Happy Thanksgiving

thanksgiving dinner table

Happy Thanksgiving!  May your turkey be juicy and your day be stress free.  Here are some Thanksgiving dinner tips in case anyone needs some last minute advice.  Have a great day!

Vanilla White Russian

vanilla white russian cocktail

The White Russian cocktail is one of my “go-to” after dinner drinks, especially in the fall and winter.  I enjoy trying new cocktail recipes and attempting to create my own new cocktails so lately I have been experimenting with flavored vodkas.

I bought a number of mini bottles of various flavored vodkas to try out so I would not be stuck with full bottles of liquor that I did not like (a lesson I should have learned years ago…).  I found that substituting vanilla vodka for the regular vodka in a White Russian gives the drink a nice smooth taste.  The vanilla taste is not obvious, but instead gives the drink a little extra depth of flavor.

I tried to come up with a creative name for this drink, but decided to keep it simple and call it a Vanilla White Russian.  I used whole milk instead of cream to keep the calories down, however anything from skim milk all the way up to half and half can be used in this recipe.

Vanilla White Russian
Fill glass with ice
Add 2 ounces Kahlua
Add 1 ounce vanilla vodka
Fill glass with cream or milk
Include a stir stick or straw


What is your favorite flavored vodka?

24 Hours in Savannah

Savannah was the first stop on our trip we named the “Southern Swing”, which also included Charleston and The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina.  We only had 24 hours to spend in Savannah before moving on to our next stop and we made it count.

Savannah Georgia

Our initial impression of Savannah was from the airport which was the cutest airport I have ever seen!  The airport employees had plenty of southern charm and hospitality, which eased the pain of one of our bags not arriving.  How can you be mad at the airline when the airport employees are just so darn nice?

Our drive from the airport to the hotel in the historic district was a challenge due to a parade that closed many of the streets.  We rely on the GPS so much these days that this was a challenge, but we somehow found our way.

Savannah is a walkable city so the rest of our day was spent on foot.  First stop was lunch at The Olde Pink House.  It was easy to know when we had arrived because it was literally a big pink house!  I started my meal with their signature drink, the Pink Lady.

Olde Pink House Pink Lady

The Olde Pink House is a Georgia mansion built in 1771.  Oh, and it’s haunted!  Savannah is known as America’s most haunted city.  We ordered traditional southern cuisine and the food was wonderful.  I may have also had a second Pink Lady too.  One thing I found odd was that tour groups were being led through the restaurant while we were eating so I felt a little like a zoo animal.

After lunch we walked and walked and walked some more.  Savannah has 22 small parks known as squares and we tried to see as many of them as we could.  There were statues and monuments as well as huge oak trees draped with Spanish moss.

In additional to the squares, Savannah also has a number of larger parks.  Forsyth Park is known for its giant fountain.

forsyth park savannah

The moment I remember most from our day in Savannah was hearing a man singing Georgia On My Mind near one of the squares.  We stopped to listen…it was just such a perfect moment.

Welcome to Georgia State Sign

The following morning we walked along the Savannah River on River Street before heading out.

One thing that surprised us a little was the number of homes that seemed to be in disrepair and in need of a little TLC, however we thoroughly enjoyed our short time in Savannah before heading to charming Charleston and The Inn at Palmetto Bluff.

Lemon Cupcakes

lemon cupcakes

Fall gets me thinking about baking.  And when I think about baking lately, it’s all about cupcakes!  These lemon cupcakes have a generous dollop of vanilla cream cheese frosting on top rather than the usual lemon frosting.

For people who think buttercream icing is “too sweet”, there are a couple of things you can do to cut down on the sweetness.  My favorite trick to cutting the sweetness in buttercream icing is to add a pinch of salt.  Trust me, it won’t taste salty, but will cut the sweetness a bit so you can enjoy the creamy icing on top of the cupcake.  The other way to cut sweetness is to make a cream cheese frosting.  Cream cheese frosting is wonderful on all types of cakes and cupcakes, not just carrot cake or red velvet, and it was delicious on these lemon cupcakes.

This and That

happiness quotes

Sometimes we forget happiness is a choice.  Life may not always go as we want, but we can choose to be happy.  Enjoy these links and have a great weekend!

1. The letter written by Jennifer Lawrence titled Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars is great advice for women of any age.  Ask for what you are worth…it’s not going to be given to you otherwise.

2. I have had my eye on this Zen frog statue ever since seeing it on a co-worker’s desk.

3. What Can a Girl Do About Cat Calling?

4. Idea for my next Vegas outfit.

5. Adding bacon to anything makes it better.  I may try this bacon topped petite turkey meatloaf with BBQ sauce recipe this week.

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