It’s no secret that I have been on a mission to get healthier. It’s a constant struggle for me and has been a lifelong battle that I have to fight everyday. Some years I win. Others, I loose. Why? It’s pretty obvious – I love food! It is my downfall but also something that puts a smile on my face since I was a little girl, all emotional eating issues aside. 🙂  However, at times this passion may inevitably lead to unwanted pounds that cling to my body for dear life when I am working my butt off trying to lose them. Still, I can’t ever give up on my mission to attain better health (and a trimmer physique). I owe it to myself! I may have lost some battles but as long as I am living, I haven’t lost the war. So, I am learning how to eat healthier by still enjoying the foods that I love.

These little, magical morsels are the perfect solution to quench my dark chocolate chunky cookie cravings. I found this recipe on Pinterest and it seems to have been published in different forms on other food blogs. (Did I ever mention how much I love Pinterest? So amazing for getting ideas and finding things to keep you motivated!) I tweaked this recipe according to what I had on hand in my pantry and you can do the same thing too. I had chia seeds and ground flax seed – two things that are all the rage for health fanatics – and never knew what to do with them. Combining them with peanut butter and chocolate chips is the answer!

I brought these energy into my fitness class and everyone loved them. Warning: just don’t eat them all. They’re only good for you IN MODERATION.  (Bah – isn’t everything?)

Fairytale Energy Bites
(Makes about 30 bites)

1 cup of oatmeal
1/2 cup of natural peanut butter
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup of coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup of chia seeds
1/3 cup of honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Using your hands, knead into a ball and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Using a teaspoon, spoon out portions and roll into balls. That’s it! There’s no need to bake these.


Happy Spring! It’s been a long, hard winter in more ways than one but we’re almost there! I’d like to share a healthy spring recipe that was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest. (Isn’t Pinterest just the greatest? If you ever need an instant pick me up, just log on and start pinning!)  This is a great way to use asparagus, an abundant spring vegetable. The amounts of these ingredients are estimates and can be changed according to your preference. You can find Israeli couscous at Wegmans in the organic section.

Fairytale Spring Couscous Salad
1 1/2 cups of whole wheat Israeli Couscous like Bob’s Red Mill (can buy at Wegmans)
8 oz. of asparagus (I like Wegman’s steam-able bag), cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese
3/4 cup of julienned sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup of golden raisins
1/4 cup of slivered almonds
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint leaves
1 lemon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
Cook the couscous according to the package directions. Steam the asparagus in the microwave. Mix together. Dress with the juice of a lemon and sprinkle with some extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.


Fairytale Lemon Basil Shrimp Salad

Today for lunch, I made a lemon basil shrimp salad inspired by a sandwich I had at the Brown Barn Cafe on Overbrook Road in Shavertown. The Brown Barn Cafe is such a wonderful little rustic place to go for lunch or dinner.  It really is in a barn, along with Ah! Some Chocolates and feels like a little farmhouse inside. Their menu changes monthly and everything is homemade. I fell in love with it when I had a grilled peach sandwich there during the summertime.  They also have AMAZING desserts! Be warned, this is actually the Brown Barn’s last week serving lunch, because they are moving to a NEW location where they will be serving dinner exclusively.

The Brown Barn Cafe and Ah! Some Chocolates in Shavertown. 
Strawberry rhubarb tart.
Grilled peach, arugula and Gruyere sandwich. 

Starting on March 6th, they will be teaming up KB’s Coffee House which already provides breakfast and lunch, so the Brown Barn will be serving up their unique homemade dinners. KB’s is located 206 North Main Street, Shavertown, PA. (They are open for Valentine’s Day though and are offering a special dinner. Check them out on Facebook.)

Sausage, cranberry and cheddar quiche.

When I visited this week, I was able to enjoy a beautiful fireside pre-fixe lunch: Thai coconut curry chicken soup, shrimp basil salad, and the richest most decadent piece of salted caramel chocolate cake I’ve ever had. I will def be visiting them for dinner at their new location and wish them the best of luck! Until then, I decided to make my own rendition of their famous basil shrimp salad.

Salted caramel chocolate cake <3 td=””>
Thai coconut chicken soup.

