounding them. It kind of reminded me of Jurassic Park and I was loving it so much.
The port of Capri is lined with restaurants and we ended up randomly picking this one because they had a lemon pasta on the menu that I really wanted to try. It ended up being one of my favorite dishes of the trip! The lemons and citrus in Italy are so fresh that it takes the flavor of certain dishes to the next level. I was dying over it - so so so good.
We spent the last two days of our trip in this magical place. It was so different from Positano because there were way less tourists, or at least American tourists. The English language was the least common here out of everywhere we went. I mean literally, our Airbnb host was trying to tell us not to leave the windows open when we left because of birds and she flapped her arms like a bird to try and get the point across...I was dying inside. Very nice lady, but the language barrier was real.
Salerno was also very different than Positano because all of the streets besides the main one along the water were tiny little alley ways that twisted and turned throughout the city. Instead of little houses built into cliffs, it was more of a flat landscape with taller buildings. At first it was confusing and intimidating but after we got to our Airbnb we had a nice view of the layout of the city and found out that there was an elevator we could take to the entrance of our Airbnb. At first we were trying to use google maps to find our way and it was not working out so well with all of the little roads.
Ristorante Il Duca
Here's where we went our first night in Salerno! It was in a tiny alley way and we sat three floors up on the roof. It actually overlooked the alley and was a beautiful view. Our waitor didn't understand that we wanted still and not sparkling water, so we were forced to just deal with it, haha. I ordered a bacon and cream sauce pasta - the noodles were super thick and it was real good. Bryant had the gnocchi which was equally as amazing.
Trattoria Pizzeria Zi Renato
So this restaurant was one out of many along the main street in Salerno that was parallel to the ports and water. It was cute with red checkered tablecloths and the service was pretty good. Once again, blown away by the pizza but the pasta was seriously disappointing. I ordered the carbonara and it came out as penne noodles with scrambled eggs and very pathetic bacon. Someone DM'd me and they were like "ordering bad pasta in Italy feels the same as when you find out Santa Claus isn't real" and it was the realest thing anyone has ever said to me!! I was so sad because I even had a shirt that said "I want pasta" and I just so happened to wear it the time that I effed up my order. BOO. There was this place next to it called In Rada, I would try there instead.
Goccia Wine Bar
This place was super funky, but cool. Lots of different looking people. They had cacio e pepe on the menu and I obviously was immediately sold. They brought out a really weird salad with like chopped cabbage and carrots and it smelled weird so we didn't touch it. I may or may not have had too much wine and asked the waiter if he spoke "American," like an idiot. I'll never forget the look on Bryant's face when it slipped out of my mouth, LOL. Okay back to the food, the cacio e pepe was amazing, def enough for two people. It was super al dente and there were bread crumbs on top!
It was pretty ironic to be in San Fran during the first Cavs vs. Warriors finals match. And then less ironic and more heartbreaking when J.R. Smith decided to forget the score of the game in the last couple seconds lol...whoops. We watched it in the hotel lobby and the food they served there kind of made up for how shitty that felt. So the Cavs lost but everything else was a win.
I came to San Fran for the 2018 Brand Marketing Summit which was held on Wednesday and Thursday and then I stayed the rest of the weekend to do FOJ things. Bryant flew out to meet me and then we hung with my boss and her boyfriend. We tried to go to Trader Joes to pick up a bottle of wine and the line looked about the same as the line for the Dragster at Cedar Point so if you're going to buy booze, don't go there, lol.
We stayed in the Union Square area which is about a 20 minute Uber ride from the Golden Gate Bridge, a 10 minute walk to tons of shopping/dining and Chinatown. Since the travel was primarily through work, we stayed at The Parc 55 Hotel instead of an Airbnb (which is usually my favorite way to lodge while traveling.) Our Uber driver on the way back to the airport told us that San Fran is only 7x7 miles big which kinda blew my mind. It was definitely super easy to get everywhere we wanted to go.
We did visit the Golden Gate Bridge on our last day and it was really cool. We hiked down (literally felt like I was Frodo Baggins climbing mountains) as far as you could go to Baker Beach. I wasn't aware, but apparently that is where nudists like to hang out. There were like 3-4 groups of men that were j chillin butt naked...kinda weird, kinda funny. Whatever! Still such a fun experience for sure.
