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Kelly McCombs - Saturday, November 05, 2016



Photo courtesy of Saratoga Farmers Market



Looking for something to do in and around Saratoga this weekend? The weather is supposed to be crisp and beautiful, so why not get out of the house! Keep on reading for some of the events that are on our list!



The Saratoga Farmers Market is moving indoors for the winter starting today, and they are hosting a delicious tasting event to celebrate! Located at the Lincoln Baths at Saratoga Spa State Park, the "Taste of the Market" will give market goers a wonderful opportunity to sample a variety of cheeses, fruits, vegetables, sweets, meats, and many prepared foods that the market vendors offer. There will also be cooking advice and recipes, too! The market runs from 9am-1pm today (Saturday). Don't miss out on your chance to try a ton of wonderful samples!



If you are a winter sports enthusiast, make sure to check out the Northeast Ski and Craft Beer Showcase, being held at the Empire State Plaza today 10am-6pm and tomorrow 10am-5pm. Formerly known as the Albany Ski and Snowboard Expo, this showcase is New York's largest and longest running winter sports show, heading into it's 55th year! You'll be able to check out the best in new ski and snowboard equipment and fashion, along with some pretty fantastic destinations! There will even be prizes to win! Tickets are $10 at the door and make sure to bring extra cash to take part in drinking some delicious craft beers!  



Who doesn't love a good barbecue wing? If you fancy yourself a wing connoisseur, then you don't want to miss the Capital Region Wing Wars 13. Held in Troy at the Franklin Terrace Ballroom today until 5pm, a ticket to Wing Wars will only cost you $25. This will give you the chance to sample two wings from each of the 15+ vendors, which is over 30 wings per person! Make sure you are prepared for some seriously spice wings, as some of the vendors like to kick it up a notch. There will also be beer and wine for sale, a DJ and free pizza! All proceeds go to St. Jude the Apostle School tuition assistance program. 



And finally, if you feel like taking a bit of a drive, head on up to Lake George to drive the Prospect Mountain Memorial Highway. There will be no fee to drive here today and tomorrow, so take advantage and enjoy some spectacular views from high above Lake George in the Adirondacks. 



We hope you enjoy the beautiful weekend ahead and get the chance to attend some of these fun Fall events! 





Featured Fan Photos

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, October 29, 2016

One of our very favorite things is seeing our fans enjoying Saratoga Water, and also seeing how you incorporate our water and the beautiful cobalt bottles into your everyday life and special events. Thank you to all of you who have shared a glimpse into your lives with us! Don't forget to tag us in all of your #SaratogaWater pictures on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to be featured on our social media. Here are a few of our favorite Fan Photos that we featured over the last several months!




Photo by Jacquie Pasternak on Facebook

Photo by @gardencollage on Twitter

Photo by @ashleyccline on Instagram

Photo by @vox.visulai on Instagram

Photo by @adriancabrero on Instagram

Photo by @closetsandcorks on Instagram

Photo by @ciaratoga on Instagram

Photo by @jacobhopper on Instagram

Photo by @theinnatfivepoints on Instagram

Rainy Day Fun

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, October 22, 2016

(Photo Credit: Pluviobrew)

With some rainy weather on tap for the next few days, you might be thinking that you’ll probably have nothing to do over the weekend besides to stay inside and watch TV. That sounds too boring for us, so we have put together a few rainy day activities that you can do to take up some of your time this weekend.


If you have kids in the house, grab a bunch of blanket and pillows and make an indoor tent/fort. Just because the weather is bad doesn’t mean you can’t go camping! Follow this up with an indoor picnic, to be eaten inside the “tent”, of course! The kids will really get a kick out of it and it’s a fun way to get them involved in helping set up. You can play board games, tell scary stories, all while inside the “tent”!


If you are looking to have a nice relaxing night at home while it rains, why not make your own bubble bath? Mix together a ½ cup of liquid hand or body soap, 1 tablespoon of honey and one egg white. You can also add in the essential oil of your choosing to make it smell beautiful. Run this mixture under the tap to create a beautiful bubble bath. The honey will naturally help attract and keep moisture in your skin and the egg white will help the bubbles last longer. Now, sit back and relax in your bath and let the stress of the day unwind.


