Christmas Picks For Everyone on Your List

With less than a week to get all your holiday shopping done, it is officially crunch time!  I don’t like to brag but my gifts have all been purchased and wrapped for over a week now… I know I’m obnoxious.  These are my top 5 gifts for any and everyone on your list!  Spoiler alert:  you can find most of these under my tree this year (family and friends put the blog down and walk away to ruin any Christmas surprises!)

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Pottery Barn Faux Fur Robe

I am obsessed!  This robe was the top of my list this year.  The cozy faux fur and monogram scream glamour.  I am all about comfy, cozy, and warmth (especially this winter is going) and this robe is exactly the kind of gift I am hoping for under my tree.

All Birds Sneakers

Mark my words, these sneakers will be a house hold name come Spring.  (That means eventual backorders)  Stay on top of the trends and gift these to anyone on your list.  So comfortable, light and stylish they are perfect to make any one smile this holiday.

Mark and Graham Blanket Windowpane Scarf

Looking for the chic gift for the woman in your life?  I know I would be so happy to find this scarf under the tree.  My favorite is the camel color but all are equally chic and versatile.  Perfect to dress up sweatpants for a quick trip to the grocery store or perfect to keep you warm on your way to a Saturday night dinner out.

Personalized Steak Branding Iron

This has become my go-to man gift.  Perfect for the grilling obsessed, you can personalize with initials, sayings, or important numbers and dates.  Combine with some gourmet BBQ sauce and rubs and you have a gift that will make your man happy into summertime grilling season.

Miracle-Gro AeroGarden

The most common New Year’s resolution typically involves health.  Jump start that resolution with a gift that promises fresh veggies all year round.  Counter top perfect and fresh lettuce, herbs, and tomatoes in a short amount of time.  No green thumb necessary!

Green Apple Cabbage Salad

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Thanksgiving salads are a hard thing.  There are only so many options, usually we opt for arugula, goat cheese, and cranberries.  Simple, classic, and delicious.  However, this year I have a new favorite for the Thanksgiving table.  This easy salad can be made up to 2 day in advance and is great on leftover Thanksgiving sandwiches.  I love the sweet crunch of the apples with the tangy flavor of the dressing.  This is the perfect healthy side to balance out the second helping of mashed potatoes I will be indulging in.

Chai Spiced Sweet Potato Bread

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The leaves have changed and the air is crisp and I couldn’t be happier.  Fall is in full swing in my little Connecticut town and I am fully embracing it in all its golden glory.  While everyone is going nuts for pumpkin spice, my heart lies with the bold flavors of chai and (much easier to slice) sweet potatoes.  With whole grain oats this is the perfect filling and hearty breakfast. I like mine with some cream cheese and a steaming cup of coffee on the side.

Slow Cooker Baked Apples

 

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When I posted that I was making baked apples on my instagram story, I did not expect to get so many messages and requests about this recipe.  Hence, the not so great iphone photo. However, unlike this imperfect photo, this is the perfect recipe for fall.

I recently took my boyfriend’s apple picking virginity, while this sounds kind of dirty, it was a simple, innocent day at the orchard picking apples and sharing way too many laughs.  We ended up with way more apples than I had planned.  A girl can only eat so many honey crisps before she risks turning into an apple herself.  Thank goodness for this slow cooker apple recipe.  The best part?  No peeling required.

The Only Chili Recipe You Will Ever Need

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It may not feel quite like it, but fall is here.  My favorite part of fall is the transition to warm, comforting foods.  Nothing says fall comfort food more than a big bowl of cheese covered chili.  I swear this is the only chili recipe you will ever need. It can be totally versatile depending on what you have on hand.  If you want a more carnivorous option, sub beef for turkey, and for a veggie only option add a few extra cans of beans.   I seriously cannot get enough of this recipe, loaded with fresh veggies, tons of filling protein and boasting tons of smoky flavor this slow cooker recipe is a must for fall. I like mine with a side of blue corn chips, tons of cilantro, and cold Downeast Cider to wash it all down.  C’mon, it doesn’t get more fall than that!

BBQ Chicken Salad

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I am a self proclaimed salad hater… well, I don’t  hate salads but I am definitely the girl that likes her salad loaded with “gems” and pretty much leaves a bowl of tossed around, dressing coated lettuce leaves to be tossed in the compost.  This salad is the excpetion. With a tangy sweet dressing, tender chicken breast and fresh sweet  corn and crisp veggies, I was able to leave an empty bowl this time!

Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

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Anyone else totally embracing these cools summer nights we have been having?  Cue the hand raising… It has been nice to take a break from salads the past few nights for warm comfort food.  I was blessed with tons of fresh eggplant this week from the CSA haul.  Anyone who would chose to make anything other than eggplant parm with all the eggplants I have is simply a crazy person.  Enough said.  I decided to get a little fancy on a Tuesday night and stacked my eggplant instead of going the old school route.  Super pretty, super portion controlled, super tasty.

Gluten Free Panzanella Salad

IMG_1316I I LOVE Ina Garten.  Her house, her adorable Jeffery, her recipes… I swoon for her recipes. Seriously, her cookbooks have become my nightly reading and recipe inspo.

Back in my pre- ulcerative colitis, gluten eating days one of my favorite summer recipes was her Greek panzanella salad.  It was always a bit more filling and satisfying than a traditional green salad and was a show stopper at any cookout.   Now that it is summer, I am really missing it!

Unlike Ina, I don’t have the “good olive oil” or fancy baguette, but I have found the best gluten free alternative with a not so fancy bread of choice:  gluten free hot dog rolls!  With total inspiration from Ina’s Greek panzanella salad recipe, I put my own Little Chef spin with protein rich chickpeas, tangy artichoke hearts, and my super high end (eye roll) gluten free hot dog rolls.

Beach Eats on FOX61

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Bikini worthy eats on this segment with my friends at FOX 61!  Click the photo for the link to the segment!

Veggie Wontons

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Kholrabi…more like kohl-what?-bi??? I will be the first to admit I was downright puzzled when I got a bunch of this cabbage like veggie in my CSA.  What exactly was it?  What was I supposed to do with it? Do I cook it?  Eat it raw?  I had no idea.  Thanks to trusty google, I got my answers and decided to see what I could do with this alien veggie.  Gotta love the trusty wonton wrapper.  From making easy “homemade” ravioli, mini muffin tacos, and now these yummy and easy wontons they make meal prep super easy.  Feel free to get creative with what you put in your wontons, ground pork, broccoli, the options are endless, however, I do suggest giving kohlrabi a try!