Friday, August 29, 2014

Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits 2013
If you're considering a visit once we've moved, think about coming to Austin in October for the Austin City Limits Music Festival. This three-day festival takes place in Zilker Park and brings together all different types of musicians- rock, indie, country, folk, electronic, etc.- to perform on 8 stages for two weekends in a row.

If you can't find a band that you love on the festival's impressive lineup, then go for the food and fun. Austin is known for awesome local fare, and the festival will feature some of Austin's best eats. You can also check out the art market, Austin Kiddie Limits (yep, for kids!), and tons of other activities to keep you busy between sets.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Texas Sheet Cake


We're on our way to Texas! In honor of our new home, I whipped up some Texas Sheet Cake a couple weeks ago. If you like chocolate cake, pecan pralines, or both, this recipe is for you. Plus, it's Texas-sized, so it's perfect for the next time you're hosting a crowd.

What You'll Need:
2 cups GF Flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup shortening
4 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup water
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

For the praline topping:
1 stick butter
7 tbsp milk
1 scant tbsp cocoa
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a large sheet pan with edges. 
  2. Sift together the flour and the sugar, then set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt together the butter, shortening, cocoa, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. 
  4. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt. Continue stirring constantly so the eggs don't cook and you create a smooth, buttery chocolate mixture.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. 
  6. Pour the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. 
  7. 5 minutes before the cake is done, begin making the topping: In a saucepan, melt the butter with the milk and cocoa. Bring it to a boil.
  8. Add the powdered sugar to the butter mixture and use a whisk to mix until all lumps are out. 
  9. Fold in the vanilla and nuts, then pour the hot mixture onto the cake (do it as soon as it comes out of the oven!).
  10. The topping will harden slightly, creating the perfect pecan praline "frosting". After it cools, dig in and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summer Sangria Recipe

Find the Original Recipe on MintDesignBlog.com
By mid-August, it always feels like summer is winding down, but it's not true! We still have a whole month of summer- Fall "officially" starts on September 23rd this year. So get outside and enjoy the sun with some summer sangria. I love this recipe from The Fauxmartha:

What You'll Need:
1 bottle of dry red wine (no need to make it an expensive one)
1 cup freshly squeeze orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup tequila 
1 orange, sliced
1/2 lb strawberries, sliced
1 lime, sliced
Sparkling water

Directions:
  1. Combine the sugar and a 1/2 cup of the orange juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the sugar dissolves. 
  2. After the sugar/OJ mix has cooled completely, stir in the remaining orange juice. 
  3. Pour the wine, tequila, and the cool orange juice mixture into a pitcher or carafe. 
  4. Stir thoroughly and add the sliced fruit. Allow the mixture to sit in the fridge for 4+ hours.
  5. Serve over ice with a splash of sparkling water. Cheers!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Beautiful Bar Carts

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I'm getting excited to decorate our new home, and I love all the adorable bar carts that I've been seeing recently! Here are some of my favorite styled setups:

From BlovedBoston.com
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From StyleMePretty.com
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Destination Wedding Etiquette

A snapshot from a beautiful beach wedding that I attended in Hawaii
Our mailbox has been flooded recently with save-the-dates, and all of them have been for destination weddings. I'm excited to travel to some fun new places, and even more excited to share some designation wedding etiquette tips.

Send Save the Dates Early
If you're planning a wedding that's a hike for all of your guests or is located in a remote location where accommodations are few and far between, send the save the dates out as soon as you have the details confirmed. 9-12 months is ideal and will help to ensure that your guest have time to book flights, hotels, and other arrangements. 

Invitation Timing
Typically, wedding invitations are sent six to eight weeks prior to the wedding. However, faraway fetes call for more lead time. Send your invites about three months prior to the big day. 

Tip: Don't turn your formal invitations into a travel brochure. List all of the important details (flight deals, hotel suggestions, information about your registry) on a wedding website. This way, you simply can provide a URL rather than pages and pages of details. 

Host Some Satellite Celebrations
Often, destination weddings turn into weekend affairs. If you plan on having a Friday-night clambake, a Saturday golf outing, or want to suggest an itinerary of your guests, create a separate card to include with the invitation. This way, your guests can RSVP to everything at once.

