17 Luxury Travel Black Friday Specials Not to Miss

 The Resort at Paws Up

Luxury properties around the world are gearing up for the holidays with special offers anyone looking for an intimate getaway or family vacation. Here are my top picks:

The Resort at Paws Up

  1. The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, Montana

A 35% Discount for Your Stay at Paws Up!

Enjoy a 35% discount for your next stay at The Resort at Paws Up. The discount will be applied to the lodging rates for the corresponding reservation time period. A $500 activity credit will also be included.

To take advantage of the Paws Up Black Friday Special, simply call our Reservations Department and reference the below promo code. This special is only applicable if you book your reservation from November 2530, 2016. This offer is not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

Based on availability. Some blackout dates apply. Travel is valid January 2–May 25, 2017.

round hill

2. Round Hill Hotel and Villas of Montego Bay, Jamaica

Switch up family vacation this year, and bring everyone down to the island that offers it all in the timeless, exotic location of Round Hill Hotel and Villas of Montego Bay, Jamaica. With Round Hill’s Cyber Monday Sale, guests receive one free night when booking 4-nights between the dates of January 3-31, 2017. Guests who purchase or gift this package will enjoy afternoon daily tea, the Pineapple Kids Club, and non-motorized water sports such as kayaking, snorkeling and paddle boats. The resort offers an award-winning spa, several options of Caribbean cuisine and exotic island adventures fitting for all ages.

Thompson Play del Carmen

3. Thompson Playa del Carmen Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Luxury has landed in Playa del Carmen. From November 25-28, Thompson Playa del Carmen will be offering guests 35 percent off its best available rate. Travel dates are valid through March 31, 2017. Terms and conditions may apply.

Jamaica Inn Spa

4. Jamaica Inn of Ocho Rios

Guests are welcome to gift themselves or others with an intimate luxury stay Jamaica Inn of Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Holiday travelers prepare to be pampered on a relaxing lounge chair, enjoying the refreshing breeze, and swimming in the calm Caribbean Sea while sipping on a cool Planter’s Punch. Jamaica Inn’s Black Friday Sale asks guest to relax, unwind and embrace the simple joys of living with 30% off accommodations for a stay of 4-nights or more in one of the 48 suites or cottages, adorned in crisp white and Wedgewood blue, set against a backdrop of green grass, vibrant flowers and glistening blue seas. Through this Black-Friday deal, the available dates for travel include November 1-19, December 11-26, and January 2-31, 2017.

The Palms Turks and Caicos

5. The Palms Turks & Caicos Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
A 72 suite resort just steps away from the sparkling white sand and turquoise water of famed Grace Bay Beach, Regent Palms provides a refined and elegant Caribbean experience. 

The Deal:

  • 30% off all luxury room categories
  • $100 gift certificate for use at any of Regent Palms’ restaurants including fine dining at Parallel23
  • *Valid for travel from May 15-June 15, 2017.  Based on availability; blackout dates apply.  Not compatible with other discounted offers 

Rancho Bernardo Inn

6. Rancho Bernardo Inn  San Diego, California
A true year-round destination for the entire family, the 265-acre property features 287 luxury guestrooms, three swimming pools, lush gardens, a full-service spa and wellness center, two restaurants and in-room dining. With unpretentious style and genuine warmth unique among the world’s finest resorts, the property inspires conversation, reflection, and relaxation. 

The Deal:
  • 50% off the best available rates when booked Black Friday, Nov. 25 & Cyber Monday, Nov. 28, staying for as low as $89/night

Giving Tuesday: 

  • 20% of revenue from the Inn’s ‘All Play, No Pay’ packages sold will go to Becky’s House YWCA, a nonprofit organization offering domestic violence programs for women, men and children.
  • *Available for stays through January 5, 2017. Based on availability.  Some restrictions and blackout dates apply.

halcyon

7. HALCYON, a Hotel in Cherry Creek | Denver, Colorado 
A take on modern luxury with a twist of staying at your best friend’s welcoming home in Colorado. Amidst the splurge-worthy boutiques and low-key coffee bars, the bustle of business and the calm embrace of the mountains, you’ll find the 154-room hotel in set in the affluent neighborhood of Cherry Creek North.  

The Deal:
  • Purchase one night and receive the second for 50% off
  • Promo Code: WELCOME HOME using this Booking Link

*Sale begins Black Friday November 25 at 12:01 a.m. and ends Cyber Monday November 28 at 11:59 p.m. Valid for travel from Nov 25, 2016 – March 31, 2017.  Based on availability; blackout dates apply. Not compatible with other discounted offers

inn at keystone

8. The Inn at Keystone | Keystone, Colorado
Just a few minutes walk from the ski lifts; The Inn at Keystone offers picturesque views and rooftop hot tubs. Bonus? It’s the only dog-friendly hotel in Keystone so grab a leash and bring the pooch for a winter escape!

The Deal:

  • 50% off all bookings, rates start at $109/night
  • Complimentary hot breakfast buffet

*Travel valid through April 9, 2017, taxes and other fees may be applicable. Based on availability; blackout dates apply.  Not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

The pines

9. The Pines | Beaver Creek, Colorado
Located amidst the whispering aspen groves overlooking Beaver Creek Village, The Pines has come to define intimate, on-mountain lodging. Recently renovated, sixty cozy guest rooms feature rich pine touches, oversized beds and luxurious linens that set the bar for the ideal Rocky Mountain ski vacation.

The Deal:

  • 45% off all luxury room categories, starting at $199/night

*Travel valid through April 16, 2017, taxes and other fees may be applicable. Based on availability; blackout dates apply.  Not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

AustriaHausGuestroom

10. Austria Haus | Vail, Colorado
Since the mid 1960’s, Austria Haus Hotel has welcomed skiers from around the world to experience Western luxury and sophistication wrapped in European charm. Inspired by authentic, family run ski chalets of the Austrian Alps; this exquisite, 25-room boutique hotel emanates warmth and hospitality from the moment guests arrive.

The Deal:

  • 45% off all luxury room categories, starting at $195/night

*Travel valid through April 23, 2017, taxes and other fees may be applicable. Based on availability; blackout dates apply.  Not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

the village at breckenridge

11. The Village at Breckenridge | Breckenridge, Colorado
A favorite family resort with ski-in/ski-out access.  Located at the base of Peak 9, the resort is right in the heart of the action just a half block from Main Street Breckenridge with ski school right out the door.

The Deal:

  • 25% off all room nights, starting at $127/night (minimum of two nights)

*Travel valid through April 22, 2017, taxes and other fees may be applicable. Based on availability; blackout dates apply. Not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

A Gondola car in the sunset at Keystone Mountain in the summer.

12. Keystone Lodge & Spa | Keystone, Colorado 
Surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains, Keystone Lodge & Spa is an ideal choice for winter sports enthusiasts. With an on-property state-of-the-art spa, kick back and relax after a day on the slopes before dining at the exceptional Bighorn restaurant or other local offerings.

The Deal:
  • 50% off all bookings, rates start at $129/night

*Travel valid through April 9, 2017, taxes and other fees may be applicable. Based on availability; blackout dates apply.  Not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

vail resorts

13. Vail, Colorado
Welcome to Vail, an iconic mountain resort where vibrant alpine villages are surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies. Combined with world-class terrain, award-winning dining, lodging options to suit every taste and budget, and a lively mix of locals and guests from around the world, Vail offers the quintessential mountain resort experience.

The Deal:

  • 45% off all luxury room categories at select hotels, including The Lodge at Vail and The Arrabelle

*Travel valid through April 23, 2017, taxes and other fees may be applicable. Based on availability; blackout dates apply.  Not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

Waterfall Resort

14. Waterfall Resort is offering FREE FLIGHTS with their “Gift Wrap a Fishing Trip” deal (http://bit.ly/1lnDccx – link will be live on Black Friday) for a value up to $750 to guests who book starting Black Friday through December for travel during the 2016 summer season (June 11 – August 12). Complimentary airline tickets can be paired with any Land Package for two or more nights, with all-inclusive rates starting at $3,580 per person. 

