good food, good times

Last weekend, Josh and I had an awesome date night in Louisville. We used to go to Indianapolis all the time, but lately we have really been loving Louisville. They’re totally killing it with the food scene. The only problem with that is there are too many choices…actually, that’s a really good problem to have! Thankfully, I have compiled a spreadsheet of restaurants (from friends’ recommendations, Food Network shows, Instagram pictures, etc) we want to try in cities around the US. If you don’t have a spreadsheet of restaurants you want to eat at, you need to get on that asap. Instead of the forever argument of “where do you want to eat?… I don’t care, where do you want to eat?” we now have a foolproof plan of picking a restaurant. After deciding what city we want to drive to (we usually stay within an hour drive), we open up the spreadsheet and (usually) select the first restaurant on the list that we haven’t eaten at yet. How easy is that?! We decided instead of trying a new restaurant, we would visit one of our favorites again- Migo. We got there pretty soon after they opened and were able to get a table right away. It’s not a huge place, so the earlier you can get there, the better. We started out with mofongo for an appetizer. The plantains and potatoes were covered in chunks of juicy roasted pork, fresh cilantro, and salty crumbly cotija cheese served in a mini cast iron skillet. So. Good.   

Migo has a lot of options for tacos, from short rib to duck to catfish to sweet potato and so many more, as well as the option of having them served Mexican or Korean style. I finally decided on a pork belly taco served Asian style and a chorizo taco served Mexican style. The chorizo was salty and full of flavor and I loved the pickled onions and fresh cilantro on top. The pork belly was melt-in-your-mouth texture, so fatty, so flavorful. The kimchi on top had a bite and mixed well with the fattiness of the pork belly. It’s going to be hard for me to try any other taco after that pork belly.

Josh had a chicharrón taco served Mexican style and a pork belly taco served Korean style. The chicharrón had a lot of flavor, but the texture was a little too chewy. Of course, the pork belly was amazing.

We were halfway through eating our tacos when we realized our sides- Brussels sprouts and elote- hadn’t come out yet. Our waiter had accidentally forgot to put them in with our order, but it wasn’t a big deal at all. He brought them out to us really quickly and they were so hot we had to wait a couple minutes before digging in. The Brussels sprouts were crispy, caramelized, and covered in a delicious Mexican crema, fresh cilantro, and cotija cheese served in a little cast iron pan. I’m not normally a fan of corn, but their elote is amazing- the fresh corn on the cob is slathered in this really yummy chili-lime cream sauce and sprinkled with fresh cilantro. I could eat it non-stop.    

After dinner, you know what time it was…dessert time! I’m sure there are some other really great dessert places, but we can’t stop ourselves from going to Louisville Cream every time. We really just love that they make small batch ice creams and every week there are new flavors to try. Josh had a pretzel cone with their bourbon pecan and corn flake praline ice cream. The corn flake praline was really good, there were whole pecans throughout, and the taste of bourbon came through perfectly but wasn’t overpowering.   

I had the balsamic strawberry sundae with their homemade biscuits and jam ice cream. The ice cream was served in a cute glass dish and was covered in balsamic strawberry sauce, crystallized balsamic and cinnamon brioche crunch and topped with whipped cream and a cherry. The brioche crunch was crispy on the outside, but so soft once you bit into it. The jam in the ice cream was just tart enough and the balsamic strawberry sauce was so full of flavor I could have eaten a bowl of just that.

dublin or bust

November 16- Kilmainham Gaol & Dublin Zoo

Thursday morning we woke up to sunny, but quite chilly weather. We walked just down the block to Cinnamon Cafe for breakfast. I had hot chocolate and the breakfast bagel stuffed with bacon, sausage, and scrambled egg. Josh had a cappuccino and scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. One part of the cafe I really liked was that they had a whole selection of fresh jams to try out. The cafe was nothing super fancy, but it was good, simple food and there were tons of options available to choose from.  

