Thursday, September 3, 2015

Around the Web

Ready to plan holiday travels. 

A website that shows you the timelines of some of our favorite startups - via Startlin

Good stuff coming to Netflix this month - via Yahoo

How to budget for self-employment - via The Everygirl

The history of dating told through Gilmore Girls - via Hello Giggles

Dealing with professional burnout? Here are some ways to cope - via The Financial Diet

The rules of Instagram (so funny) - via

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

French Toast with Bourbon Peach Syrup

I love breakfast. Often times John and I will have breakfast for dinner and it makes me so happy. When it comes to breakfast foods, French toast, is definitely one of my favorites. I don't know what it is but it just makes me so happy inside to eat French toast. Full disclosure: I love going to IHOP; my friends and I used to eat there all the time in college - way too late at night early in the morning, I might add. Even to this day, if John and I visit an IHOP, which isn't very often, I always order the French toast. I'm pretty sure their French toast is nothing special but I just love it. It reminds me both of my college years and of my childhood.

Some of my first memories of French toast are definitely being at home with my parents on the weekend and watching one of them make me French toast. I carefully observed their techniques and tucked them away in my little memory bank to save for a later date. Today, I can make French toast with my eyes closed but it's so sad because I don't make it that often. I need to do a better job of waking up some mornings and making breakfast for John and I.

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned the cookbook, Easy Gourmet? Well, I'm still raving about it. In fact, my last column was a recipe from this book: seafood pappardelle. So good. Today's post is another fantastic recipe from Easy Gourmet.

I altered the recipe slightly. The original recipe calls for the addition of vanilla mascarpone, which in theory sounds great but I have this weird thing with white stuff. You knew that already, right?

For the toast:

2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 thick slices of bread
1 tbsp. butter

Beat eggs, milk and cinnamon together in a shallow bowl. Dip slices of the bread into the egg mix, flipping once. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the soaked slices of bread and fry until golden brown on both sides.

For the syrup:

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. white sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup water
2 peaches sliced

In a small saucepan, bring the sugars, bourbon and water to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down and add the peaches. Let the liquid bubble gently. Reduce to a syrup-like consistency, about 5-6 minutes.

Top the toast with the syrup and some peaches and you are in for a delicious treat. I made this two mornings in a row.

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Weekend

Even though I love August, it surprisingly makes me sad at the same time. The constant reminder that summer is soon coming to an end just doesn't sit right with me. Even though I'm not in school and as adults, we don't get a real "summer break", there's just something about summer that just makes us all more relaxed and happy. I hate to see that go. Fall and winter just don't have the same pizzazz that summer...or even spring does but I'm changing my attitude towards both of those seasons; I'm declaring it right now. I will have a brighter outlook on fall and winter despite the fact that one of those seasons makes me cold.

Anyway, this weekend was pretty chill. John and I hung out a bit and I tried to get some planning done on a little passion project I'm working on. I did head out to brunch with a few friends but overall it was pretty relaxing. I'm just trying to soak up the last few weekends of summer before they're gone.

Hope you all had a magical weekend - happy Monday!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Around the Web

Ready for shows. Not the season. Just the shows.

Ruh roh. Instagram made an update some folks won't like - via Brit & Co.

The ultimate list of squad goals - via Huffington Post

Need to get more storage on your iPhone? Use these tips - via CNET

The hilarious Tumblr of a therapist intern - via The Imperfect Therapist

This writer refuses to make her work her life - via Refinery29

How folks drink coffee all around the world, so cool - via Huffington Post

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cookie S'mores Sandwiches

For someone who doesn't care a great deal for marshmallows, they've definitely been all around me lately. What can I say, the people love it so I'll jump on the bandwagon too. Anyway, you're probably tired of me constantly talking about Salem Baking Company's cookies, right? Have you listened to me and actually gone out and purchased some yet? Hopefully you have and now you understand why I love them so much. So light, so airy but super-flavorful all at the same time. I've said over and over again that the spicy ginger ones are my favorite but I think they have some stiff competition; the Meyer lemon ones are pretty tasty too.

