Festive Thanksgiving Recipes Featuring MilkAndEggs

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What better way to stay thankful this year than to spend the Thanksgiving holidays surrounded by loved ones and a hearty feast of homemade recipes? This November, I've partnered up with my favorite MilkAndEggs once again to show you guys THREE bombtastic recipes that will make this holiday a memorable one indeed. So what are you waiting for? Let's get cooking!


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Apple Pie

Ingredients:

Dough:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 14 tablespoons cold butter, diced
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons cold water

Filling:
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 pounds baking apples (Golden Delicious, Cortland, or Mutsu)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- generous pinch of nutmeg
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten

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Directions:

Make the dough by hand. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before proceeding.) Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.

Make the dough in a food processor. With the machine fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean size bits of butter, about 10 times. Add the egg and pulse 1 to 2 times; don't let the dough form into a ball in the machine. (If the dough is very dry add up to a tablespoon more of cold water.) Remove the bowl from the machine, remove the blade, and bring the dough together by hand.

Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

Make the filling. Put the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Peel, halve, and core the apples. Cut each half into 4 wedges. Toss the apple with the lemon juice. Add the sugar and toss to combine evenly.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the apples soften and release most of their juices, about 7 minutes.

Strain the apples in a colander over a medium bowl to catch all the juice. Shake the colander to get as much liquid as possible. Return the juices to the skillet, and simmer over medium heat until thickened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the reduced juice and spices. Set aside to cool completely. (This filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated or frozen for up to 6 months.)

Cut the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough into a disc about 11 to 12 inches wide. Layer the dough between pieces of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the discs of dough, and trim it so it lays about 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pan. Put the apple filling in the pan and mound it slightly in the center. Brush the top edges of the dough with the egg. Place the second disc of dough over the top. Fold the top layer of dough under the edge of the bottom layer and press the edges together to form a seal. Flute the edge as desired. Brush the surface of the dough with egg and then sprinkle with sugar. Pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape while baking. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Bake the pie on a baking sheet until the crust is golden, about 50 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving. The pie keeps well at room temperature (covered) for 24 hours, or refrigerated for up to 4 days.

 

Link to original recipe here.


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Blackened Shrimp Avocado Cucumber Bites

Ingredients:

Shrimp & Cucumber Bites:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon creole seasoning
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled & deviened
- 1 cucumber, sliced

Avocado Sauce:
- 1 avocado, mashed
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced or chopped
- 2 tablespoons cilantro and/or parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and cayenne to taste

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Directions:

Shrimp & Cucumber Bites:
Toss the shrimp in the oil and the seasoning and cook in a preheated (medium-high heat) heavy bottomed pan/skillet until slightly blackened, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Assemble the bites with cucumber slices, topped with avocado sauce, shrimp and remoulade sauce.

Avocado Sauce:
Mix everything and enjoy!

Link to original recipe here.


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Pomegranate and Cranberry Bruschetta

Ingredients:

Pomegranate & Cranberry Relish:
- 1 pound fresh (or frozen) cranberries, washed
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 serrano pepper
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 pomegranate arils or seeds
- finely chopped fresh basil (for garnish)

Crostini:
 

CROSTINI
- 1 thin baguette, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened

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Directions:

1. Place the cranberries, sugar, & serano peppers in a food processor.

2. Pulse on and off several times until cranberries are coarsely chopped. Don't over-process.

3. Add basil and pulse a few more times. Not too much, you want basil bits to be visible in relish.

4. Transfer to a storage container and add pomegranate arils.

5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or till ready to use.

6. For the crostini, preheat oven to 350˚F.

7. Place baguette slices on prepared pans

8. Brush lightly with oil

9. Sprinkle lightly with salt and a grind of pepper (don't leave this step out!)

10. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until golden, rotating pans halfway through baking time.

11. To assemble bruschetta, whisk cream cheese until creamy.

12. Spread about 1/2 - 1 tablespoon on each crostini.

13. Top with a scoop of the relish.

14. Garnish with basil.

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Link to original recipe here.


If you're looking for a quick and easy-to-make Thanksgiving recipe , I would highly suggest whipping up either the Pomegranate & Cranberry Bruschetta or Blackened Shrimp Avocado Cucumber Bites. Although the Apple Pie does take longer to prepare, this dessert tastes absolutely delicious when served fresh out of the oven! I hope that you guys enjoyed looking through these fun, Instagrammable recipes and would love to know if you try any of these out for yourself! Lastly, let's remember to focus on the positives on life and stay thankful and blessed for everything that we have! Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving with love from my family to yours! :)

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Milk & Eggs, but all opinions remain my own.

