Strawberry Basil Moscow Mules

How is it Friday already?! I'm not complaining by any means, but the weeks have been going by lightening fast. I am sorry I have been slightly neglectful on here lately - but I am determined to stop being a lazy ass and start posting for you guys again at least 4-5 times a week! I am finishing You are a Badass and I am so inspired to stop wasting my time and start pursuing this little blog of mine at full speed ahead! You heard it here...no slacking from me now! 🙃 

Anywho- IT'S FRIDAY AND I'M SO EXCITED. Sleeping in on Saturday morning has never sounded so good as it does right now. This weekend we are going to be low-key since we are both going to bachelor/bachelorette parties next weekend! Two of our closest friends are getting married and next Thursday all us girls are headed to Austin for the bachelorette and the boys are heading to Lake Billychinook for the bachelor party on a house boat! Should be a very eventful weekend to say the least. 

Being in weekend mode, I wanted to share one of my favorite cocktails! A Moscow mule recipe is one that I love pulling out whether it's a relaxed night at home with Thomas or if I'm hanging with the girls - like next weekend in Austin! They are quick to make, easy to drink, and you can change out the fruit with the seasons! Since strawberry season is in full-swing right now, I wanted to combine their luscious sweetness with one of my favorite herbs - basil. The two together is so delicious, and combining those flavors with Fever-Tree's Ginger Beer makes it even more of a winner. Fever Tree is my absolute favorite since it's not too sweet and has the most incredible ginger flavor!

I hope you all have a great weekend! Take a breather, relax, soak up some vitamin D, and make a Moscow mule for good measure! 😀

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Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule

Ingredients per drink

- 3-4 medium ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered (plus extra for garnish)
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
- 1-2 teaspoons of sugar, agave, or honey if you want it slightly sweeter
- 2-3 ounces of Vodka
- juice from 1 lime
- crushed ice
- 2-3 ounce chilled ginger beer

what to do

  1. Place strawberries, basil, lime juice, and sugar (if using) in copper mug and muddle by using a muddler or the bottom of a wooden spoon to smash the berries and basil together for 1- 2 minutes, until juices are fully released and you have a good mash. Pour in vodka. 
  2. Stir and then fill mug about 3/4 of the way full with crushed ice and top off with chilled ginger beer.  Stir again with a spoon and garnish with a fresh strawberry and basil leaf. Enjoy!

Weekly Crumbs Vol. 3

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Normally this post is usually light-hearted, but this past week has been particularly somber with the deaths of two people I have idolized in my adulthood. From Kate Spade's evolutionary groundbreaking career to Anthony's ability to transcend and captivate an audience to follow his travels around the world, but of them are inspirations to me in more ways than one. From the outside, they both had made their dreams come true and were living these incredible lives, but in reality you never know what people are going through and the struggles they are facing.

The way I try to live my life and the way I hope that you live yours is to always be kind, be open to the world, and remember how much power you have to make a difference in someone's life however big or small. 

"As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt." - Anthony

Fall off the bone Korean Spareribs with Kimchi Coleslaw

Grill season is here!! Summertime is the best when the sun is out until late into the evening, you're hanging out with friends in the backyard, and you're cooking up a storm on the grill with a drink in hand! 

Sadly in our current apartment we don't have a space to keep our own grill, so we often go over to friends houses to grill out. However the good news is that you don't have to have a grill to make amazing ribs - which is one of our favorite things to make in the summer! The way my mom has always done ribs is to slowly bake them in the oven until they are falling off the bone, and that's how I make my ribs! 

Over the last year or so I have been introduced to different Korean ingredients and I am obsessed with the flavors! For these Korean spareribs the base of the bbq sauce is Gochujang - a Korean chili paste which is one of the backbone ingredients to Korean cooking. And then there's Kimchi! The bubbly fizzy fermented wonderment is horrendous to some people, but I can't get enough of it! Kimchi essentially means "salted vegetables" and you can pretty much 'Kimchi' anything, however the traditional and most common Kimchi is made out of napa cabbage and typically seasoned with a coarsely ground red pepper known as gochugaru, plus garlic, ginger, and some kind of fermented or fresh seafood. I buy the Seoul Kimchi from our local Fred Meyer and it's the absolute best. The kimchi dressing I made for this slaw is a perfect companion to these melt in your mouth Korean spareribs! I adapted these recipes from bon appétit's grilling issue! Definitely give them a try!

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Fall-off the Bone Korean Spareibs with Kimchi slaw

ingredients

Ribs
- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp. gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) 
- 1 can of chipotle chiles in adobo (less if you don't want as much heat) 
- rack of pork spareribs (about 4 lb.)

Spicy Kimchi Slaw
8 scallions
- 1/2 cup kimchi, plus 1 tbsp. juice from jar
- 2 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Sriracha
- 2 tsp. fish sauce
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 small head of napa cabbage
- 1 6" piece daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 2 cups store bought shredded carrots
- salt for seasoning
- toasted sesame seeds and cilantro for serving

What to do

  1. Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Whisk vinegar, brown sugar, gochujang, and adobo in a medium bowl until sugar is dissolved. Transfer half of sauce to a small bowl and set aside for serving.

  2. Season ribs all over with salt and pepper. Place rack on a double layer of foil and wrap up. Set on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until very tender but not falling apart, 2½–3 hours. The last 30 minutes of cooking remove top foil, baste generously with bbq sauce and let continue baking. Remove from oven, baste with more sauce and serve extra gochujang bbq sauce for serving. 

  3. The last 30 minutes of the ribs cooking, make your Spicy Kimchi Slaw. Remove dark green tops from scallions and thinly slice; set aside. Blend scallion bulbs, kimchi, kimchi juice, vinegar, Sriracha, fish sauce, and sesame oil in a blender until smooth. With motor running, very slowly stream in vegetable oil; blend until dressing is thick and airy. Set aside.

  4. Tear off leaves from cabbage until you get down to the crunchy white part. Rip outer leaves into 2" pieces. Thinly slice core crosswise until you have about 6 cups; reserve remaining cabbage for another use. Toss in a large bowl with daikon, carrots, and reserved scallion tops. Season with salt; pour reserved dressing over. Toss to coat, transfer to a platter, and top with sesame seeds and cilantro.

