Indulge Your Wanderlust and Engage Your Palate with National Geographic’s ‘Food Journeys of a Lifetime’ [REVIEW]

There’s nothing quite as memorable as a fine meal. (Photo by Elina Sazonova on

We are definite foodies. Anytime we travel, our trips almost always include exploring a farmer’s market, taking a cooking class to learn how to prepare regional cuisine, perching on a stool inside the tasting room at a vineyard to sample delicious wines, or finding the restaurants the locals love to eat at most and sinking our teeth into their most renowned dishes. So, when National Geographic’s second edition of Food Journeys of a Lifetime crossed our desk, we couldn’t wait to read it. Within its pages, we were delighted to discover that several of our favorite places made the cut and made an appearance. But we were equally delighted to learn even more about the very topic that makes us reach for our luggage and call our travel agent: food!

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‘How to Change a Life’ Is Decadent and Delicious [REVIEW]

Navy Pier Fireworks

A chef sees fireworks when she meets a hunky ex-athlete in Stacey Ballis’ How to Change a Life. (Photo by Michael Mayer, Flickr)

What happens when you cross novelist Nancy Thayer with culinary maven Lucinda Scala Quinn? Meet Stacey Ballis, an author whose books are as delicious and decadent as they are hilarious and heartwarming. In her latest novel, How to Change a Life, three longtime friends reunite to dare one another to take leaps of faith that lead to unexpected consequences.  Read more of this post

If It’s Good, Wrap It In A Crepe

Heather eats a crepe

Your hunger is destined to be satisfied by huge crepes that take two hands to hold! Heather chows down on her favorite Italian Crepe filled with pepperoni, ham, peppers, onions and Mozzarella cheese. Yum!

Last month, a visit to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in downtown Cincinnati taught us the importance of taking a stand for justice and of being the change we want to see in the world. But after five hours of touring the Smithsonian-affiliated museum, we were ravenous and in dire need of sustenance. That’s when we discovered a culinary treasure.

We’ve never been to France. Sure, foodies that we are, we’ve wanted to go to the place Colette made famous in her stories about the luminous Gigi, where we could dance under the Eiffel Tower, lose ourselves in the Louvre Museum, eat our weight in cheese, then wash it down with champagne. But it just hasn’t happened yet. The closest either of us has ever come is to stroll along the streets of New Orleans’ French Quarter where Creoles dish up hot beignets and po-boys stuffed with shrimp and crawfish.

When we left the Freedom Center one hot July afternoon with aching feet, blurred vision and our emotions on overload, both of us just wanted to sit down somewhere cool and eat something filling and delicious. We crossed over I-71, made our way up Vine Street, and voila, we discovered a bit of French culinary magic at It’s Just Crepes. From the moment we walked into the small store-front café, our senses were overcome by scents both sweet and savory. The aromas were so overpowering, the way our stomachs rumbled in appreciation you would have thought we were giving a pre-movie demonstration of THX® surround sound technology. So we studied the menu and realized that this joint offered much more than just the meager crepes selection presented at IHOP.

Now just in case some of you may not fully understand what a crepe is, we’ll tell you. It is basically a very skinny pancake made from a thin batter poured over a hot griddle or round hot plate. While crepes originated in France and are served by street vendors and at fine restaurants all over gay Paris, they are like tortillas in that almost every culture has their own version of them now.

It's Just Crepes

It’s Just Crepes offers a wide array of delicious crepes to satisfy every appetite, including sweet flavors like “Paradise” and “In Your Dreams” as well as savory selections like “Santa Fe” and “Florentine.”

Okay, so glorified stuffed pancakes might not sound very filling, but let me tell you that you could not be more wrong. Stuffed with everything from sweet treats to mouth-watering savory ingredients, they are quite a versatile meal. Admittedly, when Heather first suggested we try this little gem of a restaurant, I thought I would have to stop and grab a Big Mac on the way home to satisfy my hunger. That was definitely not the case!

It’s Just Crepes dishes up every sort of crepe imaginable, and even adds some new Americanized twists to this French classic. Heather chose the Italian crepe stuffed with Mozzarella cheese, sliced pepperoni, ham, banana peppers, sautéed onions, green peppers and pizza sauce. Because of my chronic spice addiction, I went straight for the Southwestern crepe filled with pepper jack cheese, diced chicken, sautéed onions and red peppers, and drizzled with a chipotle mayonnaise. Both were out-of-this-world delish! In fact, they were so good we both wore huge, satisfied smiles for the rest of the afternoon and gave the chef our compliments with a promise to return. And we’ve lived up to that promise… twice!

So now we have a new motto in our household: “If it’s good, wrap it in a crepe.” We think if you try It’s Just Crepes for yourself, you’ll soon be thanking us for the recommendation and may even find yourself quoting our new motto in your house. So what are you waiting for? Get your crepe on!

If you go: It’s Just Crepes now have three locations to satisfy your cravings. Find out more about their menu and get directions to all three restaurants by visiting their Website at Be sure to tell them Jathan & Heather sent you!

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment.