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Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

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I've done some extensive research, and I've discovered the best way to make and enjoy this dish.  You're welcome...

Step 1: Purchase pork.  A few days later, realize that pork is no longer good (even though expiration date is days away).

Step 2: Walk to two different grocery stores trying to find and re-purchase pork.

Step 3: Trim the pork.  Cut into chunks.

Step 4: Add to slow cooker.  Toss in all the spices in your pantry.

Step 5: Head to the bar for 4 hours.  Drink 3 glasses of wine. (Optional, but highly recommended)

Step 6: Return home. Shred meat.  Stuff face with shredded meat while standing at the counter. (This last step is optional, but very likely to occur if you chose to indulge in Step 5.)

 

And there you have it!  You just made this pulled pork a real thing.  Go on with your bad self.

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Ravioli in Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

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I didn't choose the pumpkin life / The pumpkin life chose me...

What? Can you tell I'm getting sick and my mind is going loco?

Even though we're done with Fall for another several months, do not think that I'm done with pumpkin/squash recipes until then.  In fact, this is my new favorite recipe.  At least until next week's recipe comes along.  But seriously, I'm in love with this super easy pumpkin sauce.  If you're unsure, I'll confirm for you that you need this in your life.  If you are one of those weird people who hates pumpkin...well, then I just don't know what to say, except that I'm sorry you're missing out on this fabulousness.Yesterday we had an unexpected snow day, which makes it even more important to curl up with a blanket and enjoy this warm ravioli.  Not that I did that last night.  I'm talking about a friend.  This is truly one of those easy recipes that comes together in minutes and allow you start relaxing as soon as possible.
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Balsamic Tomato Chicken Salad

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2017 has been a busy one already!  I could use a small break.  At the very least, let's slow it down.  Ironically, slowing things down also means that I want to get certain things done faster (so I can have my downtime!).  I found a quick recipe for a balsamic chicken salad the other day and was immediately ready to get down with it. 

 

Fun fact - I used to carry a bottle of balsamic vinegar with me when I traveled to Pennsylvania 4 days a week for work.  Yeah, I'm that obsessed with it.  In my defense, what if I wanted a salad and no one in all of PA had balsamic vinegar? Hmmmmm.....

Now that I've shown you my crazy, you might be able to understand why I had to make this salad.  (Even if you don't understand it, just play along...)  I also used a rotisserie chicken in this, which just might be my new favorite thing ever.  I don't have to roast a whole chicken OR chicken breasts.  There are no words to describe that feeling.  In addition, the creamy dressing is balanced out with crisp fresh vegetables such as tomato and sweet peppers.  So, like I said, SOLD!

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Edamame Avocado Hummus

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Happy New Year!!!

I'm super excited for a new start.  There's something about being forced to think about "starting over" that's a bit refreshing.  I guess it takes some of the pressure off having to declare it myself? Maybe...

You know what's also refreshing?  These Reese's Clusters chocolates which are chocolate-y and caramel-y and currently half price at CVS.  Calories don't count until next week, correct? I'm digressing...

OK, so let's get down with some real food.  Yum!  Did you know that I don't like most beans?  I'm partial only to garbanzo beans/chickpeas and soy beans/edamame.  All other beans can see their way out!

Today, we are making hummus with edamame and I'm super excited because it's healthy (to counteract the chocolate I'm eating) and it's tasty!  It's also so easy to make that you'll be whipping this up all the time.  I can use more easy peasy recipes in the new year, that's for sure.  If you don't have edamame at hand, I guarantee that the dash to your local grocery store will be worth it.  And think of all that cardio you can get in running there and back.  I'm already helping you work on your fitness in 2017.

Enjoy!!

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Snickerdoodle Bars

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This holiday season, I would like to present to you these Snickerdoodle Bars.

I grew up eating a ton of sweets and those included anything covered in cinnamon sugar.  I have fond memories of making loaves of bread (well, my mom made them - I definitely didn't) and rolling out extra dough to make cinnamon-sugar-filled rolls.  Warmed and slathered in butter, it was one of my favorite treats.

This year, I think we should all satisfy our cinnamon-sugar sweet-tooth cravings with snickerdoodle flavors.  Message: approved.

