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Winter in Lake Placid

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, January 07, 2017

(Photo from whiteface.com)


The next stop on our travel adventures is a perfect one for those winter enthusiasts...Lake Placid! A quaint village nestled in New York State's Adirondack Mountains, Lake Placid is the perfect destination for a romantic couple's getaway or a fun family vacation. There is a plethora of exciting activities to take part in, especially during the winter months. We have put together a list of our favorites!

One major thing to know about Lake Placid, is that both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games were held there! When a large event like the Olympics comes to town, the buildings and infrastructure of the town needs to improve and change. Many new buildings and sporting venues were constructed before the 1980 games, and many of them are still open for public viewing today! The cross country ski center, the ice skating rink, the ski jump complex...you can even take a ride in a bobsled! If you are a fan of watching the Winter Olympics on TV, then this should be right up your alley.

You can't plan a trip to Lake Placid and not plan on spending at least one day skiing or snowboarding Whiteface Mountain. With nice, easy trails for any beginner to much more complex Diamond trails for the expert, Whiteface has something for everyone. Cold and tired from a long day on the mountain? Head on in to one of the lodges for a nice hot cup of cocoa by one of the fireplaces. This is one activity you will not want to miss. Don't worry if you don't own skis or a snowboard, Whiteface also offers daily rentals. They even offer lessons for those that have no experience! There is no excuse!

For the less adventurous traveler, Main Street in Lake Placid is the perfect place to take a few hours to leisurely stroll through the many shops. They have everything from name brand stores that you will be familiar with, to more unique boutiques where you can purchase items that can only be found in Lake Placid. It's a great place to find a keepsake to bring home to remember your trip! There are also many shops leading in to and out of the village of Lake Placid, so make sure to hop in your car to visit those!

If you are a die hard winter sports enthusiast, there is truly a huge number of things you can do in Lake Placid. We have already mentioned the skiing and snowboarding on Whiteface, but you can also go snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, tubing and fat tire biking. For some extra excitement for the whole family, take a dog sled ride on Mirror Lake. This is a unique activity that many people never have the chance to experience. Hop on the sled next to the musher and away you go!  


(Photo from lakeplacid.com)

Looking for something to fill your down time? Lake Placid may be known for its winter activities, but they also have some of the best spa experiences in the state. Two of our favorite spas are located at the Mirror Lake Inn and Whiteface Lodge. There is nothing quite like a relaxing massage after a full day of exhilarating outdoor activities!

We hope you get the chance to visit Lake Placid this winter! They already have a ton of snow so now is the perfect time to go and make memories with your family and friends.


Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Friday, December 23, 2016

(Photo from delish.com)

Since Christmas is just around the corner, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite Holiday inspired cocktails, and even one mocktail for the kids or those who prefer not to drink. Make these for your friends and family when they come over for the holiday festivities. They are sure to please!

Hot Buttered Rum
Ingredients

BUTTERED RUM BATTER
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. vanilla ice cream, softened
2 tsp. cinnamon

RUM DRINK
2 c. apple cider
1 c. rum

Directions
1. Make the Buttered Rum Batter: In a mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in ice cream and cinnamon, then spoon into a large mason jar or Tupperware container. Store in freezer until mostly hardened, about 2 hours (or store there until you’re ready to serve drinks).

2. Make the Drinks: In a large saucepan, heat cider until boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and pour into a pitcher or easy-to-serve container.

3. Place about 2 tbsp of the buttered rum batter into each mug. Fill about 1/3 of the way up with rum, then top with hot apple cider. Stir and serve.


Classic Eggnog
Ingredients

2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
1/3 c. bourbon or rum (optional)
Whipped cream, for serving

Directions

1. Combine milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat. Slowly bring mixture to a low boil.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar until yolks are pale in color. Slowly add hot milk mixture to egg yolks in batches to temper the eggs and whisk until combined.
3. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat until slightly thick (and coats the back of a spoon) but does not boil.
4. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream and, if using, booze.
5. Refrigerate until chilled.
6. When ready to serve, garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon.

