• My Blog Before Carrots ‘N’ Cake

    February 8, 2013

    Good morning! Happy Friday!

    Last night, I joined a group of CrossFit ladies for dinner at The Fours in Quincy. When Mal and I lived in Q-town, we used to go there all the time, but I haven’t been back in years, so I was excited for a fun night out with my favorite CrossFit girls.

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    I really wasn’t planning to drink last night, but a cocktail on the menu called the “Frostbite” sounded especially delicious and appropriate for the impending blizzard that’s suppose to hit later today (stay safe, friends!), so I splurged and ordered one. (Thankfully, my digestive system seems fine today!)

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    The “Frostbite” was awesome! Ginger liqueur is my jam! Yum!

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    There were 14 of us at dinner, so we shared two orders of Buffalo Chicken Nachos, which were covered in melt-y cheese and buffalo sauce. Mmm!

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    For my entrée, I ordered the bacon cheddar burger with sweet potato fries on the side. The burger was good. The fries were awesome, and I ate them all.

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    Ok, back to the nachos…

    I love, love, love nachos, especially Buffalo Chicken Nachos. They are my very favorite. In fact, I love nachos so much, I actually had a blog (GeoCities website) entirely devoted to them back in 2003. Remember how I gained 25 pounds after college? I attribute that weight gain almost entirely to beer and nachos. A couple of friends and I spent many of our Thirsty Thursdays and sometimes Friday and Saturday nights taste-testing nachos at restaurants and bars around Boston. We even had a rating system, which was based off things like cheesiness, variety of toppings, and even the colors of the tortilla chips (we were fans of the tri-color chips). I guess I had the food blogger thing in me long before Carrots ‘N’ Cake!

    When the “Best of Boston” issue of the Improper Bostonian came out in the summer of 2003, I was excited to see that it included a nacho category. While I agreed with the restaurant that won the category (Coolidge Corner Clubhouse), I felt the need to write the magazine and share my thoughts on who I thought had the best nachos in Boston (and apparently offer my judging services for the next year’s contest). Based on my nacho “expertise,” I thought the Black Rhino had the best nachos, which is kind of funny now because it doesn’t even exist anymore! Ha! Maybe their nachos weren’t that good?

    Anyway, the folks at the Improper Boston must have got a kick out of my letter and enthusiasm for nachos because they printed it in the next month’s issue! My friends actually had my published letter framed for me, but, sadly, it got lost in my years of moving from apartment to apartment. I did, however, find my email to the Improper in my old Hotmail account with one of the editor’s reply. Check it out!

    From: "Tina Rizzitano" <tinarizzitano@hotmail.com>
    Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 15:46:08 -0400
    To: letters@improper.com
    Subject: Best Nachos
    >
    > Hey there,
    
    >
    
    > I can’t explain how psyched I was when I realized that there was a Best
    >of Boston nacho category. I am, without a doubt, a nacho fan…and my love
    >has become an obsession (sadly, I’m not kidding…). A couple co-workers
    >and I have spent the last year “rating” Boston’s best nachos—I’ve even
    >developed a website devoted to Boston’s best and worst nachos. In my
    >opinion, although the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse does have very tasty
    >nachos, the BEST nachos in Boston are actually at the Black Rhino
    >(yeah…who’d have guessed?). They really are fabulous…cheesy, crunchy,
    >ample toppings, piled-high, etc.—and I’ve eaten A LOT of nachos (at least
    >once a week if not more for the past year! Impressive if you ask me…).
    > Besides offering my own personal opinion about Boston’s best nachos, I
    >would like to offer my expertise to next year’s judging. I already have a
    >year of nacho-eating under my belt (no pun intended) and I would be more
    >than willing to help out the Improper staff in the coming year. Please
    >keep me in mind if there are any openings among your Best of Boston’s
    >nacho judges.
    >
    
    
    > Take care,
    > Tina
    Re: Best Nachos
    From: Ezra Dyer (ezra@improper.com)
    Sent: Wed 8/20/03 4:43 PM
    To: tinarizzitano@hotmail.com
    Hey Tina
    
    Would you mind telling me what town you live in so we can run that with
    your letter?
    