Hint - These would be perfect for a New Year's Eve gathering.  Or, if you STILL haven't gotten a gift for that one friend, try whipping up a batch of these and wrapping them up with a bow.  I promise you that this will go over well.  Don't forget to sneak a few of these on the side for yourself as well!

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Mexican-Style Chicken Noodle Soup

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It's been so quiet in these parts!  Blame it on the holiday season.  I need another week to get ready for Christmas!  Oh, it's this weekend?  I guess that's cool.

I'm just over here making some soup that is overflowing with noodles.  BUT (1) I'm not mad at that and (2) you can simply decide to use fewer noodles than I did.  This excess of noodles really came about because I was pining for pasta and I got a little carried away.

I know this recipe doesn't immediately scream "Christmas", but hear me out.  You know how there's usually extra chicken or turkey leftover from a big holiday celebration?  I'd like to offer up a chicken/turkey noodle soup variation in order to help you out.  This is one such tasty option.  Don't mind if I do!

**Happy Holidays everyone!!**

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Pecan Pie Bubble Up

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I am obsessed with this dish!  I need this to be made at least once a week for the foreseeable future.  I can finish this in two days by myself, so that's totally do-able.  I mean, in theory I could finish it in two days.  I wouldn't know that firsthand or anything.  Totally wouldn't.

There's something about baking with pecans that really let me knowthe holidays are here.  It's probably because I associate pecan pie with Thanksgiving.  Pecan pie is my favorite ever!  So when I saw this recipe, I gasped and knew I had to make it.  In case you missed my previous bubble up recipes (bubble up enchiladas or bubble up pizza) I'll just let you know that I love these types of recipes.  Not only are they quick but they're also easy and delicious.  I like that they're able to be customized so that you can please most, if not all, of your family members.  This is perfect for a quick weeknight meal, or for making sure that you can sleep in on the weekends for another 30 minutes.  Again, this is not from personal knowledge.  I'm just sayin'.

This pecan pie bubble up did not disappoint and it will definitely join the others in the "Win" category.  The pecans were mixed with corn syrup and cinnamon buns and I was in heaven.  I recommend bringing this to any event between now and Christmas if you want to be the star.  Heck, I even promote bringing this over in the New Year because really, who's gonna stop you?  You are the boss of you.

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Turkey Cranberry Brie Grilled Cheese

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Oh snap!  Bring on the Christmas carols!

Who am I kidding?  The Christmas carols have been playing since August.  Side note - Can we stop that?  Just stop.

OK, we've also got a leftover turkey situation to take care of.  You know you also have a leftover cranberry sauce situation as well.  And cheese.  You probably have cheese.  If you don't...please know that you should always have cheese.  Not even a question.

Let's relive our Thanksgiving dreams in the form of a grilled cheese.  I chose to use a croissant for my grilled cheese, but you can choose to use two slices of your favorite bread slathered in butter if you wish.  In truth, I prefer to use croissants for my grilled cheese because (1) I love love love croissants, but mostly because (2) croissants are buttery and I don't have to slather butter on them.  Basically I'm lazy.

Gather your Thanksgiving leftovers and join me in my new annual Thanksgiving tradition.  Tip - If you have leftover stuffing, I would definitely sneak that in here as well.
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Butternut Squash Risotto with Goat Cheese

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Have you Thanksgiving'ed yet?

If you are still on the market for a side dish, I've got you covered!  I present to you...the Butternut Squash Risotto with Goat Cheese!  Now, if you are not one of those people that keeps ingredients around so you can make risotto, you can still make this after Thanksgiving and I won't tell a soul.  If you, like me, always have arborio rice and goat cheese on hand, then let's talk.

Since Fall began, I've been super extra with making pumpkin/butternut squash/spiced things.  I just can't get enough this season and I'm not letting it go just yet.  This particular recipe doesn't call for a ton of ingredients which is excellent because I like to spend my free time eating.  Less talk, more action.  This recipe does require some babysitting, but you can stir the risotto periodically as you wait for the rice to absorb the liquid.  I find that I like to taste test glasses of wine while I wait.  But you can do whatever you like.  No judgements here.

So make sure you don't leave out this amazing option for your Thanksgiving feast.  And hey, if it's too late to add this to your table, I still suggest preparing it before winter is over!
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