kale salad with apples, cranberries, and toasted pecans



If posting a kale salad recipe on Halloweekend isn’t the height of nonchalance, I don’t know what is.

Promise I’m not a grinch. Nor am I seasonally confused. It’s just that by the time October 31st rolls around, I’ve already consumed more orange-and-black brownies and pretzel witches’ brooms and batty cupcakes than a girl should, in her lifetime, consume. I needed a quick, one-day, noncommittal break from all things spooky.

Enter: this salad. If there’s one food that can’t be dressed up like a mummy or slathered in chocolate, it’s kale. (I think. I hope?) Plus, this one happens to be particularly good. It’s been my go-to for the last month or so. I first found the recipe on Cookie and Kate, where it’s attributed to Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. Naturally, my first thought as a newly-minted blogger was, “How can I make this my own?” followed by a few disastrous extra ingredient additions. Like…paprika. Very unnecessary.

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What to Cook

on my bookshelf: “celebrate everything” by darcy miller


output_aabsbdOne of the things I’m most excited about in this new blog is being able to spread a little literary love every now and then. (Also, being able to make gifs whenever I please. I can’t stop watching that one up there. HELP.) I studied writing in college and am now a writer by trade, so I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that I love, love, love books. Thick ones, thin ones, gorgeous coffee table ones, big serious ones…you name it. I’ve decided to start a weekly series called “On my Nighstand” where I’ll let you in on the latest cover to grace my (um, DUH) nightstand. And, as is just as often the case: my dining table, my dresser, a very dusty spot under my bed, my closet, my kitchen counter…you get it.

This week’s book was an easy choice: Darcy Miller’s new book, “Celebrate Everything! Fun Ideas to Bring Your Parties to Life.” I pre-ordered it months ago and it just arrived in my mailbox today. And I’m in love. In love. While it’s true that I’ve been known to fall prey to the allure of a beautiful coffee table book every now and again — okay, every single time I step into Anthropologie — I am pretty discerning about the particularly special ones I choose to recommend to friends and family. And you.

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salted brown butter rice crispy treats


ricecrispytreats-5 I can’t be the only one who strolls through the cereal aisle and pauses at each box to consider its crispy treat potential. I mean, Cinnamon Toast Crunch crispy treats? Yes. Just yes. Those are definitely happening sometime soon. And don’t get me started on the Reese’s Puffs possibilities because I will have heart palpitations and I will keel over.  Also, oh my gosh, Cookie Crunch. YOU GUYS.

What I really need is to be left alone for a day in a giant laboratory with a large pot of melting marshmallows and a katrillion bowls filled with different crunchy cereals. To experiment. FOR SCIENCE.


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mason jar graveyard cakes for halloween


graveyard-cakes-14If you haven’t had one of those little store-bought pudding containers since you were a little kid, then by all means, RUN, don’t walk, to your nearest supermarket. And after you revel in the glory of that first bite, make these. Because the only thing better than store-bought pudding is store-bought pudding mixed with Oreo crumbles.

…Yes, it’s fair of you to assume I was channeling my inner Sandra Lee when it came to developing this recipe. The ol’ “semi-homemade” shtick just seemed the only way to go this week. After all, it’s been a long one. Reeeeally long. I’ve had some friends in from out of town, a few big projects at work, and a slew of EVENTS.

While I didn’t quite have it in me to go all the way out and bake the day away, I did want to spend some time getting my hands dirty in the kitchen to take a break from everything. And I figured if I could do something with minimized portions minimize the portion sizes and buy all the ingredients ready-made, I’d have a fun food craft on my hands.

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chai buttercream frosting


pumpkindonuts-12My winter drink of choice has changed over the years. I’m not a coffee drinker — gasp! — so when it comes to picking a liquid guilty pleasure, I’ve had to get creative. A few years back, I switched over from a playful (but SERIOUS) love affair with hot chocolate to a more mature, thoughtful relationship with vanilla chai lattes. Now, they’re my daily vice. I just love anything chai, and adding vanilla balances out the spice perfectly.

UGH. I just love ’em.

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pumpkin doughnuts with chai buttercream


pumpkindonuts-19 I know, I know. It’s everywhere. Pumpkin-flavored this and pumpkin-flavored that. Pumpkin drinks and crackers and candles and sweaters and salads and hair. Next thing you know, we’ll be breathing the stuff.  As much as I kind of hate to add to the general pumpkin-scented cacophony, it’s not every day a girl comes across a 2-ingredient recipe/hack. When she does, she doesn’t ask questions. She gets to work.

How crazy is that? Just two (2) ingredients, and you’ve got yourself a plate full of Instagrammable donuts. They’re also not that terrible for you compared to deep-fried donuts. And they’re really, really good.

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