As far as people, it seemed like everyone was either super rich or super poor - lots of strange homeless people encounters but you'll find that in every city.
As far as weather, it was way colder than I expected. I wasn't aware that it's typically warmer in Cleveland during this time of the year than it is in San Fran! It was like high-sixties, low-seventies. Everyone was saying we were lucky to experience such good weather but I didn't wear shorts, and had a jacket on almost the whole time I was there and I thought it was pretty cold (especially at night.)
Key takeaway: there are a lot of "garlic fries" in San Fran and you must order them everywhere you go.
Puccini & Pinetti
This is the first spot my boss and I went after starving on an airplane for hours, it was literally across the street from our hotel. We LOVED the bruschetta appetizer that came with goat cheese and this warm bread drizzled with balsamic glaze. After that, I of course ordered the clams and linguine and my boss, Rin, got the pappardelle - both were really good. So good that we in fact reheated our leftovers with a blowdryer in the hotel room the next morning. That was fun.
Super Duper Burgers
This west coast burger chain is what's up. It sort of reminded me of Shake Shack! There were sesame seeds on the bun which sucks because I'm allergic but I was feeling dedicated so I literally scraped every single one off before eating. I seriously loved the garlic fries and all of the different sauces you could order on the side. ALL ABOUT DAT SAUCE, always.
The Old Siam Thai Restaurant
I walked past this spot on my first night and saw tons of people eating really good looking Thai food through the window. We decided to head here for lunch after discovering it and it didn't disappoint. I ordered the pad see ew and I loved it. The spring rolls were bomb too. There were jars of different sauces and powders on every table and the service was really good as well.
Begoni Bistro - Chinatown
As soon as I saw all the hanging lanterns I was in love - I mean, they kinda look like little dumplings, right? San Fran's Chinatown is full of tons of quirky shops and then tons of restaurants. We tried to go into one based off the pictures hanging outside, but they stopped serving dim sum for the day so I made my way over to the spot that's linked above. The soup dumplings were pretty good and then they also had legit congee - which is kind of like a rice porridge that has life saving (hangover curing) powers. I ate it for the first time in New York with @nom_life and I don't think it's something I would of ever considered eating if they didn't let me know how good it was! It tastes way better than it looks. The green dumplings in the photo below are the vegetable dumplings that were packed with mushrooms and lots of cilantro.
Scoma's - Fishermans Wharf
Fisherman's Wharf was a really cute part of town near the water and this restaurant was tucked away back on one of the piers. Their tag line is actually "from pier to plate" which it thought was cute. There's tons of local fisherman fare on the menu, but I'm allergic to fish so I wasn't able to try it! I could immediately tell upon entering the restaurant that it's the kind of place that serves good food - the waiters kind of dress like butlers too which gave off a fancy feelin'. The clam chowder was amazing, and so was the clam pasta. Can you tell that I like clams??
We went to a Giants game which was really cool because the home run porch is basically the water. Home run balls land in the bay and kayakers paddle over to claim their prize, lol. I was super hungover so we didn't make our way to a ton of food spots but there was some cool looking Asian food stands. I got a Giants Dog vs the regular ballpark dog because it was beef and pork instead of just beef and I think it tasted way better than the original one that Bryant ordered, but that's just me. It was longer and skinnier than the other one and obviously, less beefy. Also, there was someone walking through the stands selling churros which I thought was awesome because you usually just see cotton candy and peanuts. I was very jealous of everyone walking around with chicken fingers that looked like the definition of perfectly crispy, greasy chicken fingers.
Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
We stopped in here for a few drinks and a quick bite to eat and I'm so glad we did. If you're from CLE, it's just like Porco Tiki Lounge, but bigger with a pool in the center. Every 20 or 30 minutes it rains into the pool and there's thunder storm sounds - SO COOL. It legit felt like we were getting drunk the the jungle. (PS - it's inside of a hotel so it's not something you'll see or recognize from the street!) We ate the vegetable pot stickers, chicken wings and spring rolls. All three items were so sooo good and the drinks were on point too.
