Spiked Caramel Apple Cider

FNM100109Centerfold010_s4x3_lgIf candy isn’t your thing on Halloween, how about the second most sacred item of the holiday–booze? The kids don’t know what they are missing! So whether you are having/attending a costume party or just turning off the lights and hiding from the hoards of begging hooligans, I encourage you to make this cocktail.

Ingredients:

3 oz Caramel Vodka (Stoli has a salted caramel vodka which would be to die for)

2/3 cup apple cider

Ice

Crushed Graham crackers (optional)

Recipe:

Line rim with crushed graham crackers. Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake it (bonus points if you dance while you shake) and enjoy!

 

 

Happy Endings Gag Reel

 

Because I freaking love gag reels and I freaking love Happy Endings. There are much, much more on youtube if you are interested.

Travel-Sized Products

There are a lot of things that annoy me about traveling but having to find room to pack giant bottles of your favorite products has to be the worst. Yes, I know they make tiny bottles that you can fill with products, but 1) I am a germaphobe (thanks OCD!) so I get uneasy about that 2) you can end up wasting a lot of product in the process. I thought I would share some travel-sized kits/products that will help prevent some of the pain and guarantee that you look great even if you are living out of a suitcase.  

Laura Mercier - Flawless Face Kit

Laura Mercier’s Flawless Face Kit isn’t the cheapest option, but I love that it includes so much.

Clinique - Take the Day Off To Go

Makeup Remover in an itty bitty bottle! Cute and useful!

Benefit Cosmetics - Gettin' Cheeky!

Three mini cheek tints mean you don’t have to choose whether to bring the blush or bronzer. Even better, all you need is your hands for application. No brush required!

Perfekt - Skin Perfection Gel To Go

Skin Perfection…To go! Because perfection should be universal and not stop when you are traveling.

P.S.  9 unscented lip balms compiled by Byrdie.

In Honor of Halloween, Let’s Talk Candy

candyIf I were to list out some of my hobbies, it would go something like: writing, reading, watching t.v./movies, and eating candy. Therefore, I would like to think that I am an expert in the field of candy, mainly in judging whether they are good or not. My favorite candy combo is peanut butter & chocolate–peanut butter is a necessary part of my diet. I have eaten approximately 100 lbs of Peanut Butter M&Ms in my lifetime. My least favorite candy has got to be licorice. I don’t turn down a lot of candy, but I just can’t do licorice.

 How about you? What candy are you looking forward to eating this Halloween?

More Proof Kevin is Weird

I caught Kevin in the act today watching baseball card opening youtube videos.

I caught Kevin in the act today watching baseball card opening youtube videos.

Oh, Kevin….I love the boy, he’s my future husband and the person I’ve chosen to spend my life with. But that doesn’t mean I think he is normal haha. One of the strangest things he likes to do–watch youtube videos of people opening up baseball card packs. A bunch of them. And that’s all they do. There’s no cute puppies or babies doing adorable things in the background. Just people reacting to baseball cards. Kevin is a recovering baseball card addict (haha) and I guess this is how he gets his fix. He has to live vicariously through others these days. I just don’t get it AT ALL. Even if they are awesome cards, he doesn’t get any of the money or glory. And if the cards totally suck, well then what’s the fun in that? Well, I guess I don’t see the fun in any of it!

Anyone else have a significant other who has a bizarre habit?

One Pot Cheesy Apple Sausage Pasta

The picture doesn't do the dish justice!

The picture doesn’t do the dish justice!