OK back to the s'mores. I got the idea to make sort of a deconstructed version of s'mores using Salem Baking cookies. if you've been following my little blog for a while, you know that I'm not always the best at documenting my 'on the fly' food ideas. Yes, sometimes, I do take the time out and do recipe testing and I document every little step of what I'm doing. However, in this particular instance, I sort of did it. But honestly, you do not have to be any sort of fancy baker to make this; you can't mess this all. I promise.

You need:

1/2 cup marshmallows, melted
chocolate bars, melted (like Ghirardelli or Hershey - I think I used 2)
Moravian ginger spice Salem Baking cookies

Melt the marshmallows using a double boiler. Eventually the marshmallows will melt into an ooey gooey puddle of goodness.

Melt the chocolate. You can do this one of two ways: melt it in a microwave (quick and easy) or also using a double boiler. The choice is yours.

Now that everything is melted and ready to go, it's time to put it all together.

Add a dollop of marshmallow to one side of a cookie; drizzle chocolate on top then top with another cookie.

There you have it folks, an easy s'mores sandwich. You can make different variations of this if you want...if you're into peanut butter or Nutella, I'm pretty sure either one would work pretty well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bourbon Peach Pie

Every now and then, you meet a really nice person who you just click with. It doesn't always happen but when it does, it's nice. It's even better when that person is a pastry chef. Because...pastries. Anyway, last week I got a chance to hang and bake a pie with my friend, Charity Everett of Revel Pasty Company. When I say "bake a pie", I mean, Charity baked, I drank whiskey and John took photos. I did chop the sage (there's sage in the pie crust!!) and attempted to roll out the dough. I feel like, as a 'food blogger' and someone who loves to cook, I really didn't show Charity my kitchen skillz. Oh well.

I met Charity sometime last year and since our first introduction, she's built an awesome (delicious) pastry company and has made quite a name for herself around these parts; it's pretty cool. She's going to be teaching a pie class for The Chattery next month and if you're in the Chattanooga area, you're going to want to take this class. The pie we made was influenced by a dessert that Charity made at the Scenic City Supper Club last month - so good. Charity was nice enough to share her recipe with me for bourbon peach pie and it's so delicious. Also, I'd like to publicly say thank you to my oh so sweet husband for tagging along and being my photographer intern; he's so good to me.

Before we start, pour yourself a cocktail...we did.

Here we go:

Sage Pie Crust

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
6 oz butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
ice water

Stir together the flour and salt. Scatter butter over the top of the flour mixture.

Rub the butter into the flour by rubbing it between your thumb and your first two fingers - making a flake of butter.

Once the butter is flaked and combined into the flour mixture, it should appear a little yellow. Then add the sage.

Slowly add ice water; stirring with your hands until it comes together in a shaggy moist dough.

Gather the dough together and divide it in half. Flatten each half into a disc.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Bourbon Peach Filling

6 cups sliced peaches
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp bourbon

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir gently to combine.

To assemble you'll need

1 egg, well beaten (plus a tablespoon or two of water; this is an egg wash)
1 tbsp coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grab one half of the dough disc and on a well-floured surface, roll it into a circle; roughly 12 inches in diameter and 1/8th of an inch thick.

Press the dough into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan and allow excess dough to hang over the edges of the pan. Pour in the peach filling.

Repeat the rolling process with the remaining dough disc, cut into 1/2 inch strips and place in a lattice pattern on top of the pie filling; some of the dough will hang off the pie pan. Fold the excess dough under, sealing the lattice top to the bottom then crimp the edges.

Brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar evenly over the crust.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

As hard as this will be, allow the pie to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.  So good!

Is your mouth watering yet? Be sure to follow Charity and her baking adventures on Instagram and like her on Facebook!