Package includes:

  • Complimentary roundtrip airfare to Ketchikan, AK (limit up to $750)
  • Combine with Kids Rate for 15% Off AND free airfare!
  • Roundtrip sea plane between Ketchikan and Waterfall Resort
  • Oceanfront lodging in historic cabins or lodge rooms (double occupancy)
  • Hearty all-you-can-eat Alaskan fare
  • Full service guided sport fishing on 25’ heated cabin cruises (four guests per boat)
  • Use of high-end rods, reels, all-weather gear and all other fishing equipment
  • Professional fish cleaning, cutting, vacuum-packing and fishing to take your catch home
  • Onsite Alaskan Airlines agent to check-in bags and fish boxes
  • Ground crew in Ketchikan International Airport to assist with transfers
  • Daily housekeeping and resort services; Free Wi-Fi hot spots

The “Gift Wrap a Fishing Trip” promotion is subject to availability and may not be combined with other promotions. Airline baggage fees, Alaska State fishing license and gratuities not included. Bookable on www.WaterfallResort.com.

Salamander Resort and Spa

15. Salamander Resort & Spa  Middleburg, Virginia
From 6:00 a.m. on Monday, November 30 to 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 1, Salamander Resort & Spa will be offering 50% savings on all hotel suites* as well as $199 room rates**.

Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa  Hamptons, New York
Situated on Montauk’s most pristine stretch of oceanfront real estate, Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa is a Hampton’s institution, providing guests with direct access to a 2,000 ft. private sand beach.

The Deal:

  • 30% off ALL room inventory for one or more nights

Happy Hour:

  • 50% off private oceanfront cottages from 1:00pm-2:00pm
  • *Valid for travel from December 2, 2016 – April 30, 2017.  Based on availability; blackout dates apply. 

US GRANT

16. THE US GRANT San Diego, California
A San Diego icon, THE US GRANT is situated in downtown’s lively Gaslamp Quarter where guests of all ages can enjoy the city’s shopping, dining and entertainment. In addition to the impeccable location, guests can delight in remarkable fine dining and an esteemed beverage program at signature restaurant and bar, Grant Grill.

The Deal:

  • 30% off stays through Sept. 4, 2017 when booked from Saturday, Nov. 19 through Sunday, Dec. 4.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members can save an additional 5 percent.
  • *Available for stays from November 21, 2016 to September 4, 2017. Based upon availability; Blackout dates may apply. 

The Marker-2

17. The Marker San Francisco, California
Housed in a turn-of-the-century building in the heart of downtown San Francisco, The Marker, a Joie de Vivre Hotel, is located steps away from the historic beauty of Union Square. Distinct among San Francisco’s lifestyle hotels, the signature warmth permeates the property from the service to the design of the interiors. Surrounded by top theaters, restaurants, museums and shops, the urban boutique hotel features 208 newly renovated, vibrant and stylish guest rooms. 

The Deal:
  • Four Day Sale – Black Friday (Nov. 25) – Cyber Monday (Nov. 28)
  • Up to 35% off Best Available Rate, plus complimentary Wi-Fi, evening social wine hour, unlimited PressReader access, in-room yoga & wellness kit and bike rentals to explore San Francisco .
  • *Pre-pay, non-refundable; Bookable dates: November 25, 2016 – November 28, 2016

Fleming’s Steakhouse Giftcard Giveaway

Thanksgiving dinner

I’ve been a fan of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar for years. It used to be my parent’s favorite special occasion restaurant. I always get a smile on my face when my husband says, “Let’s go to Fleming’s for dinner.”

I have some exciting news! Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar will be hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever with a four-course menu, including traditional favorites like a mixed herb roasted turkey breast and more (only $39.95 per person). They are also offering a special menu for the kids. Take a look at the menu:

Amuse-Bouche

SOPPRESSATA & BRIE CHEESE BITES with apple jalapeño cinnamon chutney, roasted nuts and truffled deviled egg

First Course

FLEMING’S SALAD or LOBSTER BISQUE

Main Course

MIXED HERB ROASTED TURKEY BREAST WITH SAVORY TURKEY GRAVY

Sides

HOUSEMADE BRIOCHE STUFFING

FRESH CRANBERRY, ORANGE AND CINNAMON SAUCE

BUTTER-MASHED SWEET POTATOES

GREEN BEANS WITH BACON, ALMONDS AND ONION

Dessert: Choose between

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE chantilly cream and caramel glaze

or

CARROT CAKE three layers, with cream cheese frosting and dark-rum caramel drizzle

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Wait there’s more… On Thanksgiving weekend (Friday-Saturday), Fleming’s will also offer all wine on the Fleming’s 100 wine list at $10 per glass. How awesome is that?

Thanksgiving Place Setting

With lots of turkey leftovers on-hand, Executive Chef Russell Skall with Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar has shared his recipe for Turkey Fried Rice, which take less than 30 minutes to prepare. In honor of Thanksgiving, I am hosting a giveaway for a chance to win a $100 dining card to enjoy at Fleming’s on Thanksgiving weekend. To enter, just a leave a comment telling us your favorite thing about Thanksgiving! One winner will be chosen on November 8th. Good luck! See below for Chef Russell’s recipe for Turkey Fried Rice. Happy early Thanksgiving 🙂

An Amazing Bermuda Discount Package at One of My Favorite Resorts

Hamilton Infinity pool harbor Bermuda

Who says summer is over? It’s definitely not in Alabama (where it will be a record 88 degrees today), but I had to share this amazing discount package at the Bermuda’s Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, the host hotel for the 2017 America’s Cup. They are offering the new “Endless Summer” package, saving guests 33% on a three-night stay. Travelers will receive every third night complimentary when a vacation coincides with a Friday or Saturday night. The package is available year-round with rates starting at $239 per night in a Deluxe Garden View room, excluding tax and service. I was there a few years ago, and it is the ultimate Bermuda hotel!

Hamilton Princess Hotel bermuda

Less than a two-hour flight from New York and less than 3 hours from Atlanta, Bermuda’s winter temperature hovers around a comforting 65 degrees. This season, go beyond the pink-sand beaches and explore the island’s diverse cultural and outdoor offerings. Added bonus? Thanks to Bermuda’s North Atlantic location, the destination remains Zika-free.

Where to Relax…Enjoy spa therapies and boutique fitness classes at the leading lifestyle and wellbeing brand exhale, a new addition to Hamilton Princess as part of their recent $100 million renovation.

Marcus' Cocktail Bermuda Hamilton Princess

Where to Eat…Experience the Sunday Brunch with live music at Marcus’, the island’s first and only celebrity-helmed restaurant, led by Marcus Samuelsson. Don’t miss Art Mels, known for their traditional Bermudian fish sandwiches and The Meltdown, where Black Rum & Ginger and Rum Swizzle ice cream flavors (inspired by Bermuda) are served. 

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club

Where to Shop… Stroll through the neighboring boutiques of Hamilton including the TABS shop, offering authentic Bermuda shorts designed by a local Bermudian; and visit Isolated Surfboards, one of the few institutions that carves surfboards by hand.

What to See… Join the hotel’s art tour, which will bring guests up-close with more than 60 museum-quality pieces of art including works by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Nelson Mandela. Visit St. Georges, a charming UNESCO World Heritage site dotted with colorful houses and early colonial architecture.

Looking for more… There’s golf, more than 22 miles of biking trails, kite-surfing and tennis.

Hamilton Beach club bermuda

More on Hamilton Princess & Beach Club

Known to Bermudians and world travelers as ”The Pink Palace,” Hamilton Princess & Beach Club opened its doors on January 1, 1885. Bermuda had gained international recognition two years earlier when Princess Louise, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, visited for a winter retreat and called it ”a place of eternal spring.” When the hotel opened, it was named ”The Princess” in honor of the royal visit. It is the oldest member of the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts family.

Hamilton_Beach club (3)_Photo Credit Hamilton Princess & Beach Club copy

The Ultimate Culinary Experience in Sicily in 2017

Rocca_delle_Tre_Contrade (4) copy
My first trip to Sicily and my first villa experience were one in the same. After spending a few nights at Rocca delle Tre Contrade, I arrived at the conclusion that there is no better way to enjoy Sicily. Complete with 11 bedrooms and space for 22 guests, you’ll also find incredible views and a staff going the extra mile to provide the supreme comforts of home. This is just as an ideal spot to visit with family and friends as it is for an intimate destination wedding. The 360-degree panoramic views take your eyes from the sparkling Ionian Sea to the lava peak of Mount Etna.
TTT_Sicily_Rocca_delle_Tre_Contrade (2) copy
I just recently received exciting news from their exclusive luxury villa company The Thinking Traveller that Rocca delle Tre Contrade, has joined forces with acclaimed Chef Skye Gyngell for a two week-long culinary experiences exploring the gastronomic bounty and cuisine of the Mediterranean’s largest and most diverse island. This is truly a bucket list culinary experience!
TTT_Sicily_Rocca_delle_Tre_Contrade (3) copy

