Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Diaries of a Married Jules

After loving writing Julie's Meltingpot for a couple of years now, it's time to give birth to another blog. I want to introduce you to Diaries of a Married Jules. Like so many of my other ideas and inspirations, this one came to me in the middle of the night; 2:26 am last night to be precise. Only time will tell if this was a brilliant idea or just a fleeting moment in the life of, yours truly. That of course does not mean that Julie's Meltingpot is retiring. I'm simply spreading my wings. My hope is that this idea will take flight and I can take you on a journey with a scenic view of my life as now, a married woman.

When I first started Julie's Meltingpot I was living in New York City, dating my still fairly new boyfriend, and living life in the fast lane. By living in the fast lane I mean that much of life was centered around eating at fabulous restaurants, socializing at the newest hot spot and taking advantage of all that New York City had/has to offer. My boyfriend at the time (and now husband) SB and I had a whirlwind romance and courtship in NYC and we thoroughly enjoyed every culinary moment we shared there.

Fast forward three years. We are now living in Chicago, married, still enjoying all that the culinary world has to offer and I'm still cooking. What's different? Well, it's interesting that you should ask. After we got married, the two predominant questions that people would ask me were, how does it feel to be married? and if they were feeling particularly daring, when are you planning on having kids?. I'm not entirely sure if those were simply rhetorical questions or if they were wanting real answers. My suspicion is that it's the prior. And if my suspicion is right, then in my case, all of you are getting way more than you bargained for. Because this blog is all about "how it feels to be married" and maybe, just maybe I'll even be addressing the kid issue. You'll just have to wait and see.

If you had asked me a day or a week after the wedding how I felt being married (and yes, people did indeed ask just a week after), I couldn't have really told you. I was on a high after the wedding. It was the singularly most amazing day of my life. The day of and the day after I felt like I was floating on a cloud. It felt as close to an outer body experience I will ever have. Even looking back now feels almost surreal. A week later I felt (yes, still blissfully happy and in love but) like a walking oxymoron; I felt different and yet the same. I couldn't really wrap my brain around it. Today, four months, two weeks and zero days later, I may have figured it out. That is, how it feels to me.

How it feels to me is actually not very different from the walking oxymoron version of myself: different and yet the same. But perhaps now, much less of an oxymoron. Same: well, I'm not going into detail on this one - I am obviously the same person still. Still 5'4" (ok..... more like 5'3" and 3/4", maybe a half), still have black hair, still Asian. Different: my name on papers and documents have changed. But more significantly and less obviously my thinking has changed. What I think about has changed. The married version of myself has made room for other things in my life.

When I was single what mostly preoccupied my mind was my career, my social calendar, where to go, whom to go with and food (obviously!). Yes, of course I thought about my future, my dreams, goals, aspirations, and how to be a contributing member of society (besides paying my taxes every year). However, the every day activities and thought processes were mostly filled with living in the moment. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. As a matter of fact, all of my experiences as a single person have played an integral part in shaping me into the person I am today. All of the good, bad and ugly. I certainly wouldn't say that my "singledom" was any less significant or important than my married life. Today however, what I think about mostly, what so often preoccupies my mind are things other than the above.

As I am growing into my married self, I am learning new things about myself and I am learning what it means to commit the rest of your life to another person. I am learning that everything that I do and every decision I make affects another person. I am learning that I have three families now. The family where I came from, the family where SB came from, and my own family that I am creating with my husband. I am learning the blending and the boundaries of all of those three. I cherish all the love and fun that comes with that but I am also learning to accept the at times frustrating and painful growing pains that come along with that as well. What is life, if it is not loving, growing and learning?

As the growing, morphing and ever evolving version of myself I am making room in my life for new experiences and challenges. Married Jules will share with you not just the before and after, but the beautiful and transformative part in between. You will discover that food is not all I think about :).

Yours truly,

P.S.: Below are some photos of our wedding (by www.ameliaanddan.com)

Monday, October 8, 2012

There's an app for that!

Hey guys,

I recently discovered the greatest iPhone app ever and I wanted to share it with you! Well - the greatest ever for self proclaimed foodies like me, at least! Ever watch the Food Network? Like "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" or "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives?" Ever say to yourself, I really need to eat at this place or that place if I ever happen to be in the area? Ever happen to be in those cities, towns and areas and totally blank on the name of the place you wanted to check out??? Well, NOW you don't have to remember because there's an app for that!!!!! It's called "food network" on the road. Where ever you are you can open the app and it will pull up all the places that were featured on the food network. You can also search by city, show, or whatever happens to be near you at any given place. Whatever you fancy! It's AWESOME!!! Most of the time it will also tell you what dish, or host favorite was featured. I mean you could plan a whole roadtrip just based on places you wanted to eat at - how cool would that be?! I've heard crazier things :). Give it a whirl - it's fun!!

Happy eating!!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Brunch @ The Publican

This looks like one heck of a brunch menu. Can't wait to eat!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Top Chef

To all of my friends in the blog world: you know how much I love, love, LOVE Girl & the Goat. I have never ever had a bad meal there. I could close my eyes and blindly order things off the menu at random and have complete faith in the fact that whatever would come out of the kitchen would be nothing less than delicious. Needless to say that I am a HUGE fan of Stephanie Izard, who is the winner of Top Chef, season four. Well, a day before my birthday I got to meet her. What a treat! And I am happy to tell you she is just as nice in person as she seems on TV.