Here is my rendition of the shrimp salad. I know on snow days you’re usually tempted to make something comforting like slow cooker stew or mac and cheese, but I was craving something light that made me feel like I was fireside in the Brown Barn (or maybe even seaside at the shore) and NOT trapped at home in a snowstorm.

The original Brown Barn basil shrimp salad sandwich with chips and marinated cucumbers and dill.
My Lemon Basil Shrimp Salad 
Fairytale Lemon Basil Shrimp Salad Sandwich

1 12 oz bag of small precooked shrimp (71-90 count), peeled and deveined (tail off)
2 large stalks of celery, diced
1./4 cup of fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup of olive oil mayo
1/8 cup of olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Whole grain bread (optional)

If the shrimp is frozen, place it in bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes to thaw. Then drain it and pat dry with paper towels. Place celery in a large bowl and add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper.

In a small separate bowl, combine the mayo, olive oil and lemon juice and whisk together until smooth. Pour over the shrimp in the large bowl. Add the chopped basil. Gentle toss or stir until it is all combined.

Serve chilled open faced on multigrain bread or in a sandwich.


Dear Fairytale Feasts Readers,
I’m back! This winter has been pretty memorable, with named snowstorms pounding us on a weekly basis and frigid temperatures dropping below zero in Northeastern PA on more than one occasion. (If I never hear the words Polar Vortex again, it would be too soon!) Like all of you, I’ve been going a little stir crazy at home, so I figured what better time than to start up my blog again?

It’s been a while since I have posted anything, but I am back now and I am really going to make an effort to post more often. This will likely mean a little less writing, but more photos. I am trying to learn how to post directly from my mobile devices to make blogging more seamless and user friendly. I am also working on building an independent website where I can showcase my other writings and have a place to blog about my other passions, like the Real Housewives, the Kardashians, Game of Thrones and more!

I really want to thank all of those people who read my blog or any of my other articles and offer encouragement whenever I feel down or uninspired throughout all of my online and offline endeavors. I love and appreciate you and am so lucky to have your support. Thanks and stay tuned! Please follow or “like” my posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  🙂

Diana XOXO
Pizza at Tufino, in Astoria, Queens

My beautiful, art deco themed 30th birthday cake. 
The day I have been waiting for is FINALLY here!!! After two years waiting for one of my favorite books of all time to come to life in a new movie version, THE GREAT GATSBY is in theaters! There’s something amazingly romantic and tragic about F.Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby that stole my heart at a young age. Since I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read the book or seen the movie, I will stop myself from talking too much about the plot.   
All I will say is that I could not think of a better person to play Jay Gatsby in this version than my favorite actor, Leonardo DiCaprio. (I think Carey Mulligan will be a great Daisy too!)
Robert Redford as the original Jay Gatsby.
Timeless love – Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.
Jay Gatsby is notorious for his lavish parties in Long Island, NY. Basically, no one does a party like Jay Gatsby. So when I hit the big 3-0 last October and my family generously wanted to throw me a birthday party, I decided to have a 1920s themed party to “say goodbye to my roaring 20s.” Naturally, I had to incorporate aspects of the Great Gatsby era to coincide with the movie coming out.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. This photo takes me back to the days where I swooned over Leo and Claire Danes in Romeo and Juliet. <3 nbsp="">

My favorite television show, Boardwalk Empire, was also airing its third season on HBO at the time so I decided to incorporate elements from that show as well. For those who aren’t familiar with Boardwalk Empire or the Great Gatsby, both are set during Prohibition. I tried to take these elements and really create a special atmosphere for my birthday party. If you want to have any kind of 1920s party, please see my tips below for some easy and affordable ideas.

That’s me standing in front of the massive Boardwalk Empire sign at Caesar’s Palace in  Atlantic City for the  Season Two premiere. 

1.  CREATE THE PERFECT SPEAKEASY ATMOSPHERE. What better place to have a party than a bar with a speakeasy kinda feel? I chose Ash by El Humidor for my party because it is a cigar bar and the perfect setting for a 1920s style gangster/flapper party. (In Pennsylvania, unlike in NYC, you can serve food and alcohol in cigar bars.)  Ash is nestled underneath an Italian restaurant, Buca del Vino, and has that perfect old school, classic smoky and romantic feel. The staff at Ash was so kind and accommodating. We were floored by the absolutely brilliant and amazing job that Tom Sobieski did in decorating the place. When we talked in, we were beyond excited and really felt like we were in an ideal 1920s type atmosphere. THANK YOU TOM!!!! Which brings me to my second point …

2. ADD SOME FESTIVE DECORATIONS TO GO WITH THE THEME. We had a banner made and I ordered some decorations from Shindigz. I love flowers and really wanted to create and elegant feel, yet wanted something affordable for my centerpieces.  My cousin Susan, another Boardwalk Empire fan, suggested I go with red carnations since Nucky Thompson from Boardwalk Empire is famous for wearing them in his suit lapel. I also added some black and white flapper-like feathers to the vase. (Black, white and red were very popular colors.) Carmen’s in Exeter did a wonderful job! 

Nucky Thompson and his red carnation – the inspiration behind my red carnation centerpieces. 

To showcase my favorite scenes from the Great Gatsby and Boardwalk Empire, I purchased simple black and white frames from Michael’s and printed the photos I wanted right from Google Images. We also typed up and framed several favorite quotes from the Great Gatsby to put around the place (the bar, the restrooms, etc.).

3. CREATE A NOSTALGIC MOOD WITH MUSIC. Jazz, ragtime and broadway musicals were popular in the1920s. This was an area of dance halls and the popular phonograph (the horn shaped record player!) Boardwalk Empire fans may remember when Lucy danced to her phonograph in Season 2.  Though we were over prepared with our own music for the party, Ash had a wonderful sound system with the perfect 1920s themed music. If you’re having a party and looking for a good 1920s soundtrack, try the 1920s Radio Network (it streams for free) to set your mood or create a 1920s playlist on Pandora.

Deviled Eggs, fruit and vegetable platter on the buffet table. 

3. PLAN THE PERFECT MENU. This is the best part. Chef Joe Ginthner Jr. from Ash/Buca del Vino took the time to sit with us and listen to my crazy ideas about how I really wanted to have food from the 1920s. Together, we created a menu to thrill all of my 1920s desires within a budget. After doing some research, I was thrilled to learn that Italian food was uber-popular in the 1920s. I printed out this tidbit of information and placed it in a frame close to the food. I’m not sure if anyone noticed it or read it, but the information was there for food historians like myself.


With the passing of the World War I, America settled down to begin an era of onrushing prosperity. Prohibition, with its tremendous impact on the eating habits of the country, had a great deal to do with the introduction of Italian food to the masses. The Italians opened up speakeasies by the thousand, with Mama doing the cooking and Papa making the wine in the basement. The food was not quite the same as the food the Italians had eaten in the Old Country because Sicilian cooking was traditionally based on austerity. By contrast, America was rich, and a protein rich country – allowing for more than just pasta. Italian immigrants were happy to add these symbols of wealth to their cooking. Meatballs, rich meat sauces, veal cutlets cooked with Parmesan or with lemon, clams stuffed with buttered herbed crumbs, shrimp with wine and garlic, and mozzarella in huge chunks to be eaten as appetizers were all foods of abundance, developed by Italian-Americans.

In addition to speakeasy dining, many people entertained elegantly at home, holding extravagant cocktail parties where they could enjoy their homemade wine and bootleg liquor.  They served savory snacks such as salted nuts, deviled eggs, passed canapés, shrimp or mushroom toasts, lobster and crabmeat, tea sandwiches, fancy salads, and chafing-dish recipes. The introduction of refrigerators (for those who could afford electricity) enabled longer storage of perishable foods, so fruits and vegetables also became widely popular.
Deviled eggs were big in the 1920s.

Chicken Pommery Bites – a Buca Del Vino specialty.
Italian antipasto. 

Seared Lamb Chops with mint jelly.
Mini foccacia breads. 
Mushrooms with crab imperial. 
Filet mignon risotto over tostada. 