Along the same lines of the relaxing bath, one thing that I love to do on rainy days is treat myself to a deep conditioning hair treatment. I won’t be running any errands anywhere, so what better time to take care of myself? I will either use a store bought hair mask, or my favorite: coconut oil. Yes, just regular coconut oil that you can purchase from the grocery store. I will massage some into my scalp and bring it down to the ends of my hair, then I will put it up in a bun and let it sit for a few hours. The coconut oil just washes out with regular shampoo. You will be left with very soft, silky smooth hair!


This might sound boring, but on rainy days I like to put some music on and clean up around the house. The music keeps me entertained and usually makes me work more efficiently. I love coming home to a clean house, so taking the opportunity to neaten things up when I’m stuck inside anyway is the perfect thing for me.


My personal plan for this rainy weekend is a horror movie marathon! It is almost Halloween, so many of the channels on TV are showing some older horror movies. I’ll also use services like Netflix to make sure I have a day full of scary fun. I really only watch scary movies before Halloween, so this is my excuse to get all of the old horror classics together for a fun night. I’ll make some popcorn and cozy up on the couch. I might leave a light on though…horror movies plus a gloomy, rainy day might make for some extra nerves!


My final thought for a rainy day activity is a simple one: reading. If I know that there are a few rainy days coming up, I will plan ahead and go to my local bookstore to pick up a book or two that I know I would love to curl up with under a blanket. I am usually go, go, go, so I normally don’t take the time to stop and relax with a good book. A rainy day is the perfect excuse for me because it forces me to relax and immerse myself in another world.


I hope you all stay warm and dry this rainy weekend and don’t forget to take some time for yourself!


Favorite Fall Desserts

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, October 08, 2016
                                                                     (Photo credit: carpeseason.com)

Fall is my very favorite season for many reasons, one of them being all of the delicious desserts I like to bake for my friends and family. The weather isn’t too hot, so it’s a perfect time to turn on that oven and get to work in the kitchen! I have put together a list of some of my all-time favorite desserts that I like to whip together during the Autumn season.


My absolute favorite snack to have during the Fall is Apple Cider Donuts. I always buy a dozen or so every time I go apple or pumpkin picking. They would be eaten so fast that I thought, why not make them myself? This recipe is the best one that I have tried so far because they taste like they are right from the cider mill at the local farm. Don’t forget to let the donut dough rise for at least an hour. This ensures that your donuts will be fluffy and delicious!


My next favorite recipe are for these Apple Oatmeal Cookies. Super simple to make, these cookies put a delicious twist on the traditional oatmeal cookie by simply adding in some chopped apples. The base recipe for the oatmeal cookie is one of the most delicious, so adding apples to the mix makes them perfect for fall. Thick, soft and chewy…it doesn’t get much better than that on a crisp, Fall day!


One recipe that is always highly requested at my parent’s house whenever I go over, is these Pumpkin Cheesecake Snickerdoodles. I have always really enjoyed normal snickerdoodles, so when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I brought them over to my family for Sunday night football one weekend, and they flew off the plate faster than I thought possible! The cream cheese center in these cookies is a delicious surprise and so yummy and creamy. Make sure you make extra of these because they are so delicious, they won’t last long!


Chocolate Apple Pops are fun and easy to make, and are perfect if you have children that want to help out in the kitchen. Dunking apple slices into warm chocolate and then dressing them up with all kinds of candies and crumbled cookies. You can really add anything you want to them. You can even use white chocolate or dark chocolate instead of the traditional milk chocolate. These are also fun to bring to parties because they are easily portable and easy for people to carry around and eat without the need for a plate. Such a simple recipe to have tons of fun with!


There are times when I can’t make the decision between wanting some kind of pumpkin cake or pumpkin pie. This recipe for Pumpkin Pie Cake solves that problem for me easily! This recipe takes a bit longer to put together than the others so far, but trust me, it is so worth it! The reason I love this one so much is because while I typically love pumpkin pie, sometimes I am not a fan of the pie crust. By putting the same pumpkin pie mixture on top of a yellow cake mixture, it is the perfect combination, in my opinion. This is a must-try recipe if you are looking to switch up the traditional pumpkin pie recipe this season!


