eats, life

Van Life: Reaction Video

Yesterday we posted about our friends, Courtney and Bryce, who are traveling the United States in their van. They recently posted a video of the meals they eat during a typical day on the road. To celebrate (and lovingly mock) them, we thought it would be fun to replicate their meals in our full-sized kitchen and document our reactions in this 9-minute video. Enjoy! (Because you probably won’t get many more of these.)

We made oatmeal, chickpea salad sandwiches, and peanut butter stir fry! You can find more details about those recipes here, as well as see the full video from Courtney and Bryce, which gives you a better idea of how to make them.

What we learned from making their meals:

  • There are delicious plant-based recipes out there you can make and love to eat. (This may sound blasphemous, but not everything has to be made on the Big Green Egg.)
  • It’s hard to make yourself vulnerable to an audience on camera.
  • Documenting your life on camera is consuming, so it’s important to take moments to just enjoy what you’ve created.
  • We don’t live a cool, van life, so we have the time to make reaction videos to our friends’ lives, apparently.
  • Our friends are adorable and funny, and we love them for putting up with us (and this video).
  • Oatmeal doesn’t fill you up. But peaches on your oatmeal are by far the best fruit to put on your oatmeal. (Tehehehe.)
  • You can make the chickpea salad sandwich your own by swapping out ingredients, as Courtney mentions in their video. Melissa suggests swapping tomatoes for grapes!
  • Make the peanut butter stir fry with just a half bag of rice noodles for more saucy and veggie goodness! Also, dabbing Sriracha or sprinkling some cracked red pepper could add a little spicy kick.
  • Two people can eat on $22/day and have leftovers to spare.
  • We are incredibly proud of our friends, Courtney and Bryce, deeply respect what they have been able to accomplish in the last five months on the road, and look forward to seeing what else is in store for them!

$22/day for 6 meals = $3.68/meal

We went to KROGER to buy all the ingredients to make these meals, and it cost us a whopping $22, and we even had leftovers! We think that’s amazing. Courtney and Bryce get a lot of questions about how they afford to take a trip like this. It’s because they make sacrifices all the time by 1) making everything themselves even when it means the inconveniences of doing dishes at a campsite, and 2) not spending money on going out to eat along their trip. We’re not sure that’s something we could do!

The last thing we want to point out is that their meals are healthy. Yes, they have a lot more carbs than we’re used to, but because they are healthier grains, we burned through them fast – especially on a VERY hot Houston day. Typically, people make excuses for not eating healthy. “It’s too expensive or too hard to cook.” But their videos  prove healthy meals can be affordable and easy (especially if you’re not living in a van).


Dear Courtney and Bryce,

Thanks for being such an inspiration! We are literally telling everyone we know to SUBSCRIBE to your page. We love you!

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Movie Review – Incredibles 2

Although it’s been over a month since the release of the highly anticipated Incredibles 2 movie, you can deal with our late review. Pixar Animation Studios made us wait 14 years for a new Incredibles movie, so you guys can wait over a month for us to see the movie and write about it. Plus, our review is still timely, as Disney just announced the digital and Blu-Ray release dates:

  • Digital: October 23, 2018
  • Blu-Ray: November 6, 2018

On a funnier note, we thought we would look like this in the movie theater:

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But instead, there were plenty of couples just like us, because this movie was MADE FOR US! Keep quiet kids, your parents (and DINK friends of your parents) want to know what powers Jack Jack inherited.


Melissa’s Review

4 out of 5 stars

Let’s start with the short film before Incredibles 2, Bao. Bring on the laughs, tears, and ultimately, a gut-wrenching twist at the end, which left everyone in our movie theater in shock. Bao depicts an over protective mom, balancing the parent-child relationship, especially as her son grows up and becomes independent. It’s worth going to see Incredibles 2 just to see this beautiful Pixar short film that leaves you wanting to hug your mom and eat delicious Chinese dumplings (which hopefully do not come to life).

Despite making us wait 14 years, I think everyone will agree Incredibles 2 was worth the wait. The movie gives you a glimpse of the 17 different powers Jack Jack has acquired (Yes, you heard me correctly.), which is by far the BEST part of the movie. The film takes you on a familiar journey with a nostalgic story line. It’s best to describe as being brought straight back right to 2004. In addition to seeing Jack Jack’s new superpowers, viewers also get to see more from Elastigirl, which is definitely something we have all been waiting for.