This is basically Chinese fried dough wrapped up in a sticky layer of rice noodle. If you ever see it on a menu, you have to order it. I don't care if you're on a diet, allergic to gluten..or whatever..everyone needs to experience this shit. It's exactly why I'm so obsessed with Asian food. I mean, its a noodle-wrapped donut for crying out loud.
The first time I saw this dish was on @TheWoksofLife blog and since it seemed like a lot of work to make from scratch - I went to the Asian grocery store to pick up the ingredients so that all I really had to do to create everything was assemble the pieces and parts!
What you need:
What to do:
Everything is better between two slices of bread. I remember the day my family made the big switch from white to wheat bread. I hated it at first but as time went on I started to love it and my favorite kind has always been Brownberry Bread's Whole Grains: 100% Whole Wheat. That said, I am so excited to be working with them on this post!! Tap the product to learn more details about the bread and to see what other products Brownberry Bread offers.
Also, homemade macaroni and cheese is where it's at. I make it from scratch a couple of different ways, but this method is seriously SO cheesy and stringy which is perfect for when you need the noodles to stick together in certain recipes.
What you need:
What to do:
I think that I might like wontons better than dumplings. There's more noodle to them once they are folded up and that's what it's all about. If you want to see more visual details for how to make this one, there's a highlight reel on my Instagram page as well as a video that's posted to my feed. You don't have to use pork, I just prefer pork in all of my wontons/dumplings since it's the most fatty and flavorful meat in my opinion.
My favorite wontons EVER are from Szechuan Gourmet in CLE's Asia Town, and that's where the inspiration for these babies came from! At one point, I ate lunch there every Friday for five weeks in a row. #TrueStory
What you'll need:
How to make:
I think that pork dumplings are my favorite because pork meat is more fatty than other meats, and there's a ton more flavor. I sometimes like to combine the meat with very finely shaved napa cabbage too because I like how it makes the texture of the meat softer and less condensed, so the inside doesn't taste like a meatball. If you don't want to use cabbage, you can just add in more scallion for a softer inside or a small amount of minced mushroom will work too!
This filling recipe is enough to fill up about 30 dumpling wrappers. I love to serve them with chili oil, black vinegar and/or soy sauce. Cook as many as you want but you can freeze the ones you don't plan on eating for up to a month or two in the freezer!
You can purchase dumpling wrappers at your local Asian grocery store. I buy round gyoza wrappers from the freezer section at Tink Hall market in CLE's Asia Town area. Make sure you buy round wrappers though, square ones will not work for this folding method.
If you're wondering how I came to learn how to make dumplings you can thank zillions of random youtube tutorials that show how to make the perfect little pleats. Also, gotta give props to the little old man that helped me find the dumpling wrappers in the store. AND also this little Chinese restaurant called Mandarin by my house that makes the best dumplings - they're the ones that inspired me to use pork meat over other meat options!!
What You Need
What To Do
My mom told me a long time ago to start putting cornstarch in my chicken marinades when I'm making a stiry fry and it literally changed my life. It gives the chicken a better texture and flavor because the starch binds together the liquid ingredients in the marinade and seals them to the meat.
I started using this "Pepper Sa-te Sauce" I found at the Asian grocery store and it's a game changer. The ingredients are chili, garlic, bean oil, spices and salt so it's very spicy and heavy on the garlic. SO MUCH FLAVOR.
This recipe makes enough chicken for two people. If you want more of it, you can double the reicpe. I served the chicken with my hand-made Chinese noodles but you could do rice or something else instead - click here for the noodle recipe.
How to make:
Due to the fact that I have to be in a bathingsuit soon, I served this chicken paprikash with cauliflower rice. Although (I'm pretty sure) traditional chicken paprikash is served with dumplings or spaetzle. Spaetzle are little bite sized dumplings, basically tiny pieces of chewy dough, kind of like gnocchi but smaller with more texture.
Chicken paprikash is super easy to make, the key to the recipe is using authentic Hungarian paprika seasoning. If you're trying to keep things light, you don't have to use heavy cream...you can sub something else, or omit the cream part completely - things will just be less soupy and more like seasoned chicken with rice or dumplings. This recipe makes enough for two people!