For tickets and more information about her seasonal pie making class, visit The Chattery.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Weekend

This may very well be the most uneventful weekend I've had in quite some time. Or maybe it's just uneventful in photos? Whatever the case, not much went on this weekend. The above photo is an awesome birthday gift from my friend who obviously knows me too well. Are they not the cutest towels ever? I think receiving these towels were probably one of the most exciting things that happened to me over the weekend. John and I went on a boat ride with his parents in celebration of his father's high school class. The boat ride didn't leave until 11pm. So even though John and I were the youngest folks there, we were so tired. Luckily the weather was nice and we survived.

Naturally, I can't go a weekend without tacos. This was our 'pre-boat ride meal'. There was a little cleaning that happened over the weekend and some talks of Christmas traveling - no final details on that yet. Hopefully we'll be jetsetting somewhere; I'm in desperate need of another vacation. Hope you had a great weekend!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Around the Web

Thinking of a master plan...again. Actually, always.

Horrible mother-in-law stories. I don't have this problem - via Huffington Post

Wondering what it feels like to be left at the alter? - via Refinery29

Natural remedies for headaches - yes - via Hello Natural

Copyright vs. trademark - via Carte Blanche Wellness

Are you addicted to Chipotle? Am I? - via PopSugar Food

Google maps update will help us at night now - via Brit & Co.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

French Onion Grilled Cheese

Last month, I mentioned my immediate love for the cookbook, Easy Gourmet. Its just perfect. It really is a book of easy gourmet foods. I love grilled cheese sandwiches, I mean, who doesn't like warm and crunchy bread with melted cheese? So good. Grilled cheese sandwiches aren't what they used to be; they're pretty grown up and way more sophisticated than they were back in the day.

Have you ever caramelized onions? They're so good but will take lots of patience. The smell and the flavor though, makes it all worth it but patience is key, my friend. If you're super-hungry and in need of food immediately, this may not be the right meal for you since you'll have to dedicate at least 45 minutes to get the onions just where they're supposed to be. At any rate, I made this recipe exactly how the recipe suggests, I made one really small addition, which I'll point out in the recipe.

What you'll need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
salt - added ingredient
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Freshly ground pepper, to taste


Add oil and onions to a small saucepan. Stir to coat and cook slowly over medium-low heat, until the onions are caramelized - roughly 45-50 minutes. Be sure to stir often. I added a pinch of salt to the onions - not completely necessary.

Butter bread on one side and place the bread (buttered side down) on a cutting board, add the cheese then add the onions. Season with pepper and top the sandwich with another slice of bread. Make sure the buttered side is facing up.

Place the sandwich in a skillet and grill until golden brown.

Yum, yum and yum. Serve with your favorite chips or soup!

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Birthday Weekend + Giveaway Winner

This weekend was the most perfect weekend ever! I had so much fun and I'm so excited to usher in a new year. Luckily, I had a long weekend, which means it was chock-full of crazy shenanigans, laughs and lots of bubbly. John and I had people over on Friday night (the actual) birthday for champagne and dessert and it was amazing! Also, we'll never run out of champagne again but I'm definitely not complaining.

So anyway, let's get the fun stuff out of the way: the giveaway winner.

Congrats Shawna - you'll be getting an email from me later today! Huge thank you to everyone for entering!

Now on to other stuff...

birthday lunch

The party: I tried to have treats and bubbly all around the house. There was candy (and treat bags for folks to take home), brown butter rice krispie treats, snickerdoodle cupcakes, Salem Baking cookies (my favorite), and s'mores dip. There are tons of ways and variations of the s'mores dip, it's crazy easy and the perfect party dish!

We had two drink stations: one for DIY mimosas and classic champagne cocktails and the other for a honey badger cocktail, which I don't have a photo of. So. Much. Fun. The party then continued to our favorite little bar, The Bitter Alibi.

birthday lunch #2 with the in-laws


Words can't even describe how perfect this weekend was. We also celebrated another friend's birthday Saturday evening so this weekend was full of fun, celebratory activities. Sunday, John and I headed to brunch and then to the movies to see Straight Outta Compton. Great movie - go see it!

Thank you to all of my friends and my super-cute husband for making this birthday extra special...'til next year!

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