Hey Guys! I’m Billy from Wit & Vinegar and I’m here with a post for Joanna while she’s getting her Amsterdam on. Feel free to come say hi and talk about housewives and dogs and Lindsay Lohan doughnuts with me.
Today, we get to talk about pumpkin doughnuts. Now, I know it’s fall and there’s a giant wave of pumpkin that’s constantly flooding your eyeballs/pinterest but it’s cool because this bit gets smothered with chocolate ganache. The pumpkin chocolate combo is something that I don’t see enough and it’s a total shame. There’s something about the light pumpkin flavor and the spices that just high fives chocolate so hard.
I love a ganache on a doughnut because it makes me feel so Ina about life and it’s like two seconds of work. Do yourself a favor and make a plate of these then make some friends then pretend to be Ina and roast me a chicken.
Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache
In a medium bowl whisk together the oil, brown sugar, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients and stir, just until combined.
Liberally grease a doughnut pan and place batter in a gallon size ziploc bag. Snip off the corner and fill the doughnut portals in the pan. You could alternatively use a spoon and sort of smooth it out, but I’m a converted bag piping doughnut baker. Just promise me you’ll try it once.
Bake doughnuts for 12 min if they’re the babies or 15 if they’re the regular size. Let cool for 5 min in the pan, then carefully remove the doughnuts and cool completely on a cooling rack.
Once cool, make the ganache by combining 2/3 c heavy cream with 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I love me some ghiradelli) in a microwave safe dish, aka a glass measuring cup, and heat on bursts of 30 sec, stirring after each round. It should take two rounds, maybe 3 depending on your microwave.
Dip the tops of the doughnuts (the half that was in contact with the pan) in the ganache, then flip it and set it back on the cooling rack (this is a total chill sesh for me). The doughnuts are best served when they’re the most fresh, so make a batch and just get into it.
Hello + bonjour everyone! I’m Susan – a francophile, interior designer, small business owner, and twin mama. I’m excited to be guest posting while Joanna is on her European adventure! You can find my musings + links at fleurishing.com!
I could spend hours in a French pharmacy – you can find so much luxury there, at a reasonable price. For my last trip, I made sure to do plenty of research beforehand so that I could bring back some serious loot. I had planned to pay a visit to the largest one in Paris, City Pharma, but ended up finding these items at the one near my apartment in the Marais. Armed with my list, I didn’t deviate much from it, with the exception of #5, which came highly recommended from a very knowledgeable salesperson. I was impressed with how helpful everyone was (maybe they saw the length of my list)… I was able to test a number of products and was attended to with great care. Keep in mind many of these items can now be found in some shops in the states + online. Even if you don’t buy, be sure to browse when in France!
Bioderma Crealine H20 – This cleansing water is incredible, and I’m so I glad brought back two huge (heavy) bottles of it…you can wipe your makeup off without rinsing!
Nuxe Reve de Miel – By far my favorite lip balm of all time (and I’m obsessed with lip balm)…it is so rich and smooth and smells + tastes amazing.
Avene Eau Thermale – A refreshing thermal water spray, which is basic but better than the others I’ve tried.
Hormeta Huile Séche – this is the one I ended up with, despite having the Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse on my list. This radiant dry body oil shimmers without being greasy, contrary to the Nuxe. After testing both, I chose this, which was slightly higher in price but worth it after comparing the two. I’ve actually never worn body oil before, but it feels like such a luxury, and the sheen is lovely in the summer.
Darphin Cleansing Balm – If you’ve never tried a cleansing balm before I suggest you do! This is a popular one in France that got great reviews. What you do is you massage the balm on your dry skin for a minute or so. Enjoy the massage. Then you take a warm wet wash cloth and press it against your face for a few seconds. Then gently wipe away the balm. So luxurious and great for dry skin.
La Roche Posay – Anything from this brand is amazing. You can also buy this in the states, but since it’s also a French line, I figured it was worth mentioning.
Homeoplasmine – This is probably the most boring item on this list, but probably one of the most widely used in Paris from what I have read. It’s basically an ointment that you can use for anything! Cuticles, chapped lips, burns, dry skin, any kind of irritation you may have.