What to do:
I LOVE carbonara!! It's so simple with minimal ingredients and I feel like that always makes for the best pasta dishes. The following recipe makes enough for two really hungry people or three friends who feel like having a smaller portion!
What You Need
What To Do
I like chili, I like soup and I like enchiladas so this recipe is the best of all three worlds. I'm pretty sure that it's healthy since there's only about 1/4 cup of rice in it (which you don't necessarily even need to add in if you don't want!) and besides that it's just chicken and vegetables. The recipe makes around 6 cups of soup, you can freeze whatever is leftover and reheat it anytime.
What you need:
What to do:
I don't really like chicken in my pasta but this recipe is the ultimate exception. I love using super thin chicken breasts so that the sauce is easily absorbed throughout each piece and it's less meaty than a giant thick chicken breast. Pro tip, whenever I have enough time and want to take things to the next level, I'll soak the chicken breasts in a salt water brine for a couple hours and add a few fresh lemon slices to the brine too - it makes the chicken way more tender. (Brine ratio is always 1tbsp salt: 1 cup water.)
This is a big recipe and I used a whole pound of pasta. If you want to make less, I wouldn't change anything except cooking less pieces of chicken breast and less pasta, you'll just end up with a little more sauce which is never a bad thing. PS - If you're trying to cut carbs you can make the chicken without any breading or pasta and just eat it with the buttery lemon sauce!
What you need:
What to do:
Or as Whole Foods rings them up, squid tubes...lol. I bought them in the seafood freezer section - there were options to buy either tubes and tenticles or just the tubes.
I've eaten calamari a ton, but never actually made it from scratch before. It's pretty weird to see it in it's fishy form and not going to lie, kindof gross...and smelly. If you're using frozen squid, make sure to give yourself some time to let them thaw. I ended up soaking the container in hot water to speed up the process.
Someone called me the other day while they were Christmas shopping to see if I had a crockpot. I said no, and then i said, wait, yes I do!! (That's how often I use it...yikes.) My mom gave me some short ribs that she wasn't going to use and I decided to whip out the crockpot. Crockpot cooking is so easy, you just sort of have to get things started and then forget about it for several hours.
Also, with tomato sauce...the longer it cooks, the better it tastes. This sauce is SO rich and flavorful I could cry. It's a bit different than most meaty sauces since it's short rib. I feel like the way it separates sets it apart from other kinds of bolognese sauces that use ground meat.
The recipe makes about 4 cups of sauce so there will be a lot. You can freeze part of it in a ziplock bag and save it for another time! It's a good one to start up earlier in the day since the short ribs have to cook for so long in the crockpot.
What you'll need:
What to do:
I've come across steamed rice rolls (or cheung fun) at a couple of different Chinese restaurants and I absolutely LOVE the texture of them. I've made them from scratch before using The Wok's of Life's recipe and Lisa Lin's recipe - they're a bit harder to make from scratch but a fun project for sure. What I have listed below is not really a recipe, more of a guide for how to assemble them. There are several different ways to serve cheung fun - with or without filling or even wrapped around fried dough! I like to serve them plain with chili oil since I can't have any peanut, shrimp or sesame due to my allergies.
If I were to explain them to someone that's never seen/heard of them before I would say that they are paper thin sheets of thick white rice noodles, rolled up and sliced into bite size portions. That said, think of pad see ew - the really thick rice noodles, rolled up just like a fruit roll up. Once the rice noodle is steamed, it becomes really soft, slippery and chewy.
The steamed rice noodles that I bought came completely folded up in a package from the refrigerator in the back of Tink Holl Market, which is in CLE's Asia Town. The package says "Natures Soy Rice Noodle" and below is a photo of what it looks like. The noodles were sort of stiff, and folded up kind of like a blanket.
I would say that one of the packets of rice noodles I used is enough for two people to share. I ended up with around 18 bite size pieces.
What You Need
What To Do
It's pretty crazy that from start to finish, you can make ready-to-eat noodles with only three ingredients in only 30 minutes.
The longer, more intensely you knead, the smoother the noodle texture is. You can totally knead by hand, I would say for about 10 minutes - that's how I used to make this recipe before I was gifted a Kitchen Aid and now I use a dough hook to help knead my dough.
