Snow Baby ~

Everyone meet Bryce, the munchkin I nanny! It’s snowing again here in NY (surprise…) so we decided to take advantage of a little break in the flurries and go play in it this morning! The result was too much cute for even me to handle:

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This little one has the most incredible blue eyes and they express so much! She’s a pretty cute little snow baby!

On This Day 3 Years Ago…

On this day 3 years ago, Hailey and I embarked on yet another one of our photoshoots. We’ve done some pretty wild photoshoots over the years, with crazy outfits and unlimited creativity, but this is still one of my favorites. I was still studying photography and my assignment was to imitate the work of the great David LaChapelle. His portfolio is eccentric, colorful, exotic, arresting, and completely unique.

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These aren’t my typical style, but it’s really important to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while and remember what you’re made of. You might find yourself out there.

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I didn’t have the incredible studio space or budget, but I did have a very creative model with a vast wardrobe and an amazing (secret) location. Can you say improvisation?

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 There was something so freeing about forcing myself to take wild photos like this, especially with my favorite model. It is so much fun to look back at these and see how much we’ve changed and grown. Here’s to even more growth in the next few years!

Brunch Biscuits!

Who’s up early enough for a true breakfast on the weekend, anyways? Weekends are for sleeping in!

Go ahead, lay in bed as long as you want. But when your stomach starts growling and you can’t stand it anymore, I recommend you make these.

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Sausage and cheese biscuits for the win.

Sweet and salty, soft and pillowy, cheesy and more cheesy – how can you say no?

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Super simple with ingredients you probably already have, and less than an hour from start to finish!

I found this one on Pinterest (surprise), posted by Deborah from Taste And Tell, who happens to share my love of travel!

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 5 sausage links, or more for extra protein
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Start by cooking the sausage links in a skillet on medium-low heat. These ones are maple & brown sugar flavor, yum! I’d like to try a spicier version next time, but these tasted magical with the perfect combination of salty and sweet.

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While those are cooking, pre-heat the oven to 425*. Next, mix all the dry ingredients and then cut in the butter until it looks like coffee cake crumble. I recommend using a pastry cutter for this, but a fork will work too!

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I found this beauty at Bed Bath and Beyond

After the sausage is cooked, chop it up and then add it to the bowl, throwing the cheese in afterwards and stirring well. When the sausage and cheese are thoroughly mixed, add the cup of milk and gently stir just until the dough starts to come together.

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Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (aka, my counter) and knead it a few times. If you wear rings, I highly recommend you take them off! It’s also a good idea to flour your hands to prevent a huge sticky mess. Once the dough firms up a bit, pat it out into a thick rectangle. The biscuits don’t rise a ton, so don’t flatten them out too much!

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Cut them into even squares, place them onto an un-greased cookie sheet or Silpat and then bake for 13-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. If you like, you can brush them with melted butter before serving, but we tried ours drizzled with a bit of maple syrup and loved the result. Can you tell we like to indulge on the weekend?

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There you have it – quick, delicious, and made with simple ingredients. The perfect way to start your weekend when you’ve slept in and aren’t exactly feeling like Rachel Ray. I hope you love these as much as we do!

White Out ~

I thought I knew what snow was. I’ve seen my fair share of school closures and snow days, been skiing and snowboarding, and caught fat, wet flakes on my tongue. But I have never seen so much snow, falling so hard, that I couldn’t see the end of the block.

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None of these pictures do it justice and really only show the aftermath of last night’s lake-effect blizzard. Seeing all of this, I can’t help but laugh at Portland. School would have been cancelled the night before an event like this. I can remember several times we would be granted a “snow day”, only for everything to melt by noon. Here? No school closures -Watertown is very well stocked with snow plows.

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They run on a pretty regular schedule, which is great because it prevents the city from collapsing. It certainly gets annoying, though, living on a corner and hearing them go by every two hours, all night long. Up one street, then back down the other side. Up the other street, and then back down, passing our bedroom window 4 times with each trip. Hellooooo, New York.

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Lake effect snow is no joke. That lump in the bottom right corner is my car, tucked under 10+ inches of powder. I snapped this photo because of the icicles – the ones on the corners of the roof are about 4 feet long! We have to dodge a few to even get inside our back door. I can’t bring myself to knock any down, they’re so pretty!

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…And a bit scary. One of the many times it comes in handy being a shorty.

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Snow is like sand in that it is incredibly detailed and fine, but can build something spectacular when there’s enough of it. I’ll let you find the analogy there. 😉

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It’s also crazy to think that each flake is completely different from all of the others falling around it. Snow is absolutely mesmerizing to me, but my poor husband is sick of it. I can’t help it! I’ve seen more snow from less than a month of living here than in a single winter spent in Portland.

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Glad I’m not the only one enjoying myself 🙂 I met the neighbors while walking around, enjoying the snow. Too cute.

Enjoy this snow – we have enough to share!

Snow Day Cookies!

Since we’ve moved to New York, it has snowed more days than not. By no means am I complaining, though – I absolutely love snow. My poor husband thinks I’m a nut because he grew up in Chicago, so he’s more than used to snow. His snow smarts come in handy though, with teaching me how to shovel the snow (harder than it sounds!) and how to drive in the slick slush. It’s good to know, but I’d much rather stay home and make snow sprinkled cookies to share with you guys!

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This is another recipe from my favorite food blog, Sally’s Baking Addiction! She’s turned me into a cookie fiend. These are her fluffy, buttery Cake Batter Sugar Cookies with a snow-like sprinkle twist.

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With our moving and driving cross-country during the Holidays, Bobby and I finally had our Christmas on Saturday. He spoiled me: I was soooo excited to open a bag and see a Silpat baking mat! It’s a non-stick baking mat that’s safe up to 500* (higher heat tolerance than parchment paper), and it delivers even heat transfer – ensuring perfect cookies and pastries. I have wanted one of these for the longest time!

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Snow Day + Silpat = the perfect excuse for a baking frenzy!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (80g) sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup (40g) sprinkles, for rolling

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350*. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat like Silpat. Pour 1/4 cup sprinkles onto a plate to use for rolling and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment. I don’t have either of these (hopefully my next kitchen toy!), so I use a whisk to whip it all together. I don’t mind – it makes for pretty impressive forearm muscles 😉 Beat in the egg yolk, butter extract, baking powder, and salt. Because I’ve basically had to “start over” in my kitchen with spices and things of that nature, I substituted vanilla for the butter extract. Still absolutely delicious! Add the flour, and mix until a soft, thick dough forms. Gently stir in sprinkles and be careful not to over-mix.

Roll dough into teaspoon size balls. Ensuring that the balls are tall, rather than wide will give you a fluffier, thicker cookie. Send the dough balls through the reserved sprinkles, then set them about an inch apart on your prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes, watching closely at the 9 minute mark to assure they do not brown.

Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a cookie rack to cool completely. Cookies remain fresh up to 1 week covered at room temperature.

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Melt-in-your mouth cakey goodness while watching the snow fall? Hello, Monday.

I’ll be trying out some New York “signature” recipes soon – think NY-style pizza, cheesecake, etc., so stay tuned!

12/9: A Mason Jar Christmas!

What can I say – I’m in love with the idea of reusing things, I just can’t help it. So, I compiled a huge list of my favorite Holiday-themed mason jar ideas: from desserts to decorations, I listed just about everything you could imagine!

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Christmas in a Jar

Nothing says Christmas like cinnamon and cloves. There’s just something about that combination that gets me in the holiday spirit, no problem. So today I’m sharing with you guys my favorite recipe for Holiday Potpourri, aka Christmas in a Jar.

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