Archive of Alexis Murphy

Alexis has written 26 article(s) for InMenlo.


The Golden Globe nominated film, Lady Bird, is lovely, quirky and sentimental. It is about a young girl’s love/hate relationship with her hometown of Sacramento.

As it turns out, the city is not just a backdrop, but one of the stars of the movie. If you are from California, you know our state capitol often gets a bad rap, as a boring town, that pales in comparison to flashier places like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Lady Bird’s affectionate tribute is making everyone take a second look at Sacramento.

Years ago, we traveled to Sacramento and visited our friend Patrick’s restaurant, Mulvaney’s Bank and Loan. We had a wonderful dinner outside on the patio, and when it was time for dessert, Patrick insisted we try the homemade Ding Dongs.

My kids were little and had never heard of, nor tasted the nostalgic Hostess treats. My son was a picky eater at the time and he declined, but they sent some out anyway.

Oh boy, are we glad they did. They took the idea of those ordinary, boxed cakes and elevated every flavor to a new level.Jack had never, ever tasted anything so good, he could not stop talking about them. (In fact he’s 17 now and still remembers that night!)

And so, Ding Dongs and our amazing dinner at Mulvaney’s will forever remind us of our trip to Sacramento. We realized, just like Lady Bird did, that there are things in and about Sacramento, that you just can’t find anywhere else.

The Golden Globes, which airs tonight at 5:00 pm on tk and repeats at 8:00 pm, is always a unique event, and this year will be no exception. I mean really, did you ever think there would be a reason to put Tonya Harding on a cupcake?

Enjoy the show! Print toppers for all the nominated movies here.

Menlo Park resident Alexis Murphy’s website is Jac o’ lyn Murphy, where this post originally appeared; used with permission.

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Merry Christmas cheese tree to wow your guests

Cheese platters are a crowd pleaser. Cheese platters are easy. Cheese platters are delicious. Cheese platters should never be boring! I keep lots of cheese on hand during the holidays. It seems like someone is always stopping by or we need to bring something over to a friend’s house. Turning Christmas Cheese into Christmas Trees is my favorite way […]

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Five fun things to do with gumdrops – even on a busy December weekend

Gumdrops just make me happy. They are bright, colorful and festive any time of year.They are also one of the most versatile of all the goodies in candyland. Here are some of my favorite ways to use them. Yellow gumdrops with a sprig of rosemary make instantly festive pineapples. Much more convenient than a trip to Hawaii! Gnome […]

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Snacks to eat while watching the Academy Awards on TV this Sunday

Editor’s note: We’ve come to count on Menlo Park resident Alexis Murphy for showing us how to make celebrations and holidays special. Here she takes on the Academy Awards, which will take place this Sunday night (2/26). Oscar Night has always been one of my favorites. The stars, the fashion, the movies and most importantly, festive […]

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Super Bowl hot dogs make perfect game day snack when filled with super food

An event as epic as the Super Bowl needs Super Food. This year we are keeping it simple and vibrant by kicking things off with “super food” topped hot dogs. A quick rush to the Menlo Park Farmers Market to intercept fresh greens was all it took. Loaded with vitamin C, calcium and carotenoids, my bunch of […]

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You’ll go nuts for these Christmas crackers

It’s not Christmas until my great aunt Nita sends us a batch of her infamous “Dilly Crackers.” Totally delicious, totally addictive. This year I whipped up a few batches to give out as gifts and enlisted a crew of NUTS to watch over the CRACKERS. Aunt Nita’s Dilly Crackers 2-12 ounce packages oyster crackers l-1/4 cups vegetable […]

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Shaking up Cinco de Mayo with two fun desserts

We are shaking up Cinco de Mayo with festive fiesta Maraca-ron and and baking up pretty Piñata Cupcakes that I know will be a big hit! Store bought macarons are instantly transformed into maracas. Get the easy directions here. Then take a swing at Piñata Cupcakes. So simple to make with fruit leather and boxed cake mix. All the information […]

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March Madness Easter Baskets are fun mash up

March Madness is in full swing and Easter is this Sunday, what better way to combine the two than with Easter Basket-ball! This simple, silly Easter Basket is sure to be a slam dunk. A small toy hoop tied onto the handle is filled with bunny-eared, basketball eggs. [They were purchased at Michael’s; if out of stock there, […]

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Get ready for the Academy Awards with these creative ideas from Alexis Murphy

Editor’s note: We’ve come to count on Menlo Park resident Alexis Murphy for showing us how to make celebrations and holidays special. Here she takes on the Academy Awards, which will take place this Sunday night (2/28). Whether you’ve seen the movies or not, the Academy Awards are always exciting. The glamor, the controversy, the parties. It is time […]

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Make it a totally San Francisco Super Bowl!

Are you ready for some football? It’s time to celebrate the Super Bowl in true San Francisco style. We will be kicking back on Sunday, watching all the festivities and enjoying as many iconic Bay Area treats as we can. First down: our favorite California cheeses with fabulous Boudin sourdough football bread. Second down: Classic Fisherman’s Wharf clam chowder in […]

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Delicious citrus tacolicious recipe to start the new year

This recipe is not just gorgeously full of delicious citrus, it’s actually tacolicious. The iconic Bay Area restaurant, that never takes itself too seriously, where tacos are a way of life and everything that they make is a show stopping pleasure. I have had this marked in my Tacolicious cookbook since I got it, and with our […]

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