I've used this recipe with bread flour and all purpose flour and both will work! I think the AP flour is best though. Oh AND, it makes enough noodles for two people so you can share or just eat the whole thing by yourself which is what I normally do, lol.
What you need:
What to do:
Tis' the season for all things butternut squash. Disclaimer, I didn't actually make stacks with that many layers, the pic is two pieces on top of one another. Just tryin' to keep it real with ya! Also, you could sub slices of squash or zucchini if you're going for a low-carb or gluten free version.
Also, I did not start with actual whole squashes. My local grocery store (Heinen's) sells squash that's already been peeled and cubed, THANK GOD - and I'm pretty sure it was more than just one squash because there was a lot. It's kind of a b*tch to peel and cube one of those things - definitely something you have to be in the mood to do.
I was thinking about adding in a layer of kale or spinach, but realized that I forgot to grab it at the store. I feel like it would probably be pretty good with some sauteed kale mixed in. If you want to do more with this recipe and add in some color, I would try that!
What you'll need:
What to do:
When it comes to pasta, sometimes a few ingredients is all ya need.
There's a ton of controversy over the way this dish is supposed to be made so I will start of by saying that this is my personal version and the way that I prefer to eat cacio e pepe! I've gotten tons of comments about how it's wrong that I use butter but, I love butter and that doesn't feel wrong to me. I will say that it's super clutch to use fresh cracked black pepper - I usually buy whole black peppercorns and crack them myself with the edge of a large knife or mortar and pestle.
What You Need
What To Do
Little Italy, one of my favorite neighborhoods in Cleveland is on the east side of town and it's home to one of my favorite dishes of all time. Since I live on the west side of town, it's kind of a treck - but always worth it for Mia Bella's cheese tortellini. Cheese stuffed pasta is a no-brainer but the sauce that it's served in is this amazingly rich blush pasta sauce - and it may or may not come with enough of it to save some and put over more pasta right when you get home. :)
I've tried to recreate it several times and it just wasn't happening. The other day I was cooking tomatoes in a skillet with some olive oil + garlic and decided to randomly added in a few different things and ended up with the literal same sauce that's served with the tortellini at Mia Bella. Funny how that kind of stuff always seems to happen on accident.
I've eaten all kinds of chicken tacos before but there's something about the way I make these chicken thighs that tastes really different in the best way. I brine the chicken (aka soak it in salt water + seasonings for about 30 minutes before I cook it which makes the meat really juicy and so flavorful. The main seasoning I use is pre combined, called "butter mesquite" and it is from the West Side Market in Ohio City. I'm sure you could find it somewhere else, but from a market type place would be your best bet in terms of quality!
I love a good meaty sauce, my favorite recipe is from Chrissy Teigen's cookbook, Cravings. You can buy it for less than 20 dollars on Amazon. (I feel obligated to tell you that there's bacon in it. Because that's important. Bacon is important AF.) The best part about this whole thing is that it's a low-carb recipe. It's the best when healthy things don't suck, am I right?
I used giant pizza cutter to slice 3 large zucchinis, down the middle longways and then scooped out the pulp with a rounded metal teaspoon which worked like a charm. This recipe is pretty much foolproof! Let me know if you have any questions.
Well this was fun. I saw these things a while back somewhere...from some food truck...from someone's Instagram post...and there's no way I'm gonna remember any more details than that, lol. Since then, every time I walked past a Flamin' Hot Cheetos bag at the store I was reminded of this glorious creation. So I finally threw a bag into my cart and decided to make this happen. I used a cheese sauce recipe from Serious Eats, and then freezer isle fries and the hot Cheetos. It was seriously so easy to make... and FYI, if you don't have a food processor I'm sure you could put the Cheetos into a ziplock bag and beat it like a caveman until you get the little crumbs to form! If you decide to go that route, good luck. ;)
If you have a question about this recipe, please leave a comment below and I'll respond!
One of my favorite dishes growing up was my Mom's soy sauce marinated chicken thighs. So juicy and magical - now that I'm older it makes me LOL how easy they are to make, and how I didn't have a clue back then. I basically thought she slaved away in the kitchen all day while we were at school in order to have this all prepared - because the taste is that GOOD!
