Chicken "Jay-Frazi" 
Curry Indian Dish with Jalfrazi inspiration- 

It all started around 2 PM on a Thursday afternoon just around that time when you stop working at your desk and start drifting over to pinterest and checking your facebook to escape the black white normalcy of the mundane 9-5.

I starting thinking.. maybe I should be an awesome girlfriend and cook a delicious meal for my boyfriend, Jay. I started googling "quick and easy" dinner recipes hoping for an easy way out. Now, I do love to cook but every once in awhile I get burned out. I pretty much rotate most of the recipes you'll find on this blog along with the boring grilled chicken and veggies. So I was looking for something different, something new, something I've never done before... but.. quick and easy. I kept seeing Indian curry recipes popping up and thought hmm.. I've never made that before? I also saw recipes for baked chicken and mashed potatoes and my mouth just started watering for something comforting. I knew without even asking Jay that he would pick the curry over anything I ran by him so I just went with it.

So here is my glorious iPhone photo of the Indian Curry/ Jay-Frazi. As I mentioned I thought this was going to be horrible because it sounded somewhat healthy so I didn't bother photographing my progress. 

Hello again to my fabulous blog! I have missed you! It's been awhile and this has been a project of mine going on 3 years now. Started as a personal journal turned awesome blog! Lately I've been catching myself googling my recipes when I'm at the grocery store because I can never remember them so it's been great! There is nothing more that makes me happier than writing on my own blog and getting all these great comments and views! Keep them coming! :)

Today I find myself feeling alone.  My boyfriend is currently in the Amsterdam airport "relaxing" without me until he moves onto Florence for a 10 day trip through Tuscany... My Dad is traveling to Canada today to do some worth ethic research at a sister company, one of my good friends is going to Colorado in 2 weeks, another is leaving for the US Virgin islands, and another is living in Ireland! A few of my blog friends are in Istanbul, Paris, and Thailand. As for me? I am going to visit a very good friend of mine in a few days. Going to a small army town in North Carolina so there probably won't be a lot to blog about there. It doesn't sound very exciting but if you knew what we were capable of when we go out together you would think otherwise! We all have that friend we can turn to that will turn that frown upside down! There will be copious amounts of alcohol (probably sangria) and good good food! (cooking soothes the soul) So when I get back I should have some good stories, some good food, and drink recipes to write about.

With all of this being said I feel like I am constantly being flooded with traveling questions. Every time I log onto my facebook there's another message asking me something about traveling. Can you find me a cheap flight? When should I get to the airport? What is a good amount of time for a layover? What should I pack? What should I do if my flight gets delayed or cancelled? What can I bring through TSA? While I can't answer all of these questions in one single blog post I thought I could do a general post for the "Unseasoned Traveler." This is for the person who hasn't flown in years or not at all. Or maybe you are seasoned and just want to read along to see what kind of tips I can offer.

Starting off with booking your flight, my boyfriend Jay has wrote a great blog post for Angie Knows the Truth. It is one of the most popular posts! Click Here to read Jay's Booking tips for flights

Unseasoned Travelers may want to consider bundling their hotel, car, and flight. Click Here for Jay's tips and tricks for Bundling

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Caesar's Palace is basically the mecca of Las Vegas. From what I have heard they own many of the other casinos and resorts on the strip and are also part of the Total Rewards program. Caesar's has it's own mall area called the Forum Shops which are very large,  in charge and basically an attraction of their own. You can also get to many places without even really going outside! Even parts of the Hangover were filmed here! Just in case you didn't already figure in August it is HOT in Vegas! When we were checking out on Monday I made a comment to a local about the wind outside and he replied "Oh really? I haven't been outside since Thursday!" haha!!

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I am a little overdue on the postings here and I do apologize.. BUT.. it's only because I have been so inspired by summer and cooking up a storm! In the next few weeks I have some great summer recipes to look forward to and we have a trip to Vegas booked! Obviously with it being summer we are all trying to eat healthy and trim up. Recently the brakes went out in my car and I was stuck at home for the evening and came up with this tasty and filling dinner salad. This recipe is extremely simple, delicious, and healthy I encourage you to try it! You can pick up these few things from the store and be eating in 20 minutes!

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Jay and I have been on a fish kick lately. From ceviche to sushi to grilled salmon we have been eating all and everything lean we can get our hands on! With the hot summer days it's just so refreshing to have a light and lean dinner! The other day Jay decided to experiment with some flavors and made this amazing salmon with broccoli and pineapple. Needless to say it was probably the most delicious and flavorful fish we have made so far. We normally just make the same few dishes over and over until we get sick of them so this was a huge change for us. The next day we were so inspired by this fruit/fish combo that we decided to take things to the next level! This post will be about our collaboration on a tropical fish dish! With my Chipotle cilantro lime rice recipe and Jay's new addiction to pineapple we were able to make a new staple dish in our home! Tropical Mahi with Cilantro lime rice coming right up!!

Tropical Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Salsa and Chipotle Lime Rice
Tropical Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Salsa and Chipotle Lime Rice

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Jay's Survival Guide to Paris 

Planning is the key but your flexibility and adaptability will be tested.
I book my flights before hotels; you have 24 hours to cancel any flight booked directly with most airlines.  A direct flight is best if possible but landing time is the most important.   You will want to use (see previous travel posts) to find the best days  and cities to fly out comparing cost and landing times.  Ideally you will select a flight that lands between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM.  It will take you up to an hour to get out of the airport and 45 minutes to get to Paris once you get out.   This puts you after morning rush hour and before evening rush hour and your room should be ready for check in or you can grab a bite to eat nearby after you drop your luggage in the lobby.  There is nothing more miserable than arriving at the hotel at 8:00 AM after flying all night, tired, and smelly and being told your room will not be available for six or seven more hours.

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Miles and Miles
Part 1:  Elite Miles

Terms you need to know:
FF Miles – Frequent Flier miles  - you spend these
EQM or MQD – Elite Qualifying Miles or Medallion Qualifying Miles – These are Status Miles
MR – Mileage Run – a set of back to back flights with a goal of getting a lot of miles cheap.  Like Oakland to Maui via Salt Lake and LA for $200 and 7300 miles with connections round trip. It took 3 days, 15,000 miles, 15 airports $400.00, no hotels, a few meals, 4 showers at LAX skyclub and 3 new friends.
MR/Trip – is my own creation where I find a good deal like Chicago to Istanbul for $600 round trip and I go and stay for a long weekend.  Purists don’t consider it a MR but it’s my blog.  I have only done on pure MR.
First we have to start off with the fact that there are two kinds of miles that you receive when you fly from point A to B and back.  You receive Elite Status Miles  these mile reset to zero every year.  You need to collect increments of 25000 miles to receive perks  on the airline every year.  I will use Delta because it is what I fly as an example.  The second type is Frequent Flier Miles (FF Miles) these you can spend for tickets and will be covered in Part 2 of Miles and Miles.

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I don't know about all of you guys but the one thing I think of the second I go on a diet is PIZZA!!! There are multiple reasons. Sometimes I just don't feel like cooking and it seems easy to buy a frozen pizza or call for delivery after a long day of work. Welcome to the perfect marry to the best of both worlds. Have your pizza and eat it too! Don't feel guilty for indulging since this filling pizza is only 275 calories! You could almost have 2 entire mini pizzas and not go over on calories!

Best ever pita pizza recipe #angieknowsthetruth
Pita Pizza Recipe 

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You know what guys? I just love Paris. I could live there.

Recently Jay and I went there for our second and third time this year. My love for Europe grew about 23841%. We have got a little hip in this past year and were able to book some fun tours around the city. If I haven't said in previous blog posts.. scheduling tours or tour guides is probably one of the smartest ways to make your vacation more enjoyable. You don't have to go overboard and book every day full of tours and events but a few good ones here and there is always nice. This post is going to give you some general tips for traveling to Paris. From fashion to safety, Paris is another world it's best to be prepared for your trip.

I have arrived!! 

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Delta changes the rules of the game for me and you.

