May, 2021

Market Mondays: Green Onion Bratwurst

Posted on May 31, 2021

Today’s Market Monday is a little different; We will talk about Green Onion Bratwurst but first, Today is the day we remember all those that sacrificed in service to our nation. But, unfortunately, today is for those that did not come home. It does not go without notice by me what others have done to allow me to live the life I do.

Market Mondays

This day is also the unofficial start of the summer picnic and grilling season. Although summer does not arrive officially for another 21 days, that does not stop us from getting out and enjoying all this time of year has to offer. We have about four months if we are lucky of pure grilling bliss.
You don’t ever really have to put away the BBQ grills. I use my grill year-round, but then I did grow up in Minnesota, where those four months get cut back to two in some cases. So I guess what I am saying is grill like there is no other choice. If it’s food, ya can probably grill it!

Tier 3 Heritage Products Green Onion Bratwurst

This past week it was cold and windy for the market. But, even with the bad weather forecast, I could not pass up getting some Green Onion Bratwursts for grilling from one of my favorite vendors and two of my most favorite people Nelson and Merideth, from Tier 3 Heritage Products.

Tier3 is a small farm just north of Westerville by a few miles. Nelson and Merideth have Beef, and Pork and they do both tremendously well, so well that they have ruined me on most other pork products forever.

Market Mondays(MM) is not where I will go into lengthy explanations about things. Instead, MM is to highlight something I bought, call out the producers and share a recipe or two. But I would like to add here that Nelson is one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever heard speak about farming. He is always happy to share his process and thoughts on the subject. So please, when you visit his booth, if you have a question, ask. You will be amazed at all you learn. On the other hand, if you cannot speak to Nelson face to face, please go to a local farmers market and find someone willing to share their knowledge. You and your belly will be better for it.

How should I cook the Brats?

It is a new product, a green onion bratwurst. If you are like me, you will have to sit a moment with that. Merideth gave me two tips about cooking this one. First, think Asian-inspired flavors, and two, do not be afraid to take these out of their casing.

With the idea of something Asian inspired in mind, I went to work. I love the flavors of Pho and Bánh mí Sandwiches. So I thought I would make a slaw using a little inspiration from both to top the Brats after grilling. If you have ever had the Sandwich Bánh mí, you will know the bread is very distinctive. I searched several places for the bread, but I settled for Hawaiian King hot dog buns on Sunday and short on time. Turns out the flavor of those buns was delicious. But next time I make these I will for sure have Bánh mí buns on hand. It would take this to the next level.

Restaurant Reviews Are on the Table

Posted on May 28, 2021

I have loved to write my entire life. However, I never took it really seriously. Until sometime in the late 90’s early 2000’s, I started writing restaurant reviews for my friends. Even then, it was something I did on the fly. I ate out a lot, every night almost for either business or pleasure. That left me a lot of restaurants to talk about. So instead of telling the same story about the evening to several friends, I started writing reviews.

What I did not realize is that my friends liked the reviews. Some of them even saved the reviews for many, many years. They know me very well; maybe they knew I would come to this place in my life.

Well, here I am. I took a class on blogging, and in the class, I had to ask people I trusted about my blog. Some took the time to give feedback, and well, that feedback was a little brutal but very helpful! It got me here, where I am now doing Tripping Vittles full time.
One of the things brought up and even requested was to update and bring back my restaurant reviews.

I had to think about it, and I read many of my old restaurant reviews that my dear friends had saved. And I concluded that, yep, reviews are something I can bring to Tripping Vittles. That I am already kind of doing this. Yet, I have never really highlighted just one restaurant.

The way I did reviews in the past fit with how I look at life now. It’s weird to realize I have always seen the world this way. I read nearly 20-year-old writing and I hear my voice as though I wrote it yesterday.

I’m not out to trash anyone’s dream; Remember hard work in the hospitality business is even harder with the onset of covid. But it would do us well to remember people are spending hard-earned money at these places. Be it Mcdonald’s or The French Laundry. I have been in this business for 38 years now. So I know a thing or two. But the really cool thing is I am still learning. Food preparation is a great equalizer. Even the most seasoned chef can learn something new! So I think I have the ability, after weathering the last 18 months, to do this industry and the people in it justice. While also being critical, but not for theater for fundamental ideas on improvement.

