Eat & Watch: Pulled Pork Sandwiches & Rudy


We’re a couple of weeks into football season, and though the team I’m rooting for has lost both games so far, I still have hope for a victorious turnaround. Sundays in the fall are a little more relaxing knowing that the day will be spent with not only football, but good food. I purchased a Slow Cooker in anticipation of lazy Sundays, and it may have been the best purchase I’ve made in a long time. Slow Cooker Sundays is officially happening.

In honor of football season kicking off (hah), I watched the classic movie Rudy. I first watched Rudy on a middle school camping trip amongst all my peers, but I admit I only remember certain scenes and it didn’t move me the way I feel like it should have. Rudy is about a young man who is determined to overcome the odds of his small build and circumstances to fulfill his dream of playing college football for the University of Notre Dame.

Rudy 3

It’s always inspiring to see someone overcome their situation and work hard to make their dreams come true, but what I liked most about this movie was that it was realistic about the outcome. Rudy is certainly uplifting and powerful, and don’t be alarmed if you get emotional at times.

Rudy 2

Rudy 1

I made pulled pork sandwiches, Cole Slaw, and homemade BBQ sauce to eat while watching Rudy. Pulled pork sandwiches are insanely delicious for not only movie night, but also for game day. Pop the pork in the Slow Cooker or oven and let the magic happen while you run errands, clean, prepare other snacks, or get started on the movie/football game. These sandwiches do take some planning ahead of time since you’ll want to let the pork slow cook on the lowest setting for about 8 hours. I cooked my 2.5 pound pork shoulder for 7.5 hours, and it turned out delicious. Melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The BBQ sauce seems more difficult than it actually is to make, but it’s really not to bad and a little bit goes a long way.


Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe

Continue reading

That’s a Wrap!

German Bratwurst nyc street fair

This was a great food week, to say the least. From apple picking in the Hudson Valley to German Bratwursts at a street fair to a late night Italian street festival, there certainly hasn’t been a shortage of delicious food in the past seven days. The Emmy Awards are this weekend, so that’ll be the major event for Sunday (and of course, the Seahawks game!). We’re slowly making our way toward Awards Season.  Until then, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

MOVIE THEATER PRETZELS: These beloved theater snacks might become a thing of the past.

WHAT DO YOU HEAR?: The art of sound in movies. The sound of rain is actually bacon frying.

BIO-PICS: The difficulty of making movies about geniuses.

READ OR WATCH: 10 books that are nothing like their film adaptations.

OH! THE HORROR: Horror films are the best deal in Hollywood.

FALL BUCKET LIST: Recipes to make this season.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Jamaica Jerk Chicken.

Have a lovely weekend!

Image by Lauren Jessen

Eat & Watch: Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts & Good Will Hunting


The official first day of autumn may not be until September 23rd, but I’m already over the summer season and am starting to embrace the cooler weather and changing color of the leaves.

One way to get into the spirit of the season is to partake in autumn activities, one being apple picking. In an attempt to escape New York City for a little while, to reconnect with nature, and to get fresh apples for a recipe, what better way to spend a Saturday morning than to pick fruit from trees?




I visited Fishkill Farms in the Hudson Valley and both the farm and Valley were gorgeous. It was my first time out to the area, and it’s no wonder people plan their weddings there. It’s an hour and a half drive from New York City, and it’s so refreshing to be surrounded by trees and grass instead of skyscrapers and concrete, even if just for a day.


With the variety of apples I picked (Fuji, McIntosh, Spartan, Jonamac), I made baked apple cider doughnuts inspired by the emotional film, Good Will Hunting. Not only does the movie take place in the fall, but there’s a scene when Will Hunting, a highly intelligent young man who comes from working-class South Boston, gets the number from a woman he fancies and brags about it to a rich kid from Harvard (Clark) who insulted him earlier in the Harvard bar. Will approaches a restaurant window where he sees Clark sitting and through the window asks him if he likes apples. Clark says yes, and Will slaps the woman’s number on a napkin up against the window and proclaims, “Well, I got her number. How do you like them apples?”



Autumn, apples, a great movie. Apple cider doughnuts were the way to go not only because they are a staple at most apple picking farms, but also because watching a movie while eating doughnuts is a winning combination. I chose to bake the doughnuts, and I added in little chunks of the freshly picked apples. I used coconut sugar instead of white sugar (a great and easy substitute!), and used apple cider from Fishkill Farms. Fresh and delicious. Don’t forget a doughnut pan and you’ll be all set for making these autumn treats.


Continue reading

Around Town: sketch – London, England

Tea E

When in London, one must enjoy afternoon tea. For a very unique (and pink!) experience, try sketch. From the moment you walk into the converted 18th century building, you won’t feel like you’re in London anymore. As you walk through the space, you’ll notice gadgets and art and rooms drastically varying in design.

The room for afternoon tea is the pinkest room you’ll ever see. With pink walls, pink chairs, and framed sketches covering the walls, the entire room glows pink. Even the tea I ordered was pink (though it was a rose tea). All of the dishware have words printed on them, such as ‘Ghost,’ ‘Food,’ ‘It’s Not Okay,’ and ‘Forget About It.’ Even the napkins have phone numbers printed across them. It’s a cute detail that grabs people’s attentions.

Tea C

Tea A

Tea G

Tea B

Tea I

Tea H

At the end of the meal I ventured up to the restroom to take a look at the space. Multi-colored lights covered the ceiling and each ‘stall’ was a round egg. People were mainly up there just taking photos instead of actually using the bathroom, which was even more bizarre.


As you leave the pink room, you’ll see this gorgeous Alice-in-Wonderland-esque garden room. Another great setting for lunch and conversation.

