Archives for March 2018


Philly in 24 Part Two,

This 24 hour trip to Philadelphia was like a food lovers dream.  After the drive up, bellying up to the Tommy DiNic’s bar for a roast pork – brisk walk around the city  (freezing thank you very much March winds were blowing) a little r&r in our suite at the Ritz we rallied up and got ready for dinner.   Now to start you should know that this restaurant has been on my bucket list for years!  I have admired and wanted to dine at Iron Chef Morimoto’s Japanse restaurant since the day I saw him on TV and knew he was only a few hours away.  I can’t believe it took me so long to get here ……….

Surprisingly, Mike called Thursday afternoon and was able to snag a 7 pm reso…….!  Huh?  How is this possible I asked?  “We have to eat at the small sushi bar in the back,” he said.  Apparently not the “hot spot”.  “I am fine with that,” I said.  Note to you all it turned out to be the best seat in the house.  A little crowded & busy by the kitchen door also a little chilly since the restaurant is long like an alley and the vent fans pull hard from the kitchen.  Below is my view and I would not change a thing.  

Here is the Tofu that is made table side – how cool right – I only had a bit or two – way too many other things to eat.  Not bad though – 10 points for cleverness and presentation.

The Whitefish Carpaccio was off the charts delicious.  It was lush, delicate, flavorful a piece of heaven on a plate for sure.  I would get this every time.   I will get this every time!

BELOW Tuna = Maguro Perfection!  Nothing else needed the fresh ginger just a thin piece a dash of wasabi and a small dip in the soy – BTW the soy sauce at the bar best ever, not the same old same of Kikkoman here!

I also ate (sadly not pictured here) the Toro or the fatty tuna.  I had never had that before and I am so glad I waited to have it here!  Seriously, people, it was like nothing I’ve ever eaten.  Not fishy in the least – melted on my tongue like butter.  The tuna over warm sushi rice nothing else just a drop of soy sauce.  PERFECT!  I am spoiled I will never have sushi again without having this as the bar!  In fact, won’t be going anywhere local I mean so what is 2 hours or so for the best of something you’ve ever had!  Then the sushi chef asked if he could make me something (a major *perk to sitting at the sushi bar) and I was like YEAH!!!!!!!! YES – HAI!  He then torched the Toro so the fat melted and created a thin crust on top.  I mean baby you have me now!  I proceeded to order 6 more pieces (Yes 6 don’t judge me) of Toro the regular un torched and was in heaven.   See below snippet of the menu.  The full menu and website is HERE

I did not realize the cost per piece $16.00 each but it was worth and I WILL DO IT AGAIN!

I did not get pictures because I was enjoying all of it so much!  HAHA I mean it was that good and even I  did not want to grab my camera.  That is saying something my friends.   Next Mike went for it and got the Wagyu beef.  Tender, moist, rare all that we had ever heard of Wagyu – it did not disappoint.  I was still in heaven over the Toro and only ate a bite of the beef.   Morimoto offers a great drink selection as well.  Mike had a Martini and I had a ginger mocktail you see for me and Mike agreed later some food is so good you don’t want to fill up on alcohol or a cocktail just doesn’t go.  Like when we have Peking Duck no drinks there only water and tea.  I don’t know maybe for some folks its different I’m sure.  I mean they did have a cool sake flight our neighbors at the bar enjoyed.   However, for me I needed to save all the room in my belly for food and I got quite a buzz from the tuna!

Now dessert the sushi chef suggested the “firey chocolate tart” and told me to get my camera out which I did right away.  The tart was a decadent chocolate salted caramel ganache, with chocolate sorbet, marshmallow, and almond. CLICK HERE FOR LITTLE DESSERT VIDEO 

This is what is left – maybe I did have more than one little bite.  I have to say this was the best Japanese Sushi meal I/we have ever had.  I can’t wait to go back and take the kids.  They have all grown up to be quite the “foodie” themselves.  

After that, I poured myself into a lovely hot bath at the Ritz and slept like a baby.  Waking Sunday morning to full sunshine and coffee in the room we got ready for the day and headed to the convention center and the Philadelphia Flower Show.  I had been to this event years ago so I was really looking forward to it.  The entrance was a typical hotel large convention space with lots of people selling all sorts of things but when we entered the doors it was as if we were transported.

