Category Archives: Food

Wedding/Taco Bells

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Wedding/Taco Bells

Hi! My wedding day was an amazing but very busy one and I spent the entire day until our late afternoon nuptials preparing. After I blogged and packed for our wedding and weekend getaway, it was off to the hair salon. Then, I had a short window of time to get something to eat until it was time for my appointment to get my makeup done. So, obviously, I ended up in the Taco Bell drive thru!

Taco Bell will always and forever hold a special place in my heart and I couldn’t imagine having anything different for my wedding lunch. You guys have no idea how many people laughed at me for this but, hey, a girl has gotta eat! I must say, the Taco Bell I went to in Tallmadge really delivered on my wedding day and I was simply thrilled because it wasn’t the best the last time I was at that location.

Once wedding bells were about to ring, the tip of the cap to T-Bell continued because our lil flower girl niece threw Taco Bell sauce packets instead of flower petals. Mine and Johnny’s last task to complete before our wedding was opening, emptying, and cleaning handful after handful of sauce packets to be thrown. Our “sauce packet girl” was a hit and I am tickled to have been able to represent my favorite eatery/happiest place on Earth at my wedding!

Were there any nontraditional aspects to your wedding? What is your favorite fast food restaurant? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Amazing Ways To Cook The Best Steaks

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Amazing Ways To Cook The Best Steaks

If you like steak, it is a given that you have your favorite way to cook them and ask any steak lover, and you may get a different answer. Nevertheless, treating every steak the same would be a foolish disservice. So, let’s look at a few of the ways you can cook steak:

Grill:

Specifically charcoal grilled thin steaks. With meat prices rising, it’s good to know how to cook thin steaks. Grilling steak is quick, simple, and hard to mess up after a short period of learning. All you need is a grill (gas or charcoal), steaks, salt, pepper, and oil.

Start the grill and let it get nice and hot; oil and season the steaks on both sides, and when the grill is good to go, throw the steaks on and leave them alone for 3-5 minutes a side depending on how red you like them. Once the time is up, remove the steaks, leave them to rest covered in foil, and then serve.

Sous Vide:

Sous Vide involves vacuum sealing your steak, cooking it for nearly an hour in temperature-controlled water, then finishing it off with a sear. This may sound like a strange method, but it leads to the most evenly cooked and potentially best tasting steaks out there! There is a very sensory experience with cooking with Sous Vide, you get the aromatic smokey smell of steak getting cooked on high heat, and the end results are exceptional.

Pan Fry:

Pan frying steak is not dissimilar to grilling, except you don’t need to go outside. Like the grill, make sure your pan is hot. A cast-iron pan or a similar heavy-bottomed skillet works best because they hold more heat. You may want to oil your steak, or you may wish to simply salt and pepper the steak and then drop a lump of butter in the pan. A meat splash guard is good for keeping the ventilation going. Otherwise, your kitchen will be covered in grease spots. Not ideal when you want to enjoy your meal!

Sear Roasting:

Sear-roasting involves pre-heating both your oven and a cast-iron skillet at upwards of 500 Fahrenheit. When both the skillet and oven are piping hot, you put an oiled or buttered steak in the skillet, sear it on both sides and then slip it into the oven to finish cooking.

By searing first and then finishing in the oven, sear roasting causes fewer problems than pan-frying and broiling. However, this method is less accurate than grilling or sous vide, where you bring a steak more or less precisely to temperature.

Steak Tartare:

This method is quite overlooked, probably because, at first glance, it does not require any preparation at all, which is a myth. Steak Tartare is a popular dish in France and is overlooked since it is raw. Steak Tartare is not only odd for the lack of heat involved in its preparations, but it is also chopped up before serving!

Its preparation usually involves the assembly of ingredients, but there are also crucial steps to ensure food safety. It is important to locate a fresh cut of good meat as the meat will not be exposed to heat on the outside, where most of the bacteria are. Proper steak tartare starts out life as a decent steak; this recipe suggests eye of round, which is then chilled in the freezer and diced up immediately before serving.