Much Love,

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A collaborative post on iRose Social by Michelle Sun & Sharon Litz.

Four La Jolla Restaurants You Need To Try

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Because I live only an hour away from La Jolla, I swear that I need to visit this beautiful and beachy city more often! From this past Wednesday to Thursday, Sharon and I spent hours walking through the streets of La Jolla with a DSLR in hand and wiping out every delicious entree in sight. We stayed at the gorgeous teal-themed Empress Hotel, which was located in the center of all fun and exciting attractions - including La Jolla Cove and various restaurants that we wanted to cross off of our bucketlist. Since the majority of our trip comprised of eating (sorry not sorry, heh), I've compiled a list of bomb La Jolla eats that you should visit if you're ever in the area!


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1. Holy Matcha

So Holy Matcha isn't exactly located in the city of La Jolla, but it's close enough in distance so I decided to include it anyways! Despite the poor ratings on Yelp, I can safely say that I would return to Holy Matcha again in a heartbeat the next time I'm in the La Jolla vicinity. Not only can you label the aesthetics of this shop #interiorgoals with their pink booths and leafy wallpaper, but their menu options top the list for Instagram #foodgoals as well. I ordered an Avocado Toast and Pink Lemonade, which both came with flowers! I was about to eat the flowers before Sharon warned me that they were probably not edible, LOL! The Avocado Toast contained flavors that were out of this world and I swear they used some secret addictive ingredient that makes you want to order a second toast on the spot. Hands down, this is one of the best Avocado Toasts I've ever had. If I lived in La Jolla, Holy Matcha would probably be one of my favorite places to work at, as there were outlets underneath each booth. Score!

Personal Favorites: Avocado Toast, Pink Lemonade


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2. Puesto

Puesto was actually one of the first restaurants that I've dined at when I visited La Jolla a couple years back for Yelp Spring Break San Diego. From three years ago, I can still picture how delicious their Elote was and it did not disappoint when I tried it again this past week. While Sharon ordered various vegetarian options, I opted for the 3 Taco Mix & Match. Puesto is highly known for the use of their blue corn tortillas, and I happily selected their lobster, salmon, and filet mignon taco options. Lastly, don't forget to order their delicious Iced Horchata! When in La Jolla, you always have to order horchata because no place makes it better ;)

Personal Favorites: Iced Horchata, Elote, Lobster Taco


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3. Herringbone

Yes, it's confirmed - Herringbone looks as gorgeous outside as it does inside! From a distance, you can spot this restaurant by its intimate setting and beautiful use of fairy lights. Because of its romantic and dim-lit atmosphere, this is the perfect restaurant to take a loved one for an anniversary dinner or play catch-up with your girlfriends (literally, the table of four girls next to us were trading Tinder dating stories over drinks, LOL!). What I loved about our experience here was the passion and enthusiasm from our particular waiter. Not only did he passionately highlight Herringbone's top dishes, but he shared with us the precise details from how the entree is cooked to what ingredients they incorporate in each dish. With his recommendations, we ordered a lovely table spread of the Curried Cauliflower, Vegetarian Special personally customized for Sharon, Crab Cake, Ahi Poke, Brussel Sprouts, and Branzino. Out of all of our dishes, my favorite entree had to be the Ahi Poke, as the powerful flavors of the fish went really well with the deep fried seaweed. For dessert, we shared the Toffee Pudding and Herringbone Sundae. This sundae dessert was over-the-top amazing and I have never gushed over a dessert as much as this one. If I ever want to dine at a fancy restaurant in La Jolla, Herringbone would definitely be a recommendation that would pop up off the top of my head.

Personal Favorites: Ahi Poke, Herringbone Sundae


4. Shorehouse Kitchen

According to Yelp, Shorehouse Kitchen is ranked as one of the more popular brunch spots in La Jolla. We dropped by with hungry stomachs and left the restaurant feeling completely food coma'd out so you already know that their portion sizes are more than abundant! Thanks to our waitress' recommendation, I ordered the Short Rib & Hash Brown Pancake with a side of English Muffin and it was one of the best breakfast options I have ever tasted. If I visited La Jolla again, I would definitely order this same entree again without hesitation - you can even call it my "usual" ;)


If you're ever visiting La Jolla, I hope that you look into these restaurant recommendations and let me know what you think! Also, if you have any restaurant recommendations that you'd like to add to my list, please leave me a comment below - I'd love to check them out!

Much Love,

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#MeToo: A Victim Of Date Rape

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Have you ever been sexually harassed or abused, but never had the courage to speak up about it or confide in a close friend or family member?