After breakfast, we had the whole day free to do absolutely anything. We had a few things left on our list of sight-seeing wants, so we purchased a 48 hour DoDublin hop-On-hop-off bus pass. Our first stop of the day was the Kilmainham Gaol. We found out on the bus ride over that the Gaol usually sells out pretty early, so if we hadn’t purchased tickets already there was a chance there wouldn’t be any tours left available. Thankfully, we arrived fairly early in the day and were able to snag tickets for a tour within the next half hour. If the Gaol is one of the top things on your list, I would recommend purchasing tickets online ahead of time just to be safe. The hour long tour was chock full of information. I was amazed at how many dates and stories about different rebellions (such as the Easter Rising) the tour guide was able to spout off from memory!


Seeing the small cells and feeling the chill of the air in the West Wing, I was super happy that I would never be a prisoner there.


My favorite part of the Gaol was the East or Victorian wing. It was the complete opposite of the West Wing- there was a huge skylight that let in the sun and every cell opened up into large airy room.


Our tour ended at the Stonebreaker’s Yard. This is one of the most famous yards at the Gaol and where several leaders of the Easter Rising were executed.


We waited for what seemed like forever to catch the next bus on the hop-on-hop-off tour, but finally it arrived and we were on our way to Dublin Zoo . I was super happy walking around the zoo, as it seemed almost every single animal was out and about, walking and moving around. We were super lucky to visit during November because they had just begun their Wild Lights exhibit which featured so many giant, beautiful, colorful lanterns shaped like the animals. We saw lions (we even got video of a male lion roaring!), leopards, orangutans, and penguins as we ventured through the Asian forests, orangutan forest, and the cove.


I thoroughly enjoyed the African savanna where several giraffes, rhinoceros, oryx, and zebra roamed free together.


Walking through the gorilla rainforest and the Kaziranga Forest trail, we unfortunately didn’t see any gorillas or elephants. I tried not to be disappointed because up until that point literally every other animal had been out and active.

Seriously, how amazing were these Chinese lanterns?! The elephant lantern stood about 52 feet high and the Chinese dragon was almost 100 feet long!

And there was a giant sloth!

We were getting really hungry after touring the gaol and the zoo, so we hopped back on the bus and made our way closer to the city centre. We couldn’t decide where to eat, so after a little research, Josh suggested Beshoff. It was the cutest little restaurant with cafe seating and black and white checkered floors. Unfortunately, the food was so disgusting. We both had the fresh cod and chips and were very disappointed. I was only a few bites into my fish when i bit into a bundle of bones. No thank you! And it was overly greasy, even for fried fish. The chips weren’t good either, they tasted like they had been fried earlier and reheated to serve. I would not ever recommend going there to eat.

To make up for our gross lunch, we popped over to Gelato Di Natura Dublin to drown our sorrows in something sweet. I had the Fabbri Choccomint which was a very creamy, yummy mint chocolate chip. Josh had the cookies flavor which tasted like Biscoff cookie butter. Yum!

For our last night, we stayed at SkyBackpackers Hostel. Our friend, Alex, recommended it to us from when he had stayed there a few months before while in Dublin. The hostel was really fun and hip with lots of bright colors and fun decorations. They had free luggage storage, a kitchen, laundry room, and lounge areas with couches, books, and a tv with a variety of DVDs to watch. The hostel was also really close walking distance to Temple Bar and all the shopping areas. I would definitely recommend staying there.   

After getting our luggage settled into our room (we stayed in a 6-person mixed dorm to save money), we headed south across the River Liffey for dinner at The Bank on College Green. The Bank was such a gorgeous restaurant housed in a previous bank building. While waiting for our table, we ordered some drinks at the bar and took in our surroundings. There were large marble columns, chandeliers, and mirrored walls. The ceiling was beautiful, made up of stained glass and floral plasterwork. It was the perfect date night atmosphere with live piano music and the glow of candlelight with the lights down low. I can’t recommend this restaurant enough.

We thoroughly enjoyed the goats cheese and red pepper croquettes served with apple and celeriac remoulade and a horseradish crème fraiche for our starter.

