Sunday, November 23, 2014

C is for: Caramel Apple Jelly Shots

Someone asked me today if I'm doing anything Thanksgiving related on the blog this week.

Oh yeah. Thanksgiving. One of the biggest food holidays of the year.

And I'm a food blogger.

Yeah.... I should probably do something.

I'll admit, due to my recent London vacation, I did kind of drop the ball on the blog this year with regards to turkey day. Last year was great because my family and I celebrated a week early, which allowed me to test out a new turkey cooking method and create some brie mashed potatoes.

But... not to fear. I still have a delicious (and awesome) addition to your Thanksgiving celebrations.

Who doesn't love boozy jelly shots at family gatherings?!? These ones simply use apple cider and caramel vodka to create one of my favorite creations yet. To get the recipe, head over to Tablespoon. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2014

B is for: British Holiday {My London Bucket List}

Umbrella Art near Borough Market
Here's the thing about traveling: the more you do it, the more you crave it.

It's called wanderlust and it's sort of addicting.

So when I returned home from Greece this summer, I almost immediately began planning my next adventure.

My Aussie friends Jenna and Ben (whose wedding I attended in Australia with my mom in 2012), moved to London from SF around the same time I moved to Connecticut. I've been dying to visit and November seemed like as good a time as any. (My theory: since it's always grey and rainy in London, I wouldn't be missing out on any good weather back home).

Additionally, I planned to meet up with my college friend Breege who lives just south of London and my friend Max who lives in Prague.


I planned my stay for one week, and in the end this didn't feel like enough time to do everything I wanted. London is a gigantic city with a ton of history and cool things to see (and eat, and drink). Because of this, it's best to really prioritize what sights and activities are most important to you. In order to narrow it down, I consulted several friends who either currently live there or have lived there in the past and read several "London Bucket Lists" like this one and this one. There was no chance I could even attempt to do it all even if I tried, so I came up with my own personal London Bucket List and have shared it with you below.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

B is for: Birds & Bubbles {Restaurant Review}

Finally! 

A restaurant that completely validates my view on food and wine pairing. If you know me well, you know that I will pretty much drink the bubbly with anything. But that doesn't mean it goes with everything (though in my mind it does unless I'm eating a big juicy steak or something).

Many might argue that it also does not go with fried chicken. Well, sorry to break it you you but you're wrong (or agree to disagree). The bubbles and acidity provide a perfect way to cut through the fattiness of the chicken. I think the dry citrus flavors of the sparkling wine make an awesome pairing with the salty, peppery fried chicken.

Chef Sarah Simmons, you are speaking to my soul with the creation of "Birds and Bubbles" restaurant on Forsythe Street in NYC. And for that, I thank you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

B is for: Blue Cheese Stuffed Bosc Pears with Balsamic Glaze {+Arethusa al Tavolo Restaurant Review}

Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes.

I often draw mine for this blog based on a number of things. The alphabet (e is for eat!), the current season, fresh produce, experiences, adventures, and restaurants have all sparked my creativity when coming up with a new blog post.

These pears fit into all of the above.

My mom was here visiting last week, and at the top of her agenda was to experience the fall foliage that New England has to offer this time of year.

Originally, I had planned to take an overnight trip to Vermont since I have never been. Unfortunately, I injured my back right before her visit and suddenly a 3+ hour drive didn't sound like the best of ideas.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

B is for: Bubbles, Bikes & Baguettes {Adventures in Sonoma & Napa}

"I only drink champagne on two occasions. When I am in love and when I am not." -Coco Chanel

Anyone who knows me is well aware of my enthusiasm (obsession?) with bubbles. For me, sparkling wine is not merely limited to toasts or apertifs. I will drink it at a bar (providing they have a decent bottle), I will drink it with my entree, I will drink it on a random Tuesday while I'm working on my blog.

My friend Laura shares this love, and it's our mutual appreciation that sparked our "Bubbles, Bikes & Baguettes" trip. Originally, we planned to do it while I was still living in SF, but then Laura got pregnant with her second child, so we postponed. And then I moved 3,000 miles away. 

But never fear! Not even geography could keep us from living out our dreams!

Monday, October 13, 2014

A is for: Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apples & Quinoa

When I first told people I was moving to the East Coast after ten years in California, generally their first reaction was: "Those winters are brutal."

But it was almost always followed up with a secondary comment: "But you will love autumn."

Of course, both statements are absolutely true. Winter was pretty rough last year, and they're saying this year is supposed to be even worse. (Grrrrreaaaat.)

This makes it especially important to embrace and enjoy everything that New England fall has to offer.

Recently, I went apple picking with my friend Adam. I made sure not to go too crazy with my apple and pear bounty, but I knew I had to make something apple-related for the blog.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A is for: "ABC" Tamales

So I have this list.

It's a running list that includes blog ideas, that is, of course, organized alphabetically. And since very early in the writing of the list, the "T" section has included: "tamales."

It has long been something I have wanted to try, but have avoided due to all of the stories and cautions.

"They're hard."

"They're time consuming."

"They're not to be tackled alone."

And while all of these things are true, tamales are also fun, and totally worth the effort. Especially if you have an enthusiastic partner in crime.

My friend Kate fits that bill perfectly. We have been wanting to cook together pretty much since we met. So when our schedules finally coincided and I suggested tamales, she accepted without hesitation.
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