I mean the epitome of a garden party here right?  I love the hanging vines and globes

Or what if you had an outdoor forest theme wedding to the right is the little chapel ….

I really liked all the details in the train city below.

This sparked ideas for the front of The Tasting Room or my patio

 A cute beach houses front entrance using the oyster shells as a walkway – really clever! 

I just couldn’t stop looking at the cactus display almost seemed as if it was in outer space.

   This is just perfect for me.  I am a big fan of formal architectural gardens.  Lots of symmetry, pathways, statues etc…. if you have space.

We did hit DiNics again for brunch and as we walked back to the hotel gearing up to leave Philly was having its Saint Patricks Day Parade a week early here and I ran into this fella.Pretty funny and a great ending to our little weekend getaway.  The diet starts Monday!

Cheers & Happy Travels


Happy Monday,

Spur of the moment is sometimes a great thing.  On Friday we decided to take a trip to Philadelphia for 24hrs or so.  I wanted to see the Philadelphia Flower and Garden Show – was


the last days – it ended yesterday March 11th. I was looking for some touchstones of Spring people – been a long cold winter around here.  I could use some good food so Tommy Dinics @ Reading Terminal was on the list and the famous MORIMOTO restaurant for sushi.  #bucketlist  I have wanted to go here for years!  I adore Chef Morimoto and heard only great things.

So Mike was like yes, and I was like ok!  “ON IT” Get Abe a babysitter, done.  Now off to to see if we had enough points to use and by golly we did.  Ritz Carlton Philadelphia people  Located right in the heart of Philly near City Hall, Reading Terminal – aka DiNic’s home, the convention center and just 9 blocks from Morimoto!  Yeah!  #arigatogozaimashita = thank you in Japanese

Mike got us a reservation at 7 pm on Saturday night!  What?  How you may ask – well we accepted to be at the sushi bar.  Not a comfy they said etc… not in the heart of the restaurant and by the kitchen.  Well, baby put me here.  (more on Morimoto later).

So Saturday morning we dropped the “Abester” off tidy’ed up the house, did a few errands and off to Philly we went.  It only took 2hours and 10 minutes.  Why has it been so long Philly?  Why?  More importantly, where have you been Tommy Dinic’s?  We arrive at the Ritz, valet the car cause no one wants to drive in Philly major construction fixing potholes, road work and new building everywhere – plus if not frigid we’ll walk a bit.  A small bit.  We checked in to the old historic bank building which became a coin exchange to become Mellon bank than in 2001 the Ritz acquired the spot.  The lobby is lovely huge while marble columns, floors and the center round bar towards the back of the lobby with an adjacent full-service restaurant.  I was told this is the place to have your wedding in Philly and by the look of it, there must have been 2 going on when we arrived.  They have a full-service spa, steam room, and great fitness room.  They upgraded us for using our Marriott points and number (thank you sir!) however our first room had an odor that with my new asthma diagnosis was not gonna fly so in a cool minute we were taken to an even larger suite on the club level ( no club privilege but NP for  us)  The room was huge.  Living room, dining table foyer bathroom, washer dryer, mini bar, coffee, separate closed off bedroom with its own TV large bathroom soaking tub (a must for me) and oversized windows.  They were everywhere and we got to watch the stunning Philly skyline.  We could see the planes land in the distance pretty cool.  Here is the main lobby.  The picture below is not mine – unless noted all photos are mine.  I found this one on google to really show the beauty and grandeur – I believe this is taken from the balcony above the front street entrance.  

Here is a link provided by Ritz Carlton on a more in-depth history of the grand building.

Needless to say, I love our room look at these floors and how the room just goes on and on.ritz carlton, ritz philadelphia, loriannmd, urablankslate, google, traveler, reviews, blogger, dmv, philly, day trip,

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ritz carlton, ritz philadelphia, loriannmd, urablankslate, google, traveler, reviews, blogger, dmv, philly, day trip,

ritz carlton, ritz philadelphia, loriannmd, urablankslate, google, traveler, reviews, blogger, dmv, philly, day trip,

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Little video snippet on my  Instagram @loriannmd here & here  After checking in and getting settled we headed out to Reading Terminal Market and get some food baby!