The positives out weight the negatives

There are more positives in the hospitality business than negatives. I cannot wait to tell you about those. I wrote and article when I left a long time job it is more clear now than ever that our industry is changing. Many changes are long overdue. I want to Look at how restaurant reviews are presented. Taking into account the kindness and empathy of how difficult a restaurant job is will be part of my review process.


I thought I would share my most favorite restaurant review out of the ones I wrote. This experience was one of my top 5 most amazing meals of my entire life. It is from around Mothers day 2003. It gives a pretty good idea of what to expect when I do an actual review. If you have a restaurant you would love for me to review, let me know in the comments. Keep an eye out for my first restaurant review coming soon. until then, enjoy this bit of history.

Restaurant Review: Les Nomad

I am not going to mince any words this was some of the best food I have ever eaten. Period!!! It is also one of the stuffiest, snobby and Full of hot air restaurants I have ever been to. The service at dinner was technically impeccable, but the whole meal felt like the Stepford waiters were serving us.

First the food and Drink, Cocktails to start. I was excited I was sure I could get a great gimlet here and I was correct I just could not get a tequila gimlet, for they have no tequila. Now I realize there was a time when tequila was a poor mans drink and there for it was not part of the bar at this former private dining club but they are no longer a private dining club and tequila comes in all forms and price ranges. It is no longer just a poormans drink. I ordered a Grey Goose Vodka Gimlet and when delivered and it was perfect. As was the Sidecar and the Makers Mark Manhattan.

Dinner comes in a Prix Fixe four or five-course option. Five course is both fish and meat courses, there were only three fish choices and none of them grabbed us so we went with the four course option. We all decided to do something different with each choice in order to experience as much of Chef Roland Liccioni food as possible. So let me break it down for you…  Imagine starting with a creme puff filled with a Fois Gras Mousse over a radish vinaigrette salad just to get the palate working….

Les Hor d’oeuvre (appetizer) : For the table we did Duo of Poached Lobster and Marinated Smoked Salmon, with warm potato salad. This dish was exquisite a 3-D painting on a plate with plump juicy lobster and a wonderful fillet of smoky salmon. The potato salad was a nice little concoction of fingerling potatoes and a light dressing. Next was a Terrine of Smoked Salmon, Roasted Salmon, Seared Tuna and Alaskan Crab, with a ginger dill emulsion and dill sauce. This was another marvelous dish the Terrine was in the shape of a pyramid with each layer looking like a color from the four food groups chart. If only we could live on these four sea creatures alone. Last but not least came Sauteed Foie Gras, vadalia onion, rhubarb and port wine sauce. OH MY GOD!!! This was so decadent I have no other words….

Le Potages et Les Salades (soup & salad): Again, a course to share. Cappuccino of Asparagus Soup Garnished with Lobster. This was wonderful, but those of you that know my friend Charlott and those very few of you that have tasted her Asparagus soup note, hers is better. One of only two specials offered in the evening was one of our choices.

A warm asparagus salad with fresh fava beans and yellow beets with a dressing of foam, yep he is up on the trends. The asparagus was full of flavor and blanched just enough to bring out the beautiful spring colors of this wonderful vegetable. Roasted Beets and baby greens with Roquefort cheese & walnut terrine, balsamic herb dressing. was the last of the salads. Tender and delicious beets with a sweet and tart mix of spring greens the terrine of cheese and walnuts were terrific and went magnificently with the beets…

Les Viandes et Les Volailles(Meat & Game): The meat course for us was a no brainier, My Mom got the Duo Roasted Rack and Stuffed Loin of Lamb with tomato tart, quinoa, and lamb jus. Cooked rare and served tender and stuffed with flavor. This was a magnificent dish, not complicated just outstanding simple food.

Tara had the Roasted Breast of Duck and Duck Leg Confit, French Lentils, butternut squash and duck jus scented with curry. Quack, Quack, is duck for this dish rocked!!! Medium Rare and Astonishingly tender duck breast served with just a hint of curry to the rich au jus.

I was served Roasted Loin of Venison Rossini, braised cabbage, fresh chestnut, with sauce poivrade scented with mole. A carnivore’s dream. Rare venison tender and juicy. The Rossini is a thin slice of Foie Gras laid on top of the venison to add a little fat for moisture. The cabbage was full of nutty flavor and cooked to perfection. The sauce was rich and brown with the slightest tease of mole on the tongue. Simply incredible. We had a full-flavored plum and berry Merlot, year 2000 from the Duckhorn winery. Very nice with the meats we were eating…

Les Fromages et Les Desserts(Cheese & Dessert): Being that we have Wisconsin blood coursing thru our veins we requested a cheese plate for the table in addition to our dessert course. The cheese plate with a Goats cheese, Cows cheese, sheep’s cheese and a creamy concoction of potently explosive cheese. It smelled to high heaven but the taste was so rich and strong it blew up the taste buds. It also came with sliced Gala apples and a lovely nut raisin bread.

We used the last of our red wine to wash the cheese down and ordered a glass of dessert wine 2000 Coteaux du Layon De Sainte Catharine Domaine des Baumard Loire, light crisp not to viscous with a sweet but not to sweet finish. For the table we did the Trio of Creme Brulee-Chocolate, Vanilla and Grand Marnier They were yummy and they should be since this is one of the easiest desserts in the world to make. Mille-feuille, pear sabayon, fresh berries, frozen pear mousse, Carmel ice cream, and Carmel apricot sauce. This was an interesting dish with so many crazy flavors it was difficult to get a grasp on. The pastry was golden brown, dry and sweet. It went well with all the sauces and flavors.

Classic Souffle flavored with Grand Marnier. This was the best souffle that has ever crossed my lips, big fluffy and golden on top, no hint of falling here then a warm liquid was poured inside to give a succulent mouth watering orange flavor to this delectable dessert…

I was awed by the food and now comes the shocking part. This is one of the most uninviting non-fun places to dine I have ever been to.

  “In keeping with Les Nomades Tradition of civilized dining, and in consideration of other guests please maintain a subdued voice level, No cell phones, cameras or smoking in the dining room. Sales tax and gratuity are not reflected in the menu price-gratuity maybe added.” 

Now this is not all bad I love the no cell phone and no smoking thing. I hate cell phones in restaurants and when eating this kind of food I do not want the flavors over run by smoke. But the whole civilized dining thing totally turned me off. If you are paying five hundred plus dollars for a meal trust me you are not uncivilized, or are you. See I think civility has its stages and I have met some very rich uncivilized nasty human beings. Subdued voices do not equate civility either.

This is a rich persons place where sadly not many people are actually digging how damn amazing this food really is. The servers are so busy being perfect servers/servents there is no indication that they are having fun or even like working here. There is no conversation between the tables and the staff and when asked questions they can become overly snobby, especially when explaining how the Prix Fixe menu works.

When we talked to the servers they were surprised and even shocked that we acknowledged them and even more surprised we wanted their opinions. As for subduded,your surroundings dictate that you will not go here and be doing shots and dancing on the tables, but this was so fantastic food wise I would have loved to shout it at the top of my lungs. I had to be civilized though and keep it to myself… 

Here is my hope that a whole bunch of young foodies over run this place. Get dressed up goto Les Nomades and eat this amazing food. Drink the wonderful wines. Tell your servers you love it. Ask them questions, show them you want to know about this food. Talk at the table in regular voices most of which should be heard in the kitchen. cause this is one of maybe 2-3 restaurants in the city cooking this kind of high level gourmet cuisine. You will be blown away.

I know this is a young foodies dream and they have enough business from regular civilized people that Roland and Mary Beth Liccioni can continue to do this as long as they have the passion. But I am one uncivilized girl who totally was thrilled by the food at this restaurant and very uninspired by the atmosphere….So because I write the reviews, I am giving two scores
Food and stuff you put in your mouth: 4-Holy Crap! ya can’t beat that
Service and atmosphere, surroundings and such: 1- alrighty! This was good.