Skye Gyngell is one of the most respected chefs working in the UK. After working at a variety of high level restaurants, including La Varenne in Paris and The Dorchester in London, Skye became head chef at Petersham Nurseries, where the earned her Michelin star. In 2014, Skye opened Spring, in Somerset House, London. It quickly became regarded as one of the capital’s top restaurants.

CarolSachs-SkyeGyngell-5D3_1192_HiRes TO USE copy

Below please find details for the course:

  • Six days immersed in a full food and wine program with Skye Gyngell, including cookery demo sessions and ‘hands on’ lessons with Skye Gyngell and her team
  • Seven hands-on sessions in the villa’s large demonstration kitchen (each work station shared by two participants)
  • Seven nights’ accommodation at the private luxury villa Rocca delle Tre Contrade in double rooms (single occupancy also available)
  • The presence of Jon Moslet, co-owner of Rocca delle Tre Contrade and expert in Sicilian wine and gastronomic traditions
  • A program of guided tours with English-speaking guide and related ground transportation
  • All meals including wine and beverages (7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners)
  • Transfers between Catania Fontanarossa Airport and Rocca delle Tre Contrade on the first and last days of the week
  • Complimentary in-house laundry service (dry-cleaning not included)
The course is available for two weeks this spring, the week of March 25 and also the week of April 22.
TTT_Rocca_delle_Tre_Contrade (5) copy
About the villa:
Rocca delle Tre Contrade occupies a stunningly panoramic position atop its own hill on Sicily’s east coast. The views of this former aristocratic estate are further enhanced by the intense greens and citrus flashes of the villa’s grounds, which feature lemon groves, fruit orchards and vegetable gardens. The magnificence of Mother Nature is rivalled only by the spectacular 25-metre, south-facing infinity pool and the delightful interiors, which have been renovated and refurbished to exactingly high standards.
TTT_Sicily_Rocca_delle_Tre_Contrade (7) copy

Bison Tenderloin with Cherry Port Glace

Bison Tenderloin with Cherry Port Reduction

Who is ready for Thanksgiving? I just returned from The Resort at Paws Up where everything is amazing. Food, wine, horseback riding, ATV rides, clay shooting, fly fishing, hiking, running, biking, spa and super wonderful people and customer service. I had a sample of what they’ll be serving up on their Thanksgiving menu so take a look. If you don’t have Thanksgiving plans yet, what are you waiting for?

House Made Bites

Hutterite Duck Prosciutto, Cured Olives, Pickled Hutterite Vegetables, Bitterroot Organic Cured Tomatoes, Tucker Farms Cheese, Amaranth, Quinoa Granola, New Zealand Spinach, 50 year Balsamic and Organic Olive Oil

Deluge Farms Pumpkin Bisque, Ginger Chantilly, Cinnamon Pemmican, Smoked Trout, Chives

Roasted Crabapple and Diver Scallop, Candied Yam Shoestrings, Beet Syrup, Beet Chips, Beet Caviar

Stone Crab, Preserved Lemon Butter, Picante Pepper Emulsion, Tobacco Onions

Waygu Carpaccio, Walnut and Fig Chutney, Flat Head Cherry Syrup, Shaved Truffle, House Made Cracker

Salads and Sides

Sweet Potato Pie, House Made Fluff, Vietnamese Cinnamon, Maple Bacon Brown Butter

House Made Cranberry Relish

Black Pepper Green Beans, Grandma Jones Recipe

Hutterite Bacon Smothered Brussels Sprouts

Whipped Potatoes, Butter, Cream, Salt and Pepper-That’s it

Candied Chestnut Dressing, Organic Wheat Montana Breads, Organic Vegetables, Locally Grown Sage, Hutterite Chicken Bone Broth

Caesar Salad, Garlic Parmesan Dressing, The Perfect Crouton, White Anchovies

Kale Salad, Swiss Chard, Dried Huckleberries, Cherries and Golden Raisins, Tucker Family Blue Cheese, Walnut and Honeycrisp Apple Vinaigrette

Stuffed Rainbow Trout

The Main Event

Hutterite Turkey Breast and Thighs, Pan Gravy with or with out Giblets

MT Natural Lamb Rack, Caramelized Shallot Lamb Glace

Bison Tenderloin, Flat Head Cherry Demi Glace

Lump Crab Stuffed Rainbow Trout, Tarragon Buerre Blanc

Sweet Endings

Mom’s Goat Cheese, Pumpkin Cheesecake and multiple seasonal selections that have been delivered to your home during the dinner hour.

