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Venice, CA

A Friendsgiving Feast with Mulled Wine

How is it already mid November?!  October seemed to go by in the blink of an eye and we’re just a few weeks away from Thanksgiving.  When I lived in NYC, I rarely went home for Thanksgiving since it was so far (from my hometown Scottsdale), so I often spent it with my closest friends in the city.  It was actually a really cozy, fun, bonding time and we would all rotate whose apartment we spent “Friendsgiving” at each year.  I think my favorite Friendsgiving was at Talun’s tiny studio apartment in Brooklyn – with 6 of us sitting on his bed and a few bar stools around a charming, distressed wood table.  We all brought 2-3 dishes (that year I made sweet potato mash – YUM) and Talun surprised us with his insane turkey cooking and carving skills.  We drank mulled wine and listened to jazz until the wee hours of the morning.  I have quite a few friends here in LA who won’t be heading home for Thanksgiving, so I thought it would be the perfect occasion to host a Friendsgiving at my place.  I couldn’t resist setting up a mini mulled wine bar with Callie Collection’s signature Fresh Red Blend. This Callie Collection wine has notes of blackberry, strawberry, vanilla and caramel.  It tastes delicious alongside a Friendsgiving feast. For the main event, I served my Callie Collection Mulled Wine recipe alongside delicious roasted rainbow carrots, gluten-free corn muffins, a kale + kabocha squash salad, and pumpkin pie to go along with it.   OK, maybe I didn’t make the pumpkin pie from scratch…I must give credit to Huckleberry in Santa Monica!!! ;) I had so much fun hosting an event with Callie Collection Wines at the new Broken Shaker rooftop in Downtown LA a few weeks ago and had the chance to teach guests how to make their own mulled wine satchels to take home and enjoy with Callie Collection’s Fresh Red Blend.  It’s such an easy and festive touch for the holidays to spice up your wine. Here’s a step by step guide on how to set up your own mulled wine bar! Mulled Wine Bar DIY: Steeping Satchels x Callie Collection Mulled Wine Materials: Muslin bags Bakers twine Cinnamon sticks Tags for Recipe Ingredients: 3-4 cinnamon sticks 30 whole cloves 20 allspice whole berries 3 whole black cardamom pods Optional: Dried orange slices Garnish: Star anise Prepare your Callie Collection Red Blend x Mulled Wine recipe cards in advance on pretty paper with a little handwritten note for a special touch. Measure out appropriate number of spices required per each bottle of Callie Collection Red Blend as it pertains to the recipe. Fill each muslin bag with appropriate amount of ingredients. Loop twine through recipe card and special note. Fasten with a tie or pretty fall colored ribbon. The perfect gift is ready to go for all your upcoming fall / winter party needs! When you’re ready to make your mulled wine – pour 1/2 cup of Callie Collection Fresh Red Blend wine, 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of brandy and contents of bag into a pot on the stove.  Bring to a medium-high heat for 3 minutes then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.  Enjoy!
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Venice, CA

Easy Pumpkin Soup

I’m still learning how to cook and have no doubt had some major fails along the way!!!  The one thing I haven’t managed to mess up yet though – is soup!  There’s nothing more comforting than a big bowl of creamy soup right?  It’s insane how easy and simple soups are to make – and yet I think it’s an item that’s often overlooked and underestimated when meal prepping.  Since my girlfriend started sharing different soup recipes with me (you may remember the one from my “How to Create a Healthy Girls Spa Getaway” post), I’ve experimented with my own and make them for an app or dinner at least a few times a week.  I’ll do something as simple as steam butternut squash and put it in my Vitamix with a cup of vegetable stock and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  This 3 ingredient combo creates the creamiest, yummiest soup ever and you would never know that it has zero sugar or dairy in it.  This pumpkin soup recipe I whipped up here, is ideal for chilly October nights and fall in general!  Carve out mini pumpkins and serve to guests for a festive touch. Vegan Pumpkin Soup (adapted from this recipe) 1 tbsp olive oil 1/2 cup onion diced 2 cloves of garlic 1 tbsp fresh rosemary died 1/2 pumpkin (*about 8 cups – even though it’s more work, I recommend using an actual pumpkin vs puree) 4 cups vegetable broth 1/2 cup coconut milk Toppings: Toasted pumpkin seeds, sage, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and/or pink himalayan salt Cook onion for 3 or so minutes until translucent, then add garlic and pumpkin and stir for 3 minutes.  Add the rosemary and vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then simmer until pumpkin is soft.  Puree mixture, return to the pot and add in coconut milk. Simmer for 2 minutes and top with your toppings of choice – enjoy! SaveSave
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Venice, CA

Apple Cinnamon Muffins + Fall Decor

You guys, I have officially turned into Martha Stewart!  Betty Crocker step aside!  No but really – I’ve been baking up a storm since September rolled around and decorating my house with all things fall.  It feels SO good to have a home and a real kitchen to cozy up in this season.  The only thing I used my oven for when I lived in NYC was storage!  Very Carrie Bradshaw of me hehe but it’s true.  Anyways, I wanted to share another muffin recipe that my sister actually created (some of you already follow her – but for those of you who don’t know she has a food blog called Sullivan Street Eats and shares tons of amazing recipes weekly.)  These gluten free, apple cinnamon muffins are a lot more moist and spongelike (in a good way) than the other delicious muffin recipe I shared and I think of them as more of a dessert (…but you’d be shocked to know they have zero refined sugar.)  They’re sweetened with maple syrup – which next to coconut nectar is my favorite way to sweeten baked goods.  I keep these muffins in my fridge during the week and reheat them for 15 seconds with almond butter for a little treat.  I also like to crumble one up and add it on top of my morning smoothie bowls instead of using store bought granola.  For the streusel part of the muffin – feel free to experiment, but I added oats, pecan, and almond butter.  Super easy, and I promise you this will become your go-to fall muffin recipe.  When it comes to decorating for fall – you’d be surprised what a difference a pretty bowl of pumpkins or basket of gourds on your kitchen counter or in your entry can make.  It’s such a welcoming touch and will make you so happy every time you walk by that festive corner in your home.  I just ordered a TON of stuff from H&M’s home section (half of the pieces I used here are from there!) AND they were all under $25.  This black cutting board looks soooo luxe (great for wine + cheese nights) and was only $13.  I’ve been putting my smoothie bowls in this beautiful stoneware bowl (which is only $10 and the perfect size) and placing pumpkins and baked good in this rustic wood serving dish ($25.)  Don’t even get me started on the rest of their decor pieces…(like this gold mirror.)  I linked to a few more of my fave fall decor pieces below.  PS if you want your house to smell divine…order this candle.  I’ve been burning it ever since I got it last week – you can thank me later! Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Fall Muffins 3 cups of Almond Flour 4 eggs 1/2 cup maple syrup 1 tsp baking soda 2 tsp vanilla 2 tsp cinammon 2 tsp nutmeg 2.5 tbsp coconut oil (or ghee) 1 Golden Delicious apple chopped into cubes For streusel: Mix 1/4 cup of oats with 2 tbsp almond butter and 2 tbsp melted coconut oil to drizzle over. Optional to add pecans in. Mix dry ingredients.  Mix wet ingredients.  Combine both then fold in apple.  Top with streusel and bake at 350″ for 30 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins – enjoy!
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Venice, CA

Lemon Ginger Slushy

I mentioned my lemon ginger slushy in my very first Wellness Series this summer and wanted to do a full blog post with the recipe since I’ve received so many comments and DMs about them.  They are so delicious and refreshing – AND you can even turn them into a “healthy-ish” cocktail by adding a splash of vodka! Add mint or basil to garnish it, pick up some fun straws, and you’ve got yourself the easiest drink to sip on throughout the day or serve at a party.  Something I experimented with recently is adding the entire lemon with the peel into the blender.  The peel of the lemon has the most nutrients and is incredibly alkalizing.  It also makes the drink a more vibrant shade of yellow.  If you want a sweeter slushie, add honey, coconut nectar or coconut sugar.  I personally love mine tart though!  For this week’s giveaway, I am sending one lucky reader this gorgeous bar tray (a $450 value) from one of my favorite designers; St. Frank.  I’m obsessed with their home decor pieces and have this oversized print in my entry.   The ladies at St. Frank were kind enough to connect me with Simply Framed; an online custom, mail-in framing shop.  They created this beautiful art hanging above my bar with a tunic I picked up in Mexico a few months ago.  I love looking around my home and seeing pieces from my travels in every corner!  To enter this week’s giveaway, simply sign up for my newsletter, and comment below “Signed up!” with your email.  XO Lemon Ginger Slushy 2 cups of ice 1 cup of water 1 lemon (remove seeds and rind) Thumb size piece of ginger (remove the skin) Garnish with mint or basil Blend on high! Optional: 1 shot of vodka or sweetener SaveSave
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