Friday, November 27, 2015

Getting Creative with Thanksgiving Leftovers

Usually the last thing on my find after a Thanksgiving feast is more food…but we have to do something about all these leftovers, so why not get creative and make a turkey tartine? This recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking takes your boring day old turkey and adds a creative twist with fresh pesto and arugula. See the full recipe here.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cranberry Orange Bourbon Cocktail

Thanksgiving has to be a top contender for my most favorite of holidays. It’s one day that requires you to truly relax with family and friends and share a wonderful meal together.  We’re headed to Tahoe for this Thanksgiving holiday and one of the things I’m very excited about is the stone fire pit in the back of the cabin that overlooks the lake. I plan to indulge in a few post-meal cocktails there so I’ve been searching for a few recipes that capture the spirit of a mountain holiday away, such as this Cranberry Orange Bourbon Cocktail from the Little Epicurean.

2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
2 oz bourbon
1 1/2 tsp orange ginger simple syrup
1 1/2 tsp brandied cranberries syrup (recipe follows)
dash of bitters
brandied cranberries
Simple & Crisp dried orange crisps
Orange Ginger Simple Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
4-inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into small matchsticks
orange peels from half an orange
Brandied Cranberries (in syrup):
6 oz fresh cranberries, washed and picked
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup brandy

1.Fill highball glass half full of crushed ice.  Add orange juice, bourbon, orange ginger simple syrup, brandied cranberries syrup, and a dash of bitters.  Stir to combine.  Add additional ice, if necessary.  Garnish with brandied cranberries and dried orange crisp.
Orange Ginger Simple Syrup: In a medium pot, combine water, sugar, ginger, and orange peels.  Bring mixture to a boil until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat.  Cover pot with lid and let steep for 20 minutes.  Strain ginger and orange peels.  Transfer simple syrup to an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to use.  Keeps in the fridge for two weeks.

Brandied Cranberries: In a small pot, bring water and sugar to a boil.  Add cranberries and stir until coated in syrup.   Cook for 30-45 seconds just before the cranberries start to pop open.  Remove from heat and transfer to a 1/2 liter jar.  Add cinnamon stick.  Pour in brandy.  Pour in enough sugar syrup to fill the jar.  Cover with lid and let chill in the fridge for at lease 48 hours before using.  The longer it sits, the better it gets!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Etsy Spotlight: bigEjewelry

The season of gift giving is nearly upon us and on my search for something unique, I found this little Etsy shop that will turn a sample of your handwriting and turn it into a beautiful piece of jewelry.  All that is required is a close-up picture of someone’s signature or hand writing and bigejewelry will create a custom piece that can be treasured forever. I’m already thinking about snapping a few pictures of my boy’s handwriting for this! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Happy Weekending

This is how we started ours last Friday.  Here’s wishing to clear, crisp fall adventures on the immediate horizon. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wellness at Tenaya Lodge

My husband has a family cabin at Bass Lake, which isn’t far from Yosemite National Park. Being so close to the park has numerous obvious benefits for the outdoor enthusiast and we love to take advantage of visiting whenever possible. One additional (huge) bonus for us, is that we are also in close proximity to Tenaya Lodge, which is just two miles from the southern entrance to the park. I love the lodge so much that I make a trip there every time we head to the cabin, whether for a visit to their spa (some consider it one of the best wellness spas in the world) or to entertain my boys during the holidays (sleigh rides, ice skating rink, gingerbread house making contests, holiday parties for children etc.) and beyond. I almost hate to let people in on the secret but if you haven’t heard of Tenaya or ever visited I can’t recommend it more highly…there’s truly something for everyone in the family to enjoy and the scenic property and location is magical beyond words. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cold Days + Warm Tea

Cold Days + Warm Tea

Like just about every other Californian, I’m overjoyed by the recent rainfall and pray that we’ll get so much more over the next few months. Of course, nothing makes me want to stay in bed more with a hot cup of tea than a gloriously crisp and rainy day. It might be time to upgrade my old teapot…

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sackcloth & Ashes

I truly love companies that give back to the communities they serve, and this business is no exception.  Founder of Sackcloth & Ashes, Bob Dalton, was inspired to help the homeless population when his mother, a hardworking single mother, found herself living on the streets in 2013. Because of his mother’s story, Bob realized that not all choose to become homeless - that some just need a second chance. He began to call homeless shelters in his area to ask what they needed. They all said blankets. That’s when he founded Sackcloth & Ashes.

For every blanket purchased, Sackcloth & Ashes will give a blanket to your local homeless shelter.  Nothing can possibly warm you up better than that. 


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