Of course the holiday's wouldn't be so super awesome if it wasn't for the mass amounts of holiday treats! 

When I was little every holiday season meant my mom would be rolling out dough every night and pulling trays upon trays of cookies out of the oven. Her usual holiday cookie routine involved her faithful stand-by of Sugar Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Chocolate Crinkles, and homemade Peanut Butter Chocolate bars. the chocolate peanut butter bars are the ones that hold the most memory; for some reason she always used the "no-stir" peanut butter -which we all know really means it needs a lot of stirring- and it produced these rich chocolate and peanut butter layered bars that could not hold shape for dear life, not even when refrigerated, but man I loved them!

Now that I have started my own little family it is a safe bet that I will be baking holiday treats every year just like the ones I grew up with, and of course, with a few additions like Thumbprint Cookies. Thumbprint Cookies are insanely easy to make, require very few ingredients, and you can use up that random marmalade that you bought for an ominous dressing recipe. You can bet that these are going to be coming around every year in my holiday cookie gift basket!

So tell me friends, what holiday treats are you looking forward to in the comments section below or head to my  Instagram or Facebook accounts and let me know!


recipe from Martha Stewart, which can be found by clicking HERE for Martha's Thumbprint Cookies



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together utter and 1/2c. sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat well. Whisk together flour and salt, and add to mixture, beat on low until combined.

In a small food processor, combine almonds with remaining 2 tbsp. sugar, an process until almonds are finely ground. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg white. Form dough into 1" balls. dip in egg white, then in almond-and-sugar mixture. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheet. Make a deep indention in the center of each ball with your finger or bottom of a thick wooden spoon.

Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and press down the centers gain. Fill the center of each cookie with about 1 tsp. of jam. Rotate sheets, and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes more. Remove from oven, and place on a wire rack to cool.

1/4lb (1 stick) unsalted butter, room tempreture

1/2 c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar

1 large egg, seperated

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/4c. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. course salt

1/2c. whole blanched almonds

1/2c. smucker's strawberry jalapeño spread

thank you Degustabox for sponsoring this post with my monthly box!



Woah! The holiday's sure did creep up this year, as did our recent snowfall and subsequent freezing rain!

With the current pace of the holiday's rushing by I sure hope you've all decided on your New Year's Eve plans and outfits because as soon as the christmas countdown ends, the countdown to the midnight ball drop starts!

Today I'm sharing a holiday cocktail recipe for gin lovers featuring Oregon-made Genesis Organic Juice.

Genesis Organic Juice has quickly become one of my go-to items because it is raw and it's never heated, instead it's pressurized using a high pressure process (hpp) making the juice safe to sell and consume while preserving flavor, color and nutrition.

Since the holidays are here, as are the numerous office treats and holiday parties why not give yourself a little nutritional boost in your holiday punch... here's an easy punch using Genesis Organic Juice in ginger lemonade and pacific northwest apple.




Place cranberries and sugar into a shaker and muddle.

Place Genesis Ginger Lemonade, Genesis PNW Apple, ginger beer, gin and cranberry sugar mixture into a large pitcher and stir; refrigerate until ready to serve.

1/2 c. Genesis Ginger lemonade

1 1/2c. Genesis PNW Apple

2/3 c. ginger beer


3 1/2 c. gin

divide among four glasses, serve over ice.

1/2 c. fresh cranberries

1 1/2 tbsp. sugar



Sharky's Woodfired Mexican Grill

7715 SW Nyberg St. Suite D.

Tualatin, OR 97062



A few weeks ago i was invited to Sharky's Woodfired Mexican grill down in Tualatin, OR. and holy moly was I impressed with my entire experience.

Sharky's is very committed to sourcing the best natural, local, and organic ingredients, it shows in the freshness of the food, which is a huge contrast from the typical mexican restaurants you may be used to.

Founded in 1992, Sharky's offers a clean approach to Mexican cuisine using organic greens, preservative and hormone free meats, and non-GMO project verified whenever possible. Aside from all of the feel good offerings, Sharky's menu also accommodates a variety of dining choices for those who eat vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and protein packed diets. The Tualatin location is the first Sharky's outside of the founding state of California.


Aside from the expansive menu they also have something to suit everyones drinking needs with draft beer, sangria, wine, and daily-made flavored lemonades.


guacamole and since i couldn't decide on lemonade flavors i tried a nice little flight.

chicken fajita bowl:

a colorful bowl with a base of organic rice and beans, layered with freshly grilled veggies, onions, and chicken and topped with pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream. the fajita bowl is served with a choice of flour or corn tortillas. 

wild caught fish tacos:

a hearty plate of two corn or flour tortillas filled with wild caught fish, topped with a cabbage slaw, cheese, pico de gallo, and sauce. tacos are served with a choice of organic rice and beans or a side salad. from the looks of my plate you can see i chose the salad and was super glad i did. the side salad is worthy of ordering as a stand along plate with organic greens, tomato, cucumber, pepitas, chile croutons, and cotija cheese,

although i live in a city full of fresh and local options, i can easily say Sharky's is worth the little drive out of town for a hearty meal, local craft beers, a variety of non-alcoholic drinks, and some wonderful customer service. the people behind the restaurant were super helpful in explaining all of the food options available and did not rush me through the line, unlike my always experience at an unnamed national restaurant chain. and when my food came out to my table the staff were quick to note i had missed their wonderful salsa bar, so happy they pointed that out, i had to try a little of everything. 

the flavored lemonades, infused teas, and salsa bar choices available during my visit.

the tualatin location also has a nice sun soaked area to catch some sunday football!

disclosure: i was invited to attend a blogger's dinner at the newly opened Sharky's Woodfired Mexican Grill where i received a complimentary meal of my choosing. all opinions shared are my own, and not in exchange for a positive review.


