5 Brilliant Ways to Use Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup is such a wonderful thing. It’s delicious in every way. Did you know maple syrup has some pretty amazing health benefits as well? It contains numerous antioxidants, fights anti-inflammatory disease, and is a healthier alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Oh yeah! Let’s just pour a little more maple syrup on our pancakes! But why should pancakes get all the fun?? Go to the store and pick up a bottle of maple syrup, then check out the delicious maple syrup featured recipes below.

For these recipes the awesome folks at Baird Farm sent me a bottle of Maple Syrup to use. This Vermont farm has been maple sugaring for four generations.
“Every spring [they] boil down sap from thousands of maple trees which grow on the mountains above [their] sugarhouse. The result, amazing pure maple syrup for all to enjoy. For more information about Blaird Farm and how to purchase a bottle of maple syrup, visit http://www.bairdfarm.com

1. Put it on bacon. I mean let’s just start this list off right!

The Queen’s Maple Bacon

Preheat 350

10 slices thick turkey bacon

1/2 cup Maple Syrup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp cracked pepper

Spray cast iron skillet with non-stick spray.

Combine maple syrup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and cracked pepper in a bowl.

Place bacon strips into mix and let set for 5 minutes.

Take bacon out on at a time allowing the excess goodness to drop off.

Place each one in skillet.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

When done, allow bacon to cool.

2. Add it to a cocktail. Maple Syrup is wonderful in a Old Fashioned. I think I need to make one right now.

Maple Old Fashioned

Makes 1

1 tsp maple syrup

2 oz bourbon

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Orange peel for garnish

Mix maple syrup, bourbon, and bitters in a glass.

Add large ice cube and garnish with orange peel.

3. Add it to your coffee. Ever had a Maple Latte? Devine!

Maple Latte

Make 1

1 cup fresh brewed espresso

1 tbsp maple syrup

Add maple syrup to cup of espresso.

Spoon in steamed milk.

4. A Maple Apple Galette will give you your entire life. Run to the store and get a bag of apples right now!

Apple Maple Gallete

4 servings

Preheat 375

1 ready made rolled pie crust

5 medium apples

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp flour

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp butter

Juice of a half lemon

Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/4 inch pieces and drizzle with lemon juice.

Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and flour in a large bowl.

Toss apples in spice mixture.

Roll out pie crust.

Arrange apples in a circle in the center of the pie crust. Fill center with a few chopped up apples.

Sprinkle apples with pecans and pour maple syrup even over apples.

Fold edge of crust over apples, rotating to overlap crust onto itself.

Brush crust with melted butter.

Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

5. Why not chop up The Queen’s Bacon and add it to more delicious maple syrup, then pour it over a bowl of freshly popped popcorn? I vote yes! Let do it!

Maple Bacon Popcorn

5 cups popped popcorn

1/2 cup Queen’s Bacon, chopped (recipe above)

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

Put popcorn into a bowl.

Combine maple syrup and butter in a glass bowl and microwave until butter melts.

Add bacon to mixture and drizzle over popcorn.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Thanks Baird Farm for the Maple Syrup! Happy Maple Syrup Day!

www.bairdfarm.com

*I was given maple syrup complimentary. As always, all opinions are that of my own.

Bloggers & Bubbles: A Day of Pampering at L’Occitane + Brunch at South Main Kitchen 

Who doesn’t love a day of relaxation and good food? I’m definitely a fan! Slightly stressful for the last few weeks, I was in dire need of a little pampering. Well yesterday my day had came. Yes!! I was off to Alpharetta! Awesome Alpharetta! That’s what they say right? Well yesterday on my first time back to the Georgia city in several years, I could definitely see it’s transformation. Starting with one of it largest developments, Avalon. As I walked through the area on my way to my destination, I noticed all the great shopping and dining options. Pretty impressive! Pretty awesome you might even say.

Today’s trip to Alpharetta was to meet a few amazing women of the Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society for a day of pampering and fab eats. Our day started at L’Occitane for a morning filled with massages, facials, and mimosas! The soundtrack to set the mood was that of a woman playing a harp. Yes please! I. AM. HERE.FOR. IT.