Become the host with the most at your next gathering with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Gonzalo Guzman on Pexels

Brunch Babes

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Brunch Babes

Hello!! Johnny enjoyed a three day weekend for Memorial Day and we had the most fabulous date day on Sunday. Any time with my beau is my favorite but it is especially wonderful to go out and about together after over a year stuck in our apartment. Now that we are both fully vaccinated, we feel much more comfortable with seeing friends, outdoor dining, and small outings. So we spent Saturday afternoon hanging out in Lakewood with our two friends, Jeff and Jeff, and had the best brunch with the best company.

Lakewood is a very cool area and I actually used to figure skate at the rink a few minutes away from where we brunched pre-pandemic. While I was in school, I would also make the small trek up there from campus to have dinner with friends. There is amazing shopping, bars, and unique restaurants and although it is only about forty-five minutes from me and Johnny, our afternoon felt like a mini day trip.

For brunch, the Jeffs, Johnny, and I went to the Buckeye Beer Engine and had a delicious meal. The garden quesadilla I ordered was the perfect vegetarian option that included eggs, peppers, onions, and mushrooms in a spinach tortilla topped with sour cream and pico de gallo. The food was awesome but, I have to say, the mimosas were even better!

The Buckeye Beer Engine had so many mimosa flavors to choose from and I went with Peach and Blood Orange while Johnny had a Pineapple and a Cranberry drink. They were the first mimosas we have had since before the pandemic when we would have breakfast dates and it was nice to reminisce on that as we clinked our glasses in celebration with the Jeffs. The weather was ideal for an outdoor meal and it is definitely true what they say… Brunch is always a good idea.

Once we returned home from our time in Lakewood, we were visited by our friend Corey for a quick video game session. While Johnny and Corey are both incredibly skilled in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., I am pleased to say that I kicked their butts! The video game extravaganza continued long after Corey left and Johnny and I spent hours playing Mario Party, Mario Tennis, Pod Racing, and Medal Of Honor. We also just had to pepper in a few episodes of our latest obsession: Family Matters lol.

No matter what Johnny and I do together, we are sure to have a blast and it feels so good to finally be more active in the community with him again. In fact, it kind of feels like going on first dates all over again because of how long it has been since we could do anything even close to having brunch with friends. Getting all dressed up to go out with my fiance on Sunday was simply the best and I can’t wait for a lifetime of dates with him! ❤

What is your favorite meal of the day? What is your preferred brunch drink? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pineapple On Pizza: Yay Or Nay?

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Pineapple On Pizza: Yay Or Nay?

Hello! Much to the annoyance of others and the delight of Johnny and myself, we have a handful of movie or TV scenes that we quote constantly. It’s never not funny to us and a shining example of that would be the Pizza Order sketch from Key & Peele. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and give it a watch:

^^^ As always, I have no rights to this video.

In this sketch, a man named Wendell tries to order three pizzas with pineapple, meat, and cheesy crust and the phone call to the pizza shop gets really weird really quick. To Johnny’s surprise, I have never tried pineapple on pizza before so he decided that this past Sunday was the day to change that. He ordered a pizza with pineapple, bacon, and cheesy crust for himself and one with pineapple, jalapenos, and (of course) cheesy crust for me.

As always, the Pizza Hut presentation never ceases to amaze me, lol. Take a look at this masterpiece:

As a vegetarian, I thought that pineapple and jalapeno would be the way to go for a little sweet and heat. The pineapple was a huge success and I loved the sweet and salty combination between the fruit and the sauce. The jalapenos, however, were a totally different story and I never plan on getting it again. It’s so weird because I enjoy spicy food and never have shied away from it but my mouth was on freaking fire from these peppers. I felt like my mouth was burning long after I ate and my stomach wasn’t thanking me, either.

I feel like such a baby to be saying that the Pizza Hut jalapenos were really spicy but DAMN, lol. In conclusion? I say “yay” to pineapple on pizza and while I wouldn’t order it every time, I would definitely get it every once in a while. And a big fat “nay” to jalapenos!