Holiday Mule
Ingredients

1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz unsweetened cranberry juice
1 1/2 oz gin or vodka
2 oz chilled ginger beer
1 rosemary sprig
orange slice, for garnish
sugared cranberries, for garnish

Directions

1. Combine simple syrup, cranberry juice, and gin. 
2. Pour over ice and top with ginger beer. 
3. Serve garnished with rosemary, orange wedge and sugared cranberries, if desired.

Jingle Juice
Ingredients

CITRUS SUGAR:
1½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon

PUNCH:
¾ cup Citrus Sugar
1 cup lime juice
1 cup lemon juice
2 cups orange juice
1 cup grapefruit juice
1 cup mango nectar
1 cup pineapple juice
3¾ cups Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
2¼ cup Grand Marnier
1½ cups Amaretto
3 cups sparkling water
orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit slices, frozen cranberries for garnish

Directions

1. Make the citrus sugar by combining the sugar, zests, ginger and cinnamon. Rub the zest between your fingers to release the oils. Let sit at room temperature for 4 hours or up to a a few days in an airtight container.
2. Peel the skins off of the fruit and juice.
3. Make the punch by adding the sugar to the bottom of the punch bowl. Pour in the juice and stir to start to dissolve the sugar. Pour in the alcohol.
4. Garnish with frozen cranberries and fruit slices.

Pomegranate Margaritas
Ingredients

1 can frozen limeade concentrate
2 c. water
3½ c. gold tequila
2 c. pomegranate juice
1 c. Triple Sec
5 limes
Ice cubes for serving
1 c. fresh pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)

Directions

1. In large pitcher, combine limeade and water until well blended. Stir in tequila, pomegranate juice, and triple sec.
2. Cut each lime crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick wheels; cut a slit in each wheel, from center to edge. To serve, place ice cubes and a few pomegranate seeds in each glass; place a lime wheel on rim.

Christmas Punch (Non-Alcoholic)
Ingredients

5 cups Tropical Punch
1 cup Cranberry Juice
1 cup Pineapple Juice
½ cup Lemon Juice
4-5 cups Ginger Ale
1 pint Raspberry Sherbet

Directions

1. Make sure all ingredients are chilled. 
2. Combine all juices into a large punch bowl.
3.Add ginger ale slowly to prevent too much fizz. 
4. Add scoops of raspberry sherbet & let sit for a few minutes. Serve with a ladle.

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We want to take this time to wish all of our wonderful viewers and customers a very happy Holiday and a Happy New Year! We hope you all enjoy the time spent with your loved ones!

Do you Drink Enough Water?

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, December 17, 2016



With the cold weather in full swing, many people choose to drink warm beverages and forget all about drinking water. Just because it isn’t hot outside and we aren’t as active or sweating as much doesn’t mean our bodies don’t need water. They are made up of 60 percent water, therefore, it is vital to both our physical and mental health to stay hydrated.


One important way that I have found to make sure that I drink enough water, is to drink a big glass before I do anything else in the morning. That glass of water helps kick start my day and sets the tone for me. I also bring a 25 ounce water bottle with me to work every day. I’m not lucky enough to have a water cooler in my office, so I always make sure I am stocked up on large bottles of water to fill my handy bottle that I keep on my desk. If my water bottle is on my desk and in my line of sight, I will remember to drink regularly.






Here are some benefits to making sure you stay hydrated:


  1. -Staying hydrated improves your mood and fights off fatigue. This is the main reason why I make sure to drink at least 16 ounces of water first thing in the morning. It wakes me up and gets me going. A lack of water in the body’s system can cause a drop in blood volume, which then causes the heart to work harder to pump oxygenated blood around the body, hence the increased fatigue.

  2. -Drinking enough water every day will help improve the clarity of your skin. If you are prone to breakouts, or have dry, dull skin, you could be dehydrated. The skin is one of the first places to show signs that you need to drink more water!

  3. -Drinking a glass of water before every meal might also help in weight loss. It will trick your body into thinking it is full, which will then curb your appetite. Drinking water instead of all of the sugary drinks on the market will also help with weight loss.

  4. -If you are prone to headaches or migraines, increasing your intake of water might help keep them away.

