Trekking to Hardy Falls and Hamilton Mountain

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The Columbia River Gorge is chock full of hikes at various skill levels, and one of the harder ascents I’ve just added under my belt is on Washington’s south side of the Bridge of the Gods. Seven miles from the bridge is the more famous Beacon Rock – a towering boulder with striking views of the Gorge (and a portion of the distance you will usually have to hike to get the same views). Directly across from the Beacon parking lot is a sign for campgrounds and access to Hamilton Mountain. Luckily this hike could easily be split into three lengths and difficulty levels: 3.2 miles (medium), 6 miles (difficult), 9 miles (more difficult). Having done the whole thing, I might opt for the 6 miler next time, but it’s still worth all the work.

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pecan chicken with bourbon maple cream sauce

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I didn’t even have to read this entire post to know I wanted this dish in me as soon as possible. It looks like it falls into the “labor of love” on the effort scale, but if The Dough Will Rise Again is raving about this recipe, I know it will be worth the work!

The Dough Will Rise Again

I’m kind of particular about chicken. If you know me, you’d probably say I was pretty particular about a lot of specific things, but chicken is a biggie. I don’t like chicken on the bone, or with skin. I don’t like dark meat. I don’t like fried chicken… wait, I’m Southern through and through, and I don’t like fried chicken? Nope. I can almost pinpoint this dislike to having fried chicken at tailgates, and using paper napkins, and having little pieces of paper stick to my hands. I think it has ruined me for life. (I’m pretty sure my disdain for boned chicken involves the kid that sat across from me at the lunch table in the third grade and ATE chicken leg bones. I’ll never get over it.)

As such, I have never fried chicken. I’m actually not much of a fryer in general, but I’ve gone out on…

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Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Delights

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Chocolate and caramels are a complicated subject matter for me. I love them, but I’m not as crazy for them as other desserts (give me crème brûlée any day). However, I am starting to sing a different tune after having experienced some of the most amazing chocolate caramels ever. My friend, Sara is an incredibly talented blogger/photographer and, turns out, baker, and when she contributed traditional and chocolate caramels to our December Crafty Night, I knew my world would never be the same. Continue reading

Hot Cocoa and Homemade Cayenne Marshmallows

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That’s right, you heard me! It’s been snowing hard (ok, for Portland) with a side of freezing rain, and a necessary contribution to my comfort and survival during such times includes hot chocolate, a liquor of choice and preferably some amazing homemade marshmallows for toppers.

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