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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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Kale Salad with Lemon & Pecorino

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I have a new recipe for you guys and it's shockingly healthy!  I have replaced my Trader Joe's Movie Popcorn habit with a kale salad habit.

Recently my friend Courtney and I had a fall-inspired dinner where we made dishes that were...fall-inspired.  Courtney brought over a side dish of kale salad with lemon and pecorino.  I have a love/hate relationship with kale.  It can be super tasty, or it can just be "eh".  In this case, the salad was delicious!

I've gone through 3 bags of kale in the past 2 weeks.  I prefer to use heartier, more mature kale since I think it stands up better to the dressing, BUT you can also use baby kale, which is what you see in the photos here.  Baby kale is closer in taste and texture to spinach or arugula and it's quite tasty in this salad.  Don't tell me I didn't give you options!

When I looked up a few kale salad recipes online, I realized they're all really similar to each other.  Thus, I sort of smooshed (that's a technical term) all the recipes and measurements together to come up with my own.  I really like the simplicity of this dish.  I am not embarrassed to admit that I tend to eat it right out of the huge bowl I prepare it in.  I think I'm addicted.  I tried to make this salad at 1am on Friday morning last week, because I was craving it.  It turned out that the kale I had bought smelled questionable and so I ended up throwing out the whole bag.  I had a few pretty packed days coming up and the last thing I wanted was food poisoning.  I finally got the chance to make this again and most of the salad may or may not be gone right now.  Just saying.

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Salty Pumpkin Cookie Butter Brownies

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You guys....This is my last. ever. Secret. Recipe. Club. post!  What?!?!!?!  The club is closing it's doors and so I wanted to go out with an epic dessert.  I mean, let's be real that dessert is my THING.  As much as I'd like to be healthy, my sweet tooth really steers me toward those cookies and chocolate bars by the time 10am rolls around.  Not that I eat chocolate for breakfast.  Haha.  Ha.  I mean, no, definitely not!

For this month, I was paired up with Sarah from Well Dined.  I love this blog!  How cool is it that Sarah is a restaurant foodie and an avid homecook.  Sarah also mentioned that she is constantly working on her writing and photography skills.  Yup.  Me too!  My photography skills are improving I think.  Writing skills?  Welllll, just take a look at the previous paragraph and you can be the judge!  Also, I overuse exclamation points.Sarah claims she is not much of a baker, but you wouldn't guess it from the photos that she took of her brownies.  They look delicious!  I didn't have peanut butter on hand for this recipe, but I did have cookie butter.  Pumpkin cookie butter.  Yup, I said it!  The only drawback is that cookie butter has a slightly different consistency than peanut butter AND I didn't realize there were cookie chunks in it until I was already making the recipe.  BUT I followed Sarah's instructions anyway and everything turned out so well!

Now if you don't have a serious sweet tooth like I do, I would definitely recommend that you check out some of Sarah's other recipes, such as the Tabbouleh, Zucchini Pizza (Yes, please!), or the Slow Cooker Parmesan Tomato Soup.  (I just noticed all of these recipes are vegetarian.  I'm not a vegetarian by any means, but really, these are the recipes I'm truly interested in!  It's not easy being green!)

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Baked Brie with Apples & Pecans

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If you know me, you know that I'm a snacker.  Popcorn and wine for dinner.  All day every day!

I just don't really like meals.  They make me feel full and then all I want to do is sleep.  Let me tell you that that's a real awkward move at work.  Real.  Awkward.

So basically I'm living for snacks and appetizers that I can cobble together to prove that I'm a real adult and can eat "a meal".  You know.  I'm adulting so hard, like one does.

I recently saw a recipe post on Facebook for baked brie with apples.  Omg.  Need!  I don't have any baked brie recipes on this site, which is absolutely crazy given the amount of cheese I eat.  I love baked brie but the challenge is that baked brie tastes best the first time that it's made.  While I do enjoy a good challenge, I'm not sure that eating an entire wheel of cheese is the best one for me. 

Soooo the other day, had my friend Courtney over for a fall-inspired dinner and I decided I'm throw this onto the menu to test it out.

Wow!  So much yes!  I foresee more baked brie in my immediate future, for sure!

