Guys! It's Halloween weekend! As I've mentioned this week, its one of my favorite holiday's. This weekend is PACKED with fun and festive events around St. Louis. Of course it's Thursday and I still don't have a costume...but I sort of get inspired by the last minute nature. Last year I discovered the perfect Jessica Rabbit dress at Nordstrom's rack for like $14 dollars a couple hours before a party last year. So I'm hoping for some similar good luck this year! I've got a lot of events I'm planning on going to so I might need a few costumes! Here's just a sampling of some of the great events happening around town, where will you be showing off your costume this weekend?
It's perfectly acceptable to eat dip for breakfast, lunch and a late night snack right? Because that may or may not be what I've been doing the last several days...
I first made this butternut squash goat cheese dip last week for a personal snack. I bought these little ramikans from Target (hello that dollar section is my downfall) and they are perfect for one person. It was amazing so I whipped up a bigger patch for my pumpkin party and it was a huge hit. It's festive and fall feeling and cheesy! So really you can't go wrong. The recipe is from Jess from HowSweetEats. She's basically my food spirit animal, everything she makes I want to eat. She also has a butternut squash spinach dip that I'm dying to make.
I told you guys I was on a butternut squash kick (still want to make another batch of this soup asap) and its the only thing that really feels like fall. This weather (70s and sunny) is my dream. It makes me feel like I'm back in California. But it's kind of crazy. The leaves aren't even changing yet and it's supposed to be in the 80s this weekend.
But let's get back to this dip. I'm going to post the recipe I scaled down for one person (or two people not eating this as a meal like me...) but it can easily be doubled or tripled. I also found it was easier since my food processor can only hold so much. I always feel it's a struggle to scale back a recipe. I've recently discovered a great local blogger, Christina from Dessert for Two. She makes perfect small scale desserts and she has a really adorable baby I love seeing on her insta stories. St. Louis has so many talented bloggers and entrepreneurs and just all out awesome people. I'm excited that I've recently gotten to meet a few of my insta friends in person! It's definitely something I want to continue. But wait I got side tracked again from the dip.
Ok so, this is super easy to whip together but does take some baking time. You just roast up the butternut squash with olive oil and salt and pepper. Pop it in a food processor with lots of goat cheese and sage. Then back in the oven to bake it all together! Super easy, super yummy. You can eat it with tortilla chips, or home made pita chips or store bought pit chips or heck, even veggies! Plus you feel like it's healthy because really you're just eating a vegetable all purred together! I think it's definitely going to become my go-to winter dip to bring to tailgates and parties. What's your go-to party app? Let me know in the comments below and let me know if you bring this to any of your fall gatherings!
butternut squash + goat cheese dip
Halloween is by far one of my favorite holidays. You get to dress up in costume AND eat candy? I mean what more could you want in life? Plus I just love all the things leading up to Halloween,: visiting the pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving, haunted houses and fall baking. This year I wanted to host a pumpkin carving party with all my friends. The premise was simple, a potluck dinner paired with different pumpkin beers and BYOP (bring your own pumpkin!).
We started the day off with a run to Thies Farm in North County. I always went to Rombach's Farm in Chesterfield as a kid but we decided to try something different this year. We picked out the perfect pumpkins and attempted to get photos of Ellie in the wheel barrow....yeah that was hard. I guess that's how people feel about trying to get their child to look at the camera. I clearly should have brought some treats.
I wanted to keep the party simple. I asked everyone to bring a dish, mostly finger food type things and I made a fall soup. We picked up a bunch of different pumpkin beers from Wine and Cheese Place including Southern Tier Pumpking, Southern Tier's Warlock (my favorite), Boulevard's Funkier Pumpkin and Elysian's The Great Pumpkin. I also really like O'Fallon Brewery's pumpkin and Schlafley's Pumpkin Stout is really yummy!