Delta, Delta, Delta why must you do what you do. Delta has been leading the airline world to the promise land of profits. The airlines have long been an industry rife with labor union strikes, bankruptcies, victims of national crisis like 9/11 and unstable oil prices. I like to travel and have become addicted to the deal. Cheap flights, lots of miles and some really cool perks. We (Angie and I) chose Delta after flying Continental and United through their merger a few years ago. We had come up a few thousand miles short of making status and decided to try Delta.

Delta makes changes on it's 2014 frequent flier program. 

Jay wanted to start making something different for dinners we cook. He mentioned this chicken and rice pie he used to make when he was younger with his Mom. She couldn't remember the recipe and after some serious google'ing we didn't find anything that matched quite right. After a few mediocre attempts at creating the original it morphed into something more delicious and more amazing. In the post I will leave you with the basic Sun Dried Tomato and Artichoke Recipe. You can replace the tomatoes and artichokes with whatever you feel fit but this is the variation we found had the most flavor. This dinner is best paired with a rich oakey buttery Chardonnay. Here is the link to my Chardonnay recommendations  I would add a vegetable on the side or we usually do a salad.

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Fino is not only an unforgettable dining experience in San Francisco it's also one of the most authentic and accommodating restaurants I've ate at in a long time. Jay first discovered this place when he took his son out to California for the first time a few years ago. (So we will give him the credit) They stayed downtown in the business district and chose the best sounding place on Trip Advisor without a reservation (at the time it was #1 now is #22 so you can't always judge a restaurant based solely on reviews.) I will add that sometimes Trip Advisor does disappoint us from time to time but we have been far from disappointed with Fino. It has since turned into a tradition for us every time we go to San Fran we always stop here for dinner.
One of the more personal things that I enjoy is that they have a veteran staff. You just can't beat a little old world restaurant that recognizes their every few month regulars. That's just something I think is hard to find these days especially in a large city like San Francisco. It warms my heart when I step into the lobby of the St. Andrews Hotel. You'll see the mahogany wood bar and can request for a table near the fire place.

Disclaimer: This post is supposed to be funny and informative. Having been in a relationship for almost 5 years I feel like I have done enough research and traveling to write this post. The plan is to explain how we have built up to these 3 week European vacations loving each other almost every step of the way.  

Traveling with your significant other can always and will be stressful at one point or another. Even when your going to a relaxing spa resort for your anniversary. I know of course your just so madly in love that nothing bad could ever happen between you guys. You never fight..
Guess what? Things happen.
Obviously we don't really glamorize our issues but I know it happens to everyone. Flights get cancelled, itineraries get confused, your lost in a foreign country, after a few drinks and no sleep there's no one left to take your frustrations out on. I wanted to write about how Jay and I build up to some of these issues to make our traveling much less stressful. Because I know we are not alone. Practice makes perfect the more time you spend nearly 24/7 with someone the easier it will be for you to learn how to avoid arguments, when to pick your battles, and how to pull the other person out of a funk.

If your planning a trip to Israel and you find yourself in Jerusalem the Mount of Olives is a must go.
Go on your first day to get a landscape of the city (it's the highest point in the city) and see what your dealing with while in town. It's a breath-taking view out of all the traveling we had done the first time I've seen anything like that. It's amazing just to gaze out and imagine what it used to be like back in Old City times.
You can get there by car or walking but it is a steep hill up. Chances are if your going to the Mt. Olives you will probably take a stop at the Garden of Gethsemane (kind of pronounced like get-some-money) There are very few parking spots at the lookout and bad parking at Gethsemane. It's just down the hill from the lookout. Definitely worth a stop.

People need to know about this recipe. Seriously!! If you like lemons (I love them!!) and you like cake then this is for you!! It's like a light airy lemon version of tiramisu!! I first had this cake at our Italy reunion party Jay's sister Claudia had made it for dessert and it was the highlight of the whole party! I knew I had to get the recipe for Jay's birthday since he isn't a big dessert fan I wanted to go all out for his birthday. Claudia finally emailed me the recipe and I hope I don't get in trouble for sharing it!! It's a cake recipe from the Island of Capri! The cake is amazing. Lemon flavors come through strong, but the delicate mascarpone and
cream soften the lemon and smooth it out. Served best with some chilled limoncello shots!!

Italian Lemon Layer Cake