Knead Donuts, Providence

Hello my name is Casey and I have a problem. A big, sweet, fluffy, delicious, problem. I am addicted to donuts. Yes this is my second donut post in two weeks but hey, I am not ashamed. My weekend “treat yoself” attitude is definitely to blame.

Today I am here to talk about some of the fluffiest donuts I have ever had. Knead Donuts is located on Custom House Street in the Financial District of Providence. I have to note..does the parking suck over there? Absolutely. But do not let that deter you.These donuts are worth it. And if you are one of the lucky ones that live Downtown, they deliver. How awesome is that?

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After eyeing their Instagram for a while, I knew I was going into Knead for two specific things: A Brioche donut and a Popover. I had seen pictures of these delicious little popovers online and knew I had to try one for myself.

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Knead’s style is very minimal with wooden counter tops and sleek wooden tables & chairs. My favorite element is the beautifully tiled floors that spell out Knead as you walk in. A warm welcome almost as sweet as the treats inside.

Looking at these pictures is making it really hard to commit to staying on track this week. For now, I will live vicariously through their Instagram feed until the weekend.

xx Casey

PVD Donuts, Providence

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Happy Monday after the Superbowl everyone! How ya feeling? Tired? Yeah me too. I may or may not have hit the snooze button a minimum of 10 times this morning. And it’s not like I can even ride the adrenaline of an exciting game because well.. it didn’t really turn out the way I wanted. But I digress. Today I am talking about something we can all agree on. Donuts.

PVD Donuts was one of the first specialty donut shops to pop up in Providence. At first they were pumping out donuts from the Sin bakery kitchen, but have since moved to their own location on Ives Street. They have been open for a couple of months now but hungry people still line up down the street for a sweet treat. Oh, and a Nitro Cold Brew of course from the incredibly delicious Nitro Cart.

I arrived at PVD around noon, and although there wasn’t much of a line there were about three types of donuts left. I had been dying to try the Rosewater and Pistachio donut however they were sold out. Instead, I went for the Lemon Grapefruit glazed donut. My boyfriend also got some jelly munchkins with a lemon liquor pipette. As sad as I was that I did not get to try the Rosewater donut, these donuts did not disappoint. The lemon/grapefruit glaze was refreshing and the poppy seeds baked into the donut gave it a nice texture.

Now the one thing I need to point out about these donuts is the texture. If you are looking for a fluffy and airy donut this is not the place for you. These donuts are dense, almost like a cake donut. They are heavy and will keep you full all morning long.

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Definitely give PVD Donuts a try the next time you are on the East Side.

xx Casey

Felicia’s Coffee, East Greenwich

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Hello Friends! I am back again with another coffee shop recommendation because as we all know by now, coffee shops are my thing. Lucky for me Rhode Island is full of incredible ones, and today I am here to talk about one of my all time favorites. Felicia’s is located in East Greenwich and was a staple for me when I lived there for a year. But living in Providence now has not stopped me from driving the 20 minutes to get a cup of coffee. Go ahead, call me crazy.

Felicia’s is truly everything you could ever want in a coffee shop.  First off the coffee is incredible. Each time I go I always order the Iced Flavor of the day is. This varies by day and they always have a flavor of the day for Decaf, Regular, Iced, and Hot coffee options. They also have incredible baked goods (try one of their muffins!), pastries, bagels, and my favorite.. the homemade cream cheeses. They have a ton to choose from but I am partial to the garlic & herb. Jalapeno is a close second. Get that on a toasted poppy seed or everything bagel and I am golden.

Besides their incredible coffee & food items, the atmosphere at Felicia’s is second to none. They have plenty of tables for everyone, both inside and outside, as well as some soft seating near the fireplace. Still need a place to sit? They have some seating options at the counter as well. Throughout the day there are people gathering to chat, work, and read in Felicia’s comfortable setting. I love going there to work on upcoming blog posts, write in my bullet journal, and just relax outside of the house.

If you haven’t been to Felicia’s yet you are missing out. And I know how you Rhode Islanders are.. do not be intimidated by the drive. Every sip of that coffee will be worth it.

xx Casey

Rebelle Artisan Bagels Pop-Up

As a girl from northern New Jersey I like to think of myself as a bagel connoisseur. Every time I visit the fam I ditch the diet and have a bagel sandwich almost everyday…and then get a dozen to bring back with me for my freezer. Since the day I moved up to Providence I have been on the hunt for some amazing quality bagels and to tell you the truth.. it’s been hard. There really is a lack of homemade bagel shops up here in little Rhode Island. The struggle. But when a friend of mine told me about Rebelle Artisan Bagels I was intrigued. I immediately started following their Instagram and smiled at the sight of those everything bagels. So when I heard they were hosting a Pop Up Bagel Shop with Laughing Gorilla Catering (currently located inside Kitchen on Carpenter Street) I knew I had to go.

