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!


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,




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.



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


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,


Brunch Cobbler

Brunch cobbler. Get on board.

I have always been crisp gal when it comes to the options for hot fruit casserole-esque desserts. To me, biscuits were biscuits and didn't belong as a topping. Now, if you are currently thinking...ummm what’s the difference, aren’t they all the same really? NO.

They all basically start the same with a mixture of fruit & starch as the base, but here’s a quick rundown of how the toppings determine the variety:

Buckle - cake batter poured over that ‘buckles’ under when baked

Pan Dowdy - topped with a pie crust that is broken open halfway through baking to allow juices to bubble up over top, making the dessert look ‘dowdy’ (not kidding here people)

Brown Betty - layered & topped with leftover bread that’s been tossed with melted butter, sugar & spices

Crumble - topped with a streusel mixture of butter, sugar, flour & spices

Crisp - topped with a streusel mixture of butter, sugar, flour, spices & an ingredient that adds a ‘bite’ like nuts or oats

Cobbler - biscuit dough dropped over, creating a ‘cobblestone’ type pattern when baked

Extra Credit:

Grunt - a base of stewed fruit that has dumplings dropped on top & is steamed to cook through

So, now that you are far more educated on old-school desserts than you wanted to be, let me bring you back to how I decided to release my fear of eating cobbler - by making it for brunch!! Everyone loves a good biscuit, as well as a reason to eat dessert for breakfast. I’m not going to lie though, it’s kind of a crisp-cobbler hybrid as I made oat biscuits - I could only branch out so far my first time.

Brunch Cobbler // Serves 8


5 c mixed berries or sliced fruit

2 T flour

¼ c strawberry jam (homemade is best!)

¼ c sugar

½ tsp salt

Zest & juice from ½ a lemon (appx. 2 tsp juice)


1 ¾ c flour

¾ c oats

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

⅓ c brown sugar

4 oz cold unsalted butter

3/4 c buttermilk

Slightly sweetened creme fraiche or whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 2 ½ - 3 qt baking dish and set aside. Mix together all filling ingredients and pile into baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder and soda, salt, and brown sugar. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs, then stir in buttermilk gently with a fork. You may need to add one or two additional tablespoons to create the right consistency. Drop the sticky dough by spoonfuls over the fruit, leaving areas for the fruit to bubble up through.

Bake 35-40 minutes, until the crust is browned and juices are bubbly. Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes, or enjoy at room temperature. Serve with sweetened creme fraiche if desired.

Brunch Cobbler

This was my first use of the market berries I froze earlier in the summer, if you don’t have any, just sub in your favorite fresh or frozen fruit. Note that your amount of starch may need to be adjusted based on the juiciness of your fruit.

You can absolutely make this for dessert, but I served it alongside some savory options and mimosas for brunch and it was a real crowd pleaser - give it a try this weekend!

With a full heart and an empty plate,