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Friday Five

Happy March, everyone! I cannot wait until days are longer (and warmer!) and it’s not dark out when I wake up. However, I certainly didn’t mind spending some time in the snow last weekend. I skied for the first time and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to go back!

Now, let’s get this Friday Five started with some of my favorite links from around the web!

Friday Five | @innatsshoes1. Calling all ladies who want to explore India! Erin from The World Wanderer has an incredible opportunity coming up in October 2017, that includes yoga, volunteering, and immersing yourself in India’s culture alongside other women from around the world! I’m definitely checking to see if I can make this happen! More details available here.

2. I’m so excited! I can now make my favorite order at Chinese restaurants at home using this recipe!

3. Are you as absolutely mesmerized by this DIY tutorial as I am? I have a feeling I’ll be trying my hand at making my own in the near future!

4. So, the ladies over at the Lazy Travelers argue that their recent vacation spot is the perfect spot for Instagram lovers. After seeing the photos, can you disagree?!

5. Never throw out leftover mashed potatoes again! Just use this delicious recipe and dip in the spicy sauce.

 

 

Celebrating Fall at Apple Hill

Celebrating Fall at Apple Hill

Do you have any fall traditions? I started a new one this year!

I’ve heard about Apple Hill for many years and I’ve been wanting to go for a while. Located about 90 minutes from Napa in Placerville, Apple Hill attracts people from all over northern California and is known for its gorgeous views, bountiful apple harvest, and great photo opps.

And who doesn’t love an opportunity to try apple beer, apple bbq sauce and pick out pumpkins?! Read the rest of this entry

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Hi guys. I have some really exciting news that I really want to share with you. But I can’t yet! My darling friend Kortni (who, by the way, is engaged!) and I have been working on some seriously cool things recently. Well, she has been working really hard.. But anyway, I’m trying really hard not to spill the beans just yet.

So I thought I’d share something else today. Something that will fit with my your New Year’s resolutions. It’s really hard to mess up and super quick to make. And it’s delicious.

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Your Guide to Holiday Eating

This time of year is my absolute favorite. So. much. good. food! And we all know how much I like food. So guys, grab a drink (preferably something bubbly and fun), it’s time to have a serious talk.

You’re going to either be going to or hosting holiday parties over the next 6-8 weeks (some of us like to celebrate things longer than others. Don’t judge!). As a host, you’re responsible for quite a bit of food and that can be overwhelming. As a guest, you need to bring something. Wine/booze is always a good bet, but sometimes your host wants you to help out with the second best part of parties: food. Do not be a jerk and take the easy route, bringing something like crackers and cheez-whiz to a party! (First of all, ew.) You need to bring something mostly homemade. And I’m sharing the easy recipes below that will help you fool party guests into thinking you’re a kitchen pro. Read the rest of this entry

White Chip Cranberry Cookies

I’m in love with fall and I don’t care who knows it! To me, fall is synonymous with baking and cooking. And enjoying apple pie-scented candles while sipping a homemade salted caramel hot chocolate as it rains outside. So you can imagine my excitement when the girls from #C2CCS (Coast to Coast Cookie Swap) and I decided to do another swap, which obviously meant more baking!

We switched up the #C2CCS format a bit. The #C2CCS girls and I each mailed to 3 of the 6 bloggers in the group and received cookies from a different set of bloggers, rather than mailing cookies to everyone in the group (the cost to ship to 5 people across the country is expensive!). We also welcomed Amber from Domestic Wannabe to the group. She also happens to be my cousin and the other little cutie pie in the photo of us baking with my grandma in Forked Deer below.

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We always love baking with grandma!

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Super Easy Oven Roasted Chicken

It’s been a busy few weeks! My trip to Asheville was a huge success in terms of great food, fun family, loads of exploration. Then, all sorts of birthday week month events were happening and were simply delightful. And then, my cousin’s 30th birthday festivities which took over the Napa Valley. But, amid all of these shenanigans, I’ve been meaning to share something extra tasty with you.

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Vanilla Bean Frosting

Happy Thursday, all! I’m pretty excited about this weekend, as BottleRock is happening in Napa. It will be my first year attending, and I’m curious to see what all the fuss is about. And, well, to be completely honest, I want to see which food vendors are there!

Anyway, last week I’d posted about the scrumptious chocolate cake recipe I’d made for my dad’s birthday and mentioned that I’d also be sharing the recipe for the vanilla frosting that went with it. So here we are, following through and such!

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The Only Chocolate Cake Recipe You’ll Ever Need

This week, my dad had a birthday. Happy birthday, dad! I was trying to be a good daughter, so I wanted to make him his favorite cake (chocolate cake with vanilla frosting) for the festivities. In the past, I’ve grabbed a box cake mix and tub of frosting at the store and prepared the celebratory cake. This year, however, I decided to be an overachiever and make the cake and frosting from scratch. Because it was such a success, I wanted to share with you all. And seriously, you wont regret trying it out.

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Heading Down to Forked Deer

There’s something very nostalgic to me about traveling. Stress-inducing, too. What to pack? But I mostly feel nostalgia. One of my first trips ever was back to Tennessee, where my dad’s family has lived for many generations. I was an infant, and if the stories are true, I showed my mom my appreciation for paying for my trip by barfing all over her. Right before she met my great-grandmother (her grandma-in-law), you know, the one who makes the famous coconut cake. You’re welcome, mom.

Growing up, I headed back out to my grandparent’s property every other year, or so. Forked Deer, as we called the property near Gates, TN, is pronounced “Forka-deer” with a Southern accent. Interesting fact: I didn’t learn that it was spelled Forked Deer– as it’s named after the Forked Deer River– until I was like, 15 and saw a street sign. Mind. Blown. 

Just last week, I flew out to Memphis and drove the hour or over to Forked Deer. Obviously, we stopped at the first Cracker Barrel we saw. I was seriously bummed that the food wasn’t the same as I’d last had in 2011. My Gramma blames that on Cracker Barrel going national which was news to me. But what can you do?

Anyway, I wanted to share one of my favorite places to get away to. I hope you enjoy the photos of my travel as much as I enjoyed my trip! Read the rest of this entry

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello there friends! Apologies for being MIA. But do I have some fun news to make it up to you!

A few weeks back, some lovely ladies and I got to scheming about a cookie swap. Allie from Sweet Potato Bites, Karla from Foodologie, Jazzy from JazzyJonez, and Coco from Urban Chick’s Foodie Ventures and I decided that we would all make cookies, send a half-dozen to each of the participating ladies, and then share our recipes on our blogs. Allie, Karla, Coco and I are all residing in California, while Ms. Jazzy lives in Washington D.C. so we wanted to get creative in the naming process. And thus, Coast to Coast Cookie Swap was born!

I was determined to finally post about my absolute favorite cookies I’ve made. Seriously, this will be the only recipe you’ll ever need to either make yourself happy or impress a guy/girl/family member/potential family member/boss.

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