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The Countdown: The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook

Malted Milk Chocolate Cake

In Wonderland Kitchen, recipe research almost always equals Google searches and Evernote-taking. I rarely crack an actual, physical cookbook when looking for knowledge and inspiration, and yet I cannot seem to stop buying them! And those that don’t arrive on my doorstep via UPS show up skillfully wrapped in the hands of generous friends or as orphan cast-offs schlepped home from some musty church basement book sale. Now, here they all sit in precarious stacks around my office, their beseeching gaze rivaled only by the CDs I have yet to split the cellophane on and review for work. And so, as a 2014 self-improvement project that does not require public exercise, I’m on a mission to review each book in… Continue reading »

13 Days, Countless Miles: West Coast Show and Tell

San Juan: Alex's house

Well, folks, it was champagne and Amtrak sleeper cars, warm sun and glorious landscapes, and more talking than I did in all of 2013. I have returned from two weeks of travel a complete convert to the West Coast’s casual chic and moderate temperatures. Aside from getting fogged in and being forced to spend an extra day and night on beautiful San Juan Island (exactly!) the travel gods had my back and friends had my hand, allowing me plenty of room to just sit back and enjoy the ride. The sum up: First, the obvious: Technology may provide the opportunity to share ideas with more cool people than ever before, but hanging out with those same souls in real life… Continue reading »

Under Construction

under construction

I have largely stopped doing things that scare me, and over the last few months I have found that (irony alert!) quietly terrifying. I realize that this is, by its very nature, a problem of a privileged person, so there is definitely an important element of perspective and awareness that needs to be ** here. Still, after living in an environment of non-challenge and change, I am way past due to actually take responsibility for the situation. Now, there will probably be some closer-to-home solutions to this that will ultimately carry more weight and meaning in the long run, but as a personal jump start (think Cher slapping some sense into Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck) I am off on a… Continue reading »

Cable Me: Quick Knit Winter Hat and Fingerless Glove Patterns

Cabled Winter Hat and Fingerless Gloves

I cut off all my hair a few weeks ago. Four days later, Jennifer Lawrence did the same, saving me from some measure of social scrutiny (well, almost). However, I had not accounted for the fact that it was winter and my ears felt like they were about to freeze right off my head whenever I left the house. Being me, rather than just going to the store and purchasing some ear muffs, I found some awesome yarn and a pattern and began knitting with a vengeance. When I was done with a hat large enough to fit my admittedly plus-sized brain pan, I clearly had enough yardage left over for my favorite style gloves. So I found a second… Continue reading »

Raise a Glass: Cocktails for the Holiday Season

Holiday Cocktail Round-Up

While dashing in and out of hotel lobbies and swank bars with He Spoke Style as we shot a holiday campaign video for Banana Republic (see end of post), I got a little nostalgic for the excellent cocktail recipes he created for Wonderland Kitchen last winter. (I can’t be the only one already excitedly anticipating the Christmas tree even as I plan my Thanksgiving dinner. But I know, I know, I’ll tamp it down.) With the colder temperatures and celebratory parties upon us again, however, it seemed like the perfect time to revisit a few of these warming cocktails. What drinks will you be sharing with your guests this holiday season? First Taste of Autumn: The Cylburn Fall Tequila Cocktail:… Continue reading »

Before It Was Yarn: Cuddling the Animals at the Maryland Alpaca Festival

Alpacas at the Maryland Alpacas and Fleece Festival

A damp and foggy morning could not dissuade my neighbor and I from heading to the Howard County Fairgrounds to check out the Maryland Alpacas and Fleece Festival. While I was successful in not drooling (too much!) on the amazing fibers for sale, it was impossible not to fall in love with the adorable alpacas penned in between many of the vendors. One owner very generously spent time chatting with us about the growth of his business. If I was still a kid, I would definitely be pulling on your sleeve and telling you all about how I wanted to raise alpacas when I grew up; being an adult, I’m having some trouble not doing the same thing. I mean,… Continue reading »