  5. -Drinking plenty of water will help your kidneys stay in tip top shape. Drinking too little may lead to painful kidney stones. The kidneys play a vital role in our body’s function so staying hydrated is essential for their (and your!) health.

  6. -Water plays a very important role in your digestive health, as well. Without adequate water, your system could become backed up and constipated. The water helps dissolve fats and soluble fiber, which then continues on through the system.

As you can see, water is crucial for everyday life. There are so many health benefits associated with drinking enough of it, so make a point to think about your water consumption on a daily basis! 

 


Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, December 10, 2016

(Photo by Jose Luis Pelaez)


For the next few weeks, we thought it would be the perfect time to feature some of our favorite gift giving ideas. This week, we will be featuring stocking stuffers! Opening a stocking is one of my favorite things to do, mostly because my family tends to stray away from the typical stocking gifts like toothbrushes and batteries. Opening a stocking in my family is a hilarious and fun experience!



First up on the list, this gift is perfect for the wine lover in your family. XO, G Wine is perfect for the person who wants to have one glass of wine, but doesn't want to open a whole bottle. They are the perfect size for one person to finish happily...and they are delicious to boot!


The next gift on the list is for the tech-savvy person. These Screen Cleansing Towelettes by Well-Kept are perfect to keep in a purse or car. The resealable packaging makes them easy to travel with and prevents them from drying out. They are safe to use to clean the screens on any of your tech devices. They can even be used to clean your glasses!


The Minimergency Kit is perfect for the clumsy friend, or the friend who has a habit of carrying around everything with them, just in case. The kit is sold at The Container Store and contains everything from a few first-aid items, to hair bands and stain remover. It also comes in the most adorable little pouch that is the perfect size to throw in your purse!


These handy Bobino Cord Wraps are perfect for anyone, really. They make the hassle of knotted headphones a thing of the past, and keep your charging cord organized and neat, and not floating around in your car or your purse. Also, super affordable, you can find these at The Container Store!


For the skincare addict of the family, these Origins Mask Pods are the perfect way for the "giftee" to try a new product, without you having to buy the full size version that they may not like. You can find these and other similar "travel-size" items at Sephora.com


I think my favorite gift of all is this Bluetooth Tracking Tag. Simply attach it to your keys or any other item that you frequently lose. When you lose the item the next time, grab your phone and turn bluetooth on and presto! Your keys are found! A perfect gift for the forgetful friend!

Buying stocking stuffers can be such a fun experience. There are a ton of thoughtful and quirky gift ideas out there. We hope you have enjoyed the few we posted today!

Holiday Cookie Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, November 26, 2016

(Photo by midwestliving.com)


Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it is time to start thinking of new recipes to make for Holiday cookies! My friends and I always do a big cookie exchange amongst ourselves. To save time and money, it is always best to plan ahead and have your recipes on hand. Here are a few you might like to include!


Peppermint Sugar Cookies


Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 Tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Red gel paste food coloring


Directions:

1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.


2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat for 2 minutes on medium speed or until mixture is light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add egg and egg yolk; beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Beat in peppermint extract. Gradually add flour mixture beating on low speed just until combined.


3. Divide dough in half. Knead about 1/2 teaspoon gel paste food coloring into one of the dough portions (add more, if desired, for a deeper red color). Leave the remaining dough portion plain. If necessary, wrap and chill dough for at least 1 hour or until easy to handle.


4. Form dough into desired shape. For peppermint swirl cookies: Divide each red and plain dough portion in half for a total of four dough portions. Roll a red dough portion into an 8x6-inch rectangle on parchment or waxed paper. Pat or roll a plain dough portion into an 8x6-inch rectangle on paper. Use the paper and your hand to carefully invert the red dough rectangle on top of the plain dough rectangle; remove top layer of paper. Starting from a long side, roll up dough using bottom layer of paper to help lift and guide the roll. Pinch dough edges to seal; wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining red and plain doughs. Chill dough rolls for 1 to 2 hours or until dough is firm enough to slice. Unwrap dough rolls; reshape, if necessary. If desired, roll each of the dough rolls in red edible glitter or red coarse decorating sugar. Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, slice rolls crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Rotate roll while cutting to prevent flattening. For candy cane cookies: For each cookie, on a lightly floured surface, shape a 1/2-inch ball of plain cookie dough into a 5-inch rope. Repeat with a 1/2-inch ball (1 measuring teaspoon) of red cookie dough. Place the ropes side by side and twist together. Form into a cane shape.


5. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven until edges are set (9 to 10 minutes for swirl cookies; 6 to 8 minutes for candy cane cookies). Cool on cookie sheets on wire rack for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool.



Cookie 'N Cream Blossom Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. dark cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cornstarch
36 Hershey's Kisses Cookies 'n' Créme, unwrapped


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350º and line a cookie sheet with parchment. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.


2. Add egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.


3. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients, then add to wet ingredients and mix until combined.


4. Form level tablespoons of cookie dough into a ball and place onto prepared cookie sheet.


5. Bake until edges are set and centers look mostly set, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a Hershey’s Kiss into center of each.


6. Let cookies cool 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.



Sugar Cookies


Ingredients:

1 c. butter (no substitutions)
½ c. sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat butter and sugar until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and creamy. On low speed, beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in flour, baking powder, and salt until blended.


2. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten each piece into a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or until dough is firm enough to roll. (Or place dough in freezer 30 minutes.)


3. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll 1 piece of dough 1/8 inch thick. With floured 3-inch to 4-inch cookie cutters, cut dough into as many cookies as possible; wrap and refrigerate trimmings. Place cookies, 1 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet.


4. Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough and trimmings.


5. When cookies are cool, prepare Ornamental Frosting, if you like; use along with sugars and candies to decorate cookies. Set cookies aside to allow frosting to dry completely, about 1 hour. Store in tightly covered container (with waxed paper between layers if decorated) at room temperature up to 2 weeks, or in freezer up to 3 months.


Chocolate Volcano Cookies


Ingredients:

1 lb. confectioners' sugar
¾ c. unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp. salt
4 large egg whites
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1½ c. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.


2. In large bowl, whisk confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and salt. Add egg whites and vanilla and beat with wooden spoon until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Set dough aside 5 minutes. If your batter is too runny, cover and refrigerate 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.


3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until set and crackly. Let cool on cookie sheets 3 minutes; then, with spatula, carefully transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


Russian Tea Cakes


Ingredients:

1 cup butter or margarine, softened 
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar


Directions:

1. Heat oven to 400ºF.


2. Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla in large bowl. Stir in flour, nuts and salt until dough holds together.


3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.


4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool slightly on wire rack.


5. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar; cool on wire rack. Roll in powdered sugar again.


We hope you enjoy these delicious cookie recipes, and don't forget to share with your friends and family!




Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, November 19, 2016
                                                                                   Photo by Justin Bernhaut

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite side dishes and desserts for you. The turkey should always be the star of the show, of course, but having some delicious sides to pair with it make the meal perfect!


First up is a delicious Corn Pudding that is so rich, it is the perfect comfort food. This recipe is also super easy because you will be using packaged cornbread mix. The perfect mix of corn on the cob and corn bread, this is one recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

1 package (8-1/2 ounces) corn bread/muffin mix

1/2 cup 2% milk

1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained

1 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 325°. 
  2. 2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  3. 3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  4. 4. Beat in sour cream. Gradually add muffin mix alternately with milk. 
  5. 5. Fold in corn.
  6. 6. Pour into a greased 3-qt. baking dish. 
  7. 7. Bake, uncovered, 45-50 minutes or until set and lightly browned.


What’s Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce? This recipe puts a spin on the traditional canned version by adding orange marmalade and cilantro. This is very easy to make ahead and will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. If you do plan on making this ahead of time, don’t add the cilantro. You can add it in just before you serve.


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup orange juice

16 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 to 3/4 cup orange marmalade

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (optional)


Directions:

  1. 1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. 2. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  3. 3. Add the sugar, orange juice, and cranberries.
  4. 4. Cook until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
  5. 5. Stir in the marmalade to taste (depending on desired sweetness).
  6. 6. Turn off heat. Stir in the pepper and cilantro just before serving.
  7. 7. Serve warm or at room temperature.