Travel Guide to Nusa Islands: Lembongan, Ceningan, Penida

When we began planning for our honeymoon, Thomas had first said that we should stay in one place the whole two weeks. Although it sounds nice to not move around much and be able to fully enjoy our stay, I knew we would become restless in only one place. So I suggested that we stay in three different spots in Bali and I am so happy we did! We loved being able to check out different areas in Indonesia, and trust me, staying 5 days in each place is plenty if you're planning a two week honeymoon! If you didn't check out our first stop in Bali, you can read our travel guide to Seminyak here

Our second stop on our honeymoon was Nusa Lembongan - A quaint little surfer's paradise off the coast of the main island of Bali. After our amazing, yet busy, stay in Seminyak we knew we wanted a more mellow vibe. We stayed in Nusa Lembongan all 5 days of our stay, and took day trips to Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida. 

To get to Lembongan from the main island, we booked a Rocky Fast Cruise boat from Sanur. The boats run in intervals throughout the day and it takes around 30 minutes to get to Lembongan. The ticket costs around $35 per person round-trip!

Continue reading for where to stay, what to do , and where to eat in the Nusa Islands!


Where to Stay

We used Airbnb for our stay in Nusa Lembongan! As you can see below, it's hard to go wrong with a beautiful view like that! We went with a private villa with a huge infinity pool looking out at the ocean. It would have been such a wonderful villa, however there was construction going on next door and the jackhammering was so loud that we had to switch to a new villa after staying there only one night. Luckily the property management company we had booked through made arrangements for us. The 2nd villa had an even more incredible sunset view plus an air conditioned bedroom, which the first one didn't so that was an added bonus!

Some things to note on accommodation in Bali - 
- You can get a homestay for as little as $10 a night and splurge up into the thousands per night. Bali is extremely affordable if you want it to be. Being that it was our honeymoon, we did splurge a little and each place we stayed in was around $200 a night. However $200 a night gets you a private villa and infinity pool, staff that helps you with transportation, cleans and makes your bed daily, and makes you a delicious breakfast every morning! 
-A lot of times in open air villas there could be mosquitos. Most places will come in and spray for you daily, but if not, make sure you use the mosquito nets over your bed and keep mosquito repellant handy.

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What to Do in Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan, & Penida 

 

We booked a motorbike for $5 dollars a day when we were in Lembongan which made It so easy to explore the island. We did day trips to Ceningan which is the smaller island in between Lembongan and Penida, which is easily accessible by motorbike and crossing the Yellow Bridge. To get to Penida, you take a 10 minute boat ride from the Yellow Bridge for around $10 a person and can rent a motorbike when you land on Penida island. 

Lembongan

  1.  Devil's Tears - This was one of the coolest things to see! The water gets sucked into the rocky cliff before exploding back out - aka Devil's tears. The spray of water also creates a beautiful rainbow a lot of times! 
  2. Dream Beach - A beautiful white sand beach we came across. Unfortunately the current had brought a lot of trash from surrounding areas which is so sad, but other than that it was a beautiful beach. 
  3. Sandy Bay Beach - Our 2nd villa we stayed at was on Sandy Bay Beach! Very quiet and not a lot of people. You can hang out at the pool at Sandy Bay Beach Club and have access to food and drinks all day.
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Ceningan

Ceningan was my favorite little island and the smallest of the three! It's great to take the yellow bridge over for the day and explore! I loved seeing the seaweed farms among the crystal blue water, and the cute boats floating along the shore.

  1. Blue Lagoon - This spot was on my bucket list! The lagoon is a rocky cliff surrounded by the most beautiful turquoise blue water. 
  2. Mahana Point Cliff Jump - We stumbled upon this gem right after leaving the blue lagoon and I'm so happy we did! We jumped off a 10m diving board into crystal blue water. To be honest it was a little scary because you have to swim around the side of the cliff to get to the ladder, but it's perfectly safe. See the video of us jumping below! 
  3. Secret Beach - This is a picturesque beach we relaxed on for several hours after our cliff jumping adventure. There's a little bar/restaurant nearby if you want a cold beer or snack!
                                                                  

                                                                

                                                                       

                                                                     

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Penida

  1. Be warned - Penida is awesome however it is a really large island and the least populated and the roads are really bad and bumpy. If you're riding a motorbike, then be prepared to be riding for a couple hours visiting all the sites and for a super sore ass the next day lol. 
  2. Kelingking 'T-Rex'  was the main thing I wanted to see on our day trip to Penida and was well worth the trek! Try and get there as early as possible, as this has become a very popular tourist spot and it really started getting crowded as we were leaving around 11 o'clock
  3. Monkey watching - Our first monkey sightings on the trip were at Kelingking and it was so cool! 
  4. Angel's Billabong - We didn't take much pictures here because by the time we got there it was so incredibly crowded. It's an incredible crystal clear tide pool in between two cliffs that leads into the ocean. 
  5. Marvel at the incredible Temples - Take some time to walk among the beautiful temples scattered among all of the islands. The architecture is amazing!
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Where to Eat

Everywhere we ate was on Lembongan since we wanted to stay close to our villa! A majority of the restaurants provide a free shuttle for transportation, which we used since we would have a couple of drinks at dinner and didn't want to drive the motorbike. Unlike the main island of Bali, the Nusa islands don't have as many great restaurants, however we found a few gems that we really enjoyed! Here are our recommendations: 

  1. Tropical Juice Corner - Right by our villa was a cute smoothie bowl stand called Tropical Juice Corner. The owner was such a nice man! We drank delicious fresh juices, milkshakes out of fresh coconut, and delicious smoothie bowls
  2. Tropical Burger - If you're feeling a burger then this is the spot to go on the island! Thomas got a classic and I got one topped with pulled pork, both were good yet expensive for Bali standards. 
  3. Bali Eco Deli - If you're looking for a chill place to read or do some work, eat a delicious healthy meal, and sip on some amazing fresh juices than this is your spot! I loved the vibe of this place - You leave your shoes off on the outside of the restaurant! We got a really good chicken pad Thai and green curry dish and two different juices to try.
  4. Pa Pa Tarros - This was our favorite! It was a little Thai place right on the side of the road near our villa. The food was incredible and the cheapest meal we had our entire honeymoon. It was around $14 dollars for a glass of wine, a beer, appetizers, and two huge entrees! The crack and slurp chicken noodles are incredible
  5. The Sandy Bay Beach Club - This restaurant and bar has the most incredible view of the ocean and sunset. It is pretty pricey and the food is mediocre at best, but definitely come here for a drink at sunset. The margarita's were really good! 
  6. Oishii - On our last night we went to Oishii for sushi! Very reasonably priced and the rolls were great! The Balinese family that runs the place is so kind and they are really working hard to make it a success which makes it even better to eat somewhere like that!

