February Favorites

Although I was born in January, it is without a doubt my least favorite month of the year. I always am inspired by those who craft ambitious New Years Resolutions. However, the first of the year always ushers in an air of melancholy, with the short days and long nights. It also brings an anniversary that I never enjoy celebrating. My sister Callie passed away on January 27th, 2010, after courageously battling a malicious muscle cancer for two years. Thus, this month always proves challenging for my family and me, as we face our own fight against the inevitable wave of sadness that creeps up after Christmas. I breathe a huge sigh of relief when we reach February 1st, and regardless of whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow on the 2nd, I know spring and the sun will come eventually. Sorry to be a downer here, but I promise this post is full of positive vibes and fun…just keep reading!

Overall, this February in North Carolina has been fantastic. My friends visited me for a few days at the beginning of the month (Read about my staycation with themĀ here); I’ve made some new friends (mostly through food-related gatherings); the weather has been warmer than average; and obviously, I’ve eaten some delicious food. I’m dedicating this post to my February foodie faves. Hope y’all enjoy! Comment below if you’d like to see more posts like these at the conclusion of every month.

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Secret Ingredient Boxed Cake Cupcakes

Two posts in one week! I’m killing two birds with one stone because I missed a post last week, and I’m coming to you live with a clutch recipe just in time for Valentine’s Day. This recipe is so simple, yet it is one that my friends continue to request I make for parties, picnics, or random get-togethers. It’s so simple that it’s not really a recipe. I’ll call it a non-recipe for the fellow food bloggers out there.

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Don’t hold back on the Valentine’s Day decorations like I did…

I first discovered this recipe hack on Pinterest when I was in undergrad, back when I had even less free time than I do now. This non recipe first trended because it reduces the amount of fat that is usually present in a boxed cake mix. Instead of adding oil, eggs, and water to a dry cake mix (store bought, sorry Ina!), you add a can of soda or seltzer water.

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Red Wine Brownies and a Scientific Theory

I recently realized that my three most beloved desserts begin with the letter B: bourbon pecan pie, baklava, and brownies. On Friday, I created a poll via Instagram story, so I could decide what to write about this week. The participants indicated they wanted me to post a recipe. There’s no Electoral College equivalent here, so I’m giving the voters exactly what they want, an original recipe for one of my favorite desserts. Obviously it contains alcohol, and also obviously, it pairs wonderfully with more alcohol!

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My best friend Meredith and I clearly share a serious love of red wine.

Wine and chocolate combine to create the most stereotypical and appropriate girls’ night feature, so this recipe is perfect for Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day this week. Not only do these treats complement each other individually, they also play nicely together. The red wine in these brownies brings out the sweet flavor of the chocolate, while adding an overall richness to a typical brownie.

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Biscuits and Biffles

This week was weird, but in a good way. I did not count down the days until the weekend, and I did not breathe a sigh of relief when I woke up Friday morning. If you’re thinking that I must have had a fabulous week in the windowless abyss that is Hamilton Hall (sidenote: if you don’t go to UNC, look it up online-I would bet *a small sum of money* that your office sucks less), you’d be incorrect. The cause for my appreciation of the workweek was my friends’ visit to Chapel Hill. They arrived early Tuesday morning (like 1:00 am early) and left this morning, and y’all, they drove 18 hours from Dallas just to hang out with me in the dead of winter. Friendship goals, amirite?

 

Just like any good staycationer, I used my friends’ visit as an opportunity to explore the Triangle food scene and begin my 2018 Triangle Biscuit Tour. This week, I had the pleasure of trying two delicious biscuits at Rise Carrboro and LaPlace Louisiana Cookery (in Hillsborough, so technically not the Triangle, but it’s close enough). We had a blast and made the most of our days together.

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