Creatively Authentic Vittles

Market Mondays: Rose & Marie Candles and Soap

Posted on June 7, 2021

The best part of finding locally made products at farmers’ markets is getting to use the products. Simple Trinity Clothing is the creator of this week’s Market Monday’s vendor Rose & Marie Candles and Soap. I knew right away Rose & Marie would be a feature on Market Monday because the smell was heavenly as I approached the booth.

My Kind Of candles and soaps

I found my kind of soaps and candles here. So many of Rose & Marie Candles and Soaps olfactory notes are of different foods and drinks. As you can see from the photo, I bought the Cherry Vanilla Candle and the Almond Biscotti soap. The candle is going right to the kitchen, and the soap is already on my body! My house smells fantastic, and so do I.

Market Mondays Rose & Marie

Simple Trinity clothing is a black woman-owned business. Started in 2016 with the idea of being a custom t-shirt company. Taneisha, the owner, fell in love with putting smiles on people’s faces. The company has grown now to include Rose & Marie. Where she can channel some of her amazing creativity into candles and soaps, she does so by drawing on the Trinity of Love, Faith, and Motivation. Hence her name Simple Trinity. You can tell at first whiff that these candles are made with love and attention. Like how food tastes better with love, clearly producing these candles and soaps is made better by Taneishas Trinity of Love, Faith, and Motivation!

You can find Taneisha at farmers’ markets and events around Columbus land or check her online shop here. I discovered her when I pulled up to my first Market in Whitehall. She and I are neighbors at the new Market on the Green in Whitehall. So come out and grab some spices from Tripping Vittles and visit this week’s Market Monday’s vendor Rose & Marie Candles and Soaps.

Hot Tip: Frozen Lemonade

Posted on June 4, 2021

Hot Tip: Frozen Lemonade made into ice cubes
Hot Tip is the new section of the blog where I see something or hear something, and I have to share it with you.
I may not be the original creator of the idea. If I am not, I will give credit to the best of my ability. I may expand on the original idea. But it will always be something I think is so hot that you have to know asap!

Today’s Hot Tip: Frozen lemonade ice cubes. I got tagged in a group on Facebook about freezing lemonade and serving it with bourbon. Pow!! Mind blown.
A while back, I did frozen Honey Water for cocktails, but I never thought to take it to this level!

Let’s blow this idea up a bit more and see what we get! I am a big fan of a few things: one lemonade, two flavored lemonade, three cocktails.

frozen lemonade cocktail
Port w/Lemonade Sphere
frozen ice cubes
Adult Cherry Limeade
Bourbon Cubes
Bourbon w/Lemonade Cubes

Let’s make this hot tip super easy. Head to the store and get Simply Lemonade or Paul Newmans Lemonade or frozen canisters. These are, in my opinion, the only acceptable alternative to homemade lemonade. Oh, throw in some limeade too. Any mixer that is not carbonated would work, pineapple, cranberry, orange; you get the idea.

Get yourself some ice cube trays, molds and makers. These are some of my favorites.

Freeze the beverages. Then simply drink the drinks. Cocktails are fabulous but so is mixing it up. Make strawberry lemonade cubes and limeade for a summer cool-down. Add Tequilla for a delicious twist on a margarita.

Let me see your hot tips tag me on the socials #trippingvittles

Must-Haves for Summer Entertaining: Condiments and Sauces

Posted on June 2, 2021

The unofficial start to summer happened this past Monday. Many of us broke out the grill for the first time in a long time. We may have had friends and family visit or talked about having a party soon. This summer is going to be no holds barred for fun and hanging out. We have spent a year building up to this unmasked unbridled fun.
This Series of must-haves for summer entertaining will show the easy, tasty, and fun ways to make the transition from Covid solo party palace to a host of friends and family in a raging never-ending good time! Finally, we have a year to make up for.

Let’s start the must-haves summer entertaining series with condiments and sauces. I cannot live without condiments and sauces, how about you? That may be a bit much, and I got a bit carried away; I can probably live if I don’t have condiments and sauces. But I would have a tough time going without sauces and condiments. The sauce makes the world go around. The following will make your summer go around and add a super refreshing change to the game in flavor profiles.