I can't wait for us to go back someday! Please comment below if you want any additional recommendations or questions when planning your trip!

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Norwegian Gas-Station Bratwurst

I'm very much a fall/winter gal. I'm a sucker for big sweaters and cozy scarves. I love curling up with hot chocolate or a belly-warming Old Fashioned, cooking up a pot of stew on a cold night and settling in for a movie or good book - That is my happy place. But that is a fairly recent development since moving to Portland where it's generally chilly 8 or 9 months out of the year. My OG happy place and when I feel most at "home" is when the sun is beating down, the smell of sunscreen and BBQ in the air, and there's an ocean or lake somewhere near by with preferably a boat ready to go for a spin. One of the biggest things I miss about living in Florida is being able to strike up the grill on any given day and have friends and family over for a BBQ and "lake day". 

That's why I am SO excited for Memorial Weekend kicking off on Friday! Thomas and I are heading down to Central Oregon to Lake Billy Chinook with four other couples for a fun-filled weekend of camping, boating, cooking over campfires, drinking good ol' Coors Light and Jack Daniels out of red solo cups, and undoubtedly lots of laughs and great memories.  We did the same thing last year with the same group and I'm so happy it's becoming a tradition! 

Since hotdogs and brats are definitely on most people's menu's for Memorial Weekend, I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to eat a hotdog now - Norwegian style! In Norway it's called "pølse i lompe" which you can get EVERYWHERE! My favorite is in the Norwegian gas stations - not kidding! The hotdogs are served in a flat potato bread (lompe) and you can eat it plain or top it with potato salad (yum), or shrimp salad (gross), and lots of yummy condiments like crunchy fried onions! Ever since Thomas introduced me to this, my favorite combo is with potato salad, crunchy onions, and sweet mustard. SO GOOD. We even served this at our wedding for our late night snack!! 

I somewhat "Americanized" this beloved Norwegian junk-food by using Bratwurst (which I guess is actually German?) and hoagie rolls! I love the combination of the hot brat right off the grill with the cold potato salad, sweet/tangy mustard, and the texture of the fried onions. Give it a try, you won't regret it! I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend and stay safe!

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Norwegian Gas-Station Bratwurst

Ingredients
- Bratwurst or hotdogs
- Hoagie rolls, Hawaiian hotdog buns, or Norwegian Lompe if you want the traditional way! 
- Crispy fried onions (such as French's
- Potato salad (homemade like this recipe from the Kitchn, or store bought is usually good from the deli section!). 
- Dijon mustard or stone-ground mustard
- honey

What to do 

  1. First things first, grill your brats. I use Char-broil's method! They should be grilled slowly over medium-low heat (between 300 and 350°F) for the best results. It should take about 20 minutes to hit your desired internal temperature of 160°F. That should take about 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the brats. Remember to turn them often so each side gets caramelized. Trying to rush the process by using high heat is a cardinal sin in the bratwurst world. Too much heat is going to char the outside and cause the casing to split open, which will allow the juices to spill out.
  2. Once your brats are off the grill, lightly toast your buns. You don't want them to crunchy, just get them warm and slightly golden . 
  3. Next assemble! Top your bratwurst with potato salad, crispy onions, and sweet mustard. 

Enjoy!

Spring Veggie Mini Quiches

Happy almost momma's day to all the wonderful momma's out there! Sadly, I won't be with my mom this year since we took off so much time for the wedding, but if I were home I would definitely treat her with these spring veggie mini quiches for brunch! For starters, how freaking cute are they?! Everything tastes better when it's mini in my opinion. These guys are loaded with all kinds of spring veggies. Walking around Portland I have been so inspired lately -The farmer's markets are bursting with beautiful fruits and veggies and everything is so vibrant right now. I wanted peas, scallions, spring mushrooms, radish's and fresh herbs to be the highlight of these. What better vessel for all of this spring egg-y deliciousness than a flaky buttery crust! These are super easy to make, especially if you use store bought pie dough, and you can even make them ahead of time to make preparing brunch a breeze. And of course, don't forget the mimosa's! All the mom's out there deserve a little R&R 🥂 

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Spring Veggie Mini Quiches

Ingredients

- 6 mini pie pans (or tartlet pans, but you might have some extra egg mixture leftover)
- 1 (14.1 ounce) package of refrigerated pie dough (we use Trader Joe's!) 
- 1 bunch of scallions chopped, reserving some of the green tops for garnish
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 8 oz of mushrooms (any variation you prefer!) 
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk or half and half
- Garnishes: Fresh parsley, chopped scallion tops, thinly sliced radishes, and snap peas (quickly blanched and sliced exposing the inner peas)  

what to do

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  2. First rub a little butter on each pie or tart pan that you're using. Then, rolling our your thawed pie crust, lay your pie pan or tart form down and cut around it leaving a little extra room. Flip over and press the dough evenly around the pan, and crimping along the sides as you go. 

  3. Place all of the quiche crusts on a large baking sheet and bake the crust in the preheated oven until they are golden brown, about 10 minutes or so and then remove them from the oven. The tops will continue baking after you pour the eggs in, so don't let them get too dark! 

  4. Heat a skillet over medium- high heat until hot before adding in mushrooms. Let them cook down until seared and brown all over before seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove mushrooms from the pan onto a plate. In the same skillet sauté the scallions in a tablespoon of olive oil for a minute over medium heat before adding 2 cloves of minced garlic. Remove from heat. 

  5. Whisk all 6 eggs and milk in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper before gently mixing in the mushrooms, onions and garlic. Turn down oven to 350 degrees. Pour egg mixture into pre-baked quiche crusts and continue baking until egg mixture is set, about 10-15 minutes. 

  6. While the mini-quiches are baking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Quickly blanch the snap peas for 1-minute and then move them into a bowl of ice water. Gently halve the peas with a paring knife once they are cool to expose the inner peas. Drizzle them with a little olive oil. 

