Tomato Basil Soup

  • 4 large heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or half and half
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Crushed red pepper to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roughly chop tomatoes and 1/2 onion and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast heirloom tomatoes on a baking sheet for 25 minutes.

Remove tomatoes and 1/2 onion and let cool for 10-15 minutes. When they have cooled, place them into a food processor with additional salt, garlic and basil. Puree.

Preheat a large stock pot to medium heat. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in bottom of pot. Add tomato/garlic/basil puree to melted butter. Stir.

Add in 1/2 cup whole milk OR half and half and 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Add red and black pepper to taste.

Top with croutons and Parmesan cheese.

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Portland

Over Labor Day, we took a vacation with Quentin’s family to Portland, Oregon.

It was absolutely the perfect weekend. The weather was ideal- it only rained one time! We ate and drank our way through the city and had fun feeling like locals. We stayed in an area of town called the Pearl District and it was ideal. Great location to anything throughout the city.

We did a food tour the first day we got there. The restaurants in Portland do an amazing job of sourcing local ingredients for their menus. Some of our favorite places were Q BAR and Southpark Seafood.

We also couldn’t resist checking out a few local favorites. We had so much fun exploring the unique flavors at Voodoo Doughnut.

On our search for some amazing Thai food, we found a little hole-in-the-wall called Pok Pok.

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Pok Pok’s famous Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings

We also had fun visiting a few local vineyards in Dundee, OR.

And a few breweries too 😉

I highly recommend visiting Washington Park. There are miles of walking trails as well as a Japanese Garden, the International Rose Test Garden, and the Portland Zoo.

Quentin and I we’re lucky enough to be able to get our engagement pictures taken on the Oregon coast. We spent the morning exploring Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park and Hug Point.

On our last day we ventured over to Multnomah Falls. The falls are located in the Columbia River Gorge which was badly damaged by wildfires in the late summer of 2017. It has been predicted that it will take over 20 years for the gorge to grow back to where it was before the fire. Luckily, Multnomah Falls wasn’t too terrible effected.

 

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Penny Lane Coat

I got this coat from my mom for my birthday. It’s from a brand called Show Me Your Mumu and I really love it. It’s so cozy and makes such a statement. I already know it’s going to be one of my fall/winter staple pieces. For more info, check out the link below.

Penny Lane Coat

 

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Tortellini Soup

This is one of the easiest meals in my recipe box. It’s a classic that was passed down from my Nana to my mom and now to me. It is also the meal that put my mom into labor with me. No wonder I love it so much 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans water
  • 1 12 oz package of cheese tortellini

Directions

  1. In the bottom of a large stock pot, brown Italian sausage on medium heat
  2. Remove the browned sausage and drain on a plate covered with a paper towel
  3. Add chopped onion to the stock pot and sweat until translucent
  4. Once the onions are cooked down, add the sausage back to the pot
  5. Add two cans of diced tomatoes and two cans of water, simmer for 3 minutes
  6. Finally, add in cheese tortellini and simmer until the noodles float to the top
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste
  8. Enjoy!

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Bestie Ballet Class

When I was little I did ballet from about age 4 to age 12. For the last 10 years I have been dreaming about signing up for classes again.

Every time I considered signing up, I chickened out or told myself that it was weird to take ballet classes as an adult.

I am so happy to say that, with the help of my best friend, I took a ballet class and absolutely LOVED it. I left with new confidence in myself and a huge smile.

Cheers to following your dreams!

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Perfect “Flour-y” Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m not a huge sweets fan, but I absolutely love to bake. I think its the joy that it brings people when you give them a huge plate of chocolate chips cookies or a big slice of pumpkin cake.

Chocolate chip cookies are one of my all time favorite treats to make. They’re the perfect balance of salty and sweet. This recipe includes extra flour because I like very puffy cookies.

Ingredients

  • 7 table spoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour (plus a few tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (or more) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (or more) chocolate chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Microwave the butter for about 40 seconds to just barely melt it. It shouldn’t be hot – but it should be almost entirely in liquid form.
  2. Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the butter with the sugars until creamy. Add the vanilla and the egg; beat on low speed until just incorporated – 10-15 seconds or so (if you beat the egg for too long, the cookies will be stiff).
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until crumbles form. Use your hands to press the crumbles together into a dough. It should form one large ball that is easy to handle (right at the stage between “wet” dough and “dry” dough). Add the chocolate chips and incorporate with your hands.
  4. Roll the dough into 12 large balls (or 9 for HUGELY awesome cookies) and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the cookies look puffy and dry and just barely golden.Warning, friends: DO NOT OVERBAKE. This advice is probably written on every cookie recipe everywhere, but this is essential for keeping the cookies soft. Take them out even if they look like they’re not done yet (see picture in the post). They’ll be pale and puffy.
  5. Let them cool on the pan for a good 30 minutes or so (I mean, okay, eat four or five but then let the rest of them cool). They will sink down and turn into these dense, buttery, soft cookies that are the best in all the land. These should stay soft for many days if kept in an airtight container. I also like to freeze them.

Recipe Source

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*To modify for fall, add 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree and 2 extra tablespoons of flour.

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