What are your favorite pizza toppings? Should pineapple go on pizza? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Dry Ice Drinks

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Dry Ice Drinks

Hi! This past Saturday, Johnny and I had a little date day and it was so much fun! We visited a few local specialty game shops to add to our growing board game collection, had drinks in our own section of the patio at the Cashmere Cricket, and then returned home and sat on our balcony while Johnny played guitar and sang. It was an absolute blast and actually reminded me so much of our engagement day. In fact, I asked Johnny when we were walking to the patio of the Cricket if we were going to get engaged again!

The Cashmere Cricket is, in my opinion, the best bar in my neck of the woods. It is my absolute favorite and is where Johnny and I had our first date and also where we went to celebrate after we got engaged. When our post proposal drinks arrived, we were shocked and amazed because they were bubbling and smoking like a potion and we learned that on Saturdays, the Cricket makes their drinks with dry ice in them.

Needless to say, we were very excited for “Dry Ice Saturday” as the bartender called it and it was so nice to enjoy the beautiful spring weather during a safe outing with my fiance! Check out our Dry Ice Drinks and tell me that isn’t the coolest thing you’ve ever seen:

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Now, normally, I am not one to post about alcohol but I just had to showcase this specialty from the Cashmere Cricket because it is so unique. Johnny had a drink called The Roosevelt while I got my second favorite cocktail called Lavender Fizz. My ultimate favorite will always be their Strawberry Lemon Drop martini, though! Our drinks were absolutely delicious and, although the prices are a bit steep there, it is well worth it for the quality of the beverages, the excellent service, pleasant atmosphere, and COVID safety standards. Not to mention that on Saturdays, your drinks will put on a show lol. 

When I think about how I would plan a day for a visiting friend who has never been to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio it goes as follows: Mani/pedis at Elysian Nails, shopping at TJMaxx, Taco Bell for dinner, and ending with cocktails at the Cashmere Cricket. That sounds like the perfect day to me and I stand by this statement even more after mine and Johnny’s past two outings on the Cricket patio. All of the bartenders were so sweet to remember our engagement and it was fun to show them my newly resized ring that was practically falling off two weeks ago!

Dry Ice Saturday was another huge success and I honestly had butterflies being there with Johnny again. Johnny and I were at the Cashmere Cricket on two of the happiest days of my life and it is always going to be special to us. If you are ever in the area, I cannot recommend this cool little bar enough – I think you’ll be just as smitten with it as I am.

What is your favorite local bar or restaurant like? Where is a special place for you and your significant other? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

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The‌ ‌Keys‌ ‌To‌ ‌Hosting‌ ‌A ‌Perfect‌ ‌BBQ‌

It feels like it’s been a long and cold winter. Indeed, it probably feels even longer and colder than it has been because fun and good times have been in short supply thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and other global issues. However, if there’s one thing that we should all remember, it’s that winter doesn’t last forever. In the not too distant future, we’ll all be able to enjoy all of the pleasures that can come from spending time in the sunshine with friends and family.

And what’s the best way to enjoy these moments? By having a BBQ! In this post, we’ll run through some tried and tested tips that will make you the host with the most:

Prepare‌ ‌the‌ ‌Yard‌:

The food will take center stage, but it’s important to remember that the yard will provide the backdrop for the BBQ. As such, it’s worthwhile getting it into shape beforehand. There are numerous ways to do this. A little bit of landscaping will go a long way, so there’s no need to go overboard and create an oasis (unless you want to). The most important aspect will be to have plenty of comfortable seating options and, if possible, to make the yard feel private.

Simple‌ ‌and‌ ‌Delicious‌ ‌Recipes‌:

People are going to judge the quality of the BBQ by the overall atmosphere of the day, but there’s no avoiding the fact that the quality of the food is important, too. The good thing about BBQs is that even the simple classics will do the trick. Hamburgers and hot dogs are the way to go! Just make sure that it’s high-quality meat. Don’t forget dessert, too; there are plenty of easy fruit salad recipes that are perfect for summer afternoons. If you don’t want to be responsible for all the food, then you can ask your guests to bring some with them – if everyone brings something small, then everyone will eat well.

Remember the Drinks:

What’s a BBQ without drinks? All meals should have drinks by their side, but it becomes even more important for BBQs since it’s usually so hot out. While you can provide the basics, such as soda, beer, and wine, it’s also fun to push the boat out a little. Could you make some homemade lemonade or create a cocktail station where people can make their own colorful and delicious drinks?

Bring the Music:

BBQs are all about sinking into all of the good times that summer can bring. So do your best to create a fun and light atmosphere, one that allows people to escape the worries of everyday life. The best ways to do this are to play a killer summer playlist and to provide some games. If you’ve got some reggae or otherwise good-vibe music on the stereo, and people can play twister or other fun yard games, then your BBQ will be a hit.

Enjoy the weather, food, and good company with the tips above to make your BBQ the best on the block!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Love It: Contact Free Grocery Shopping

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Love It: Contact Free Grocery Shopping

Hi! As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, it is always best to find ways to limit whatever exposure you can and contact free grocery shopping is an amazing way to help with that. Johnny tried curbside pickup grocery shopping from our local store, Giant Eagle, earlier in February and loved it so much that he claimed he will never grocery shop any other way. With such praise, I figured I could give it a try too and ended up doing our shopping curbside pickup style at the end of February. I have to say, Johnny was so right – it was great!

Giant Eagle’s curbside pickup program has one of the employees do your shopping through a list created online and then you go to the store and your purchases get loaded into your car for you which allows for a completely contact free experience. It also gave me the thrill of online shopping even if it was just for food, lol! At first, I was having a lot of problems with Giant Eagle’s website running super slowly but once I logged on at a less peak time it was smooth sailing from there.

Online shopping for groceries was kind of weird at first but it actually ended up being really easy and insanely convenient. It was nice to be able to see all of the sales and promotions clearly from the website and apply coupons on the spot. I felt like I was able to take my time browsing the site instead of power shopping to get out of the store quickly which introduced me to options that I didn’t even know existed. Like frozen buffalo cauliflower!

I also was so thankful for the option to edit the cart once my order was placed because, in true Sarah fashion, I forgot a few things that I needed. I swear, I am always forgetting at least one or two things that I needed when I grocery shop which always ends up turning into an extra trip to the store. Online grocery shopping was no exception but, this time, I got to go back to my order and add the items that I forgot. No extra trip necessary. 😀

In my youth, I can remember how much I enjoyed grocery shopping with my mom and, pre-pandemic, I loved my trips to the grocery store. However, it is so important right now to utilize the options that different businesses have available to limit exposure for all parties involved. I am so glad that I gave curbside grocery shopping a try and plan on using it until it is safer. 11/10 would recommend!

What do you like to shop for online? Would you ever try using curbside grocery shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What A Guy!

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What A Guy!

Hi! Last week was a particularly stressful one and, due to a family emergency, I arrived home from work a lot later than usual on Wednesday. Thanks to Aunt Flo hanging out I was exhausted, had cramps, and was freaking starving. However, after literally one step into my apartment once I arrived home, all of that extra irritability and tension dissipated immediately. Johnny was at band practice so I knew I wouldn’t hear a video game or documentary when I walked in. Rather, I heard the dishwasher running and saw a bag of Taco Bell waiting for me on the stove top:

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My heart absolutely fluttered upon both of these discoveries and I, honestly, felt like a princess – which I texted him right away, of course. I am a woman of simple pleasures and it really doesn’t take much for me to feel spoiled by someone and, in this case, I felt spoiled rotten. After a long day I didn’t have to cook or clean – I just had to sit down and enjoy my food while watching Demon Slayer. It was perfect. Also the Taco Bell was A++++++ 🙂

My Johnny is simply the best and this sweet surprise is a shining example of how thoughtful he is. How did I get so lucky again? What a guy, what a guy, what a heck of a guy! ❤

What is your favorite fast food? When do you feel spoiled? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: Hot Chocolate Bomb Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Hot Chocolate Bomb Edition

Hi! My neighbor from my family home, Alice, is one of my best friends. She is so kind and thoughtful and is always leaving sweet surprises for me in the mail box. I don’t know what I would do without her constant encouragement and we really did hit the jackpot for the best neighbor! A few weeks ago, Alice surprised me with a couple of hot chocolate bombs and I was excited to use one because I didn’t even know that they were a thing. My immediate thought was “Do you put it in the bath tub?”