If your answer is yes, just know that you're not alone - I've been there too, as well as countless other women who choose to share their story or not. #MeToo


Outfit Details:
Top: Kut From The Kloth
Jeans: Kut From The Kloth
Purse: StyleWe
Shoes: Zooshoo


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After observing the #MeToo movement becoming viral on Twitter from actress Alyssa Milano's sexual assault and reading a sexual assault experience from a fellow blogger, I knew I had to share MY story too. To be honest, I never felt 100% comfortable talking about any topics related to sexual abuse or harassment on my platforms because it drifts heavily away from my blog's main focus of positivity stories, career advice, and inspirational topics.

However, the longer I've suppressed this feeling, the more I wanted to express the frustration and pain I was going through. Thus, I've gathered up the courage to write about this topic because I want my platform to be a safe place where we can talk about anything, grow from our mistakes, and learn from each other. After all, the last thing I want is to have another woman go through the same hell that I've been going through and to live with this mentally scarring experience every passing day for the rest of your life.

This is the story that continues to give me nightmares that jolt me awake at 4:00AM. This is the story that haunts my very thoughts whenever I'm driving in the car alone. This is the story of how I was a victim of date rape.


He was the perfect catch - or so I'd thought.

A successful career in one of the top consulting firms. A gorgeous, private studio overlooking the city view of Los Angeles. A die-hard passion to constantly travel and develop his photography skills. A good conversationalist with a frequent use of emojis and laughs. A cute smile and a decent dresser (although my friends deem him a solid 3/10 for being an asshole - we'll get to that later, LOL).

"How could a guy like this be single?", I thought to myself. "And how did we manage to squeeze in time for a date throughout the week when we're both such busy people?"


We talked from one to three times per day on Facebook messenger, exchanging anywhere from 1-6 detailed paragraphs long per chat. Right from the start, I saw potential to become something more with him because I couldn't imagine a "player" devoting so much time to get to know me on a deeper level through text - to invest time and effort into a long, meaningful conversation, to ask me questions about my personality, dream career, and lifestyle, to answer every question that I asked him in precise detail. I wanted our first date to secure this potential, but it very well did just the opposite.

My friends warned me about his "stereotypical" player features, but I just assumed that they were being the typical overprotective girlfriends that we all know and love. I assured them that I'd be okay and proceeded to excitedly drive to the designated dinner spot while feeling like I was on Cloud Nine.

Over Korean food and soju, we got along well and shared a few laughs throughout the night. Like any other date, you talk about friendly topics such as family, travel, career, passions, and so on. Honestly, I wanted to ask him more serious topics about relationships, but refrained from doing so on the first date to avoid scaring him off. All I knew is that he was definitely somebody I wanted to see again, or at least get to know better with time.

By the end of the date, it was past 10:00PM, we were an hour away from my house, and I was tipsy AF from the soju shots we had earlier. Let's keep in mind that this is the first time I have ever drank on a date, or drank alcohol in a while. Nice going, Michelle. I will never, ever condone drunk driving so I ended up telling him that I couldn't drive at that very moment - which was 100% true. In response, he suggested that we could either wait at the restaurant or we could head back to his place while I sober up since I had a long drive back home to OC.

My gut feeling told me two things - he was either a thirsty player trying to get it in, or he was a considerate gentleman for realizing that embarking on an hour-long car ride home past midnight was not the best idea in my current condition. I hesitated a bit before I took him up on his offer to crash at his place for a little bit, whether it be for 1-2 hours or overnight in a separate room. If I did feel better, I replied that I would drive home for the night after sobering up. On the other hand, if I felt that it was too late to drive home, I would accept his offer to stay the night and leave the very next morning. Thus, he drove us to his place with his car, UBER'd back to the restaurant to pick up mine, then drove my car back to his place as well. Would a player really go through this much effort to get laid? I personally didn't think so.

As I was admiring the beautiful city view from his apartment, he poured one more drink for the each of us. At that point, I should have realized that he was up to no good, but I was still too inebriated to think straight. Our glasses clinked as we drank the last alcoholic drinks of the night and we ended up sharing a conversation about various board games (yep, I'm a total gamer girl geek and proud of it, haha). After realizing that the rules of the game were way too complicated to go over near midnight (we were debating on playing) and with a drunk Michelle, I excused myself to use the bathroom and that's when it happened.

