M I N I M O O N // FALL CITY, WA

 

Minimoon?
Yes, it's the vacation before the big enchilada, aka The Honeymoon, aka in our terms: HANIMOON.

Danny & I must have had a brain lapse and decided on having two weddings. So, to make up for our insanity: we took two honeymoons. The day after our official nuptials, we jet-setted up north to a small area of Washington known as Fall City.

Why here, you ask? 
For my birthday a few years back, we took a PNW tour starting in Vancouver, BC down to Portland, Oregon. While driving through Washington taking our Twin Peaks fanatics tour, we stayed in Fall City near Snoqualmie. This area is lush, filled with hiking trails, and is somewhat mysterious (we see the appeal, David Lynch). I recommend everyone visit, if not stay, here at least once. You'll want to go back (as we did)!

Our first night we stayed at The Fall City Roadhouse. Yes, it's the actual Roadhouse from Twin Peaks, but it's not a bar or music venue. The Roadhouse is a small, sweet, cozy and very comfortable home-like-hotel with a fantastic restaurant, and it has the nostalgic road sounds that you hear as the flatbed trucks filled with tree trunks drive by (it really happens there). Did I mention the food is really good? Their Goat Cheese & Garden scramble is my favorite breakfast to-date and they make a killer Bloody Mary (it's as big as your head!). Stay here. Eat here. You won't be disappointed - and take some "Ugly Biscuits" back home for the family.

The next day, we did a little exploring and site-seeing over at Snoqualmie Falls. You might recognize this place. Hint: Insert Twin Peaks theme song. This is a must see in the area! The impressive falls are so loud and beautiful at all times of the year with various view points and trails to check out. Caution: you might get a little wet in the winter months if you stand too close! Sitting to the left of the falls is the Salish Hotel (aka The Great Northern). Although the interior is nothing like the interior from the show, you'll want to stop inside for a drink and/or a bite at The Attic. Danny and I love this place - so much so that we ate here three times during our short trip. Pro Tip: Put your name in and wait for one of the tables against the windows looking over the falls. And, you MUST order the ribs and a cherry pie! You can thank me later.

On the roads between the Fall City and Snoqualmie, we stopped at some cute road-side vendors, where we picked up some fresh local cherries, and (since I had to leave my beautiful wedding bouquet behind) Danny bought me some new flowers for our room.

That evening, we checked into the highly-anticipated TreeHouse Point bed & breakfast. This place is amazing, and even better IRL. Tucked away off the main road sits six individual, unique and private tree houses. Luck would have it they had two nights available in their Bonbibi tree house right when we wanted to go. Bird, their chef, takes the time to know your food preferences and makes a killer breakfast while Damon, the manager, meets and greets all the guests. We made friends with one of our neighbors and bonded over beers while wading in their private river. Later, we grabbed drinks and bites at Fall City's kitschy, overly-decorated, knick-knack-heavy dive bar, The Last Frontier (they make pretty decent salads and jalapeño poppers). We ended up spending a lot of our time with them. It was awesome. 

Ronette's Bridge!

Ronette's Bridge!

When outside the TreeHouse (and not eating at the Attic), we got in some good hiking. This area has so many great trails for all levels. We, of course, rose to the challenge and hiked Rattlesnake Ridge, which was totally worth it for the view. I mean, come on, look at that. The hike took a few hours but there were plenty of cute dogs and chipmunks to gawk at. On our last day, right before we took off back to Los Angeles, we hiked Twin Falls early in the morning before the crowds showed up. An adventure pass is required for this hike, but can be bought on-site at a kiosk. Highly recommend. 

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We love you, Washington. We'll be back (again). 

Where to Stay...

Fall City Roadhouse
TreeHouse Point
The Salish Lodge

Where to eat...

Fall City Roadhouse
The Attic at Salish
The Last Frontier Saloon

What to see...

Snoqualmie Falls
Rattlesnake Ridge
Twin Falls
Twedes Cafe (The RR in Twin Peaks - I recommend just to look, not to eat.)

