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Cinnamon Star Bread #bakealong

Cinnamon Star Bread #bakealong

One of my goals for this autumn was to do two of the King Arthur Flour bakealongs. Each month they post a recipe and invite folks to bake the recipe and then post a picture on social media. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and I finally got in the kitchen and did it!

The recipe for November was Cinnamon Star Bread, and it looked WAY too complicated! My mom taught me that I can cook anything if I just followed the recipe, so I grabbed my apron and got started.

Y’all, I still can’t believe how simple this recipe was and how well it turned out! King Arthur Flour did a fantastic job on their step-by-step directions. Those made this project a joy!

Four disks of yeast dough with egg wash and cinnamon sugar in between each layer.
I might have squealed and danced a little after twisting the “petals” and seeing the pretty stripes show up! Is this gorgeous or what?!?
And I might’ve squealed and danced a little more when it came out of the oven looking all beautiful! HOORAY!!!

You guys should definitely give this a try!  Did I mention how good the directions were?!?

I’m looking forward to the December #bakealong now! I wonder what it will be!

Do you like to bake? Have you done a bakealong? Give this one a try and let me know how it goes!

Autumn Adventures – Update #2

Autumn Adventures – Update #2

Is it just me, or has time been moving at warp speed lately?!?  Wow!  We’re two months into autumn, and it’s time to share how I’m doing on my Autumn Adventures list.  My original list is here, and my October update is here.

I’ve had some AMAZING adventures over the last month, and I’m excited to tell you about them!  I’m going to give short recaps here today, and then over the next few days (when I’m spending many hours on the road) I’ll write more about all the fun I’ve had lately!  Here we go!

 

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Check out that reflection! So cool!
An unplanned bike ride ended up being SO romantic! (Other than when I nearly had a heat stroke and nearly fell off my bike!) Ah, memories!

1.  ✔Have a picnic in Forsyth Park in Savannah.  We didn’t have a picnic in Forsyth Park, but we DID have a picnic at Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina!  We made a last minute trip to Asheville and then made an unplanned visit to Biltmore!  We rented bikes and rode up the (enormous) hill to the back side of the house, looked around for a bit, then had a lovely little picnic under the trees just down the hill from the house.  What a view!  Don’t you love how unplanned, super simple things end up being your favorite memories?!?  Crazy!  In any case, I’m going to call this one done.  Maybe we’ll make it to Forsyth Park next month.  If so, I’ll give myself bonus points!

2.  ✔Go to the beach at least once. 

 

3.  ✔Take a Master Class at the Savannah Food & Wine Festival DONE!  I took the “Southern Dishes with a French Accent” class.  It was taught by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker, and I had a great time!  She taught us how to make three different dishes.  We were then able to taste each dish!  I’d like to take more classes next year.  I learned a lot and had a really lovely afternoon.

4.  ✔Take a road trip to Eifel Acres Farm in Missouri to spend Thanksgiving with friends.  Happening now!

5.  Χ Finish most of my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving.  (So that I can…)  I have done SOME shopping and some thinking, but I failed to do MOST of my shopping before Thanksgiving.  Ah well.

6.  Focus on Advent.  Coming soon!

 

7.  ✔Take a hike during peak autumn color in the mountains.  YES!!!  Watch for a post in the next few days about our camping trip to Asheville!  Photos and restaurant recommendations will be included!

8.  Write one letter a week to a friend.  Still not making progress on this one!  Goodness gracious.

9.  ✔Eat from a food truck.

10.  ✔Attend a local book store event.  I’m looking at you E. Shaver, Bookseller

11.  Χ Make an autumn art project.  This one did not happen.

12.  Make a winter/Christmas art project.  Not yet.

13.  Have dinner at Alligator Soul in Savannah.  Not yet!

 

14.  Do two of King Arthur Flour’s bakealong projects.  YES!  I did my first #bakealong last week!  I made Cinnamon Star Bread and still can’t believe how beautiful it was!  I’m eager to see what December’s baking challenge will be!  A post with the recipe and more photos is coming soon!

15.  ✔Continue to have intentional meet-ups with IRL friends.  YES!!! I’ve had two especially fun time with friends over the last few weeks!  I’ll share more in the next few days!  (Hints:  Poe, camping, and IKEA!)

So.  Much.  Fun!!!  Like I said on the front end, I’ll have lots of time to blog on our road trip to Missouri this week, so come back soon and often to get all the details about my adventures!

I’m linking up with some other bloggers to see how THEIR autumn lists are going.  I love seeing what everybody is up to!  I’m getting a lot of great ideas for things *I* want to do!

Thanks for stopping by!  Have YOU baked anything new lately?  Hiked a beautiful trail?  Spent some time with a friend?  Please leave a comment so I can celebrate with you!

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Autumn Adventures – Update #1

Autumn Adventures – Update #1

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future!

Which is to say we’re a month into autumn already, and it’s time to revisit my Autumn Adventures List and see how I’m doing!

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1.  Have a picnic in Forsyth Park in Savannah.  Not yet, but I HAVE been planning my food strategy for this one!  I’m thinking Smith Brothers will be involved!

2.  Go to the beach at least once.  YES!  Gene and I went to Tybee Island for a while last weekend!  The temperature was around 78 which was PERFECT for watching the waves without getting all sweaty.  I took a book but never even opened it.  It was nice to just BE, you know?

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3.  Take a Master Class at the Savannah Food & Wine FestivalI bought my ticket!  I’m signed up for “Southern Dishes with a French Accent” taught by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker.  To say I’m excited would be an understatement!

4.  Take a road trip to Eifel Acres Farm in Missouri to spend Thanksgiving with friends.  Coming soon!

5.  Finish most of my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving.  (So that I can…)  I have started my shopping!  What fun!

6.  Focus on Advent.  Coming soon!  I need to go ahead and round up my Advent wreath stuff.

7.  Take a hike during peak autumn color in the mountains.  Trip planned and coming really soon! 

8.  Write one letter a week to a friend.  Seriously?!?  Why is that so hard?!?  No letters yet.

9.  Eat from a food truck.  (Hoping for The Big Cheese truck!)  DONE!  Gene and I caught the last few hours of the Savannah Jazz Festival in Forsyth Park, and I snagged a grilled cheese from The Big Cheese food truck! 

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Photo is from The Big Cheese’s Facebook page.  I wasn’t able to take my own picture at the jazz festival because it was too dark.

10.  Attend a local book store event.  I’m looking at you E. Shaver, BooksellerDONE!  I attended a book signing and reading with Daren Wang for his book The Hidden Light of Northern Fires.  Watch for a blog post soon to tell you all about it!

11.  Make an autumn art project.  Nothing on this yet.

12.  Make a winter/Christmas art project.  Not yet.

13.  Have dinner at Alligator Soul in Savannah.  We’ve at least discussed it!  I need to make reservations.

14.  Do two of King Arthur Flour’s bakealong projects.  While I *have* baked, I haven’t done an official bakealong yet.

15.  Continue to have intentional meet-ups with IRL friends.  (A favorite from my summertime list!)  One done!  I met a special friend for dinner earlier this week!  She has a house of busy teenagers and a busy life in general, so I really appreciated her making the time to hang out with me for a while.  We enjoyed getting caught up and sharing victories and concerns with each other.

Hooray!  We’ve had a lot of fun over the last month, and there’s more on the horizon!  Temperatures here in Coastal Georgia are finally, finally feeling a little more like autumn, so that’s an extra bonus!  And as an extra extra bonus, there are currently NO hurricanes to watch out for!

Here’s to all of us living intentionally!  We all have to roll with the punches, but with some effort and a little creativity we can make sure we have some special moments of fun in there too!  Have a great weekend, y’all!  Check out the links below to get more ideas for YOUR autumn adventures!

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Currently – October 2017

Currently – October 2017

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I’m linking up today with Anne at In Residence and Dana at Something Good for this month’s Currently!

On this first week of October 2017, I am currently…

Styling:  outfits from the Get Your Pretty On (GYPO) Fall Style Challenge.  These challenges are always a lot of fun and incredibly helpful.  They’ve taught me how to shop wisely AND how to stay on trend!  Here are a few of my favorite outfits so far.  (The Fall Work Wear Capsule is available now!  Yes, that’s an affiliate link!)

 

Saving:  time and money by using Prep Dish.  Prep Dish provides weekly meal plans and more importantly, well-organized instructions for preparing the meals.  Watch for a full review of my experience with Prep Dish REALLY soon!

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Searching:  for Christmas gift ideas.  One of the items on my Autumn Adventures list is to enjoy Christmas shopping by doing it earlier.  If I want hand-crafted gifts, for instance, I know I need to get them ordered soon.  (I’m looking at you, Etsy!)

 

Picking:  books I want to read and restaurants I want to try.  I’m currently reading The War that Saved My Life, another fantastic recommendation by Modern Mrs. Darcy.

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Photo from Amazon

 

Making:  time for a special treat!  I’m treating myself to an afternoon out tomorrow!  Books and food MIGHT be involved!  Stay tuned for all the details!

What are YOU currently up to!  Leave me a comment and let me know!

 

TBB Asks: Fall Theme

TBB Asks: Fall Theme

Autumn is finally here!  Hooray!  Temps here in Coastal Georgia are finally down to the low 80s!  In celebration of this happy season, I’m linking up with the wonderful ladies of The Blended Blog for another round of “this or that.”  It’s a fun way of getting to know the person behind the blogger!  Let’s go!

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1.  Favorite fall sweet treat?   All of it.  Fruity cobblers.  Gingerbread.  Candy corn.  All of it!

2.  Red, yellow, or green apples?  For eating I like red Gala apples.  For baking I’ll snag some green Granny Smith apples.

3.  Favorite fall sport to play?  Is hiking a sport?  Or lying on the beach?  Because I like to do both in autumn when the temps are less likely to bring about heat stroke.

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4.  Best drink for fall?  Sweet tea, as always!  Or Jamaican Me Crazy coffee.  Yes.  Well, and hot chocolate.  I had a great hot chocolate with cinnamon at Red Owl Coffee in Valdosta, Georgia this weekend!

5.  Favorite fall activity?  Hiking and lying on the beach, as I mentioned earlier.  I also feel more crafty in the autumn, so let’s add “make crafty things” to the list.  (That actually IS on my Autumn Adventures list!)

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6.  Must have fall purchase?  A fresh scarf or pair of boots.  I’m still on the prowl for an embroidered scarf, but I DID snag this fun pair of Teva hikers!  I wear them all the time!

7.  Pumpkins:  pick your own or store bought?  I’ve never been pumpkin picking!  I usually buy my pumpkin in a can.

8.  Real or fake pumpkin?  For baking I prefer to use real pumpkin!

9.  Favorite Halloween costume?  I like the clever, punny ones!

10.  College football or NFL?  College for the fun, NFL for the power.  I enjoy watching both!  (For the sake of all that is good, I’m not entering the NFL debate here!  Thanks!)  My daughter leaves the room when I watch football.  She says I’m loud.  Hmph.  If my Georgia Bulldogs are playing, I do tend to get a little vocal!  Our Dawgs are doing us proud this year!  #godawgs #goyousilverbritches

11.  Fall or Halloween decor?  Fall.

12.  Raking leaves or no leaves to rake?  We have no leaves to rake!  I like leaves, but it’s okay that I don’t have to rake any.

13.  Favorite soup?  Cream of Pumpkin Soup (Kürbiscremesuppe) from the Torschänke in Dudeldof, Germany.  I enjoy making vegetable barley soup and chicken barley chili.  And I’ll be making Kürbiscremesuppe this week now that it’s on my mind!

14.  Favorite fall candle scent?  Anything apple or berries!  These days I’m diffusing an apple cider essential oil, and it’s amazing!

15.  Love or hate pumpkin spice?  Meh.  Neither.  I prefer a nice apple pie spice blend.

16.  Short booties or tall boots?  Tall boots!

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17.  Favorite Halloween candy?  I enjoy giving mini moon pies.  #halloweensouthernstyle  #georgiayall

18.  PSL:  yes or no?  No.  I try to avoid the sugary coffees.

19.  Hayride or corn maze?  Corn maze.  This one is fairly local to us.  I should put it on my Autumn Adventures list!

20.  Favorite fall tv show?  Oh, goodness!  I’m a longtime fan of Survivor, and I also enjoy Madam Secretary and Designated Survivor.

Well, that was fun!  I’m eager to see what the other folks in The Blended Blog’s linkup enjoy about autumn!

Have a great week everybody!  What are some of YOUR answers for today’s questions?!?

Summertime Fun List – Final Update

Summertime Fun List – Final Update

Autumn is finally here!  Hooray!  Yesterday I shared my Autumn Adventures list, a list of fun stuff I’m looking forward to doing this autumn.  Today I want to backtrack just a little bit and give a final update on my Summertime Fun List.  I shared my progress on the list here and here, but HERE is the original list and a super quick recap.

    • Pantry:  Reorganize my pantry.  Done!
    • Boxes:  Clear boxes out of garage.  Made a lot of progress on boxes INSIDE the house, and I got my two guest rooms fully up to speed!  I still have a few bags of things in the garage to deal with, but I’m going to call this one a success!
    • Letters:  Write one real letter each week.  I sent a few notes, but still want to do better.
    • New Places:  Eat at two new restaurants in Savannah.  YES!  Finally!  Scroll down to see where we went!  Done!
    • Books:  Read at least five books from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide. Done!
    • Intentional Friendship IRL:  Meet up with a friend at least once a month.  (IRL means “in real life.”)  Done!
    • Intentional Friendship Virtually:  Skype with a long-distance friend at least once a month.  Total fail on this one.
    • Time for Parents:  Call my parents and my in-laws once a week.  Making some progress but still want to do better, especially since I know how much I like to hear from MY kids!  When did making phone calls get so difficult?

 

We finally made it into Savannah to try two new places!  How exciting!

The first restaurant we tried was actually a food truck that I’ve been wanting to catch for a long time.  It’s Big Bon Pizza.  A food truck with a wood fired pizza oven.  I’m serious, y’all!

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They set up at Smith Brothers Butcher Shop, a lovely place that did, indeed, have fresh meat AND a massive wine selection, a tasty bakery counter, and wonderful ingredients for all kinds of cooking.  I could’ve spent hours in there looking around!

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And one of my favorite things:  a lending library of cookbooks!  I kid you not!  How cool is this?!?

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Our pizza was great as was our time spent hanging out with new friends!  I definitely plan to catch Big Bon Pizza again, and I’m going to steal away for a couple of hours of shopping time (and a sandwich) at Smith Brothers soon!

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Gene got the Spicy Chicken Bulgogi (on the left half), and I got the Brussels Sprouts and Bacon (on the right).  Delicious!
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Our friends got the Big Bon Original.

 

The other place we went is a Savannah classic that was recommended to us by several people, the Crystal Beer Parlor.  My husband and daughter and I ate here, and it wasn’t quite what I expected.  Gene and Cassandra got burgers, and they said they were good.  I got a bowl of crab stew and half a shrimp salad sandwich.  It was good, but I won’t order it again.   I was expecting a different (more modern) atmosphere, and I think my expectations got the best of me on this one.  I’m sure we’ll go back again, and I’ll enjoy it more!

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So that’s a wrap for the Summertime Fun List!  Now to get to work having fun with my Autumn Adventures!

What are YOU up too?  Tried any new food trucks lately?  Any special adventures coming up this autumn?!?

Savannah Bananas – The Nachos

Savannah Bananas – The Nachos

A few weeks ago my husband and I went with our friends Doug and Jenny to our first Savannah Bananas baseball game and had a blast!  You can read all about it here.  I promised you that I’d come back and tell you about the nachos!

BEHOLD!!!

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Doug & Jenny…and the nachos!

Behold, garbage can nachos!  This masterpiece included chopped hamburgers, hot dogs, and jalapenos atop three orders of nachos, all served on a trash can lid!  All of this for only $20, and the four of us couldn’t eat it all.  (And we tried.  We really did!)

It was amazing!

Hey!  Would this count as trying a new restaurant in downtown Savannah on my Summertime Fun List?!?

 

Eclipse Doughnuts

Eclipse Doughnuts

Y’all! Krispy Kreme is doing something special this weekend in celebration of the eclipse! For the first time ever, they’re using a chocolate glaze on their doughnuts!

I took one for the team and tried them tonight. Amazing! They’re amazing! Definitely splurge-worthy!

Check your local Krispy Kreme for availability, and remember to ask them what hours these special doughnuts will be served.

Enjoy!

Currently – August 2017

Currently – August 2017

I know I say it every month, but I LOVE this link-up!  It’s fun to see how everyone interprets each month’s prompts and what they’re up to!  Here’s what I’m CURRENTLY…

 

snacking (on): Dark Salted Brown Butter Chocolate.  I discovered this chocolate bar at Publix yesterday, and it jumped into my cart all by itself.  I don’t usually eat chocolate, but this bar apparently thought I’d like it.  It’s right. 

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