I opened the bathroom door to find that he turned ALL of the lights off. He approached me quickly, knowing exactly what to do (kind of like a rehearsed script) and started undressing me. On any first date, I knew exactly where my boundaries stand and I never schedule sex to be a part of the agenda. Little did I know that our agendas were on complete ends of the spectrum, and he ended up getting what he wanted - his way. That entire night, he fulfilled his own selfish needs against my will. He continuously dismissed my request to use protection and kept trying to pressure me to do it without. Even when I told him to stop and attempted multiple times to shove him off, he didn't let my forceful pushing bother him one bit. When he was done, he knocked out immediately and I ended up not getting a wink of sleep that night. It was the worst sleep I've ever had, and he was the worst date I ever had. I felt used. Traumatized. Disgusted.

How could somebody who appeared so proper and mature at dinner turn into such a disgusting, disrespectful animal at night? Honestly, he was the most selfish, appalling, and pathetic man I have ever encountered in my life and just thinking about that night makes me extremely clammy and uncomfortable.

I ended up telling a few of my close girlfriends what happened, and they were all disgusted beyond belief. "That's not okay", "he's a rapist", "what a hoe", and more negative feedback about this man literally filled my text chatrooms and all I could do was feel empty and lost inside.

To confirm if he was a player or not, I wanted to see if he treated me differently afterwards. I sent him a follow-up message, continuing our chirpy conversation from where it last left off - to see if he was the "hit it and quit it" type of guy or if he was remotely interested but a DTF type of guy. My worst fear was confirmed when it took him two full days to get back to me with a shorter, effortless message - that's when I knew, he was a player and he was a rapist.

Realizing that I had allowed this disgusting rapist to take advantage of me, I felt weak in the knees and experienced fluctuating emotions of anger, sadness, bitterness, and confusion for the next two weeks. Why would he spend so much effort talking to me, just for that one night? Was all that effort really worth the chase? Was he even remotely interested in getting to know me?

The answer to these questions, I'll never know. People act the way they act based on a series of life events, and you'll never know why somebody does something until you get to know them on a personal level. Based on his actions, I personally felt that he was trying to fill this empty void in his heart through meaningless one-night stands. I'll never know the truth, but that's just an assumption I have. But regardless of his intentions, he is, and always will be, a rapist.


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Now, I'm sharing my traumatic experience with you guys because I personally learned that opening up about an issue is one of the healthiest ways to move on from emotional torture. Of course, everybody has a different comfort level when it comes to discussing sexual-related topics and I totally respect each and every one of you and how you choose to grieve over a sensitive subject like sexual harassment. However, if you have experienced a similar sexual harassment situation and find yourself angry, upset, or uneasy about the situation, trust me when I say that talking to another trustworthy individual will make you feel ten times better. To suffer agony alone is a terrible feeling, and you should never have to go through life's obstacles alone. As soon as I told my friends about this predicament, they made me feel loved and cared for, unlike that disgusting pig.

Also, I learned that staying passive in life or not taking action does not make me happy at all. If I ever experience a life-changing lesson that can help others, I will almost always write about it on my blog in hopes that I can better another individual's life. Thus, I'm doing the same with this blog post and strongly encourage any of you to speak up if you've ever been sexually harassed or abused. By coming together and uniting as a community, we can make a universal effort to eradicate the world from sexual harassment and abuse, one story at a time. If you feel that you're ready, join the #MeToo movement by speaking up for yourself and for the ones who aren't ready to tell their stories yet.

To gain closure, I realized that I couldn't hide these feelings any longer and had to share it with my friends, and now you guys. A couple days later after that night, I privately messaged him a collection of my raw and honest thoughts - how disgusted he specifically made me feel and how what he did was not okay. To this day, I know that he's purposely avoiding my message, but what matters is that I was strong enough to communicate how I felt with him. Now that that's out of the way, I can move on with less weight on my shoulders and a strong desire to move forward from this horrific event.

All in all, I am extremely thankful for the important family members and friends that I have in my life, but I am still mentally torn till this very day. At the end of the day, I realized that it's not healthy to live in regret or anger, so I'm taking this personal experience and using my story to share my learning lesson with you guys.

The learning lesson is this...don't ever expect an individual to act the way you want him/her to act and don't ever put him/her on a pedestal. What you see may not always be what you get, and only time can really tell you what a person is really like deep down inside.

With that being said, I'm saying #MeToo and hope that none of you will ever have to experience this kind of suffering alone. If you are currently experiencing emotional pain from a previous sexual harassment or abuse situation, remember that you are strong and that each passing day will bring you one step closer to strength and happiness. Let's turn these negative incidents into positive life lessons and do the best that we can to move forward together - after all, I'll be with you every step of the way.

Much Love,

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