Lauri Jones Review 2003 , Les Nomade,s222 E Ontario,Chicago, IL 312-649-9010

That is my original unedited restaurant review. You get the idea of how I may do this. Overall going out should be fun. I hope you join me in having a great time with food and drink on this journey.

Day-Tripping: A Visit to Granville Ohio

Posted on May 26, 2021

Day-Tripping: A Visit to Granville Ohio
Granville is a cute little town about 22 miles east of Columbus. It is home to Denison University and filled with fun things to do.

If you live in the central Ohio area, it is a perfect spot for Day-tripping. However, if you are in other parts of Ohio or surrounding states, this could quickly go from a Day Trip to a weekend getaway. There is plenty to do for a weekend. So visit. It’s worth it.

I started coming to Granville before I even moved to Ohio. The Granville Inn was a stop for Prime Rib and as close to Wisconsin supper club food as I could get. The Inn received an update since my first visits, and they have changed their menu a bit. I have not visited the Inn lately, so check the Inn out and let me know how it is if you decide to overnight.

There is also a beautiful farmers market in town, that is the other reason I would go to Granville. It is Saturday mornings from May into October. It is not a weekday Day-tripping getaway, but I think we can make an exception!

I just recently saw Granville in a whole new light. The sunny brightness of a Day-Trip. We took off for Day-tripping in Granville Ohio on a Thursday morning, and we followed all the rules for a good day trip. If you are unclear of the rules, check them out here—day tripping.

As Granville is home to Denison University, and as such, there are a few cool things the public can use that are Denisons. For example, we utilized the Denison University Biological Reserve.
It was a wonderful place to hike and talk. There were cool, exciting things to see, from the marsh to several ponds and a 10-acre solar farm.
I love going to the woods. Fantastic bird watching. I don’t get the whole bird thing. They fly away! I am the only one in my family who does not spend money feeding birds to look at birds.
I prefer deer, and there were plenty of those. All around, it was a great place to spend a few hours in nature, especially in the spring when the forest is coming alive.

When done hiking, we headed back into the little town of Granville to grab lunch and shop. There are several options to choose from for food, but I will tell you to get to Day Y Noche. Since moving here from Chicago, I have had some of the best Mexican food and flat out the best Margarita since I would belly up to the bar at Frontera Grill and drink more Rick Bayless margaritas than a human should.

The food is excellent. The Potatoe Tacos were perfect. My partner in day-tripping got stupendous enchiladas! We enjoyed the chips and salsa over a cocktail to start the meal off.

A note about salsa and chips if you are looking to burn your mouth with fire hot salsa, you probably will not like it when I say a particular salsa is excellent. I think a chip dunking salsa, green or red, should be tangy. The heat should never cover the taste of the ingredients, whatever they are, onion, cilantro, tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapenos, salt pepper. The perfect chip salsa blends all those ingredients with a slight tangy spice. It lets you taste all the layers. Layers of flavor are what makes Mexican food so outstanding.

Let us talk about the Margarita!! Damn, it was great. I opted to add the Pineapple and Cilantro. On the rocks with 1800 Cuervo. There are some expensive and great tequilas out there, but I will stress 1800 Cuervo is perfect for this type of Margarita! If you visit Day Y Noche and drink just one, you have more willpower than I do!

When we finished eating our delicious meal, we headed across the street for Bookstore time! Listen, I love Amazon as much as the next guy they deliver to your door in a day or two. But there is no charm and no smell of books; you can’t touch them and turn the pages. And no one will talk about books with you. Amazon has no personality.

I should warn you there will be many a time Day-Tripping ends in a book store visit. When you are out and about, buy books from small independent book stores. They make for a fun afternoon, and you can find wonderful treasures in bookstores.

There is a time and place for Amazon, but please support small bookstores whenever you can. Enjoy the peace and relaxation of shopping for books locally.

