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November Reads and Reviews

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This was a great month of reading for me! This might be the most books that I've ever read, and while not all of them were hits I really enjoyed the variety. I'm looking forward to getting into more cozy books with Christmas right around the corner, so if you have any recommendations I would love to hear! By first- let's see what I read in November- Pachinko by Min Jin Lee In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant — and that her lover is married — she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations. Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice

December Goals and Highlights

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WOW- November was a month for the books. I knew that it would be busy and fun, and it definitely was! My only goal for the month was to stay healthy and enjoy my trips, and luckily I achieved that (yay for rapid COVID tests and vaccines! Just scheduled my booster!). There are so many highlights that I could share so I'll share my top 4 moments- Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park My entire trip to Colorado was unbelievable, but visiting RMNP (and hiking there with my two best friends) was the best experience! It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, and we had such a great time visiting different areas of the park. It's definitely somewhere I want to see and hike all around. Zoo Trip I was lucky to get to see my family twice this month, including a random and fun zoo trip with my sister and nephew the day after Thanksgiving. We went to the North Carolina Zoo, which is the largest natural-habitat zoo in the world! It was a beautiful day and we had a lot of

Great British Baking - Week Nine

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It's hard to believe that this season of Great British Bake Off is officially over! I watched the finale over the weekend and now I can definitely say that this was my favorite season ever. I loved the contestants, the challenges- everything! I'm getting ahead of myself though, because I'm a few weeks behind on my baking posts. Today I'll be talking about the Semi-final, which was P√Ętisserie Week. The bakes in this week are all about technique and skill- it's always such a big challenge but fun to watch. The Signature Challenge was to make 8 P√Ętisserie-style slices (think layered cake with different types of filling, but very fancy), and the Showstopper was a themed banquet display. They all looked amazing, and I personally loved what Juergen made! The torii gate was incredible. The Technical Challenge that I made was called a Sable Breton Tart, which I had never heard of before! Apparently the bakers hadn't either, because none of them really nailed it. Luckily

Great British Baking - Week Eight

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It's getting down to the wire on Great British Bake Off- we have sailed on into the quarterfinals and the competition is getting FIERCE. This week was a very fun theme called "Free From Week". Odd wording, but each bake was a different challenge that removed a common ingredient. For the Signature, the bakers had to do a dairy free ice cream sandwich. There were some coconut, soy, and tofu ice creams and some looked absolutely divine! The Showstopper was a gluten-free Celebration Cake, so the bakers had to use a grain-free substitute (like rice flour, coconut flour, etc) to make a beautiful and intricate cake. And finally- for the Technical Challenge the bakers removed all animal products in order to make a vegan Sausage Roll. I was so excited to make this and got started right away! The first step was making a vegan puff pastry. I've never made this before but always thought the process looked like fun. Using vegan butter, I made a basic pastry, then grated on even mo

Wilmington Highlights

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Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great week-mine was so much fun and very busy. I mentioned in my monthly goals post that November would be busy and full of trips, and we had our final one last week. I thought it would be fun to recap in a highlight post to share what we did and some other random fun things that happened this week. Here's what my week looked like- Monday Plans for the day (outside of work): Made last week's Great British Bake Off recipe (vegan sausage rolls- yum!) and watched Dancing with the Stars semi-finals. Plus- lots of cleaning and laundry after a weekend trip. One thing that went unexpected: Dan agreed to go on a run with me! And the fall colors right now are AWESOME. Best part of the day: Relaxing after a busy weekend and getting back to my routine. Best thing I ate: The sausage rolls were amazing, especially the flaky crust. Tuesday Plans for the day (outside of work): 6AM 6-mile run with Erica started my day on the right foot. Then we too

Great British Baking - Week Seven

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I'm a bit behind with my Great British Bake Off baking and watching, but I'm back today with Week Seven! This was Caramel Week, which intimidated me a bit because caramel is VERY hard to get right. I've only been able to make it properly once before (when I had to make sticky toffee puddings ), and even then I got it wrong a few times. The challenges for this week were tough, since we're getting towards the end of the series. The Signature challenge was caramel tart (sign me up for that!) and the Show Stopper was a domed or sphered caramel dessert. Both of these really seemed to trip up the bakers, and there were a lot more fails than usual! Even the Technical Challenge (10 caramel biscuit bars...aka a Twix) really messed them all up and there were no stand outs. The process itself wasn't too challenging, and it mostly came down to timing it properly and making everything very neat. We started by making the shortbread biscuits for the bottom of the bars, which were

Denver Highlights

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I knew that November would be a packed and busy month, and so far it is definitely delivering! Last week I went on a long-weekend trip to Denver to meet up with two of my very best friends (Jessie and Kelsey) from Pittsburgh. The only plan for our trip was going to a University of Colorado Boulder football game and visiting Kelsey's brother who works at the school, but otherwise everything was open. We were definitely lucky with some gorgeous clear and warm days, and here's a look at what we did! Thursday After landing and picking up the rental car, we made our way to Denver Central Market for some breakfast! There were a few options in the market and a coffee shop, and I ended up getting a breakfast burrito and Americano. We made our plan for the day while strolling around RiNo Art District and enjoying all of the beautiful murals! We decided to head to Golden next since we still had some hours to kill until checking into our Airbnb. There were some free museums in town, so we