I hope you have enjoyed learning about some of my favorite Fall dessert recipes! One of the reasons I love these so much is because I love getting together with my family and making all of these delicious things for them. There is no better feeling that seeing your loved ones happy and enjoying the food that you made for them! Happy Fall everyone!


Local Fall Activities

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, October 01, 2016

With the start of October brings all of the fun outdoor Fall activates that are plentiful in the Capital region! We are lucky enough to usually have beautiful weather and colorful changes in the leaves, which makes this season one of our favorites! We have put together a list of some of the best local Fall activities for this year!


Topping the list is apple picking, of course! There are numerous apple orchards in the Saratoga area, many of them offering pick-your-own, which means you get to pick which apples you want right from the trees! My favorite orchard, and the one I go to every year, is Bowman Orchards. They boast 46 different varieties of apples on almost 100 acres! On top of the apple picking, they have hay rides, apple cider donuts, and plenty of fun activities for everyone in the family. They even have a plethora of different farm animals for you to pet. Bowman Orchards is quintessential “Fall” to me and a must see!


On October 29th this year, is the much loved 15th Annual Saratoga Fall Festival. The event runs from 11am-4pm and is free to attend! There is live music, trick-or-treating, food vendors, a petting zoo, and even a magic show! This is one of my favorites because it’s fun to see everyone out in Downtown Saratoga Springs enjoying the cool weather and Fall activities!


Along with apple picking, one of my other favorite Fall things to do is go pumpkin picking! We always go to Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke. It is very easy to spend the whole day here, exploring the Farm and all it has to offer. They are known for having the Capital Area’s original and largest corn maze. It is huge! There are two phases of the maze; Phase 1 for the younger crowd and Phase 2 for the more adventurous folks. They offer a game at the start of the maze that gives you hints and clues to help you find your way through. Liberty Ridge Farm also has a General Store where you can purchase things like homemade pies, apple cider donuts, and many other souvenirs. They have pig races, a giant pumpkin cannon, and a live band…there is so much to do! In addition to all of this fun family-friendly stuff, every Friday and Saturday night in October, Liberty Ridge turns into Nightmares at Liberty Ridge. If you are feeling brave and like terrifying things, than this is a must-see. Nightmares boasts 7 different haunted attractions that are all sure to have you quaking in your boots. Liberty Ridge Farm is the perfect Fall destination for the young and old alike!


If you are up for a little physical activity and are wanting to see all of the beautifully changing leaves, I recommend hiking up Prospect Mountain in the Adirondacks. The hike is approximately 4 miles in length round trip and is great for experienced hikers and those with no experience. The summit offers spectacular panoramic views of Lake George and the Adirondack region and is the perfect place to hike during the Fall to take part in leaf peeping. Before I head out to Prospect Mountain, I always check the foliage report here. This great website lets you know when to expect to see the best colors in various areas in the state.


Our final favorite Fall activity is visiting our local Farmer’s Market. With the change in the season comes a change in the many different kinds of produce that are available. Now is the perfect time to visit the Saratoga Farmer’s Market before it moves inside for the winter. Not only do they have a huge selection of different fruits, vegetables, and flowers, but they also offer many vendors that sell local meats, cheeses, jams, and even crafts and other various items. The Saratoga Farmer’s Market runs every Wednesday from 3-6pm and every Saturday from 9am-1pm at the High Rock Park Pavilion in downtown Saratoga Springs.


We hope you take some time this Autumn to get out and explore the many fun and exciting things to do in our area. We are lucky enough to have many wonderful events, so take advantage of the cooler weather and get out there!


Warm and Cozy Fall Beverages

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, September 24, 2016

(Photo Courtesy of thecookierookie.com)

Now that it is officially Fall, we have decided to bring to you some of our favorite warm and cozy fall beverage recipes. These are perfect for that crisp Fall day where you want to curl up under a blanket on the couch with a good book. Many of these recipes can even be made in a larger quantity to bring to parties or to bring tailgating at the next football game. We hope you enjoy them with your friends and family during the season!