I definitely recommend seeing in theaters this weekend – or even waiting the two months until the digital release date, but you should definitely add this soon-to-be Pixar classic to your watch list.


Joey’s Review

4 out of 5 starts

Was it worth the 14-year wait? OH SUURREE. I thought the movie was great and worth the trip to the movies. It was no surprise that Pixar did a great job on this one and made it on par or better than the first. There were funny moments, serious times, and lots of crime fighting thrills. I’m giving this a 4 out of 5 and would tell anyone in our age group who saw the first one as pre-teens/teens, you have to see this one for the millennial generations’ sake!


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Book Review: “Braving The Wilderness” by Brené Brown

Melissa here. Before I even start this review, I want to tell you something:

MAKE TIME TO READ.

My latest read, Dr. Brené Brown’s “Braving The Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone,” is the reason you have to make time to read. Now, I can get to the review.


5 out of 5 stars

If I could give this book higher than five stars, I would. Honestly, I think everyone should read this book, because the world would be a better place. Let me walk you through a few of my favorite takeaways.

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To really “brave the wilderness,” Brown walks us through four elements, which are each chapters in her book:

People Are Hard to Hate Close Up. Move In.

In this chapter, Brown talks about the incredibly divisive world we live, and what we can do to stop dehumanizing one another. She also includes a powerful interview with Viola Davis who says:

“We are all worthy of telling our stories and having them heard. We all need to be seen and honored in the same way that we all need to breathe.”

Speak Truth to Bullshit. Be Civil.

This chapter explores the lesson of words being the ultimate weapon. She gives a few examples of this, but one stuck out to me most. It was about a son who verbally attacked his father for calling a neighbor he was helping “Oriental.” Instead of engaging his father in a civil conversation about how the term is outdated, both shut down. This stuck out to me, because I think the son was trying to speak truth to bullshit, but in excluding civility, ended up adding to the bullshit.

Hold Hands With Strangers.

This chapter was emotional for me. Brown talks about a few times in her life where she came together with strangers to mourn, celebrate, collaborate, and more. The one that stuck out to me was her recollection of the Challenger explosion. She was driving down FM 1960 in Houston, and a bunch of people were pulled off to the side of road. She joined them and learned the space shuttle had exploded. Together, they sat there for 10-15 minutes and just cried and grieved together. Then, they returned to their cars. Despite the tragedy, there’s beauty in coming together with complete strangers and being there for each other because it’s the right thing to do.

Strong Back. Soft Front. Wild Heart.

This chapter is harder to explain – you just have to read it! It talks about how achieving a wild heart isn’t a one-time effort. It’s something you have to work at every day. There will be days when there are haters, but be true to yourself, let attacks roll off you, and continue your quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone.

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I’m hoping to get Joey to read this one soon!  It’s one of the best books I’ve read in awhile. I’ve been coming back to it everyday to remind me how to be true to myself.

You should totally BUY IT HERE.

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Tampa Family Beach Vacation 2018

Two weeks ago, in early August, we traveled to Tampa to spend some time with the Daigneault family. Here’s what we did:


Saturday, August 4, 2018:

We picked up Melissa’s Nana and her boyfriend, Jerry, and went to Tampa’s famous La Teresita for a Cuban breakfast. We sat in the cafeteria, and made sure to get our cafe con leche with buttered and pressed Cuban bread. The best part about this is dipping your bread in your coffee!

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Next, we went and saw Joey’s parents at the new Pach’s Place location inside the Tahitian Inn. Pach’s original location recently closed, and it was a favorite of The Neeley Family. Everything here looked great, but we were too full from our first breakfast, so we just got more coffee.

Next, we hit the road to Madeira Beach! Our condo wasn’t quite ready, so we killed some time at John’s Pass. We were still full from breakfast, but Melissa’s parents wanted lunch, so we stopped in Beach Bites Cafe, where they ordered specialty hot dogs.

After lunch, the condo was ready. We found a great one on AirBnb. Check it out here. This was our view from our balcony:

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From there, we got a few nice hours on the beach before Melissa’s sister, Andrea, and her boyfriend, Jordan, arrived. We wrapped up our beach outing, and headed for dinner. For dinner, we went to Angry Pepper, where we both got fried shrimp baskets.

After dinner, we all went onto the balcony, where enjoyed our first sunset.

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Melissa Side Note: Here’s a fun one of Joey making a face while I was using him as a subject to show my mom how to use the portrait feature on her iPhone:

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Sunday, August 5, 2018:

On Sunday, we spent as much time at the beach as we could. We may have gotten a little burnt, but it was worth being able to soak up all that sun.

 

For dinner, we tried to go to VIP Lounge & Mexican Restaurant, which is a restaurant Melissa’s parents recently found on their last beach trip. However, Mother Nature decided it wasn’t the right night. The wait was an hour, and it started to storm. We tried to wait it out in our car, but VIP ended up losing power. We decided to leave and eat at the condo. We’re glad we did, because VIP’s power didn’t come back on for 2.5 hours.

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There was no sunset this night, but we stayed up playing Yahtzee and Rummy, while drinking my mom’s famous slush recipe, which you can find here.


Monday, August 6, 2018:

For breakfast, we decided we wanted to go to the Daigneault’s favorite breakfast place, The Frog Pond. Every summer, Melissa’s family would vacation at the beach. After checking out, they would walk on over to The Frog Pond. They’re known for their incredible omelettes.

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Melissa’s Krab & Cream Cheese Omelette

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After The Frog Pond, we spent a lot of time on the beach. We headed up a bit earlier than our family to work on some laundry. That way, we didn’t have to take home sandy clothes and wet bathing suits. Although our skin probably needed the break!

Next, we tried VIP Lounge & Mexican Restaurant again, and we made it inside!

 

It was delicious, even for us Texans who eat Mexican food on the reg! We went home to play more Yahtzee, and called it a night early. We had to wake up to catch a 6:25 a.m. flight on Tuesday morning.


Thanks for a great trip, Daigneault family!

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Book Review: “The Pisces” by Melissa Broder

It’s Melissa again, reporting for my Book Club! We recently wrapped up “The Pisces” by Melissa Broder. After reading “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel” by Gail Honeymoon, we chose this “erotic fantasy” as our July book  to shake things up, and we made a big mistake… But at least a 5-star night was planned to discuss.


1.5 out 5 stars

“The Pisces” by Melissa Broder tells the story of emotionally unstable Lucy, who has taken nine years to write her dissertation on Sappho. She has coasted through life on university research checks, and hits a new wall when she breaks up with her long-time boyfriend. Her concerned sister invites her to spend the summer away in Los Angeles, so she can escape her problems in Phoenix. During her summer away dog-sitting her sister’s beloved Dominic in her multi-million dollar glass box beach home, Lucy falls in love with a merman named Theo, who she meets on the rocks of Venice Beach – just a wagon ride away from her sister’s house. (Anyone who has read the book will get my wagon reference.)

I’m not one to typically be critical, but this book is just not good. Despite all the hype around mermen with Shape of Water being nominated for so many awards, this book is  simple and disgusting. I felt like I was losing brain cells while reading. The only reason I’m giving it a 1.5 out of 5 stars is because there were some moments you can relate to, especially if you have ever been a female in the modern dating world. However, this tragic book touches on so many disturbing moments I feel would have been better off not read. There’s nothing erotic about this fantasy. In fact, I think it should have been called a neurotic fantasy.

There were six of us at Book Club this week, and we all agreed this book was just too much and too weird. We hated the main character, Lucy, so much that we didn’t even feel comfortable picking an actress to play her, because there’s no actress we hate enough.

On a sort of irrelevant side note, I thought of one more positive I took from the book. In the book, Lucy visits Abbot Kinney fairly often. Abbot Kinney is a strip of shops and restaurants close to Venice Beach, which I will say the author does a great job of illustrating. After reading, I had a trip to Los Angeles planned to visit a friend (which you can read about here), and I was able to see the infamous Abbot Kinney strip Lucy throws up on, buys sexy lingerie from, and more. So that was cool, I guess?


Our Host, Hayley

My friend, Hayley, hosted Book Club this week, and here’s what she had to say about everything, which I think sums it all up perfectly:

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If for some reason you’re still inclined to read “The Pisces” by Melissa Broder, you can at least get some great ideas from Hayley’s wonderfully themed evening:

 

There was sushi, “seaweed” (grapes on a stick), spiced edamame, cute little oyster cookies with edible pearls included, and let’s not forget the bite-sized brownies with fish sprinkles. Oh, and there was champagne and wine, because there was no way to survive discussing this book without it.


