Taking on the #Cook90 Challenge

I’m an avid listener of the Bon Appètit Foodcast and in late January I listened to an episode featuring the editor of Epicurious, David Tamarkin. Most of the episode was spent talking about this cooking challenge where readers of Epicurious challenged each other and themselves to cook every breakfast, lunch and dinner for the month of January. Well, I missed the memo on the start of the challenge in January, so I’m going to be doing the #Cook90 challenge in March.

Here’s how Epicurious describes #Cook90:

The #cook90 challenge is simple: Cook three meals a day, every day, for a whole month. Cooking 90 meals requires organization. And creativity. And Tupperware. Lots of Tupperware.

cook90 instagram posts

But they aren’t that crazy, you do get three “cheat” meals because well, life happens and sometimes you just HAVE to go to a work lunch or dinner with a friend to decompress after a tough week. If you’re super into math, this is why for the 31 days in January (and in this case March) I’ll only have to cook 90 meals and not 93. You can read the full explanation of “rules” here, including what actually constitutes cooking — in case you’re wondering, for the purposes of this challenge making a salad is considered cooking.

One thing this is not, a diet plan — which is why I fully intend on whipping up some homemade pizzas (with a little help from Idlehands) and finding the best way to make the perfect burger on my stove top.

So for the next 30 or so days, you’ll probably be seeing more recipe posts from me on Let’s Share a Dish with the occasional post about food that wasn’t made in my own kitchen. I’m hoping that through this challenge I’ll actually find a couple more go-to-recipes because currently I have about three, and that I’ll be inspired to explore my love for food in new ways. Hey, maybe I’ll finally learn to make my own pasta!

If you want to submit one (or more) of your favorite recipes, you can do so below. I’ll try my best to make it! Happy cooking, and if any one wants to join me, I’m sure I’ll have lots of leftovers to share!

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What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

  • It’s awards season for the restaurant community in Richmond, y’all. Two Richmond restaurateurs — Brittanny Anderson of Metzger Bar and Butchery and Evrim Dogu of Sub Rosa Bakery — have been named semifinalists in the James Beard Foundation Awards, culinary awards that recognize the best in the business from throughout the whole country. The sixth annual Elby Awards took place this past weekend at the Altria Theater, celebrating the restaurant community in the Richmond region. You can find out who the big winners of the night were over on the Richmond Magazine website.
  • Travel + Leisure compiled a list of the best cheap eats in every state, and Virginia’s representation on the list came from right here in Richmond with a nod to the ham biscuit from Early Bird which rings in at only $4.95.
  • Good news for folks who live or work in downtown Richmond — or really anyone that is a fan of delicious lunch on the cheap —  Christopher’s Runaway Gourmay opens for the season on Monday, February 27th. Between that news and the crazy warm weather we’re experiencing, I’m starting to think that groundhog just might have been wrong.
  • From BuzzFeed: a food test that will you help you determine what city you actually belong in.
  • Heads up: You have a new place to be on Tuesday nights from 5-9 p.m. Postbellum is now offering Burger, Beer & Bourbon Tuesday’s where you can get a classic burger, a shot of bourbon and a 12 oz draft beer for $15.
  • If you love a good inspirational story like I do, you’ll love this one from Inc. on how flamin’ hot Cheetos came to be. I know, I know, you never really thought you would see Cheetos and inspirational in the same sentence. Just trust me on this one.

What to add to your calendar

  • Buskey Cider knows how to do it with the fun collaborations, don’t you agree? Last time it was sliders and ciders, this time it’s Girl Scout cookies and cider. It’s all happening tomorrow, Thursday, February 23 at 5 p.m. Details here.
  • Nota Bene Restaurant & Bar is holding their monthly pizza club this Sunday, February 26th from 5-9 p.m., and you really don’t want to miss this one because it features the one and only Stephanie Ganz! If you go, you’ll be able to try her Hungarian mushroom soup inspired pizza and a signature cocktail.
  • You guys! ZZQ is returning to Ardent Craft Ales on Saturday, March 4th at noon. Some ridiculously good Texas style barbecue awaits, in addition to the delicious beer that’s always present at Ardent.
  • On March 16th from 6-9 p.m., Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will speak to building a local food system that works. The evening will include food and drinks from several local chefs, and you can buy tickets here.
  • Don’t forget, Richmond Brunch Weekend is coming up March 25 – 26, a weekend where you can enjoy brunch and raise money for Massey Cancer Center at the same time. You can keep up with the participating restaurants over on the event Facebook page.

Just a friendly reminder that we’re testing out a new way of sending out What’s Happenin’ Wednesday. If you’d like to receive this weekly roundup directly to your inbox, you can subscribe below. We promise we won’t send you anything spammy, we just had a few requests for an email version of this post and ask and you shall receive!