Ash Huang is an independent designer, illustrator and writer. You can find her at ashsmash.com or on Twitter as @ashsmash. Ash spends much of her time clacking away at her laptop and picking up strange hobbies. You may mistake her for a giant squirrel and/or cookie monster. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Sedona is one of my favorite places on Earth. I visited Sedona for the first time thirteen years ago and it made such an impact on me that I’ve centered a whole cross country road trip on getting there. It’s definitely a hiking town. But with a plethora of hikes to choose from, I was paralyzed, as I only had three days to hit the trails. Cue hours of intense research. There’s something for everyone — easy scenic views, scrambles up slide rock, wending through canyons.
Broken Arrow Trail
How long: 3.5 miles round trip, we ended up turning back after a mile or so because of time constraints.
This trail is an intimate hike very close to Sedona’s city center. The drive in is rugged (no pavement… some artful driving is required) and only wide enough for one vehicle to pass at a time. You’ll see a lot of jeep tours coming in, but they’re separated from the walking/mountain biking trail. Everyone is very polite and will tell you how many vehicles are in their party. Take Morgan Road from 179 and drive all the way to the end. Where it seems to just be dirt? Drive through there. This will take you to a parking lot. I did this in a Toyota Echo and saw a fair share of Priuses, so you’ll be okay.
This hike is quiet and stunning. You get to see formations up close. The trail is a little less formal, going over stretches of rock. Look for white marks that will lead you back to the path.
Airport Mesa Loop
How long: 3.5 miles round trip
This is the longest hike we did. It’s great for dizzying views of the city. Watch prop planes land at the top of the mesa and see many of Sedona’s most famous rock formations. I suggest going in the morning, the light over the land is stunning.
How to get there: From 89A, follow signs for the airport. To the left, you’ll see a parking lot. This is the beginning of the trailhead. However, before you do that, I’d suggest you keep driving up to the top of the mesa. There’s a big parking lot to the left, and a scenic view spot.
Come back down and park in the trailhead parking lot. To your immediate left is the Airport vortex. You’ll know because there will probably be people on it. Sedona is famous for vortexes, which are tunnels of uplifting energy. I’m dubious, but it was hard to be anything but uplifted with a view like this.
Walk the trail from here. It’s a slow and steady climb with very little dramatic incline.
There are options for other trails towards the north side of the loop. I was getting hangry, so we continued on the trail. It ends across the street from the trailhead parking lot. (more…)
Hello, hello! Kelly from Design Crush here to fill in for Joanna while she’s off traipsing around Amsterdam without us. (The nerve.)
You know how sometimes you see a particular book or vase or obscene graphic tee and just know your friend such-and-such would love it? The second I saw Depeapa I knew it was right up Joanna’s alley. Granada, Spain-based Verónica de Arriba designs for home and body. Pillows, totes, and prints all give her lovely and quirky illustrations a second chance and benefits all of us art lovers quite nicely at the same time. Depeapa also uses Spain-based manufacturers and suppliers whenever possible, and who doesn’t love a little local loyalty?
This year I am extra thankful for my friends and family, and my ever-changing life. Within the last year there have been a lot of big life changes: graduating college, ending a dead-end relationship, learning to trust myself and follow my dreams fearlessly, falling in love again, and moving to a new state. Even though some of these changes have been challenging, I am stronger for going through them and there is no way I could’ve gone through these changes without my loving family and friends.
I wanted to create a little reminder for myself to be extra thankful every day, not just on one special holiday. So many days of the year I feel consumed with my schedule and the love of being busy and it caused me to be overwhelmed. I’ve noticed when I take moment to consider if what I’m doing is making me happy, and life seems more concise instead of chaotic. I believe when we encourage thankfulness in our hearts, it gracefully shines and flows out to others around you.
With the holiday season coming up, many of us get wrapped up (pun intended) with shopping, baking, and parties. This year I’d love to encourage everyone to take more breaks to enjoy the holiday around the people you love with no agenda. Enjoy quality time with the friends and family who support, encourage, and love you everyday of the year.
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