DOUBLE J

When you're too busy eating and drinking - you blend June & July into one recap

Per usual, many of my mornings and mid-day meals were fueled by roasted veggies and fried eggs.  Two must - haves of this summer: 
 1. TJ's Everything but the Bagel Sesame seasoning  2. Siete almond flour tortillas

Sometimes, I'll mix some other stuff in there.

My staple cuban sliders, stuffed chicken & sweet taters, low-country boil with the family, and fine okay some more veggies with grilled chicken. 


Many meals out means finding a balance - leafy greens & fried foods make my world go round. 

(Top left corner - clockwise): Atlas greek salad, Clinton Street Social corn fritters (the goat cheese, fried, corn combo is money), Nodo greek salad,  Atlas truffle fries (omg - the truffle sauce is unreal), Mosley's pulled chicken salad, Clinton Street Rarebit fries

I'm not always that boring, sometimes I venture away from the salads. 

Joseph's salmon, an unreal brisket sandwich at Blues & BBQ from TC Bone'z, my go-to stir fry bowl at North Side Bistro, and simply delicious Pullman brunch. 


Drinks have been flowing - but I don't discriminate. From fancy cocktails, to frozen drinks, to canned wine.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Clinton Street's happy hour is bomb. Porch Crawler, Blushing Orphan & Old fashioned. Atlas stopped the show with this Famous Grouse ginger cocktail. Hot weather always calls for a frozen drink - El Patron flavored margs, or Pullman's frosé during the Block Party. And you don't always have to go somewhere to enjoy the booze - canned wine, homemade watermelon frosé, or just taking it on the road (passenger of course!). 


Pizza filled up more meals than normal, but you don't find me complaining. 

Outside the kitchen: Maggie's Farm pizza at a Hawkeye Hotels event, PiZan pizza, PizzaRev mid road trip, and the infamous Wig
Inside the kitchen: Prosciutto & caramelized onions, two typical cheese pies, and the showstopper Capicola with fresh mozz & goat cheese. We also mixed it up and used Double Zero flour for all of these pies. 


Sugar wasn't missed either these past two months. 

Famous ice cream from Mount Rushmore, typical shaved-ice runs at SnoBiz, blueberry & cherry streusel heaven from Hurts Donuts, celebrating National Ice Cream Day in fashion with Dane's Dairy cookie dough twister, and a classic July 4th s'more. 

I think it's safe to say - I like to eat. 

MAY

MAY IS FOR THE LAST CALL BEFORE BIKINI SEASON.

LIFE'S A LITTLE BETTER WHEN IT STARTS OFF WITH AN OVER EASY (OR MEDIUM IF YOU FORGET ABOUT IT) EGG

KOMBUCHA & LATTES FUELED ME THROUGH THE WEEK

This was the first time I had a "Health-ade" - I loved the ginger flavor & the bottles. Also first time for a matcha almond milk latte - it may just be my new go to

HAPPY HOUR FINALLY MET HAPPY HOUR

Clinton Street social club has some killer happy hour deals - old fashioned for less than $4 - count me in. Big Grove's new hot spot with mini beers makes it a go to on a sunny day. 

A FEW SNACKS AND TREATS MADE THEIR DEBUT

These Kize bars are unreal and very healthy! Pumpkin seed & almond butter are favs. But this Cortado almond chocolate croissant was probably top three things I ate this month...holy hell.

THE KITCHEN STAYED BUSY WITH SOME EASY DELICIOUS DISHES

Breakfast tacos inspired by Half Baked Harvest. Nature bowls filled with broccoli, brussels, cauliflower, sweet potato, pork tenderloin & goat cheese. Blackened fish tacos with mango salsa. Two versions of asian noodles & zoodles - recipe here . Salmon cakes & roasted brussels and broccoli. 

BUT, THERE WERE SOME SOLID EATS OUTSIDE THE KITCHEN...AND THEY ALL HAD EGGS ON THEM. 

Farmer's Market breakfast pizza from Maggie's Farm Pizza - perfect solution for a hungry stomach on Saturday morning. Vegetable stir fry  with chicken from Northside Bistro - delicious and beautiful. Red Vespa virgin's decided on three pizzas for two people - pork love, margherita, and sunny side up (my fav). 