Our August Pick

I’m excited for us to return to a Reese’s Book Club novel this month. If you want to keep up with what we’re reading, my Book Club is currently reading and set to discuss on Wednesday, September 5, 2018:

“Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: A Novel” by Balli Kaur Jaswal

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Book Review: “King Solomon’s Mines” by H. Rider Haggard

Hey friends, Joey here! I know that I am typically the one to read more nonfiction and business-related books, but I have been on an adventure/fiction kick lately. Sometimes, you gotta shake things up to keep it interesting!

This time I read, “King Solomon’s Mines” by H. Rider Haggard.


It is a 5 Star read!!

I was recently recommend this book by one of my friends and colleagues, and I decided to give it a shot. I would consider “King Solomon’s Mines” a true classic novel full of adventure, brotherhood, and romance (not the mushy love stuff, more of the gritty traveler romance you might find in an Indiana Jones movie). The book is narrated by one of the three main characters, Allan Quatermain, who is an elephant hunter in Africa who meets his soon-to-be partners-in-crimes, Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good, on a boat ride to Netal after a failed elephant expedition. Sir Henry and Captain Good are off in search of Sir Henry’s missing brother. Sir Henry’s missing brother was in search of King Solomon’s Mines, which is rumored to be full of diamonds and gold, but he never returned. As fate would have it, Quartermine was the last person to see Sir Henry’s brother AND have a map to the mines given to him on one of his previous elephant excursions.

After the three companions reached an agreement, they set out in search of the elusive mines and Sir Henry’s brother. The book takes you on their journey across the desert to a land inhabited with an ancient tribe where King Solomon’s Mines are rumored to be. Along the way, they fight against all odds the get to this sacred land where their battle does not end. Do they reach the mines and find Sir Henry’s brother accompanied with the riches rumored to be there? Or is it all a wise tail and they end up battered and empty handed?


I hope some of you decide to read this novel as it is a true classic and one of a kind. You can BUY IT HERE now. If you do read it, let me know what you think, I’d love to hear your opinion.

Cheers and happy page flipping!!

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eats, life

Book Review: “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel” by Gail Honeymoon

It’s Melissa again. I recently wrapped up “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel” by Gail Honeymoon. After reviewing “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn, we chose this as our June book, and we made another great pick! This time, it was my turn to host Book Club, and after reading this quirky story, I was excited to plan a completely Eleanor Oliphant themed evening.

First, let’s start with the review:


4 out 5 stars

“Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel” by Gail Honeymoon is the unique story of Eleanor Oliphant, a young woman who, after experiencing extreme childhood trauma, struggles to move forward in her life. Eleanor lives by a strict routine, from eating the same meals to scheduling out repetitive days of the week. When Eleanor develops a crush on a local singer, her beloved routine falls to the wayside, and she opens herself up to chaos. Along the way, she finds some friends who will help her pick up the pieces as she tries to uncover the truths of her childhood.

The book is brilliantly written and fun to read, which is why I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Gail Honeymoon does an incredible job of making you feel as uncomfortable as Eleanor acts at many moments throughout the book. Honeymoon also leaves you wanting to know more about what happened to Eleanor. Without giving away too much, Honeymoon also incorporates a twist at the end, which I had wondered about from very early on. Once you read, you’ll have to tell me if you had the same thought too! Overall, I highly recommend this book, and you should BUY IT NOW!


Hitting Close To Home

I wanted to include one side note about how this book hit very close to home for me. From very early on, the book talks about Eleanor’s caseworkers coming to visit her. Because of her extreme childhood trauma, Eleanor was placed in the foster care system. I work for Arms Wide Adoption Services, and we are dedicated to finding forever families for children in foster care. While reading, I found myself wondering,

“Had Eleanor been adopted, would this entire story be different?”

This question made for a great Book Club discussion. Although we decided we’re unsure adoption would have changed Eleanor’s life, we did decide people too often assumed Eleanor was fragile. We think if someone pushed her more about her past, she could have faced her demons earlier on. This may have helped her establish a healthier, more normal (but probably still fairly strict) routine.