If you’ve already subscribed to our blog, we will no longer be sending out our What’s Happenin’ Wednesday posts through WordPress. So if you would like to continue to receive emails for What’s Happenin’ Wednesday, just enter your information below and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop every Wednesday. If you are a subscriber, you will continue to get alerts via email when our other posts go live!

Confused or have questions? Shoot us an email letsshareadish@gmail.com and we’ll help you figure it out!

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5 Bites and Sips I’ve Been Loving Lately

Last month I introduced 5 Bites and Sips I’ve Been Loving Lately, saying I’d be back every so often with recommendations for a few dishes around RVA that are definitely worth checking out. As promised, I’m back again today with February’s edition. If you missed the first post, you can check it out here!

Spicy Thai Fried Green Beans at Boulevard Burger & Brew

These spicy Thai fried green beans from Boulevard Burger & Brew are a perfect happy hour snack, and the large portion size means they are great for sharing with a group of friends. Priced at $5.95, this is an appetizer that won’t set you back too much. I recommend ordering them with some kind of dipping sauce — I go with ranch — but Boulevard Burger & Brew offers a number of dipping sauces on their menu, including bbq, honey mustard, chipotle mayo, boulevard secret sauce and horseradish mustard, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

Oh yeah, the restaurant definitely isn’t kidding when they call this snack spicy. The batter on these green beans has an interesting kick that might take a minute to hit you, but before you know it you’ll be reaching for your water glass before your next green bean, which you will do on repeat until these are gone — these green beans are addictive. If you plan to visit, Boulevard Burger & Brew is located at 1300 North Boulevard, just down the street from the newest location of Gelati Celesti.

Matzoh Ball Soup at Perly’s Restaurant & Delicatessen

Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s winter or there’s been a sickness going around town, but I’ve been craving the matzoh ball soup from Perly’s Restaurant & Delicatessen, located at 111 East Grace Street, on an almost daily basis. The soup is made with herbs, chicken, vegetables, schmaltz, and of course, a matzoh ball. The soup comes in two sizes — a cup for $5 and a bowl for $9 — and like most things served up at Perly’s, the portion sizes are quite generous, enough so that I’ve been able to take home leftover soup on several occasions. I speak from experience when I tell you this soup is just as good the next day.

Every spoonful of this soup is comforting and soothing, perfect for a cold or rainy day, a weekend morning — or really any day at all when soup is calling your name.

Number 52 at The Fancy Biscuit


No question, my favorite item on just about any brunch menu is the eggs benedict. Sure, sometimes I go for a sweet option like pancakes or french toast, but there’s just something about poached eggs and hollandaise sauce that gets me every time. So when I saw that The Fancy Biscuit basically had a biscuit version of eggs benedict on the menu, I was sold and there was no questioning what I was going to order on my first visit to the restaurant, which is located at 1831 West Cary Street.

The Number 52 is one of the signature biscuits on the menu, and the dish includes country ham, pepper jack cheese, a poached egg and siracha hollandaise, all on top of a perfectly buttery biscuit. The dish is priced at $7.59, and in my opinion, it’s the perfect portion – not too big and not too small. I left feeling content but not overly full — and like I wanted to go back sometime to do it all over again.

Sausage & Black Pepper Honey Pizza at Tazza Kitchen

Confession: I tried the sausage & black pepper honey pizza at Tazza Kitchen as a first time visitor to the restaurant for brunch with friends. Tazza has been on my list of places to try for quite some time, but for some reason or another, I just hadn’t made it to either of the restaurant’s Richmond locations.

Let’s just say I’m glad I righted my wrong and visited Tazza, because this pizza is not only one of my favorite bites I’m loving lately, but one of the best pizzas — if not foods — I’ve ever had. The pizza is made with aged provolone and fresh mozzarella cheese, and at $13 it’s the perfect size for one really hungry person or for two people to share. It’s available on the brunch AND dinner menu, so you can get your fill of this pizza no matter what time of day you visit Tazza. Tazza Kitchen has two locations in the Richmond area, one in Short Pump and the other in Midlothian, so no matter where you live, this pizza shouldn’t be but so far from your stomping grounds. Which is a really, really good thing.

Just about any smoothie (or smoothie bowl) from North End Juice Co.

Smoothie bowls Richmond va

If you saw our recent post on North End Juice Co., you know Kelsey and I are both big fans of the new spot in the Museum District. The walk-up window and juice bar located at 718 N. Cleveland Street offers a wide array of items on their menu, including a number of smoothies and smoothie bowls. I’d recommend every single one I’ve tried so far, and one of my new goals is to try them all. It’s the perfect place to grab a healthy breakfast or a quick snack during the day.