Must Haves Condiments and Sauces

This first one always causes a stir; people have all kinds of feelings! Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip. I say have both! But this is where the feelings come in. There is no better Mayo than Dukes, Fight Me!

Click images to purchase.

These are listed in no particular order, but Ya gotta have Sriracha. I have talked about it a lot. I use it a lot. Check out this recipe for Sriracha Shrimp Cocktail. It is really great on top of a summer salad.

On the same lines as Sriracha is Go Chu Jang Sauce. Slightly different but just as delicious I love using this for spicy BBQ. There is also an awesome version that mixes the two sauces Sriracha and Go Chu Jang Together. Nummy!

Let’s talk, Mustard. You got your standard yellow mustard(Plochmans), Ya got your Brown Mustard(Guldens). Don’t forget Grey Poupon. The mustard I use more than any single one is Zatarain’s Creole Mustard.

BBQ Sauce. I like to make my own. But I also love some that come from the jar. You can make a quick meal as is, or you can kick them up a notch with some additional ingredients. Sweet Baby Rays Original is a great BBQ Sauce. But my money is on the Mambo! If ya have not had this stuff get some! It is delicious!

Salsa, it’s hard to pick just one. Green, red, fruity, hot, mild, peppery, sweet, sour. So many to choose from. I tend to make Pico De Gallio if I want tomato-based type salsa. I like the texture and how I can control the heat. But I go through jars of this one. Trader Joes Salsa Verde Makes life so easy. You can make this type of sales but why when you can buy this!

I could pick another 10-15 condiments or sauces that would be must-haves for summer entertaining, but I think this is the perfect six to get us on the way to a great summer filled with delicious food. Let me know your favorites in the comments.

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.

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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.

Humanity and Dignity Became Roots of Change

Posted on April 27, 2021

I have one more post to finish writing about my month of living food insecure. But I can tell you it changed me. The lack of humanity and dignity became the roots of change for me.

I needed to do something. Having seen in a month that the situation with food and who gets it, who gives it, and how it’s distributed could be improved upon. I suffer from whether I am qualified or not to speak on this, but many years in the transportation end of food distribution, along with the actual business of food distribution. Couple with over 35 years in the service industry, I think I am more than qualified to say we have lots of work to do.

I will add that some of the best work being done is not by the gigantic food pantries, they are nice, but they have many issues that I’m not even sure people know how to talk about. The proverbial don’t bite the hands that feed you is defiantly an issue when criticizing people who give away free food.

The grassroots neighbor feeding neighbor. Seeing a need in the elderly or houseless community and addressing it post-haste is just some incredible work. This work is being done day to day not by fancy high overhead charities but by down and dirty humanitarians. The community sees needs and fills them. They set up impromptu stores so people can pick and choose what they want to eat. Volunteers give dignity to those that many in society see as undignified. They are the people I want to be around. They make me feel good to be a human being.

Humanity and Dignity Became Roots of Change

To that end, Tripping Vittles has seen a need or maybe a few needs. To meet those needs, I have taken a page out of my friend Steve and Ramon’s playbooks, and I am putting the people before an organization. Tripping Vittles want to bring food and dignity to people all over the country. But right now, we are starting with Columbus-land. One day I may start a 501.3c arm of Tripping Vittles, but that costs money that I don’t have. I am just now getting Tripping Vittles back on course after a very bumpy Covid.

That said, I think you all know me pretty well, and those that don’t, you will someday, I hope. I have opened a Cashapp account called$rootsofchange If you would like to help feed people in a humanitarian and dignified way. Shoot me some money. If all my followers gave $1 a month or $12 a year, I would have over $3000 to put towards food and items to help one’s dignity.

Scan to donate to Roots Of Change

Follow me on all the socials. We did our first food give 2 weeks ago, and it was amazing. Heer Park is a place on the south side that has a large houseless population around it. We provided people with 30 bag meals with enough food for at least 3 meals. It is through your generosity we have been able to do this.

Our Next food give is this coming Saturday. If you do not want to give cash but would like to help out with items that help with the food prep and distribution, this is Roots Of Change Amazon Wish List… In many of my posts, I make $ when I direct you to Amazon. But not this time. This time It’s just a shopping list for convenience sake.