Use Tact
Destination weddings are typically smaller, and although nobody should assume they're invited to your special celebration, they will. If an uninvited friend inquires, simply use tact and politely explain that your guest list is limited. Honesty is always the best policy, even if it's uncomfortable in the moment.

Expect Less
Gifts at destination weddings tend to be smaller, especially if guests had to travel. Guests' gift-giving budgets will go towards flights and accommodations, so if your destination wedding is in a very exotic, faraway locale, expect their presence to be your present. Additionally, many destination weddings are followed by a reception back at home several weeks later. Guests invited to this reception are not required to bring a gift (unless they were invited to your destination ceremony and simply could not attend). 

Note to guests: The fact that you have to travel to a wedding does not necessarily make it a destination wedding (perhaps you just don't live in the same state as the bride and groom). If you need to brush up on your wedding gift-giving etiquette, click here

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pier 6

Roofdeck at Pier 6
Summer in Boston is awesome, especially if you can snag an outdoor spot to enjoy a cold drink and bask in the sea breeze. Pier 6 is the perfect place to do just that. Located in the Charlestown Navy Yard, this spot is easily accessible by foot or ferry, and although it gets busy, you'll find it easier to take in the views here than in a more trendy spot like the Seaport district.

On a clear day, pull up a chair and indulge in a fresh lobster roll while you take in the panoramic views of the city. Pier 6 also does a great brunch, and the bar is open until 1am. Go early and stay late!

We're sad to leave the city next week, but looking forward to enjoying the views with our favorite Boston friends at Pier 6 on Sunday. Come send us off and enjoy the sunshine!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

This is another Barefoot Contessa winner!
Caprese salads are something that I crave in the summer. It's hard to go wrong with juicy, in-season vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh basil. This recipe is great because it helps to preserve the delicious flavors of tomato and basil, but you can enjoy it year round! I like to make big batches of it, eat a little, and freeze the rest for later.

What You'll Need:
3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup (plus 2 tbsp) olive oil
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 2 large onions)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp (or a little more) crushed red pepper flakes
28 ounces canned whole tomatoes
4 cups fresh basil leaves
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 quart chicken stock

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Toss the halved tomatoes with 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them onto a large baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 45 minutes.
  3. In a large stockpot, sauté the onion and garlic with 2 tbsp olive oil, butter, and red pepper flakes. When the onions begin to caramelize and brown, add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. 
  4. Add the oven roasted tomatoes, including the liquid from the baking sheet, to the pot. 
  5. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for at least 40 minutes. 
  6. Using an immersion blender (carefully since the soup is hot!), blend the soup until you have a smooth consistency. Some lumps are ok, but you don't want to spoon a whole tomato. 
  7. Season to taste and enjoy (or freeze it if you're saving it for later).

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Moving Checklist


If you're a type-A personality like me, you find sanity in checklists. To help with our upcoming move, I've created my own moving checklist with the help of this version from Real Simple. 

