{Vegan} Irish Potato Candy

Potato Sack

The food trend I’ve seen circulating the interwebs lately is “fooling” your guests by serving them savory-looking food that’s actually sweet.

Aside from April Fool’s Day, I didn’t really the see a point, but when I sampled Irish “potatoes” from the The Original Fudge Kitchen in Cape May, I decided to try this trend myself.

Despite its name, this coconut confection wasn’t created in Ireland, but originates from Philadelphia.

Since the candies do not contain potatoes (although some do), this recipe requires no cooking – a huge bonus given the sudden surge of hot weather we’re experiencing – and you probably already have most the ingredients in your pantry, making this one of the easiest recipes I’ve posted. Continue reading

It’s perfect for Saint Patrick’s Day, of course, but the coconut cream base makes a nice addition to a summer soiree.

If you’re not a cinnamon fan, swap it for cocoa powder, and you’ll get a similar “potato” skin effect.

I used vegan butter (Earth Balance) and cream “cheese”, but you can also use regular butter and cream cheese (preferably Philly) if you like.

Vegan/Not Vegan Irish Potato Candy

  • ¼ cup butter (or Earth Balance), softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (or vegan cream “cheese”), softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2½ cups unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 – 1½ tablespoons cinnamon and/or cocoa powder
  • pine nuts (optional)
  • brown paper bag (optional)
  1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar and continue mixing to incorporate – scraping sides when necessary.
  3. Add coconut and continue to mix until combined.
  4. Roll mixture into tablespoon-size balls.

Irish Potatoes
5. Roll each piece cinnamon to coated.

6. Once coated, roll candies into a potato shape – if desired.

7. Set on a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet and chill until set.

8. Store candies in refrigerator until ready to serve, and serve them in a brown paper bag – a.k.a. a potato sack.

Potato Candy

Jersey Belle Review

Jersey Belle ReviewReality TV has served a very limited purpose in my life.

Typically, I’ve only indulged in this type of programming on sick days when I’m craving a complete cerebral shutdown or while trying to catch a glimpse of my childhood home (Teresa from RHONJ is a neighbor).

I don’t know exactly what made me tune in to Jersey Belle. Perhaps it’s because, at times, I share the fish out of water feeling with the protagonist, Jaime Sullivan, or maybe it was the promise of “different” type of reality show. Whatever the real reason may be, I am glad I watched.

Unlike the popular Housewives’ series, Jersey Belle isn’t a loud, catty, fighting free for all.

Instead, Jaime’s fierce loyalty to her friends despite a stark refusal to assimilate to the Southern norm, along with tackling heavier issues like endometriosis, adoption, infertility, and divorce, gives the show an overall light and airy feel, but with heart.

So – is it worth watching? I say yes, if only to court reality TV away from the RHO genre into a different realm beyond the fake drama and Botox, and to learn about a culture that’s extremely foreign (be it Alabamian or New Jersey culture).

Have you watched Jersey Belle? Let me know what you think about this show in the comments!

City Guide: Cape May, NJ

Thanks to the now infamous MTV show, the shores of southern NJ have become synonymous with fist pumping, clubbing and lewd behavior. While you can definitely find that scene in some places, my memory of summers at the Jersey Shore is worlds different.

Once a year, my family and I would travel to the shore, stopping in Atlantic City, Wildwood Crest, and the tiny island of Cape May.

Cape May is quaint town home to historic B&B’s, white sandy beaches and, most notably, grand and picturesque Victorian style homes. A trip to “Exit Zero” (named for being the last exit on the Parkway) is a step back in time, but it somehow remains fresh and inviting to the young and old alike. Continue reading

Although our yearly family vacations have now ceased, I was surprised to find out that beau, Walter, was not only familiar with Cape May, but lived and worked there during the summer in college.

Feeling nostalgic and wanting to take a quick beach vacation, we decided to travel down the Parkway to exit 0, and I was happy to see that not much had changed.