And boy am I happy I did..

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I knew going into it that there was going to be a line. Kitchen is small and only has three larger booths and two two-person booths. So despite it being a little chilly outside I was ready for the wait. After about an hour and a half it was finally my turn to go in, and sat down in a cozy two-seater booth. With a cup of warm coffee in hand I was ready to order the grilled cheese with thick cut bacon on the everything bagel I had been dreaming about. The sandwich consisted of three types of cheese – American, Sharp Cheddar, and Gouda, as well as the thickest bacon I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. But the star of the show? The bagel of course, which was cooked perfectly, and made to order. A welcome addition to the everything bagel spice mix? The caraway seeds that brought a different level of flavor to the game. The homemade chips and pickled vegetables that came with the sandwich were the perfect side pieces to the main event. I left full and happy. It also helped that everyone was so friendly and really knew how to make you feel welcome.

I am so excited to see where Rebelle Artisan Bagels owner & chef Milena Pagan takes these bagels next. Wherever it is i’ll be there, and so should you.

xx Casey

Winter Golden Beet Salad

I’ve always thought that some of the best recipes come to me while walking through the grocery store. It can be an awesome ingredient or beautiful piece of produce that sparks the idea for a delicious meal. In today’s case this awesome ingredient is golden beets. When I saw these bad boys I immediately thought of whipping up a rustic winter salad with the beets being the star.

To prep these delicious little golden nuggets start off by roasting them whole with the skins on. Once roasted the skins will come right off. I then cut them into cubes and caramelized them with a little butter, brown sugar, and pepper.

I used a mix of spinach and mesclun greens as the base of the salad. I then topped the salad with the beets, some thick cut maple bacon, blood orange slices, brie cheese, and a couple homemade croutons. Lastly for the dressing I used some of the blood orange juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, and some spices to taste. The tartness of the blood orange mixes perfectly with the creaminess of the brie and the sweetness of the golden beets.

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This salad has everything, and what makes it even better is that it is seasonal. The quality of your ingredients is always going to better when choosing items that are in season at the time. Winter is all about beets and root vegetables and I am living for it.

xx Casey

Baked French Fries

Guys – to those who said you can’t have your cake and eat it too, you were wrong. I am here today to tell you it is possible to have amazingly crispy french fries while trying to eat clean. How you ask? Let me tell you all about it…

Start off with some new potatoes. And I don’t mean “new” as in fresh .. well yes, I want you to buy fresh potatoes… but I mean the type of potato. New potatoes are great because they have a thin soft skin which you can leave on the potatoes preventing you from having to peel them.

Cut your potatoes in half, and then in three’s. You want to keep them thick – this is part of the trick to keeping them crispy, not soggy. The next thing you want to do is fill a pot with cold water. Put the potatoes in the pot and bring the pot to a boil. Just as the pot begins to boil and bubbles rise to the top of the pot, take them off the stove. This should be about 8-10 minutes.

Drain your potatoes and transfer to a bowl. Add in a tablespoon of flour and your choice of seasonings. I like to use Trader Joes Chili Lime seasoning on my fries but I am thinking some Garlic Parm fries would be awesome too! Transfer potatoes to a sheet pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Watch them – I like mine super crispy, so 30 minutes works perfectly. If you want them a little less crispy then check them at 20.

These are seriously the most amazing baked fries I have ever had. I have tried this recipe by halving fingerling potatoes and they turn out great as well. Let me know if you guys give these a try! What kind of seasonings do you put on your fries?

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xx Casey

The Perfect Cheese Board

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Yesterday I shared my top holiday entertaining tips with you. Today I am talking about the thing that is going to bring your holiday party over the edge – the perfect holiday cheese board. I love cheese. I love bread. I love everything that accompanies cheese and bread. Creating a beautiful cheese board is an entertaining art form. So I am going to share my top tips to creating an Instagram worthy cheese plate for your holiday get together.

Variety. It is important to have three or four different varieties of cheese on your board. Make sure you have a good mix of soft, semi soft, and hard cheeses. My favorites to incorporate are Brie, Gouda, Parmesan, and Mozzarella. I typically stay away from the cheddar, but it is by no means a negative. Go for what you and your guests will love!

2 Slice It. If you are serving hard cheeses on your board like Parmesan or Gouda, pre-slice it. If it is not sliced, guests are not going to dig into it. No one wants to be the person awkwardly trying to cut into the cheese on the table.

3 It’s More Than Just the Cheese. Hard to believe, but sometimes the star of the cheese board isn’t the cheese at all, it’s the accompaniments.

4 Don’t Skimp on the Crackers. Now that I have shared my tips, let’s get into my board shall we? I chose four different cheeses: Mozzarella, Parmesan, Gouda, and Brie and two meats: Prosciutto and Pepperoni. I accompanied the meat and cheeses with blackberry jam, fresh blackberries, olives, cornichons, and artichokes. It’s good to have a nice mix of sweet and savory items on your board.

I also may have eaten half of that board myself… I have no regrets.

xx Casey

Gingerbread Truffles

Today I have a quick and easy recipe that will truly wow your friends at your upcoming holiday party or cookie swap. Each year I come up with a new truffle recipe, and this year I decided to incorporate gingerbread.

Ingredients:

Gingerbread Cookies – I used Ginger Snaps

Cream Cheese

Chocolate – I used both white and milk chocolate

Sprinkles

Method of Prep:

Crush the cookies. If you have a food processor, awesome! If you don’t have one like me, put those bad boys in a ziplock bag and crush them with your cast iron pan until there are no large pieces left. Then mix in the cream cheese until the cookie crumbles and cream cheese are incorporated together. Do not use too much cream cheese – you do not want the mixture to be too wet. Roll the mixture into little balls and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will make them easier to dip into the chocolate.

In a double boiler melt your milk or white chocolate. With a toothpick, coat the frozen truffles with the chocolate and lay on a baking sheet. Top with your choice of sprinkle right after dipping. Since the truffles have been frozen the chocolate will cool very quickly. Repeat this process until all of your truffles have been coated. Place in fridge to finish setting the chocolate, and enjoy!

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xx Casey

Dave’s Coffee

Hi friends, I am here today to talk about another amazing coffee shop in Providence. Dave’s Coffee is located on South Main Street, right next to an awesome little antique shop. The great thing about Dave’s is that it isn’t just serving up delicious coffee and donuts (we will get there in a second!), they also sell their beans wholesale as well as produce their own coffee syrup.

Now, if you do not know what coffee syrup is don’t worry.. neither did I until I became a Rhode Islander. Coffee syrup is a sweetened coffee concentrate and the key ingredient in coffee milk. The syrup is prepared by straining water and sugar through coffee grounds. Coffee milk is a drink made by mixing coffee syrup and milk together similar to chocolate milk, and is the official state drink of Rhode Island.

In their shop Dave’s is serving up some killer lattes, cubanos, espressos, and pour overs. There are three specialty lattes on their menu, and even though all three of them sound amazing, one immediately caught my eye. They feature a coffee milk latte, honey latte, and a vanilla bourbon latte on their everyday menu. I will give you one guess which one I ordered.

No visit would be complete without ordering one of their donuts. They are cake donuts, and will definitely fill you up. They have a variety of different flavors that change daily. I went with the pumpkin spice donut and it did not disappoint.

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Want some Dave’s Coffee but live out of state? Check out Dave’s website and order a little taste of Rhode Island – a bottle of their coffee syrup is a perfect gift for the holidays!  https://www.davescoffee.com/

Speaking of the holidays, tomorrows post kicks off my holiday inspired series to get us all in the spirit! I have two weeks of festive material planned to get you ready for the holidays. This is my favorite time of year and it goes way too fast, so let’s enjoy it a little bit shall we? And I have just the thing to help with that tomorrow..

xx Casey

Cranberry Apple Sangria

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I couldn’t leave you without at least one recipe to get you through today. My family loves Sangria so during the holidays I always try to come up with a new version to spice things up. This year the main ingredient is Jack Daniels Winter Jack Whiskey. This is an apple cider whiskey that kind of tastes like candy. Yum.

Ingredients
2 bottles chilled Pinot Grigio
1 cup apple whiskey
1 cup cranberry juice
2 cups cold club soda
2 apples, sliced
1 cup fresh cranberries

In a large pitcher add wine, whiskey, and fruit. Let sit for 45 minutes so the fruit can absorb that liquid. Add club soda right before serving and enjoy.

This sangria is simple and delicious. Not a fan of whiskey? Add your favorite liquor and then add half cranberry juice/half apple juice to still have that awesome fall flavor. I may have had a glass or two.. or three already.

I am very thankful that I get to spend this Thanksgiving back home with my family. Now let’s eat, drink, and watch football.

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xx Casey