  7. Remove the quiches from the oven and garnish with fresh parsley, green scallion tops, thinly sliced radishes, and the halved snap peas. 

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Seminyak Travel Guide

I don't know about you, but one thing that I love almost as much as food is traveling. So imagine getting to eat your way through a new country and experiencing a whole new culture with the person you love the most?! BEST. THING. EVER. 

We returned to Portland a few weeks ago after our two week honeymoon in Bali and I am in total bliss. This was my first time going to Indonesia, and to an Asian country in general, and it's everything I hoped it would be and more. Our first stop on our Indonesian adventure was Seminyak. On the west coast of Bali, Seminyak is all about fun in the sun – and delicious food of course. I'm sure my happiness arriving in Seminyak was largely due to being in newlywed bliss, but I LOVED everything about the city from the beginning. The hustle and bustle of the motor bikes zooming by, the smell of satay cooking on a coconut husk coal bbq, being greeted with kindness everywhere we went by the Balinese, and retreating to our incredible villa after a long day of exploring. If this place wasn't on your radar, it should definitely be now. Read on for  my guide to this incredible town! 


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where to stay

We loved our stay at The One Boutique Villa. Everything about it was simply perfect. From the moment we walked down a lush green path to our own private villa complete with a huge swimming pool - I was smitten. The mornings were bliss sitting in the outdoor seating and kitchen area listening to the birds chirp while sipping our coffee. The staff cooked an incredible complimentary breakfast every morning, both Indonesian and western fare, accompanied by fresh tropical juices. It was definitely very hot and humid when we were there, so after a long day of exploring out and about it was so nice to dive into the pool or cool off in the air-conditioned bedroom. And don't even get me started on the bathroom! Right outside our bedroom you walked out into this little tropical oasis where we had a huge tub and outdoor shower. I want an outdoor bathroom in our house someday after experiencing that! And the cherry on the cake was that all of the staff at the villa were some of the nicest people we've ever met! We told them we can't wait to come back on our 10-year wedding anniversary :) 
I would definitely suggest The One, but we saw many other beautiful villa's on tripadvisor and Airbnb. Just make sure you read the reviews first! 

         complimentary breakfast at our villa

       complimentary breakfast at our villa

     so in love with the outdoor bathroom and tub

   so in love with the outdoor bathroom and tub


Where to eat & drink

Okay, so you had to know we were going to stake out the best spots in Bali didntcha? There are SO many great spots to try, but here are our highlights and recommendations! 

Cafe Organic - This a very popular and trendy spot in Seminyak -I normally like to find the hidden gems, but Cafe Organic is still a a great spot to grab a really fresh breakfast or lunch and a cup of coffee. I loved the herby feta toast!

Bo & Bun - Our first night in Seminyak we went to Bo & Bun - a Vietnamese spot with a fun and buzzy atmosphere. We tossed back $2 Bintang's and lychee martinis and chowed down on sticky pork ribs, Vietnamese salad topped with crispy pork belly bites, and our first bowl of 'crack & slurp' noodles which were literally crack. Recipe recreation coming soon!

Shelter Cafe/Nalu Bowls - This was our favorite spot in Seminyak! We originally went to try the Nalu smoothie bowls, but then we discovered that Shelter Cafe was a cozy restaurant perched on top of Nalu, so we got smoothie bowls AND great food. YOU MUST get the "shades of shelter" platter to share. It's a harmonious assortment of hummus, dips, whips, and other yummies to snack on. We also got the "big burger" and a smoothie bowl to share. You can't go wrong with anything here - and all of the plants and decor are the best. 

Ling Ling's - LL's is kind of a quirky asian fusion spot but I enjoyed it! It's a fun place to grab happy hour and sit at their patio out back. The Korean bulgogi tacos are delish and I was a fan of the chicken Bahn mi sandwich, Thomas not so much. By the time we got to Ling Ling's on this particular day, we had been motorbiking in the sun for so long that I practically held the Bintang to my forehead before guzzling it and I think anything would have tasted good - but Ling Ling's still makes the list regardless!

Warung Eny's - If you're looking for authentic Indonesian food then this is your spot. From inside the restaurant you can see the open kitchen with all of the fresh vegetables piled high, and you can watch the Eny family prepare your meal in front of you. We got the whole red snapper that is grilled on the coconut husk bbq, giant grilled prawns, Tum Ball which is spiced pork steamed in banana leaves, and Nasi Campur which is a bunch of small dishes served with rice on a platter. 

Potato Head Beach Club - If you want to splurge a little and have some fun in the sun on the beach then Potato Head is your place. The beach front spot was walking distance from our villa, so before we could check in on our first day we lounged on day beds soaking up the sun sipping spicy mango cocktails. The perfect start to our honeymoon. I loved the fresh ceviche, lobster roll, and romaine salad. 

Bambu - Authentic Indonesian food with a gourmet twist! If you're wanting a romantic restaurant in a fine dining setting then I would go to Bambu! I loved the outdoor setting, and when you walk through the entrance you have to walk across floating steps across a beautiful pond littered with candles. We had the huge tiger prawns, crispy soft shell crab, lamb curry, and seafood noodle soup. 

                                                               Breakfast at Cafe Organic

                                                             Breakfast at Cafe Organic

  Bo & Bun - The dish closest in this picture is      'Crack & Slurp' noodles. SO GOOD .

Bo & Bun - The dish closest in this picture is      'Crack & Slurp' noodles. SO GOOD.

            Whole red snapper at Warung Eny's

          Whole red snapper at Warung Eny's

                                                       'Shades of Shelter' Platter at Shelter Cafe

                                                     'Shades of Shelter' Platter at Shelter Cafe

             Seafood noodle soup at Bambu

           Seafood noodle soup at Bambu

   The family cooking us dinner at Warung Eny's

 The family cooking us dinner at Warung Eny's

                                                              Happy hour and Ling Ling's

                                                            Happy hour and Ling Ling's

          Ceviche, lobster roll, and Caesar salad with fried anchovies at Potato Head Beach Club

        Ceviche, lobster roll, and Caesar salad with fried anchovies at Potato Head Beach Club


What to Do in Seminyak

 First things first, rent a motorbike!

It costs less that $5 dollars a day to rent a motorbike in Bali. I was a little confused with the conversion from rupiah's to dollars at first, but 100,000 rupiah's is roughly $7 dollars, so that's a good way to quickly calculate in your head. Driving a motorbike is pretty hectic in the city because there's so many people on bikes AND you're driving on the opposite side of the road.  Because we wanted to easily get around and take multiple day trips, a motorbike was a good fit for us, but taxi's are a great option as well. If you go the taxi route use Blue Bird. They have a meter and they won't try and scam you. 

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Take day trips 

I loved taking off on our bike and not really knowing what we would discover. We spent one day driving through rice fields, down alley ways, and winding through the roads surrounding Seminyak. We hung out in Canggu, which is a small village about 20 minutes north of Seminyak where we stumbled across the cutest cafes and shops. We popped into Sunny Cafe, a cozy spot with a vintage feel. I loved the vintage balinese pictures hanging on the wall and the record player playing classic tunes. 

My favorite day trip was when we drove over an hour on our bike to Jimbaran and found a secret beach where we soaked up the sun and swam in crystal blue water.  

                       cute street in Canggu

                     cute street in Canggu

                                   Sunny Cafe

                                 Sunny Cafe

                                                                 beautiful beach in Jimbaran

                                                               beautiful beach in Jimbaran

          lookout point at Balangan Beach

        lookout point at Balangan Beach

                              Balangan Beach

                            Balangan Beach

Nourish your body

On every corner in Bali, there's a spot to grab an incredible smoothie bowl, fresh pressed juice or freshly cracked coconut to drink. It's good to indulge on vacation, but in Bali I felt perfectly balanced because of all the healthy fruits and veggies. 

                                                        

                                                      

  Fresh beet and green goddess mocktails at Potato Head Beach Club

Fresh beet and green goddess mocktails at Potato Head Beach Club

                 young coconut at Shelter Cafe

               young coconut at Shelter Cafe

Go shopping! 

If you love finding a good bargain that you're going to love Bali. You can definitely negotiate a good deal with the vendors and boutique owners. They are always going to shoot high, so don't say yes at the first price! We got these incredible set of three handmade wooden bowls, a ceramic coffee serving set and multiple other things for our kitchen. I love buying things like that when we're traveling because now every time we use it we'll remember our trip! 

Eat local food

My favorite thing about traveling to a new place is trying the local cuisine. Yes, Bali has amazing cafes and western fare, but it's way more fun to try a dish that you have no idea what it's going to taste like! Try the nasi goreng or mei goreng which is fried rice or noodles, babi guling which is slow roasted pig, or nasi campur which is an assortment of small dishes surrounding rice. 

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Most importantly, enjoy yourself!

Seminyak is an incredible city. I am so happy we chose it as our first stop on our honeymoon and we will most definitely return someday. Please write a comment if there's anything else you're curious about when staying in Seminyak and I would be happy to help! I can't wait to share our next stops, the Nusa islands and Ubud with you! 


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How to Perfectly Poach an Egg

We've been back in Portland a little over a week now and I think we are becoming somewhat normal again. I have never experience let lag that before! The first few days of being back from Bali we could barely keep our eyes open in the evening and would fall asleep around 6 PM and then be bright eyed at 2 or 3 in the morning. It doesn't make for a great schedule, but I gotta tell ya, I love having so much time in the morning! I loved waking up and catching up on the news, drinking my coffee and slowly getting ready as opposed to springing out of bed 30 minutes before I have to be at work.

What do you guys do for jet lag? Anything special? I read an article that you should limit your light exposure at certain times to try and get back on schedule and putting a few drops of this Dr. Singha's Travel Tonic in your water to feel more refreshed! Next time I'll definitely be more diligent on trying to get back on schedule quicker! 

If you all followed along on our honeymoon then you know that the food we had in Bali was AHMAZINGG, but it's always a good feeling to get back home and whip something up! We've made all the food we've been missing this past week, including lots of avocado toast and poached eggs. Bali definitely has it's fair share of avo toast and healthy cafés from Australian's bringing western cuisine over, so we got our fix on the honeymoon - But doing it at home by this method ensures that you have a perfectly poached egg every time! There is nothing worse then ordering a poached egg in a restaurant and the yolk comes out fully cooked. 

I've made terribly ugly poached eggs more times than I can count, but I think I finally got it down - so here's a little tutorial for you! 

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How to Perfectly Poach an Egg

  1. First things first, heat some water in a medium sized pot. Make sure to put enough water to fully submerge your eggy. Don't let your water boil! You just want very hot water. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Just get it hot enough right before it boils and control the temperature if you see it start to bubble. 
  2.  Put a splash or two of vinegar in your water. This helps your egg firm up faster so the egg whites don't disperse in the water. 
  3. Crack your egg into a small dish. It makes it easier to slide the egg into the water as opposed to cracking it. Maybe someone should teach me how to properly crack an egg because I swear I always get a piece of shell in there somehow and it's a real pain in the ass to get out. 
  4. Make a whirlpool in the water with your spoon
  5. Gently slide the egg into the middle of the whirlpool 
  6. Now just wait...don't stress. It might look a little wonky at first but the whirlpool will help pull the egg together and then it will bind to itself. You can always help it out by gently pushing it all in with your spoon but that's not necessary. 
  7. Keep an eye on it, but it usually takes about 3-4 minutes for a perfectly cooked poached egg. Nudge it a little with your spoon to make sure the whites are fully cooked, but you want a wobbly egg, not a hocky puck. 
  8. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. 

Something that I discovered is that you can make your poached eggs ahead of time! If you're ever throwing a brunch get together or having company over, you can store your poached eggs in cold water in the fridge for 1-2 days and then reheat them right before your party by submerging them in hot water for a minute! Life savor. 

I hope this was helpful and hopefully you'll all have poached eggy happiness from here on out! 

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Our Wedding

Hello dear friends - it's been a while! 

I'm sure many of you have noticed, but if not WE GOT MARRIED! it's been a very blissful month to say the least. We spent the weeks leading up to the wedding with both of our families and all of our closest friends. Even in the hustle and bustle of making last minute wedding arrangements, hanging lights, painting signs, doing yard work, and running errands, we got to spend time with the people we love the most. It was such an incredible experience to have everyone we hold dearest to our hearts all in one place. It's only a couple of times in a lifetime when that happens and it was magical to have everyone there on the greatest day of our lives. 

The wedding was at my father's house in my hometown in Pierson, Florida. Since my dad is fern grower, it was really important to me to have fern be the main focus in all of our décor. Since the house is so rustic, I wanted neutral colors so that the fern and white flowers would really pop! I'm so happy with how everything turned out and it was amazing to see my vision come to life! You know how much we love food, so I think that was one of the hardest details to really nail down on the wedding. Since it was a rustic backyard wedding, we didn't want anything too pretentious and stuffy, but we also didn't want a straight up bbq. It ended up being exactly what I hoped for - and to be honest I was so consumed with the speeches and chatting with everyone that I wasn't even concerned about the food! My dad knew a cook who had a giant smoker, so he grilled the most tender filet mignon I've ever had and lemon pepper chicken (which I forgot to even taste!). For all of the sides we had roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus, and mushroom risotto and that was brought from a caterer! 

The hours leading up to the wedding were amazing being with all the girls going through the emotions of excitement and nerves. We spent the day sipping mimosas, opening gifts, jamming to Shania and Spice Girls, and they helped me deliver Thomas' note and gift to him. Since we both did speeches at the reception and traditional wedding vows at the ceremony, we wanted to exchange letters before the wedding that were essentially what we would have said had we written our own vows. It was one of the sweetest moments getting to read that letter beforehand - by that time I was SO ready to walk down the aisle to see him standing at the end.

Just a quick side story, at my college graduation Thomas and I had only been dating about 5 months and he got me a Marc Jacobs watch as a graduation gift. He engraved the underside of it with "what if we are extraordinary" with his name and the day we met. How freaking thoughtful right?! So for our wedding for his gift I got him a Hugo Boss watch and engraved it with "We are extraordinary" with our wedding date ❤️ I was so so excited to give it to him! You can see in one of the pictures below where we are holding hands around the corner of the house without looking at each other - and I'm looking down at his watch because he had just opened it! 

My biggest take-away from our wedding and from what I've heard from every single bride I've talked to, is to enjoy your day and do not sweat the little details because you're not going to know about it anyways. Apparently during our cocktail hour, there was no plates for our cheese board and people were just using napkins. Before the wedding, that little detail would have mortified me, but on that day I could have cared less and I didn't even know about it because we were taking pictures! After we had danced our butts off until 1 in the morning, everyone came up to us and said that it one of the best weddings they've ever been to, albeit them holding brie in their hands... So even if you have a small thing screw up, don't stress - it will be magical no matter what. 

Below is the sneak peek of our pictures! Carly Robertson did such an incredible job and captured our day perfectly. This is only 20 pics and I am so in love with them - I can't wait to get the rest! We also have a wedding video coming and I am dying to see it! I'll share that as well as soon as it comes.  I was so happy with all of our vendors and they are the best people to work with, so if you have a Florida wedding definitely use these folks! I have referenced everyone at the bottom of the post! 

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Wedding Details & Vendors 

my dress - BHLDN // bridesmaids dresses - David's Bridal // Thomas' suit - Hugo Boss // groomsman ties - The Tie Bar // bridesmaids robes // Etsy // Photography - Carly Robertson Photography // Videographer - 5 Star Productions // Floral - Holly Pugh // 
Makeup - Camila Santos // Wedding Coordinator - Coastal Coordinating // Catering - Cocktails Catering  // Rentals - Special Event Services

Flourless Fudgy Brownie Cookies + A Life Update

Hello Friends! 

It's been a hot minute since I've shared anything with you so I wanted to give a little life update. We are t-minus 26 days until the big day! We've been busy bees trying to get last minute things done like final alterations, buying gifts, choosing cocktails, fixing the seating chart, preparing speeches and the list goes on...but it's been so fun! I'm so incredibly excited for the day to finally get here when I get to marry the greatest person in the world in front of everyone we love. And to top it off, we jet off to Bali right after the wedding for two weeks for our honeymoon! It can't get here soon enough!

I know there's no excuse for my lack of blogging, but between work and wedding planning we also went to the Dominican Republic two weeks ago with my work which was so great to disconnect for a bit and escape the cold Portland weather. We soaked up the sun, drank a lot of presidente on the beach, rode ATV's through the jungle, and of course we ate A LOT. Have you guys tried Mama Juana?! ¡Ay, caramba! It's a Dominican Republic liquor that is concocted by allowing rum, red wine, and honey to soak in a bottle with tree bark and herbs. The first night we got a little ahead of ourselves - no more Mama J for me!

In other news, THOMAS ALSO TURNED 30! We threw him a surprise party in the Dominican a few days before, and on his real birthday I made a cozy meal at home with a scallop and fennel salad, slow braised lamb shanks, Israeli couscous and roasted tomato salad, and roasted sweet potatoes with yogurt and cilantro-chile sauce. I can't wait to see what's in store for this next decade of our lives - I have a feeling that a lot of good things are coming our way! 

The next 26 days are going to be a whirlwind I'm sure, but I'm going to try and soak it all in and relish in the moment as much as possible. I can't wait to share our wedding and our adventures in Bali with you! 

NOW FINALLY TO THESE GLORIOUS FLOURLESS FUDGY-AS-HELL BROWNIE COOKIES. In these days leading up to the wedding, we've been trying to workout, eat healthy, and not eat any refined sugar, but these cookies were calling our name on Sunday. They were SO good that I had to share them. I'm not the best baker, but I'm working on it! I always add too much freaking flour and my cookies end up like little puffy hockey pucks. But those days are gone folks because I've discovered FLOURLESS COOKIES. They are the bomb.com and answer all of my cookie prayers. 

Talk to you guys soon! I'll make sure I write at least one or two more posts as a Harper before I become a Knudsen :) 

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Flourless Fudgy Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Ingredients: 
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips  
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts or hazelnuts (optional) 
- Flaky sea salt for topping

What to do

  1. Combine the sugars and butter in a microwavable bowl (or in a pot on the stove). Heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and beat well with a hand mixer. 
  2. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat with hand mixer for two minutes (this, along with melting the butter and sugar, helps create a crackly crust on top of the cookies). 
  3. Stir together the cocoa and salt and add them to the batter. Beat for another 30 seconds. 
  4. Fold in the chips and nuts. The batter maybe be thin. Allow the batter to rest while you preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. The batter should thicken as it rests. 
  5. When the batter is scoopable (but still very sticky), scoop by about 3 tablespoons full onto pan 
  6. Bake cookies for about 9-12 minutes. When they come out of the oven, you can press a few more chocolate chunks into the tops of the cookies. 

Breakfast in Bed: The Essentials

You’re the cream to my coffee
Eggs-actly what I need.
All it took was one look
And I was toast.

I'm such a cornball I know... BUT HAPPY VALENTINES DAY FRIENDS!! No matter if you are a big V-day enthusiast or not, everyone likes a little love on this day. Normally we like to stay in and have a dinner at home but this year we are going to grab a cozy corner spot at one of our favorite restaurants in Portland Tasty and Alder and then catch a movie. It definitely felt like valentines day over the weekend when we had a pancake feast in bed. Besides it being slightly precarious with the blueberry syrup and sheet situation it was seriously the best thing ever. I love getting up to make breakfast just to craw back in bed after with a cup of coffee - or prosecco if you're feeling frisky. 

- One of the most crucial breakfast in bed essentials is a good/sturdy tray - Like this one from Pottery Barn!
- Also something important - THE BREAKFAST OF COURSE! You can keep it easy and simple with croissants or pastries that you pick up at your local bakery, or if you want to make it extra special French toast, waffles, or pancakes are always a good way to go. 
- If you're drinking coffee, Chemex is awesome and you can keep it on your tray!
- For optimal breakfast in bed coziness, you need a snuggly duvet or blanket like these throws from West Elm. 
- The last essential will be a nap after all the breaky goodness. Makes sense since you're already there anyways! :)

Keep scrolling to see the recipe for these healthier pancakes with blueberry grapefruit syrup!

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"Lightened up" Pancakes with Blueberry Grapefruit Syrup 

Ingredients 


pancakes
 -2 cup quick cooking oats
 -3 scoops vanilla protein powder (Bob's Redmill) 
 -2 eggs
 -2 bananas
 - 1/2 cup of milk (add more until it becomes a thick batter)
 -coconut oil for cooking

Blueberry syrup
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 of grapefruit, juice squeezed
 
 What to do

To make the syrup: heat the blueberries, water, grapefruit juice and sugar over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Let the syrup come to a gentle boil and cook until thickened about 10 minutes. Add another squeeze of grapefruit if you need to make the syrup a little more tart! 
 - For the pancakes, put the oats, protein powder, eggs, bananas, and milk in a blender and blend until a smooth batter forms. We like the batter pretty thick because as it cooks it evens out, but if you like it thinner just add a little more milk! 
 - Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil on a griddle or in a small frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, pour batter into the pan making either a small or medium sized pancake. If you have a griddle this would go a lot faster, but since we only have a small cast iron skillet we just make one at a time. 
 -Once both sides are golden brown, transfer to a plate and top with syrup and extra blueberries!

Beef Pho

The last couple of weeks have been a little bit of a doozy. After having the flu last week, I haven't really recovered fully and now have completely lost my voice. For my job I literally am on the phone with people all day long, so this has been quite the pickle as you can imagine. I have mustered and made it through every-day, but yesterday I decided to finally throw in the towel and head to the doctor. I spent the rest of my day glued to the couch watching Harry Potter... ALL of the HP movies are on HBOGO right now BTW. I thought Thomas would be working the whole day, but then that little rascal walked in the door and made my day so much better. And I made him watch HP with me obviously - He's such a good sport!

It felt good to rest my voice for a bit, and to help it even more I made this bone broth beef pho using Bonafide Provisions Organic Beef Bone Broth. This was my first time trying bone broth! What do you guys think of it? I've been hearing forever about how beneficial it is and I've seen so many "broth bars" pop-up around town - so it's about time that I gave it a try! I jazzed mine up a bit for this recipe, but even by itself it's delicious. Plus do you know about all the benefits? I had no idea! It's amazing for gut health, makes your skin glow, helps you sleep better, supports bone strength and a healthy immune system! Sign me up!

Pho is one of my go-to comfort foods lately. I love slurping up the noodles in the rich broth, and mixing in all of my favorite crunchy things like bean sprouts, jalapeño's, and fresh basil. The pho I made yesterday isn't traditional, but it's a quicker alternative and hits the spot! I hope everyone is feeling good and hasn't caught this nasty flu! FYI, something else that's really helped me is fresh ginger and lemon tea. We've been drinking it every night!

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Beef Pho

Ingredients
- 12 oz beef eye of round (cheap cut of meat is fine since you're going to thinly slice it) 
- 1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 star anise pods
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8 cups of beef bone broth or beef stock (I used a mix of both) 
- 1 teaspoon asian fish sauce
- kosher salt, to taste
- 4 oz dried rice noodles
- 4 oz mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster, or cremini
- 3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 head of boy choy, cut and washed

Optional toppings: 
- sliced jalapeño's
- green onion tops
- fresh basil
- red pepper flakes 

What to do

  1. Place beef in freezer to make it easier to thinly slice. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium-high; add ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon, and cloves. Toast the spices tossing them constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Immediately add broth, cover, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Use a slotted spoon, remove and discard the star anise, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Add fish sauce to broth and taste; season with a little salt and an additional 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce, if desired. 
  3. Add noodles to a medium pot of boiling water; cook according to package directions. Drain noodles and divide among bowls. Remove beef from freezer and slice as thinly as possible.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil. Once heated, toss in your mushrooms and cook until browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper at the end and place on a plate. Reheat the skillet with a little olive oil and throw in the sliced carrots. Once they've sautéed for a couple of minutes, toss in your bok choy. Add in another minced garlic clove if desired and season with salt and pepper. Let the bok choy cook for a few minutes until it's slightly wilted. 
  5. Remove the veggies and turn the skillet on medium high heat. Add a little more oil and once hot, add in the thinly sliced beef and sear. It's going to continue to cook in the broth, so you only need to sear it a minute or 2. Season with salt and pepper and any other spices you like. I added dried ginger and garlic powder! 
  6. Ladle broth into your bowls on top of the noodles and add the beef, bok choy, carrots, mushrooms, and other desired toppings! 

Enjoy!

How to Make the Best Paella

Hey Friends - I hope everyone had the best weekend! After an epic bachelorette party in the Bahamas last weekend, I am still in recovery mode. We had the most incredible time soaking up the sun, drinking rum out of coconuts, and dancing/karaoke-ing the night away. It was better than I could have hoped for, but unfortunately on the flight home I was slapped with the worst flu I've had in a long time. So this past week has been spent drinking ginger lemon tea, sleeping a lot, and binge watching Netflix. I hate when you're sick and your taste buds are all messed up! I've been dreaming of all the yummy food I've wanted to make but I just haven't felt it this week. But I did want to share this incredible Paella we made a couple weeks ago that I am still dreaming of. This is the first time we've ever made Paella and I can't believe we haven't been cooking it the whole time! SO GOOD, SO GOOD. 

It's actually a lot  simpler than I thought it would be! Make sure you let your rice sit though and get a caramelized crust on the bottom. Those little brown bits makes the dish even better! 

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Paella

Ingredients
-2 tbsp olive oil
-2 chorizo sausages, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large onion chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 4 chicken thighs boneless and skinless, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 4 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 tbsp hot sauce such as Tabasco or Sriracha
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp saffron
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb large shrimp
- 1 lb mussels scrubbed and soaked
- lobster tails (optional) I know these can be pricey!
- fresh parsley for garnish
- 1 lemon cut into lemon wedges

What to do 

  1. In a large paella pan or skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat and add sausage to the pan. 
  2. While the sausage is cooking, add in the onion, sprinkle with salt and let cook for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften. Then add in your garlic and cook for another minute before tossing in your chicken pieces.  
  3. Once the chicken has starting browning, stir in your tomato paste and let that cook down for another 2-3 minutes. 

  4. Add the arborio rice to the pan and stir well. Add the broth, hot sauce, smoked paprika, saffron and season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together and then just let the mixture sit and cook for 10-15 minutes without stirring. You want to create a caramelized crust on the bottom of the rice. Be careful not to burn it! Gently take a spoon every so often and push a small portion of rice to the side to check the bottom. The rice should absorb most of the liquid at this point but not all of it. 

  5. Turn down the heat just a little and arrange the shrimp, mussels and lobster tails over the rice, cover with a lid again and cook for another 10 minutes or until the mussels open up. Keep an eye on the lobster tails to make sure they don't overcook. You could also cook the lobster in the oven separately with garlic butter which is what we did!

  6. Turn off the heat and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

Mediterranean Falafel Pizza

We are back on American soil folks! After our final snowy morning in Norway on Wednesday, sipping coffee around the fire and having open-faced breakfast sandwiches around the table with family, Thomas and I packed our bags to head back to Portland. We didn't arrive in PDX until Thursday night, so we are finally happy to be home to say the least. BUTTT guess what I am doing on Wednesday? Heading back to Orlando to get on a cruise to the Bahamas for my Bachelorette party!! Seriously, so much happening right now that my brain is having a hard time processing it! I'm a little overwhelmed, but extremely excited nonetheless. I better funnel green juice and eat nothing but super foods for the next week because I see a lot of strong drinks with pink umbrellas in my future. 

So with the crazy week/month that we've had, I am SO DOWN for easy meals that we don't have to think to much about that are healthy and light. If your holidays were anything like ours, I think you are all totally onboard with this. Enter mediterranean falafel pizza! Has anything sounded so magnificent post holiday madness? This is such an easy recipe, and to make it even more simple you can just use store-bought hummus! I highly recommend making homemade hummus (I love Molly Yeh's recipe), but sometimes I get that 'ain't nobody got time for that'. 

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Mediterranean Falafel Pizza 

Ingredients:
For the Falafel Crust:
- 1/2 white onion
- 1 cup lightly packed cilantro
- 1 cup lightly packed parsley
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons of flaxseed + 2 tablespoons of water
- 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour

Toppings: 
- homemade or store-bought hummus. I like a basic lemon-y version for this pizza. 
-Sundried tomato salad (one of my faves that we make almost weekly)
- Cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- thinly sliced red onion
- feta cheese
- kalamata olives
- chopped parsley

What to do

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a baking stone and set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseeds and water. Set aside to thicken.

  3. Add the onion, cilantro, parsley, and garlic into a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add in the remaining ingredients, including the flax mixture, and process until the batter comes together and is incorporated.

  4. Scoop half of the batter onto one end of the baking dish or pizza stone. Shape it into a circle and smooth out the top so that it is an even 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining batter on the other side of the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.

  5. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. To finish, spread on a layer of hummus, then top with tomatoes, onions, olives, feta and parsley. 

Enjoy!

Christmas in Norway

Hei Hei! 

I hope everyone had the most wonderful Christmas filled with lots of family time, couch-napping, and Christmas cookie eating! I have been the queen of vacation the last week and making the most of our holiday in Norway. The days leading up to Christmas were a blur of holiday get-togethers and feasts to say the least.

In Norway, their big Christmas celebration happens on the 24th. You spend the day lounging and eating candy in your ugly sweaters watching old cartoons and Norwegian tv programs. At dusk on Christmas Eve, most families head to the cemetery to light a candle for their loved ones which is such a sweet tradition, and the hundreds of candles look beautiful in the white snow. Then everyone goes back to their homes and gets dressed up to have a big Christmas dinner! Traditionally, everyone eats either Pinnekjøtt which is cured lamb or Ribbe which is pork with the most incredible crispy pork belly on-top. We had both with all of the traditional sides - rutabaga mash, boiled potatoes, brown gravy, sauerkraut, and tyttebær which is a lingonberry/cranberry jam. You wash it down with beer and akevitt which is the Norwegian liquor of choice. This is the first time Thomas and his two brothers were together in a while so the shot glasses stayed filled to say the least! Although the gift exchange is fuzzy and I remember confetti being stuck to my head at some point, it was definitely a Christmas celebration for the books! 

We've been rejuvenating on the last leg of our vacation by getting lots of sleep, watching movies, and staying cozy around the fire. The only time we've taken off our comfy clothes is to go have coffee with friends, explore Oslo, and to play in the snow! Tomorrow we are heading to a friends cabin in the mountains to spend New Years Eve. I hope everyone enjoys the last days of 2017 and I can't wait to see you in 2018! 

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