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SKINNY "PALETAS"

 

It's SUMMER! And today is the 4th of July!
The Paleta. Being from Los Angeles these sweet treats are no stranger.  But knowing now how harmful sugar is, I wanted to make something sweet, fun, and guiltless for this holiday and well.. whenever!  May I present: the skinny "paleta"!

I am so glad these turned out (after a few trials and errors)!  These pops are sweetened naturally with only fruit and touch a honey and made from nonfat greek yogurt!  So you get your probiotic and protein in one!  I think I'll eat these for breakfast!  I made these to be "patriotic" for today but you can make them any way you want!

What You'll Need:
2 cups nonfat plain greek yogurt
Fruit of choice (I used strawberries, blueberries, & nonsweetened coconut)
2 tbs Honey
1/2 Lemon
1/2 c Water

Directions:
In a saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil and then add 1 tbs honey and half a lemon's juice and stir until dissolved.  Set aside to cool.

Combine the zest of one lemon and the other tbs of honey to yogurt.

Set up your food processor or blender and combine one fruit at a time with about 3/4 cup yogurt and a few teaspoons of prepared water and blend.  Add more water to get desired consistency. You will want the mix to resembled melted ice cream (or soup).
 

Pour mix into mold leaving a 1/4 inch on top.
Tip:  If you want to make layers, pour each flavor one at time and place into freezer for at least 20 minutes before adding the next layer to prevent mixing.

Place mold into freezer and let sit for about 30 minutes before adding the sticks.

Let freeze 8 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, remove mold from freezer and let sit for about 10 minutes then runs sides under warm water to loosen up.  

Remove each Popsicle carefully and serve immediately! Enjoy!

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LA's MOSCOW MULE

 

It's starting to warm up here in Los Angeles, so why not cool down a little this weekend with a yummy, Historic LA-based cocktail?

Let's talk about the Moscow Mule!

As with most wonderful things in life, this cocktail was created on accident and on a whim. Believe it or not, vodka and ginger beer haven't always been popular. Let's rewind to Los Angeles, circa 1941. Inside the late Cock 'n Bull Restaurant in Hollywood sat 3 dudes: "Jack" Morgan (the owner of the restaurant & ginger beer brewer), Wes Price (bartender at the restaurant), and John G. Martin (owner of Smirnoff Vodka). Morgan and Martin were discussing what to do with the surplus of both vodka and ginger beer that they had in the basement. Their solution? Add ice and limes! Little did they know that they had a magical recipe on their hands.  

Fast forward to 2017, there are few mixed-drink fans that haven't heard of the concoction - and if you're like me, perhaps you've indulged in one yourself. But, if you've never tried it, this drink is a dream come true! It's refreshing, with a little bite and just the right touch of sour and sweet. Plus, you get to drink it out of a cool mug! Thirsty, yet?

And where does the copper mug come in, you ask? Besides being very aesthetically pleasing, the copper locks in the temperature, keeping your tasty beverage colder longer. Also, if you have ever had a Moscow Mule in a glass, you will notice a slight taste variation.  A combination of increased oxidation and decreased temperature enhances the taste of the tangy lime complimenting the spice of the ginger beer.

I recently had the honor of partnering up with The Copper Mug Company, who distributes and sells the most beautiful copper-wares. As luck would have it, they are also based locally out of Southern California (win!). I couldn't be more excited to put their products to use in creating my favorite cocktail!

What you'll need:
Vodka (I recommend Titos)
Cock 'n Bull Ginger Beer (or a similar spicy brew)
Fresh Lime
Fresh Mint
Ice
Copper Mug, recommended

Directions:
Squeeze ~1oz lime juice into Copper Mug and place remaining skin at bottom.

Add desired ice (the more the better in my opinion)

Pour in 2oz Vodka

6oz Ginger Beer

Garnish with fresh mint

Stir & ENJOY!

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