For dinner, Josh had the fish of the day which was pan fried halibut with turnip purée, gratin potatoes, asparagus, baby carrots, and a lime and dill Hollandaise. I had the slow roasted pork belly served with an apple and cumin purée, champ mash, crackling, spiced white cabbage with chorizo and red wine jus. The pork belly was melt in your mouth and so good.   

Dessert was just as delicious! I had a warm chocolate brownie with fresh berries and Tickety Moo vanilla ice cream and honeycomb. Josh had the orangecrème brûlée with a raspberry coulis and shortbread cookie.

We went back to our hostel after dinner for their free beer/cider night hosted in the lounge. We ended up playing a game called Quiplash with a few other guys staying there. It was a pretty fun game, but a little hard to play with strangers. It would definitely be a good game to play with friends though. Once we finished our drinks, Josh and I walked a few blocks up to Murray’s Bar and Grill for drinks and live music. We sat at the bar (it was packed) which worked out really well to see the stage. The music was really good and the whole place had a great pub feel.


Tip of the day: Don’t leave Dublin without eating at The Bank on College Green.

the best things in life are sweet

After a (mentally) rough start to our lifting last Saturday morning and a long laundry list of chores to accomplish, Josh and I decided to cut out early and grab some sweet treats from Donut Central on our way home. I have been following Donut Central on Facebook, constantly seeing their specials and awesomely decorated creations. And so many friends have recommended them to us, we finally just had to give them a try. We’ve been burned in the past with high expectations of specialty donut shops only to be let down when they tasted like cheap, stale gas station donuts, so we came in with our guard up. For no reason. Donut Central was so delightful! They have a wide array of choices ranging from classic cake and yeast donuts to cream or custard filled long johns to specialty donuts. And they’re very reasonably priced, so you won’t break the bank enjoying all these goodies. It was hard to pick just two each, but we limited ourselves. I ordered a blueberry cake donut with lemon glaze and a lemon cream filled doughnut, while Josh went with a coconut cream filled donut and a specialty caramel apple cake donut.

The blueberry cake donut was so moist, the lemon glaze just enough pop to the sweet.


I was pleasantly surprised with how much cream was actually in the lemon cream doughnut- it was stuffed full!

The coconut cream filled donut was also yummy, full of cream with a sweet crunch from the toasted coconut on top.


The caramel apple cake donut is quite possibly the best donut available here. I mean, we’ve only tried the 4 mentioned, but hot dang this caramel apple donut was ah-mazing. You know how some cake donuts can be dry and therefore require lots of glaze. Not the case for this donut. The glaze and caramel icing only added to the ooey gooey deliciousness. And the chopped peanuts and apple slice on top added the perfect texture and crunch to this donut.


I can’t wait to head back soon and try some more new flavors. Don’t wait as long as we did to try Donut Central out!

We headed home to knock out our list of chores, so that we could forget all responsibilities and dance the night away at our dear friends’ Hambling Halloween party. Of course, I had to make time to snuggle on the couch with our sweet Rocko in between meal prep and doing laundry. You try to ignore that sweet face, it won’t happen.  

With a little bit of free time before the party, Josh made up these scrumptious triple layer peanut butter + chocolate chip cookie + cookie dough stuffed cups from the Half Baked Harvest blog (PS do yourselves a favor and check out this blog. She has some amazing dishes and recipes that are well worth trying). These cups were a lot of work, but they were oh so yummy!

Hambling Halloween was even more spectacular than the year before! There was a dragon bouncy house and a trampoline outside. The barn was decorated with skeletons, lights, cobwebs, tombstones, and there were music videos displayed on screens above the dance floor. There was tons of food, savory and sweet, and lots to drink. I ate to my stomach’s content, sang and laughed so hard I started to lose my voice, and danced my booty off! My favorite part was the homemade confetti gun that shot confetti onto everyone dancing on the dance floor throughout the night. It was such a great, great night with some of my favorite friends! PS how cute were we as the Powerpuff Girls and Professor Utonium?  