Now a days, I like to cut up the thighs before I marinate, and I also added honey, garlic and scallions to the marinate and it always turns out perfecto!
You know when people talk about food like, "OMG - I love it so much, I just want bathe in it!!" Welp, that actually happened.
The day I decided to draw a ramen bath was also the day that I hit 10,000 followers on @FoodsofJane AND the day that I finally (6-year plan) graduated from college. It sort of started off as an inside joke with my fam since all I ever ate as a kid was ramen. So I threw on an old bathing suit and filled my parents' giant tub (which by the way, is super nice - if I wasn't 20-something I would of totally gotten grounded.) The ramen noodles float, so I didn't actually have to fill the entire tub, it was mostly H20. I used the hottest water setting - I figured that would be hot enough to soften the noodles and I was right. It was also hot enough to basically cook myself, it's like I was the protein in some sort of human soup. My sisters took photos while hysterically laughing and the whole thing was just great.
Did you know that "ramen is actually good for your skin?" At least that's what the owner of this one Japanese Spa says. Can you even believe that there is a place in this world where this sort of thing actually happens on a daily basis? Here's more on that: http://bit.ly/2hI6K6b.
So a few weeks later I got an email from a producer at ABC's The Chew. He somehow came across my photo and asked if I would mind if they showed it on TV. What a weird question to be asked, I'm pretty sure in the email he was like "I can't believe I'm actually saying this but..." I said yes, and sure enough, there I was - takin a bath in ramen noodles on national television. The cool thing about it was that they mentioned I was from Cleveland, OH and my dude Michael Symon (who is also from Cleveland) just so happens to be a co-host on The Chew. I love the way he screamed "CLEVELANDDDDDDDDDD" when the photo popped up behind him. I ended up officially meeting him later that year at the Fabulous Food Show in CLE - walked right up to him with a screenshot of my ramen bath photo and said - "Hi, remember me?!" and then of course his giant, loveable, best laugh ever roared and the rest is history. Love that man. <3
This is my favorite part of the story. I was out at a bar in The Flats (part of downtown CLE) and someone who was talking to a couple of my friends (without knowing they were my friends) pointed to me and said hey - isn't that that noodle girl? It's the only time I've been recognized by a stranger in public and I love it so much, I wouldn't want to be recognized any other way. "That noodle girl."
You can find the original Insta post here and no I did not eat the ramen afterwards because...that's disgusting. ;)
I've eaten different kinds of pierogi pizza before... but never like this. A friend told me that she used pierogi dough instead of noodles in a lasanga that she made and the lightbulb inside of my stomach went off. The crust for this pizza is actual pierogi dough, boiled and buttered. Basically, this pizza is like a giant open faced pierogi. I mean what's better than mashed potatoes, butter and cheese on a snowy December afternoon?
I will say it was super hard to fit the rolled out dough into a pot of boiling water, so the bigger the pot, the better. Be really cafeul at that step - the dough tore for me, but everthing was all good in the long run. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the steps that were taken to put this pie together!
What you'll need:
How to make:
Let me start off by saying that I absolutely hate dry meatballs. I honestly think that one time, I didn't eat meatballs for like two years straight because I ate one that was so dry and gross. I decided to make meatballs last week to go with some spaghetti squash I had made and here's how I went about doing it. I literally googled "best meatball recipe" and looked at about 10 different sites that popped up, then decided to give it a go. I did not keep track of anything I added into the mix, so I had to remake them because I want you all to experience these. I saw recipes that used eggs, buttermilk, breadcrumbs, actual slices of white bread. Who knew there were so many different ways to make random balls of meat??
I ended up just combining little parts from different recipes that I read online and they turned out so damn good, and juicy. This recipe makes about 20 small meatballs, or 10 big ones. I literally ate them plain... popped those things like I would doughnut holes. Lol, I am gross. It's fine.
A few tips - if your meatballs are too mushy you can add in a little flour to thicken them up. Also, don't be alarmed if you notice gooey stuff on the cookie sheet once you take the meatballs out of the oven. I don't know what that stuff is, but I'm guessing it is part of the egg/buttermilk ingredients. Either way, it's what makes them juicy so don't worry!
If you’d like to use my photos & recipes, please ask or link back to this site. Thank You.