Once the party got started I really failed at taking any photos. But how about I describe it to you? I bought a bunch of pumpkin carving kits and put those on the table, and obviously I filled the house with as many Halloween decorations as possible. Plus you can't decorate pumpkins without a bowl of candy! I kept the theme of the menu very fall centered. I'm planning a post on the butternut squash dip for later this week, the Irish ale potato cheddar soup was amazing but I took ZERO photos of it. But I can definitely say it will be on rotation of winter recipes because it was super rich and comforting. Then because we didn't want to spend all day in the kitchen, we cheated and my friend Kristin got a pie from Lucky's. Hey, sometimes you can't do it all, am I right?
-Butternut squash goat cheese dip + homemade pita chips (recipe)
-Irish Ale Potato Cheddar Soup (recipe)
-Kemoll's Garlic Cheese Bread
-Apple pie (store bought)
We supplemented with a couple other dips and nibbles, it's all about keeping it simple as you get your hands dirty scooping out those pumpkins. I placed two bowls on the table, one for the guts and the other for seeds, because we are definitely roasting up all those seeds! If there's time at the party, it's a great idea to roast them during the party and then have everyone take home a little bag. Alas....that didn't happen at our party. Too busy laughing and enjoying each others company to get those babies in the oven. Of course when everyone's done, make sure you have tea ligths and a camera to capture everyone's designs. I was super proud of my St. Louis Arch and skyline. Even if it was a little crooked. So my question to you is, what's your go-to pumpkin design? Do you keep it classic? Do something sports themed? Let me know in the comments!
We might have started the week like it was mid-August but we are ending it like it's finally mid-October! And as I prep for my pumpkin carving party tomorrow I couldn't be more excited about the crisp fall weather. I'm feeling super motivated as I head into my weekend after spending my morning at a young professionals summit hosted by Launch St. Louis. It was all about building a personal brand, volunteering with non-profits and pursuing a passion (that would be this here blog my friends!). I was so inspired and a little intimidated by some of the speakers. Many work full time jobs, have leadership roles on boards and find time channel their passion in a creative way. It reminds me of the quote that's always tossed around Instagram - "You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce." It's so true! Except I really doubt Beyonce has to waste an hour at the post office. But the point is, we all have a full day to work with and we can choose to spend those precious hours as we please. Sure, we've got to work and make a living but I can chose to sleep in a few extra hours or I can wake my butt up and spend those same hours working on something that's just for me. So here's to putting that thought process into action, but this weekend I'm excited to spend some time outside and carve some pumpkins! Here's a peak at some of things that made me smile this week.
P.S Also I was on a podcast this week! Did you guys catch it? I talked all about my love of TV news, social media and St. Louis! If you missed it, take a listen here!
Oh St. Louis, what are we going to do with you? 90 degrees one day, cool and rainy the next? But I'm not going to let this crazy weather stop me from devouring this soup.
Heatwave or not, the calendar says fall and so does the farmer's market bounty. I went to the Tower Grove Farmers' Market this weekend (my favorite) and picked up a few butternut squash. It's easily my favorite fall veggie and over the weekend when I was in a lazy, stay-in kind of mood, I made a couple of dishes with it. First up is this soup.
This is a take on my mom's chicken noodle soup, which I believe is the best out there. The other week I had a butternut squash noodle soup at Companion (so sad the Clayton location is closing, but luckily the Ladue one is just as convenient). So I definitely wanted to try adding butternut squash to her recipe and it was perfect! Its hearty and comforting and basically just warms the soul. Which in the heat this week might not be the best thing...
But already the weather is swinging the other way, who knows it will probably snow by the end of the week. (No, lets not even joke about that.) My favorite thing about soup is that you can tweak it to your preference. You could add other veggies, or omit the noodles, you could take away the chicken to make it vegetarian, so many options!
I've definitely been devouring this while binge watching a lot of TV lately. I feel like fall TV has definitely stepped up its game this year. Right now my list is Westworld, This is Us, Younger, Notorious plus trying to finish up Sherlock! So many shows, so little time. Plus I can't spend all my time inside when there's lots of fall festivities to partake in! I'd love to know your favorite fall activities, even if we're doing them during a heat wave here in St. Louis!