The resort at Paws up

The Resort at Paws Up is Montana’s premier luxury ranch resort, offering first-class adventure on a grand scale. Discretely nestled in Greenough, Montana, amidst glacier-hewn mountains, Paws Up features the legendary Blackfoot River, expansive timberland and limitless prairies. From private homes and safari-style tents to attentive, anticipatory service, getting away to the wilds of Montana has never been so civilized. The Resort features a comprehensive, sophisticated culinary program and has been recognized as one of the leading experiential destinations in America. The Resort at Paws Up truly is The Last Best Place.

Since The Resort’s June 2005 inception, the property has received over 2,000 favorable reviews. In 2016, the Resort was voted the #1 Family Resort and the #2 Destination Resort in America in USA Today and the Best Small Family Resort and Best Glamping Resort in Sunset. For more information, please visit www.pawsup.com. The Resort at Paws Up is also on Facebook and Twitter (@Paws_Up).

Meadowood Garden Beet Salad

Meadowood Garden Beet Salad

As you know,  I love food and travel, so I am really excited about this new book! Admired for its long tradition of gracious hospitality inspired by local cuisine and culture, Relais & Châteaux presents “The Art of Entertaining,” its first book dedicated to sharing the secrets to crafting outstanding parties and events nuanced to replicate unforgettable experiences at home.  Set for an October 2016 release from Rizzoli New York, the compilation brings to life 17 seasonal parties from Relais & Châteaux members across North America. Each chapter is designed to celebrate the senses in a unique environment with exquisite food and cocktail recipes, creative décor and the thoughtful, creative touches for which Relais & Châteaux is renowned.

Cover_Art of Entertaining

In this gorgeous new book, some of North America’s most renowned chefs and innkeepers share their thoughts, recipes and secrets for successful entertaining at home to inspire readers.

With 85 Relais & Châteaux properties located throughout the U.S., Mexico, Caribbean and Canada, the opportunities to share entertaining tips, tricks and expertise are endless. The themes featured within this first book are hinged on delicious gourmet recipes that can be easily executed. You’ll also new ideas for tablescapes and décor from the beautiful backdrop of the legendary Relais & Châteaux venues.

This Meadowood Garden Beet Salad is one of Meadowood’s favorite dishes during the summer harvest season. The beets can be small heirloom varietals of all colors and stripes (literally). Chef Alejandro Ayala recommends taking some artistic license with the presentation; he cuts the beets into various shapes as well as paper-thin cross sections. The salad is at once both bright and earthy, and the pistachio “soil” is an unexpected, at-home, twist.

From Travel to Kids: What is New In My World

Gallery-High-Res-29-1

So, it has been a month since I last posted on Ingredients, Inc. I apologize! Sometimes work, kids, family and life really get in the way of blogging.

For those of you who do not blog, do you have any idea how long it takes to put just one post together? You start with an idea or—in my case, a recipe—then you must test it, take photos, write, edit, and factor in many other tech requirements before a post can go live. If you’re lucky, this only takes about five hours!

jet-set-channel-your-inner-top-chef-promote

To be honest, I really needed a blogging break. I have been super busy with work and new clients (for which I’m so grateful!), and I decided to focus all of my time and energy on them. I began writing for Bravo TV, which is a really fun gig. In fact, if you want a few places to go to channel your inner chef, check out my piece on these resorts.

scrub island

There really isn’t very much new with me since I posted last. I did get away to the British Virgin Islands—Peter Island and Scrub Island—with my husband. It was absolutely relaxing, gorgeous and amazing in every way. If you ever have a chance to go to either resort, do it ASAP! See my post on what’s new at Peter Island on Spafinder by clicking this link.

