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Food & Recipes

Exploration Food & Recipes

Brunch at Melt

One of my favorite spots to grab brunch in St. Louis is a cozy little eclectic spot on Cherokee St. called Melt. They specialize in lavish waffles with loads of toppings, and drinks with funky names. I’m not even a huge “waffle person”, but everything I’ve tried on their menu is delicious. This past Sunday when I stopped in for brunch, I tried the Elvis waffle. It is cooked with bacon inside, then topped with peanut butter, bananas, chocolate sauce and blueberry coulis. It’s more of a dessert than a meal option, but it was oh-so-good and very rich, so I could only eat half of it. I washed it down with a foamy latte. They have an impressive drink menu with an abundant list of hard drinks, smoothies and hot drinks that make it a prime “hair of the dog” location. While the food and drinks are amazing at Melt, it’s the décor that gives it a unique vibe. When you walk in, you may catch your head spinning from all the things there is to look at— from hanging fabric garland—to arcade games and painted furniture! I especially love the yellow 1970’s comfy couch with a pile of afghans on it. See, even your grandma would love this place!

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Exploration Fashion & Style Food & Recipes

The 63 Diner

One Saturday afternoon, I decided to take a mini road trip to Columbia, MO. I hadn’t been there in over 2 years, and as long as I have music in my car, I can drive for hours! When I arrived in town, I hit up The 63 Diner for a bite to eat. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a thing for diners. They’re cheap, casual, nostalgic, and I’m sucker for fried foods! If calories were no object, I’d probably eat them everyday. The 63 Diner is full of kitschy 1950’s decor, and makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Even the waitresses were dressed for the decade! The food was good, and exactly what you’d expect from any greasy spoon. I ordered the chili-cheeseburger, but dessert was the highlight of my meal, which was the peanut butter pie. It had peanut butter, chocolate, custard, whipped topping, and Butterfinger pieces—oh my god!! I was “full” from my burger and still managed to eat half of it. I wish they would have given me the recipe! I will definitely be visiting the 63 diner again. I’ll have to try the breakfast next time!

Photo time!

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Dress: Forever 21 | Shoes: Target | Bag: Nine West

Exploration Food & Recipes

Le Macaron

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French Macarons are the world’s prettiest cookie. I can’t believe a lot of people I’ve talk to still haven’t tried them! They’re so delicious with their light & airy texture. I’ve gotten them from a few different places, but Le Macaron in Sarasota, FL will about be my favorite. Besides their 18 different flavors of macarons, they also carry Norman Love chocolates and have a gelato bar. Out of all the macarons flavors, my favorites were lemon and raspberry. The cookie part has that delicate almond flavor, so the tartness is needed to sweeten them up! The next time I visit my 2nd home (Florida), Le Macaron will be high on my to-do list. In the meantime, I’ll deal with the ones from the local bakery here in town. Who knows, maybe I’ll build up the courage and attempt to make my own.

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Exploration Fashion & Style Food & Recipes

Sugar Shack

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When one has a sweet tooth, the Sugar Shack is the place to be. The nostalgic candy store first piqued my interest when a photo of their gourmet cotton candy graced the cover of Feast magazine. My initial though:”I need my own photo of that wonderful pink fluff!” and this cuteness. On top of their large selection of cotton candy flavors, they also carry many vintage candies, phosphate sodas, and marshmallows coated in sticky goodness that are called Pillow Pops. The cherry cotton candy I had was delicious, as well with the soda. The shop made me feel like a child again and was reminiscent of the candy store from “The candy man can” scene in Willy Wonka. Although small, the Sugar Shack is not a spot to be overlooked when visiting downtown Kirkwood.

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Ice cream jumper: Wildfox Couture | Jeans: BDG | Booties: thrifted | Hat: Charlotte Russe | Watch: Charming Charlie | Bracelets: Forever 21

Food & Recipes

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last week was the snowapocalypse. It was also the week my little sister and her fiancé decided to come down from Michigan for a visit. Luckily, when she arrived on Saturday evening it hadn’t started snowing yet, so I jammed packed all of our excursions into that evening. We had dinner at my favorite spot for comfort food called The Piccadilly at Manhattan, after that we worked off our food roaming around “the adult jungle gym” at The City Museum, then to end the night, we enjoyed ice cream at the Fountain on Locust. I took some photos during the outings with my cell phone, but the quality sucks and I refuse to post junk photos here. Hopefully I get a decent fashionable camera bag soon so I can have my camera with me at all times.

Sunday morning is when all the snow got dumped on us. There was no use in trying to go anywhere with the road conditions so we all stayed at my apartment and let the cabin fever sink in. After cooking a hearty breakfast for everyone (for myself really, because the youngins preferred to eat Fruity Pebbles), I had leftover bacon and was determined to use it for cookies! Bacon + desserts is the “new thing” these days and I think it’s genius. I like sweets, but I love salty fried foods, so why not combine the two. Bacon chocolate chip cookies is what I decided to go with. I knew I had enough ingredients for chocolate chip, and throwing bacon into an already semi-salty cookie seemed less intimating. Something like a bacon blueberry pie would be more of a challenge.

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These tasted just as good, if not better than they look in the photo! The bacon taste was actually very faint. I do believe that adding the bacon fat made the cookies more rich. So if you make these be sure to have a glass of milk poured and ready, ’cause you’re not going to be able to eat just one!

Recipe adapted from Poet in the Pantry

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups Flour
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup solid bacon fat
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and chopped

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 2 cookie sheets with baking spray and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and chili powder. Set aside.
3. In a second bowl with a mixer, cream together the butter, bacon fat, and sugars until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes).
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing until the first is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides in between.
5. Stir in the vanilla extract.
6. With the mixer on medium low, slowly add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.
7. Remove from mixer and stir in the walnuts, chocolate chips, and bacon by hand, mixing until just incorporated.
8. Portion out the dough using a scoop, placing about 8 per sheet to allow enough room for spreading.
9. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the tops are lightly browned.
10. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.