4. THE CAKE: It’s not a real party or birthday celebration without cake. I loved, loved, loved my cake!!! I obsessively pin cakes on Pinterest and knew I wanted something eye catching.  I pinned some ideas and designed my own cake with cake-queen Francesca Campisano Burke, who executed my ideas to perfection. My cake was not only beautiful, but delicious – even with the fondant that I insisted on having!  I had two different flavors – chocolate with chocolate mousse and vanilla with raspberry. I really loved this cake and will remember it for the rest of my life. 🙂 

5. DRESS THE PART.Costume attire was optional and encouraged – so I instructed my guests to come as a flapper, gangster, big band player, silent movie character. Many of them did, even one of my spirited and wonderful BFFs who was pregnant at the time – and we had the BEST time!  I ordered my costume from Unique Vintage and was very happy with it, though there were others that I REALLY loved – but they were on back-order  (Order WAY ahead of time, especially now because these costumes are in demand!)

My sister and I in our 1920s attire.

6. LASTLY, TREAT YOUR GUESTS TO A FAVOR.  I always like to give some kind of a token of the party away as a remembrance. For 1920s themed favors, I decided to make little candy bags. I put this little sign next to the candy bags to explain why they were getting candy bars. I packaged the bars in clear bags with a beautiful black and white ribbon I found at Michael’s.  I also had strings of party beads that looked like pearls to adorn my guests when they arrived at the party. I purchased these online at Shindigz

Champagne punch, strings of pearls for my guests, and 1920s themed candy bar treat bags.
1920’s candy BAR CRAZE
When Prohibition went into effect on January 16, 1920, it increased the production of soft drinks, put hundreds of restaurants and hotels out of business and spurred the growth of tea rooms and cafeterias. It also destroyed the last vestiges of fine dining in the United States.

Hotels tried to reclaim some of their lost wine and spirit profits by selling candy and soda pop. Thus, began the candy bar craze.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (1922 ) • Twizzlers (1929) Mounds (1922)  Milk Duds (1926) • Milky Way (1923)  
Heath Bar (1928) • Butterfinger (1923) • Babe Ruth (1923)

There was no better way to celebrate the end of my 20s with a 1920s themed party!

It’s finally here – kind of, I think – SPRING!!! In honor of this special first day of one of nature’s most delicate and welcomed seasons, here’s a recipe for Spring Green Risotto.  I love risotto, but it’s pretty heavy so I decided to add some healthy greens to fool my brain into thinking I was having a balanced meal.  I also used lemon juice and basil to lighten it up.  The main star of this dish that you don’t see very often is kale. Kale was one of the most popular leafy greens up until the Middle Ages.  It has been a pretty trendy vegetable as of late, mostly because of it’s superfood properties.  It is rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin K, and is thought to prevent cancer and lower cholesterol.  I used a large bag of curly kale that was pre-cut from Wegmans  (my favorite grocery store!!!) to make things easier. The flat kind would work as well for this recipe (and maybe even better).  I also used Wegman’s Arborio Rice and purchased a bag of frozen shrimp there for $10 or less.

I adopted this risotto recipe from a great book I purchased called The Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone. I also made lamb chops from this book. See Fairytale Slow-Cooker Lamb Shanks with White Beans. I still don’t really understand the whole slow cooker obsession and would rather use my dutch oven any day, but I admit it was a great tool to braise meats.  I was surprised there’s a slow cooker recipe for risotto, but beware that this is not necessarily a pot that you should leave alone all day.  It only takes about 2 hours total to make this – with about an hour in the slow cooker. I strongly recommend checking it and stirring the rice thoroughly so it cooks evenly.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to use a slow cooker, just toast the rice in a large heavy bottomed skillet and begin to add the broth in batches, continuously stirring until it is absorbed by the rice.

Wishing you a peaceful and healthy Happy Spring!

Fairytale Spring Green Risotto with Garlic Shrimp
(Serves 6-8)


For the risotto: 
1/2 stuck of butter or margarine
1 onion, chopped
3 cups Arborio rice
3 cups kale, chopped into bite sized pieces
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup basil, chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
Juice from 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

For the shrimp:
2 tablespoons of butter or margarine
1 tablespoon of olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag of peeled shrimp (tails on or off, it doesn’t matter)

Melt the butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until golden and soft for about ten minutes. Add the rice and stir, toasting for about 2 minutes.

