A Weekend in St. Louis

A Weekend in St. Louis // Feast + West

At the beginning of the month, I travelled to St. Louis for a dear friend’s wedding. My mom and I flew in a day early so we would have an opportunity to explore the city, which was new to us, before the celebrations. Here’s a look at how we spent our weekend in St. Louis

To pinpoint where we would eat, I followed suggestions from Twin Stripe’s St. Louis Travel Guide and by using my own Instagram as a travel guide. It’s amazing to me how many great recommendations you can get from real people versus generic travel guides.

A Weekend in St. Louis // Feast + West

After leaving the airport, we went in search of lunch. We meandered through the outlying neighborhoods and I immediately fell in love with the architecture there. The row houses are tall and narrow, and they lack driveways as there are alleyways in the back. So different from the homes we have in North Carolina.

A Weekend in St. Louis // Feast + West

We settled on lunch at Mission Taco Joint in The Loop, an area of St. Louis near Washington University. We tried the carne asada taco, the baja fish taco and the roasted duck taco, plus a side of their signature off-the-cob Mexican street corn. It was an amazing meal, and I would want to eat here again on my next visit!

A Weekend in St. Louis // Feast + West

After lunch we walked off our tacos in The Loop. The architecture there was so cool, and I loved all the neon signs over the theaters and restaurants. This one is the Tivoli Theatre, a historic cinema.

A Weekend in St. Louis // Feast + West

For dinner, we met my soon-to-be-wed friends at The Shaved Duck in the Tower Grove East neighborhood. It was an insanely good meal of St. Louis-style barbecue, and I loved the handmade details on the walls and the welcome sign on the door.

A Weekend in St. Louis // Feast + West

Our hotel was the Missouri Athletic Club. It was an inexpensive option downtown, a great location for walking during the day or for driving outside the city. Built in 1903, the MAC is a lot like a YMCA — it has exercise facilities as well as overnight rooms. The interior was stunning, with carved wood and embossed metal details all over the lobby.

A Weekend in St. Louis // Feast + West

The next day, Mom and I explored the Gateway Arch, because how could we not? We had limited time before driving to the wedding location, so this was a priority for us though we did not take the elevator to the top. It was a windy and chilly fall day, but I kind of love how the arch blends into the sky in my photos. What a stunning piece of architecture!

A Weekend in St. Louis // Feast + West

Before leaving town, we stopped for lunch at Zia’s on the Hill. The Hill is an Italian neighborhood in St. Louis, and we had heard we needed to try ‘toasted ravioli’ while we visited. It did not disappoint. Important question: How did I live without breaded deep-fried ravioli before?

A Weekend in St. Louis // Feast + West

Our last stop before the wedding was at Pie Oh My in Maplewood. We had been aiming for dessert at Strange Donuts, but they were already sold out for the day. The air outside was thick and sweet, and we realized next-door Pie Oh My was still open. Mom and I enjoyed a cup of tea and one mini-tart each. She chose chocolate ginger pear, and I tried the toffee pumpkin. All I want to do is go back there and eat more pie!

A Weekend in St. Louis // Feast + West

And then, the sight-seeing ended as it was time to celebrate our friends. The wedding was held the next day at this adorable venue, Three Barn Farm. A weekend was hardly enough time to see all that St. Louis has to offer. Next time, I’ll be sure to visit the City Museum and take a trip to the top of the arch! I can’t wait to take another trip there. // susannah


Kitchen Road Trip: South Dakota

Kitchen Road Trip: South Dakota gift guide // Feast + West

There’s a big road trip I’ve always wanted to take. Stretching between Boston and Seattle, Interstate 90 is the longest highway in the country. I would definitely be a long trip but I’d want to stop pretty much everywhere. One of those stops would have to be South Dakota, to see the buttes, Badlands and Black Hills. And Mount Rushmore, of course. I’ve heard it’s simply gorgeous. One day, I will take this road trip. Until then, the goodies in this South Dakota gift guide will have to do. Hope your week gets off to a good start! // 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 South Dakota gift guide!

Continue reading


Ginger Fig Sparkler

Ginger Fig Sparkler // Feast + West

Somehow, I missed out on figs this year. Apparently last winter was particularly harsh, so my mom’s and aunt’s fig trees didn’t provide as well this time around. Luckily, I came across two jars of fig jam I made last year and thought of two things:

  1. These amazing Almond + Fig Thumbprint Cookies. (I think I need to make some more.)
  2. This Improved Gin + Jam Cocktail from a couple months ago.

Inspired by these ideas, I created this Ginger Fig Sparkler, a bright and tangy drink with a few spoonfuls of the jam, plus some vodka, lemon juice, ginger ale and thyme. The ginger ale brings bubbles, making this drink quite sparkly indeed.

Did you get your copy of The Complete Guide to Building Your Home Bar yet? It’s yours for free when you sign up for email updates from Feast + West. This guide will walk you through everything you need to make this cocktail. Finding a spot for your home bar would be a great weekend project — promise! Enjoy your weekend, friends. // susannah 

Learn how to make this Ginger Fig Sparkler! Click below.

Continue reading


8 Indie Magazines on my Wishlist

8 Indie Magazines // Feast + West

Fall always brings me a great dilemma: it’s both my busiest season for freelance and the time when I most want to curl up with a good book. What a conundrum! I love reading magazines in the fall, though. Magazines are great reads during busy times, and it can be so nice to take a few minutes to read one during a much-needed coffee break.

I always scan the headlines in the magazines when I’m in the line at the grocery store (mainly looking for Thanksgiving recipes!) but sometimes I crave something less commercial, with fewer ads and in support of independent writers, designers and photographers. Here are the eight indie magazines on my wishlist. I can’t wait to get my paws on some of these this winter.

What are you reading right now? Comment and let me know! // susannah

Click below to see the 8 indie magazines on my wishlist!

Continue reading


Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cacao Nibs

Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cocoa Nibs // Feast + West

I’m always on the hunt for a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’ve been playing around with the basic recipe — adding more white sugar here, less baking soda there. I’m no scientist, but it has been cool to see (and taste, of course) all the different results. My latest attempt resulted in these Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cacao Nibs.

This soft and chewy version contains bittersweet chocolate chips and cacao nibs. Nibs are small, crushed pieces of fermented, dried and roasted cacao beans. (You can find them at specialty grocery stores, generally in the baking section.) The nibs are both bitter and crunchy, almost nutty in texture. The resulting cookie is decadent and not too sweet.

Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cacao Nibs // Feast + West

Eating just one will only have you reaching for another cookie, then another, and maybe a glass of milk too. You can never have too many chocolate chip cookies, am I right? Enjoy your Wednesday, friends! // susannah

Click below to get the recipe for Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cacao Nibs!

Continue reading


Introducing The Complete Guide to Building Your Home Bar

Friends, I have something for you! As you probably know by now, each week, I share a new cocktail recipe as part of my Friday Night Delights column. I’ve had friends say to me, “I want to make your cocktails, but I just don’t know where to start.”

And that is totally fine, because I’m here to tell you.

The Complete Guide to Building Your Home Bar // Feast + West

Over the last couple months, I’ve been working on The Complete Guide to Building Your Home Bar, a FREE 24-page, illustrated booklet filled with secrets I learned in bartending school. Everything you need to know to keep your bar well-stocked, from the right tools and glassware to basic liquors and ice. You’ll also get 10 easy cocktail recipes, a measurement cheat sheet and blank recipe cards. Read it on your computer, smartphone or tablet, or print it and assemble it into a 24-page mini-booklet for your home bar.

With this guide at your side, you’ll mix better cocktails and impress your guests! To download it for free, you’ll first need to sign up for The Feast + West Dispatch. (You can do it over here or in the sign-up box in the sidebar.) Here’s a sneak peak at what you’ll get:

Cocktail Glassware Infographic // Feast + West

Sign up for our email list so you can get your free copy of ‘The Complete Guide to Building Your Home Bar!’ Be sure to post pictures of the libations you create to Instagram with the hashtag #FeastAndWestRecipes. Cheers! // susannah 


Subscription Options

* indicates required


Kitchen Road Trip: South Carolina

Kitchen Road Trip: South Carolina Gift Guide // Feast + West

Every state has a “lesser” neighbor of which its residents sometimes poke fun. In North Carolina, South Carolina is ours. (To be fair, they probably joke about us right back.) But even though we sometimes give it a bad rap, South Carolina really is a lovely place.

Growing up, my family frequently visited our southern neighbor. For one, the metro area of Charlotte extends into South Carolina, so it’s never unusual to swing by for fresh peaches, cheap gas, roller coasters or fireworks. For two, South Carolina beaches are a bit closer to Charlotte than the ones in our state, so my family would often vacation near Myrtle Beach and Charleston. And earlier this year, I spent some time in Columbia visiting a close friend. (See the recap of that trip here.) So, all in all, I’ve got a soft spot for the Palmetto State. Here’s a South Carolina gift guide filled with some of my favorite things! // 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 South Carolina gift guide!

Continue reading


Spiced Apple Cider Shandies

Spiced Apple Cider Shandy // Feast + West

Every fall, I swear to myself it’s going to be the year I make it to an apple orchard in the mountains for some apple-picking. (Maybe it’ll be this year?!) I remember going as a kid and picking fresh apples right from the trees, sipping on fresh apple cider and juice and bringing those juicy babes home for one of my mom’s signature apple pies.

When I saw cider from a local orchard at the grocery store the other day, though, I knew there was a great cocktail in my future. I paired it with a seasonal-spiced beer for an autumnal spin on the classic shandy. (Remember these Strawberry Lemonade Shandies from this summer?) There is a warm sweetness to this drink, making it perfect for autumn.

When choosing your beer for this cocktail, I would recommend against pumpkin beers. Look instead for a beer that boasts notes of caramel, malt, cinnamon, toffee or ginger. An Oktoberfest brew or a spiced brown ale will do nicely. Add a slice of fresh apple and a cinnamon stick for garnish. Enjoy this refreshing cocktail on a crisp fall evening — perhaps at an apple orchard? // susannah

Click below for the recipe for Spiced Apple Cider Shandies!

Continue reading


How to Use Instagram as a Travel Guide

How to Use Instagram as a Travel Guide // Feast + West

You should know by now that I’m an Instagram addict. Whenever I plan a trip nowadays, I turn to my favorite app to help me decide where to eat, what to do and what to see. With Instagram, you can ask your network of friends if they have any recommendations for you, as well as peruse hashtags and maps to set your wanderlust in motion. It’s something I’ve started doing each time I visit a new place, and it’s helped me make the most of my recent trips to Charlottesville, Va., Asheville, N.C. and St. Louis.

Today I’m telling you exactly how to use Instagram as a travel guide on The Collaboreat, a new blog about food and travel. (A blog after my own heart, am I right?) I’ll also tell you how to optimize your Instagram photos to help others plan their own trips. It’s a new way to look at Instagram, and I hope it helps you plan any travels you have on the horizon! Check out the post here. // susannah


Simple Bruschetta

Simple Bruschetta // Feast + West

Everyone needs a simple appetizer recipe or two in their repertoire. One of mine is this Simple Bruschetta. Sliced baguette, melty mozzarella cheese and fresh tomatoes toasted together with the Italian flavors of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper — a match always made in heaven. Make it for an appetizer before a meal, or serve it at a cocktail hour.

It’s a relatively quick dish to put together, and you can prepare everything ahead of time then warm it just as your guests arrive. For me, a last-minute kind of person, this is exactly the kind of appetizer I like to whip up when I have people over. No muss, no fuss and happy guests. My kind of party.

What is your go-to dish to make for guests? // susannah

Click below to see the recipe for my Simple Bruschetta! 

Continue reading

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...