As we embrace the last week weeks of summer, I suggest planning a relaxing and unique beach stay for you and your family (or furry family).

Where to Stay:

The Chalfonte Hotel: Full disclosure: Walter was a former employee of this hotel – not that that would sway my opinion of The “Great White Lady”.

This massive hotel was established in 1876, it is the the oldest continuously operating hotel in Cape May.

The kitchen staff at the hotel’s restaurant, The Magnolia Room, known simply as the “The Ladies” are notorious for their Southern style home cooking, sassy personalities, and most notably, their fried chicken and crab cakes.

Other Great Options: I’ve only stayed at the Chalfonte,  but these two hotels come highly regarded – Congress Hall and Peter Shields Inn.

What to See:

Cape May Lighthouse: 99 steps is all it takes to reach the best view of the island.

Cape May Winery: A very affordable activity. If the weather is nice, sit outside on the deck and take in the view of the vineyard, but also a good rainy day activity with seating indoors.

Cape May County Zoo: With free admission this is a great chance to entertain the kids (or adults) for a few hours.

The Beach! White sand, blue water, but remember – you need to purchase a beach tag.

Nightlife:

Marion Inn: The classy atmosphere of this bar pairs nicely with the grand piano player – and make sure you taste the cheesy sticks at the bar.

The Ugly Mug: If there were ever a salty sailor’s bar, this would be it. This bar seems to attract the most amount of locals, so if you’re looking for a more authentic experience, dress down and mug up.

The Brown Room: Order the Beach Plum Royale and get treated to an insanely tasty Luxardo cherry. Stay for the Cuban-inspired decor, great customer service, and nightly live music.

King Edward Bar: Located in the Chalfonte this bar has a small but well chosen beer and wine selection. I particularly love the the mermaid painting and patio seating.

Eat:

Magnolia Room at The Chalfonte: Famous Fried Chicken and Crab Cakes in a white tablecloth dining room.

410 Bank Street: NOLA style food with a modern twist makes this my favorite restaurant in Cape May. We dined on fresh seafood and Cape May county wines in a beautiful covered garden. Very romantic.

Lobster House: The casual cool vibe of this restaurant is a quintessential beach vacation experience. Order from the raw bar and watch the sunset from the bay-facing deck.

Mad Batter: For brunch visit the sidewalk patio and order the French toast – thick sliced brioche dipped in a rich batter of heavy cream, eggs, fresh orange juice and almonds. The best French toast I’ve ever had.

Where to Shop:

Washington Street Mall: touristy, but unique outdoor mall. It’s a great stop to pick up souveiners and gifts. Here are my favorite stores within the mall:

Bath Time: Situated right in the heart of Washington Street Mall, this can’t miss bath and body shop (the window display is a giant bathtub full of rubber duckies) stocks all-natural and unique items from brands such as Farm House Fresh, Tokyomilk and Love & Toast.

My favorite part of this store is definitely Cape May Customs Blends – where you select a personalized scent from a wide range of fragrance oils to make into a variety of different bath items (massage oil, shower gel, even shampoo and bar soap).

Morrow’s Nut House: It’s not a trip to the shore without some Salt water taffy. Not only will you find this seaside treat, but old classics like vanilla nut fudge,  liquorice, and Philly favorite, Irish potatoes.

Love The Cook: My new obsession with beach plums is fixated at this quirky kitchen shop.

Love The Cook carries locally made gourmet treats (like beach plum coffee and jam), strange but useful gadgets, and gifts for the food enthusiast in your life.

What’s your favorite Cape May haunt? Let me know in the comments!

 

The Liebster Awards!

Liebster Nominee

Hello, everyone!

My blog was nominated for a its very award, The Liebster by Jessica from MsAdventuresinMakeup.

Thank you so much for the nomination, Jessica! If you have a minute, please check out the girly goodness of her makeup blog.

For those not familiar with the Liebster Awards (i.e. me, before the nomination), check out the full description on Wording Well.