Sunday was a day for recovering from all the fun we had at the Halloween party. We drank hot tea while relaxing on the couch and watching tv. Josh made a delicious spinach, onion, and green pepper quiche with zucchini crust (thank you, Ambitious Kitchen, for the inspiration) along with some amazing chocolate chip pumpkin scones with a cinnamon maple glaze adapted from the Half Baked Harvest blog. The original scone recipe called for white chocolate chips and an espresso glaze, but I accidentally used all the white chocolate chips in my funfetti cake batter blondies with rainbow chip icing for the Halloween party. So we substituted semi-sweet chocolate chips. And we added cinnamon to the glaze instead of the espresso as I’m not a huge fan of coffee. I would like it to be known that I made the glaze all by myself. And drizzled all the scones. Just check out those mad skills. The semi-sweet chocolate chips ended up being so delicious and the perfect counter to the really sweet glaze.



I really am so spoiled to have a husband that loves baking and cooking. Not only did he make me scones and quiche for brunch, but for dinner he also spent a significant amount of time making shakshuka and homemade naan. The naan didn’t turn out like naan should, but rather turned into what tasted like a yummy pizza dough. I’m not sure what happened, but it worked really with the shakshuka. Guys, the shakshuka was so very good. It was full of tomatoes, green peppers, and onions and topped with feta cheese (so salty and just yum) and a gooey runny egg. Seriously, is there much better than breaking an egg yolk and having it ooze out all over your dish? I really don’t think there is.


If Josh keeps up all this amazing cooking and baking, he’s soon going to have to start rolling me around everywhere! 😛


We had the best date for our 2 year wedding anniversary! One of our favorite restaurants in downtown Columbus (Indiana) is Henry Social Club. Henry’s is just so much fun! The menu is constantly rotating with the seasons and with what is available. When you walk into Henry’s, you feel as if you’ve entered a 1920s upscale bar. One wall features the bar area with all the alcohol visible on open shelving. The other wall is covered in beautiful wooden planks lined with cozy booths which draws your attention down the length of the restaurant back to the kitchen and community seating. I love everything about the decor- from the bronze features to the wood covered wall to the deep blue paint- the whole vibe is very intimate and swanky (perfect for a date night!).


After being seated in a quiet booth towards the back, we started off our evening with a cocktail for Josh and a Diet Coke for me. I persuaded Josh to try the Bartender’s Folly which is their special cocktail of the day. I cannot remember what it was called or even what all was in it (besides Mezcal and some form of ancho chili), but it was actually very interesting with a just a hint of sweetness and a slow heat. Josh’s next drink was The Preacher’s Wife featuring Buffalo Trace bourbon, King’s ginger liqueur, house pickled peach nectar, and mint. According to Josh, this cocktail was very delicious and would be highly recommended by him to anyone with a love for bourbon.

We were both quite hungry, so it didn’t take any convincing to try something off the Shareables portion of the menu. We opted for the goat cheese custard with flatbread. It did not disappoint. The flatbread was warm and the perfect vessel for the creamy, tangy goat cheese. When we ran out of flatbread, I didn’t hesitate to eat the remaining goat cheese with a spoon.


For the entrees, I was torn between three different Large Plate options. I ended up ordering the Filet Mignon Korean Style and Josh chose the Rack of Lamb. These dishes are very different from what we normally each gravitate towards (filet for Josh and pasta for myself), but it was well worth moving away from our usuals. The filet came out medium rare garnished with cilantro and microgreens atop homemade pasta, mushrooms, bok choy, and julienned carrots in a spicy sauce. The filet was so tender and juicy, the vegetables crispy in contrast, the sauce just spicy enough. It was one of my favorite dishes I’ve ever ordered from Henry’s. The lamb was served medium rare atop a rutabaga purée with onions, carrots, and potato gratin. I didn’t taste much (Josh surely wouldn’t appreciate me eating both of our meals), but the small bites I had were amazing. The lamb was very tender. The potato gratin was creamy, cheesy, and brought me back to memories of home-cooked meals growing up. I even enjoyed the rutabaga purée which reminded me taste wise of mashed cauliflower.  

If you haven’t already abandoned this blog post to make your way to Henry Social Club for lunch or dinner or just a cocktail, do so at this very moment. You surely won’t regret it.


Here’s to many, many more happy anniversaries together!!!