Friday, May 21, 2010

Fridays, Feasting With Friends- Featuring Jessica Miller

"One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends."
~Laurie Colwin'Home Cooking'

Jessica Miller
Jessica and her husband Joel

This lovely lady is my sweet friend Jessica.  If her smile didn't give it away already, she is a ray of sunshine.  This girl knows the gifts that God has blessed her with and she comes alive with the joy that radiates from that type of knowledge.  She is the mother of two incredibly handsome little boys and married to the love of her life.   I am inspired by the creativity and honesty that she lets flow on her blog, The Miller Family.  This is a little snipit from one of her posts that stuck with me after reading it.  I find it truly demonstrates the beautiful example she is...
I think of the verse that I consider my lifetime motto:  If you refresh others, you yourself will be refreshed.  (prov 11:25) It's a contagious thing to value what we have.  It makes us realize our problems are so much smaller than our eyes can see in the moment.  It brings joy to a heart that is downtrodden...
So, look at your many hours do you have left before your kids go to bed?  What things can you do together to make the 'simple things truly sacred'?
So let it be known Jessica, you are indeed a breath of fresh air.  You refresh me with each post, kind word, and offering of prayers.  Thank you for sharing such a special, private part of your life with the rest of us.   We are the lucky ones.   So for todays Fridays, Feasting with Friends I am blessed to introduce you to Jessica Miller.

What is your favorite thing to cook?I have fun with vegetarian cooking.  I sported the lifestyle for a good bit but it was difficult to maintain with my meat-adoring husband.  I began a love affair with vegetables that has yet to diminish.    

How about your least favorite thing to cook?  I am NOT a bacon fan.  I know I know....I'm probably the only one.  It's just not my thing.

What is your favorite local restaurant and what is one you are dying to try out?  I think our new fave right now is The Greenhouse Tavern because of its commitment to farm-to-table freshness.  The one I am looking forward to trying out would have to be L'Albatros Brasserie + Bar in Cleveland off Bellflower Road.  I have not begun to know much of Zack Bruell as a chef yet....and I am intrigued. 

Music and food go together so beautifully.  You are hosting a dinner party, what would be on your playlist?  Joel and I tend to go more classic so I guess the list would include: Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Louie Armstrong

What would you choose to be your last meal on earth?  The lamb dish at Greenhouse Tavern.  ROCKED MY PLANET. Seriously. 

What are you currently reading?  Well, these days I am focusing in on my other artistic interest as a makeup artist.  I am working as an associate makeup artist for Kajal by Kimberly and my days are spent learning how to perfect the art of an Indian Wedding look.  So....lately Asian Vogue.  ;)  Gives me a hankering for Umami Chagrin Falls....

What is your favorite Kitchen Gadget?  I like my food processor/blender.  It just gets the job done.  I have a growing wish list.  Also a little fun fact about me....I have a fetish with specialty coffee makers.  If I could just lease coffeemakers and get a new one every 6 months, I would.   

Do you have a signature go-to dish?  Yes, my husband loves my lemon chicken piccata with's an easy one i can do in advance and slow cook for the most intense flavor. 

What is your favorite thing about the Cleveland area?  We're an unpretentious town that is used to being made fun of by outsiders...but is full of artists, chefs, athletes, and inventors.  My favorite part of Cleveland would have to be our best kept secret: The beautiful Cleveland Metroparks - aka "The Emerald Necklace" This vast spread of parks, recreational fun and beautiful trails could be continually explored for a lifetime.  While I enjoy a great night out to dinner....I would much prefer bringing my dinner outdoors while listening to the river. 

Do you have a favorite meal from your childhood and do you cook it today?  I grew up eating rich and delicious Puerto Rican favorite dish was their roasted pork.  I have actually never made it myself but need to pay a visit to my Grandma soon so she can teach me!  

Top 3 Movies of all time?  Juno - Inglorious Basterds - Julie & Julia (Of course!) 

What was your happiest moment in life? Marrying my BFF & welcoming our sons into the world.  Jude London born 5.22.05 and Leland Ryan born 11.2.09 Our 7-year anniversary is coming up this Monday, May 24th. 

Where do you do your grocery shopping?  West Side Market for fresh produce and Trader Joes mostly.  It's just the best...and at such decent prices. 

What is your favorite guilty pleasure when it comes to food?  I heart dessert.  It's intense the love I have for pastries and pies.  Coupled with vanilla bean ice cream, of course!  

Can you tell me about what you are most proud of?  I am proud of a vow I made to truly understand the chemistry of food this year.  I cook homemade much more often.  I am trying things....taking risks.  I am almost always pleased with what comes out.  

Do you have Culinary Resolutions that you would like to accomplish this year?  To continue to buy fresh and organic. 

One word that best describes you is:  

Turkey & Pork Meatballs

The combination of these two meats is such 
a lovely texture and I am ALL about texture. 

1/2 pound ground turkey
1/2 pound ground pork
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tablespoon of:
minced onion
fresh flat-leaf parsley
minced oregano (fresh)
lemon zest
2 tablespoon white wine
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1/2 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil...more as needed

1. In a large bowl stir all the above ingredients (minus the oil) form into meatballs about 3/4 inch in diameter.

2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat until hot but not smoking and cook the meatballs, in batches, turning them as they cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, transfer to a wire rack to drain.

I then throw these babies over some Orechiette Pasta with sauteed cauliflower and artichokes and pour over homemade pesto sauce!

It's a delicious and comforting meal and you will have TONS leftover...

Jessica, thank you so much for doing this interview for me!  I had a blast reading it and I can't wait to try out your meatball recipe.  These sound fantastic!  Looking forward to a zoo day soon!  


  1. awesome stuff! i am gonna try out those turkey meatballs soon. add some homemade bbq sauce and make them into sliders.

    thanks for the great read!

  2. Jessica! I am with ya...I am NOT a bacon fan either. However, I do love the chicken Picata with capers. It is my fave, so your hubby and I share a taste for this dish. I will have to try the turkey meatballs...people swear by them and say they are just as tasty if not tastier than beef. Nice Interview.
    Tera Pepper



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