One of my favorite potato sides to make for Thanksgiving is this Skillet Scalloped Potatoes with Chive Butter. Super cheesy and easy to make, someone in my family has made this for the last few Thanksgiving meals, and it is always the first thing we run out of.


Ingredients:

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

2 tsp. fresh thyme

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. chicken stock

1/4 c. chopped chives, plus more for garnish

1 c. shredded fontina cheese

3 to 4 Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thinly on mandolin


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. 2. In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and add garlic, onion, and thyme. Cook until mixture is softened, 3 to 5 minutes. 
  3. 3. Add 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, heavy cream, and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and mix in chives and half of fontina.
  4. 4. Add potatoes to skillet and arrange in any pattern, keeping slices vertical to ensure even cooking. 
  5. 5. Bake 40 minutes. Sprinkle remaining fontina all over and bake until cheese is melty and crust is golden brown, 10 minutes more.
  6. 6. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.


One of the most recognizable side dishes that can be found on most tables is a Green Bean Casserole. Usually made with canned ingredients, this recipe is made with only fresh ingredients. Talk about a delicious comfort food!


Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing

5 cups sliced green beans

4 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 cup grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil

1 1/2 cups diced onions

2 cups sliced baby Bella mushrooms

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/2 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows

1/2 teaspoon salt

HOUSE SEASONING:

1 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup garlic powder

1/4 cup black pepper


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 1 1/2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. 2. Boil the green beans in the chicken broth for 20 minutes, and then drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth.
  3. 3. Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and 2 teaspoons of the oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. 4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes, and then add the mushrooms and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
  5. 5. Pour the reserved 1 1/2 cups chicken broth back into the pot the green beans boiled in and bring to a boil. Add the green beans to the skillet with the mushrooms and onions.
  6. 6. While that is coming to a boil, combine the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl to make a slurry. Slowly pour the slurry into the boiling broth, whisking constantly as it thickens, about 2 minutes.
  7. 7.  Pour the thickened mixture over the green beans and add the sour cream, House Seasoning and salt. Stir well.
  8. 8. Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle with the panko and cheese mixture. Bake until the casserole is hot, about 10 minutes, and then broil until the breadcrumb topping is slightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. 9. Mix together the salt, garlic powder and pepper.

Switching to the dessert side of things, everyone is used to the traditional Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie at their Thanksgiving table. Why not showcase some of the different fruits available during the Fall? This Brown Butter Pear and Cranberry Cobbler is one of my personal favorites to bring to my family’s table on holidays!

Ingredients:

6 tbsp. plus 3 tbsp. butter, cut up

2 lb. ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and chopped

1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries

3/4 c. plus 1/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. cornstarch

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. 2. In 12" skillet, melt 6 tablespoons butter on medium. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant, swirling frequently.
  3. 3. Stir in pears, cranberries, 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon. Cook 5 minutes or until pears begin to soften, stirring frequently. Cool.
  4. 4. Meanwhile, in food processor bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Pulse in remaining 3 tablespoons butter until fine crumbs form; transfer to medium bowl. 
  5. 5. Stir in heavy cream until dough just comes together, kneading once or twice.
    1. 6. In large bowl, toss pear mixture with cornstarch; transfer to 9" pie plate or 2-quart baking dish. With hands, scoop dough onto pie in small mounds. Bake, on foil-lined baking sheet, 40 to 50 minutes or until top is golden brown and pears are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.



From our family to yours, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving, spending time with loved ones and making memories!


Local Events

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, November 05, 2016



Photo courtesy of Saratoga Farmers Market



Looking for something to do in and around Saratoga this weekend? The weather is supposed to be crisp and beautiful, so why not get out of the house! Keep on reading for some of the events that are on our list!



