Blood Orange + Poppy Seed Doughnuts

Brunch is arguably the best meal of the week.

Doughnuts_G&J

While any meal supported by champagne and orange juice is hard to hate – a breakfast lunch combo has so many loveable aspects.  

Doughnuts_G&J

One of which being…doughnuts.

I’m always on the hunt for new recipes to add to my brunch repertoire and after purchasing a mini doughnut pan I’ve found my new favorite. *Internally wonders when is it appropriate to add doughnut maker to my resume?*

After my first trial batch, I quickly realized that muffins have been replaced – these center less baked rolls of pure bliss are here to stay. So if you’re in need of bridal shower bite or a brunchy snack, I present to you Blood Orange + Poppy Seed Doughnuts – scroll down for the recipe!

Doughnuts_G&J

Doughnuts_G&J

Doughnuts_G&J

Doughnuts_G&J

Doughnuts_G&J

Doughnuts_G&J

Doughnuts_G&J

Doughnuts_G&J

Doughnuts_G&J

Blood Orange + Poppy Seed Doughnuts
Yields 12
a new brunch menu staple
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. Doughnut Batter
  2. 1⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  3. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  4. ¼ teaspoon salt
  5. ¼ cup buttermilk
  6. ⅓ cup melted butter
  7. ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. ¼ cup blood orange juice
  10. zest from 2 blood oranges
  11. 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  12. ½ tablespoon pure vanilla
Blood Orange Glaze
  1. 4 oz. cream cheese
  2. 2-3 tablespoons of brown rice syrup or honey
  3. juice of 1-2 blood oranges
  4. zest of 1 whole blood orange (optional)
  5. 1-2 tablespoons of poppy seeds for an optional garnish
Doughnut Batter
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease your doughnut pan with butter or non-stick spray.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt into your mixing bowl and stir.
  3. Add buttermilk, melted butter, honey (or maple syrup), orange zest, poppy seeds, and vanilla. Whisk until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Pipe batter into each doughnut cup, about three quarters full, leaving the center post clear. (To pipe batter into the pan, scoop batter into the bottom corner of a gallon Ziploc bag or pastry bag. Cut a medium size tip in the corner of the bag and carefully squeeze batter into the donut molds.)
  5. Bake on the middle rack of your preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until doughnuts are lightly browned. (The should spring back when touched.)
  6. Let doughnuts cool in the pan before inverting on a wire rack to finish cooling.
  7. Blood Orange Glaze - glazes the top of 12 doughnuts
  8. Whip cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.
  9. While the mixer is on low, slowly pour in the honey (or brown rice syrup), juice from one blood orange, and zest of ½ orange.
  10. Add extra juice to get the right consistency.
  11. If glaze appears to be too runny, blend in an extra 1-2 spoonfuls of cream cheese. If glaze is too stiff, add additional juice until you get the right consistency.
  12. Dip the tops of the doughnuts into the glaze and garnish with poppy seeds, sprinkles, and blood orange slices.
Notes
  1. The poppy seeds cause the tops of the doughnuts to have a bluish tint. I chose to ice the 'prettier' side because the blue showed through the icing.
  2. Combining cream cheese and juice without whipping the cream cheese first can result in a lumpy, separated cream cheese mixture.
  3. If you want to glaze the entire doughnut, double the glaze recipe.
  4. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
Adapted from Wife Mama Foodie
Adapted from Wife Mama Foodie
Gin & Jewels http://www.ginandjewels.com/

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Stay tuned for doughnut recipes to come! 

Doughnuts_G&J

Soup for Supper

“It’s in the ‘Freezes Beautifully’ section of my cookbook, and I want to make something that freezes beautifully.”

Soup_G&J

Name that movie. 😉

These soups may not freeze beautifully per say, but it’s a beautiful thing to have soup on hand when you’ve worked late, can’t wait 50 minutes for Door Dash to arrive or when you’re slated to have 6 more weeks of winter.

Soup_G&J

While a warm bowl of broth-y goodness is my go-to comfort food, I’m also guilty of making a huge pot of soup and promising myself to eat it all week – only to get tired of it two days later.  My solution to eliminating the waste? Freezing individual portions for quick and easy reheats.

Soup_G&J

Soup_G&J

 Soup_G&J

Soup_G&J

| Wild Mushroom // French Onion // Roasted Brussel Sprout & Cauliflower |

Back in October, I whipped up 3 of my favorite recipes to freeze and have been noshing on them ever since. It’s a fool-proof method to keep dinners quick, convenient and healthy. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re freezing soups…

Soup

Galentine’s Gift Guide

Rabbit, rabbit, my galentine’s! 

We made it through what seemed liked 243 days of January. 🙌🏽

There’s something about February that always cheers me up. Maybe it’s the influx of pink products and store displays or just knowing that we’re one month closer to spring…or maybe it’s because I use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to purchase things I don’t need treat myself. 

If you fall into the latter camp – then I hope this gift guide inspires you to spread some love to your bestie (& yourself)!

Galentine_Gin&Jewels

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

New Year’s Day Soup

Auld Lang Syne, my friends! We made it through 2017…

Well almost. We have a few hours left.

In honor of the new year (& southern traditions), I’m sharing a delicious and healthy (hey, resolutions!) black eyed pea soup to bring you all the good luck and fortune in 2018. Scroll down for the recipe!

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Happy New Year’s, you guys! Thanks for reading this boozy blog of mine and all your support throughout the year. Looking forward to all that 2018 has to offer!

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New Years Day Soup
Serves 4
promised to bring you good luck & good fortune
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Ingredients
  1. 12 oz jalapeno chicken sausage
  2. 8 oz kale, washed & chopped
  3. ½ cup of dried black eyed peas
  4. 1 large carrot, peeled & diced
  5. 3 stalks celery, diced
  6. 1 medium onion, finely diced
  7. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  9. 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary
  10. 1 quart of chicken stock, low-sodium is best
  11. 2 cups water
  12. 1 lemon, zested
  13. salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Rehydrate your dried peas by soaking them in slightly salted water over night in your fridge.
  2. Brown chicken sausage in your soup pot. Drain on a paper towels and set aside.
  3. Add a drizzle of olive oil to your pot, scraping up the brown bits (all the flavor) and add the chopped carrot, celery and onion.
  4. Season vegetables with salt and pepper and cook for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Add minced garlic, half of the rosemary and half of the lemon zest; cook until fragrant.
  6. Drain black eyed peas and add to the pot.
  7. Pour chicken stock and water and bring the soup to a boil.
  8. Turn heat down and let simmer for 30 minutes, until peas are tender to bite.
  9. Once peas are cooked and soft, add chicken sausage and let the soup boil for 5 minutes.
  10. Add chopped and washed kale and cook for an additional 4 minutes or until the texture of the kale is to your liking.
  11. Serve and garnish with lemon zest.
  12. Best to eat on New Year’s Day with cornbread and a glass of champagne.
Gin & Jewels http://www.ginandjewels.com/

Links, Lately

Greetings from Hartsfield-Jackson, ya’ll.

Yesterday, I joked about snow and today the jokes on me (& my delayed flight.) Oy vey.

Abbye and I are headed to St. Louis to see our girls Karen & Georgia – Murderino’s where you at? We are beyond excited! I’ve talked about my favorite podcasts before – My Favorite Murder being at the top of the list.

This weekend will be a good one (if we ever take off) and I’m looking forward to exploring a new city and seeing my first live podcast taping. If you have any St. Louis recos, please send them our way!

Here are the links for the week…

Spotify’s holiday ad campaign is too good.

Did you notice the cropped off elbow on the cover of TIME’s Person of Year issue – it was very much intentional.

Always happy to take advice from Bobbi Brown.

Grace’s Southern-inspired dinner party is a total dream!

I can’t stop listening to this cover of Taylor Swift’s I Did Something Bad.

Stay warm friends and have a great weekend!

Holidays in Atlanta

The temperature has finally dropped here in Atlanta. 🙌

| image via |

So much so that they’re calling for ‘snow’ tomorrow!

The cooler temps and Christmas lights in excess have put me in the mood to do all of the holiday things. Per my usual list-making tendencies, I’ve compiled a list of attractions to see and things to do before the holidays are over. If you’re an Atlanta local and know of any fun things I shouldn’t miss, please let me know in the comments!

Grab drinks at Miracle on Monroe (or the Buckhead location).

Walk through Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Garden Lights & Holiday Nights.

Drive over to Callaway Gardens for their Fantasy in Lights (you can never enjoy too many Christmas lights).

Catch a Christmas flick at Krog Street Market (& grab some popcorn to-go at Bar Mercado)

See a live nativity.

Attempt to ice skate at Ponce City Market’s Skate the Sky.

Wonder around Atlantic Station’s Christkindl Market in search of schnitzel.

Stop by Bella Cucina’s holiday pop-up at The Shops of Buckhead

Catch a showing of The Snow Queen at Serenbe.

Revisit Trap Wonderland (it was closed last time!) for some … people watching?

A Floral-Trimmed Christmas Tree

On today’s “episode” of tacky or tasteful. I’ve trimmed my Christmas tree with silk flowers.

Christmas Tree

Not a fan?

That’s okay…it had to grow on me too.

In years past, I donned a more traditional tree – the classic red with mercury glass ornaments were my go-to. This year, I felt like that look didn’t quite fit my current space. After perusing around the internet seeking inspiration, I came across this post by DesignLoveFest and my interest was piqued.

Christmas Tree

| tree & tree “skirt” | 

While this look is definitely unconventional, it’s fun, whimsical and temporary; so, don’t be intimidated! Not to mention, you won’t have to deal with broken ornaments or those pesky hooks and your silk stems can be repurposed throughout the year.

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

It took a few rearrangements, multiple Facetimes with friends and two trips to Michael’s before I was happy with the result. But after a few days of letting it grow on me, I was in love with the installation. Whether you’re decorating your tree with faux flowers or a variety of ornaments, here are best tips for trimming your tree…

  • Coordinate the color scheme with the rest of your home so the tree feels like a natural extension to your aesthetic.
  • Always buy one more strand of lights than you think you will need.
  • Place large ornaments first, then fill in spots with smaller ones.
  • Weave lights up and down the side of each branch, as opposed to just stringing them around the outer branches. This makes the tree really glow.
  • Nestle some ornaments closer to the tree’s center “trunk” instead of just on the end of each branch. This will make your tree look fuller and give it depth.

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

If you’re inspired to create your own floral-trimmed tree…

  • Choose flowers based on size and colors and don’t worry about the type. ie: No one will care that you have summer poppies on your tree in December. They’re red, festive and fit perfectly.
  • Arrange the flowers in their spots and leave for a day or so before you cut off any tags or shorten the stems. That way you can change your mind and rearrange or return stems for other better fitting options.
  • In fact, if you don’t want to cut the stems (in case you want to repurpose later), simply bend them in a spiral or wrap them around the branches.
  • Find silk flowers on sale (I purchased mine at Michael’s when they had all of their silk stems 60% off!) Ikea has affordable options too.
  • Save your prettiest, biggest flower for the topper.

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Christmas Tree

Note: My tree is 6 ½ feet tall and I used 31 stems. I separated some stems that had multiple flowers and used them to fill in gaps. To be more cost effective, I did not fully wrap the flowers around the whole tree and instead just kept the arrangement to one side as the other side wasn’t very visible.

Christmas Tree

Month In Review: November

I feel like I was just saying, “How is it already November.”

And look where we’re at!

This month in review is 4 days past due but here is a look at a few fun items that filled my calendar, plus a couple of my favorite purchases from November.

11.3 // Celebrated a sweet (& v. talented) friend’s birthday at one of the Westside’s newest restaurants Donetto.

11.10 // Celebrated our bride-to-be, Anna with a bachelorette weekend in Helen. Highlight of the trip was an all-day wine tour, Yonah Mountain was my personal fave!

11.12 // Decorated my apartment for the holidays and broke out my favorite holiday candles.

11.16 // Packed Thanksgiving groceries for needy families with my work family. Looking for an organization to give to this holiday season? Families First would love your support!

11.17 // Downloaded the kirakira+ app and now I can’t stop making my cocktails sparkle.

11.18 // Got to see three of my favorite women – Jenna Bush Hager, Barbara Bush and Emily Giffin – at the Sisters First book discussion at MJCCA.

11.19 // Spent Friendsgiving with some of my favorite people. I made my Mema’s cornbread dressing and it was a hit.

11.24 // Went home for Thanksgiving and got to spoil my mom for her birthday. Since she’s always traveling for work, I gifted her a Diptyque scented oval to pack in her suitcase and hang in her hotel closets.

11.27 // I hit up all of the sales on Cyber Monday. My favorite purchases being – Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser and Drybar’s The Tress Press Flatiron.

Here’s to December and all the fun holiday festivities to look forward to! 

Beauty Buys: Cyber Monday Edition

What’s the cure for a food coma?

Shopping all the sales.

Okay, so maybe shopping doesn’t cure those post-Thanksgiving woes but it’s definitely producing some endorphins on my end.

I haven’t posted my Beauty Buys in a while but being that it’s Cyber Monday, I thought it was the perfect time to stock up on some deals, specifically in the beauty department). So whether you’re purchasing gifts or treating yourself (more power to ya, girl!), these are 5 of my favorite beauty purchases of late…all of which are on sale:

1 // DryBar Buttercup Blow Dryer (20% off on DryBar.com – no code needed)

At risk of sounding totally dramatic – this blow dryer has changed my life. The technology housed within this tool is pure magic. Having very thick and wavy hair, a good blowout was only achievable at a salon. But ever since investing in the Buttercup, I’ve managed to semi-master blowouts at home. PS – I like to use the Full Pint Round Brush, too.

2 // NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer (20% off on NARS.com – TAKE20)

Full disclosure – I’ve had this concealer for exactly one week but love it already. I previously used a different color corrector that I loved for coverage but not texture (it was too dewey). This NARS concealer (I use shade: honey) offers full coverage, brightens your under eye and the matte formula gives you the smoothest application – truly a dream combo.

3 // Frida Kahlo Kabuki Brush (25% off on Amazon.com – FKGIVE25)

Every brush collection needs a kabuki brush! I’ve been using this fluffy Kabuki brush for my setting powder and love it. The fibers are super soft and the large brush head makes application quick and seamless. PS – This 4-piece double ended set and highlighter brush + cleaning pad duo are also on sale and would make the perfect gift for your girlfriend!

4 // Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (20% off on Glossier.com – no code needed)

I was sucked in by the millennial pink packaging and good branding (+ I will try anything Emily Weiss touches) but quickly became addicted after trying Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser. The formula is super gentle and smells amazing. It removes even the most stubborn mascara bits and eyeliner and leaves my skin feeling moisturized and hydrated.

5 // Passion Fruit + Rose Enzymatic Exfoliant Mask (20% off on LittleBarnApothecary.com + free shipping – CYBERMONDAY17)

I’ve talked about LBA before (here & here) and have remained a total loyalist since being introduced to their brand a few years ago. I try to #shopsmall as much as I can and with their Westside store being dangerously close to my apartment, I’m always dropping in and picking up new products. Their masks are a constant in my skincare rotation so I’m excited to stock up. I may or may not have also added their Aloe + Rosewater Balance Mist and Aromatherapy Roller Ball to my cart too!

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Stay tuned for a comprehensive Gift Guide to help inspire your holiday shopping come December!

 

Cornbread Dressing at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is upon us and I’m already feeling full.     

Thanksgiving

To kick off the week I’m sharing a family recipe for my favorite Thanksgiving side – cornbread dressing. 

Thanksgiving

My family’s Thanksgiving menu is extensive – lots of casseroles and carbs – and growing up we only ever had cornbread dressing, never stuffing. In fact, it wasn’t until I was in college that I even realized that dressing was more of a southern side and that most of America noshed on stuffing.