I started my spa day with an amazing hand massage. After washing my hand with the Verbena Cleansing Hand Wash, I followed it with the Verbena Body Salt Scrub to get all that dead winter skin off. Bye-bye! It was then followed by the Almond Shower Oil. It smelled amazing!! At this point my hands was pretty on point! But then the L’Occitane hand massage specialist came in with her incredible hands and gave me a much needed massage. She used their Shea Butter Hand Cream to lock in all that moisture. Yasssss. So apparently this hand cream is the business. One is sold every three seconds. Which means by the time I’m finsh writing the rough draft of this post, they would have sold 1,200 tubes of the tube of this awesomeness. Wow!! If your curious that’s $33,600 in one hour!! Double WOW!!

Next station was to get a little facial rejuvenation from Kyle. I previously had met Kyle at the Buckhead location. He’s really great and very knowledgeable of all the prouducts. I knew I was in good hands. First he spritzed the air with the lovely scent of lavender. Mmmmmm. Then he proceeded to cleanse, tone, and moisturize my face, leaving nice and vibrant. Thank you Kyle!

Enjoying a morning of pampering with Melissa & Toby!

For over 40 years L’Occitane has been making skin products using the power of plants. Stop by and see what products would be best for your skin type.

I think Teresa is enjoying her back massage. Right Teresa?

Unfortunatly, I did not have time to get in on the back massage. I hear it was pretty amazing. Sad face. Still, I had a absolutely wonderful time! I will be back!! What an awesome team!! Thank you such a lovely morning!!

L’Occitane en Provence ~2800 Old Milton PKWY, Ste. 3040, Alpharetta, GA 30009

Now off to Brunch!!!

South-main-kitchen-alpharetta
South Main Kitchen ~ 9 South Main Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009

South Main Kitchen was our next stop on this oh so lovely day! Located in the heart of the Alpharetta historic district, South Main is serving up an ingredient driven menu, bringing a unique dining experience to the ever so growing community. The restaurant is beautiful! From its rustic interior to the open kitchen, you instantly feel welcomed as you walk through the door.

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South Main Kitchen

Our tasting yesterday was from their Sunday Brunch Menu. Check out what we ate!

south-main-kitchen-alpharetta
KALE & BRUSSEL SPROUT SALAD~almond, pecorino, dried cranberry, ginger + blood orange dressing

This salad was seriously good. It was one of my favorites of the brunch. Lot of flavor and crunch! I loved the bit of sweetness you get from the cranberries. Very nice.

south-main-kitchen-brunch-alpharetta
QUINOA SALAD~arugula, feta, carrot, pumpkin seed, red onion, red pepper, herbed vinaigrette

Another great salad. Beautifuly made with fresh ingredients. I loved the pumpkin seeds and feta in the salad.

south-main-kitchen-brunch-alpharetta
PARMESAN GNOCCHI~marinara sauce, sautéed wild mushrooms

I loved this dish as well. Gnocchi done right! Perfectly seasoned with a bit of crunch over some lovely wild mushrooms. Tasty!

south-main-kitchen-brunch-alpharetta
BRUSSEL SPROUTS~feta, bacon, ginger + blood orange vinaigrette

Delicious! I’ve recently become a major fan of brussel sprouts and have had some pretty amazing ones since my new found love of these edible buds. These brussel sprouts have been added to the list of the forth coming list of top 5 Brussel Sprout Dishes To Eat In Atlanta. (I just made that up.) Even so, It’s going on the list!!

south-main-kitchen-brunch-alpharetta
SHORT RIB CREPES~rosemary pan sauce, caramelized onion, bacon, spinach, red bell pepper, goat cheese, pickled jalapenos

 

I really appreciated the creativity that went into this dish. It was somewhat unexpected that these ingredients went so well together. If you’re looking for something different, this is your dish.

BISCUIT AND GRAVY~buttermilk buiscuit, sausage gravy

Who doesn’t love a biscuit??? I LOVE biscuits! My homemade biscuits are pretty amazing! I can be somewhat of snob when it comes to this delicious baked treat. This biscuit, I can honestly say, was a really good biscuit. Paired with the sausage gravy and you have a good ole southern experience!

south-main-kitchen-brunch-alpharetta
GARDEN OMELETTE~cauliflower, tomato, arugula, mushrooms, pecorino cheese, red pepper cream sauce

This omelette was very tasty! We even got a surprise appearance from a cauliflower. Cauliflower just might be my new favorite addition to an omelette!

south-main-kitchen-brunch-alpharetta
Beautiful smiles spotted through the open kitchen!

BEST DAY EVER!!! I really enjoyed my time in Alpharetta. The pampering at L’Occitane and delicious brunch at South Main Kitchen was exactly what I needed! I was so glad that I was able to share the day with my homies at the Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society. Good times!!