The Saratoga Farmers Market is moving indoors for the winter starting today, and they are hosting a delicious tasting event to celebrate! Located at the Lincoln Baths at Saratoga Spa State Park, the "Taste of the Market" will give market goers a wonderful opportunity to sample a variety of cheeses, fruits, vegetables, sweets, meats, and many prepared foods that the market vendors offer. There will also be cooking advice and recipes, too! The market runs from 9am-1pm today (Saturday). Don't miss out on your chance to try a ton of wonderful samples!



If you are a winter sports enthusiast, make sure to check out the Northeast Ski and Craft Beer Showcase, being held at the Empire State Plaza today 10am-6pm and tomorrow 10am-5pm. Formerly known as the Albany Ski and Snowboard Expo, this showcase is New York's largest and longest running winter sports show, heading into it's 55th year! You'll be able to check out the best in new ski and snowboard equipment and fashion, along with some pretty fantastic destinations! There will even be prizes to win! Tickets are $10 at the door and make sure to bring extra cash to take part in drinking some delicious craft beers!  



Who doesn't love a good barbecue wing? If you fancy yourself a wing connoisseur, then you don't want to miss the Capital Region Wing Wars 13. Held in Troy at the Franklin Terrace Ballroom today until 5pm, a ticket to Wing Wars will only cost you $25. This will give you the chance to sample two wings from each of the 15+ vendors, which is over 30 wings per person! Make sure you are prepared for some seriously spice wings, as some of the vendors like to kick it up a notch. There will also be beer and wine for sale, a DJ and free pizza! All proceeds go to St. Jude the Apostle School tuition assistance program. 



And finally, if you feel like taking a bit of a drive, head on up to Lake George to drive the Prospect Mountain Memorial Highway. There will be no fee to drive here today and tomorrow, so take advantage and enjoy some spectacular views from high above Lake George in the Adirondacks. 



We hope you enjoy the beautiful weekend ahead and get the chance to attend some of these fun Fall events! 





Featured Fan Photos

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, October 29, 2016

One of our very favorite things is seeing our fans enjoying Saratoga Water, and also seeing how you incorporate our water and the beautiful cobalt bottles into your everyday life and special events. Thank you to all of you who have shared a glimpse into your lives with us! Don't forget to tag us in all of your #SaratogaWater pictures on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to be featured on our social media. Here are a few of our favorite Fan Photos that we featured over the last several months!




Photo by Jacquie Pasternak on Facebook

Photo by @gardencollage on Twitter

Photo by @ashleyccline on Instagram

Photo by @vox.visulai on Instagram

Photo by @adriancabrero on Instagram

Photo by @closetsandcorks on Instagram

Photo by @ciaratoga on Instagram

Photo by @jacobhopper on Instagram

Photo by @theinnatfivepoints on Instagram

Rainy Day Fun

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, October 22, 2016

(Photo Credit: Pluviobrew)

With some rainy weather on tap for the next few days, you might be thinking that you’ll probably have nothing to do over the weekend besides to stay inside and watch TV. That sounds too boring for us, so we have put together a few rainy day activities that you can do to take up some of your time this weekend.


If you have kids in the house, grab a bunch of blanket and pillows and make an indoor tent/fort. Just because the weather is bad doesn’t mean you can’t go camping! Follow this up with an indoor picnic, to be eaten inside the “tent”, of course! The kids will really get a kick out of it and it’s a fun way to get them involved in helping set up. You can play board games, tell scary stories, all while inside the “tent”!


If you are looking to have a nice relaxing night at home while it rains, why not make your own bubble bath? Mix together a ½ cup of liquid hand or body soap, 1 tablespoon of honey and one egg white. You can also add in the essential oil of your choosing to make it smell beautiful. Run this mixture under the tap to create a beautiful bubble bath. The honey will naturally help attract and keep moisture in your skin and the egg white will help the bubbles last longer. Now, sit back and relax in your bath and let the stress of the day unwind.


Along the same lines of the relaxing bath, one thing that I love to do on rainy days is treat myself to a deep conditioning hair treatment. I won’t be running any errands anywhere, so what better time to take care of myself? I will either use a store bought hair mask, or my favorite: coconut oil. Yes, just regular coconut oil that you can purchase from the grocery store. I will massage some into my scalp and bring it down to the ends of my hair, then I will put it up in a bun and let it sit for a few hours. The coconut oil just washes out with regular shampoo. You will be left with very soft, silky smooth hair!


