Garden Bloody Mary

Garden Bloody Mary // Feast + West

Autumn might be around the corner, but there’s still a plethora of late summer produce. My mom gave me a ton of cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers from her garden but there was no way I could eat all of them. I roasted a bunch of them, then tossed them into the blender with some vodka, fresh garden herbs and other items from the pantry for a delicious Garden Bloody Mary.

This bloody mary is more tart than most, but so refreshing and full of flavor. Because of the yellow and orange hues in the tomatoes, the color winds up a bit on the russet side. The blender does everything for you here, so it’s pretty impossible to mess up!

Garden Bloody Mary // Feast + West

Pay close attention to your garnish! Bloody mary garnishes give you an opportunity to be creative. You can utilize stuff you already have in your pantry. (Seriously — I didn’t buy a single thing special to make this cocktail!) Pickles, olives, okra, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, bacon, lemon, lime and herbs — pick your poison and dress this puppy up however you please!

I’m headed to Raleigh this weekend to teach a workshop and see some friends. I’m gearing up for a ridiculously busy second half of September, so it will be nice to recharge a bit!

Click below to see the Garden Bloody Mary recipe! 

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Apps of my Eye: Hitlist

Apps of my Eye: Hitlist // Feast + West

Every so often, I peruse the App Store on my iPhone in search of cool new apps. I usually try them out for a few minutes, and if I don’t see the purpose right away, I’ll delete it to save room on my device. (For photos, of course!) When an app catches my eye, it stays a while. This was the case with Hitlist, a new app that helps you plan your vacations based on airfare prices.

Apps of my Eye: Hitlist // Feast + West

Hitlist helps you plan your next vacation — but it does so in a kind-of backwards way. Normally, you’d pick the days and a place to go, then you’re shown a hefty price tag.

With the Hitlist app, you tell it where you want to go on your next trip and Hitlist will send you an alert whenever there are good airfare deals available. Over time, you’ll cultivate your own ‘hitlist’ of cities you’d like to hit up someday.

Apps of my Eye: Hitlist // Feast + West

Hitlist pairs each destination with beautiful photography from Flickr, worsening my incessant wanderlust tenfold. Connect it to your Facebook to see which friends live in or have visited the cities on your list. How helpful is that for planning a trip? And great for reconnecting, too!

If you’re looking for a drool-worthy travel app or one that helps you find better deals on airfare, then you should definitely check this one out! // susannah

App: Hitlist
Developer: Tripcommon
Type(s): iPhone and Google Play
Price: Free

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Brown Butter Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it should be delicious, right? Some of the time, anyway. These Brown Butter Glazed Cinnamon Rolls are more of a some-of-the-time recipe than an everyday recipe but, oh, are they amazing!

While everyone else is excited about the autumnal comeback of pumpkin spice everything, (and believe me, I am too) I’m most ready for cinnamon. I use it all year long, but the cold-weather months are just a bit better-suited for my favorite spice. Fluffy, pull-apart cinnamon rolls are the best way to bring its warm flavor to the breakfast table.

Brown Butter Glazed Cinnamon Rolls // Feast + West

Now let’s talk about this icing. Brown butter is regular unsalted butter that’s heated and browned in a skillet on the stove. It has a fragrant, almost nutty flavor that improves just about any recipe calling for butter. Because butter can burn quickly, it can be difficult to master, so I’ve been working on my brown butter skills lately. (Who would guess that Buzzfeed would have perfect, step-by-step instructions?)

Mixed with a little powdered sugar and milk, brown butter makes the most incredible glaze. This icing is lick-the-bowl good, and it pairs so well with the rich cinnamon and spices of the rolls.

Brown Butter Glazed Cinnamon Rolls // Feast + West

These cinnamon rolls will be gone before you know it — they’d be wonderful for a brunch or breakfast gathering this fall. If you make them, be sure to share a photo on Instagram and tag it #feastandwestrecipes! Enjoy! // susannah

The recipe for Brown Butter Glazed Cinnamon Rolls awaits! Click below: 

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DIY Blog Business Cards

Washi Tape & Rubber Stamp Blog Business Cards DIY // Feast + West

Business cards are a must when you own a blog or a business. As soon as I decided to attend Food Blog Forum, I realized I should design new business cards to take with me and connect with other bloggers. Exchanging business cards is a great way to network, and it’s a good idea to keep cards on you all the time, just in case.