Last year was my first year EVER year attending feast -I know super late bloomer here. After experiencing all of the magic of eating and drinking to my heart's fill I knew I couldn't do another year sans feast. 

One of the main events, the grand tasting, is held across two days, Friday and Saturday and located within the pioneer courthouse square -a brick amphitheater within the city center. The grand tasting is an event set up to sip and sample many new-to-the-market items and many wonderful food items prepared by local chefs. This year I was given an amazing opportunity to attend as a guest blogger -which allowed me entry to both grand tasting days. Since I had attended the grand tasting the year prior I had a great idea of what to expect and even planned a strategy on how to get the most of my time at the grand tasting. 

Below are a few highlights from my time at the Grand Tasting events that from both Friday and Saturday:



Just like the year prior I had a good guess that there would be a tasting station with a food and wine pairing somewhere within the grand tasting, so this year I made it my mission to find it straight away. After doing a quick run-through the grand tasting I found it immediately and got to enjoy some tasty bites before the massive crowds discovered it.

Local guest Chef Doug Adams, formerly of Imperial and currently working on his proposed restaurant Bullard (opening 2017), was behind the cutting board at the USA Pears tent serving up delicious bites featuring USA PEARS. An additional wine pairing featuring wines from Chateau Ste. Michelle was also present.



Being the big fan of sweets I made a mad dash to find Decadent Creations Bakery as this bakery has been on my list to try. The baking gods must have known I was coming because the gals were serving up a few of my favorite flavors; pumpkin, passion fruit, and salted chocolate. For starters anything pumpkin flavored will always get my personal taste test, as does salted chocolate, and passion fruit so slap me a little because I couldn't believe my eyes when I noticed three of the four items they were featuring were among my favorite taste profiles.

Decadent Creations' drunken pumpkin cake was by far my favorite bit of the entire grand tasting. The cake was super moist with a wonderful balance of pumpkin spice, a rum cinnamon ganache layer, and a thick creamy dollop of hazelnut meringue buttercream. This little bite was heaven. I may have had a few extra pieces, more than my share as it was so darn good!


I've been a big fan of DRY SPARKLING for years, the beverages are fizzy, and delightfully light in flavor. 


For two days there were so many goodies featured under this tent, Olympia Provisions featured a beautiful array of their finest charcuterie, Bee Local Honey and Jacobsen Salt Co. shared bites highlighted by their flavor enhancing salt and honey, Yogi Tea served up hot tea, and Wolf Gourmet featured grilled chicken tacos and roasted plum and ricotta tartine with their high-performance countertop items.


Oregon Fruit Products featured three wonderful items: crispy pork belly bites topped with black berry gastrique and whipped herb goat cheese on a bed of endive and frisee, and vanilla bean wanna cotta topped with dark sweet cherries  poached in oregon pinot noir and topped with salted pistachios, aside from the eats Oregon Fruit Products was also serving up refreshing strawberry lemonades with their pourable fruit.


The Oregon Cheese Guild featured four local artisan cheeses, chubut wedge, chèvre with cajeta drizzle on a apple chip, fiesta cheesorio in a cup, and brindisi squares.



I hope you all had a chance to get you hands on any of the dishes that came off this table. Both days at the Grand Tasting featured back to back chef demos from our very own local chef talent and chefs across the nation.

Guest Chef Gregory Gourdet of portland's Departure restaurant and finalist on Top Chef behind the cutting board prepping his dish for his upcoming demonstration time slot. 

Local Chef Peter Cho of Han Oak helping being the scenes at saturday's grand tasting


Hello, a Salt & Straw cart and no line?! You bet I got in the non-existent line and ordered up three mini scoops of every flavor I was curious about, the tom douglas triple coconut cream pie, the white toast and apple butter, and the strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper!


I cannot wait to get my hands on some more of that Waggle Mead, a lightly carbonated and fermented honey adult beverage. 


Nature's path featured two yummy dishes, a vegan raspberry eton mess with coconut cream, crushed meringue, raspberry and chia granola, and crispy avocado tacos with panko bread, pumpkin flax, granola, avocado and tahini.


Portland Sangria is a spritzy blend of rose and juice in a can



My biggest tip for all Feast main events: find the biggest plate that you can and save, this will be your tray during the remainder of the event. I figured out this method last year when I recieved an alaska airlines tray, that tray was put to great use during my first feast weekend but since I didn't keep the tray from last year I scooped up this plate and used it during the entire event. Having this plate helped me gather more than one bite at a time which meant I was able to stay in lines longer while I stocked up on bites. It made taking the time to enjoy my food loot much more enjoyable as I was able to sit and enjoy it all at once.

full disclosure: i was kindly provided a Feast 2016 pass that included entry to the grand tasting and media events in exchange for media coverage. all opinions expressed are my own.