For the past few years, Josh and try and take one vacation a year. We spend a lot of time dreaming about where we’re gonna go to next. 2019 is Paris (hopefully!) neither of us have been, so we can’t wait!
Every year we try and make sure we have enough points so our flights or hotel are covered. This makes the expense of the vacation itself a whole lot more manageable.
That’s why I’m super excited to be teaming up with American Express and their new Gold Card to share with you how to earn points for doing the things you love!
Did you know that The Instant Pot was the counter kitchen with the highest sales in 2018?! Isn’t that wild?!? That information blew my mind. And yet whenever I spoke to someone, they told me that someone had gifted them an Instant Pot but it was just sitting in a closet somewhere because they didn’t know what to make with it. Or it intimidated them and they didn’t know how to use it. I’m here to tell you: this is normal. It really is.
For a while, I was kinda annoyed at Instant Pot recipes because they seemed like Pinterest trap lol but honestly they’re pretty incredible. I had borrowed Billy’s for a few recipes but it wasn’t until a month or so ago that I actually got one and it has been a life-changer. I use it ALL the time. And on a day like Thanksgiving when the ovens are full and stoves are all busy, this can come in handy.
I’m shocked to say that I think this might be one of the only stews on this entire blog. When I realized this, I was shook! I grew up eating stews of all kinds because my mother believed in the power of warm food on a cold day. It can turn your mood completely around and feel like you just ate a huge hug.
In film school I was known—and yes, I say this braggingly–to always have the best food on my sets. I would approach local restaurants and ask for a donation, i.e., meals. And they would happily cater our shoots because we were poor college students of the arts and they loved what we created. Panera was one of those places that donated. And on one of the coldest days in October, we had their broccoli and cheddar soup with sandwiches and bread and salads; it transformed everyone’s mood. It was magical to see what the power of a good meal could do for people working hard.
I’m super happy to be teaming up with Panera for this post to speak about their new six-episode video series called Food Interrupted. Each episode follows leaders in the food world as they meet everyday heroes who have dedicated their lives to changing America’s food system. The fifth episode, Meat Interrupted, follows two chefs learning and showing ways to humanely raise animals. They speak about the differences between grass-fed and grain-fed, And the ways cows should live out their lives in fields of grass. It’s a fun watch, here’s a link!
I admittedly don’t eat an enormous amount of meat. I love vegetables (and cake) but when I do eat meat, I try and eat responsibly-raised meat. It’s not always easy for everyone due to access and budget, I totally understand this. However, Panera is committed to using responsibly-sourced, antibiotic free meat in their establishments and I think that’s really awesome. Continue Reading
Thanksgiving is like the cooking Olympics. Even people who don’t typically cook, cook. People who don’t typically bake, bake. It’s a time when you really have to roll up your sleeves and get busy—that Thanksgiving table depends on you!
I like to think that this hasselback butternut squash is the side dish anyone can make—no matter your cooking and baking skill level. It’s super simple, achievable and most importantly, beautifully delicious.
For this post, I teamed up with ALDI, which is a great and affordable place to head to for all things Thanksgiving. I went there to stock up on everything from baking ingredients (flours, sugars, etc.) to nuts (their walnuts are amazing) and oils (vegetable and olive oil).
Even though I was born in the South (hi Fulton county), my love for biscuits didn’t begin until I went to high school and would leave my four hour tennis practices depleted and hungry. Luckily there was a Popeyes right by the courts, but I never wanted to ruin my dinner completely so instead of getting chicken and a whole plate, I’d just order two biscuits with a side of butter and honey. Oh man, they were SO good.
That experience turned me into a hardcore biscuit-loving human. I love biscuits of all kinds but to be honest, ones made with shortening are it! And guess what, I’ve never baked them. I’ve always opted for full butter. And yes, they’re good, delicious even, but they’re not like this. I’m here to say that if you’re shy to bake with shortening, so was I but we’re here together, let’s do it!!
Last week I had the pleasure of going to lunch with Carla Hall and she was so amazing. We talked for a few hours about all sorts of things. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little nervous before, but once I sat down I was like, why was I so stressed?! She’s such a beautiful person, even better in person than what you see and know from TV.
Sometimes recipes are accidents. Does this ever happen to you? Where you add, like, one spice to something and then it turns into something else. Or maybe you accidentally mess something up and it’s a becomes a happy accident?