That all said, the bookstore Readers Garden in Granville is cute; they have a selection of new and gently used books. And I left with a book I had wanted to read! Nomadland by Jessica Bruder. (If you don’t have a favorite local books store, click that link and buy the book from Amazon; this would be the time and place). They also have a collection of Chachkies that are book or reading-related. It’s just a neat little store.

We accomplished all that in about 4 hours. It was the perfect weekday escape.

So that is our first Day-Tripping blog, folks. I love day tripping. I will write about it, and I can’t wait to share it.

If you are local and have been to Granville, what are some of your favorite spots?

#granvilleohio #daytripping #trippingvittles #ohio

Market Mondays: Princess Pineapple Coconut Jam

Posted on May 24, 2021

Market Mondays, Royal Cottage Princess Pineapple Coconut Jam This is our First Market Mondays of the 2021 Farmers Market season.

Royal Cottage is one of my favorite Vendors. Katherine is super friendly, and her creativity when it comes to jams, butter and chutneys is next level. In addition, she is a black woman-owned business. She uses the freshest of ingredients. You can taste the love that goes into her products.
I find a kinship with Katherine in that her business has also suffered the same ups and downs of the Covid glass shortage, and it is still complicated to navigate these waters. So remember, if she is out of something, be kind these are challenging times for little producers. Also, if you are already a customer, do her a solid and bring back her glass jars when you finish her delicious products. You have no idea how this could help out a small business.

I wish I could do what she does. The ability to get the flavors of the items she creates layered so ideally is an art. Her Strawberry Jalapeno Jam, you can taste both flavors equally; neither overpowers the other. It is magical.
But the item I’m here today to tell you about is her new Princess Pineapple Coconut Jam. It is in one word wonderful!
The pineapple takes the lead, but then you get this lovely coconut to follow through. I ate it on toast to start.

Princess Pineapple Coconut Jam

When I tasted it, I knew I had something fun to make, in mind that goes with the hot day we are enduring and a BBQ grill. I had a Tier 3 heritage products( also a market vendor in Westerville) pork tenderloin, so the marinading commenced.

Super Easy Princess Pineapple Coconut Marinade

I served this with some sticky rice. I finally found something to cook in my instapot! But that is a story for another time—the trials and tribulations of owning an instapot.

Be sure you check out the Facebook and Instagram pages of Royal Cottage to see if they are at a farmers market near you. If you are not in Ohio, follow this link to their website and get you some!

#royalcottagejams #trippingvittles #columbusohio #framersmarkets #supportsmallbusines

Introducing: Market Mondays

Posted on May 23, 2021

Hi Readers! I want to introduce Market Mondays a new and what will be an ongoing series. I will share a find from one of the farmer’s markets where I am a vendor. Then, I will show you one or two ways to use my discovery and link to the item’s producer, where if they sell online, you can purchase direct. So be sure to tell them Tripping Vittles sent you.

Introducing : Market Mondays

Sharing other producers’ items keeps with what I had initially planned for Tripping Vittles all those years ago. Shopping local is essential but equally important is shopping American Made Products, Minority-Owned Businesses, LGBTQIA+ businesses. Also, look for environmentally conscious and socially conscious shops.

Working together, uplifting each other Market Mondays are for collaboration

The idea is collaboration, Lifting each other. Helping each other. If not for another of my co-market businesses, I may have never jumped at doing Tripping Vittles full time. They have shared info and mentored me on how to do this. I am learning because of a fellow vendor. There is room for all of us in this world; uplifting each other is far more enjoyable than tearing each other down.

Why Shop Small or Local

Certain things about shopping local/small businesses do for the world where the goods shine through. Market Mondays hope to help highlight the wonders of small business. More than likely, your small hand-produced products don’t have Palm oil. That’s good for the Rain Forest. If you want to know about small beef, pork, or chicken production, you can speak with your farmer face to face. Some will even let you visit their farm. The more local shopping and small business shopping we do, the more local businesses hire people—job creation. Money stays in the community. These are just a few things about shopping small and or local have been brought to my attention. There are tons more; share your reasons why in the comments.

