Gift Guide // Top 1O Cookbooks

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1. “Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over” by Alison Roman

This year there are so many amazing cookbooks to put on the holiday cookbook Gift Guide, that I am considering writing a part deux, to feed all of your must-have cookbook appetites for 2019. Even though there are countless recipes posted online and on instagram, there is something wonderful and special about cooking, reading along the steps while flipping through the pages of a solid thick cookbook. Even with hands doused in flour while flipping through pages, it somehow makes the recipe more memorable. I personally recount each dish that I have successfully whipped up while looking at my old cookbooks, it even reminds me to attempt the recipes I need a little more practice on. I adore a good Sunday filled with attempting new and old recipes. Enjoy some of my favorite cookbooks below, happy almost Sunday + happy cooking!

Peace + Love,




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2.“Antoni in the Kitchen” by Antoni Porowski and Mindy Fox

3.. “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African-American Cooking” by Toni Tipton-Martin

4. “Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen” by Adeena Sussman


5. Asma’s Indian Kitchen: Home-Cooked Food Brought to You by Darjeeling Express



6. Life Is a Party: Deliciously Doable Recipes to Make Every Day a Celebration


7.Oven to Table: Over 100 One-Pot and One-Pan Recipes for Your Sheet Pan, Skillet, Dutch Oven, and More


8.The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook, Expanded Edition: From Lady Mary’s Crab Canapes to Christmas Plum Pudding-More Than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairs

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9.Milk Street: Tuesday Nights: More than 200 Simple Weeknight Suppers that Deliver Bold Flavor, Fast

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10.Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day


Home Decor // Friendsgiving Holiday Tablescapes


Looking to entertain this Friendsgiving? If you are like me, the Holiday months are your time to really give back to your family and friends. Whether you enjoy gift giving, cooking, shopping local, or donating your time and energy to helping those less fortunate, the magical months to do so are upon us. I love the Holidays, and really can’t pick which holiday is my favorite, during the colder months. Give me a table to decorate, put on some Bing Crosby, let me create hours of goodness in the kitchen, throw a little snow into the mix with a perfect dress, and goodness you’ll just find this happy girl singing fa lalalala, all the way to the New Years. Enjoy some of my favorite tablescapes just in time for you to throw a hearty decor filled Friendsgiving, with whomever is your family.










Recipe Roundup // Vegetarian Fall Recipes



These pot pies are loaded with veggies like sweet potatoes, peas and lentils so they’re still packed with protein! They are then topped off with a puff pastry crust, which makes them feel a little more *special* and indulgent, without the fuss of having to go and make a crust.

Butternut Lasagna with Wild Mushrooms and Sage- a delicious vegetarian or vegan main dish, perfect for the holiday table! Can be made ahead! #butternutlasagna #veganlasagna #veganthanksgiving #veganmaindish #vegetarianmaindish #mushroomlasaga #veganchristmas #vegandinner #plantbased #cleaneating

Butternut Lasagna with Wild Mushrooms and Sage– a hearty, delicious vegetarian lasagna is perfect for the weeknights (make it ahead) and special enough for your holiday table!

20 Cozy Vegetarian Dinner Recipes ( for Fall!) | French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Caramelized onions, melty Gruyere and toasty bread. A cozy vegetarian dinner perfect for the colder months! #grilledcheese #sandwich #frenchonion #grilledcheesesandwich #vegetarianrecipes

French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich with caramelized onions, melty Gruyere and toasty bread. A cozy vegetarian dinner perfect for the colder months! Serve with a green salad and call it dinner!

A soothing and comforting North Indian Butternut and Potato Curry hailing from Rajasthan, featuring winter squash and potatoes, using whole spices and ghee, served over fluffy basmati rice. | #pumpkincurry #potatocurry #aloo #butternutcurry #rajisthani #kaddu #curriedpotatoes #vegetarain #indianfood

A soothing and comforting North Indian Butternut and Potato Curry hailing from Rajasthan, featuring winter squash and potatoes, using whole spices and ghee, served over fluffy basmati rice.



Sweet Potato, Gruyere, and Rosemary tart – sweet potatoes with the nuttiness of Gruyère and the pungent flavour of rosemary. The recipe itself is a variation of an Italian tart with potatoes and fontina, so you can play around with the ingredients depending on your taste.



Roasted Butternut Enchiladas with Quick Mole Sauce – topped with cilantro, avocado and toasted sesame and pumpkin seeds. A fast and delicious vegetarian dinner recipe full of amazing flavor!


The Pumpkin Feta Tart is absolutely gorgeous and a perfect centerpiece at any Fall Harvest Gathering. 