This recipe is passed down from my mema and even though I’ve been tempted to tweak it, I can’t fathom the thought of making it any differently than she did. So while the ingredients are bread-heavy, just know that you can work it off later. It’s so worth the calories. 😉

P.S. Dressing pairs perfectly with cranberry Moscow mules!

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

*Disclaimer: Every time I make this recipe, I usually Facetime my mom 20 times because she never gives me the exact measurements. “It just has to look/feel/taste right.” This last time I prepared it, I took notes so that I had the proper-ish measurements. But feel free to FaceTime Brenda if you need a second opinion. 😉

Mema Howell's Cornbread Dressing
Serves 20
a southern staple at Thanksgiving
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 50 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 50 min
Ingredients
  1. Cornbread (White Lily cornbread mix recommended)
  2. Milk (per your cornbread mix)
  3. 1 sleeve of saltine crackers
  4. 4 slices of white bread
  5. 4 boiled eggs
  6. 1-2 medium sweet onions, chopped & sautéed
  7. 6-7 cups of chicken broth
  8. Salt & pepper, to taste
  9. 2 tsp sage (optional, add to taste)
  10. 4 raw eggs (+ eggs for your cornbread)
Instructions
  1. Following the instructions on your corn bread mix, make cornbread in a large cast iron skillet or casserole dish. Be sure to oil your skillet or pan well, using Crisco or vegetable oil. (I do a recipe and a half of White Lily** using a 9-inch cast iron, plus a 6” x 9” casserole dish.)
  2. While cornbread is baking, boil your eggs. Peel, chop and set aside.
  3. Chop 1 ½ to 2 sweet onions and sauté until slightly translucent.
  4. Crumble and combine cornbread, white bread and saltine crackers in a large (4-quart) bowl.
  5. Add boiled eggs, onion and black pepper.
  6. Pour 4 cups of chicken broth to start and begin mixing. Continue adding chicken broth, ½ cup at a time until the consistency is gloopy and wet.
  7. Mix the dressing (sometimes it’s best to use your hands) well, making sure there are no big chunks of bread. The dressing will be clumpy but the cornbread and white bread should be soft and broken down.
  8. Add finely minced sage and taste.
  9. Add salt and pepper if needed.
  10. Once you’re happy with the taste and consistency, stir in 4 large raw eggs.
  11. Pour mixture into a well-oiled casserole dish and bake until golden brown at 375°F – for about 40-50 minutes.
  12. If dressing isn’t browning, bump oven up to 400°F for 5-10 minutes.
  13. Serve with giblet gravy and or cranberry sauce.
Gin & Jewels http://www.ginandjewels.com/
**White Lily Southern Buttermilk Cornbread

Happy feasting!

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Keep scrolling for a little Friendsgiving inspo! Chaz and Caroline hosted our dinner again this year and it was perfect. Caroline, once again, outdid herself with the tablescape and decor. Thanks for having us, Bagwell’s!

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingThanksgiving

Links, Lately

Another week in the books!

| A good floral arrangement = an instant mood-booster. |

The days feel shorter and the weeks are feeling longer but we made it to the weekend, friends! I’m looking forward to getting a head start on Christmas shopping – something I say every year and never do – and celebrating Friendsgiving on Sunday. What are your plans?   

Here’s a few links to kick of your days of rest…

I live for the theories that Taylor Swift fans come up with surrounding her new album.

Did you catch all the ‘easter eggs’ in Grey’s 300th episode?

11 inspiring women who are changing the beauty game.

Feel Good Story of the Week: A widowed judge installs a pool so the neighborhood kids could have a place to play…and so he wouldn’t be so lonely. (I’m not crying, you’re crying.)

Raise your hand if you feel that Hopper (from Stranger Things) got gypped for People’s Sexiest Man Alive. (Though I do love Mr. Shelton.)  

Fascinating read – what it’s like to be the social media manger to Hollywood’s top celebs.

Have a great weekend!

