Favorite Minestrone Soup

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Whoa. It is COLD in Chicago today. Holy moly.   I left my makeup bag by the window last night and it literally turned my mascara into this thick goopy mess that makes my eyelashes look like tarantula legs on steroids. I'm going to need an ice pick to get out my moisturizer.   But the good thing about freezy cold days are that they make for the best cozy nights at home! One of my favorite parts of December is coming home after a long day of Christmas shopping in the cold, … [Read more...]

Leftover Turkey Tacos with Chipotle Cream

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There's only about one thing in this world that can pry me away from a 50% off Bloomingdales sale on Black Friday. Or 70% off at Sur La Table... OR a 20-50% off sale at Macy's.....30% off Jcrew.... Target...Homegoods...!     Okkkkk feeling slightly less confident about this decision....   And it's my FAVORITE family tradition. Every Friday morning after Thanksgiving my dad, little brother, and I venture out into the cold rural Illinois wilderness (aka the adorable … [Read more...]

Creamy Guilt-Free Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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  3 days....dun dun dun! If you're scrambling for recipes, I've got you covered!   Today's post is going to be short and sweet on words and heavy (pleaseee pass the side dish recipes!) on the food. I've rounded up all of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes from the blog to give you a yummy and foolproof selection of sides, mains, and desserts that will impress your guests and have everyone asking for the recipe! Because we all know that Thanksgiving is about love, family, and … [Read more...]

Fresh Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

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8 days until Thanksgiving...! That means just 8 more days until Santa comes to Macy's, 93.9 Christmas Lite FM, and Starbuck's cute little Christmas cups... o wait. All of that has been up since October.. and I LOVE it. I'm sorry. Judge away. I'm one of those people that scours the radio looking for the first Christmas station. I watched Love Actually on Sunday. And there may or may not be a Christmas ornament sitting on my coffee table....   I'm of the more is better mindset and … [Read more...]

Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

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Holy Moly. I have SO many Thanksgiving recipes I want to share this month I don't even know what to do! My desk/kitchen counter/living room floor....probably car floor...jeans pockets...coat pockets...anything with pockets....are stuffed and covered in random scratch pieces of paper with recipe ideas scribbled all over.     Literally this is how I organize my life.   Thank God Facebook keeps track of birthdays for me.     But long story short I was … [Read more...]

Sparkling Pear Cranberry Cocktail and my 2 year Blogiversary!

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ZOOM!   Ok sometimes it crawled...maybe even made a few U-turns., but I seriously cannot believe how incredibly fast these past 2 years have flown! I look back and it is so crazy to think of how much has changed since my very 1st post on November 5, 2011. CRAZY.   New jobs...new apartment....new friends...new KitchenAid mixer (Yeaaah!) thank God still same dog...! But so many new things and awesome experiences and I am SO blessed that I get to share each and every step of … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

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Happy day-after-Haloween!   There is only one way to cure that candy hangover.... and its obviously with some more sugar. I like to live by the Sunday brunch bloody mary rule...booze + booze = no booze. Same goes for Snickers bars. I'm pretty sure...   ...Hmm....no...... definitely. I created this recipe for the fabulous Stephie from Eat Your Heart Out. I'm guest posting on her blog today so click HERE for the link to her super delish website and also to see my recipe … [Read more...]

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

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Mmm...mmm...I LOVE pumpkin bread. And if you're reading this post I know you're right there with me. There are exactly 12 zillion billion recipes for pumpkin bread on the internet and I literally cannot stop myself from clicking on any and every recipe I find.   I would be the world's worst lab rat. I'd be that one stuck in the cheese maze for life  with absolutely zero conditioning skills. They would dangle a piece of cheese in front of a trap door and I would literally take … [Read more...]

Brie, Roasted Turkey, and Pear Panini

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Holy moly this week got crazy. Crazy good. Crazy bad. A little sad. And a lot, a lot of LOVE.   My amazing, brilliant, grandpa passed away this week. He battled Alzheimer's for over 8 years and I have never seen a more graceful fight in my life. Alzheimer's tries to take everything away from you, and even until the end it couldn't take his heart, I'm so happy he gets to rest now... and hopefully find the most kick butt Old Country Buffet up there in heaven (go figure the gourmet … [Read more...]

Halloween Graveyard Oreo Brownies

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 BOO!   How cute is he?? I am a firm believer that Halloween should be reserved for friendly ghosts, Glinda the Good Witch, Disney Princess costumes, and free candy for all.   No thank you to Mr. Scary Clown...creepy house at the end of the street...and movies rated higher than PG- 13. I will never ever forget my first (and ONLY) Haunted House...after surviving at least 6 back to back heart attacks and a possibly sprained ankle from jumping sky high at ever corner... I MADE … [Read more...]

Mini Apple Crumble Pies

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I just had the most FUN catering event this week! It was complete dessert spread - fall themed. My favorite.   Twist my arm... um...YES I will make pumpkin cupcakes...mini apple crumble pies... maple sugar cookies...double chocolate thumbprints. And then I will eat it all. I am in a self induced sugar coma, recovering from a week of cookie taste testing and a crazy yesterday of party execution.   I am like a one woman jam band at the moment trying to orchestrate some … [Read more...]

Skinny Mini Apple Crisps

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  Mm..mmm! Apple crisps are the epitome of Fall. I know Pumpkin is usually the popular kid on the playground but lets not forget who is first to recess! It is apple season guys and ALL I want to eat are apples. Especially those covered in buttery crumble and baked warm with cinnamon....and maybe some ice-cream. I'm sorry but this post it 100% selfish... it was Friday... and I really just wanted apple crisp. Like really, really bad. All week my mailbox was stuffed with cooking … [Read more...]