2 Months Before
  • Start researching. Find the best moving company, plan your route (if you're driving), scope out the area you're moving to and find a place to live! 
  • Create a plan. In addition to this handy checklist, I found it useful to create a moving budget. We took inventory of everything we'd be getting rid of and projected moving expenses and the cost of buying a few new things to make the new place feel like home.
  • Get organized. Start collating all of your personal records. Make sure you have any documentation that you'll need for the move, start saving those Bed Bath & Beyond coupons, and put everything you'll need into a big ol' binder. 
Six Weeks Before
  • Order supplies. If you need moving boxes, tape, markers, or bubble wrap, order them early!
  • Sort and purge. Begin to get rid of the things you really don't need. Moving is a great excuse to clean house! Also, at this point, you should be using up perishable-type things that you don't want to move. So clean out the freezer and use up those last few drops of Windex.
  • Order Furniture. Get out your handy measuring tape and measure your current items to make sure they'll  fit in your new place. If you need to buy anything additional, consider placing the order NOW. Specialty items like sofas can take 6-10 weeks to be delivered. 
  • Start Packing. You still have time before the move, but as you're sorting and purging, why not box things up? 
  • Sell it all! If you're trying to get rid of items, start listing them for sale now.
  • Spread the Word. Your bank, your company's HR department, insurance companies, magazines you subscribe to, etc. will want your new address. 
  • Plan your Route. If you're taking a long road trip to your new home, plan the route that you'll take and scope out good places to stop. For our drive to Austin, dog-friendly hotel stops are a must!
Two Weeks Before
  • Tune Up. Take your car in for a tune up, especially if you're loading up the trunk and driving all of your goods to a new location. 
  • Plan a Party! Schedule some time to say goodbye to the friends and colleagues you're leaving behind. 
  • Confirm Details. Contact your moving company to confirm the final details. You don't want any surprises on moving day!
  • Book Hotels. If you're road-trippin' and want to plan ahead, book hotels in the cities that you plan to stop in overnight. Additionally, a move to a new city can be made easier by booking a hotel for the first few nights you're there. This will ensure that you have a calm space and a clean bed to sleep in while you unpack and get settled in the new place!
One Week Before
  • Refill Prescriptions. This sounds silly, but it's a hassle you won't wan to deal with mid-move. Stock up on everything you need now. 
  • Continue Packing. This is a great time to determine what can go in a moving truck and what you need to carry with you (i.e. valuables like fine jewelry, your moving binder, etc.). Make sure to label everything carefully and take inventory of what you've got. 
  • Forward your Mail. Even if you've notified all of the right people of your new address, there's bound to be some stuff that slips through the cracks. Setting a forwarding address is simple, and you can do it online through the post office, so just do it!
2-3 Days Before
  • Double Check. Make sure you've gone through this checklist, double and triple-confirmed with the moving company, know your new address, etc. 
  • Plan for Payment. If you haven't already agreed to pay by credit card, get a cashier's check or cash for payment. Don't forget that you'll need to tip the movers. 
  • Plan Snacks. If you're taking a long road trip come moving day, plan ahead and start stocking a cooler full of goodies for the drive. It's a great way to use up anything extra you have in your fridge, and you won't want to be worry about this on Moving Day
  • Take a Break. Go get your haircut, indulge in a pedicure, or do whatever you need to do to find a little bit of calm. The next week or so will be hectic, so you may as well look good!
Moving Day
  • Make a List. Yep, more lists! Make sure to take inventory of everything that goes into the moving truck and have the movers sign off on it. 
  • Hop in your car and hit the road! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Coconut Cupcakes

Adapted from Ina Garten's Recipe
Last week I posted some cupcake decorating tips from the pros, but one of the many benefits of THIS recipe is that the cupcakes look beautiful even without fancy decorations. Coconut cupcakes topped with cream cheese icing and a sprinkle of shredded coconut make for a delightful summer dessert, and this recipe makes enough to share.

What You'll Need:
3/4 pound butter
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
3 cups GF all purpose flour (I use Cup 4 Cup)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the icing:
1 pound cream cheese
3/4 pound butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 pounds of powdered sugar

Directions:
  1. Allow all of your ingredients (even the eggs) to come to room temperature while you preheat the oven to 325 and sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set the dry mixture aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in 1 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 1/2 tsp almond extract. 
  4. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the butter mixture. Note: begin and end with the dry ingredients while alternating. 
  5. Mix the  ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix. 
  6. Gently fold in half of the coconut (the rest will be used for topping!).
  7. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill each cup to the top with batter. You should have about 20 cupcakes. 
  8. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing them to wire racks.
  9. While the cupcakes cool, mix the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract together for the icing. 
  10. Carefully add the powdered sugar to the icing mix, tasting occasionally to make sure you've got it just right. 
  11. Whip the icing until smooth, then use it to top the cooled cupcakes. 
  12. Sprinkle the remaining coconut on top of the icing- this covers any imperfections and makes them look absolutely delicious!
I made these cupcakes as favors for a friend's bridal shower. They looked beautiful tied up in individual cupcake boxes with silk ribbon, but many of them got eaten before the guests left the event. They're too yummy to resist!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pack a Lunch