She is opening a new place called the Little Goat Diner in October. I can't wait to try it. After SB and I moved from NYC to Chicago we were in search of great late night eateries. They are definitely not as abundant in Chicago as they are in NYC. I have no doubt that the Little Goat will become one of them, as they have late night eating until 2am in the morning. YAY!!! Here is a link to the website. Good luck Stephanie! We hope to see you soon at the Little Goat!

Happy eating!!


Saturday, October 29, 2011


Imagine this scenario: it's a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning, you and your significant other are strolling down the street. You look for a place to have brunch. But you don't want to go to the same old, same old places that you always go to. As you keep strolling you come across this new place that just opened up. How exciting you think! You look at your significant other, he looks at you - you nod simultaneously in agreement. Done and done! There are a ton of people waiting outside. It must be a good place, you say to yourself. You proceed to the host. She tells you that it is at least an hour and a half wait for a table. Oh man! Seriously?! And now you want it even more - because you know it has to be that good, right? Well, just as you are about to throw up your arms and say "screw it!" you see two people at the bar get up! Ahhhh grab those seats. RUN, RUN, RUN - you say to yourself (or your significant other). You know you saw those two girls eying those seats. You saw them first. You beat them. You don't feel bad about it. They were your seats. Must be your lucky day. You get settled in your seats. You feel good. The "mixologist" serves you your choice of poison. Ahhh life is good, you think. The "mixologist" tells you that the executive chef/part owner used to work at Charlie Trotter's. I mean what?? Score!!! It's getting better and better! You chat. You drink. You laugh. You order. Your food arrives. Your significant other bites into his food. He loves it. You take a bite of yours. It's gross. What?! I'm so confused. It's SUPPOSED to be good! It's supposed to be a spicy broth, noodle bowl. It's SUPPOSED to be yummy, delicious goodness! It's not. And then reality sinks in: it's not good - it's bad. Very bad. It's bland. It's flavorless. You say to yourself, even pond water has more flavor than this! The noodles disintegrates in your mouth. It resembles baby food. You put hot sauce in it. Nothing. You put more hot sauce in it - still tastes like nothing. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. Just forget about it and move on, right? Well - until..... the very friendly "mixologist" decides to bring over the executive chef to introduce you. And then he asks your significant other how he likes his dish. Your significant other LOVES it. He raves about it. Then the chef turns to you. He asks you. What do you do? Do you tell him honestly?? Or do you lie??

Happy eating!!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When the Goat made the Girl explode

Photos by girlandthegoat.com

I have been such a bad blogger lately! That certainly isn't because of a lack of eating. As a matter of fact, I feel like, eating and working is pretty much all I have been doing. Last night SB and I went to Girl & the Goat with our good friends Justyna and Craig, and we ate our faces off! I mean, we ate and ate and ate and ate and then, we ate some more. I was about ready to explode but I just couldn't stop. Everything was fantastic there! From the bread to the oysters to the chickpea fritters, the flatbread with julienned apples on top, to the mushroom ragout ravioli. According to the waiter the mushroom ravioli was one of the dishes that Stephanie Izard invented on Top Chef and won a challenge with. But I have to say the one thing I will not leave without having are - the green beans. I don't know what it is but I am convinced that they sprinkle some crack over the top. I mean it is soooo addicting. I try to tell myself every time "Julie, stop. Act like a lady. Leave some for the others" but then suddenly the dialogue in my head somehow turns to "I'll just take a little. Ok, just a little more. Ummm ok, just a teeny, tiny more, I'm sure no one will notice." And then I anxiously await until no one takes anymore, and I discreetly finish off the whole bowl. I know, the whole thing is kind of sad. Really. But I don't know why, but those green beans just possess some sort of strange power over me. It's crack. I'm sure of it.

Happy eating!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This is Your Life

Birthday love

Roses in my wedding color :o). I found them at the local farmers market.

My friend wonderful friend Lindsey of Toda New York sent me this most perfect and beautiful birthday card! A birthday card with a girl in a white dress and lavender/lilac colored flowers. How appropriate - considering that is my wedding color!

Thanks Linds for the perfect birthday card!

Beautiful birthday flowers from JCB, MK, Pies & Gibs. As you can see there is a theme: Purple! Thank you guys!!!

More gorgeous flowers from MS & Kev!

Thanks guys for all the birthday love! What could be better than flowers, cards, good food and good people on your birthday?? The answer is: not very much. T'was a good one :o). Love you guys!

Happy eating!!


Back to the roots...

The garden

My mum, happiest in her element :o)

A couple of weeks ago I came back from visiting my mother in Germany. She is the matriarch in our family who has taught me everything I know. Especially when it comes to all things concerning the kitchen, cooking, and good food. She has always told me that the ABC's of cooking and delicious food start with quality ingredients. Ever since I can remember, she has grown her produce in her very own garden, long before it was hip to buy organic food. Nowadays, I relish going to Whole Foods and buying my fresh food, but I must say that my wallet truly does not. Growing up, I took for granted the beautiful fruits and vegetables my mother would bring home in splendor. Today I wish I had her gardening skills (or lived closer to her!). On this trip to Germany, I accompanied her to her garden where she proudly showed me the fruits (literally) of her hard labor. This time around I could truly appreciate the beauty of her garden and hard work. This is where my journey as a self-proclaimed foodie began. I have however, not inherited the "growing/gardening" type of gene, as I seem to be incapable of keeping a mere orchid alive!

Happy eating!!


Blackberries - these will eventually be made into the best jam known to mankind.

Apple tree

Bell peppers





Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes!






More pumpkins



More pumpkins

The proud owner of her universe

Hot chili pepper in weird shapes





Hot chili peppers galore


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