    I'm a nacho fan too. I'll have to get to the Black Rhino.
    EZ

    Pretty funny, right? I {heart} nachos forever and always.

    Health News & Views

    Looking for a delicious, gluten-free banana bread recipe that isn’t dry and crumbly? Look no further! This banana bread is so moist and sweet (and almost like the real deal), you won’t even know it’s gluten-free! (Mal and I ate the entire loaf in less than 24 hours!)

    An Irresistible Gluten-Free Banana Bread Recipe

    Questions of the Day

    What food(s) do you consider yourself an “expert”?

    If you had to start a blog today, what would it be about?

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    { 87 comments… read them below or add one }

    Kelly@BalancedDaily February 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Haha that is awesome! I always thought it would be so cool to have a letter published in a magazine with my name, age and location. If I were an expert in any food worth judging it would probably be chicken Cesar salads, I don’t know why but I’m just obsessed with them and order them almost every time I go out to eat. I haven’t had a giant plate of nachos in a long time and now I’m seriously craving some!

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    Annette@FitnessPerks February 8, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    That is really fantastic! And hilarious ;)

    p.s. those sweet potato fries look ahhhhh-mazing.

    I am an expert on homemade pizza (dough & all), homemade turkey/spinach paninis, and ice cream bowl extravaganzas!

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    Jodea @ chillichocolatelove.com February 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I think I could be either a peanut butter or Prosecco expert.

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    Mary Slagel@Healthy Food Newsletter February 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    This article captured my love of ALL foods. But it really reminded me of my chicken tender judging when I was younger. I remember for an entire vacation the only thing I ate was chicken. At the end of each meal, my grandma would ask me how they compared to the other chicken tenders and I would rate them. I’ve always been big on breading so I also rate cheese sticks. When I was younger I was out to dinner with my dad and he asked me to rate the cheese sticks and I told him, “These cheese sticks are too cheesy.” To this day he will never let me forget that, but I had good reasoning. There was not enough breading for how gooey and cheesy each bite was. Not like there is anything wrong with cheesy gooeyness. Like you, I love love love nachos and am also a huge fan of cheese fries. My current food I have been rating is wings. If you ever visit Tampa, I highly suggest wings at Hattricks.

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    Britani Sidwell February 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    HA!! this is HIGHsterical. i think nachos and beer were the main culprits for my 20 lbs of post collect weight gain as well. Nachos are like crack to me…i have trouble controlling myself around them, so i unfortunately rarely endulge anymore.

    Which brings me to my next comment. Thank you for being the awesome blogger and just…woman…that you are. Reading your blog for the past several months has really inspired me to get my lifestyle on a healthy track. i’m 12 pounds down of the 20 that i gained post college and feel fabulous. And I owe a lot of it to you and your menu and exercise plans!

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    Erica @ For the Sake of Cake February 8, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I definitely consider myself a pizza expert — it’s my favorite food!

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    MegG February 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    How hilarious! I love looking back at ancient emails. I’d call myself a mocha expert. I’ve thought about rating the mochas all over Seattle and posting about it on my blog.

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    Audrey @ In Shape Cupcake February 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    OMG that was great, the email! The way you right things is so interesting, not boring, and quite humorous! Love<3
    I don't think I have a food I feel like I'm an expert on…hmm.
    I recently just started a blog at Inshapecupcake.com. I actually e-mailed you about blog names a month ago and not soon after I thought of this name. I love cupcakes but I love the feeling of being healthy and in shape. I blog about food and fitness.
    If I could create another blog, it would be all about nut butters and the flavors of coffee. I heart those things.

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    Kristen @ notsodomesticated February 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    That is absolutely hilarious! I’d probably say I’m an expert in chocolate chip cookies. Or ice cream. ;) (Not making it, just eating it! Haha!)

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    candice@allthingsyogi.com February 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    The letter is great! you are a long time foodie and blogger!

    I am not really an expert at any one food. I think I can make killer sweet potatoes in all varieties though. Also, if I could start another blog it would be a motivation blog of taking control of your life and your future through mindfulness exercises and movement like yoga, running, and weight training. I believe these things help us better understand who we are and what we are about!

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    Claire February 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I literally spit water all over my laptop when I read your e-mail! So funny! :)

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    Tina February 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Haha! I’m such a goober.

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    Haley @ fullnfit February 8, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    I think I’m an expert hummus eater.. I have had some fabulous hummus and some horrible hummus! I love extra garlic :)

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    Alyssa February 8, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    I’m not going to lie, every time I look at a menu with nachos on them they always tempt me! I am usually disappointed by the nachos when I do fall victim to them, but in the event I have chosen a winning nacho combo, I’m in nirvana :-) I’d trust your nacho intuition any day!

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    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance February 8, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    That is amazing about your nacho blog, Haha! If only it was still up and running!

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    Tasha February 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Not that I want to encourage your old nacho ways, but I have found that the nachos at Clarkes near Faneuil are superb. Chicken, beef, multi-color chips and more cheesiness than you shake a stick at. Plus, they’re huge — you and a friend couldn’t finish them for dinner.

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    Christine February 8, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Tina – this is why we love you!!!! A nacho blog?! That is entirely too awesome! Wish I could read that!

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    Aurora@Fitness is Sweet February 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I could definitely be a peanut butter expert. I’m super picky and I may have been known to carry a jar around with me…

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    Debbie February 8, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    I consider myself a creme brulee expert. I order it for dessert every chance I get and I think the recipe I use is the best. I have changed the recipe a little to make it my own. And for someone with celiac, eating creme brulee does not make you feel like you are missing out at all.

    I started a blog last year about eating healthy and slimming down. Sadly life has intervened and I have not written a post in a long time but you are inspiring me to go back to it.

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    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl February 8, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    I can totally see why you splurged and ordered that drink. It sounds awesome!! And those sweet potato fries….um, yum! They look nice and crispy..just the way that I like them :).

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    Fiona Jesse Giffords February 9, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Hi Tina,
    We love some food recipes deadly than there is no chance to avoid because of any diet plans. I think for the extra amount of calories you can do a little more workout or else you can manage some calories with you diet plans. Just enjoy your favorite food.

    Reply

    Abby February 9, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Well thanks to you Ms. Tina, I finally made the first step in making a blog today!! I have been a huge fan of your blog, and many others for a while, but never thought I had “what it takes.” But after seeing how much fun you and so many other bloggers have, I am realizing that yes it will be hard work, but I want to do it! I just set up my domain “Fitter Fashionista” and plan on blogging about my favorite things: food, fashion, and fitness! Literally I just started today so I have so, so, much to learn but I could not be more excited!!!! Thanks so much for being such an inspiration to me and so many others!!!

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    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 9, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Haha that’s so funny! It’s too bad they didn’t offer you a judging position.

    I consider myself a sushi expert! I usually go out for it at least once a week and I like to try out new places in my city in my quest to find the best sushi. :D

    Reply

    Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) February 9, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I’m a bread expert! Not in baking it, but certainly in tasting it. My Memere was a bread snob from Canada, where she used only a certain type of flour and it had to be a certain color and it had to have a certain chewiness/crustiness. My mom took on this snobbery and I took it on as well.

    I’m a bread fanatic! :D

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    Ann February 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    The “Frostbite” sounds / looks yummy!!!! ;-)

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    Chelsea @ LittleOneRuns February 9, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    it would probably have to be about froyo. i’m kind of an addict :P

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    She Rocks Fitness February 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    I’m totally an expert in Burgers and Pizza and I can eat my fair share of both! ;) Love your appetite. If I could start a new blog today, I think it would be about traveling the world and staying active and eating well in these locations. Gosh that sounds awesome! ;)

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    Lee February 10, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I think I could start a hummus blog.

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    Tina February 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    What’s your FAVORITE kind?

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    Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} February 11, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I love it! That email is hilarious, it’s so much fun to look back at things like that, don’t you think?

    I heart nachos too and ate them daily when pregnant with my second child. Yes, daily. Gas station nachos, with fake cheese that you pumped out of a giant container. They were the best.

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    Brittany @ Kitchen::Candid February 12, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Nachos are amazing!

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    Skyler February 14, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Tina! Your maiden name is FIERCE! Like “Rizzo,” but with more of a street credibility-esque sound to it. Just FYI. :) Love LOVE the blog!

    Reply

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