What are some dishes you’ve been loving lately around Richmond? I’m still on the hunt for the best Caesar salad in town. Would love to hear your recommendations (or what you’re in search of!) in the comments below!

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What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday!

  • Let’s start with the bad news: Stroops as we know it will be closing this week. And after The Dog and Pig Show closed last weekend, Meg and I aren’t sure what to do or where to eat lunch anymore (kidding, sort of). I ate my feelings today to say my goodbyes (re: I shared five, I repeat five hot dogs with friends). Also closed, American Tap Room at Willow Lawn. The space will be turned into Hattie Mae’s Southern Cuisine and Oyster Bar.
  • The better news, lots of restaurants are opening (and reopening). The Hard Shell Downtown is open again after an interior remodel. The Cava location near VCU opens to the public this week (Thursday with limited hours and FREE food). And Anchor Bar, the restaurant that invented the buffalo wing opens at Stony Point on Saturday.
  • Ukrop’s lives! At Kroger. You can now find all of your Ukrop’s favorites at Kroger starting today — think rainbow cookies and chicken salad, but maybe not together.
  • The Washington Post burst my Kombucha loving bubble this week by informing me that the “health” drink might not be all that it’s cracked up to be. Decide for yourself by reading the full article here.
  • Two new food websites popped up recently that are worth following: Healthyish by Bon Appetit is a place where you can find (mostly) healthy but always delicious recipes and TASTE is an online magazine run by Matt Rodbard, author of Koreatown: A Cookbook, among other accomplishments. TASTE promises to share approachable recipes and to explore “today’s quick moving food culture.”
  • Stella’s Grocery is my guilty pleasure market. If I’m feeling too lazy to cook dinner or if I know I have a busy week coming up, I’ll pick up a pasta dinner there knowing it will last me for like four meals and be more delicious than anything I could make myself. Stella’s Grocery new item alert: housemade butternut squash and ricotta ravioli. Reheat it in your own cookware and we won’t tell anyone that you didn’t make it from scratch.

What to add to your calendar

  • If you’ve already given up on your New Year’s Resolution to get fit, sign up for the Monument Avenue 10k. There’s still time to get back on track and run with 30,000 of your closest friends. Also, non-runners it might be time to start planning your witty signs, you’ve got stiff competition with all the protest signs lately.
  • This weekend, Stone Brewing is celebrating the first birthday of its Richmond location. Join them in Fulton on Saturday for beer, coffee and Patrick Henry re-enactors. No, I’m not kidding.
  • Go grocery shopping for a good cause on Sunday at Ellwood Thompson’s. Five percent of sales will be donated to local non-profit FETCH a Cure.
  • FYI — The nice people that run the Mean Bird food truck have caught the bug that’s been going around and had to cancel all events scheduled for yesterday and today. Send them good vibes so that they’ll be better soon aka in time to serve up some tasty fried chicken at Kindred Spirit Brewing in Goochland on Friday. Go visit them when they’re back up and running, I’m sure it will make them feel better!

Just a friendly reminder that we’re testing out a new way of sending out What’s Happenin’ Wednesday. If you’d like to receive this weekly roundup directly to your inbox, you can subscribe below. We promise we won’t send you anything spammy, we just had a few requests for an email version of this post and ask and you shall receive!

If you’ve already subscribed to our blog, we will no longer be sending out our What’s Happenin’ Wednesday posts through WordPress. So if you would like to continue to receive emails for What’s Happenin’ Wednesday, just enter your information below and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop every Wednesday. If you are a subscriber, you will continue to get alerts via email when our other posts go live!

Confused or have questions? Shoot us an email letsshareadish@gmail.com and we’ll help you figure it out!

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Gelati Celesti Now Open on the Boulevard

Ice cream lovers, get excited, because the Scott’s Addition location of Gelati Celesti opens to the public today at noon! And if you stop by on opening day, you might be treated to something special… 😉

The new shop is located at 1400 N. Boulevard, at the corner of Boulevard and Norfolk Street. It has all the ice cream you’ve come to know and love, along with industrial, yet inviting feel we’ve come to expect in Scott’s Addition. This is the fourth and largest location to date.

We had a chance to check out the sweet new digs at a preview event last night, and even Governor Terry McAuliffe was there to celebrate the success and growth that Gelati Celesti has experienced since opening in 1984.

We couldn’t resist doing an ice cream taste test so we could share a few of our favorite flavors with you from the menu. We’re also pretty excited about the retractable garage door, which was open on this unseasonably warm February night.