Spiked Apple Pie Punch – This party beverage is delicious served both hot and cold!


Ingredients:

-1 gallon of apple juice

-1 gallon of apple cider

-3 cups of white sugar

-8 cinnamon sticks

-1 bottle of 190 brook alcohol


Directions:

In a large pot, bring apple cider, apple juice, sugar, and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Once it starts to boil remove from heat and let it cool completely. Once cool add the alcohol. Transfer to a serving dish with a ladle so guests can help themselves.


Holiday Milk Punch – A great alternative to eggnog with no heavy cream or eggs.


Ingredients:

-1 cup of sugar

-1 cup of dark rum

-1/2 cup of brandy

-2 Tablespoons of vanilla extract

-1/2 gallon of whole milk

-grated nutmeg


Directions:

Combine rum, brandy, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large pitcher. Add the milk and put in the freezer until it is very cold but not frozen solid, about 4-5 hours. Pour into glasses and grate nutmeg over the top.


Homemade Eggnog – Save yourself time by using your blender for this recipe!


Ingredients:

-1 cups of heavy cream

-1/2 cup of sugar

-1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

-4 large eggs

-3/4 cup of brandy


Directions:

In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream, nutmeg and sugar to a simmer. In a blender, blend the eggs on low speed for 1 minute. While the blender is still on low speed, slowly add in the heavy cream mixture. Don’t add too quickly, as this will scramble the eggs. Add the brandy and then blend to combine.


Hot Toddy – A delicious drink to help you feel better for when you have a cold, or anytime really.


Ingredients:

-8 oz of hot water

-1 herbal tea bag

-10 oz of bourbon

-1 Tablespoon of honey

-1 lemon wedge


Directions:

Pour the hot water over the tea bag in a mug and let it step for about 3 minutes. Remove the tea bag, add the honey and bourbon and a squeeze of lemon, stir and enjoy!


Homemade Hot Chocolate – Everyone’s favorite go to cozy drink!


Ingredients:

-1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

-1/2 cup of sugar

-1/3 cup of hot water

-1/8 teaspoon of salt

-4 cups of milk

-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Directions:

Combine the cocoa, sugar, salt, and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils. Continue cooking and stirring for another minute. Add in the milk and continue stirring, do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Serve immediately!





Football Snacks!

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, September 17, 2016

                                                                  (Photo credit: thepioneerwoman.com)

One of my favorite things about the end of summer is football season! One of my extra favorite things about football season is all of the delicious food that I get to have every weekend. My family is a big football loving family so every Sunday is a big get-together, with a ton of different snacks and finger food, while we watch the games. I have put together a list of some of our favorites for you to enjoy this upcoming Sunday!


One of the main staples in our house on Football Sunday is the Mexican Layer Dip. Paired with crunchy tortilla chips for dipping, this is always a huge crowd pleaser. In fact, if we don’t make this dip one weekend, we get bombarded with everyone asking where it is! It is very easy to make and doesn’t take much time at all. You always know where to find everyone once this comes out!


We also like to make our own French Onion Dip, instead of buying a container from the store. The recipe that we use is far healthier than any store-bought version, without all of the preservatives. Another very easy recipe, this is a great one to just sit on the table and let guests help themselves as they want.


A new addition to our snack spread is this Buffalo Chicken Dip. Not the healthiest of options, but who wants healthy during football? Another simple recipe, with only 4 ingredients, this is an easy one to make ahead and keep in the fridge for the big day. We usually eat this with either tortilla chips or thin slices of a French baguette, toasted. You can make this as spicy as you want!


Now that I have clogged everyone’s arteries with all of the unhealthy dips, how about a slightly healthier version of the chicken wing? We usually make these Lemon Drop Chicken Wings, which are a little better for you since they are baked, not fried. Another plus is that they are very inexpensive to make, so they are perfect for when you have a bunch of people over. I will usually put sides of blue cheese and ranch dressing so that everyone can choose if they want a dipping sauce.


