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A Little About Me

Hi, I'm Meredith! A Montana gal living and loving life in PDX. I love great restaurants, getting creative in the kitchen and making a house home. I hope you'll follow along for all the recipes, restaurants and adventures. More info...
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2016 Holiday Gift Guide + Giveaway


The holidays are upon us, and so is the time to gift those you love, like, or share a friend group with. ;)

3 Month Membership
$45

I am a reader and love to gift books. I think they are thoughtful, useful, and give a reason to touch base after the holidays. I love a, "Hey, cousin! Just finished the book you gave me. I can't believe Joe was the killer!!" text. 

Book of the Month Club is an awesome gift for an avid reader or someone you may not know incredibly well. Here's how it works, each month you get to pick one of five book options. Don't like any of the options? Feel free to skip a month.


Scovare Sail

Over the summer I picked up a Groupon for a BYOB sail on a whim. It turned out to be one of my favorite activities in Portland to date! 

Scovare Expeditions has an impressive fleet of sailboats and yachts, not to mention the nicest staff! And as a lover of gifting experiences, I HIGHLY recommend gifting a sunset sail to your sweetie, bestie, or favorite colleague.

Red Ridge Olive Oil

Want to bring a hostess gift, but the hostess is expecting? Maybe you need to bring a lil' something for a work gift exchange or to your child's teacher. Perhaps you think wine is o-v-e-r. Whatever your reasoning might be, I highly recommend locally made oils and vinegars. Here in Oregon, Red Ridge has become my go to for a gracious hostess gift.

Tattly

Temporary tattoos as a holiday gift?? YES!! Can you think of a more exciting or interactive gift swap item or stocking stuffer? Personally, I think being alive is an occasion for a temporary tattoo, and holiday tattoos are just ink on the bicep.

I've found Tattly designs to be the most creative and highest quality. Their winter collection includes a dapper reindeer, gold, and a scented line.

Smith Tea


Personally, I find stocking stuffers to be the most challenging gift to give. They can't be too expensive, should be relatively compact, and must never be dust-collecting junk. I've found luxury items like tea or coffee to be a thoughtful, budget-friendly, and healthy gift to give. Especially Smith Tea!! A box can be split up or your favorite sister can be gifted a holiday edition flavor such as Silent Night or Morning Light.



Now for the giveaway!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Recipe {Apple + Sausage Strata}

Happy Thanksgiving week! What are your plans for the holiday? I will by flying down to the Bay Area to spend the holiday with my sisters and brother-in-law. We have a Turkey Trot, and then having Thanksgiving with about 12 people. I'll be making Parker House Rolls and helping out where needed. To be honest, when planning the trip Thanksgiving was an afterthought. What I'm really flying down for is to watching Gilmore Girls on Friday! We've dubbed it #ThanksGilmore! I suspect there will be a lot of Pizza and Chinese food with a side of Rolos.

If you aren't planning on eating all the processed food, I'd highly recommend making this Apple + Sausage Strata for a holiday brunch. The hearty dish can be made before, has a nice mixture of salty and sweet, and has the cheddar gets real crispy. I used Autumn Glory apples, a variety out of Yakima, and they bring a very bold sweetness to the dish, while also maintaining their crunch. I was very happy with the texture of the apples and them not turning to mush.


 Need another apple recipe? Head over to The Spicy Bee where I shared a recipe for cheddar-buttermilk biscuits. 


Apple + Sausage Strata
Serves 6-8

1 loaf day old crusty bread, cubed
1 lb ground sage breakfast sausage
2 Autumn Glory apples, cubed
8 ounces sharp cheddar, small cubes
6 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
Salt + Pepper

Preheat an oven to 375. Cook sausage until brown and crumbly. 

In a large bowl combined bread, apple, cheddar and sausage. Let sausage cool and bread soak up sausage drippings.

In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Salt and pepper to liking. Pour over bread mixture, stirring every five minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes.  

Place mixture in a large casserole dish. Bake for one hour. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.



My Blueprint

If you read my last post, then you know how I feel right now. I'm pretty gutted and the sobs come in waves.

A few friends recommended I publish an email that I wrote to family and friends. It is my plan to move forward. I have faith in the heart of life.

As always, thank you for tuning in. I'll be back next week with some pretty great content. All my love.

Friends, 

First off, I want to say how wonderful I think you are. Each and every one of you can put a huge smile on my face, and for that, I am forever grateful.

Some of us (Meredith. Meredith Davison.) are more political than others. Let's be kind to those who are easing into this arena, because "I don't like to  discuss politics" isn't really an option anymore. And we want to welcome and engage those friends. We all have a lot to fight for. We will also find ourselves fighting alongside people with very different political beliefs, but a common belief in good and America. We can, and MUST, work together.

The Trump Presidency could be truly consequential - causing economic collapse, starting wars, a Russian influence, dismantling government programs, and causing our children to live in fear. 

Instead of spiraling into a doomsday well of depression I've made a plan and blueprint.  And have I ever NOT shared a bulleted list?

 (Yes, Trump has me down, but he will never take away my lists.)

  • Healthcare: It is highly recommended you have a birth control plan in place, as it is expected in January  Trump will disolve the portion of ACA which covers birth control options. While getting an IUD wasn't fun, it is an option I would recommend if you aren't looking to have a baby anytime soon. Being a woman is now considered a pre-existing condition, and it is going to be expensive. If you have questions about the IUD process let me know.
Get a checkup and take care of any health issues you've been putting off. Get prescritions filled and make a therapists appointment if needed. Really, if you need to talk with a professional, do it. And make sure you're sleeping. Last night I had a big cup of sleepy tea and got some rest. 
  • Passport: Make sure your passport is updated and ready to go. I'm doing this not only for travel reasons, but because I question the efficiency and organization of government agencies come January.
  • IT Security: It is recommended to double-password protect all accounts and have a VPN on any devices you may be using on unsecured networks. Do you log onto the internet at coffee shops?? Then your phones, computers and tablets need a VPN. LastPass is a free password manager and VPN services are pretty affordable.
  • Financial Plan: I think we should brace ourselves for some hard times. Make a 2016 budget that amps up savings while still supporting small businesses. 

  • Speak up: This means calling and writing your House and Senate Representatives. Let them know what you want and they have your support. Oregon's elected officials will be fighting, but I also plan on contacting Montana's representatives. Not to mention Republicans.It may feel like an Junior High social study lesson, but Citizen is the most important job we have right now. 

  • Supporting non-profits: Through donations, volunteering and social media we MUST support non-profits that will be devastated by this, but will also be at the frontlines. Like free speech? Call the ACLU or donate. Think breast cancer screening should be easily accesible? Volunteer and/or donate to Planned Parenthood. Human Rights Council also needs our support.

  • Support others: If you see a stranger struggling, support them. Ask your friends how they are doing. Follow up and be encouraging. If you're speaking to a little girl, don't compliment her outfit - ASK HER WHAT SHE THINKS! Be an example of kindness. Be an example of how men should treat women. Speak up for the marginalized.  Imigrants, Muslims, Hispanics, POC, the LGBTQ, disabled and poor will be devastated by this. Voice your support and be kind. They/you need to know we are fighting for them/you. That we have their/your back. That we see their/your value.

  • Thoughtful conversation: This isn't just about Trump. 56 million people voted for him. We must be prepared to have thoughtful conversations with his supporters in hopes of finding common ground. We need to work towards the future.



Stay engaged. Be kind. Keep the faith.

Soooo... where have you been?

Friends, I've been quiet on the blog front lately. You may know this is my favorite hobby, but not a source of income for me. That provides me with the flexibility to slow down and step back.  What have I been doing? I've been funneling my energy and extra time into this election. If you follow me on Twitter, this comes as no surprise. 

A lot of people dislike talking politics and try to avoid the conversation. And in America part of our Democracy is the right to vote privately. I opt to forego that right, and am pretty loud and proud about the bubbles I fill in. This openness is probably a mix of being an overly loud person (my sister Steph will attest to this) and my upbringing. 

I remember getting to stay up late in 1992 and watching the DNC as Bill Clinton accepted the nomination. I remember knocking on doors with my dad (and not for candy) and going to vote with my mom. I've been writing letters to Senators and Presidents for decades. I've even had in person confrontations with Senators about their voting record. *please note, said Senator lost the fight and his re-election.

But a love of politics and obsession with collecting "I Voted" stickers isn't why I've been managing Facebook accounts or phone banking away. It is because this is the most important election in modern time. 

Don't want to talk about that? Okay, well let's talk about why you read this blog. I'm guessing you really like good food. I'm guessing you like having money to pay for meals at the coolest restaurants or to buy groceries for snazzy recipes. I'm pretty sure you care about climate change, and that said ingredients are sustainably harvested. I bet you think the chefs, waiters and wine makers deserve to make a living wage. Or that their cuts, burns and slammed fingers should be treated. And I bet you care about childhood hunger. 

All of this is on the ballot.

Still need a closing argument?
Take it away, Barry!



I certainly hope you will all get out and vote. If you're in Oregon, ballots are out and you may have voted. If not, drop your ballot off at the Library or one of eight 24-hour drop boxes.

If you're a reader in Idaho, DC, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Colorado, Minnesota, MONTANA, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Vermont, Maryland, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, or Ohio you can register ON Election Day! 

And as for the regular content of this blog? Well, post-election I have an AMAZING holiday gift guide and giveaway planned, a few recipes ready to share and a really special series in December.