The-Ritz-Carlton-Spa-Orlando_Liquid-Yoga-3-1

Other than that, I have posted a bit more frequently on Healthy Travel. September is National Yoga Month, so you know I had to cover that! Also be sure to check out some noteworthy hotel openings happening the remainder of the year.

The Resort at Paws Up

Next up on my travel agenda, it’s all about beautiful Montana scenery and two incredible food and wine events at The Resort at Paws Up. I’ll be attending Montana Master Chefs, the Oscars of the foodie world, and Upper Crust, a baking, pizza, cookie, and pie adventure—I cannot wait! From there, I am headed to Santa Barbara, which has been on my travel bucket list forever!

 paws up upper crust event

An update on my kids: my oldest, Alec Lewis, is soaring by leaps and bounds in his sports writing career. He is so wise and talented, and he amazes me every day. Today I woke up to his Podcast with Paul Finebaum he recorded this morning. Tune in—it’s a great interview.

alec lewis sports writer

My daughter, Leigh, is applying to colleges (she’s a senior this year). She has 15 schools on her list, and she can’t seem to narrow them down by even one. From UCLA to University of Vermont, she’s all over the United States map. My youngest son, Zachary, has been super busy with tennis. He’s played in several tournaments the past few weekends—lots of fun to watch, but I don’t need any more sun this summer! I am wishing him good luck with his school tryouts this week (fingers crossed).

Tomato Watermelon Salad
My husband, Doug, is still awesome in every way. I couldn’t be luckier to have him. He also has taken over a lot of cooking in the house, which is another reason I have not posted many new recipes. But I did create this recipe for Tomato Watermelon Salad for SC Johnson, which we all love!

candy bar Ice cream

Also this Candy Bar Ice Cream which a keeper for sure! That’s enough for now. What’s new in your world?

Banana Honey Muffins

Banana Honey MuffinsIf you’re wondering what to do with leftover bananas, these Banana Honey Muffins are for you. At my house, we go through bananas like monkeys, but my neighborhood grocery store often packages overripe bananas and marks them way down. I typically freeze them for smoothies or smoothie bowls, or often make my famous One Bowl Banana Bread recipe (which is made with nonfat Greek yogurt). My husband found a recipe for Honey Banana Muffins so he and my daughter made these yesterday. They are not too sweet, light and fluffy, and they make a wonderful morning or afternoon snack or light breakfast idea with a cup of coffee. My husband likes them drizzled with honey over the top 🙂

Bananas are naturally fat and cholesterol free. Bananas well known for their high potassium content, with over 400 mg potassium in a single medium-size banana (this is great for muscle function and providing a healthy balance of fluids in the body). Bananas are also easy to digest and a good source of vitamin C, fiber and B6 vitamins.  Did you know you can use mashed bananas as a substitute for some or all of the butter or oil when making cookies or some baked goods? This recipe is going to be a keeper when school starts, so enjoy!

Banana Honey Muffins

Healthy Breakfast Popsicles

healthy breakfast popsicles

We make smoothies and smoothie bowls almost every single day. My daughter, Leigh, turned one of our favorite simple and healthy smoothie recipes into popsicles to create these Healthy Breakfast Popsicles. All you need is five simple ingredients including the chocolate flavored Dynamic Fruit & Greens which is a blend of organic vegetable such as kale, kelp, Chlorella and turmeric that adds antioxidants as well as an amazing chocolate flavor (if you’re a Lifetime Fitness member, they sell it at the facility).

When frozen, remove from the popsicle molds and sprinkle with additional oats and chia seeds. Trust me, you’ll love these!

Kale Guacamole

Kale Guacamole

I had a great time last weekend at Lake Austin Spa Resort where I was teaching smoothie bowl classes promoting my latest cookbook 200 Best Smoothie Bowls. I also had the amazing opportunity to workout, take a mediation for clarity class, try hydrobikes and experience amazing spa treatments and of course, food. The food at this Texas spa is out of this world with so many clever, creative and healthy combinations. The first night they had “Kale Guacamole” on their menu for an appetizer. They didn’t have the recipe, but I came home and recreated it tonight. My husband said, “It tastes just it.” This recipe is classic guacamole recipe with kale added. Why did I not think of that?

Alison Lewis