Apparently, we like dips in my family because this next one is our favorite for something on the sweet side. Caramel Cinnamon Cheesecake Dip is our go-to when we want a dessert on Football Sunday. It sounds super rich and decadent, and it is, but it is also delicious and easy to make. We serve with graham crackers and slices of fresh apple to dip. This is probably my favorite out of all of the recipes mentioned. It is the perfect Fall dip!


How about a recipe that isn’t a dip? We love these Pretzel Pigs in a Blanket as a delicious finger food. I’m sure everyone has had pigs in a blanket at one time in their life, but this recipe takes the traditional one and puts a slight twist on it. Instead of using puff pastry or crescent roll dough, this one calls for pizza dough that is pretzeled. The flavor that the pretzel brings makes these much more than just a childhood snack. We like to serve with honey mustard as a dipping sauce!


We hope you enjoy these recipes during your next get-together! Remember to make memories while rooting on your favorite team!



Sparking Cocktail Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, September 10, 2016

                                                           (Photo Credit: www.thirstie.com)

What better way to liven up a cocktail than with some sparkling water? We have put together a nice list of some of our favorite cocktails for you. All of these would go beautifully with our Saratoga Sparkling Water!


Red Wine Berry Spritzer – a perfect upgrade to a normal glass of wine!


Ingredients:

-1/4 cup of Ice

-2 tablespoons Frozen Berries (blueberries, raspberries, etc)

-2 ounces of Red Wine

-6 ounces of Saratoga Wild Berry Essence Sparkling Water


Apple Fizz – A delicious cocktail to welcome the beginning of the Fall season.


Ingredients:

-2 ounces of Apple Brandy

-4 ounces of Apple Juice

-1/2 teaspoon of Lime Juice

-top off with Saratoga Sparkling water over ice.


Cider Cup Punch– Another spin on an apple cocktail, this time mix in a large punch bowl.


Ingredients:

-4 ounces of Brandy

-2 ounces of Cointreau

-2 cups of Apple Cider

-1 cup of Saratoga Sparkling Water over ice.

-4 teaspoons of Sugar.


Cherry Cranberry Smash – This cocktail is crisp and refreshing, with the bonus of no added sugar!


Ingredients:

-4 ounces of Cranberry Juice

-1 shot of Rum

-3 smashed cherries

-4 ounces of White Wine

-2 ounces of Saratoga Sparking Water


Americano – For something on the more sophisticated side.


Ingredients:

-1 ounce of Campari

-1 ounce of Vermouth

-Top off with Saratoga Sparkling Water

-Garnish with an Orange Slice


We hope you enjoy these Sparkling cocktail recipes. As always, please remember to drink responsibly! 


Late Summer Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, September 03, 2016
                                                                                   (Snixykitchen.com)

September is one of my favorite months because it’s finally not too hot to turn the oven on, but yet it is still warm enough to go out for a sweet ice cream treat! In honor of summer coming to a close, we have compiled a list of some late summer recipes for you to enjoy!


First up is a Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette. This salad is the perfect combination of savory and sweet with the earthy beets and fresh, sweet and sour grapefruit and oranges. This might even be a perfect salad to convince someone who doesn’t like beets to give them a try. Each mouthful is deliciously refreshing and full of different tastes and textures, sure to please any palate.


I know in my personal garden at home, I have an abundance of tomatoes of all kinds. Cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes…you name it, I have it. That is one of the best things about late summer and the reason you should absolutely make this Parmesan Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes. This recipe is super easy and quick, and would be delicious as a side at dinner or served up with some eggs for breakfast! If you don’t have your own garden, head on over to your local farmer’s market and pick up some wonderful heirloom tomatoes to enjoy this recipe!


One of my favorite dishes to make in the late summer that utilizes almost everything I grow in my garden is the End of Summer Ratatouille. This is one of the easiest dishes you will ever make because you just chop everything up, add some spices and throw it in to one dish. I will even make this with leftover vegetables that I have so that they don’t go to waste. The End of Summer Ratatouille is perfect as a side paired with chicken, served mixed in with pasta, or even on a salad. It is one of my favorite go-to dishes for September!


