October recipes | Pinterest edition

428348286cca007567ede4a59f6e268c--burlap-fall-decor-autumn-decorations

I’ve been going pin-crazy on Pinterest with all things fall before the season even began. So, imagine me now that we are right in the midst of my favorite season of the year! Between home-decor inspo, costume ideas for Halloween, desserts, and other fall recipes, I have found enough to last me through every fall for the rest of my life!

Some of my favorite recipes that I am dying to try this fall, I have included below in this blog post to, both, share with you, and to motivate myself to actually make these within the next 31 days! I’ve taken my top 10 most desirable – here you go:

  1. Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
  2. Maple Glazed Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
  3. Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
  4. Autumn Roasted Veggies with Apples and Pecans
  5. Oktoberfest Sheet Pan Brats with Roasted Vegetables
  6. The World’s Best Baked Honeycrisp Apples
  7. No Bake Peanut Butter Pumpkins
  8. Smoked Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup
  9. Slow Cooker Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate
  10. Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

If you’re interested in seeing all of the other fun things I find, follow me on Pinterest, here.

What are some recipes you love making in the fall? xoxo.

National coffee day | My kind of holiday


It is no surprise that coffee has slowly but surely become my best friend. I remember at a young age, probably around 10 or so, drinking “coffee” – a concoction of loads of milk and sugar and a dollop of coffee. The older I got, the more prevalent the relationship between coffee and I became. I mean, hell, just today I drank four cups – one right now as I write this post!

So, on this #NationalCoffeeDay, I’ll give a little break down of my go-to drinks at some of my favorite coffee spots:

Tim Hortons: medium dark roast coffee with one cream and two sugar

Dunkin’ Donuts: medium cold brew with two cream and one sugar, with a hazelnut flavor shot [most recently, I have been a fan of the maple pecan flavor shot – yay fall!]

Starbucks: medium iced chai latte with a shot of espresso, aka “dirty chai” [most recently I have also become a fan of the coconut milk mocha macchiato]

Spot Coffee: medium caramel macchiato

Panera Bread: caffe latte, one size

Wegmans: medium organic hazlenut coffee with one cream and one sugar  

7/11: medium blueberry coffee with one cream and one sugar packet

Keurig K-Cups: Folger’s gourmet classic roast, Dunkin’ Donuts original blend, Starbucks veranda blend, The Original Donut Shop coconut mocha

Coffee creamer: Coffee Mate Natural Bliss sweet creme coconut milk, Coffee Mate Italian sweet creme coffee creamer

Are these the only places I get coffee? Nope. Usually anywhere that offers coffee, I take a cup! Today, I went so far as to even have coffee at Denny’s on my lunch break from staff development day!

What are some of your favorite coffee spots/drinks? xoxo.

Whole Foods | Welcome to the 716!


On Friday, September 15, 2017, Buffalo got their very first Whole Foods Market.

Happy one week anniversary!

I was only at a Whole Foods once in my entire life. It was in Cleveland and I had been talking about it ever since I went. Once I heard the news that a Whole Foods would be coming to my hometown, I spent every day from the press release three years ago to the grand opening so excited for this exact moment, and it did not disappoint.

Within the four walls of the Buffalo storefront, you can find a multitude of unique and amazing things:

  • Bar 1818 – called so as an ode to the year Amherst was founded, you can find anything from milkshakes that can be upgraded with a shot of alcohol, a pool table, and a killer menu with locally themed items such as Ru’s potato pierogi, a burger on weck, and a vast rotation of local brews.
  • More than 30 local brands to shop through, including Anchor Bar wing sauce, Lloyd Taco Factory rocket sauce, and Weber’s horseradish mustard, to name a few.
  • A bocce court in the front of the store, complete with balls straight from Italy.
  • A spatious produce area filled with perfectly stacked fruits and veggies with a neighboring bulk food station filled with pasta, granola, nuts, and trail mix.
  • A glass alcove cutting room where you are able to watch the butchers carve meats, all within a large display area for seafood and other various forms of meat that is scaled and rated from “no cages, no crates, no crowding” to “animal centered, entire life on the same farm.”
  • A bakery stocked with the most scrumptious variety of freshly baked goods with a neighboring prepared food section big enough and offering a large enough selection to eat something different every single day for at least a week.
  • A coffee and juice bar featuring endless varieties of coffee, espresso, and tea drinks.

The store has a very rustic, yet somewhat modern, feel to it. It is bright, welcoming, and perfectly stocked, especially for the large crowd that was there on opening day. I was impressed with everything from the atmosphere to the food I’d eaten in Bar 1818.


I cannot wait to go back once the “hype” dies down and I will be able to look through all of the products on a closer level, as the amount of people in the store prevented me from appreciating it as it should be.