Add the onion and rice to the slow cooker. Add the chicken broth. Cook for 40 minutes on high.

Meanwhile, melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Add the minced garlic for about a minute, until fragrant. Add the shrimp and cook for a few minutes until pink. Set aside and cover with foil.

Back to the crock-pot – stir the rice well and add the kale and cook for 30 more minutes, or until rice is tender. Add the parsley, basil, lemon juice and cheese. Serve in a bowl and top with garlic shrimp.

Important: do not leave this in the warm slow cooker for a long time or the rice will become sticky – see below. (I did this while I was eating my first serving and ruined the whole thing!)
Be careful not overcook the risotto! 
Enjoy! 🙂 
St. Patrick’s Day is on the way, and the color green seems to be EVERYWHERE, including in your glass – and I’m not talking about Shamrock Shakes or Midori Sours! The green drink trend has arrived and is here to stay, and for good reason – these beverages are tasty and good for you. 
A friend recently asked me for some recipes because even her nutritionist suggested that she start drinking green drinks. I have been a long time aficionado of the green smoothie. Admittedly, I didn’t know anything about green drinks until I saw a photo collage in Us Weekly of beautiful and youthful celebrities all holding them and I thought – hmm, maybe I should try that! (And who can forget when Sheree tried to get Kim Zolciak to drink a kale shake on the Real Housewives of Atlanta?) 
I like to think my skin is going to glow like Reese Witherspoon’s or my hair is going to shine like Kim Kardashian’s when I am drinking my kale concoctions. Plus, green drinks are a wonderful way to incorporate vegetables into your diet. How else can you possible eat five servings a day? Or is it six now? I can’t keep up …
The first green drink recipe is from Daphne Oz, who I had the pleasure of interviewing last year. See Fairytale Feasts from Daphne Oz. She actually tweeted this recipe to me and I’ve been enjoying it ever since. 
I’ve also included a recipe from Jackie Warner, fitness trainer and Bravo reality television star. I love Jackie’s wholesome, non-judgmental approach to health and fitness. Reading her books doesn’t make me feel like someone is scolding me for being overweight or degrading me for not having the willpower to make the right decisions. The other green drink recipes are my own inventions that I made with things I had around the house. I promise, they’re all tasty.

Daphne Oz’s Fairytale Green Juice
(Serves 1-2)

1 handful of spinach
1 handful of kale
1 stalk celery
1 apple, cored and peeled
Juice of a half lemon
1 tsp grated fresh ginger

Add all of the ingredients to a blender. Pulse until chopped and well blended. Serve.

Jackie Warner’s Pre-Workout Protein Shake
(Serves 1)

1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup frozen spinach
1 tablespoon of all-natural peanut butter
1 scoop vanilla whey protein isolate powder
1/4 cup dry oats
Water to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Add water until you reach your desired consistency.

Fairytale Frozen Spinach Protein Smoothie
(Serves 1-2)

2 handfuls of spinach
3/4 cup of almond milk
1 scoop of vanilla whey protein isolate powder (I like Precision from Vitamin World),
1 cup of ice (optional – but makes it cold and thicker)

Place the spinach, almond milk and protein powder in a blender and pulse until blended. Add the ice and pulse until smooth and blended. Serve.

Fairytale Spinach and Banana Smoothie
(Serves 1-2)

2 handfuls of spinach

3/4 cup of almond milk
1 medium banana
3/4 cup of non-fat Greek Yogurt (like Fage Total 0%)

Place the spinach, almond milk and banana pieces in a blender and pulse until well blended. Add the yogurt and blend. Serve immediately.

Today is the first day of Lent – the somber Christian season of prayer, observance and repentance in preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – and I have a confession to make: I associate Lent with food. Here’s why: during Lent, you’re supposed to abstain from enjoying little luxuries and pleasures. Thus, many people of faith vow to fast on different foods like sweets, potato chips, etc. during the entire six week season (even though I swear I was taught that Sunday was an exception ….). Another touchstone of the Lenten season is the practice of fasting from animal products. Though different faiths take this rule to different levels, the general rule that you cannot consume meat on Ash Wednesday, or any Friday.  
As a little girl, meatless Fridays were an excuse for eating some of my favorite foods: tuna fish salad, fried shrimp, grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, and pizza. Born and raised in a predominantly Catholic area, Lent in Northeastern Pennsylvania goes hand in hand with Church pizza bakes, fish fries, and homemade Polish pierogies in butter and caramelized onions. There’s really nothing like it.
There’s nothing like a Gramercy pizza on a Friday night during Lent (and all year long).
Even on Holy Thursday, my family would take me to visit the seven churches of Pittston in honor of Jesus’s walk up to Mount Calvary, I couldn’t get food off of my mind. Though it was supposed to be a somber event, I was still secretly excited about visiting those churches that passed out freshly baked bread to mark the feast of the Last Supper. I could barely contain the smile on my face when I felt that fresh roll from the National Bakery in my hands at St. Mary’s Assumption Church (R.I.P. St. Mary’s!). So naturally, I’ve grown to associate Lent with food – but my heart was always in the right place, with God, to whom I am sincerely thankful for blessing me and my family with food to eat. 
In honor of Lent, I thought I’d post this easy and healthy recipe for boneless “bites.” I just love boneless chicken bites, my favorite are from the Tipsy Turtle in Jenkins Township. A great alternative to boneless chicken bites and chicken wings for Lent is this meatless recipe that I saw Rachel Ray Show.  It’s SUPER easy and tasty AND healthy! This is def something I will be making again and again. You can eat these on their own or in a salad, as shown below. Just eat them right after roasting, since they’re better hot. 
Hot Honey Garlic Turtle Bites from the Tipsy Turtle.
Roasted cauliflower bites with blue cheese dipping sauce. 
Fairytale Cauliflower Bites and Blue Cheese Ranch Dipper

Adopted from Rachel Ray.
(Serves 2-4)

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce

  • For the ranch dipper:
  • 1 cup Greek-style yogurt
  • Juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh herbs (such as dill, chives and parsley), chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 450ºF. Place the cauliflower florets onto a nonstick baking sheet, dress with some EVOO and season with salt. Bake for 25 minutes, or until crispy and caramelized at edges. Remove from the oven, place into a large bowl and toss with the hot sauce. Serve IMMEDIATELY with Ranch Dipper alongside. (They’re not as good when they’re cold and soggy.)

For the Ranch Dipper:
In a small serving bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, herbs and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
Fold in the blue cheese, if using. Serve alongside the for dipping, or use as dressing in a salad like the Tipsy Turtle does in the photo below.

This is one of many “Yum-o!” recipes – it’s good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael’s nonprofit organization, visit

Hot Honey Garlic Turtle Bite Salad from the Tipsy Turtle. 

Tomorrow is the BIG day! (Pun intended.) Fat Tuesday marks the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season. Lent is a period of religious observance and fasting, usually lasting six weeks until Easter. Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras in French, is like the last hurrah before Lent, and is famously known as a holiday for eating rich, heavy foods. 

There are so many foods that I love to splurge on, but there’s nothing I love more than a gluttonous, bubbly, gooey, spicy cheese dip. It’s not hard to see why this dip is so splurge worthy when you look at the ingredients, but it’s just SOOOO good! This recipe is also great for a party because it makes a huge batch and can be made ahead of time.

(For Mardi Gras fans looking for NOLA style recipes, I’ve made gumbo before, you can see the recipe here.) 

Fairytale Cheesy Jalapeno Crab Dip
(Serves 8-10)

1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
1 cup aged white cheddar, grated
1 cup oz cream cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup American cheese
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped jalapeños
3 cloves garlic, minced

Fairytale Pita Chips (see recipe below)
Dipping Pretzels

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add a half stick of butter to a large heavy bottom sauce pan and let melt on medium high heat. Add the peppers and jalapenos and sauté until soft for a few minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. 

Reduce heat to medium and add heavy cream and cream cheese. Stir the mixture until for about 6-8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. The dip will start to thicken. 

Add the other cheeses in slowly. Once thickened, gently fold in lump crab meat so as not to disturb the chunks. Add the dip to the casserole dish. Keep a few chunks to place on top so you can see them. Sprinkle some reserved cheddar cheese on top. 