Cafeteria food has never been my favorite, so I used to love packing my lunch for school. As an adult, I still enjoy toting something extra-tasty to work. It gives me something to look forward to mid-day, and it's easier on my wallet and my waistline than eating out every day. A great lunchbox makes all the difference- here are some of my favorites:
This cute lunch pail has microwavable bowls that stack with a short handle so that you can tote your lunch to work with ease. Check it out on uncommongoods.com
Monbento's sleek lunchboxes are sold on Amazon and come with cutlery that snaps inside the lid, as well as steam vents to help you re-head your leftovers perfectly. 
The Triple Split from the Container Store separates food into three compartments- you can pack leftovers, some veggies, and even a tiny cupcake. Dessert is the most important part!
If you have extra Mason Jars lying around, use them to pack a salad to-go! Check out this recipe Greek Quinoa Mason Jar Salads. 
The Ziggy PackIt Personal Cooler keeps your lunch cool for up to 10 hours without refrigeration or ice packs. Use it as your lunch bag, then pack it with beers for a weekend tailgate.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Bachelorette Party Planning

Image from Martha Stewart Weddings
A friend of mine recently went to great lengths to plan the perfect bachelorette party for one of her dearest friends, but it was a challenge for the other bridesmaids to think beyond a night of bar-hopping in the bride's home town. If you're looking to plan something more than jello shots and "Future Mrs. So-and-So" tank tops, consider one of these fun options fit for any budget:

Bachelorette Bake-Off
For the Bride-to-Be with a sweet tooth, consider a baking class or a cooking class. It's a fun group activity that can be made naughty or nice. Choose a class with a theme (ex. French pastries) or a simple cake decorating class. You can turn any activity into a competition, and add some Bachelorette flair by testing everyone's abilities to make the most provocative pastries.

A cooking class with multiple courses may be a day-long activity, but if you're just going to bake some cupcakes, then consider convening at another location after class for some dinner, games and more girly bonding. This option can also be combined with one of the ideas below.

Future Mrs. Mixologist
Pink cocktails seem to be a go-to at Bachelorette parties. Why not learn how to mix your own? Most big cities offer mixology classes, and some will even come to your house. It's a great way to kick off the night, learn a little something fun, and bond.

I love the idea of combining this activity with something more saucy like a lingerie shower. Start the night in a private room at a swanky restaurant, fete the Bride-to-Be with everything she'll need for the honeymoon, then head off to a fun class and create your own concoctions. Although it's not SO different from bar-hopping, it will feel more special then waiting in line to get into bar that you visit on any regular weekend night.

Catch a Concert
Buy tickets to see the Bride-to-Be's favorite artist, or get a large group together to attend one of the many outdoor music festivals that pop up in the summer. I love the idea of buying lawn seats to a day-long even and staking out a great spot to enjoy the music, indulge in a yummy picnic/snacks, and engage in some girly chit chat.

Tailgate beforehand with tiny cans of Sophia sparkling wine and don't forget to take lots of pictures! This is a fun experience the Bride-to-Be won't want to forget!

Girly Getaway
There's no rule that the Bachelorette party has to happen in the Bride's city, and travel deals abound on the internet. Pick a fun city to try, plan a couple days of girly activities (maybe squeeze in the above options!) and enjoy. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Shop 'til you drop. Hit the streets of New York City for brunching, shopping, and maybe a celebrity sighting or two! Check out the Hotel East Houston- it feels luxurious but is very wallet friendly. Once you've checked in, pop over to Clinton Street Baking Company for brunch, then shop around SoHo. After you've found the perfect little dress, gather the girls for a mani/pedi and head back to the hotel to primp. Hail a cab to The Haven Rooftop to start the night off in style. On Sunday morning, recover with coffee and pastries outside as you stroll around the High Line and re-live the weekend's highlights!
  • Get beachy. All-inclusive beach resorts can be fun, but renting a house on Cape Cod can feel equally luxurious. Spend the day soaking up the sun, reading girl magazines, and drinking homemade cocktails by the water. In the evening, stock on games, cook something delicious on the grill, and enjoy a few laughs with the girls. Don't forget to do a little bit of shopping in the cute Cape Cod towns- send the Bride-to-Be home with some saltwater taffy or another small momento of the weekend.
  • Go glamping. I recently posted about the Resort at Paws Up in Montana, which takes camping to a whole new level. Book a cabin a the resort for your group or find a similar spot that will allow you to benefit from the outdoorsy-ness of camping while sill living in luxury.  I promise your girls won't miss out on any Bachelorette fun- Cowboys and ranch hands offer plenty of good eye candy!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to School



