A Pinch of Fall

I can’t believe we’re already through the first week of September and that summer is technically over! I’ve been back at home organizing all of my things and getting ready for my next big move before I’m back out in the real world. Home for me is in Southwest Florida, so it definitely still feels like summer down here!

To help ease my mind into the transition of fall (which is probably my favorite season), I’ve been collecting some fall recipes I want to try my hand at in the weeks to come. Starbucks has already begun selling their famous Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, so it’s only a matter of time before we all embrace the fall flavors, weather, and changing scenery.

Below are the top 5 recipes I want to make ASAP – let me know some of your personal favorite fall treats and maybe I can incorporate something into the blog! Also, be sure to follow my Pinterest board, A Pinch of Fall, for even more of my favorite fall recipes.

Pumpkin Pie - Williams-Sonoma

Always a classic – Traditional Pumpkin Pie recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma – I’ll save this one for Thanksgiving!

Apple-Pie Spiced Cider

For those colder nights, I’ll have to try Martha Stewart’s Apple-Pie Spiced Cider.

Whoopie Pies

No dessert is complete without some chocolate! These Pumpkin-Chocolate Whoopie Pies courtesy of Lauren Conrad look divine!

Apple Cider Punch

Camille Styles made a list on her blog of the best Fall Cocktail recipes – I’ll have to give them all a try!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

Of course I had to include a hearty fall breakfast dish in this list! Definitely trying these Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes on a lazy Sunday.

Oceanside

I’ve been away from home a little under 2 months now and I’m already missing the salt water sea breeze on a summer afternoon.

Growing up in Naples, FL summer days were spent camped out on the beach until the afternoon thunderstorms rolled in, forcing you to finally seek refuge inside. I miss those careless days spent splashing around in the ocean with friends or just indulging in a good book for endless hours oceanside. While surfing through Pinterest and seeing all the new swimsuit styles I became nostalgic, lusting for my past summers spent with my toes in the sand.

I’ve got my fingers crossed to make it down to the Cape eventually this summer to finally satisfy my beach craving. Until then, I’ll have to make a list of all the fashionable beach finds I want to test out this summer and let that suffice!

beach hatsLove these DIY beach hats from Stephanie Sterjovski’s blog!

*EXCLUSIVE* **NO WEB** Lupita Nyong'o shows off her Bikini Body in Hawaii  **USA ONLY** *MUST CALL FOR PRICING*

Scalloped bathing suits are in this summer, love this look on Lupita!

mara

Mara Hoffman‘s bathing suits always have the most unique/colorful prints for some fun in the sun.

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Olivia Palermo rocking a chic cover-up.

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I’m a huge fan of this new bathing suit style – I just don’t know if I have the guts to try it!

What are some of your favorite beachside fashion staples?

A Guide to Independence Day

4th of July is my favorite holiday of the year – it falls in the summertime (my favorite season), you spend all day outdoors, and you’re surrounded by friends and family (oh, and you have work off!). Last night I started preparing for the holiday in advance and made mini 4th of July themed red, white, and blue cupcakes courtesy of one of my favorite recipe books from The Hummingbird Bakery.

IMG_3016Nothing tastes better than cake batter 🙂

IMG_3018The finished product – they were all out of holiday sprinkles at the store, sadly.

I used the vanilla cupcake & vanilla frosting recipes found in their first cookbook, here. When I was studying abroad in college, I was lucky enough to randomly stumble upon one of their brick and mortar shops and try a genuine Hummingbird Cupcake – so good! They even package it in a little Chinese takeout to-go box with their logo on the top.

Not sure what to wear/bake/cook/drink for the holiday? No worries, I’ve got you covered with a guide below! Also, feel free to check out my 4th of July Pinterest board!

1.) Love this DIY inspired outfit, plus what’s more American than a Coca-Cola shirt?!

2.) Such a great idea to have mini finger food available if you’re hosting a BBQ (these fries would go perfect with the mini sliders)

3.) Printable patriotic beer labels – easy DIY project.

4.) These American flag mason jars are so cute!

5.) Easy Sparkler Cake – love how easy it is to use yogurt-dipped pretzels on edges as decoration.

6.) This is the cutest backyard bar cart I’ve ever seen.

Hope you all have a great, long 4th of July Weekend and I’ll see you again next week!

 

Manic Mondays

I find that the weekends are never long enough. It’s as though Mondays come out of no where, catching us by surprise and placing us back into our weekly routine, which to some of us (me at least) seems like we’re switched onto autopilot performing our daily tasks almost religiously.

Mondays

On Monday mornings, nothing is more tempting than pressing the snooze button to catch another 10 minutes os Zzz’s. I always think of the popular song, “Manic Monday” by the Bangles whenever the start of a new week rolls around and I’m running around the kitchen grabbing coffee and getting everything ready for the work day. I have to remind myself twice, to just take a deep breath and relax so I don’t look like such a frazzled, out of my mind mess.

To make my transition back into the work week a bit easier, I like to find simple recipes on Pinterest for weekday dinners that I can stock up on the ingredients for over the weekend. Usually, I make just enough for dinner and one serving of leftovers to take into work the next day for lunch. It’s a double doozie! This week I was craving Chinese food and found a super easy Sweet & Sour chicken recipe courtesy of the food blog, Damn Delicious (such a great name, because that’s exactly what this recipe turned out to be).

Disclaimer: I halved the recipe to make just enough for one dinner plus one serving of leftovers.

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Cook the chicken on medium-high until it’s golden brown.

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Usually it takes about 3-4 minutes to cook all the way through.

There’s two simple parts to this recipe: cooking the chicken in an egg and corn starch batter and preparing and pouring the sweet & sour sauce over the chicken before baking it in the oven.

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Make sure to evenly disperse the sauce throughout the pan.

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After about 55 minutes the chicken should be baked to perfection.

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Serve over rice or veggies and you’ve got yourself a delicious home-cooked meal!