Weekend Rewind: Exploring Kansas City

I’ll (mostly) let the pictures do the talking here, but we had a blast in Kansas City! Like I mentioned, I’d never been before, and we snagged roundtrip flights for less than $70—and then a helluva deal on two nights at the Westin—so off we went exploring…


It’s a great foodie town: We ate at two places with James Beard ties (and didn’t break the bank), drank at an underground speakeasy-of-sorts, ordered waaaay too much (in a good way) from a BBQ place in a gas station and still had time for a sampler at Boulevard Brewing. Needless to say, any weight I lost during marathon training has returned! But whatever, it was worth it.

Three of my must-sees, in no particular order:


Stroud’s. This soul food mecca has A LOT of things going for it, including family-style pan fried chicken and sides, Coke with maraschino cherries, red-and-white checkered table cloths and—and—bottomless fresh cinnamon rolls for dessert! It was ridiculous. And amazing. Oh, and did I mention it’s housed in a renovated log cabin from the 19th century?

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. This is a badass art museum—including impressive modern and Indian art collections—but the real kicker is that it’s free! Save time to explore the grounds, including KC’s iconic shuttlecock sculptures.

Oklahoma Joe’s. This is the aforementioned BBQ-joint-in-a-gas-station. But don’t let the ambiance fool you—this is some DAMN good BBQ.  For the record, all of that food pictured… it was mine alone. I ended up taking ribs home on the plane, and if I could’ve carried on more than 3 oz., I would have snatched up a bottle of OJ’s BBQ sauce for sure. It’s thick and tangy without overpowering the meat.

Honorable mentions: Extra Virgin (pricey, but stop in for Happy Hour deals 4-6 p.m.), Weird Stuff Antiques (strange location, strange items) and Boulevard Brewing (free 40-minute tours with tastings).

On the wish list for next time: Mexican food, Swope Park, Rye brunch and Town-Topic Hamburgers.

Foodie Friday: Teriyaki Chicken Philly

Does anybody else get nostalgic about mall food courts? Maybe I just do because I live in a big city now, and we don’t really have malls. Or maybe the news of Sbarro’s bankruptcy is hitting me extra hard…

Just keeding. I was never a big Sbarro fan anyway—I almost always got Great Steak and Potato. I can remember for years going shopping with my mom and splitting the teriyaki chicken philly and fries (but really we’d just pick out the crunchy ones obvi). So. Freaking. Good.

Well, turns out, making a copycat of that sandwich at home is incredibly easy.


Teriyaki Chicken Philly
(serves two)

2 chicken breasts
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1/3 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 slices of white cheese (munster, mozz, swiss all do)
2 hoagie buns (not too soft now)
Tomato slices (optional)


1. First things first, you need to cook your chicken breasts. I was running around cleaning, so I just threw mine in a crockpot on low for three hours and added a little water (could add some chicken stock instead if you have it on hand). But you could bake it, pan fry, whatever suits your fancy. Once it’s cooked, shred the chicken and set aside.

2. Turn your oven on low, about 300 degrees.

3. Spray a pan with cooking spray or olive oil, and heat on the stove over medium. When it’s warm, add your onions and garlic and saute.

4. When they begin to brown, add your chicken and teriyaki sauce. Once it’s heated throughout, separate the chicken into two piles the shape of your hoagie rolls.

5. Speaking of hoagie rolls, pop those bad boys in the oven right now so they get little toasty.

6. Back in the pan, top your two piles of chicken with cheese, and cover the pan with a lid. Allow the cheese to melt, about three minutes.

7. Your rolls should be toasted now. Remove them from the oven, spread on mayo, and scoop your chicken piles into the rolls.

8. Top with lettuce and tomato, and voilà!


Urban Nesting’s Top 10 Pins

How are we feeling about Pinterest these days? I’ve had more than one girl friend over the past few weeks say she’s overwhelmed by it, or that she still likes it but no longer “love loves” it. I’m not going to lie: It makes me anxious some times. So much inspiration, so little time! I try not to look at it right before bed.

But I also know I’ll never leave it. It’s such an amazing resource, even in just in the organizational sense. I’ve been old-school “pinning”—aka ripping pages out of magazines—for years and years. Just ask my mother. And my filing cabinet. But now that we have Pinterest, I can have all those ideas in one place. And it’s portable. And sortable. And searchable! So long clutter. Pinterest in amazeballs.

OK, I should never say that again. Sorry.

So I mostly use Pinterest for three things: 1. Home decor inspiration (including home DIYs), 2. Recipes and 3. Gift ideas (in a secret board, of course!). Sure, there’s the other boards about architecture, beauty, fitness and fashion, but those kind of fall by the wayside in terms of my main interests. What do you collect on Pinterest?

Well, if these numbers are any indication, recipes are where it’s at. I checked out my most repinned items specifically from Urban Nesting, and five of the top 10 are food! Here’s a rundown (and don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest… if you’re not completely sick of it):

1. Foodie Friday: Pesto-Stuffed Chicken

IMG_01822. Foodie Friday: Strawberry Mango Salsa

IMG_10003. I Want That Wednesday: Urban Backyard

brammy-kyprianou-residence-exterior-pool-family-portrait4. Foodie Friday: Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

IMG_14535. Foodie Friday: Brown Sugar Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

IMG_1120Rounding out the top 10:

6. I Want That Wednesday: Indiana Basketball Card
7. Completed This Space: Entryway Vignette

8. Dining Room Revamp: Part I
9. DIY: Dipped Wooden Spoons
10. Foodie Friday: BBQ Shredded Beef Sandwiches

Foodie Friday: Pesto-Stuffed Chicken

I apologize now: This is going to be quick. I’m working off my phone from Midway Airport. We’re Nola bound! My family decided last-minute to take a short vacay, and I’m VERY excited because I’ve never been to New Orleans. My plan is pretty much just to eat as much as I can…

Speaking of eating, I have another super easy recipe for y’all: pesto-stuffed chicken.

Ingredients (for one):
1 chicken breast
1.5 tablespoons pesto
1 tablespoons shredded mozzarella and/or Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

IMG_0173First, put your chicken breast in a Ziplock and pound until thin and even. Then spread pesto (homemade or store-bought, I used Bertolli brand) on the breast and top with mozzarella and/or Parmesan cheese.

IMG_0178Roll the breast up, and use toothpicks to keep it in place. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on the outside of the rolled-up breast.

IMG_0182Bake it for about 30 minutes (depends on the size of your breast) until golden. It stays nice and moist, and it pairs well almost anything – pasta, salad, rosemary potatoes, asparagus, etc. etc.

IMG_0184Enjoy! And thanks to Kalyn’s Kitchen for the inspiration!