 

SHOUT OUTS!!!

Thank you to the entire L’Occitane team! You guys rock!

Thank you South Main Kitchen for hosting us for Sunday Brunch! The food was amazing! 

Thank you to our amazing sponsors Scout & Molly’s and Stirrings! Thanks for all the swag!

Thanks you to all of the Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society members that shared this fab day with me.  Demetra, Shannon, Nikka, Linda, Denise, Nadeen, Teresa, Jennifer, and Toby. 

Huge! Huge!  THANK YOU to Melissa for setting up this super awesome day!! You rock!! 

*I receive this incredible experience complimentary. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tupelo Honey Cafe Brings Good Ole Southern Eats To Georgia

A few weeks ago,  I attended a most fantastic media dinner at Tupelo Honey Cafe‘s newest location in Sandy Springs, GA. It would be my second visit in the last few weeks. This one even more delicious.

We serve fresh, scratch-made, Southern comfort food re-imagined. At Tupelo Honey, when we play with our food (and we think it’s okay), the result is scrumptious.

While waiting for the rest of the guest to arrive I sipped on some Proscecco and chatted with Caroline and Grace from Phase 3 PR. I was also introduced to Tyler, who made sure everything was perfect. As guest arrived they ordered drinks from their carefully crafted cocktail menu. I started with the Peach Mai Tai. Soooo good!

Blues & Brews Happy Hour

Sunday – 1/2 off all bottles of wine

Monday – $5 frozen cocktails

Tuesday – $5 draft cocktails

Wednesday – $3 select draft beers

Thursday – $4.50 snacks & bites


From there delicious parade of southern food did not stop. It was wonderful! Check out the awesomeness that is Tupelo Honey Cafe.

Farmer’s Market Pickled Plate

{Tangy pickled carrots, cauliflower, green tomatoes, okra, green beans and cucumbers served with ancient grains}

Appalachian Johnny Cake

{ Classic cornmeal flatbread with a mountain twist, with slow roasted pork and smoked jalapeño barbecue sauce, corn jalapeños slaw and topped with fresh jalapeño.}

Don’t Judge My Okra Obsession

{ Blistered and lightly spiced okra served with scratch made garlic buttermilk ranch.}

Southern Burrata Bruschetta

{ Soft Burrata mozzarella with kale and pecan pesto over heirloom tomato and micro greens.}

Watermelon Salad

{ Sweet watermelon over spicy arugula with honey yogurt dressing, topped with country ham and candied basil.}

Creole Scallop Sofrito

{ Two scallops with a smoky and spicy tomato Creole sauce, atop a petite kale salad.}

Appalachian Shrimp

{ Sorghum chili-glazed, wild caught American shrimp over a fluffy Appalacian corn soufflé and sautéed garlic kale.}

Fried Chicken Tower

{ Available on Sunday & Wednesday! Only 30 made a night! Get there early!!}

Carolina Mountain Trout

{Seasoned & Pan Seared with brown butter.}

Brown Butter Pecan Pie with Dark Chocolate Sauce

Glamping S’mores Cake
What an awesome dinner! Every single bite was amazing! And the cocktails are the best! Tupelo Honey Cafe is definitely a current favorite of mines. I cannot wait to bring my parents here when they visit!!

 

Tupelo Honey Cafe

4600 Roswell Rd Bldg C Ste 110

Sandy Springs, GA 30342

404-649-6334

 

Big THANK YOU to Tupelo Honey Cafe for the delicious eats and warm hospitality. And THANK YOU to Phase 3 PR for the media invite.

 

*I received this dinner complimentary. All thoughts and opinions are that of my own.

Sunday Brunch 02.28.2016

  Today got to a pretty lazy start due to me having several events last night. Can you say exhausted! I was happy when my daughter said she was getting up to start brunch. Best Kid Ever!! She wanted to make waffles! So waffles it is! She pulled out the waffle maker and started making them. She also put on a pot of water for the yellow grits and crack some eggs for the Southwest scrambled eggs. By the time I dragged myself out of the bed all I had to do is cook the eggs and add the grits to the boiling water. Sweet!! I love that my daughter has such a love for food and cooking. She is definitely following in my footsteps. I loved to cook and be in the kitchen with my mother as a child and even now as an adult. It is one of the best bonding experiences you can share with your child.

Brunch Menu

Waffles

Southwestern Scrambled Eggs (tomatoes, basil, corn, sweet red pepper, smoked provolone)

Yellow Grits

Fresh Grapfruit