Roots of Change Amazon Wish List

I have no way to explain how much this affected me. It will stay with me, and it will influence what I do with Tripping Vittles. That does not mean I am changing. It just has shown me a way to be more in touch with humanity and offer to help in the most dignified way I can.

Simple Easy Pork Marinade

Posted on April 26, 2021

I would love to tell you some long involved story about Pork chops and how they are the most delicious of meats. But instead, I am just going to give you a recipe for the most simple easy pork marinade.

Now my blog is going to tell me I have to write so many words for it to score high on google searches. I will add that it is nearly Farmers Market time here in Westerville. That means you can buy the amazing Pork from Tier 3 Heritage Products every Saturday at the Westerville Farmers Market.

I kid you not it will be the best Pork you have ever tasted. Now on to the Marinade

Drum Roll…. ok it’s not that fancy so we can skip the pomp and circumstance. The recipe is just a simple easy pork marinade. It can be used on any cut of pork. I prefer pork chops or chopping up a shoulder for tacos. Though this has a little Asian flavor because of the Soy Sauce and Sriracha. Try it with sticky rice or noodles.

In the past, I have shared the about my Influencer site on Amazon. I add to the lists on Amazon each time I write a blog. I just updated the items I used to make the simple, easy pork marinade. So you can see what I use and purchase it if you want to use the same thing. Click below. It will take you to my Amazon site.

Spices Why We Need Them: A Food Insecurity Post

Posted on April 10, 2021

It is Easter, and I am sitting thinking about Spices and why we need them, I am thinking about all the different ways seasons change; I am not religious, but this marks the beginning of summer food and new growing seasons. Just like seasons changing, food changes with seasoning.

 Growing your food is something my parents and sister have excelled at over the years.  My dad’s yard and garden were so impressive that strangers would stop and talk to him about his yard. We had our ditch line filled with pumpkins, squash, and zucchini.  He planted a vast raspberry bed along the side of the garage.  Until I got a box of Cheerios from the food pantry, I could not figure out why I did not like them as an adult.  They taste completely different when you can’t have fresh-picked raspberries and half&half on them with a spoonful of sugar! 

My Mother and Sisters Green Thumbs

moms garden

My mom and sister continue the planting and green thumb growing.  They have beds of fruits and vegetables. They have planter boxes all over, and my mothers’ flowers are stunning.  While they were all born with green thumbs, I was born with the black death thumb. I have killed everything I have ever tried to grow, even killed a fake plant once.  the fake plant was on a radiator in the sun, and one day I came home, and it had melted into an odd, misshapen pile of plastic.

I have started to form a plan, the plan is to form a charitable arm to Tripping Vittles that will begin to reimagine what it is like to feed the hungry, houseless, and people who may not have what they need for a complete meal. No one in this country should be hungry. We have the wealth to feed in the manner of kings three meals a day. But many who hold the wealth do not see it that way. They grip tight to their money, and innovation grinds to a halt.  I feel it in the spring of invention.

 I have met people reimagining this model, but they cannot do it alone. They need help. I want to be in on helping at the very roots of this movement. The way I have lived the last month on the food given,  I have found some fundamental things missing.  Seasoning!!!! To name one.

Spices and why we need them

In the last 4+ weeks, I got only one bulb of garlic—no salt, no pepper, no essence, nothing else to season food with.  The heart of Tripping Vittles is the spice of life. Spices ground people; they take people home if only in their taste buds. So to be without spices, in my opinion, is tantamount to being without food. The world cooks with seasoning.  Seasonings are a massive part of every ethnic food in America: Indian, Latino,  Asian, Black,  Pacific Islanders, and white.  

Yet, in the world of food insecurity that I have encountered, spices are as rare as finding a lost bitcoin mining operation!  You know they are out there, but you have no idea the secret to getting them. So doubling back, I am looking at how I can get spices and such in the hand of people cooking food from pantries—starting by dragging all the grow pots out of my garage, buying some potting soil, and trying to grow some herbs.

grow pots

 My Garage is filled with grow pots!  I have tried so many times to grow things to no avail, yet I also do not throw anything out! I can build things, so I am going to attempt to construct some herb boxes.  The plan is to start with spices and see where this all goes. Sharing spices has been a 30-year dream of mine. It is how I came to form the business of Tripping Vittles. I would love for you to join me in the growing endeavor.

