Life & A Portland Wedding

Since you last heard from me, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving (complete with an epic family Black Friday shopping extravaganza), said a hard goodbye to the amazing man that was my husband’s grandfather, catered two parties in New York, celebrated Christmas with my in-laws at our timeshare in Birch Bay, spent a week in Mexico with my love celebrating our five years of marriage, made our fourth cross-country move back to the west coast to Portland, Oregon, and stood next to one of my best friends as she married the man of her dreams!

Wedding Girls

All of us met at the same camp I met my husband at so it was a great little reunion!

We’ve been here about four months now and I am finally starting to get my bearings. It’s been absolutely amazing being closer to family - we are still several hours away, but we can reach each other by car or train and that is closer than we’ve been in years!

One of the best things so far has been my involvement in another very special girl’s wedding. She is the daughter of my mom’s best friend and my sister and I used to babysit her and her little sister back in the day. She and her husband met at university here and decided this is where they would get married too. Their family is like an extension of ours and we wanted to help in any way we could! My mom took on the role of catering the rehearsal dinner and handling all of the desserts for the reception so we put our heads together to come up with a plan for the event, working with the bride’s vision. It was a whirlwind week (and day of - my sister did hair and I did makeup for all seven girls in the bridal party!!) but in the end we were able to accomplish everything, set a beautiful dessert table, and enjoy the wedding and reception.

Congrats to Emily and Oliver!

Full Dessert Table

Inspiration of vintage lace, greens, old silver, and antique wood. Photos by my talented brother James Taylor.

Almond Bars
Cream Wafers
Peanut Butter Balls
Dessert Table

She wanted a small cake for the ceremonial cutting (beautifully crafted by my mama!) but she also had her heart set on lots of little desserts and let us have free reign - other than the request of cheesecakes!

Trunk

When all was said and done, we had 15 different types of desserts, and over 1000 pieces!! Plus the 200 heart-shaped favor cookies that we baked and I iced & wrapped. They are the family’s favorite cookie and we've been baking them my whole life, usually just for Valentine's day, but this was absolutely a reason to make an exception.

Heart Cookies

It was a crazy and wonderful week and I loved every minute!

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie

Weekend Away // Virginia

I love New York City, but as a girl who grew up amongst the mountains, rivers, and trees, I also love leaving it. This past weekend, Jordan and I went to visit my family in Virginia - my mom’s youngest sister lives there with her husband, three kids, and two dogs and it’s always such a breath of fresh air to be with them. They have a beautiful home with a yard on a tree-lined street filled with colonial style houses that just shine among the red and golden hues of the leaves. We are so lucky to experience their hospitality and generosity time and time again; there is nothing like quality moments with family to recharge my batteries. When we weren’t hanging out at the house chatting, making family recipes, or watching football, we were in downtown Fredericksburg perusing antique stores, drinking coffee from Hyperion Espresso and falling in love with the brioche at Eileen’s Bakery & Cafe (it’s located in an old church with beautiful arched doorways and exposed brick!).

Early Bird Biscuit Co

My favorite little food stop though, was found when we headed south for Jordan’s tattoo appointment, just north of Richmond in an area called Lakeside. Across the street was the teeny-tiny (even by New York standards!!) shop called Early Bird Biscuit Co. & Bakery. It had so many elements of what I want for my bakery someday - classic, delicious items that my customers can count on, mixed with new treats daily, a great cup of coffee, short hours, and closed on Sundays!

The brand had a great vintage feel, and that feeling was further reinforced with their corner pastry case, antique rolling pin display, vintage clock radios, and a screen door entry that reminded me of walking into the home I grew up in - it doesn’t get much more inviting than that.

EBB Corner Display
EBB Counter

We ordered from the lunch menu - Jordan chose pimento cheese and bacon on their ‘biscuit of the day’ which was parmesan-pepperoni, and I went for cheddar/bacon/apple on a classic buttermilk. YUM. Times like 10. We ate them off the back of the car, sipping coffee, and appreciating the slowed-down Southern feel of it all.

Welcome to EBB

If you ever find yourself even within an hour of this charming place, you must seek it out; not only for the delicious baked goods, but also for the kind and welcoming people who work there. You won’t be disappointed!

EBB Mug

WARNING: You may also walk away with a tasty molasses cookie and an old-school diner mug to commemorate your visit!

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie

 

 

Beet Tacos w. Chipotle Vinaigrette

Three Tacos

I have loved beets ever since I was little - fresh, out of a can, pickled, you name it - I love that bright purple-pink goodness in any form! I created this recipe a couple years ago as one of many in a meal plan for my sister; it started out just being a vegetarian option for her as she doesn’t have a lot of meat in her diet, but we made it one night for the rest of the family and it has become a part of our regular rotation when we all get together! The vinaigrette makes it - it is so so delicious! I love it as-is but the spice can be kicked up a notch with more chipotle if that’s how you roll. I roll a little tamer when it comes to spice! It’s also easy to make it vegan by omitting the cheese and crema, or substituting your favorite non-dairy counterparts.

BEET TACOS W. CHIPOTLE VINAIGRETTE // MAKES 16

Vinaigrette:

3 T honey or agave

¼ c balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T finely minced chipotle in adobo

1 T smoked paprika

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp white pepper

5 T Canola oil

Tacos:

4 large beets

kosher salt

16 corn tortillas

½ cup pepitas, toasted*

2 cups arugula

1 cup crumbled cotija or goat cheese

Chipotle vinaigrette (see below)

Cilantro, coarsely chopped

⅔ c crema or sour cream

Lime wedges for serving

*To toast pepitas Turn oven to 325 degrees. Toss raw, hulled pepitas with a little olive oil, just to coat. Spread on a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt and ground coriander and cumin to taste. Toast in oven until color starts to turn 9-12 minutes, turning once and checking. Some ovens toast fast!

Increase oven to 425 degrees. Peel beets and chop into ½ inch cubes (wear gloves if you want to keep your hands their normal color!). Toss with a little oil, salt, and pepper and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet, being careful not to crowd them. Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, until fork-tender. It may take a little longer, depending on your oven and how soft you want them. Wrap tortillas in foil and place them in the oven on the rack below the beets. Remove about halfway through, rotate tortillas in foil, then re-wrap and continue to warm in oven. Alternatively, you can quickly grill them over an open flame just before serving.

Meanwhile, blend honey, vinegar, garlic, chipotle, paprika, salt, and pepper together in a blender or food processor. With motor running, slowly add the oil, one tablespoon at a time, until blended and emulsified with the other ingredients.

To assemble tacos: place a little arugula on a tortilla, drizzle with vinaigrette, top with beets, cotija, pepitas, and crema. Sprinkle with a little chopped cilantro.

Tacos w. Limes

I think both cheeses are equally delicious in this dish - the cotija gives it a more authentic Mexican vibe, but if you can’t find it or won’t use it again, goat cheese is the way to go since many of us already have that in our fridge - goat cheese gives it a more hipster vibe. If you find yourself with leftover vinaigrette, you can serve it with other roast vegetables, or dress a salad with it, or drink it straight, it’s that good.

If you and your family are of the more carnivorous persuasion, toss in some shredded chicken or pork too, but I encourage you to keep the beets as they are pretty little purple jewels that are so good for you!

 

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie