A couple weeks ago was my 4 year anniversary with Perry. 4 years of dating that is. He told me we were going to a dinner, but held his tongue on the place. I bugged him long enough for him to tell me that we’re going to the Tasting Room. The Tasting Room…sounds like a bunch of samples. I love samples!

As we drove into Frederick, MD,  I eagerly watched out the window for our destination. After a 30min detour of getting lost in the countryside, we were on Main Street and I saw the Tasting Room ahead in the distance. As I urged Perry to find a parking spot, he drove right past the restaurant.

We parked right in front of the real destination, Volt, Bryan Voltaggio’s restaurant.

I almost skipped through the front door. I was at Volt!

After a very short wait in the bar/lounge, we were escorted by the hostess to the dining room. The wait staff was right on our toes. Between dressing and undressing the table, refilling water, to even folding Perry’s napkin when he was up for the restroom, they were more than on top of things.

Our waiter asked for our drink order. Perry ordered the Pomegranate Fizz (I’ll be nice and not comment here), while I decided on the Old Fashioned (little did I understand that I was ordering straight Bourbon with a bit of muddled orange and cherries).

The waiter encouraged us to order 1 of all 4 courses, as the menu was designed to order.

We didn’t order 4 courses each, but I think we ordered a nice range of dishes.

I decided on a 1st course:

tuscarora farm organic beets cherry glen farm goat cheese, upland cress, meringue

and Perry went for the:

yellowfin tuna tartare avocado, chili oil, petite cilantro, soy air, marinated whitefish roe

Watermelon amuse bouche served

For our main courses, I order a “2nd course”:

cherry glen farm goat cheese ravioli, maroon carrot, romano beans, maitake mushrooms, balsamic brown butter

and Perry choose  the main course of Striped Bass

For dessert we shared the

textures of chocolate chocolate ganache, chocolate caramel, pistachio, raw organic cocoa

The waiter also brought out a desert and candle for our anniversary …thoughtful huh?

Volt lavished us with surprises in addition to the dishes we ordered. We were brought breadsticks, choice of bread with our appetizer, a watermelon amuse bouche to cleanse our pallate, samples of pastries and wrapped muffins for our ride home (they didn’t make it past our car ride home 🙂 ).

In all, I loved the entire experience.

Sorry for the lag in blogging lately…I hope to keep blogging here and there.



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Filed under Market, Restuarants

birthday dinner

Hey guys….I’m in Outerbanks with my family, but realize I have a big back-log on posts. So I’ll give you a quick catch-up. Last weekend was Perry’s birthday. And I had been wanting to take him to Woodberry Kitchen for a while. Here are some pictures from our visit (backwards from desert to the bread).

I can’t even begin to tell you how fresh everything was- we’ll be going back soon 🙂

See you soon… from the beach

– Jess

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mimosas and french toast

My friend, Beth, invited the girls over her house for brunch on Sunday morning.  What a great time to sit back, drink a mimosa and chat about the weekend.

On her menu was french toast and fruit salad.

Mix for the french toast… I believe eggs, cinnamon, vanilla

Bananas, brown sugar, butter and walnuts to top the french toast. So good!!

What a way to start off a Sunday AM 🙂

– jess


Filed under Cooking, Uncategorized

Gin Mill

The other night, I went out to celebrate my friend’s last day at her job and start of her new job. We walked to a bar/restaurant in Caton, the Gin Mill.

They offer great happy hour specials from $5 appetizers to a variety of drinks ranging from $1.75 to $5.

We split the Blackened Ahi Tuna, a 6 oz. filet of sushi grade tuna blackened then served on a warm croissant with a cool ranch dressing & crispy onions.

And the Warm Pita Plate, which came with 4 dips: hummus, basil pesto, roasted peppers and olive tapenade.

Ryan enjoying his wings.

I wish that I lived closer to Canton, so I could visit the Gin Mill more often. Their truffle oil fries are to die for and  I really love the service and vibe of the bar.


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fruit salad

I have not been cooking often. Or at least anything worth writing about. The warm weather has me out and about. Dinners are pushed back until 8 or 9 and consist of any fresh veggies that I have in the fridge.

I did pick up some fruit from Safeway to make a fruit salad. I stuck to my favorites: watermelon, raspberries, blueberries and peach. I poured some Odwalla Haiti Hope Mango Lime juice  over my salad.

Odwalla100% of profits go to Haiti Mango Farmers and their families

Is it just me or does the color of this salad make it even more appetizing?


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Filed under Sweets, Uncategorized

step away from the freezer

I admit that I go straight to the freezer section to pick up veggie burgers for a cookout. It never crosses my mind to make them from scratch. I need to change this mindset.

I found that Cooking Light has a variety of recipes from chickpea burgers to grilled tofu burgers. These burgers are made with fresh ingrediants and from simple recipes.

Go ahead and try out these veggie burger recipes from Cooking Light with me.

 Open-Faced Falafel Burgers Recipes


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beach weekend

I spent the long 4th of July weekend in Ocean City, MD. One of my favorite places to relax in OC is Northside Park around 127th street.

At the park: A humble picnic of wine, chocolate, bread and cheese. Tobie being nosey.

The boardwalk in Rehoboth (about 40min from OC) is another favorite of mine. I shopped at the boardwalk and then stopped at Dogfish Brewpub for dinner and drinks.

I buy Dogfishhead beer often at my local beer store. So, I already knew what to expect when ordering their beer sampler.  The 60 Min IPA  tops the others with its refreshing, citrus flavor…in my opinion 🙂

I ordered a side of green beans. This $1 deal looked teeny on the plate.

The Dogpile- Pitas with spinach artichoke dip, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and green onions. The name was very fitting for this tasty mess!

Do you have a favorite spot to visit on vacation?


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Filed under Restuarants, Uncategorized, Vegetarian