Update II: 101 in 1001

It’s been a while since I revisited my 101 in 1001 list – 547 days to be exact. Seeing Jessica of Bows & Sequins post about starting her own list, I was motivated to check up on mine. I quickly realized I have a lot to accomplish between now and April 28th – a deadline extension appears to be in my near future.

Since my last progress report, I’ve only marked 13 things off. To name a few…

I went wine tasting in Sonoma (Napa was on the list, but it’s wine country either way). Instead of Helen, I Oktoberfest’d in Berlin (even better, right!?). I visited 4 new cities – San Francisco, Asheville, Berlin and Copenhagen. I earned a promotion at work and started a retirement fund (future me is happy, current me would rather have the extra spending money). I got a new (to-me) car and I don’t know how I ever drove without a backup camera. I voted in an election and even wrote a letter to my future daughter the same night (which I need to finish…). I managed to exceed my goal of 40 new restaurants (no surprise here) and made a dent in “concerts-with-dad”. I even learned how to sew – er, more like embroider.

I still have a lot left to do in the next 165 days.

I’m hoping to check off a few more things over Thanksgiving (ie: recipe compiling, learning to drive a stick, etc.). Who knows, maybe I’ll hit the lottery between now and April so I can squeeze in a trip to Italy and South Africa!

I’ll share another update first of the year. In the meantime, what have you marked off your list?

 

Pimento Cheese Cookies

Anyone else guilty of circling the food table at wedding showers?   

pimento cheese cookies

*raises hand*

Why are finger foods so good? For as long as I can remember, the food served at wedding showers, baby showers, hell even Mary Kay parties (circa ’98) were little bites of pure bliss. They always felt guilt-free until you realized you just consumed 15 little weenies that had been cooking in grape jelly and bbq sauce for last 3 hours – albeit, everything felt guilt-free when you were 10.

pimento cheese cookies

All that to say, at a recent wedding shower I tasted a new-to-me nibble that was so delicious I immediately found the hostess to ask for her recipe. Shout-out to Melissa (hostess with the literal mostess) because Anna’s fall shower was pure perfection and the menu was nothing but crowd-pleasers!

pimento cheese cookies

If you’re in need of a little appetizer inspo for Friendsgiving or just want to try something new for your next dinner party, these pimento cheese cookies* are the best combination of savory and sweet … and they pair perfectly with a glass of wine. Scroll down for the recipe! 

*Editor’s Note: I went a tad over board with the pepper jelly, which you will notice in the photos below. So I recommend sticking to the ½ teaspoon measurement – the jelly will melt and spread while baking. A little goes a long way here. 😉

pimento cheese cookies

pimento cheese cookies

pimento cheese cookies

pimento cheese cookies

Pimento Cheese Cookies
Yields 24
a southern staple in cookie form
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Print
Prep Time
2 hr 15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
2 hr 15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup refrigerated pimento cheese
  3. ½ cup pecans, finely chopped
  4. ¼ cup butter, softened
  5. ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  6. 4 Tbsp. red pepper jelly
Instructions
  1. Beat together flour and pimento cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute, until well combined.
  2. Add chopped pecans, cayenne pepper and softened butter; beat until blended. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. Place dough on a well-floured surface and roll to ⅛-inch thickness. Cut into rounds with a 2-inch round cutter.
  5. Reroll the scraps and repeat.
  6. Arrange half of the rounds 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  7. Spoon ½ teaspoon of pepper jelly onto center of each round and top with the remaining rounds. Press the edges to seal.
  8. Bake at 400° F for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to let them cool completely (about 30 minutes).
Notes
  1. Dough will need to be chilled for at least 2 hours before baking.
Gin & Jewels http://www.ginandjewels.com/

Month In Review: October

I say this every year, but how is it already November?

We only have 7 more Fridays between now and Christmas! Let the panic set in, people.

While October flew by, I’ve been wanting to mix things up a bit from my regular Friday posts (which admittingly have been lacking recently, apologies!) So in lieu of this week’s Links, Lately, I’m sharing a month in review – a look back at some fun times, good finds and exciting happenings from the past 31 days.

10.1 // Kicked off the October in Copenhagen & Berlin with my best friend and favorite travel buddy, Morgan.

10.8 // Showered our favorite couple – Anna & Brandon (a pre-celebration to Anna’s upcoming bachelorette weekend!) These wine glasses are my go-to wedding gift and they’re on sale right now.

10.10 // Got to see one of my closest friends launch her brand and new website – her art is ridiculously beautiful.

10.12 // Met Gray Malin at his book signing at Waiting on Martha Home (a must visit!).

10.17 // Started (& finished) a new podcast – Dirty John – it was so good.

10.20 // Took an unforgettable trip to New York with my dad to see Bruce on Broadway – which was incredible.

10.25 // Celebrated the launch of Frida Kahlo Beauty and the limited-edition collection of beautiful brushes (available exclusively on Amazon)!

10.26 // Rang in 28 with my best friends with dinner & drinks at Bar Mercadococktail reco: Tomato King.

10.31 // Participated in our annual work Halloween costume contest. While I was dressed as a bottle of champagne, Abbye’s Dwight costume was the office favorite.

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Here’s to November and all the holiday madness that’s soon to ensue! Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

My Philosophy on Souvenirs

I may not have the healthiest of spending habits but I’m a damn good at shopping.

Anywhere, anytime – I will find always find something to buy.   

It’s not surprising that this habit has caused me to suffer from buyer’s remorse more times than I care to admit. I always let dumb purchases haunt me for days – ridiculous, I know. So in the spirit of self-improvement, I’ve been making a conscious effort to be less of an impulse buyer and more of a thoughtful shopper. But for whatever reason all logic goes out the window when I’m on vacation. I over spend, over purchase and usually come home with things I don’t need.  

Most of my frivolous purchases fall within one of three camps – food & beverage, beauty products and home décor. When prepping for my trip to Copenhagen and Berlin, I made a mental note of items that I knew I would want to bring back (based on the aforementioned categories) and promised myself I would have more self-control in hopes of avoiding that guilty feeling. 

I thought I would share my philosophy when it comes to souvenirs – what I look for, what I avoid and what I purchased during my recent travels…

It’s no secret I’m a self-proclaimed cocktail connoisseur – so shopping for bitters, liqueurs, tinctures are easy buys I never regret. Along with stocking up on my bar inventory, I love picking up local provisions (i.e.: meat, cheese and candy). Sure, they don’t last forever but when you have a memory tied to a bottle of wine (or even a block of cheese;) ) it feels that much more special when you enjoy it back home.

One of my favorite parts about traveling is trying beauty brands that aren’t accessible in the states. During our stay in Berlin, I stumbled across the perfumery – Frau Tonis Parfum. Their store was an absolute dream and I loved everything from the branding and bottle shape to the stories behind each fragrance. I’ve always loved how certain scents can instantly take you back to a specific memory. For me, this makes fragrances excellent souvenirs. My tiny bottle of parfüm is the sweetest addition to my vanity and takes me back to Berlin with just one spritz.   

Lastly is home décor – my biggest weakness. Plates, trays, candles, coffee table books are all items I love to collect and display throughout my space. I love the Danish aesthetic but wasn’t able to purchase any home pieces (my indecisiveness got the best of me). I did manage to find a few candles that I plan on burning well into fall. The vessels are pretty enough to upcycle, allowing them to always serve as a reminder of my time spent in Denmark.         

Things I don’t buy? The destination-themed knickknacks that you find in those cluttered souvenir shops. Your souvies don’t have to read the town’s name you visited to be sentimental. Just knowing the story behind each purchase is good enough for me. I also think you should never pressure yourself into buying something just because you’re on a trip. Sometimes the best souvenirs are the free matches from a lunch spot, a postcard from your bill at dinner or all of those photos on your camera roll (print and frame them, people!).

                                                                                                                               

I would love to know – do you have a strategy when it comes to purchasing souvenirs? What are items that you stay away from? Share your thoughts in the comments below!