Sausage & Farro Stuffed Acorn Squash | Farmers Market Series

It’s the weekend! While I’m working a sweat up in the kitchen preparing brunch and dinner for a whole day’s worth of Friendsgiving activities, I hope you’re taking it easy this morning catching up on some Food Network. I’m kind of sad because today is the last farmers market series recipe! I was really bummed that our local market ended earlier in the season. I haven’t had a chance to get to one of the closest farms so the journey sadly ends here. However, I will most definitely be bringing the series back in the late spring once the produce starts growing in…

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Herby Apple Stuffing | Holiday Recipes: Make Ahead

Happy Friday! Thanksgiving is less than one week away which means that Christmas is 5 weeks away. It’s the countdown of the year and I seem to get a little bit more excited every day. We already have one Christmas tree up and the kitchen is decorated all festive. I have my schedule pretty much in place for the rest of the year unless, of course, something comes up which isn’t uncommon. Many people who are entertaining for Thanksgiving have already been preparing for next week. Any groceries that can be bought are sitting on their own shelf in the pantry and freezer. Decorations are bought and ready for display…

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Sweet Potato Soup | Farmers Market Series

Happy Monday! I hope your week is getting off to a productive start. It’s been awfully cold around these parts lately. Dinners have been all about soup in my house. Not only is soup easy to make and a one-pot-dish, it’s comforting and warming which is all you need on a cold night. The sun starts setting around 3:30 and is down completely by 5 which is crazy but I love it. I’m still adjusting to the early nights and trying not to go to bed by 8PM but I’m all for the arrival of winter. It’s the season of bundling up, fires in the fireplace, hot cocoa, Christmas music, and comfort food. You can add this recipe for Sweet Potato Soup to your collection of cozy cold weather soups too! It’s a good for you but still stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup…

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5 Late Fall Midwestern Getaways

Happy November! I hope All Hallow’s Eve went without any ghoulish surprises this year and was lots of fun. Now that November is here, fall is in its final few weeks. The leaves are falling rapidly, the colors have changed, and the weather has turned much more brisk. It’s delightful! With four weeks left until Thanksgiving and four weeks between T-Day and Christmas, now is the time to plan a last-minute fall getaway. With limited time to spare, a getaway that’s closer to home makes much more sense. For those of you Chicago-based or Midwest-based, I have five late fall getaways to put on your calendar. It’s a great time to travel to any of these locations because the height of tourist season is over. Rates are dropping and crowds are thinning. Take this as an opportunity to explore each of these Midwestern destinations at your own leisure…

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6 Cozy Spots Around Chicago

Colder weather calls for cozy get togethers. If there’s one thing Chicago knows how to do well (other than take advantage of summer), it’s survive winter and the colder months. We’re a social city! We like going out for brunch and meeting friends for a cocktail after work. Five months of bitter cold won’t keep us hibernating...well, not the entire time at least. We can appreciate a good occasional hibernation. For those colder months when the tips of your fingers start to turn blue and your nose goes numb, the cozier spot to meet up, the better. Cozy, by definition, means “enjoying or affording warmth and ease.” In my words, that translates to a fireplace, casual and/or comfortable seating arrangements like couches or comfy chairs, and a warm drink with alcohol optional…

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Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts + Beets | Fall Recipes

November is just a few days away and I am in the thick of holiday planning. My conversations are focused on what we will be assigning, how many desserts we really need, how many batches of gravy (spaghetti sauce) I prepare in advance, etc. This weekend was all about experimenting with my family’s gravy recipe. I had an outline of what was supposed to be included and had to tweak it by taste to come up with the final solution. The great thing about family recipes is that they’re handed down over generations. The bad thing is that no one ever actually writes the recipes down so it’s a giant guessing game until you create your own version of it. My recipe will never be the same as my great-grandfather’s but it gives the memory of his gravy a nod and takes on my own personal twist. For one...I will never cook a pot of gravy without a Parmesan cheese rind. Ever. That should be a cardinal rule unless you have a severe dairy allergy…

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Apple & Chorizo Quesadillas | Apple Season Recipes

It’s a brisk morning as I write this post and the final sips of my morning coffee have gone cold. I’m fighting to keep my eyes open, my sleeves are pulled as far over my hands as possible without impeding my ability to type and all I can think is that I could really use a nap. It’s not even 9AM but the call of a warm blanket is strong. Do you ever have one of those days where it’s the perfect weather outside and energy in the air to chill on the couch and watch Halloween Baking Championship reruns on the Food Network? I’ve taken one too many days off this month though and really need to put my head down and be productive. I guarantee it will include another cup of coffee...this time, one that I’ll hopefully finish before it gets cold…

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National Pumpkin Day! Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Muffin Recipe

Happy National Pumpkin Day! Happy Friday! Today is a great day because pumpkin day and Friday happened to land on the same day this year. That calls for celebration! Celebration in the form of these super tasty, borderline addictive Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Muffins. I’m one of those people who believes pumpkin is a year-round flavor but I still love celebrating its abundance in the fall. Especially in the form of baked goods. Considering my love for pumpkin, I was a bit shocked at the lack of pumpkin recipes in the index! Clearly that needs to change, starting with these muffins…

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