Here is a link to a plain growing box.  

It should not be charity it should just be what we do to help

We will talk about growing other things at a later date.  If you are close to me in Westerville, keep an eye out for how Tripping Vittles’ charitable arm, Roots of Change, will work at a grassroots level to change what it means to be hungry.  It starts in our communities. So I encourage you to join me no matter where you live.  To change how we feed those of us who are hungry.  I am taking a page out of my friend steves book and his organization Couch Philanthropy, and I have opened a cash app. Roots of Change. Donate if you wish.

The goal is to have a 501.3c arm of Tripping Vittles, but The 501.3c is an involved process, and I will eventually get there; if you want to donate now, I will keep everyone abreast of how we will be using the money from preparing meals to growing spices. This has all come from my last month and seeing areas where there are holes in people’s Feeding.

Big Food Banks don’t think about the small things like spices

The big food banks serve a purpose, but just like the companies that donate to them, humanity and dignity are lost in translation from food donation to a human being’s mouth.  I cannot stress enough we all have a right to eat a delicious meal.  Let me know what you are growing, tag me in your photos, drop a comment and follow me on all the socials. Let’s do this across the country—a movement of spice.

My series is technically over; it has been a month. I have so much more to write on and to share about my experiences. I am not going to call an end to the series; there will be a continuation. This has become a passion of mine. The sharing of recipes on food pantry sights has given rise to others sharing what they cook. We are all human beings, and we all have something to contribute to this world. It has been awesome to see the discussions started and people taking a risk to share their food ideas. This is some of what I envisioned Tripping Vittles to be all those years ago.

I have been changed by this experience

Food Insecurity will not be all I write about, but it surely has shaped how I will view food from now on, and we will talk about that when the cause arises. I hope you will help me in whatever ways possible to get spices into the hands of people who may need them. I envision this being a multi-cultural sharing of spices and love. Stay tuned to see how this plays out.

The Best Artichokes Ever in an Airfryer

Posted on April 6, 2021

There are affiliate links in my posts if you click on one I could get paid. thats how they work

From the food pantry on Monday I got some Artichokes, a crazy, wild very happy surprise! Using my air fryer that admittedly I have only used to reheat chicken wings I made something glorious! I cooked up the best artichokes ever in an air fryer!

Yes, I am a bit full of myself, and it’s true I have not tasted all the airfryer artichokes created in the world. I am going to take that leap and say mine is the best!

So here is what you need to make these bad boys!

I am positive I am the only person that has not used the air fryer I purchased on a regular basis. The air fryer I have is the one pictured above. There are several manufactures that make air fryers and they all seem to work basically the same.

I may have arrived late to the air fryer party but now that i’m here watch out! I am creating recipes in my dreams, while I shower and anywhere else I have a moment to think!

The Best Artichokes Ever in an Air Fryer Recipe

In a pan melt 3 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil together. Toss in a bulb of chopped garlic and a tablespoon of Italian Seasoning. I used my own Tripping Vittles Pasta Pizzaz. Add Juice of 1 lemon and zest about a 1/2 teaspoon from the same lemon.

Snip off all the spiky tips to the leaves on the artichoke and cut the stem off. Slice in half and scoop out the fuzzy stuff near the bottom. Place inside up in the basket of the air fryer. The butter mixture is enough for 1 artichoke cut in half. Pour that butter sauce all over the two halves be sure to get in the cracks Set temp to 350 and cook for about 13-16 min. depending on the size of your artichoke.

Eat by picking apart each leaf and scraping the meat off with your teeth. Dunk it in the butter that rests in the pit. When you get down to the bottom make sure all the green leaves are gone and enjoy the heart! The heart is firmer but full of flavor bottom!

If you like what you have read and would like to see what I use to make the recipes click the photo to visit my Amazon Storefront

The Best Egg Cooker

Posted on March 28, 2021

How do you say good bye to The Best Egg Cooker EVER? Death has come to my egg cooker. She lays in the trash next to an old bag of chips. So undignified for one of the best kitchen appliances ever invented.

I use Affiliate links If you buy something there is a chance I may make a little cash from the transaction

I went to make hard-boiled eggs the idea was to make a bunch and give some recipes. Now I realize I can boil water and drop the eggs in and still achieve a hard-boiled egg. But that is really not the point.