Tea D

Afternoon tea at sketch is a fun way to spend an hour or two, especially with a group of friends or for a celebration. Dress up in your favorite pink outfit and enjoy fresh tea, champagne, and an assortment of delicious sandwiches, desserts, and scones.

9 conduit street
London W1S 2XG

Images by Lauren Jessen

That’s a Wrap!

yhh and bon appetit

Happy September! The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. On a totally unrelated food and film note, my sister and I released our first book, Youth’s Highest Honor. Getting it out into the world and promoting it has taken up a lot of time and energy, but it’s all worth it and I’m excited to finally share it with you. I’ll be taking the weekend to rest and catch up on movies. For now, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

FOOD STYLING: An interview with a seriously talented food stylist and photographer.

HISTORY LESSON: The secret history of women in television.

SOCIALLY GOOD: How the social mission of Ben & Jerry’s survived being gobbled up.

BREAKING OLD-SCHOOL RULES: These female showrunners are changing the game.

COMING THIS FALL: Mindy Kaling shares what’s headed to the small screen this season.

STUNNING: 129 of the most beautiful movie shots in history.

TO BINGE OR NOT TO BINGE?: How do you consume television shows these days?

COOK SHORTAGE: Good cooks are getting harder to come by.

YIKES: What happens in your body one hour after drinking Coke.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Image by Lauren

Around Town: Mary’s Milk Bar – Edinburgh, Scotland

Marys 10

There’s no better way to conclude a castle exploration than with creamy, delicious gelato. After roaming around Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland, I descended the hundreds of stairs to the historic market place (Grassmarket) where Mary’s Milk Bar welcomes visitors with open doors.

Marsy 9

Marys 6

Mary’s Milk Bar is incredibly cozy and old-fashioned. Milk Bars, which promoted wholesome milky products, were popular in Britain between the 20s and 60s. Mary, who trained at Carpigiani Gelato University, makes sure all of her products are fresh. The chocolate she sells have a shelf life of no more than six months, and each week she offers new gelato flavors.

Marys 1

Marys 3

I loved the Dark Chocolate gelato. It’s smooth and rich and tastes even better in a crunchy waffle cone. The best part about indulging in gelato at Mary’s Milk Bar? The insane view of Edinburgh Castle (which you can see in the background of the first photo).

Marys 2

Marys 4

Marys 5

There are only a few tables at Mary’s Milk Bar, so if there isn’t room to sit, take your gelato to go and explore Grassmarket, Edinburgh Castle, and the other many winding streets in Edinburgh. It’s a gorgeous and historic city.

Marys 7

Marys 8

Mary’s Milk Bar
19 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HS, United Kingdom

Images by Lauren Jessen

Everything Bagels

Bagel C

When I say this Everything Bagel is everything, I mean it. It’s been a while since I’ve had a good bagel, and I figured since I wasn’t finding anything tasty in cafes or restaurants that I’d try making my own homemade bagels. Though intimidating at first, breaking down how to make bagels step-by-step is helpful and reassuring.

Interestingly, you boil bagels before you bake them. I wanted my bagels to be soft and chewy on the inside so I only boiled them for 45 seconds on each side. Use a timer when doing this so you don’t over-boil.  I found making homemade bagels to be fairly manageable, which works out nicely since I’m tempted to make these every weekend.

Bagel J


1 1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 package of active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Sesame seeds (white and/or black)
Poppy seeds
Caraway seeds
Dried garlic (minced or flaked)
Dried onion (minced or flaked)
Coarse grain sea salt
1 egg


1. In a bowl, combine the water and sugar and stir to dissolve. Pour in the yeast and allow to sit for 6-8 minutes.
2. In a larger bowl, whisk together the bread flour and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3. Once the yeast mixture has had time to activate, pour it into the flour mixture until a crumbly dough forms.
4. Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. The dough will be pretty firm. You can knead by hand or in a stand mixer.
5. Place the dough in  a lightly olive oiled bowl and allow to rise in a warm place for one hour.
6. Turn the dough out a few times on a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 equal pieces.
7. Shape each piece into a ball and press your thumb through the center to create a hole. Make this hole a little bigger so that when it boils and bakes it will be visible.
8. Once you have shaped the bagels, let them rest for 10 minutes with a damp paper towel covering them.
9. While the bagels are resting, boil a pot of water. After 10 minutes of resting, pop the bagels into the water (one by one or two at a time). The bagels should float in boiling water.
10. Let each bagel boil for 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side. If you boil the bagels for a shorter amount of time, the bagels will rise in the oven and have a softer texture. If you boil them for longer, the bagel will have a denser interior. Remove bagels onto prepared baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
11. Whisk the egg plus one teaspoon of water together in a small bowl and brush mixture over each bagel. The egg wash will help the seeds stick and give them a nice brown sheen.
12. Add the seeds and salt! My order: caraway seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarse salt. Be generous with how many seeds you put on each bagel.
13. Bake bagels for 20 minutes at 425 degrees F.
14. Serve bagels warm with whipped cream cheese. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 4-5 days.

Bagel I

The dough will be firm – at first I was worried that I had added too much flour or messed up the yeast ratio, but bagel dough is actually supposed to be less elastic than other breads. This makes it harder to knead, so focus less on working with your dough and more on making sure the ingredients are combined.

Bagel H

Using an egg wash (1 egg and 1 teaspoon of water) helps the goodies stick to the bagels. Don’t skimp on the seeds – the more the yummier!

Bagel G

Bagel F

Bake only for 20 minutes – for my bagels this was the perfect amount of time to ensure a crisp exterior and chewy interior.

Bagel E

Bagel D

Bagel B

Bagel A

Serve the bagels warm with whipped cream cheese and enjoy!

What type of bagel is your favorite?

Images and recipe by Lauren Jessen