It's hard to believe that it's already August. Time to go back to school! Even if you're a working adult, there's no harm in shopping for "school supplies". Here are some of my office must-haves. From the top left:

  1. Go green and keep a cute mug at your desk. Say the Word Wordsearch Mug, Kate Spade
  2. This handy pouch organizes papers, files, and all the little things that can get lost in a giant tote bag. Gio Organizer Pouch, The Container Store
  3. I'd have a hard time functioning at work without my discbound notebook. The pages easily swap out, so you can make checklists, take notes in meetings, and keep track of important documents. Circa Bookcloth Notebook, Levenger
  4. Cute paper clips are an easy, inexpensive way to add a bit of fun to the workday.
  5. Post-its and small notebooks are handy to have around. I like this zebra notebook from Paper Source.  Rifle Zebra Notepad, PaperSource.com
  6. If you have calendar pages in your disband notebook, consider picking up some of these calendar reminder stickers from the Container Store. They're cute and functional!
  7. I keep this Bond No. 9 Scent of Peace candle on my desk at home. Even when it's not lit, it lets off the most heavenly, relaxing scent. Bond No. 9 Candle, Saks Fifth Avenue
  8. Fun pencils for your pencil cup will add some pizazz to your desk, but they're also useful when you can't find your favorite pen.  Kate Spade Pencils, PaperSource.com

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Legal Oysteria


If you live in Boston, you've definitely heard of Legal Sea Foods, but there's a new restaurant in town: Legal Oysteria. Located in Charlestown, this restaurant is a new concept for Legal- they're catering to the locals and creating amazing menus that go beyond typical seafood fare.

Neal and I checked out the new neighborhood joint recently and we were impressed! The name is deceiving- this is not an oyster bar. Rather, the name plays on the Italian word "Osteria", which means a place serving wine and simple food. Northern Italian fare dominates the menu- We dined on pan roasted salmon with marinated zucchini, steak pizzaiolo, and a selection of incredible Italian wines. When you go, follow our lead and don't skip dessert! The flourless chocolate cake and the panna cotta were both incredibly delicious.

On weekdays, the restaurant fills up fast with post  9-to-fivers, so make a reservation!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cupcake Decorating Tips From the Pros

Cupcakes are a go-to dessert when I need to pack something for a party, a dinner with friends, etc. Gluten-free varieties are easy to make, and they're always a huge hit. Since presentation is everything, I'm sharing these tips from one of the owners of Georgetown Cupcake. She'll show you how to frost them, decorate them, personalize them, and look professional- even if you're a novice!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sunshine

I wore a bright yellow silk top to work last week, and the color definitely elevated my mood. If you've got a case of the Mondays, consider swapping something sunny into your work-wear. Here are some looks that I love:
Mutefashion.com
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SoleSociety.com

Friday, August 8, 2014

Weekender

My Design-a-Weekender Bag, Kate Spade Saturday
Whether you're glamping, jet-setting, or simply headed to a friend's house for a sleepover, a great Weekender Bag is a must-have.

I love the design-it-yourself Weekender Bag at Kate Spade Saturday. The roomy interior and pockets will fit everything you need, plus the bottom section zips apart and will hold all of your shoes (because really, one pair probably isn't enough).

Interior, Kate Spade Weekender
Pick your color combinations, add monograms, and make it your own! The possibilities are endless, and your bag will definitely stand out among the rest in the overhead compartment of your flight. 

I mixed and matched and created a whole new bag!, Kate Spade Saturday Weekender Bag

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pen Pals

PSA Essentials- Personalized Stamps
I love snail-mail. Although talking on the phone and tagging pictures on Facebook is fun, receiving a thank you note, birthday card, or any other correspondence the good old-fashioned way is so nice. I'm looking forward to having a few pen pals once I move, and I've been stocking up on the necessary supplies.

PSA Self-Inking stamps are a great way to liven up the look of your letters. Use them to add a monogram to the top of blank stationery, or get a return-address stamp to add a little elegance to your envelopes.  The switchable middles allow you to swap out different designs, so the possibilities are endless!