Butternut Squash Chicken Noodle Soup
Guys, could we have had a more beautiful weekend? For me it was the perfect combination of spending the day light hours enjoying this weather, cooking up some delicious food and staying in at night binging on Sherlock.
It was also a bit of a spontaneous weekend because on Thursday night I texted my friend to say lets get out and go to some wineries. One of the great things about St. Louis is how many great weekend getaway spots are located within a short distance to the city. Wine tasting has been on my bucket list since last fall and this seemed like a perfect time to check it off the list.
There are so many local wineries within a couple hour drive of St. Louis, on both sides of the river. Since we sort of decided last minute to hit up the wineries on Friday we didn't want to go too far, so we landed on Grafton. It's about an hour drive from downtown and this time of year the drive up the River Road is perfect.
We started at Aeries Winery in Grafton. The view can't be beat. Settled up on the bluff, the Mississippi River is spread out below. In a few more weeks the fall colors would probably be perfect, but there's a little color starting to poke through. The service was excellent, you can sample any of the wines by the glass and they have a good selection of their own label. I'll be honest. I am not usually a fan of Missouri or Illinois wine, it's generally much too sweet for my liking. But they had a Norton that was very tasty. A cheese board cannot be passed up when enjoying wine, and their baked brie with honey was amazing.
Next we drove back down the hill to Grafton Winery. We sampled a few of their reds, the Cabernet and the harbor red were enjoyable. They also have a lot of fruit based wines, I tried the apple crisp (their most popular) and the raspberry, but they are not for me. Just far too sweet. They also have a Brewhaus downstairs at the winery. They had a wide selection, we sampled a few but I would stick with the wine.
But if you're a beer drinker then you'll want to head back up the River Road to Old Bakery Brewery. That was our last stop of the day. It's in Alton in, you guessed it, an old bakery. I've had several of their beers at bars and restaurants in St. Louis and have been dying to check out their brewery. The space is massive, it would be such a cool place to host an event. You can do a flight for just $7 of four pretty decent pours. I had such a hard time narrowing down the list to just four beers, but went with the double stout, timor coffee red ale, grapefruit session IPA and the oktoberfest. They were all tasty but I settled on my go-to, their porter, as my pint. Their porter is the perfect fall beer, chocolaty, warm feeling but not too heavy.
We grabbed an order of pretzels and the Cards Against Humanity box from their massive game selection and settled in for the rest of the afternoon. On another day I would love to explore Alton more, it's filled with cute antique stores and little shops. But all and all it was a perfect way to spend a fall afternoon with friends.
I'd love to hear about your favorite Missouri and Illinois wineries! Always adding to that bucket list! Happy Monday all!
As a journalist, some days you tell the story you have to tell, other days you get to tell the story you want to tell. This was definitely a story I couldn't wait to share. I love telling stories about people doing awesome things in our city. You all know by now that I am a big cheerleader for St. Louis. I love this city and I can get frustrated with the haters.
As a news station we have to tell the good along with the bad, and while the bad can often overshadow everything else, it's important to remember there are so many people working to make this city better each and ever day.
The guys behind Arch Apparel are a prime example. They started the local t-shirt company a year ago and have simply blown up across the area. You can find their stuff in a bunch of local boutiques and on their website. One thing I love is when I spot people wearing Cardinals and Blues gear when I'm traveling, even more exciting is to see people wearing shirts that simply show their a fan of the city, not just a sports team.
Plus the shirts are printed at Tiny Little Monster, a printing company based in Maplewood, so it's all super local! Plus their stuff is really cute. I'm excited for my first Blues game this year so I can rock my new blue and yellow shirt!
These are my current favs on their site, I need to find a baby (someone else's please!) to give that adorable onesie!
If you missed the story you can watch it here!