A food lovers dream come true and not to be missed when you visit the city of brotherly love.  here is the place only a 10-minute walk from the hotel.  Now to find DiNics.  It was packed of course it’s a Saturday.  The Peking Duck looks yummy but we cannot be stopped on our mission to Tommy DiNics.loriannmd, philadelphia, pa, dmv, blogger, travel writer, real reviews, bloggerbabes, instagram, nyc, day trip, reading terminal, dinics, pork, food porn

My TOMMY DINIC’S Roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone!  I mean there are no words to describe.  Want the secret to getting yours?  Beating the lines?  Let me know and comment below……….I actually had two in 24 hours….. I had to get another one Sunday after the Philadelphia Flower Show.  Yes while Mike waited for a sub-par Philly Cheesesteak – I bellied up to the bar again for more Pork!  Mike was like “Now that’s my girl – I was sitting and eating 10 minutes before he showed up.  See those smiles?  That’s love for each other and that damn good sandwich! 

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Check back tomorrow for review on the BEST SUSHI ever and the flower show!


Hello, My Friends,

Finally as promised our Tauraso Family Chicken Curry.  Do you like Indian Food & Curries?  I know I sure do!  More and more these days and not just for the amazing flavors but for the health benefits.  Many of the spices used to make curries are known anti-inflammatories.  So in this house that is a win-win.  Below is our family curry recipe.  Mike and I worked on several different variations until finally, I think we hit the mark.  #marriedtoachef.  I hope you go out of your comfort zone and try this out or share how you prepare your curry dishes.  #alwayswillingtotrysomethingnew ( almost always – lol)

Chicken Curry

Finally, we were able to recreate a fantastic curry at home.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people
Author Lori Tauraso - Blank Slate


  • 2 pounds chicken breasts boneless, skinless, all natural 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, clarified butter ( aka Ghee) enough to coat bottom of dutch oven
  • S&P to taste

Mixture for food processor keep seperate

  • 2-4 thai chilies (reserve 1- 2 chiles split for dry herb mix) chopped and this is all up to your liking and heat # ( save 2 for dry herb mix)
  • 1 thumb ginger peeled chopped into Cuisinart
  • 1/4 - 1/2 yellow onion rough chopped will go into Cuisinart
  • 5 cloves of garlic peeled rough chopped into Cuisinart

Herb Mix - keep seperate

  • 3 dried bay leaf
  • 8 cardamon seeds cracked open by placing flat edge of knife over it and press
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 Thai chiles split

Spice Mix - keep seperate

  • 1 tbsp tumeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon madras curry Powder

Tomato Mix

  • 1/2 can curshed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 - 1 cup regular yogurt
  • 1 cup water ( use filtered if you have for all you cooking)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro rough chopped


  1. Put oil or ghee in heavy bottomed Dutch Oven or braising pan.  Bring to med-high heat and brown chicken breast pieces.  Remove from pan when they have a nice color - see photo - set aside.

  2. Add the Herb Mix to the pan and cook for about 30 seconds.  scraping the bottom of the pot vigorously.  Add the Spice Mix and cook for another 30 seconds.  Add the pureed onion /ginger/ chiles and cook for about 5 minutes scraping the bottom of the pan every so often.  Add the Tomato mix and water.  Incorporate well and cook for about 8-1 minutes.  Add your chicken breast back to pan ( plate juices as well) then cook until tender.  About 10 more minutes.  When it is finished add your fresh cilantro and enjoy!  

Recipe Notes

We like to serve this over a bed of Basmati Rice and warm Nann topped with yummy Raita, an Indian yogurt sauce.  Raita simple to make use 1/2 cup yogurt, thinly sliced carrot, and grated cucumber.   S&P to taste mix and chill add to your dinner and dip your Nann in it!  Try and tell me that's not a little piece of heaven on a plate. 

I hope you try it out and let me know how it goes by commenting below also tell me what else you want to see food/cooking-wise!


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