Where: Whole Foods. 3139 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, New York, 14226.

What to try: Bar 1818 – Sweet Heat burger. A fresh burger patty topped with avocado, pineapple jalapeno relish, pepper jack , and cilantro. Absolutely to die for!

This sh*t is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

*SPOILER ALERT* Read the post below to find out why the title choice of those 2004 Gwen Stefani lyrics goes absolutely perfectly.

In my last post I made a slight mention about stopping at Wegmans to grab supplies for a dessert to make to bring to my family reunion. Once a year, my super extended family gets together to have an all day reunion / BBQ at a local town park. Since I am now of the appropriate age, aka not at the age to be bouncing on the bounce house or participating in the children’s activities, I could partake in bringing my own dessert.

Knowing me, you know I strive for simplicity. I am not, by any means, the greatest cook, or the greatest baker, so simplicity tends to be key for me. It’s not so much the lazy-factor, but the the-less-ingredients-involved-the-less-likely-I-am-to-mess-this-up factor. So, surprise, surprise I made my way over to trusty ol’ Pinterest and dove into finding a nice and easy summer BBQ dessert. The options were absolutely endless and I was forced to choose from a list of millions of mouthwatering recipes. After some deliberation, I landed amongst a Banana Split Fluff Salad.

When I tell you this was the easiest thing ever to make, this was literally the easiest thing ever to make. And it was delicious. Not only that, but it was a hit with everyone [my grandma had even eaten it for breakfast!].

I prepared the dessert the night before, letting it chill and settle in the fridge. I did not, however, add in the bananas until the next morning, as I did not want them to get mushy and brown. I also did not add the walnuts to this recipe due to my dad’s nut allergy. I also doubled the recipe, as it said it only makes 8 cups. But, let me tell you, it was way more generous than I expected, so plan accordingly!

banana split fluff salad

You can find the recipe for this dessert below:

Banana Split Fluff Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 – 3.4 ounce box instant banana pudding
  • 1 – 20 ounce can crushed pineapple [do not drain]
  • 1 – 8 ounce container Cool Whip
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts + 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 2 – 10 ounce jars maraschino cherries, halved

Instructions

  1. Stir together the pudding mix and pineapple until dissolved and thickened.
  2. Fold in the Cool Whip with a spatula.
  3. Gently stir in the marshmallows, nuts, chocolate chips, bananas, and cherries.
  4. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to chill.

Notes

  • Stir in the bananas right before serving, or dip the banana slices in lemon juice to keep them from browning too quickly.
  • The recipe states this will make about 8 cups of salad – I got way more than 8 cups. It is very generous!

Things I’m currently obsessed with, 6.0

lany

  1. LANY. I know what you’re thinking, “another band made up of boys?!?!” The answer? Yes. All things yes. This band has been active since 2014, but it wasn’t until recently that I started tuning into their material, and let me tell you, I have become head over heels obsessed. I keep telling everyone I know to listen to their music and have turned into basically their marketing manager overnight??! All I know is, I haven’t listened to anything in my car other than their album, LANY, for about three weeks now. I am undoubtedly hooked. Check out one of their songs here.
  2. Baby Daddy. I didn’t start watching this show when it was trendy, same story goes for most shows I watch, but it popped up on Netflix a while back and my brother and his girlfriend were huge fans. I jumped in a couple times and watched with them, and suddenly it only made sense that I watched it from the beginning of the series. Now, here I am, with a new season out on Netflix that I finished in [not kidding] one day. If you need a good laugh or a little pick me up, check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
  3. Chobani Flip Coffee Brownie Bliss. Coffee flavored greek yogurt with biscotti pieces, milk chocolate, and brownie chunks. Need I say more? Personally, I love crunchy items in foods and its no surprise that I drink enough coffee to fill my body head to toe, so I feel as if Chobani dug deep into my soul and crafted this yogurt just for me. In their defense, however, I haven’t had a Chobani greek yogurt I haven’t liked, so there you go.
  4. e.l.f Double Ended Lipstick Duo in the shade Need it Nudes. I picked this up one weekend in Rochester with my boyfriend when I had forgotten a lipstick *gasps* at Target. I thought it was interesting to have two lipsticks included in the same wand, but much to my surprise, this has been the lipstick(s) I have been reaching for first. There were five options to choose from, but I got the nude shade(s) making it go with virtually everything in my wardrobe. The day end is a soft nude shade, whereas the night end is a bit bolder. The formula is sooooo creamy, it doesn’t dry my crusty lips out to the core. And, bonus? It was only $5! [$5 for two lipsticks…that’s almost unheard of].

BuffaLOVE.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.42.35 PM

It is no secret that I love being from Buffalo. Actually, I think that’s one thing all Buffalonians have in common, we all are die hard lovers of our city. I mean, come on, our city does smell like Cheerios! So, today, on Buffalo Day (7/16), I will honor the City of Good Neighbors.

The most iconic part of Buffalo, to me at least, is the over-abundance of amazing food. It might seem like I am lying when I say that every corner you turn brings you face to face with a great spot to eat, but I am not. Whether your stomping grounds are North Buffalo, South Buffalo, or right in the heart of the city, you’re sure to never go hungry. Wings from the Anchor Bar, beef on weck from Charlie the Butcher’s, hot dogs from Ted’s, subs from Jim’s Steakout, donuts from Paula’s, sponge candy from Watson’s, beer from Resurgence Brewery, loganberry…the list goes on, and on, and on.

anchor-bar.jpg

And if restaurants are not enough, holy cow, do we have a ridiculous amount of festivals. Taste of Buffalo, the Italian Festival, Allentown Art Festival, the Music is Art Festival, so on and so forth. These events make Buffalo not only diverse, but fun. [In true Buffalo fashion, I was at the Italian Festival just today!].

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.44.10 PM

Another highlight of Buffalo is one that people don’t always think of, the architecture. The Darwin Martin House, City Hall, the Prudential Building, the Central Terminal, the Ellicott Square Building, and Hotel Lafayette surely don’t make this city a sight for sore eyes!

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.43.16 PM

New to one of my top favorites of the city is Canalside. Every single time I go down to the waterfront, I am still amazed at how far this area of Buffalo has come over the last few years. Between HarborCenter, kayak rentals, an outdoor ice skating rink, outdoor concerts, free movie nights, there is always something to do. And, it’s family friendly! On the topic of family friendly, Buffalo is also home to a cute little zoo right in the heart of North Buffalo.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.42.41 PM.png

“Buffalo, the sports town with a drinking problem.” It’s also really no secret of my die hard love for all things Buffalo sports. I have been a season ticket holder for the Buffalo Sabres for my entire life. Most of my favorite childhood [and adult] memories revolve around this team. If hockey really isn’t your forte, we have the Buffalo Bills or the Buffalo Bisons to help float your boat. And to address the elephant that I know is in the room, yes, yes, our sports teams are not the best. However, I’ll be damned if Buffalo sports fans give up on the hope that this year will be our year. We have some of the best fans in the league – we’re crazy, we love to party, and we’re over the top loyal. It’s hard to explain how we keep coming back each year unless you’re from Buffalo, but it’s something we just do. [It helps that our bars are open until 4am!]

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 8.42.49 PM

So, there you have it. Some of my favorite things about my city. I really could have this list go on and on, but if you’re not from this area, I don’t want to bore you. If you are from the good ol’ 716, I shouldn’t have to add on. You just know, there’s more to Buffalo than 15 feet of snow. xoxo.

buffalo

 

 

Donuts, fried chicken + beer.. what more could you want out of life?!

pmeiybGh

So for those of you who don’t know, my boyfriend is from Rochester, New York. With the creation of this blog as well as this blog’s Instagram page, I have tried to keep in tune with local business from both Buffalo and Rochester solely for the fact that these are the two places we spend almost all of our time.

Upon scrolling through Instagram a few months back, I found this amazingly cute little cafe and fell in love with looking at all of their pictures of food. Last Sunday when Jon and I were home to see his family, we made the trek into the city of Rochester to check out BXCR.

9wu2OCiW.jpg-large

Let me just tell you…we are already counting down the days until we can go back! *ahem, eight days* It is just that great!

Aside from killer cold brew, this cafe has donuts that are absolutely to die for. Some options are even vegan friendly! On the day we went, their selection of donuts ranged from cannoli to trail mix all the way to maple bacon. I practically begged my boyfriend to try a donut, being the non-donut lover that he is, and to watch him eat an entire donut and enjoy it was the hilight of my life!

As if coffee and donuts isn’t enough for you, their menu goes so far as to include fried chicken sandwiches which comes with a side of a cornbread donut [which we will be trying next time!!], salads, mac and cheese, and even waffles on a stick. And what’s a chicken sandwich without an ice cold beer?! Well, you’re in luck because they have a wide selection on tap.

And as if it does not get any better, I learned that if you get them to cater an event for you, they bring a literal wall of donuts. [Picture taken from their website http://www.eatboxcar.com]

Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 4.57.43 PM

If you are from Buffalo or any part of WNY, I beg to you, make the damn drive to Rochester. Think Paula’s Donuts times 8 million. I never thought I’d say that, but it’s true. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Where: BOXCAR

Location: 127 Railroad Street, Rochester, New York 14609

What to TryEverything!