Most Popular Gelati Celesti Flavors

1. Chocolate Decadence. The number one best seller for the past 30 years, comparable to brownie batter.

2. Just Ask. White Chocolate-based ice cream mixed with creamy peanut butter and oreo chunks.

3. Salted Caramel. It’s just like it sounds!

Meg’s Favorite Gelati Celesti Flavors

My favorite Gelati Celesti flavor of all time is Just Ask, but I decided to branch out for the purpose of this taste test – M

1. Mango Sorbetto. Straight up mango, as fresh as it gets! As delicious as this tasted in February, I know it will taste even better on a hot summer day.

2. Buskey Hard Cider. I love hard cider so much I had to try this flavor, and it’s amazing how much the flavor came through! If you’re a cider fan, give this one a try.

3. Baklava. I thought I would like this one, I just didn’t know how much! Now if we can just get the Richmond Greek Festival to serve it at this year’s festival.

Kelsey’s Favorite Gelati Celesti Flavors

1. Don’t Ask. When I saw this on the menu, I couldn’t help but ask about it. Made with chocolate decadence ice cream, Golden Oreos and peanut butter, it’s basically the opposite of Meg’s all-time favorite Just Ask.

2. Praline and Cream. My all-time favorite Gelati Celesti flavor is cinnamon, but it’s seasonal and wasn’t on the menu. This was the closest flavor they had to cinnamon and I loved the added crunch from the praline.

3. Coffee and Cream. This coffee ice cream is for the latte lovers out there. It is not nearly as strong as the Dark and Dark Blanchard’s flavor ice cream or the Ironclad coffee flavor — although both are also delicious.

You can visit the new Scottt’s Addition location of Gelati Celesti Monday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.

What’s your favorite ice cream from Gelati Celesti? Tell us in the comments below!

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What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

  • Travel + Leisure conducted its annual survey of readers to determine the best cities in the country to get pizza, and the results are in! Richmond is a newcomer on this year’s list, coming in at #13 on the list of 15 eateries across the country. Spots like Nota Bene, Belmont Pizzeria and Bottom’s Up are included in the description of Richmond and why it’s a pizza hot spot. What’s your favorite spot to grab a slice in RVA?
  • This story from The Washington Post delves into the delicious but inexpensive wine you can find on the shelves of places like Walmart and Costco. One such wine is the La Moneda Malbec Reserva 2015 which retailed last fall at select Walmart stores for $6.96 a bottle. The inexpensive cost is impressive, and so is the 95 points and platinum medal the wine recieved from Decanter magazine.
  • SELF shared the most pinned healthy recipe of 2016, and good news, it looks pretty delicious. You can find the recipe for crispy chicken and avocado burrito wraps here.
  • ICYMI: Ben & Jerry’s is kicking off the year with a bang with the introduction of pint slices. The individually-wrapped and chocolate covered treats are available in four flavors: Americone Dream, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Vanilla Peanut Butter Cup. According to the Ben & Jerry’s website, these sweet treats are are available now in most scoop shops, and they will be rolling out to grocery stores soon.
  • Hate waiting for a table at a restaurant? According to Thrillist, Google can now help you determine when the shortest wait time will be. The more you know…
  • Continuing the trend of Richmond restaurants heading west, Casa del Barco announced last week that they are opening a second location this summer at Short Pump Town Center. (Full disclosure: Casa del Barco is of my work clients, but I couldn’t be happier that I can now enjoy a margarita on the rooftop tequileria after shopping at Short Pump.)
  • Shout out to Southern Living for making us aware of this promotion from Krispy Kreme. Things kicked off yesterday, and now through February 28 at Krispy Kreme, guests can get a free original glazed doughnut with any coffee purchase. The doughnut shop is hoping customers will try (and love!) their new and improved coffee.

What to add to your calendar

  • You only have a few days left to enjoy the goodness that is The Dog & Pig Show, so get those cookies (and other delicious treats) while you still can. The Church Hill spot will close its doors on February 12th.
  • The 10th anniversary of the Virginia Wine Expo is taking place March 8-12. Word on the street is that you can taste 650+ wines at at the walk-around grand tastings. Cheers to that!
  • Save the date for Saturday, April 22 when Lunch and Supper are hosting The Big Pig Project along with Richmond Ronald McDonald House Charities, a spring block party that will include food, country music and a live auction that will benefit the Ronald McDonald House.

Just a friendly reminder that we’re testing out a new way of sending out What’s Happenin’ Wednesday. If you’d like to receive this weekly roundup directly to your inbox, you can subscribe below. We promise we won’t send you anything spammy, we just had a few requests for an email version of this post and ask and you shall receive!

If you’ve already subscribed to our blog, we will no longer be sending out our What’s Happenin’ Wednesday posts through WordPress. So if you would like to continue to receive emails for What’s Happenin’ Wednesday, just enter your information below and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop every Wednesday. If you are a subscriber, you will continue to get alerts via email when our other posts go live!

Confused or have questions? Shoot us an email letsshareadish@gmail.com and we’ll help you figure it out!

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