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Category Archives: Kitchen Adventures

A New Christmas Tradition: Racine Danish Kringle

Drawing Secret Santa names. Deciding on menus for Christmas Eve and Christmas Dinner. Baking with my mom in her kitchen. Trimming the tree while drinking wassail. Deliberately cooking too much food to ensure a proper amount of leftovers. Arranging the dinner table centerpiece with candles and festive citrus and herbs from my mom’s garden.

A New Christmas Tradition: Racine Danish Kringle | @innatsshoes

Despite loving the wave of nostalgia I feel when I think about my family’s holiday traditions, there’s something kind of neat about stumbling upon a new one.  Read the rest of this entry


Spicy Chicken Teriyaki Fried Rice Bowls

The weather in Napa has been quite erratic lately, but I’m not complaining. No, I rather like this slightly rainy, slightly overcast weather we’re currently experiencing. However, it makes me far less productive than normal, as I want to be dressed in my comfy clothes, curled up under a warm throw while sipping tea and reading for leisure. Or in the kitchen cooking up something comforting and tasty.Like my new favorite chicken teriyaki fried rice bowls.  Read the rest of this entry

Cheesy Chipotle Jalapeño Popper Dip

Did you all enjoy the weekend? Mine was packed with work, volunteering, family, and kitchen time, but was heaps of fun. Plus, I had a special task I was able to successfully (and deliciously) complete!

Cheesy Chipotle Jalapeño Popper Dip | @innatsshoes

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Last week, I received a surprise package from the cheese gods at Sartori, thanks to #Foodiechats. My mission was to create a dish using one or more of the cheese Sartori sent me that would be perfect for game day.  Read the rest of this entry

Vanilla Overnight Oats with Almonds and Cranberries

This past weekend was jammed full of events, wine, food, cocktails and travel. I ventured as far south as Santa Cruz for a Leon Russell concert and way up north to Windsor for a wine country fundraiser. (Were you following along on my Instagram?) Sunday we officially celebrated my dad’s birthday with barbecue, bourbon and cake late into the evening. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to starting the week off feeling tired.

I’ve heard that one way to guarantee an energized morning is to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. I’ve never been one of those people to eat so early! Instead, I require coffee within moments of waking up, which is why I love setting my coffee machine up the night before. No need to think about anything when I’m not awake in the morning — just wander into the kitchen, fill up a cup, top with milk and drink.

Vanilla Overnight Oats with Almonds and Cranberries | @innatsshoesNow, I’ve found something new and delicious that I love each morning: Vanilla Overnight Oats with Cranberries and Almonds. Read the rest of this entry

Spicy Chili-Lime Chicken Tacos

Despite loving to travel and very much enjoying my trip, I’m still recovering from my visit to west Tennessee. And I don’t just mean the exhaustion from two full days of traveling or the aches in my body from sitting in an airplane seat and lugging around my tightly packed carry-on. No, I mean my taste buds.

For the duration of my trip, I survived on tasty Memphis-style barbecue, chicken ‘n dumplings, pulled pork, hamburgers, and casseroles. Plus all of the desserts we made, like my bourbon pecan pie bars and chocolate chip cookies. Basically, I was craving fresh veggies paired with a spicy depth that only Asian and Mexican flavors can provide.

Enter these tacos bursting with Thai-Mexican fusion flavor!

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1, 2, 3 Cookies: Chocolate White Chip Cranberry

It’s been an interesting couple of months weather-wise here in Napa Valley. Highs in the 90s one day and hail storms on others. Is it winter? Is it spring? Sprinter?

When it’s hot out, I want nothing to do with the kitchen. I want a big fresh salad and a glass of sauv blanc on the patio, please. But on days with clouds or rain, I want to be cozy in the kitchen, baking something tasty. And thankfully, it doesn’t have to be anything terribly difficult. I usually just create a new version of my favorite 1, 2, 3 Cookies, like I did here.

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Apple Cider Sangria

Well, I officially lasted about a week into my “Dry January” challenge. Maybe “Dry February” will be a better fit. It’s all about intentions, right?

Anyway, one of my favorite cocktails from the 2015 holiday season was this ridiculously easy and incredibly tasty apple sangria. Plus, it helped me use up the plethora of apple cider I bought during my Apple Hill adventure this past fall. It was a little too easy to drink and way full of booze, so it was a perfect choice for both my roommates’ going away party and a lazy Friday night.

Total win-win.  Read the rest of this entry

Peppermint Shortbread with Chocolate Drizzle

Can you believe Hanukkah just happened and Christmas is next week!? I had the best intentions of baking all the time and gifting the most glorious food gifts, but time has slipped away from me.

But don’t worry. I made these festive treats that are so tasty, I’m sharing the recipe with you! Read the rest of this entry

Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Soup

It’s finally acting like fall in Napa and I am so absolutely thrilled! We had a very intense thunder and lightening storm all afternoon, which reminded me of the summer storms back in Tennessee. It was perfect. Well, almost. I was really wishing I’d been at home snuggled up in bed with Betsey, a book, and a huge bowl of my new favorite soup.

But instead, I was at work. Womp womp.

Let’s chat about my new favorite soup that I found on Damn Delicious, shall we?

I had a butternut squash I needed to use from my Apple Hill trip. You know, the one where I bought a million apples and I made the Brown Butter Apple Pecan Upside Down Cake to use up some of the apples? I swear I’m sharing more about that soon.

Anyway, I was on the search for a tasty butternut squash soup recipe and stumbled upon one on Damn Delicious. It seemed like it would fit my bill. As Damn Delicious blogger Chungah notes, “The secret is simple but very crucial to make this soup what it is is. It’s the process of roasting the butternut squash with bacon, and then blending them right up. That way, you have that smoky bacon goodness built right into the soup.” And boy is she right! The bacon adds a rich smokiness that makes the soup silky and decadent without the addition of cream or butter. Plus, the onions and garlic start to caramelize and it’s just absolute heaven.

And I cannot get enough.  Read the rest of this entry

Let Me Upgrade You: Brown Butter Apple Pecan Upside Down Cake

I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of cake for breakfast. I’ll use any excuse to have cake for breakfast or to make a recipe for cake that could be eaten for breakfast. It’s almost a problem. Almost.

This “almost problem” came to light again after visiting Apple Hill in Placerville, CA a few weekends ago. More on that to come, but just know that I walked away with more than 10 lbs. of apples because I got a little overzealous with my shopping. And that’s not even counting the apple products I bought..

Clearly, I needed to find a recipe to use up a bunch of apples. So I made this for you.

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