Now, More On Book Club

I have mentioned Eleanor’s routine a lot so far! When she found something she liked, she stuck with it forever. Throughout the story, Eleanor would eat the same meal or drink the same beverage every day. That’s why I decided to offer an Eleanor Oliphant themed spread for our Book Club.

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From left to right: Cheese scones, ingredients for vodka colas, Magners Irish Cider, and pasta a la pesto. Cheers to Book Club, and cheers to you, Eleanor Oliphant!

If you’re interested in making these delicious gluten free cheese scones, you can find my recipe here. I also show you how to turn it into a delicious B.L.A.T. sandwich!


If you want to keep up with my Book Club, we are currently reading and set to discuss on Wednesday, August 8, 2018:

“The Pisces: A Novel” by Melissa Broder

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Maine Family Vacation 2018

A Post From Joey

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

This past June we took a trip with my sister and parents to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, which was also Melissa’s first trip to Maine! You might be thinking, “How was Maine picked for the family trip?” Well, this is where my parents went on their honeymoon and a place that our family would vacation to growing up, so it’s a special getaway for my family. Being from Florida, and now living in Texas, escaping to the northeast during the summer is also a very nice change in weather considering temperatures were knocking on the door at 100 degrees the day we left.

When we go to Maine, we typically stay in the Boothbay Harbor area. While we are there, we each have our favorite places and activities to explore, as well as adding new adventures to our memories. I decided to keep this simple and make a quick list of my  activities and places we ate at on this trip in hopes this could be a rough road map for anyone who might take the same adventure. Enjoy!

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Favorite Excursions/Activities


Favorite Eats & Treats


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Meet Joey

13239159_10154231323986289_8593389871700676034_n“All Risks, this is Joe” is how you will know me if you call during the work week.  I work for a wholesale commercial insurance broker here in Texas and I know that just went over about 97% of your heads or you just stopped reading.  If you want to know more about what I do, stay tuned for future posts because it’s a pretty cool job but I won’t try to explain it here.  As someone who can only sit still for about an hour max before I get antsy, you will most likely to find me doing something that involves working with my hands and outdoors. On the weekends I will be up early to enjoy what I call my “me time” which involves drinking coffee on the couch while reading a book or watching TV while mentally planning out my day/how I can end up cooking on the Big Green Egg.  My closest friends know me as being ambitious, loyal and very sassy/snarky, and I hope you get to experience some of that along this journey. Learn more about Joey here.

eats

Blue Apron Review: Seared Steaks & Miso Butter

Every once in a blue moon, we splurge and purchase an “ingredient-and-recipe meal kit.” Most of the time, the splurge stems from a busy week, and we appreciate having everything laid out for us. Alternatively, sometimes Melissa forgets to hit “Skip” for the week, and we’re pleasantly surprised by one at our front door. This is what happened this past week. (Oops!) Either way, Andrea, Melissa’s sister, introduced us to the idea, and we’ve enjoying trying many different ones.

This week, we served up Blue Apron’s Seared Steaks & Mission Butter with Marinated Bok Choy, and it didn’t disappoint. We both think it’s a definite “do again,” and would give the recipe 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Here’s what you need to know, and what minor changes we made to the recipe to make it more “us.”


Here are the ingredients they send you:

  • 2 Steaks
  • 1 cup Sushi Rice
  • 10 oz Baby Bok Choy
  • 2 Tbsps Soy Glaze
  • 1 Tbsp Mirin
  • 2 Tbsps Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Sweet White Miso Paste
  • 1 tsp Furikake
  • 4 tsps Yuzu Juice

We supplemented:

  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion, chopped

Our Instructions:

Miso Butter
  • Place butter and Miso Paste in small bowl and set aside to bring to room temperature.
  • Once at room temperature, stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Your Miso Butter is complete!
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Butter and Miso Paste before combining.
Bok Choy Marinade
  • Cut off an discard the root end of the Bok Choy, thinly slice.
  • (Added step by us: Chop approximately 1/4 cup on red onions.)
  • Combine sliced Red Onions, Bok Choy, Furikake, Yuzu Juice, 1/2 Tbsp Mirin, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Your Bok Choy salad is complete!
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Our Bok Choy marinating with added Red Onions.
Sushi Rice
  • Thoroughly rinse the rice. (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!)
  • Combine rinsed rice, large pinch of salt, and 1 1/4 cups of water, and heat to boiling on high.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover and cook without stirring for 15 minutes.
  • Once water is absorbed and rice is tender, turn off heat and fluff with fork.
  • Stir in half the mirin.
  • Your Sushi Rice is complete!
Steak
  • We decided to celebrate our recent Reverse Sear blog (by Bar-B-Chu), by reverse searing our steak.
  • Rinse the steak and pat dry with a paper towel in preparation to season with your favorite steak rub.  We choose Wassi’s Classic Steak for this recipe.
  • While the rub and the steak become friends, heat your grill to 250 degrees indirect (we did this on the Big Green Egg).
  • Once the grill is up to temperature place your steak(s) on the grate and let them bake for 35-45 minutes depending on what internal temperature you want.
  • When you are about 5-10 degrees away from your desired internal temp, remove the steak(s) and set your grill for 400-450 degrees direct heat.
  • Place you cast iron on the grate and add butter, bacon grease, or your favorite searing fat.
  • Add the steak(s) to the cast iron and cook for 30ish seconds on each side until crispy.
  • Once crispy, remove the steak(s) and let them rest for 5ish minutes
  • Cut into strips, plate, and ENJOY!
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Our bacon grease reserve for the reverse sear!
Plating
  • Pile rice and top with steak. Drizzle Soy Glaze. Top with Miso Butter. Add Boy Choy salad as a side.

Final Product: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

This meal was on point. We were starving, so the sticky, starchy rice was amazing and filling. The soy glaze added the perfect sweetness to the salty. The Miso Butter added the perfect combo of flavors. 5 out of 5 on that side of the plate.

The Bok Choy salad was a little bland, which is why Blue Apron lost .5 point overall. Because of its blandness, we ended up adding the touch of red onions. It balanced out the flavor, and made the side a little more refreshing. We were really glad to have some on hand.

Overall, this was definitely a great recipe! We’re glad Melissa forgot to hit “Skip” this week.

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Voila! Thanks, Blue Apron!
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Book Review: “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn

Hi, Melissa here. This time for the book review, you just get me and my opinion. (Sorry not sorry.) Joey hasn’t read this one, and I’m not sure he ever will, because it’s not really his style. Although Amanda in my Book Club said her husband, Aaron, was really enjoying it – so who knows?

Yes, you heard me correctly. I’m in a Book Club. It’s a fairly new club! We have only met twice, and the first meeting was to pick this book: “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn. Although I missed that first meeting, I’m so glad this book got picked, and I can’t wait to tell you more.


5 out 5 stars

“The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn is an adventurous historical fiction following the stories of European female spies during the World Wars (particularly one named Eve Gardiner), and a female American college-aged socialite in search for her cousin after World War I (Charlie St. Clair). Somehow, their worlds collide together to unfold an unforgettable journey about courage, friendship, female empowerment, love, and revenge.


More Opinions

The book also touches on so many hot topics – from PTSD to unplanned pregnancies. It boggles my mind how people have been struggling with the same things for so long, and societal reactions are still so similar. But that’s a post for another time…

I think my favorite part of the book was the very end, where the author, Kate Quinn, talks about the true history behind her narrative. To learn the real-life stories about the female spies during the World Wars is fascinating! It’s not a topic I learned about in any of my history classes.

I highly recommend this book and encourage you to BUY IT NOW if you want to start an incredible reading journey.


If you want to keep up with my Book Club, we are currently reading and set to discuss on Wednesday, July 11, 2018:

“Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel” by Gail Honeyman


Meet Melissa

1005858_10153547807531263_8551729351876605581_nBorn and raised in Tampa, you can find me embracing the Texas heat. Our air conditioner never goes below 75 degrees because anything less is out of my comfort zone. I’ve never seen snow fall from the sky, but it’s not because I’m not adventurous. I have visited 10 countries and pride myself in being able to try anything once – especially when it comes to food. A large part of who I am is my adoption. It’s what made me want to work in the nonprofit sector. I am currently in fundraising and marketing for Arms Wide Adoption Services, an organization which places foster care children with adoptive families. Although most acquaintances know me for my caring spirit and can-do attitude, my close friends and family know me for snarky remarks and ability to tell you like it is.