I am always looking for stories about people making a difference in St. Louis. If you know someone that would make a great story please let me know! Shoot me a tweet/facebook message/email/comment below! Y'all know I'm checking it all way too often!
I meant to post this on Friday...but things got super busy and alas it is now Monday morning. But I wanted to post this because I think it's the whole reason I started this weekly (or attempted weekly) series.
So last week my work week was book-ended by two tragedies. It started before I even walked into the KMOV newsroom for my shift. On the drive back from Branson the news broke that police shot a 14 year old after he had allegedly engaged in a shootout with officers. It breaks my heart that 14 year olds in our city are carrying guns for either protection or because they think its cool. I don't know what happened in those moments leading up to the shooting, and because there are no body cameras or video footage we know of, the only people who will truly know are the two officers and that teenage boy. And then my work week ended with an 18 year old shooting and killing a young police officer. Two families are now broken. Plus an entire family of law enforcement and a community of people deeply troubled by the violence in our city and county.
My task was attempting to talk to the family of Officer Blake Snyder. A task that no journalist wants, but we know there are families who want to share the story of their loved one. For some its cathartic. For others, they want their privacy and they deserve it. We respect that. But doing my job, I spoke with Officer Snyder's sister-in-law and spent the day reading social media posts from his friends and family members. This young officer, with a young wife and a two-year old son. It broke my heart that his life was taken for no reason. He went to work the night before, called his wife to say goodnight and his family woke up to the worst reality one could imagine.
It's the same reality faced by too many families in our city. Their sons or daughters wake up, go about their lives and too many of them end their day and their lives surrounded by crime scene tape. I don't know what we can do to end the violence. I don't have those answers, but I do know that I can work each day to help find the people who do have answers. Share their stories in the hopes that it reaches one person, touches one life, helps one person.
In the meantime, during weeks like this, finding those moments to make me smile, help me find the good in my city, are even more vital. So here's a look at just a few things that helped get me through a tough week.
Guys! It's National Taco Day ANND Taco Tuesday. It's like the fates have aligned. Tacos are a pretty regular staple in my diet and they are the perfect vessel for the green tomato salsa that I simply can't get enough of.
So I mentioned this before but our summer garden really didn't do well this year. I don't know if it was too hot, too much rain or if we just didn't do something right, but our tomato plants really didn't do well. They did however produce a bunch of green tomatoes before toppling over and breaking. So yes, fried green tomatoes were on the agenda, but I wanted to try to do something else. I was Googling recipes and saw that some people will make a salsa verde type salsa, subbing the green tomatoes for the traditional tomatillo. Guys. This is a game changer. It's hands down my new favorite salsa recipe. I put it on tacos, duh. But it also was great just on top of chicken!
Today's batch used up the very last of my tomatoes so I think I'll have to wait until next year to have it again. Because I can't say I've ever seen green tomatoes in stores? Anyone know where I can find them?
This week I've been craving easy lunches and dinners because it's definitely one of those hectic work weeks as we approach the presidential debate that will be held here in St. Louis this weekend. It'll be a very exciting weekend for our city! We're all working hard to ensure we're providing the best coverage possible of this historic debate. I'll be covering it from a social media perspective and I'm excited to share that with our KMOV viewers. What's your go-to easy meal during a busy week?
green tomato salsa
-two cups green tomatoes, chopped
-half a jalepeno
-1/4 cup red onion
-half a lime
This is pretty much a make it up as you go kind of recipe. If you like it a little spicier, add more jalepeno. I love cilantro so I toss a bunch in. Taste as you go. Throw it all in a food processor and give it a whirl. I like my salsa a little chunkier so I didn't pulse it too much. Again, it's all dependent on your preference! The green tomatoes aren't fully ripped so they hold up well in the salsa and give it a great texture. Top it on your favorite tacos, salad or just serve it up with tortilla chips!
Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day life of a TV news reporter. I have a love for food, traveling and all things St. Louis. This is a place for me to write about my passions.