This might sound boring, but on rainy days I like to put some music on and clean up around the house. The music keeps me entertained and usually makes me work more efficiently. I love coming home to a clean house, so taking the opportunity to neaten things up when I’m stuck inside anyway is the perfect thing for me.


My personal plan for this rainy weekend is a horror movie marathon! It is almost Halloween, so many of the channels on TV are showing some older horror movies. I’ll also use services like Netflix to make sure I have a day full of scary fun. I really only watch scary movies before Halloween, so this is my excuse to get all of the old horror classics together for a fun night. I’ll make some popcorn and cozy up on the couch. I might leave a light on though…horror movies plus a gloomy, rainy day might make for some extra nerves!


My final thought for a rainy day activity is a simple one: reading. If I know that there are a few rainy days coming up, I will plan ahead and go to my local bookstore to pick up a book or two that I know I would love to curl up with under a blanket. I am usually go, go, go, so I normally don’t take the time to stop and relax with a good book. A rainy day is the perfect excuse for me because it forces me to relax and immerse myself in another world.


I hope you all stay warm and dry this rainy weekend and don’t forget to take some time for yourself!


Favorite Fall Desserts

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, October 08, 2016
                                                                     (Photo credit: carpeseason.com)

Fall is my very favorite season for many reasons, one of them being all of the delicious desserts I like to bake for my friends and family. The weather isn’t too hot, so it’s a perfect time to turn on that oven and get to work in the kitchen! I have put together a list of some of my all-time favorite desserts that I like to whip together during the Autumn season.


My absolute favorite snack to have during the Fall is Apple Cider Donuts. I always buy a dozen or so every time I go apple or pumpkin picking. They would be eaten so fast that I thought, why not make them myself? This recipe is the best one that I have tried so far because they taste like they are right from the cider mill at the local farm. Don’t forget to let the donut dough rise for at least an hour. This ensures that your donuts will be fluffy and delicious!


My next favorite recipe are for these Apple Oatmeal Cookies. Super simple to make, these cookies put a delicious twist on the traditional oatmeal cookie by simply adding in some chopped apples. The base recipe for the oatmeal cookie is one of the most delicious, so adding apples to the mix makes them perfect for fall. Thick, soft and chewy…it doesn’t get much better than that on a crisp, Fall day!


One recipe that is always highly requested at my parent’s house whenever I go over, is these Pumpkin Cheesecake Snickerdoodles. I have always really enjoyed normal snickerdoodles, so when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I brought them over to my family for Sunday night football one weekend, and they flew off the plate faster than I thought possible! The cream cheese center in these cookies is a delicious surprise and so yummy and creamy. Make sure you make extra of these because they are so delicious, they won’t last long!


Chocolate Apple Pops are fun and easy to make, and are perfect if you have children that want to help out in the kitchen. Dunking apple slices into warm chocolate and then dressing them up with all kinds of candies and crumbled cookies. You can really add anything you want to them. You can even use white chocolate or dark chocolate instead of the traditional milk chocolate. These are also fun to bring to parties because they are easily portable and easy for people to carry around and eat without the need for a plate. Such a simple recipe to have tons of fun with!


There are times when I can’t make the decision between wanting some kind of pumpkin cake or pumpkin pie. This recipe for Pumpkin Pie Cake solves that problem for me easily! This recipe takes a bit longer to put together than the others so far, but trust me, it is so worth it! The reason I love this one so much is because while I typically love pumpkin pie, sometimes I am not a fan of the pie crust. By putting the same pumpkin pie mixture on top of a yellow cake mixture, it is the perfect combination, in my opinion. This is a must-try recipe if you are looking to switch up the traditional pumpkin pie recipe this season!


I hope you have enjoyed learning about some of my favorite Fall dessert recipes! One of the reasons I love these so much is because I love getting together with my family and making all of these delicious things for them. There is no better feeling that seeing your loved ones happy and enjoying the food that you made for them! Happy Fall everyone!



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