Below are my answers to Jessica’s questions as well as a new set for my fantastic nominees, and 11 facts about myself you probably weren’t aware of. Continue reading

My Questions:

1. Congratulations on winning this award! What is your acceptance speech?

 

2. Where in the world is your favorite place?

 

3. If your life was featured on Jeopardy, what would its category be?

 

4. What was the last thing that scared you?

 

5. Five friends just called & they’re heading to your home   – what do you do next?

 

6. Do you speak any languages besides English?

 

7. What is one piece of home or your childhood that you would like to share with others (i.e. recipe, story, etc.)?

 

8. How do you feel about crop tops?

 

9. What is the last text message you sent?

 

10. Do you like honey?

 

11. Did you enjoy answering these questions?

My Q&As:

1. What is your blog about, and why did you create it? I share my adventures, travel, fashion, and beauty tips, recipes, and healthy living solutions on my blog, which was originally started as an online portfolio.

2. Do your friends and family know you blog? If so, what do they think about it? I’m pretty sure most of my friends and family know about my blog, but I’m always surprised to hear when someone I know is a reader. I’m not entirely sure what they think of it.

3. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning (or in the evening, if you’re not a morning person)? That entirely depends on what I have going on that day.

4. What is your number one tip for other bloggers? Don’t waste your time writing about something you’re not passionate about!

5. Is there a certain style of clothing that you wish would come back into fashion? Old style safari clothes from OG outfitters like Abercrombie – way before the shirtless models…

6. What is the number one most played song on your ipod? Right now I can’t stop listening to Hunger of the Pine by Alt-J. Serious ear candy!

7. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Eating only one food item would result in numerous vitamin/mineral deficiencies. Yay food diversity!

8. What is something you’ve learned in the last week? How to add columns to WordPress. This was surprisingly difficult.

9. Aside from food, water and shelter, what is one thing you could not live without? Clothing.

10. If you could choose to be a certain age forever, what would it be and why? I don’t think that would be a wise decision. Aging is a frustrating but necessary process for growth.

11. What is one thing you will never do again? Never say never.

My 11 Nominees:

Tianna from nonstoptravels.com 

Anders from threeonthego.com

Natasha from traveladdictuk.com

Cecilia from snaphappyfoodie.com

Michele from sheisgoingplaces.com

11 Facts About Me:

1. I believe there are two stages of life: before you try a white truffle, and after.

2. I grew up in Northern New Jersey (And yes, the northern distiction is necessary).

3. I rarely watch professional sports (unless coerced by a friend).

4. After spending adequate time with both seals and sea lions,I have determined: seals = cats, sea lions = dogs.

5. I love my cat. A lot.

6. I am a Francophile (and James Francophile, ha!) and finally got the chance to visit Paris a few weeks ago.

7. I am a night owl (usually).

8. I prefer buying clothing over accessories.

9. Three years ago, I had my hair cut to its shortest length ever (just below my ears). Now, it’s the longest its ever been.

10. I (secretly) want to be a DJ.

11. Spinning is my newest and probably deepest obsession.

Beach Vacation Essentials

beach bag

Being a stone’s throw away from the water is by far my favorite part of living in Connecticut.

All summer long (and usually well into the fall) I try to spend as much time as possible at the beach.

I’ve my listed my basic essentials before, but here’s an updated list on my coastal must-have’s. Continue reading