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until bubbling on top. Let sit for about ten minutes so it settles. Enjoy with pita chips and dipping pretzels. 

Fairytale Pita Chips

1 package of large pita breads
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Cut the pitas in wedges. It the pitas have a pocket in the center, then you could separate them but it’s not necessary. I like to keep them together. 
Lightly brush the pitas with olive oil. 

Bake in the oven for about ten minutes, or until lightly crispy and browned. When ready, toss in a bowl  with Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and parsley.


Remember that feeling that you used to get when the ice cream man came around? Well, there’s something to celebrate again. The food truck trend has hit Scranton – finally! The “What the Fork” truck was born last year and resided mostly in locations around Dunmore. It now regularly makes appearances in downtown Scranton on the corner of Spruce and North Washington and sometimes Penn Avenue and Spruce. 

It’s not hard to figure out why truck was cleverly named What the Fork. The menu, described as American Fusion, changes daily and seasonally. Some of the items that have appeared on the What the Fork Truck menu include these creative takes on classic lunch items: Reuben spring rolls with Russian dressing, lobster fried rice, sushi “bowl” with Yuengling battered shrimp, a fried turkey cutlet and waffle sandwich, lobster rolls, surf and turf cheesesteaks … you get the idea. This isn’t your typical hot dog and hamburger kinda stand.

Mainstays on this ##wtf menu are the beef sliders ($7) and pulled pork tacos ($6.5). The pulled pork tacos are absolutely delicious and right up there with some of the best tacos I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a lot of tacos. These soft, flour tacos are generously filled with smoked pulled pork, Sriracha slaw, sweet potato straws and candysauce (an apricot ginger barbecue sauce). I mean, I would get these every time if I wasn’t so tempted to try their other items. 

Pulled pork tacos with sriracha slaw and candysauce.

The beef sliders are made with pepperjack cheese and topped with “bacon jam” a bacon and onion relish. Mine were a little bit on the overdone side for my liking and I missed the slice of cheese on top, but they tasted a lot juicier and more flavorful than they looked and were VERY fresh. 

Beef sliders with the What the Fork’s famous #baconjam.

What the Fork makes their own french fries ($3) – Russet Burbank potatoes that are twice fried and sprinkled with pink Himalayan salt. These fries are the perfect example of what french fries SHOULD be – hand cut and fresh! Try dipping them in the spicy ketchup. If even these sound boring to you, there’s typically a menu item offering gourmet take on the fries, some with truffle oil and Parmesan, crab fries, or poutine (fries with gravy and mozzarella cheese). Sweet potato chips and waffle fries have also made appearances..

Huge greasy brown bag of hand cut french fries  – perfect guilty pleasure for a Friday at work!

Also on the menu – a daily soup like broccoli cheddar, sweet potato chili, andouille rice. I had the pumpkin chorizo, which was very memorable – I’ve never had anything like that before and I will be looking forward to having it again next fall. I also tried and loved the buffalo chicken soup. I was a little bit scared of it at first, but was pleasantly surprised – it wasn’t too thick or thin, it was just right and it was SPICY! They soups are served with a cute little “spork” – a combination of a plastic spoon/fork so that you can eat up your “soup” with ease. 

Pumpkin chorizo soup.

Buffalo Chicken Soup. 
This is just a small sampling of the offerings at the What the Fork food truck. I really look forward to trying the chocolate chicken chili (hopefully it makes an appearance again!) crab cake sliders, and queso sticks with ranch dressing the next time I feel like I want to be extra gluttonous. What the Fork has offered a salad before, and hopefully they will offer some kind of salad in the future or at least some greens to go with my sliders to trick my brain into thinking I’m eating a balanced meal. After all, summer is coming … 

The offerings at What the Fork range from about $3-$12. While critics can argue that this “street” food does not come cheap, one needs to remember that this isn’t frozen, processed fast food. You get what you pay for here – upscale, refined, fresh street eats. No worries if you haven’t got the cash to support your fine taste, this food truck takes credit cards!

Please visit find the daily location schedule and menu on facebook, twitter (@wtforktruck) or their website. Call ahead to place your order – or order at the truck, the food is worth the wait – even in this frigid winter!