I make business cards all the time for my clients, but I rarely take the time to design new ones for myself. Today, I’m going to share how and why I made my blog business cards, as well as some of my tips for making your own business cards.

Washi Tape & Rubber Stamp Blog Business Cards DIY // Feast + West

It’s been a few years since I made new cards for myself, so I felt like I owed it to myself to make these ones extra special. On top of that, there were a few other things that I factored into the design of my DIY blog business cards:

  1. Two purposes. I want to advertise my blog and my graphic design services. It wouldn’t always be appropriate to give a blog business card to a potential client. I didn’t want to shell out the money (or the space in my purse) for two different business cards.
  2. Versatility. I wanted a design that I could easily transform into my blog’s branding or leave plain for my clients. I could do this with a back + front design but I wanted to think outside the box.
  3. Handmade quality. I also wanted to include handmade element. As a designer, I’m a sucker for classic printing techniques like letterpress and screen printing, but those weren’t in my budget this time around. I wanted to do something I could DIY on top of pre-printed cards.

I started pinning business card inspiration to a Pinterest board. When I discovered a tutorial for rubber-stamping masking tape, and knew I was onto something. I could get a stamp made of my logo and stamp it onto colored washi tape to adhere to half the cards. The other half I’d leave on the plainer, more professional side to give to clients.

Washi Tape & Rubber Stamp Blog Business Cards DIY // Feast + West

Business cards: MOO Luxe // Custom logo stamp: Hoot Owl Press // Ink pad: StazOn Multi-Surface Ink Pad in Jet Black // Washi tape: MT Tape in carrot, baby blue and sunflower

I picked Moo.com’s Luxe cards because of their gorgeous Quadplex paper. Essentially, it’s three pieces of paper sandwiched together, with the center piece in black. If you want to make a similar card for yourself, you’ll need an ink that will adhere to non-porous surfaces, like washi tape, which can be on the slick, glossy side.

Next, learn what makes a good business card. Click below! 

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Kitchen Road Trip: Oklahoma

Kitchen Road Trip: Oklahoma // Feast + West

Morning, folks! Hope you had a great weekend. How is it Monday again already?

A few years back, I drove through Oklahoma. We drove past miles of stunning farms — such gorgeous countryside! I remember stopping at a Native American trading post where I bought a pair of leather moccasins with colorful beadwork. (I still have them and wear them sometimes!) I loved checking out all the handcrafted goods in that store, though. There was so much to look at! Remembering that pit stop makes me wish I’d been able to spend more time in the Sooner State, but perhaps next time I will! Until then, here are my favorite finds in this Oklahoma gift guide. // susannah

The Kitchen Road Trip series is a virtual ‘trip’ to a different state. Posted weekly on Mondays, each post is a gift guide to items from a different state, in alphabetical order, and features food & drinks, books, home goods and travel items.  

Click below to see the Oklahoma gift guide!  

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Dala Horse Cocktail

Dala Horse Swedish Lingonberry Cocktail // Feast + West

Whenever I visit IKEA, I always hit up the food section. Not the restaurant, but the little grocery store. They have loads of chocolates and candies, beverages and other delicious treasures. I never know what I’ll find! This time I brought home a bottle of lingonberry syrup. I love lingonberry jam, so I figured I’d like the syrup too.

Lingonberries grow wild in many ancient forests throughout the Northern hemisphere. The berries’ bright flavor is a staple in Scandinavian cuisine. They are brilliant red in color and a bit tart in taste.

Dala Horse Swedish Lingonberry Cocktail // Feast + West

The Dala Horse cocktail puts a Swedish spin on a Moscow Mule. The lingonberry syrup adds a sweet-tart flavor to the classic mule recipe. Mixed together with ginger beer, lime and vodka, this full-bodied cocktail is both smooth and refreshing.

I named this lingonberry mule cocktail after the Dala Horse, a carved and painted wooden horse that’s a popular Swedish handicraft and souvenir. This drink is totally delicious, one I will make again and again. I can’t wait to pick up some of IKEA’s other flavored syrups on my next visit. Have a great weekend! // susannah 

Click below to see the Dala Horse recipe! 

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The Scout Project

The Scout Project merit badges // Feast + West

My days of being a Girl Scout are long over, but I still miss two things: those dang cookies and the thrill of earning a new merit badge. I used to pore over the badge catalog, debating over which one to tackle next. Learning how to sew them on my vest is a fond memory. Thankfully, The Scout Project exists nowadays for all my grown-up badge-earning needs.

The Scout Project merit badges // Feast + West

Founded by Baltimore-based writer Libby Zay, The Scout Project offers modern merit badges to anyone learning a new life skill — no matter their age, gender, nationality, religious affiliation or sexual orientation.

The badges themselves, designed by Minneapolis-based illustrator Alyssa Nassner, are an adorable way to award yourself or a friend on a job well done. Each circular patch is 1.5 inches in diameter and embroidered with a merrowed edge. I love the whimsical, simple designs — they’d be so cute on a bag or jacket!

The Scout Project merit badges // Feast + West

To earn a badge, browse The Scout Project’s 18 merit badges online and pick out a badge you want to earn. (How you earn it is up to you!)

Personally, I think I’ve already earned the Locavore, Storyteller and Shutterbug badges (Scout’s honor!) so next I’d like to work on my Needlecraft and Birdwatching badges. Then, I’ll tackle the Craft Beer, Forestry and Archaeology badges.

Which of these cute badges would you pick? // susannah 

The Scout Project merit badges // Feast + West

(Photos // The Scout Project

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Chipotle Lime Popcorn

Chipotle Lime Popcorn // Feast + West

There’s nothing like a good movie night. And movie night is never the same without popcorn. Never. Lately I’ve been into making popcorn on the stove. (Remember this spring herb version?) It takes just a few minutes longer to cook than the microwave kind, but making it on the stove eliminates the chemicals of the microwave bags.

It’s also a lot easier to season the popcorn to your liking. I love seasoning it with melted butter, though sometimes I’ll do a little olive oil and sea salt. Sometimes, though, I reach for the spices. A little chipotle seasoning and a spritz of lime juice make for a snack that’s bursting with flavor. This Chipotle Lime Popcorn — it’s spicy. It’s sour. It’s smoky. You’ll be reaching for another handful and it will be gone in no time! // susannah 

Click below for the Chipotle Lime Popocorn recipe!

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Game Day Recipes

Game Day Recipes // Feast + West

Football season is here! And I just joined my first-ever fantasy football league. That’s probably one of the weirdest sentences I’ve ever written. To be totally honest, if you’d asked me a year ago if I would ever play fantasy, I would have probably looked at you like you were totally, uncontrollably bonkers.

I’ve grown up around football, though I’ve never been a fanatic. I’ve always enjoyed tailgating, attending games and watching the Super Bowl, but I didn’t really learn the rules of the game until I worked on the newspaper in college. But when I saw a recent tweet from Anne of Wit Wisdom & Food asking for more players for her league of female bloggers, I decided to jump right in and try it.

With football comes food. Today I’m sharing a round-up of Feast + West recipes that you can make on game day. From the tailgate to the couch, these snacks and cocktails will elevate your football experience. Game on. // susannah

P.S. Anne and Nicki of Lewis Lane Designs, another member of our league, will be posting about fantasy football on their blogs from time to time. Be sure to read Nicki’s post about fantasy football basics and Anne’s post about fantasy myths!

Click through to see the game day recipes! 

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Kitchen Road Trip: Ohio

Kitchen Road Trip: Ohio // Feast + West

Today’s Kitchen Road Trip takes us to sweet Ohio. It is so much more than roller coaster land, Amish country and an election swing state. Ohioans love football and good beer so, naturally, they’re people after my own heart. On a more personal level, the Buckeye State has brought me a host of great friends who introduced a beloved treasure from their home state to their North Carolina pals:

Every holiday season for the last few years, one of my Ohioan friends excitedly texts our group a very important secret announcement: “[Local shop] now has Great Lakes Brewing Company’s famous Christmas Ale!” And then every member of my friend group snatches up few six-packs of Cleveland’s honey, cinnamon, ginger goodness for ourselves. It’s become a holiday tradition of sorts for me, one I’ll probably keep up for as long as I can, because it’s just that good.

But really, Ohio is a neat little place. I almost went to college there, and though I’m glad I ended up where I am, my trips there will always hold special memories for me. I enjoyed researching artists and food makers for this weeks’ Ohio gift guide. Enjoy! // susannah

The Kitchen Road Trip series is a virtual ‘trip’ to a different state. Posted weekly on Mondays, each post is a gift guide to items from a different state, in alphabetical order, and features food & drinks, books, home goods and travel items. 

Click below to see the Ohio gift guide! 

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