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Corn Risotto with Herbes de Provence

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Another incentive to make this was that I picked up some Herbes de Provence a few weeks ago at a street fair in Hoboken.  I originally tried Herbes de Provence while I was in Provence on a school trip ages ago.  I fell in love with it then and I've bought it since, but I hadn't replenished my stash in a while.  When I saw a vendor selling it, I doubled down!

Now, we've got risotto, corn, AND Herbes de Provence all in one dish.  THIS is how you kick a cold and kickstart a new week!

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Easy Mongolian Beef

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Well, it's officially Fall weather.  Again.  We went from 80 degrees this past week to a high of 50's and low 60's this weekend.  So basically I got to relive my sweaty summer self (super cute!) and I also got to pull out a few plaid shirts, my leather jacket and humongous scarves.  I've also been fighting a little cold this weekend so I really wanted to make something easy and quick.  Ain't nobody got time to hang out in the kitchen for hours.

Even when I'm in peak physical condition (ha ha!) I'm always on the hunt for a quick weeknight meal and I think I found the perfect one!  I haven't made anything Asian-inspired in a hot minute.  Let me switch it up right now.  This Mongolian Beef dish was super quick, simple, and easy to make.  Now, there are quite a few ingredients listed below, BUT that was because I didn't want to run to the store to purchase hoisin sauce.  I had a few items which were a good substitute in my pantry already so I made an executive decision.  You couldn't even tell the difference!
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Minced Lamb with Rosemary Hummus

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It's vacation time!!! I'm hanging out in West Palm Beach this weekend with my old roommate and we are living it up!

By living it up, I mean we drank margaritas at midnight by ourselves on Thursday (midnight margs!).  Then we worked on Friday and that night, we sat on the couch, ordered Indian food and drank caramel apple mimosas.  So for the first 24 hours we went back to doing the same things we did when we lived together 3 years ago.  Same thing, different place.

Speaking of other things that are same, but still different, let's talk about this lamb and rosemary hummus!  I've been showering you with quite a few hummus recipes this year, but now I'd like to show you a different twist on this dish.  Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs so why not marry it with hummus? I'm also a huge fan of lamb, but I rarely make it, so I decided that these things should be brought together at the same time.

To be honest, I ate this as a meal.  As in, I sat down and ate this with pita bread and called it lunch and dinner.  No regrets!  If you want to live this kind of high life as well, I encourage you to make this!

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Pumpkin Spice Rum Balls

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Hey-o! It is time to live our best pumpkin life!  To celebrate my return to posting about food (after the last 2 posts focused on my travels), I broke out the rum.

I'm also celebrating because I recently upgraded the lighting situation chez moi, which now allows me to shoot at night.  This may not sound like a big deal, but imagine years of waking up early on weekends to cook or bake so you can catch the PERFECT angle and tone of sunlight.  Stressful.  So no more of that!

Additionally!  I am free to create more super healthy and nutritious snacks for my coworkers....hehe SURE!  I've been putting baking aside for a few months.  I've made a few items here or there but not nearly as many as I used to.  This is mostly because I've been super busy and if I have a choice between making lunch for myself or sugary sweets to share, I tend to choose the lunch option.  I hate having to buy lunch when I'm at work!  But now I can bake whenever I want!  So if we work together, I'm sorry/not sorry that I'm about to bombard you guys with a ton of baked sugar.  Prepare yourselves!

OK, this pumpkin ball sitch.  I don't think I've ever had a rum ball before.  Not that I can recall.  But anything with the name pumpkin in it will get me interested.  Add in some alcohol?  Now we're talking!  I actually added less than the recommended 2 tablespoons alcohol because I was taking these to work, but I would definitely say to use the entire 2 tablespoons if you're going elsewhere.  I also found that these balls were best after letting them set in the refrigerator overnight.  I wasn't terribly impressed with them the same night I made them and I almost didn't take them into the office.  BUT the next morning I decided to try another one and dang!  All the flavors were stronger and I fell in love!

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Scotland Trip 2016

I finally pulled together my pictures from Scotland!  For some reason I thought I had fewer pictures from Scotland and this would be a breeze.


Uh, no.  Settle in folks!  KIDDING! Sort of.  I whittled the pictures down to a manageable number.  I'm really excited to share these with you!  My mom and I didn't get a chance to spend too much time in Scotland but hopefully we can go back soon and spend some more time in this area.

If you want to see pictures of our London adventures, check them out HERE!

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