Billy told me that he was bored so he put peanut butter on a slice of pumpkin bread and it turned out to be amazing! So when he came over the other day and I was like, “I wanna make a twist on pumpkin bread,” he suggested I use tahini. I thought hmm…ok let’s try it. We were SHOCKED at how good it was. It didn’t sound awful but also didn’t sound like an absolute winner. You all, it was a winner delicious!
So here we are…
Whenever people ask me, “I’m not a baker, what should I bake as my first go?”
’Tis the time for turkey, mashed potatoes, beloved cranberry sauce and of course, piieeeee. I love me some pie. You all know this well!
This month is like The Super Bowl for food bloggers. I have SO many recipes planned and I cannot wait. I’m going to be posting on Insta Stories like a mad woman, making all the things, showing step-by-step how to a variety of my favorite T-day dishes. Here are tasty items to put on your to-make lists.
Cheddar Apple Rye Hand Pies – These hand pies are SO delicious. This crust is rye and cheddar—a magical combination. I highly recommend it.
Cacio e Pepe Macaroni and Cheese – Cheesy macaroni and cheese that is made SO much better by toasting black peppercorns and grinding them up. It breaks up the richness in this super delicious way.
Rose Apple Pistachio Tart – I will admit that this is a true labor of love. It’s the type of thing you make when you have friends and family in town. Or you’re really bored and don’t mind rolling apple rose after apple rose while you watch a movie on Netflix. I think of it like a meditation.
Black Bottomed Pecan Pie – This is one of my favorite pies of all-time. And this is someone who despises blind-baking anything. But in this instance it’s 100% worth it.
Apple Butterscotch Pandowdy – If you’re not in the mood for assembling a full pie but want the flavors of pie, then this is for you. It’s delicious baked apple slices in all sorts of warm spices with a pie crust on top. It’s like a pie cobbler.
Fluffy Creamy Mashed Potatoes – I’m making a new creamy mashed potato recipe this year (using my Instant Pot) and I’m excited. I’ll definitely use this as a base.
Pumpkin Raclette Macaroni and Cheese – I love this macaroni and cheese. It’s gloriously cheesy and the addition of raclette makes it very fancy. The pumpkin and jalapeño give it a little flavor kick, too.
Vegetarian Lasagna Roll-Ups – I like this meal for a Sunday dinner. We can’t eat mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie all month long, you know?
Vegetarian Squash Pot Stickers – I made this recipe in February but really they’re perfect for right meow. The squash with soy sauce and sesame oil and green onions is something I could eat over a bed of rice–it’s that good.
I’m currently sipping tea, attempting to heal my sore throat that is feeling all raspy and weary. On Saturday night I went to Hollywood Horror Nights at Universal Studios and screamed like the gigantic baby that I am.
Why is that we know it’s fake but believe it’s real. Lol. Our brains are so complicated.
Monsters and gremlins jumping out at me really drained my energy too because I’m currently a lil’ bit exhausted. Luckily I healed my self with a big Cinnabon cinnamon roll and a batch full of shells I had waiting for me in the freezer.
Let’s talk about shells today. Beautiful, big, glorious shells. I honestly have no idea why I don’t make them more. Whenever I make them,I’m like, why don’t I do this needs to be on a weekly rotation.
They’re also an amazing thing to gift. If you have someone in your life who is having a surgery, is sick, having a baby, etc., this is a great thing to drop off their house. They will love you forever.
You can also make this batch and eat half and freeze half.
If you have followed me for a while then you probably know that I’m not really the type to give you an appetizer that is also made up of “bloody” cupcakes, or a spooky one-eyed appetizer…or something green and murky with a chocolate monster coming out of it.
You see, me and Halloween are really not a vibe. And that’s ok. There are some holidays that’s aren’t me and I just let them pass without giving them any real attention. Halloween has been that type of holiday for me for a long time. Except this year…maybe.
My lukewarm sentiments towards Halloween started as a kid. Haunted houses actually scared me. A Charlie Brown Halloween gave me nightmares. I hated dressing up (so uncomfortable), disliked the stories about potential grownups giving us spiked candy that was filled with razor blades (do they still tell kids these scary stories?) and generally would pass on anything bright orange.
But over the past couple of years, I’ve come to like it. Like, ok maybe I’ll buy some Halloween candy, I’ll dress up Amelia in a costume that she hates but tolerates. Maybe I’ll bring a bloody finger appetizer I found off Pinterest to this party. And maybe I’ll dress up.
This year I’m dipping my toe in once again with these spooky mummy pumpkin pop tarts.