You must travel back with me to a time before the year 2000, I think. I’m a little fuzzy on time but it was back when I stilled lived in Chicago. I had a second job so I could hang out with super cool people. You know who you are!! It helped also that I got free cookware and knives and gadgets just for selling cookware.

I may never have gotten married but I did not need a stinking shower for I had Chefs Catalog to outfit my kitchen(the most important room in the home), Yes, Yes some of you will argue that the bedroom is the most important but that’s only because you lack imagination and clearly have never made love by the glow of a refrigerator light!

But back to the task at hand. Laying to rest the best egg cooker on the planet. Yes I got it for free that made it better. I think we told the makers what we thought of the thing and at the time I said it was the dumbest appliance on the planet. For Gods sake we all had a pot and some water we could boil eggs the old fashioned way!

Oh, what a fool I was. The Egg Cooker by Salton was the most glorious of kitchen tools. Oh, the things you could do. Scrambled eggs, poached eggs(the fancy kind where you cut the top off), hard-boiled eggs, coddled eggs. It did it all. Today she tried mightily to cook her last batch of eggs but to no avail the bottom blew, boiling water ran from one end of the counter to the other the best egg cooker dying, taking her last gasps as her beeper/buzzer let out one last squeak.

I have searched I can buy a used one(gross) on eBay for over 30$ with shipping, they say it maybe back on Amazon in April but the rest of the internet indicates that just is probably not the case. So I have options but none of them will be the salton.

Will I buy this one its fancy and stainless, Cusinart Is a great name and I have other products but this just seems like over kill but If you like it go-ahead and buy it!

There are some sweet retro cool looking egg cookers, and cookers of all colors and even different sizes. That egg shape seems to be popular go figure!

I have am leaning towards this one.

But I am going to take a few days to morn the best egg cooker a girl could have asked for. Let me know if you have an egg cooker and what You like about it! Im in a vulnerable spot I may just buy what you suggest! and Honestly if You do not own one of these I would suggest you get yourself one ASAP.. it may very well be the best thing you ever buy yourself.

#eggcookers #bestkitchenappliance

Amazing Blackberry Muffins: Food Insecurity Series

Posted on March 21, 2021

My neighbor made Amazing Blackberry Muffins for me yesterday. Made from blackberries I got at the Midohio Food Pantry. I am nearly two weeks into my Food Insecurity Series and it has left me with so many feelings that I am not sure a month of writing will cover all I want and need to say.

Please be aware I use affiliate links and could make some cash if you click on those links.

We don’t talk about it

The conversations that have started over the food insecurity series have been amazing. from is it right I am eating this food, to how do we help people in my community of Westerville. where on the face of it food insecurity is not a problem, but it’s not a problem not because it’s not here but because we don’t talk about it.

Why is that? Why don’t we talk about the fact that even in this community of privilege 1 in 3 kids in our schools face Food Insecurity? We are not a food desert. That means grocery stores and other places with food operate their businesses here. It is viable for them to do so.

Amazing Blackberry Muffins

This last week when I went to Mid Ohio Food Bank I was given a flat of blackberries. Along with a lot of other food. I am a one-person household so I cannot always eat all the fresh fruit and veggies I am given. I have started to share what I am doing with this series with my neighbors. My sharing includes my writing and some of the food I have received.

I did so not because I know they need food and are hungry or because I’m making a judgement. I did so because I had an abundance of something and I had no need to hoard the food.

Food no matter your socio-economic standing is a way to bridge barriers and relate to people. In giving of the food, I have started speaking with neighbors and hearing about friends and families. I have also gotten some delicious recipes. and even two Amazing Blackberry Muffins on a plate delivered to my door!

Radical Solidarity

In asking above why don’t we talk about Food Insecurity? There are so many things that lead to us being quiet. Embarrassment, not knowing how to get help, fear of judgment and so many more are natural feelings especially in the society we have lived in up until this moment.

I was at a memorial last night for the Atlanta 8 and a woman spoke and her words were powerful. They also called for us to do something out of our comfort zone. She called for us to stand in Radical Solidarity.

