This gingerbread cake with orange buttercream & bourbon caramel is lightly spiced, insanely fluffy, and perfect for a Christmas party!
I feel like time is going so.damn.fast. Like, when did it become winter, exactly? Also, it’s December 22, so hasn’t it already been winter for a long time? Honestly, when it comes to fall semester, I have no idea what’s going on outside of my classes, and I usually regret not taking advantage of the beautiful Reno fall weather! Fall in Reno is perfect, temperate, gorgeous leaves and colors, plenty of time for leaf-crunching with a cappuccino in my gloved hands. Luckily, the weather hasn’t been too cold around Reno quite yet, so I think I may get to enjoy some of those same perks, but instead it’ll be slightly drizzly and foggy instead. And, I’m on winter break so I actually have free time (?!?!?!?!?!)
A couple weeks ago, my brother agreed to take some senior photos for me, and of course, I wanted to take advantage of the last fall leaves, so we headed over to the arboretum at a local park and got to work. A lot of the leaves were gone, but those golden oranges and reds were still hanging around and I was in utter leaf bliss. I decided to keep my look simple with a classic black long sleeve, my new high-waisted Lucky’s, and my trusty smoking slippers. Also, I wore this beautiful lipstick my brother’s girlfriend bought me as a gift. It’s called Bumble from ColourPop, and lemme tell you all, I’m having major heart eyes over this brand – the lipstick doesn’t come off when I eat or drink! I’m in looooove.
Also, do any other tiny girls have a problem where jeans always have to be cuffed no matter what? I’m an avid Lucky Brand buyer – their jeans just look the best on me, I love the quality, the styles, and all that jazz. But they’re always too long! To be fair, all jeans are, and I know I just need to take them to a tailor or pull out my sewing machine and do it myself, but my sewing skill aren’t thaaaaat great, so….. Anyways, forever rocking that cuffed jean life, ya know? Do you think I’ll be lol-ing at these senior pictures in 10 or 20 years? Probably. But right now, I think they came out gorgeously! That lighting is perfection.
One last final thought – is it too late to make pumpkin bread? I never got a pumpkin bread fix, but I don’t want to be that rando that posts a pumpkin bread recipe in December (or more likely January). I don’t necessarily know why I’m turning this into a debacle in the first place considering I almost always post holiday recipes the day of if not a few days late anyways. HOWEVER! I do plan on having a holiday goodie to you ASAP! Probably Friday (;
But if you need a few ideas for the time being:
Just to name a few…I didn’t realize how many holiday recipes I had on the blog until I started typing them in! Not to worry. If you want more ideas, I have a ton on my Desserts page.
Also! Here’s a link to my Old Fashioned recipe. It’s not necessarily a holiday recipe, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need it.
XO Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: That Moon Song by Gregory Alan Isakov (also, a great album for relaxing while baking, unless you’re baking for Christmas, and then classic Christmas tunes are absolutely necessary).
Happy Election Day! If you’re like me, you’re probably very nervous about the results of the presidential election, and you’re trying to decide if you should start packing your bags so you can get your ass to Canada. My personal remedy is to drink lots of coffee and wine and try to stay positive. Either way, I hope that you exercised your right to vote regardless of your political affiliation! Today is a day to feel lucky that you have a right to *choose*, not a day to hurt others based on their beliefs. However, I’m not here to talk about politics today or ever really, pls pls pls don’t bring it up like every confrontational person that walks into the coffee shop I work at. *eyeroll* Can you tell I’ve been dealing with this for a few months? I’m here to talk about beef & veggie pot pie, which good news (!), has wine in it!!! Plus, it takes a few hours to cook, so it’ll keep your mind off of the election (although, it is a really easy recipe and only takes a little bit of prep – it’s mostly cooking away quietly on the stove while you engage in other activities).
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve partnered with Sanford Ranch Beef to bring you all kinds of delicious recipes to make with your box of beef! If you’re in the Reno area, give them a call! Their beef is way more affordable than at the grocery, and you’ll be supporting a local family business! I can guarantee this, because well, I’m related to the owners.
For this recipe, you’re going to start with some typical winter veggies and a durable cut of steak. You can add or subtract veggies if you want, but I’d say the mirepoix components are necessary – that’s the carrots, celery, and onions. The recipe calls for 1 onion, but because mine were teeny tiny and cute, I used 2.
Essentially, you’ll add these ingredients with some wine, stock, and herbs and cook the hell out of it, because durable steak cuts require lots of cooking time in order to become tender. After, you’ll plop some pastry on top, bake it for a bit, and it’ll be ready to go! It’s super easy, but also very flavorful and impressive for company. I like to serve it with a simple green salad and pie for dessert!
Happy fall and happy voting ♥
XO Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: Light House by Future Islands
I am so, so excited to announce that the people at Serendipity by Sara Lynn (me) will be working with Sanford Ranch Beef, which sells local, steroid-free beef to the Northern Nevada area. This is my first partnership, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with such a great company! I first want to start off by promising that I only endorse businesses that I believe are wholesome and provide good quality products that I already use sans-partnership. I do not believe in advocating products that I do not use regularly; therefore, I can assure you that all opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way. I also want to let it be known that I am not being paid to post about Sanford Ranch Beef, although they did give me some all-natural, hormone-free steak, which let’s be real, is better than money anyhow.
And if you didn’t read that long ass paragraph, here’s a summary: I’m not a sellout. Cool? Cool!
Sanford Ranch Beef is a local cattle ranch owned by my cousin, his wife, and their family. They do not believe in using hormones, steroids, or fillers in their beef, so the product is completely farm-to-mouth. Their cattle is grass-fed and finished with mash (grain) from a local brewery in town – that means that the beef tastes slightly of hops, but not overwhelmingly so. They sell boxes of beef to people in the Northern Nevada area – if you live in Reno, Fallon, or other areas of N. Nevada and you like all-natural, ethical food, and supporting local business, visit their Facebook or website and give them a call!
Even if you do not live in Northern Nevada, I urge you to support local farmers and ranchers that live near you. By buying local food, you support families in your state and get healthier products (and you know where they’re coming from). When you buy from a store, you don’t know the distribution process – when you buy local, you can ask the owner yourself! By visiting farmer’s markets, you can find local produce, dairy, meat, bakers, and the like so you’re always getting the freshest ingredients! For a list of local farmers in your area, click here.
P.S. Since farmer’s market season is almost over, I recommend looking up local farmers/ranchers on Google or asking people in your community! Local food is easier to get than you think!
Over the weekend, I used some short ribs from my box of beef to make braised short ribs with cheddar grits and roasted brussels sprouts. It’s definitely a Sunday meal, because the braising takes a few hours, but this meal is so easy and impressive if you’re having guests over!
Both recipes are courtesy of Food Network.
Stay tuned for more beef recipes!
XO Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: Morning Dew by The National (cover)