20 Vegetarian Dinner Recipes for Fall! Roasted Butternut Tikka Masala in a fragrant tomato coconut sauce, infused with Indian spices. Vegan & Gluten Free! A healthy delicious dinner recipe, perfect for fall! Plus 15 COZY VEGETARIAN RECIPES FOR FALL !| #meatless #fallrecipes #vegetarianrecipe #vegandinners #fall #tikkamasala #butternuttikkamasala

This fall-inspired recipe for Roasted Butternut Tikka Masala can be made vegan with chickpeas. The fragrant tomato coconut sauce is infused with Indian spices. Vegan & Gluten-Free! A healthy delicious dinner recipe, perfect for fall! 

20 Vegetarian Dinner Recipes for Fall! Tunisian Chickpea Stew with Carrots, turmeric, harissa and Yogurt! A healthy vegetarian dinner recipe, perfect for fall! PLUS 15 COZY FALL RECIPES that are VEGETARIAN! | #chickpeastew #vegetarianstew #vegetariandinnerrecipes #fallrecipes #

Tunisian Chickpea Stew with Carrots (and their tops), turmeric, harissa paste and Yogurt! A healthy vegetarian dinner recipe, perfect for fall!


Savory Pumpkin Lasagna perfect for those nights in, have one, two, or three pieces of this amazing comforting vegetarian dish. 

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This Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup is full of hearty seasonal vegetables and wild rice (plus chicken, if you would like), it’s wonderfully creamy and comforting, and easy to make in the Instant Pot, Crock-Pot or on the stovetop.




Recipe Roundup // Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Snacks


I am loving that it is finally getting cooler for Fall. If you have been out and about downtown in Cincinnati and in Covington, KY this weekend, you probably have been enjoying the lights and wonder from Blink. Below is a simple recipe to add a little energy into your diet for this jam packed weekend. Enjoy a taste of Fall, while also being energized, enjoy and happy cooking and Blinking art lovers.

Peace + Love,



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Snacks
10 minutes
10 minutes
14 energy balls


    •  1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
    •  1/4 cup ground flaxseed
    •  1 tablespoon chia seeds
    •  1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    •  1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    •  1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    •  1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    •  A pinch of sea salt
    •  1/2 cup creamy almond butter
    •  1/4 cup pumpkin
    •  1/4 cup honey
    •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    •  1/4 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the oats, flaxseed, chia seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. With the paddle attachment, mix on low until ingredients are combined.
  2. Add the almond butter, pumpkin, honey, and vanilla. Mix until the ingredients come together.
  3. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
  4. Roll the mixture into balls, about 2 tablespoons per ball. Place the pumpkin energy balls into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  5. Note-if you don’t have a stand mixer, you can mix the energy balls in a bowl with a wooden spoon or spatula. Recipe and Pictures found on Two Peas and their Pod. Check it out.


Local Spotlight // Sandoolee Music Festival


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Current Sponsors / Non Profits:
Absolut Vodka
Keep Cincinnati Beautiful

Date : Oct 5 at 10 AM – Oct 6 at 12 PM


Line Up:
Ernie Johnson From Detroit
Quicksilver Daydream
Young Colt
Willow Tree Carolers
Ski Patrol

Hosted by Mecca OTR


Ticket Price: $35

Tickets include:

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Facebook Event Page // CLICK HERE 

For tickets and more information


Local Spotlight // Gunpowder Creek Vineyards


Years in the making, Gunpowder Creek Vineyards, located in the rolling hills of Union, Kentucky, is a vineyard wine and food enthusiasts should keep on their radar. I have had my eye on the journey of this vineyard since owner and wine maker John Floyd, made the announcement of wanting to venture into the world of wine making. With hard work and determination to master many arts John and his father hand built everything on the property, including the wine production room and soon to be tasting room. They also prepared the land for the vines themselves and continue to tend to the growth of the grapes, on top of the actual wine making production and process. The attention to detail completely shows in the beauty of the land and in the wine. Having tasted the grapes straight off of the vine,as well as sampling of some of the product, I am so pleased and proud to watch this vineyard continue to master the art of winemaking. Take a closer look into the story behind Gunpowder Creek Vineyards father- son duo that started it all below.

1. Please let our readers know your full name and a bit about your background, school, where you grew up, where your current location is now, and your occupation.
My name is Jon Floyd- grew up and graduated high school in Monroe Ohio. In my younger years I lived in College Hill and was home schooled. I wouldn’t even know what to say for an occupation, I do a little of everything- I bartend on weekend nights, have been in the restaurant/bar industry for the past 10 years. I split the rest of my time between metal fabrication and building the vineyard.
2. How has your personal background shaped your life as the owner of Gunpowder Creek Vineyards? 
I feel like the natural progression for a bartender is to get into the business of alcohol, wether it be sales , or in my case making it. My father is my partner in this- and to be honest it was more his idea than anything. I just decided to join and partner up with him in this endeavor.
3. Why do you feel it is important for the youth and young professionals of the world to be involved in the growth of small businesses throughout our country and the world?
Without makers and doers  within our younger generation, it would be a pretty boring future.
4. What types of wine do you produce at Gunpowder Creek Vinyeyards? 
We are growing Steuben, Arandell , Aromella, Cayuga, Norton, and a little Catawba. And a whole bunch of Blackberries as well.
5. What advice do you have for those looking to open up a business in the tri-state?
Just do it. If you feel it’s the path for you, buckle down and get it done. Figure out the hoops you have to jump through and be on your way. It will take sacrifice, mostly of time, but you won’t be wasting it.
6.What is your winemaking style?
Well we are kind of playing to the palate of the area, we will be making a lot of sweeter wines. I’m most excited about the couple of dryer reds that we will be making.
7.Who do you admire most? Who influenced you?
Definitely my Father. He has a vision only I can hope to gain. And a work ethic to make it happen. We are both learning the art of winemaking together. But I am for sure learning to build something from him. He’s more relaxed when he’s working 7 days a week, a trait I don’t necessarily have, but have had to force myself to do to try and get this going.
8.What is one of the hardest part about winemaking? What do you find to be the hardest part of harvest?
9 months of work and preparation leading up to harvest haha. There’s always something to be done to the vines throughout early spring all the way to fall harvest. It’s just long days of walking up and down every row attending to every single vine. Harvest always seems to fall on the hottest days of the year. It’s kind of a slow process, looking over every cluster, sorting through the grapes you want and don’t want. You’ll get a pretty gnarly tan though, so there’s that.
9. What is one of the most rewarding things about being an owner and wine maker?
Seeing someone get true enjoyment  out of something you’ve put countless- and I really do mean countless hours into.
10. Any wine making tips for those just getting into winemaking or for those interested in studying wine?
All the information is out there. We are lucky enough to have an amazing wine maker as our guide and consultant for our vineyard and winemaking. His name is Alex Sena. He is the winemaker for Revel winery in OTR. Without him we would be a lot farther behind than we are.
11. What has surprised you about being a winemaker?
That it can be as simple or complex as you’d like to make it.
12. What are your favorites from the past week?

Restaurant: I’m a seafood fanatic- a little Cajun take out place in Clifton called K & J seafood.

Store: Dixxon Flannel

Quote: “Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy. Remember that”.

Music: Matt Maeson

Artist: umm no one in particular. I follow a lot of metal fabricators on ig, and they put out some cool work.


13. What’s the biggest myth about drinking wine?

That you have to be sophisticated to enjoy it. Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 4.54.46 PM.png


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14. Which wines are aged in barrels? How long are the wines aged before being bottled?

Mainly red wines, but really you could put anything you want in them. For instance we have some blackberry wine in a bourbon barrel. The barrels you see are filled with norton. As far as time goes, that’s really kind of up to you as a winemaker. To taste really. Anywhere from a couple months to a couple years.

15. When does Gunpowder Creek Vineyards plan to open to the public? 

That’s a tough question. Hopefully sooner than later. We are building everything ourselves. From the production building, to the tasting room, everything is built by my dad and myself by hand. So as long as it takes. Hopefully by this time next year we will have a place for you to come enjoy our efforts.

16. The location of Gunpowder Creek Vineyards is gorgeous, will you eventually have this location available for rent as an event space? To host weddings, dinner parties, product launches?  

I think that’s in our future for sure. But right now we are just concentrating on making a good wine and getting open. Have to walk before you run!

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Gunpowder Creek Vineyards

Travel // 10 Kentucky Airbnb’s to Check out this Fall


This weekend where will you be on Friday, not only is it a full moon but it is also Friday the 13th! Exploring Kentucky on the weekends while on research working on the VB in the CITY cookbook, has me looking forward to the colder months. While exploring Kentucky, I have made a local travel wish list of the top ten Airbnb’s I want to visit this Fall, while checking out local farms for produce.  Scroll below to view these perfect little getaways. I am all about bon fires, curling up under blankets with a good book and a coffee (or bourbon) and just in time for the changing of the Seasons.   Happy exploring readers! Enjoy horse country.

Peace  + Love,


Screen Shot 2019-09-10 at 7.18.40 PM.pngBed and Bike Awaits You // Louisville – 2 bedroom 


1.Tradewinds Treehouse // 3 bedroom 




2.Riverside Cabin | Mammoth Cave |  // 1 Bedroom 



3.Welcome Hall 5 bedroom 1880’s home on 55 acres  Bedroom 


4.Historic Shelby Manor – 5 Bedroom 

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5.‘Wine Cellar’ 3BR Red River Gorge Cabin w/ Views 

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6.Sandstone Cabin RRG Hot tub // 1 Bedroom 


7.Middle-Fork-Lodge // Red River Gorge // 3 Bedroom 


8. Scenic Sunset Cabin RRG, hot tub // 2 bedrooms + 3 beds 



9. Southern Comfort – Highlands, EXPO, Downtown / 4 Bedroom – Louisville








Foodie Friday // Sammy’s Craft Burgers + Beers


My recent venture to Sammy’s craft burgers and beers, located in Blue Ash, and owned by Sammy Flores, has creations in burgers that make gourmands eyes gorge.   Let me introduce you to one of my favorite burgers in Cincinnati right now, the BACON-JELLY craft burger. This great tower of loveliness is topped with house-made bacon onion jelly, gouda cheese, and fresh field greens. We sat at the bar, where Brad at Sammys then directed me to another insanely amazing palette changer, the JUICY LUCY burger – set up with Smoked BBQ,  bone marrow, sharp cheddar, bacon, smoked BBQ sauce, onions, jalapeno straws, smoked KY bourbon sauce, served with chicken BBQ mac & cheese that is damn brilliant.

Ash makes gourmet steak burgers with a blend of brisket, short rib, ball tip, and tri tip that is ground locally, hand-pattied, lightly seasoned, and char-grilled to order. Served on a Allez Challah bun with choice of beer battered french fries, or cole slaw as a side. This place is a mixture of casual bar dining with insanely curated local and gourmet craft burger list and an amazing beer list complete with a  full bar.


Meet Sammy Flores, restaurant owner and soccer player.  As a child he aspired to be a professional soccer player and succeeded in Mexico. At the young age of 18 he joined his first professional team, Oro,  he then moved to the United States at the age 24 in 2003. His first job was working at a chain restaurant starting in the culinary world washing dishes. Sammy spent two years working, seven days a week, non-stop, to earn the money needed to obtain his next goal of owning his own restaurant. In 2005 El Pueblo was opened.  After immediate success, he opened, Sammy’s Gourmet Burgers and Beers in 2009. With amazing hard work and brilliant artistrty in combination with local ingredients,  we are able to enjoy mouthwatering creations that are constantly changing – O and there is an amazing beer selection. Check out a special Burger every month, and drink specials every day – 

Monday: Sammy’s Red Ale, 32oz $4.00
Tuesday: Frozen Margarita $4.00
Wednesday: House Wine $3.00, Sangria $4.00
Thursday: Cocktail of the Day $5.00
Friday: Beer of the day $5.00
Saturday: Beer of the day $5.00
Sunday: House Made Bloody Mary $5.00

Crowler Fill Up $10.00 and up
FC Cincinnati BloodOrange IPA duringgane$4.00
Sammy’s Red Ale, 32 oz during Cincinnati Reds game $4.00



4767 Creek Road
Blue Ash, Oh 45242
View Map

11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
11:00 AM- 9:00 PM


Our full menu is online and downloadable!
View Menu


30+ craft beers on tap. Try them all!
Beer Menu



Happy Friday creatives! The end of Summer is upon us, yet the weather is still scorching hot. Cool down with this cool soup that is not only delicious, but pretty damn cute as well.  I love my Summer staples of hot dogs, cheeseburgers, ice cream, pie, fried chicken, any and all the picnic foods, yet I do still tend to always make at least one batch of gazpacho every Summer. I stumbled upon this RADISH, CUCUMBER & SMOKEY TABASCO GAZPACHO over at, and knew I just had to share this perfectly pink recipe with all of you. Make sure to head over to Anisa’s blog, to show this Austrailian some love. She is an amazing photographer and food stylist, who helps brands bring life to their offering through visual storytelling and creative direction.

PS I have so many amazing new posts coming up featuring new and seasoned restaurants and Chefs from all over the United States and beyond.  I really feel that art is everywhere, especially when it comes to cuisine. So go ahead, and play with your food!

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 8 cucumbers, de-seeded, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 & 1/2 bunch radishes (about 12 small)
  • 200g greek yoghurt
  • Good splash red wine vinegar (I did 1/4 cup as I like it tangy)
  • 1 can butter beans, drained
  • Very good splash smokey tabasco sauce
  • To serve: chives, olive oil, sea salt & pepper



1. In a blender, blend together all the ingredients. Pop into the fridge to chill for 2 hours. Serve in bowls, topped with fresh chives and a drizzle of olive oil, and sea salt & pepper.

Storage: soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Peace + Love,