It meant something different last night when referring to the Asian Hate that is taking place in America right now. but I feel it can be applied to the fight to feed people.

What does Radical Solidarity mean and what does it look like in this movement to feed people? Below is what I feel it means and what you will see myself and Tripping Vittles Practicing sometimes to my own discomfort.

Radical Solidarity in Food for All

Acknowledging and talking about your own food insecurity

Speaking out against laws that make it harder to get food into the hands of those that need it

Mutual Aide: churches working with the community, cities helping citizens, social justice groups standing together, and then all of us working together.

Volunteering can look like many things. restaurants getting leftover food to human beings and not trash cans, driving boxes of food to those that can’t drive, taking food to the elderly homes that need it, writing checks. If you have more than enough money be sure to share with organizations that feed people. Cash is far more important than an old can of beans. Cash allows food pantries to buy what their shoppers want and need.

Setting up a Little Pantry in your yard or in front of your business so you can allow people to pick up food not under scrutiny, Do not tie the receiving of food to a message of faith. You can be faith-driven but to force that faith on someone just so they can eat is not the best way to share the gospel. Try just leading and those that feel the love will follow but forced faith is false phosphatizing

Keep Practicing Radical Solidarity

Push for some of the larger food pantries to make it easier and less stigmatized to get food from you. I’m looking at you WARM. If covid has done nothing else it has forced or encouraged many places to stop with so many rules about who and how you get food.

Start holding corporations accountable for the amount of food insecurity in this country. How is it that most of what I get from Mid Ohio comes from Kroger, Walmart, and Sams Club? And yet those same places do not pay their employees enough to make a living wage. They refuse to put their stores in food deserts. Yes, they help feed people through donations of food but they also contribute to people being hungry. That simply is fucked up!

Acknowledge that we as white people have for the most part (yes there are exceptions) have it easier to feed ourselves than our BIPOC counterparts. start to learn the reasons for this. Learn what a food desert is. Learn what working poor means. Make it completely natural to do your shopping at a Food Pantry as it is going to Costco. White folks, it is our responsibility to tear down some of these walls, we built the damn things and reeducate ourselves on how we have benefited from Capitalism and colonialism. we can feed our neighbors and our nation

Food is a right! No one should go hungry!

How Will You Practice Radical Solidarity

Food Insecurity a Series: Blueberry Simple Syrup and a Cocktail

Posted on March 13, 2021

... I think you all know I am trying to make a living one day at this so if you click a link on this blog there is always a chance I will make a little cash. All opinions are mine and mine alone. now that business is done on to You Can Be Food Insecure: And Enjoy A Cocktail...
Tripping Vittles

Try to think of a positive character in film or television that is not a muppet who is food insecure. From the cartoons we saw as kids — “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a burger today” — to the subtle images of Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games getting a loaf of bread from Peta. Somehow at the root of food insecurity is the idea that you must be a con artist like Wimpy, or have mental illness and not care for your kids properly like Katniss’ mother. How many other images have we been bombarded with that tell us there is some defect at the heart of why someone is food insecure?

How do we see food insecurity

I am just talking entertainment images, not even taking into account what the politicians have bombarded us with about those that are hungry and need food.  For so many, they lost their job, don’t get paid enough for their work, hours have been cut.  This last year it has become glaringly obvious that we do not value the most essential workers in this society enough to pay them a living wage. 

And yet we still want to make the hungry in this country have something else wrong with them: drug addicts, prostitutes, gang members, “welfare queens” scamming the system.  We tell ourselves that food insecurity comes from a lack of financial planning, scamming the system, wasting their money on cars and phones and sneakers, so they do not have the money for food. Not ever acknowledging that you need all those things just to survive in society today. Could you do your job without a car? Phone? Shoes? If your job did not pay a living wage, what would you cut to keep your car payment or the roof over your head?  

It’s Not Us Against Them Its A We Issue

The biggest issue with what I just wrote is that I used the word “they” a lot.  Well, it’s me, it’s you, and it’s us. It’s our neighbors and our relatives. There are nearly 60 million people in this country who are food insecure. Nearly 12 million of them are kids. Almost 40% of us in this country are one paycheck away from poverty. 

We do not think people on “welfare,” “assistance,” or the government dime should have the same things we have. We limit the foods and drinks they can buy—no boozy cocktails for you. You are poor!
We have a society based on Loverboy, “Working for the Weekend,” Jimmy Buffet and Alan Jackson telling us, “It’s 5o’clock somewhere”. Advertisers tell us that after a hard day’s work, it’s “Miller Time.” 

But if you need help getting food or rent assistance, you are not supposed to use the food you get to make fancy cocktails or mixers for those cocktails. We have this idea you should toil away in your jobs and go home like you are in punishment. Or If you are not employed, you have no right to any fun like those of us that do work can have. 

Bullshit…You can be food insecure and enjoy a cocktail

Well, I say BULLSHIT to that!!  We will make cocktail mixers, and from those, we will make cocktails, and we will toast each other. 

You can be food insecure and still enjoy a fancy cocktail

Let’s start with the blueberries I got at Mid-Ohio Food Bank. They gave me a whole flat!  It was over 15 pounds of berries.  I ate them raw and prepared a few other items that you will see in recipes. In this blog post, the idea I wanted to share is that everyone deserves to “Pour a Little Cherry Wine.”  and relax as Nas sings.

Two Recipes One for the Syrup One for the Cocktail

One of my favorite things about making simple syrups is: first, it is simple! Second, it is sweet! (Yep, I like a sugary cocktail.) And third, they are versatile.  This one added to lemonade is amazing! But the following is a cocktail made entirely from ingredients that came from the food pantry.  (With the exception of the tequila: that came from George Clooney.) As I stated above you can be food insecure and still enjoy a fancy cocktail.

Rules of Engagement on Food Insecurity

Posted on March 11, 2021

I have been trying to figure out how to set rules of engagement for my series on Food Insecurity. If you have not read my blog yet, I will tell the story of food insecurity by eating almost all food pantry food for the next month.  I will live food insecure for the next month, but what does that look like?


I face some unique challenges So I am trying to set rules of engagement on the food insecurity series. One, I write a food and travel blog. I  usually take photos of food that sometimes cost as much as what a person has to spend on food for a week or month.  If I am going to do this challenge, I have to admit that part of what Tripping Vittles does is a privileged way to look at food.

 Since its inception, the concept behind the Vittles was uniting people over food. That has not changed, so I am comfortable telling this story of Food Insecurity. We need to unite and what better way to do that than over food.

 The next part is more complicated. I am not using this series to sell anything; that is not why I am doing it.  It comes about by being touched and finally finding a way I, Lauri, can make a difference globally, where 35 years in the foodservice business and what has taken place the last year.  These circumstances helped me find my passion for helping people and becoming more of a community citizen. 

Do I Change My Writing?

That said, do I change how I write? Do I remove my affiliate links? And do I not talk about Tripping Vittles products from spices to coffee? I have wrestled with this, and there are some things I have to say that will lead me to my rules of engagement for the next month. The first. It is not my place to decide how anyone food insecure or not spends their money.  I will continue adding my affiliate links where it is essential to the writing. If I cook with an air fryer, there will be a link to the blog post’s air fryer.  I am still a business, and that does not stop me from telling this story. The second all the things I have in my cupboards are fair game.  So yes, if I have a spice in my cabinet, I may use it. It may be my spice, or it may be some other brand, but my cupboards are fair game.

Rules of Engagment on Food Insecurity: The Freezer if off limits

 What is not a fair game is my freezer. What is in the freezer is mainly a quarter a cow; it is not to say someone that is not food insecure cannot have steaks or roasts; it just would not be valid if I kept going to my freezer to make a meal. The only thing that will come out of the freezer to cook is what I put in from a food pantry. 

Will I make gourmet food and other things with the food I get? Yes, Yes, I will! It is who I am. I cooked gourmet food with an iron and a tea kettle in college. Why would I stop when I have been given some wonderful and beautiful ingredients. College was 101 ways to make noodles taste different. I have many better ingredients now than back then.

Eating Out

Lastly, I am trying to put into words about going out to restaurants I will probably eat out this month, this is a quandary for me and I am not ready to talk about why. What I will say is I will as I always have, make an adjustment to my budget to afford a restaurant meal. These are choices we all make. I am sure I will discuss it in a future post. but I had to include it in my rules of engagement.