I love fall dishes–nothing helps warm you up on a chilly day more than a delicious bowl of creamy pasta or a rich, comfort food dish. Thanks to Pinterest, I was able to find on a blog another awesome one pot recipe called “One Pot Cheesy Smoked Sausage Skillet” that seemed similar to the Hunt’s Italian Sausage dish that is a favorite with my family. I mixed it up a bit–I added some apple in there, as I love the combo of onions, sausage, and apples in dishes. I also added in some additional veggies, in this case I put in some mushrooms. Kevin is a picky eater but I wanted to up the vitamin content. Then, as always, I reduced the serving size to 2-3 people. In the end, it is such an amazing mix of flavors with the onions, the sweetness of the apples, and the savory sausage. It was definitely one of my favorites and one I can see making a lot this fall and winter. The picture doesn’t do it justice.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 2-3 chicken sausage or pork sausage links, sliced (I used Trader Joe’s Smoked Apple & Chardonnay one)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (I also snuck in some sliced mushrooms–you can easily put some other veggies like mushrooms, spinach, or kale to add some veggies to picky eaters)
  • 1/4 cup chopped apple
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (I used Hunt’s No Salt Added)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 6 oz dry penne pasta (about 2 1/4 cup dry penne pasta)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each (can throw in some oregano in there too)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions, for garnish if wanted

Instructions

  1. Add olive oil or butter to a 4-5 quart saute pan over medium high heat. Add onions (and other veggies), apples, & sausage and cook until lightly browned (about 3-4 minutes). Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
  2. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Top with sliced scallions and serve.
  4. Makes about 2 servings.

Dear Bangs, Why Do You Hate Me?

I have had bangs of all sorts for years, but this is the first time that they have really started to take on a life of their own. I don’t know if the cowlick is getting worse (can that happen?) or if my bangs are just bastards who get joy out of other people’s misery. Either way, I am having some serious Full House hair (not even John Stamos hair–I would take that at this point–I am talking about DJ). Not even the flat iron can tame them.

DJ Tanner Full House

Any one else have a love/hate relationship with bangs? I cannot imagine myself without them! They are like french fries–you know they may be bad for you but you keep coming back for more! 

A Scarf So Adorable, You May Not Take it Off Until July

The print has just the perfect amount of whimsy combined with the classic Madewell cool factor. As an already young looking petite lady, I don’t want to look like I bought a scarf in the girl’s section, which can happen if I tread too much into cutesy prints. You could pair this scarf with a sweater of any color and ankle boots or throw it on top of a basic tee to upgrade your jeans look. It is surprisingly versatile. I can’t help it–I am going nuts over this scarf (groan–I will end it there on a low note).

 

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Like Royal Marriages? This Book May Be for You!

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The Middletons have nothing on the Woodvilles. The eldest daughter of the essentially middle class family entered a secret marriage with King Edward IV of England, launching the Woodvilles into the Court. Reviled in their day and made infamous by a string of less-than-favorable fictional accounts of their story (The Kingmaker’s Daughter, anyone?), the Woodvilles are the subject of Susan Higginbotham’s new book, The Woodvilles: The War of the Roses and England’s Most Infamous Family. I am eager to start reading it! I am of the opinion that the Woodvilles get a bad reputation–I mean, medieval people, can’t you think of a more creative accusation than witchcraft? It seems like you just call whomever you don’t like a witch.  I would like to see if this book gives us a more impartial opinion of the family.

Harvest Chicken Quinoa Soup

You can’t talk about fall food without talking about soup! This is one of my all time favorite recipes, which is great because it has a lot of good-for-you veggies in it! I like to think that cancels out my typical fare of ice cream, cheez-its, and pop.

Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 carrot, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 rib celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
salt & pepper
4 cups torn kale
1 garlic clove
8 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon parsley (dried or fresh)
1/2 or 1 teaspoon dried thyme (depends on how you like thyme!)
2 large chicken breasts (about 1lb), cut in half
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes (2 cups)
1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes (1-1/2 cups)
2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, and onion, season with salt and pepper, then saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add kale and garlic, season with more salt and pepper, then saute for 2 more minutes. Add 8 cups chicken broth, parlsey flakes, and dried thyme, then bring to a boil.
  2. Add chicken breasts to the pot then cook for 10 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center. Remove to a plate then add sweet potato, russet potato, and quinoa to boiling broth. Place a lid on top, lower heat to medium, then cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked. Meanwhile shred chicken.
  3. Add shredded chicken back to the soup, then add parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt & pepper if necessary. Serve topped with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

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