Have you ever bought a bunch of bananas with the good intentions of grabbing one on your way to work for an addition to a healthy breakfast, but then you forget? Happens to me all the time! What I do with my overripe bananas is make something not so healthy: Bananas Foster! What’s better than buttery, caramelized bananas served with some vanilla ice cream? Not much, in my opinion! There is booze in this recipe and you can get fancy by lighting it on fire in the pan to flambé, but be careful! We wouldn’t want anyone to lose their eyebrows! Serve this lovely dessert up as a late night treat to satisfy that sweet tooth.


Our final recipe is a perfect one for September, where fall is just around the corner and you feel like having something cozy and delicious. Hasselback Sweet Potatoes are one of my favorite “feel good” additions to any meal. Many of us are used to eating sweet potatoes caramelized up at Thanksgiving, but this recipe takes it up a notch with the addiction of apples, cranberries, and pecans. One tip for you when you make this recipe: sweet potatoes are usually pretty hard to cut, so make sure you have a sharp knife to avoid any injuries!


We hope you enjoy making these delicious recipes during the final few weeks of summer!


Our Favorite Seattle Eateries

Kelly McCombs - Friday, August 26, 2016

                                                          (Photo Credit: Jennifer Richard, thestranger.com)

Seattle is known for is incredibly diverse and unique restaurant scene. Whether you are in the mood for deliciously fresh seafood, an incredible Cuban cured meat sandwich, or some of the best bakery treats around, Seattle is the place to be. Let’s continue our adventure and go over some of our favorites!


Topping the list today is one of the most unique and extravagant dining options. Altura, located on Broadway East in Seattle, strives to make your dining experience one that you will remember. No two nights at Altura will be the same, as the chef prepares a different menu every day. Each meal is between five and seven courses with “small bites” in between. While this restaurant is on the pricey side at $137 per person, the delicious food and atmosphere is certainly worth it. Sitting at the bar while watching the chef cook is one of the best seats in all of Seattle!


Next up is one of my personal favorite restaurants, Lark, on East Seneca St. Lark is popularly known as one of the premier artisan-focused restaurants in all of Seattle. They only use locally grown, organic ingredients, and only those that are currently in season. In the mood for something a little less fancy, but in keeping with the Lark philosophy of fresh, organic and in season? The owners also own a beautiful bar named Bitter/Raw and a delicious sandwich and coffee counter called Slab. Each of these locations comes highly recommended. You are sure to have a delicious meal and a wonderful experience here!


If I am in Seattle and feeling like a nice, juicy burger, my go-to stop is Red Mill Burgers! There are two locations of this delicious eatery available to you, and both of them will have a line out the door if you hit the timing right. Red Mill Burgers offers a large variety of flame-grilled burgers with every topping imaginable. They even offer vegetarian options and a few different chicken sandwich options. Family owned and operated, Red Mill is a friendly and vibrant burger joint. They were even named on the list of the Top 20 Burgers You Must Eat Before You Die on the Oprah Show and in GQ magazine! Sounds like eating here is a necessity!


Heading in a completely different direction, one of the most raved about bakeries in all of Seattle is Bakery Nouveau. Chef William Leaman has won numerous prestigious awards and been feature in so many dining publications that there are too many to count. Bakery Nouveau offers two locations, one in West Seattle and one on Capitol Hill, with the decadent smells traveling outside the bakery for blocks. Each location offers a large variety of breads, chocolates and other delicious sweets such as French macarons, cookies and even sweet and savory breakfast pastries. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a must-see place for you!


Looking for something a little different? While Dough Zone Dumpling House is a small chain of restaurants, they serve some of the best Chinese comfort food in all of Washington State. Offering a large variety of dumplings and noodle dishes, this unique eatery will have you craving more locations so that you can go anytime!


This is only a small selection of our favorite restaurants in Seattle. There are literally hundreds of wonderful places to eat anywhere you go. The thing about Seattle is there is a beautiful mix of cultures and flavors all over the city. If you ever get the chance to visit, we hope that you find our lists useful on your travels!



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