Monday, July 27, 2015

V is for: Vegan Valencia Orange Sherbet

As a kid, trips to the Great Falls, Montana mall were synonymous with the Orange Julius stand. If you've never had one (and unless you grew up in the Midwest), the best way I can explain it is like a creamsicle blended up into a shake.

It was orangey, it was creamy, it was delicious.

That's what this orange sherbet reminds me of.

I decided to make it vegan to go along with the alphabet theme, so I subbed coconut milk for the dairy here. I actually LOVED this substitution, as it gave it a bit of a tropical feel.

You'll need about 2 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice, which will take about 8 oranges. To speed up the process, store the oranges and the coconut milk in the fridge until you're ready to make your sherbet. (And yes, it's sherbet, not "sherbert.")

Thursday, July 2, 2015

U is for: USA USA Boozy Popsicles

Never before has a post been more appropriate than it is this weekend.

Not only will we be celebrating our nation's independence with BBQ's and fireworks on Saturday... but Sunday we will be cheering on the U.S. women as they try to capture their first World Cup title since 1999.

In other words, a lot of red, white and blue.

Enter these slightly boozy, super fun and extra delicious popsicles. Perfect for cooling down on a warm summer day and celebrating good ol' 'Merica.

Also... special shout out to my friend Jeremy. I was feeling a little un-inspired and tempted to skip over the letter "U" all together this time. But he insisted I stay the course and came up with a few ideas to help get me going.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

T is for: Tuna Tartare Tacos with Mango & Avocado

My friend Stephanie celebrated her 30th birthday last weekend and kicked off the day of festivities with a BBQ at her place.

I asked what I could bring, and she put me in charge of bringing an appetizer of some sort.

That left my options pretty wide open, so I decided to make something that I could also share on the blog.

I've been wanting to do some sort of tuna tartare for awhile, and I felt like this was a perfect opportunity. It's a nice appetizer for a hot day because it's served cold and is very light to contrast with the heavier BBQ fare.

Plus... who doesn't love mini tacos of any sort?!?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

T is for: Tequila Sunrise Jello Shots

Last weekend, my friends Ashley and Matt decided to host the inaugural Backyard Olympics at their house. (AKA drinking and playing lawn games in the sun). I asked what I could bring, and they both responded with the same answer:

"Jello Shots."

Well duh.

It was about 85 degrees that day, so I wanted to make something fun, summery and refreshing. (And also something that started with "T" so I could post it on the blog).

(Double duh).

Enter these Tequila Sunrise Jello Shots, complete with multi-functional drink umbrellas. It's basically summer all wrapped up into a miniature, disposable shot glass.

Friday, May 22, 2015

S is for: South Africa, Part III: Safari at Notten's Bush Camp

As I mentioned in Part I of this post, going on safari was at the top of my South Africa bucket list (and my bucket list in general), just as diving with Great White Sharks was at the top of Dana's.

As a kid, I was always obsessed with the "big cats," and you will find many of them in South Africa, such as lions, leopards and cheetahs. Naturally, seeing those were a priority for me during our 2-day safari.

Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in South Africa, and one of the largest in all of the entire continent. While there are camps you can stay at within the park, my research led me to Sabi Sands, which is a private game reserve just outside of Kruger. There are no fences between the two, so the animals are free to roam as they please. Benefits of a private reserve include luxury accommodations and often times, better game viewing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

S is for: South Africa, Part II: Cape Town Food & Wine

Stellenbosch Wine Tasting
Since the idea for our South Africa trip was hatched over a glass (ok, bottle) of wine, it's only fitting that we drank plenty of it during our 8-day stay.

Just outside of Cape Town, you'll find the Cape Winelands, which is the largest producing wine region in South Africa. It is divided into six individual sub-regions, of which we visited half. (Did I mention we like wine?)

Cape Town is also home to some really fantastic and eclectic food. The entire country is a melting pot of cultures, which of course spills over into the cuisine. There's a strong Malaysian influence, stemming from when the Dutch brought over Malay slaves in the 1600's. There's also traditional African staples, as well as European influences. (Don't worry, we tried pretty much all of it!)

S is for: South Africa, Part I: Adventures in Cape Town & Beyond

View from our Air BnB terrace
My friend Dana and I have only known each other for about a year and a half, but right away it was clear we were meant to be lifelong friends. Early on, we discovered that we both share a passion for good food, wine, traveling the world and the occasional late-night Taco Bell run. It was a friendship match made in heaven.

So as we were sitting on her couch in December (drinking wine, obvi), I asked what her travel plans were for 2015. She said she wasn't sure, that she really wanted to go to South Africa and dive with Great White Sharks, but added that no one would go with her. To which I immediately replied (/slash yelled): "Uhhhh.... I'll go! As long as we can go on safari."

And with that, our South African adventure was born. We both had a desire to spend considerable time in Cape Town, and made that our home base for six days. Many tourists opt to stay in Camps Bay by the ocean, but we were having none of that. Instead, we settled on a perfect Air BnB flat in the city center with a killer view of Table Mountain and close proximity to everything (namely, the bars on Long & Bree Streets).
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