Lol, well it turns out you don’t! On the stove top in a cup and a half of milk is where I placed the hot chocolate bomb and it was the ultimate sweet treat that I didn’t even know I needed. Check it out:

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First of all, can we please talk about how the hot chocolate bomb looks like the Golden Snitch from Harry Potter? It was almost too pretty to let fizz away! It took a while for the hot chocolate bomb to do anything and I would be a liar if I said I didn’t start poking at it after a couple of minutes on the stove top. I was so impatient to see what would happen! 😀

After moving the hot chocolate bomb around for a bit, it finally opened up with glittering flecks of gold mixed into the chocolate and, to my delight, three big marshmallows popped out. My mind was blown. Watching the hot chocolate bomb work was fun but it was even better trying the end result, which was delicious. It was so rich and had a really bold chocolate taste without being too sweet. It has been years since I had hot chocolate and this was the best possible way to be reintroduced. I also loved using my sugar skull mug which was a “just because” gift from Johnny. ❤

Huge shout out to Alice for this awesome sweet surprise. It put a smile on my face and on my taste buds! 🙂

What is your favorite sweet treat? Have you received any sweet surprises lately? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Treats For Valentine’s Day

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Sweet Treats For Valentine’s Day

Hi! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and if you are still struggling to come up with some safe ways to celebrate at home, then how about spending an afternoon baking all of the desserts with your SO? Creating confectionery treats together will give you a chance to showcase how well you work as a team and decorating your masterpieces will be a blast. Taste testing them will be even better, though! How about trying your hand at making the following?

Chocolate:

Who needs a heart shaped box of chocolate when you can make your own, instead? Two Christmases ago, I made chocolate with my boyfriend’s mom and not only was it tons of fun but the end results were delicious! You can find all kinds of cute chocolate molds, get creative with your color choices, and add on to your pieces of candy with peanut butter, chopped nuts, or shredded coconut. Don’t forget that you can also make chocolate covered pretzels and fruit too. Hello, chocolate covered strawberries!

Cake Pops:

If you and yours aren’t big chocoholics, you could try your hand at making cake pops, cupcakes, or just a plain old cake for dessert. Investigate over YouTube and Pinterest for some ideas on how to decorate and see who is the Cake Boss in your kitchen! Red Velvet, angel food, and strawberry cakes are ideal for Valentine’s Day and I love a whipped frosting, myself. And, if whatever form of cake you go with is super successful, you can try this idea again on one of your birthdays. Store bought cake, what?

Ice Cream Sundae Bar:

Ice cream sundae bars are ideal for those who have a sweet tooth and aren’t trying to wait around for a cake to bake! Head to the store together and grab what you both need to build the perfect sundae. Fruits, candies, syrups, and whipped cream are all great starters. If you’re looking for a boozy treat, don’t forget that black or blueberry wine is awesome over vanilla bean ice cream! Love the sundae idea but want more of a challenge? You could make your own ice cream! But, it might be good to have a pint of Ben & Jerry’s for back up. 🙂

Lava Cakes:

I am not a huge fan of cake (the texture bothers me) but I do love a chocolate lava cake every once in a blue moon. The rich chocolate and the gooey hot fudge center topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? Forget about it!! Lots of brands have make your own lava cake kits if making it from scratch seems like a daunting task. Homemade or from a box, you will still experience the joy of baking something delicious with your SO.

Don’t Forget:

To add some atmosphere, whether it be fun or romantic, both of you could create a playlist to listen to while you bake. Be sure to grab champagne or sparkling cider when you are picking up your ingredients too!

What is your favorite dessert? How do you plan on celebrating Valentine’s Day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah