Food, Travel

Mambo Italiano, and Tuscan Pici Cacio e Pepe Style


Oh, baby. We are BACK.

And by “BACK,” I mean that I have been completely incapable of doing anything for the past 5 days due to a nasty, nasty bout of the flu. My mom referred to this as being retribution for taking a long, amazing vacation, and I’ll admit that it feels that way a bit.

Where was I?


Oh yes. The #dreamtrip. We were lucky enough to spend two and a half weeks exploring a ton of different parts of Italy, which is something I’ve dreamed about for what feels like ever. I’m keenly aware that the origin of this yearning may in fact have been related to the very first time that I read Eat, Pray, Love – call me basic, but that shit was inspiring. Who doesn’t want to take four months off (ideally, with the bill footed by your publishers) to eat tagliatelle and stare at the David all day? I do. I want that.

I’m going to attempt to split our trip up into separate posts, but first, I wanted to share with you our very favorite culinary adventure from that trip: Pici.  Continue reading “Mambo Italiano, and Tuscan Pici Cacio e Pepe Style”


Mind-Melting Chocolate Babka / ARRIVEDERCI!

DSC_0116Well…there’s this. I’ve been drafting this post since the day after Easter (whoops), and that’s mostly because so far, it has been a whirlwind of life and then horrible illness. (Cheery start here, eh??)

Let’s try again. Hi!!!!

The picture above is unusually bad, because if we’re all being honest here, I was taking these pictures in front of a room full of people who were waiting to descend upon the babka. So what you get, as a very direct result of said vultures friends, are sub-par pictures. My B! DSC_0101 Real talk: babka takes TIME, y’all. Serious commitment. My girlfriend Rachel and I agreed that this would be our project for Easter weekend. We got together the night before and made the dough (look at the flecks of orange zest!), and then rolled and baked it on Easter morning. But I’ll be honest with you. When it came out of the oven? I felt like the world’s greatest magician. I know that all we did was follow the directions, but it makes no sense that you can make something shaped like this out of raw ingredients. It is really crazy.  Continue reading “Mind-Melting Chocolate Babka / ARRIVEDERCI!”


Croissant French Toast with Browned Butter Maple Syrup



This is kind of the ultimate definition of #sorrynotsorry.

This past Sunday marked a most momentous event, wherein my husband offered to make me french toast without demanding exercise in return. (We took a long walk with the dog afterwards, but that doesn’t really count.)

While it felt too good to be true, it was very real. And MAN, was this french toast delicious. Let me paint you a picture: french toast. Also, croissants. Are you there yet?  Continue reading “Croissant French Toast with Browned Butter Maple Syrup”


Pimped-out Grilled Cheese



You’d never know that I’ve been eating pretty clean recently, huh?

I have a confession. While I lead an unbelievably full and wonderful life in almost every way, I have a very real issue with wanting every meal to be either pizza or grilled cheese. #thestruggleisreal, y’all.

Bread? Bread is my absolute complete and total BFF. GOOD bread, mind you – none of that airy-fairy nonsense or good bread that’s now several days old and frankly, just not that good anymore.

But truly amazing bread? With a thick, crunchy crust and a soft, pillowy inside? Oh, my goodness gracious. I really, honestly, truly CANNOT EVEN. If it’s fresh out of the oven? Stop it. Stop it right now. Shut up and get out of here.  Mmmmmm.

Dogs, Life

Ode to Huckleberry


Today is the one-year anniversary of us becoming dog owners. I thought about writing a post about the first few weeks of Huck’s life as our dog, but instead, I decided to write a rap (to the tune of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” theme song (any similarities in the lyrics are totally just a coincidence) and THEN to tell you about the first few weeks of his life. Because my blog, my life, my rules, lots of foot stomping, blah blah blah. You know the drill.  Continue reading “Ode to Huckleberry”

Coaching, Life

The Email Project


[Please note: I took this picture. It’s not a stock photo. I haven’t fallen that far yet.]

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. (I know, I know, cue a collective gasp from the audience.)

I value other people. I value connection. And above all else, I value making other people feel awesome.

Someone told me recently about a project that she’d heard about where a person wrote a letter a day, every day, for 21 days. The idea was to focus on sending someone nice thoughts about how great they are every day. Supposedly, it does really good things for your daily positivity and your general good vibes-y-ness. (You know?)

Well, the truth is, I hate mailing things. Thinking about the post office makes my blood run cold and my cortisol levels spike like none other, and since that’s where you go to get stamps, I just really can’t. (“But, Tess! You can get stamps at the pharmacy or on Amazon!” Don’t you think I know that? This is my blog. Let me live my life.)

But in the last week or so, I’ve received two or three emails (and even text messages!) that just absolutely made my day. The power that your words can have over another person are really astonishing, and when you harness that power for good, you can do some really neat things.

So I am embarking on a little project of my own: The Email Project. I believe in the power of the written word, and in the power of love, and I believe that sending one thoughtful email a day for the next several weeks will leave me feeling totally great. Will it be quite as touching as a mailed letter? Perhaps not. But will it touch other people just the same, and also save some trees? Sure will.

Let’s do it! Who’s with me? And if you’re in, will you leave a comment? Sometimes I start to think that I’m all alone here…


Philly Fluff Pound Cake: Because it’s Tuesday.


My friends! My little friendy friends.

I need to come clean here: I don’t bake.

Allow me to be more precise: I find baking to be totally, completely, utterly, horrifyingly terrifying. Was that too vague for you? Fine. I shall expand further: When I’m cooking, I’m in control. I can taste what I’m cooking, add a little something, try it again, let it simmer, try it again, tweak it further, and finally deliver something to my mouth – and, god forbid, someone else’s mouth – that I already know is delicious. I know, because I tasted it. And it tasted effing great. Continue reading “Philly Fluff Pound Cake: Because it’s Tuesday.”