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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Tahoe Eats: Sweetie Pie’s

The last post of birthday-related post month. *Le sigh* Okay I actually can’t promise that, as Emily got me this really awesome book called Intoxicated Cupcakes: 41 Tipsy Treats, by Kate Legere, for my birthday (does the girl know me, or what?). Which obviously means I’ll be testing them out and posting them up here! And I still want to share Bec’s homemade mac and cheese recipe from my birthday barbecue, if I can find a way to get it from her! Then there’s the wine tasting trip with Charise.. But I’ll put those on hold for a bit while I try to be more crafty!

Okay, onward to the post! On our way home from Tahoe, we decided to stop for lunch in Placerville. My family was interested in seeing if a restaurant they’d been to years ago was still open. Sweetie Pie’s was in fact, still open! I was confused at first, because there is a Sweetie Pie’s in Napa, and I expected them to be part of the same chain. Spoiler: they aren’t even related!

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Great-Grandma Emogene’s Coconut Cake

As you saw in the pictures for Judy’s Apricot Tart, there was a delicious looking, fluffy white cake with fluffy frosting, and coconut all over. That happens to be the cake my mom made for the barbecue on my birthday. This wasn’t just any cake, though. My mom made me a coconut cake using my great grandmother’s recipe. Or so we think.


See, my great grandma Emogene was especially secretive with her recipes. There are stories of her simply refusing to share a recipe. Others talk about how it was very likely she would only give you *most* of the recipe, but leave out an ingredient or two, because it never quite tasted the same as when she made it. Miss Emogene (as we all called her) was a southern lady, and tended to use her experience in the kitchen, rather than units of measure. So many of the recipes we did get from her aren’t exactly concrete (i.e. a dash of this, a handful of that, etc.). This is one of those recipes.

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Tahoe Eats: Basecamp Pizza

I’m a huge fan of pizza. I consider it to be a hangover cure (or prevention tool). It’s a great happy hour food. Lovely for a movie or game night. And it has cheese. I’m a huge fan of cheese. I’m pretty sure I could become a vegan if I didn’t have to give up cheese to be successful in the lifestyle.

I’m also a huge fan of the Hunger Games. I’ll spare you the bad joke about being incredibly hungry after watching the intense movie starring Jennifer Lawrence while in Tahoe. But really, I was hungry after sitting in a movie theater for almost two and a half hours. On my way back to the hotel, we stopped by Base Camp Pizza located in Heavenly Village.

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Tahoe Eats: Kalani’s

So it appears that I’m turning this into a birthday-related posts month. But I can be okay with that. Also, I’m pretty aware on how I have been posting food post after food post, without a whole lot of  travel posting, and nearly nonexistent craftiness posting. *Pinky promise* that will change after this weekend (my only non-busy weekend over the past month and for the foreseeable future) when I will be crafting up a surprise or two for my dear Aussie friend Melly. Since I still have three-ish days to post about my birthday month food, I’ll be taking advantage of it!

On our first day in Heavenly Village, we wandered around all of the shops and restaurants, trying to figure out where we wanted to go and what we could live without. Kalani’s had their menu posted outside and we took a peek. Yum! We agreed we’d go back for their happy hour, and what a delicious decision that was.

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Judy’s Apricot Tart

On my actual birthday we had a small barbecue to celebrate. Everyone brought something to contribute, from homemade mac and cheese, to green salad, and of course, dessert! Judy made me an incredible apricot tart using apricots from our family’s apricot tree. This tart was so delicious and well-received by everyone that night. It’s also pretty gorgeous, as you can see below.

She forwarded me the recipe from Bon Appétit as found on Epicurious so that I can make it sometime.


Isn’t it beautiful?

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Tahoe Eats: Beach, Burgers, and Brew

Though my birthday was a week ago, I’m continuing on with birthday-related posts! On the way back from Emerald Bay lookout, we stopped at Camp Richardson for lunch and to take a peek at the beach. Camp Richardson is a historic resort in South Lake Tahoe, and is known for its full service marina, lodging, and cross country ski resort. As we drove through the camp, we saw adorable cabins and woodsy outbuildings. We finally came to the restaurant we were pretty sure we were looking for, The Beacon Bar & Grill. See, family friends of ours had taken my parents to a restaurant in Camp Richardson a few years ago. Neither my mom nor my dad could remember the name of it. They both agree that it had an awesome view of the lake and a nice beer selection. However, they couldn’t agree upon whether or not the food was worth going back to. Well, we were about to find out.

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Emerald Bay Lookout

My family and I ventured up to South Lake Tahoe for a few days of relaxation in celebration of my birthday. Determined to do some touristy things while on vacation, we make a quick trip up to Emerald Bay lookout. Such gorgeous views! Those who are so inclined can hike, camp, or simply take in the views of Emerald Bay State Park.

Interesting fact: it’s the #1 Thing to do in Lake Tahoe on U.S. News, and it’s free to do!


While we didn’t hike or camp, we snapped a few pictures and headed back down to Camp Richardson for lunch and to check out the beach. I think it’s pretty safe to assume what my next post will be about!

Napa Eats: Mini Mango Thai Bistro

Hi, my name’s Natalie, and I’m a picky eater. (Cue the group welcome from the interwebs) Mushrooms, no way. Onions, only if I can’t detect their crunch. Tomatoes, only in sauce or cleverly hidden in a sandwich. I’ve pretty much always been this way with certain foods and textures. I usually just pick around whatever it is I hate don’t care for. Slowly but surely, I’m getting better at being more open to food. It’s not an easy process.

For my birthday, my family and friend Charise took me out to lunch at one of my top five restaurants in Napa, Mini Mango Thai Bistro. Funny thing about this restaurant: it was the restaurant that made me fall in love with Thai food! See, not only am I a picky eater, I’m also a newbie Thai food fan. During my enlightenment period in college, I constantly refused offers of going out to Thai food for lunch, dinner, a midnight snack, made by my friends. My family would offer to take me out to Thai restaurants in Napa, and I would scowl, and ask to go to sushi instead. Sounds pretty contrasting to being “enlightened”, doesn’t it? I couldn’t agree more. It wasn’t until the semester before my travels abroad in Europe that I finally began giving food I once considered “weird” or “creepy” (yes, food can be creepy!) a try. One such occasion brought me to  and had me falling in love with Thai food.


Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane, shall we? Read the rest of this entry

Birthday Cake Bark

In honor of my birthday, I figured I’d post something birthday-related. Late last month, in addition to the s’more brownies, I made this recipe for my Uncle David’s 50th birthday/surprise Giants game event. He’s not much of a sweets guy, so my aunt told me to make whatever I wanted to bring for the group of 20 or so. Okay, I also have to confess something: the title is partially a lie. But before you curse me for making you think there is something as simple as a no bake birthday cake, hear me out.. it’s not a cake, but it tastes like one! P.S. it also has only four ingredients!!!

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S’more Brownies

Hmm.. Campfire favorite. Any guess what this post will be about?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, so I figure this one will rock your socks off because not only is it so easy but it a new twist on a classic American favorite: s’mores! The lovely thing about this recipe? No campfire necessary!

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