AND THIS TEXAS GIRL FINALLY GOT TO GO HOME FOR MWD & TO CELEBRATE THE SISTER'S 30TH BDAY. 

SHOCKINGLY - I was a little preoccupied for all the foods pics, but this is what I got. Brews from Cedar Creek. Dave's smoked pork for tacos (heavenly). An unreal brunch spread of smoked salmon, blueberry cake, cinnamon roll french toast, tattertot casserole, breakfast enchiladas, breakfast sliders anddd some fruit & yogurt for good measure. Lastly the set up for some build your own pies cooked up on a Green Egg by Dave. Not pictured - endless birthday cake, snack mix, and cocktails. 

NOW TIME FOR ROSÉ ALL DAMN DAY 

MARCH

MARCH IS FOR ALL OF THE BDAY CELEBRATIONS 

This was a very caffeinated month - mini trips to Brewhemia in CDR, the usual Java House stop & pit stop to the new IC spot Cortado. 

Side note - if you can make it out to CEDAR RAPIDS, Brewhemia is a great coffee spot with an array of food options, plus pastries that are visually so tempting. cortado is a new gem in downtown iowa city - great vide, ecofriendly punch cards, and fresh breakfast sandwiches that were to die for. 

Breakfast was pretty typical with eggs on toast & breakfast sammys

Per usual all of the liquids - Suja cleanser, pretty bottles of water, and cocktails @ Stella

Odds & Ends - the monthly Pullman stop, coconut treats & delivery Lou Malnati's

At Home Eats - bbq chicken stromboli, Cubans, loaded quesadilla, enchilada casserole, & blueberry struesel muffins

THE PIZZA - we FINALLY tried a breakfast pizza - oh boy it hit the spot

Celebration Part 1 (Boyfriends bday)- Pizzas from Wig N Pen, Airliner & Falbos + a pizza donut from Hurts Donuts

Celebration Part 2 (Boyfriends bday/anniversary) - whiskey cocktail & INCREDIBLE Salmon from Northside bistro, simple but delicious Salmon from Riverside Casino steak house.

Celebration Part 3 (My birthday!) - All of the things at Big Grove Iowa City & boots of beer and pizza at Back Pocket. 

needless to say it was a bulking month..

Now time for spring & avoiding the term "bikini season"

FEBRUARY

FEBRUARY IS FOR STAYING WARM & SIPPIN' DRINKS 

Baked goods are always the answer - healthy peanut butter chocolate chip banana muffins & cinnamon banana crumble muffins 

Some of the few at home meals - salmon & stuffed mushrooms, my first time pork roast, and the go to breakfast.

All the liquids - bar crawl Redbull Vodka, my new favorite Sangarita @ Pullman and a seasonal latte. 

When your best friend is in town from Russia, you eat all the American fried food & get Carver cones. 

A new cast iron skillet in the house means deep dish pies. 

More pies - #1 - half Vermont pepperoni & cheese #2 - spinach, caramelized onion, sun dired tomato & goat cheese

NOW I NEED ENDLESS BASKETBALL & BIRTHDAY CAKE 

JANUARY

JANUARY IS FOR A NEW YEAR. SAME ME.

If I'm eating breakfast at home, chances are it'll be kodiak cakes or avo toast with some form of eggs....except when a New Years Day hungover breakfast sandwich is in order. 

All of the liquids are always a necessity - $1 Kum & Go coffees and GT's Kombucha  are staples. 

Sweet potatoes were a hot trend this month - Turkey sausage stuffed, chicken stuffed and bbq chicken nachos. 

Favorites of this month - faux lasagna, sesame asian chicken salad & prosciutto stuffed chicken.

The few out of the kitchen viewings this month - An ooey gooey burger from Hudsons and the obligatory charcuterie board from Pullman. Also - this drink (the Sangarita) is FLAME. 

Dad came to town - so you know the food & drink was going to be great. 
Pizzas from BackPocket (click for the deats), brews from IC Brew Lab (I loved their Saison, but other than that it was subpar), a typical pit stop at 30 Hop, and a casual new car. 

I have to say these might have been some of the prettiest pies we have made and of course they were delicious too. 
Thick - shredded provolone & mozzarella with sausage
Thin - herbed goat cheese with caramalized onions

Whose ready for heart shaped candies? 