  •  Fouta - this thin, but surprisingly absorbent and quick drying towel is perfect for the beach, and can double as a bath towel since it’s a suitcase space saver.
  • Tangle Teaser - I’ve owned this strange looking brush for less than a year but I honestly can’t fathom how I lived without it. It can tackle even the most sea wrecked, tangled mess of a mop with ease, making hair maintenance as breezy as being on the coast.
  • Sunglasses – Obvious, but always a must. 
  • Water (preferably frozen) – If you freeze a bottle the night before, you’ll have perfectly chilled water for hours at the beach.
  • Sunscreen – Make sure it’s at least SPF 15 and reapply every 2 hours, no acceptions.
  • Reading Material –  When you’re not swimming, and sunning gets tired, reach for a book or magazine to keep you entertained.
  • Double Step by Julep – This unique product is designed to prevent blisters and cuts from rough sandals. Apply the waxy cream to your feet where your shoes lie, and you’ll avoid the painful breaking in period, especially in the heat.
  • Lip Balm – Lips are the first and most exposed parts of our bodies in the sunshine, so make sure your lip balm contains sunscreen.
  • Facial Mist – Nothing refreshes you on a scorching hot day than a quick mist of facial spray containing soothing botanicals, like the Kora Organics Mist pictured above.
  • Solid Perfume – You know you’re going to sweat the at the beach, so bring along a solid perfume to keep smelling fresh throughout the day.
  • Playing Cards  – Sometimes, a book or magazine isn’t enough to keep you busy at the beach, so bring some cards that are waterproof and add a little healthy competition to your relaxing afternoon.
  • Speaker – Let’s face it, your iPhone (even turned up to full volume) doesn’t make a notable peep outdoors, so bring along a tiny, but powerful speaker (like the Beats by Dr. Dre speaker) and enjoy some calming beach tunes.
  • Antibacterial Gel – Most beaches have bathrooms, but sometimes they are lacking in the basic amenities (read: soap). Avoid having grimy hands by bringing a small bottle of antibacterial gel.
  • BB Cream – If you’re going straight from the beach to lunch, bring along a BB Cream to give your skin a pretty, but natural glow.

What are you beach essentials? Let me know in the comments below!

Favorites & Naturopathica Skincare Giveaway! {Closed}

May Favorites

Summer is just around the corner, but I wanted to share my May favorites with your (albeit a little bit late).

Louie – About a year ago, Walter suggested I watch this semi-autobiographical show about a New York comedian, Louis C.K., and I’m so glad I went with his recommendation.

Continue reading

The show is intelligent, refreshingly different, and despite being labeled a comedy, is quite poignant at times.

The best example of this character driven “dramedy”  is latest installment of 6 ensemble episodes, titled The Elevator.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but trust when I saw watching these episodes is more akin to seeing a well produced indie film.

Hullo Pillow - I was approached by Hullo to review their unique buckwheat hull pillow last month. I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially because I’m particularly picky about my sleeping arrangements, but I can honestly say that I prefer this pillow to any other I’ve used in the past.

I’ll post a full review of the pillow in a few days, detailing my experience, so look out for that to learn more.

Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes – I have sensitive skin, and these makeup remover wipes are the only I’ve found that don’t burn my skin.

They’re made with a blend of aloe vera, chamomile, cucumber, and vitamin E oil, and  free of fragrances, parabens, and petrochemicals.

The packaging is adorable, but more importantly, a portion of the proceeds is donation to the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Polar Bear SOS initiative.

Northern Delights Cloudberry Inuit  Herbal Tea – I purchased this tea from a fancy grocery store while I was visiting Montreal, and I’ve been enjoying a cup almost every evening since.

The cloudberries are blended with traditional Inuit herbs that are just a touch sweet, and 100% delicious.

Naturopathica Plant Stem Cell Booster Serum – This all natural skincare brand based in the Hamptons, NY asked if I would like to do a giveaway on my blog for their newest product, Plant Stem Cell Booster Serum.

This serum is clinically proven to rejuvenate the skin’s appearance and smooth away fine lines and wrinkles.

It contains a myriad of skin improving botanical stem cells including Echinacea and butterfly bush that help to plump and protect the skin, and reduce inflammation for more radiant, younger-looking skin.

This groundbreaking night serum is available on Naturopathica‘s website, or you can enter to win a full size bottle (valued at $84!) by entering the Rafflecopter contest below.

The contest is open worldwide, and closes on Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. The winner will be contacted via email on or around June 30th. Good luck! {Closed}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Food.Fashion.Travel.Fun

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