The stamps make a great gift, particularly for bridal showers or weddings. Get one with the new couple's name and address- it's a gift that will come in handy as they pen hundreds of thank you notes.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Go Glamping


The Resort at Paws Up, Luxury Camping
Although we're making a big move in a few weeks and are excited to explore Austin, I've been thinking ahead to our next vacation. Camping is not really my thing. Although it's fun to be outdoors-y, I enjoy a hot shower a comfy bed. But GLAMPING might be just want the doctor ordered!

The Resort at Paws Up is a luxurious getaway on a 37,000 working cattle ranch in Montana. Take in the incredible scenery on a long horseback ride, cast a fly in sparkling waters, or indulge at the resort's spa. This is seriously glamorous camping.

The Resort at Paws Up, Luxurious Dining and Accommodations
I'm putting this place at the top of our travel list- I can't wait to check it out! In addition to the activities you might expect, Paw Up has a Grizzlyman "fitness trail" full of obstacles made from surrounding timber to challenge your hike, ATV tours, and even white water rafting in the Alberton Gorge.

The Resort at Paws Up, Hot Air Ballooning

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Durty Harry's

Durty Harry's
If you're a dog-owner in Boston, Durty Harry's is worth a visit.  This small shop in Charlestown (or Brookline-there are two locations) is the ultimate pet boutique. Pick up some lobster treats (yes, with REAL lobster), a fun new toy, a bow tie for your dapper dude, or use the self-wash stations to give your pup a bath. The small space is packed with goodies and premium dog food/treats. Plus, if you live in the area, Durty Harry's will deliver your dog food right to your door!

Harry Himself!
We've been enjoying Durty Harry's every Sunday at our Zen Dog Training classes with Brady. He's having a blast and quickly learning the fastest way to earn a treat.

Brady loves this toy from Durty Harry's- it hides treats in the belly!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Biscuit Breakfast Sandwich


Breakfast sandwiches are a go-to on lazy Sunday mornings. Although there's a coffee shop nearby that serves up lox on gluten free bagels, I often have sandwich-envy when I see Neal's egg sandwiches on delicious warm biscuits.  My mission: recreate the sandwich at home, in a gluten-free version.

I whipped up a batch of biscuits this weekend using gluten-free Bisquick (yep, they make it!), and they were fantastic. Add some scrambled eggs and a heavy sprinkle of cheese and you've got a delicious and filling gluten-free breakfast sandwich!


What You'll Need:
2 cups gluten free Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup butter flavored Crisco
3 eggs

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. 
  2. Cut the shortening into the bisquick until the mixture is crumbly.
  3. Add the milk and eggs and combine until moist.
  4. Drop rounded spoonfuls of the biscuit mix onto your prepared baking sheet. You should be able to make 8-10 biscuits. 
  5. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until just golden brown. Try to wait a minute before serving- it will be hard because they smell so yummy!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Summer Wines

Photo by Tony Cenicola, The New York Times
There's nothing better than lazing around on a Saturday afternoon, catching up with friends outside over a cool glass of wine. If you're looking for something affordable to sip this weekend (or if you want to pack an adult beverage in your Shakespeare on the Common picnic), check out this NY Times article that reviews 20 summer wines for $20.

I have a few summer favorites too:

  • Sybille Kuntz, Reisling: I tasted this wine along with fondue at Belly Wine Bar in Cambridge, and I fell in love. Not too sweet and perfectly crisp at the finish, this is a great wine to sip on a summer afternoon. 
  • Williamson, Joy Sauvignon Blanc: This is one that you may have to special order. After sampling it in our wine club shipment, I ordered a full case! It pairs perfectly with sushi but is incredible on it's own. Buy more than one bottle. 
  • Conundrum, California White Wine: A go-to summer favorite, this white blend is versatile and easy to drink. Plus, almost everyone likes it. Pack it as a hostess gift to take to your next summer soiree. 
  • Bogle Vineyards, Chardonnay: I love an oaky chardonnay. That smooth, creamy finish makes this wine extra yummy, plus you'll find that this bottle is also extra affordable. You can't beat that! 
As you begin to imbibe in the perfect summer sip, make sure to check out these pairing tips. The right food can make the wine even better.