See you tomorrow for For the first Market Mondays

Starting tomorrow, Market Mondays! I cannot wait for you to see the find I made this week. I will tell you it is delicious!

Day Tripping: The escape from reality for one day.

Posted on May 21, 2021

Day Tripping: The escape from reality for one day. 

This is going to be an ongoing series for Tripping Vittles. I am super excited that I have worked to a place to make Tripping Vittles a full-time job. As a result, you will see some changes in the future. I will be posting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. In addition, you will see some ongoing serialization. This is the introduction to Day Tripping, The first of those series.

This is my idea of Day Tripping.

When you go Day Tripping, you should almost always do it during your workweek. You will have a specific destination in mind when you leave the house. It should include an activity and food or treat, or if doing it right both! Also, you should purchase a trinket or souvenir. The wackier, the better! 

My Rules

Feel free to adopt my rules—no chain restaurants. There are exceptions. Stopping at McDonald’s can be acceptable for a french fry snack or an early sausage cheese McGriddle for the road. That is within the rules of day-tripping, but that’s it.

The other rule, you must have at least one cocktail. Day Drinking is part of the fun of a workweek escape. 

Insider Tip: Do not discount how a  great cocktail can be made from a bar during the day. The owner or head bartender is often working midweek to set schedules and do the ordering. In many instances, you will have the professional bartender or owner making the drink they created instead of the 20 something kid trying to get the hostess to notice him making the drinks. 

More rules but they are all in fun

Ooops, you thought the rules were over?? Nope, not yet… The activity you choose should highlight something local. As I advocate for day tripping, I often make sure to spread outdoor activity evenly with inside action. Also, don’t discount a day if it is raining. Please use your noggin though and don’t stand under a tree in a lightning storm. Hiking is fantastic in the rain, and there are always fun things to do inside. As stated above, the wackier, the better!

By the way. Local can be where you are. If you love to travel, make a home base and day trip out of one place for a few days. We did this in Hawaii, and we could see a large amount of the Big Island in one visit. If you visit family, make it a point to at least make one day trip by yourself or with one family member you really want to connect with.

For example, Kings Island is sweet, and yeah, you can argue it’s local, kind of, and of course, it’s a fun day, but that is not what I am talking about when I talk day-tripping. I mean, head towards Cincinnati, hit up Jungle Jims, buy everything you need for a fabulous lunch. Find somewhere along the river to hike, walk the art district(every town has one) check out a local watering hole. Bring home donuts from a nearby bakery. 

It is also a great time to chat with people. Get a discount or learn a recipe. Find out a fun fact or maybe somewhere else to see and explore. Part of Day Tripping is getting to know people and places so that you can go back. There is nothing wrong with going back to the same place on a day trip.

Who do you day trip with?

I encourage you to do this alone. Try a day by yourself adventuring. The weight a day of day-tripping will lift off your shoulders will be measurable. 

I also will tell you it can be fun for a girl’s day. It can be romantic for a couple. Kids need an escape. Please take one of your kids with you, making it an escape for them too. And some one-on-one time for you, It will amaze you how you can connect to a child(especially a teenager) by being away from siblings and the other parent. 

Now that we have established the Day Tripping Rules. Keep your eyes open for the regular series from Tripping Vittles. Day-Tripping. Be sure to share in the comments any day trips you would like to see me do or tell me your favorite spot for a day trip! 

Air Fryer French Fries: Amazing

Posted on May 19, 2021

I have told you about my discovery of the air fryer several years after everyone else knew it was incredible. But we have not talked about Air Fryer French Fries or really any french fries other than Tripping Vittles traveling in search of the best french fry in Ohio.

French fries may be the perfect food. Delicious, not the worst thing for you, and they go with just about anything. You can make Hot Dish with them. We will talk hot dishes another day; that is a huge can of worms! Serve them with anything made from a cow. Burgers, steak, tips, prime rib… you get the idea, right? French Fries are the perfect food.

Below are the four versions of fries I made with the air fryer. They are all done with the same basic recipe. Just swap out one ingredient for the other. I made French Fries, Steak Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, and Pear Fries. Yep, you heard that right, Pear Fries!