DECEMBER

DECEMBER IS FOR CHRISTMAS COOKIES & SPIKED EGG NOG

Setting up the holiday spirit with Christmas tree, all the lights & cheesy pizzas

Surprise visits home - starts with food to go, Whole Food breakfasts, & lunches out @ Blatt

When in Des Moines, Tacopocalypse is the only pit stop & maza fries & fried eggs are a must. 

Finally some homemade meals to refresh for a Christmas in Texas - spaghetti squash, gnocchi, & stuffed shells. 

The Texas-trip begins
First things first - Rise No1 with mom & sister - all the details here

Next Up, Christmas Ever dinner with fancy steaks, homemade pumpkin gnocchi, tomato tart, & brussel sprout pomegranate kale salad. Oh my word...amazing. 

Christmas Day breakfast, Cedar Creek brews & flatbreads.

Dave's brews & reubens, bbq daddy-daughter date (from Baby Back Shak) & the casual latte in 70 degree December weather. 

Back in Iowa City - welcomed home with the one and only Wig & Pen. 

Now's time for some greens & never keeping my New Years Resolutions. 

NOVEMBER

NOVEMBER IS FOR SPREADING THE BELLIES OUT FOR THANKSGIVING

Warming the soul with Manhattans, wine, & seasonal lattes

Who needs a coat when you can layer up with all the goodness. 
Clinton Street Social Club - House battered curds...which were probably the best fried thing that I've ever eaten, hush puppies & salmon

Pullman Diner - Mo' Burger, Griddled Turkey club, Frisco Melt...and maybe another Mo' Burger

Random lunches out - 30Hop Pick two with a favorite Chop Chop salad, my hands down go-to honey citrus stir fry from Breadgarden, and a Greek salad with sweet taters from a newbie for me, Nodo. 

Yes, I promise there was still home cooking almost every night...but my photo skills were seriously lacking so this is what we got. BBQ chicken melt, Ethan's favorite sesame chicken noodle bowls, my favorite twice baked stuffed sweet potatoes and a shredded chicken pasta sauce. 

Don't you worry - I did not forget about Thanksgiving. It was one hell of a feast over in Fulton, Illinois with Ethan's family. My favorites were the brussel sprouts & strawberry pretzel "salad"

Last but certainly not least. When your alma mater and the football team you work for beats the number 2 team in the nation...you celebrate. 

Now I'm ready for everything peppermint flavored and all of the eggnog. 

OCTOBER

OCTOBER IS FOR WEDDING CHEERS & FOOTBALL BEERS

Welcoming fall in the kitchen - chili & cornbread, roasted salmon & veggies, sesame chicken noodles, mango bbq chicken & sweet potato fries, twice baked sweet potatoes, and pork tenderloin. 

Did someone say breakfast? French Press & breakfast spread @ Pullman with the typical breakfast eats on the side. Side note - that Califia Nitro coffee is on point. 

When you work the game - all you get is post game cheers and away game beers...anddd the celebrity showing of Dave (dad) pouring his bloody mary. 

And when your best friend gets married, you share all the pictures - Rehearsal dinner was amazing @ Pier290. Wedding day perfection...oh and she served late night pizza. 

Speaking of pizza...of course this month featured Wig & Pen and two homemade pies. 

Now that it's November, I'm not quite ready for Christmas music...but can I get some Thanksgiving pie? 

SEPTEMBER

September is for gameday fuel

All of the liquids @ Stella & Java House

morning eats - the guys aren't the only ones that need to get ready & refuel

In house - eggs, zoodles & noodles seemed to be a common theme

Out of house - the same old stomping grounds - work party @ 30hop, asian noodles from New Pioneer, and the best burger i've ever had at pullman.

Fall is in full swing...who's ready for pumpkin flavored everything?

AUGUST

August is for getting the last taste of summer.

CELEBRATING BESTIE'S GETTING MARRIED WITH ENDLESS SWEETS.

Pizza crust stuffed with ooey gooey ricotta at Dolce Italian .

The best kind of girl's nights are filled with cheese & wine at BRIX

The magic in the kitchen - sweet potato hash, stuffed chicken, Italian sausage gnocchi, pulled pork sweet potato nachos, baked chicken fingers with zoodles, turkey burgers with pineapple & goat cheese. 

Dining in Des Moines

Tacopacolypse - Ginger beef burrito, Korean pork masa fries, Korean chicken taco boat

FONG'S PIZZA - Sesame chicken & Crab Ragoon Pizza paired with a Blonde Fatale

Sister visits 

Cocktails & charcuterie at Pullman 

Teaching sister what pizza night is all about 

Who needs coffee when you can refuel with endless sugar. 

Summer is officially over, who is ready for Hawkeye football & giant turkey legs?

JULY

July is for being American AF. 

Ringing in the month with bbq in Clinton, beers & deep dish in Chicago at Pequods

Fourth of July boating on Lake Michigan & fresh squeezed juice cocktails. 

Getting a little Iowan with some blues, bbq, and Iowa beers. 

Random home cooking- shrimp po'boy, burgers, zucchini fritters & fish tacos.  

Family time & endless eats in Chicago - featuring Lyfe & Jeni's

Eating out at the go to - Pullman - grilled turkey club & roasted asparagus over happy hour drinks followed up with huevos, mimosas, and splitskies on a pancake for brunch. 

Lastly and most definitely not least. Surprise pizzas & one year apartment anniversary pizzas. 
Prosciutto, goat cheese, mozzarella basil deep dish pie. Sausage mozzarella pie. Deep dish mozzarella & provolone pie. 

I think I blinked and July was over, not to say I didn't eat well along the way! 

JUNE

June is for patios & family time

Patio drinks & charcuterie boards at one of my favorite IC stops- Pullman

The behemoth burger, Pulpit Rock nitro stouts, & mozza balls at Blackstone

Firecracker BBQ wings & "cheese dip" (queso for us Texans) when the patio drinks start hitting ya at 30Hop. 

Turkey burgers + pineapple + cheese + pretzel buns = heaven 

Homemade snack plates & thick smoothies to recover from hiking Saturdays. 

Staple breakfast @ sisters - Natural pb toast with a naner & cinnamon with a cup of tea

Sister sips, family style dinners, & dad's smoker. 

When the guac is just way too good. 

The answer to any long weekend - Wig 

Ending June on a sweet note with homemade funfetti cupcakes and wayy too much icing. 

June's over...Julying

MAY

May the margs never stop coming.

When your work bestie's birthday is on Cinco De Mayo - you go all out for happy hour. 

The key to surviving days on the court. 

Special surprise treats from Cali.  

Finding this goldmine of a pizza joint at our Farmer's Market

Sending off my best friend the only way we know how at Wig & Pen

Happy hour cocktails to reunite with another best friend who has been overseas for far too long. 30Hop is a great goto, the cocktails are so delicious its dangerous. 

Hot as hell days always call for shaved iced...this time it was fruity pebbles :) 

Then...Texas happened. Memorial weekend is a pretty big deal in my family, so we go all out. 

Mandatory first stop, Eatzi's. What other place can pile on these layers of heaven so perfectly?
First: Sundried tomato spread, turkey, lettuce, tomato, sauteed veggies.
Second: Mayo & Garlic Herb spread, turkey, ham, swiss, cheddar, lettuce & onion. 

Random goodies - Dutch baby pancake, Cedar Creek brews (Oat N About- oatmeal stout & Spinning Mule - robust porter), mimosas (duh), never ending snacks.

My dad loves to grill & smoke - the major feature of the weekend was his bone-in smoked rib-eye. I'm not the BIGGEST steak girl, but this was amazing. 

Last but most definitely not least, was the dessert spread. I mean campfire s'mores, Blue Bell Ice Cream (Texas staple), and this American flag cake (that completely won my heart). 

Last pit stop was at DFW Airport at VinoVolo. We ordered up a calzone & a veggie pizza to tie us over until we got home. The pizza was pretty good, but that calzone's cheesy goodness hit the spot. 

This May was definitely one for the taste buds, can't wait to see what June has to taste 

APRIL

April is for iced coffee and rosé.

All of the liquids: green smoothie, rosé & cappuccinos. 

I was in Des Moines for volleyball and took every advantage I could to demolish Whole Foods

Back At it with the Java House Iced Coffee & Bread Garden Stir Fry veggie salad bar. 

Dinner in a pinch - Leftover grilled chicken (smothered in BBQ sauce), avocado, tomato, lettuce & fried egg. 

Literally the answer to my heart...wig & Pen Flying Tomato. 

andddd that's all folks.