Food

holiday-entertaining-essentials

Thanksgiving Hosting Extravaganza

I can’t believe that there is less than a week until Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year despite the mountain of stress I put on myself. Yes, I cook an entire Thanksgiving meal (turkey, mashed potatoes, and even pies) all by myself. Everyone else just gets to enjoy their morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, eating well thought out light snacks, and, well, watching me like I’m some kind of Food Network cooking show. Then there’s my dog who spends the entire afternoon tripping me in the kitchen when she gets tired of watching the post-parade airing of the dog show (okay fine, she’s just sleeping).

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Oh My God, Pumpkin Everything

Any time a product comes out that claims to tase like, smell like, or anything remotely involving pumpkin spice odds are I’m going to try it. If that makes me “basic” so be it. To me there’s nothing I’d rather have from mid-September to mid-December than a good pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin pie, or pumpkin bread. There’s just something so comforting to me about it. It reminds me of chilly days spent relaxing or enjoying crisp fall nights. I’ve literally been waiting to make a pumpkin pie for the last three weeks, but the weather has been unseasonably warm and I definitely do not need to have pie just lying around.

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In the Kitchen: The Vanilla Bean Baking Book Chocolate Chip Cookies (Kind Of..)

One of my favorite deserts is a classic chocolate chip cookie. If it’s warm even better. I think I’ve made every recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I have the Toll House recipe memorized. I’ve tried what the New York Times claims is the best recipe of all time. I’ve learned nearly every tip and trick to making the best cookies ever. I’ve even made up my own recipes. I guess I’m a little…obsessed; so naturally when the cookies from the Vanilla Bean Baking Book kept popping up on my Instagram feed I knew I had to give them a try.

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Throwing a Bachelorette Viewing Party

Watching The Bachelorette or even being considered part of Bachelor Nation might feel a little embarrassing. What really helps the shame factor is having a crew of people to (ironically) enjoy the insanity with. It’s more fun with friends who listen to the same podcasts (Rose Buddies is a good one) and who will play with you in a fantasy league (not for the faint of heart). So naturally when you’ve got a crew in this with you, a viewing party is a necessity especially when it comes to finales.

Tonight Rachel Lindsay will pick her future husband (she claims she’s still engaged), and that might not seem like enough time to toss together a finale party, but it is. There are about 6,000 elaborate ways to celebrate the Bachelorette. I’ve seen everything from date card invitations (which can be cute), sending actual roses to your friends, having them dress up in unfortunate looking prom dresses, filling out dating applications, and plenty of cupcakes. Even on the season finale of the Bachelor last season they visited viewing parties where people had trophies and even cardboard cut outs of Nick. It might be a little too much, so I’m sharing some easier and more low-key ideas. A couple from our own viewing party.

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Summer Cocktails To Try Right Now

I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t think of anything better than a nice, refreshing adult beverage on a scorching summer day. I’m not very creative when it comes to creating cocktails, but I can sure follow a recipe. So bless the internet for posting their delicious concoctions. What I do know for sure, is when in doubt, use a San Pellegrino flavored drink with alcohol and you are good to go. After the grand Rosé Margarita disaster of this 4th of July, I went on the hunt for something else to try. Oh, and before anyone goes looking for a recipe, don’t even try it. It is not good and is a complete waste of rosé. 

The key to a good summer cocktail are the flavors. Something light, refreshing, and a tropical flavor is a plus. I’ve seen tons of cocktails while looking around the internet, and these are the ones I can’t wait to try.

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In the Kitchen: Shake Shack @ Home

Fourth of July is just a few days away. A time where everything to make a great American burger is on sale, so why not make the best at home burger possible? A few weeks back I received Shake Shack: Recipes & Stories as a gift (or bribe to make cheese sauce..either way). Pretty much everyone knows how much I love the Shack or just burgers in general so I was really excited to try to make one of my favorite burgers at home. Truth be told, I wasn’t that great at making burgers at home…until now. 

As a cookbook Recipes & Stories is great. It gives homemade versions to so many of Shake Shack’s offerings including the chicken sandwich, fried pickles, hot dogs, and, of course, the iconic burger. Along with the classics there are recipes for meals created through collaborations with famous chefs some that were offered in regional areas of the country. Anything you could possibly want to make from Shake Shack is here including the shakes and custard. Another really cool thing about Recipes & Stories are the stories themselves. There’s the history of Shake Shack, their ingredients, their suppliers, employees, and loyal fans across the world. My favorite is the History of the American Burger because duh. There are tips and tricks for everything from grinding your own meat to making crinkle fries and even cripsing bacon!

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In the Kitchen: Chocolate Chip M&M Cookies

A few weeks back I decided to revisit (and use) my old Tumblr account. I decided to give it a whole new look and tagging system so I could find things much easier. I use it as kind of visual collection of things that inspire me, things I want to try, and just funny things. I have had this Tumblr since 2009 and it has thousands of posts. While tagging I realized there were SO many images of m&m chocolate chip cookies. Like…..maybe too many? 

Since taking on that incredibly type-A task, I’ve been thinking about these cookies for days. One afternoon I took a break and thought why not make some? Using my handy tagging system I began looking at recipes, but then it dawned on me: I’m just going to add M&Ms to the regular Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe. Cause with chocolate chip cookies, if ain’t broke don’t fix it. Plus I have the recipe memorized and my favorite adjustments on lock already. Easy enough…

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