Making Amazing Air Fryer French Fries

French Fries:

I use a French Fry Cutter and russet potatoes. I like the 1/2 inch blade, but you can also do 1/3 inch with the cutter in the link.

Steak Fries:

I peel the potatoes and then use a 6″ chef’s knife to cut steak fries. You know the ones they serve at steak houses. My first job was at a York Steak house, and I get cravings for steak fries. So I just figured out I can satisfy those cravings with an Air Fryer.

Sweet Potato Fries:

Use the French Fry cutter from above or cut into steak fries and Wham Bam. You got sweet Potato fries. Be sure you peel those sweet potatoes first or Gross!

Pear Fries:

I know sounds weird, but trust me, they are awesome. These came about when I was eating from the food pantry, and they gave me enough pears to feed an army. I’m not too fond of pears. I mean, I like them but not just to eat like an apple. I need them cooked with other delicious things. I’m sure there is a pear out there I would like to eat, but I have not met it yet! Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some Carmel sauce, or toss with Pies N Stuff Sugar and eat just like a regular french fry.


Making all the above fries are so easy. They all will go in the air fryer at the same temperature. 400 Degrees. You set all of them for 15 min. At 15 minutes, you stop and toss the fries. Now at the same 400 degrees, you check and toss every 5-7 min. Until they are the doneness you like. I like my steak fries a little soft, and my sweet potato fries well done, so I go longer on the sweet potatoes.

Tripping Vittles Amazon Store

You can find many of the items I use when I travel, cook and have fun on my page at Amazon. You may also find helpful tips and videos. Click the link above and check it out!

Affiliate Disclaimer

Food Insecurity: My Final Thoughts

Posted on May 17, 2021

Today’s post is my last official post from my Food Insecurity series and the start of Tripping Vittles being a full-time job for me. Food insecurity and helping feed people have become a passion project, but I will not focus on Tripping Vittles, though I want to share some food Insecurity final thoughts on what I have learned.

I have been faced with the reality of how privileged I am when it comes to food, even in the times I have been short on money to buy food. Or more correctly, the food I wanted to eat. 


There is dignity in food. And most of America does not understand it. I think there are places in the world that get it, France? But that is a post all its own. I did not understand the weight placed on having food, decent food, good food, great food, or out of this world, next-level exceptional food. 

The importance of choosing your food is vital to dignity. When food is a gift or handout, non-expired, non-rotten food is essential to someone’s humanity. defines Dignity as a noun, plural dig·ni·ties.
Bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of an occasion or situation.
Nobility or elevation of character; worthiness: dignity of sentiments.
Elevated rank, office, station, etc.
Relative standing; rank.
A sign or token of respect: an impertinent question unworthy of the dignity of an answer.
Person of high rank or title.
Such persons collectively.

I share the definition of dignity because out of this whole series, the processes we make people go through to get food, and the food we give them often came off as very undignified. 

What is decent food? It is different for all. When we provide food for people, are we giving them a dignified experience? Do we make it easy for someone to get food? Jumping through hoops is anxiety-inducing. 

Are we making sure that what we give is not rotten, expired, or not something anyone would want to eat? 

What is decent food to one person may not be decent food to another, but I think we all have to come to a place rich or poor that food is what sustains us, and there should be no judgment around what we eat as long as we are not eating people and pets. So people and pets are off the menu. 

If decent to you is a 100$ steak, that’s cool; please don’t judge if someone fills their belly with chips and mountain dew because that may be decent food to them. 

We tie so many things to food.

We tie so many things to food. Holidays, feeling happy, general celebrations that we forget that not everyone has positive memories associated with food. If you are hungry or don’t have food, then Memorial Day or July 4th looks way different. 

If someone in your life used food as punishment, will you ever be able to sit and truly savor a meal, or is it just sustenance until the next time you have to eat to survive? 

Speaking of surviving, when someone says they do not like something, do you honor that feeling because maybe their dislike of potatoes is because they had to eat potatoes every day of the week to survive.

I encountered another thing while eating food pantry food, and there is no easy way to say this. I would implore those giving food away to stop giving spoiled food to those in need. It is demoralizing, and it makes you feel a way I have a hard time describing. When I ate strictly from the food pantry, it was shocking how many rotten unsuitable items I received from the food pantry. 

I can go to the store or to a restaurant to eat when I choose if I did not have enough food. I cannot imagine what it must be like to receive all the meat for a week and realize it is rotten. How demoralizing it was for me. 

Food Insecurity Final Thoughts

This whole month comes down to a few simple things for me.

  1. There is so much food out there we just logistically have to find better ways to get it to the people who need it. 
  2. Very few people are scamming the system. and so what if they are. Far more people need food assistance than could ever scam it. The good outweighs the bad. Stop making it harder to get food. Rules are starting to come back as covid goes away. Maybe don’t change the practices back to pre-covid. And perhaps the simple and more complicated places should consider relaxing the rules and regulations. 
  3. The massive places like Mid-Ohio do not need your kids’ lemonade stand money. But I will tell you there are 3-5 organizations that I know of that could take $75 cash and feed many people who will never make it to Mid-Ohio or any other large food pantry. These grassroots organizations have Amazon wish lists. They have cash apps, and they are going right to the heart of food insecurity issues.
  4. Lastly, please do me a favor when somewhere you know of has a food drive. Think about what you are giving. Don’t give expired food. If you donate a ton of canned goods, make sure they are pop-tops or provide many can openers. 

Some more tips to help feed hungry people

  • Think about a whole meal. Hamburger helper is fantastic, but not if you don’t have ground beef. 
  • Powdered Milk and Water are essential to go together. 
  • Packets of flavored tuna and chicken will remove the monotony of eating the same can of tuna repeatedly.
  • A Monetary donation to a small grassroots organization helps allow a charity to get Cereal and give milk. In addition, the money enables the organization to pair meals that will go further and last longer. 
  • Bread is great with peanut butter but even better with jelly, and it kicks up a notch with cheese and lunch meat. In one month, I received 15 jars of peanut butter and one squirt bottle of jelly, which I would have done for some turkey and cheese. 
  • Lastly, if your church does outreach please please please do not tie receiving charity to the word of God. Do not make someone recite a bible verse to get food. Or attend a meeting with the faith involved before you hand them their meal for the day. Be more creative than holding food hostage to get a reaction to your God. Let your faith guide you; if you do it any other way, you are forcing your God onto someone for a meal. There is no other way to turn it then that’s a crappy thing to do.

We have so many layers of hungry in this country, and we have so much food. I mean seriously ridiculous amounts of wasted food! We throw food away in restaurants and cafeterias. We don’t buy ugly fruit and veggies in grocery stores, so it gets thrown away. 

I believe that the powers running the world are interested in keeping people hungry, but that is a conversation for cocktails or possibly an extended series all of its own. 

Until we meet for drinks or I write that expose, please seek out small grassroots organizations. Many specialize in Food Insecurity. Put a few bucks in their cash apps or buy something off a wish list.  If you are not sure, ask I can direct you to some really great organizations.

The Best Candied Almonds

Posted on May 2, 2021

Is it possible to fall into the best snack ever invented? A few years ago, when Cabela’s Opened up very close to where I live, I felt the need to check it out. I thought I had found The Best Candied Almonds at the little display at check out.

I was correct until I attempted to make my version of their candied Almonds and well. I am giving them a run for their money. I will always have to visit Cabelas for cool outdoor stuff, but…… I will no longer buy their candied almonds when I can make my own anytime I want!

The Best Candied Almonds Recipe

There are a few items you will need for this recipe. You can click the links next to the photos if you need any of the following. I will add you can use many kinds of cookie sheets and bowls to mix with; you don’t have to buy the ones listed. The odds are if you have some, they are fine, but…Buy the baking mats because you do not want to clean up this sugar mess! Just Trust me!

Those three items are essential for making this recipe. Tripping Vittles Amazon Shop Is where you can find all the other items I used to create this recipe.