Kale, Sausage, & White Bean Stew

kale sausage and white bean stew

I’m always playing around with recipes. And let us say ‘recipes’ loosely.  To begin with, I rarely follow a recipe, then when I make something really good, I can’t remember how I made it!  Luckily, this one was so good that immediately as I was eating I wrote down exactly what I’d done.

This Kale and Sausage stew is the perfect cozy fall evening recipe, AND it is super simple and quick.  Case & point, I made it on Sunday night after traveling all day and arriving home around 7:30pm. It was travel-all-day-want-something-fast-to-shove-in-my-face kind of easy.

I save time by buying pre-chopped kale and pre-cooked italian sausage links (both from Trader Joe’s).  Aside from chopping an onion, the rest is just canned.  Not only is this soup amazingly delicious, but it’s healthy as well! We’re eating clean for the next month in preparation for our beach vacation, so meals like this (fast+hearty+healthy) are exactly what we need. [Read more…]


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Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes with Candied Pecans

gluten free pumpkin pancakes

I talked yesterday about what a fantastic fall weekend we had and it all started with these absolutely sublime gluten free pumpkin pancakes. They were some of the best pancakes I think I’ve had ever, so I feel like mentioning that they’re also gluten free is really kind of an added bonus.

I very very rarely stop in the middle of a meal to photograph it. Typically, I eat something, really like it, then remake it for the blog.  This allows me to both test a recipe twice before posting it and it allows me a fair amount of time to photograph the food without Matt waiting in the other room to eat his meal.  This receipe, however, deserved to be photographed at that exact moment. [Read more…]

Hot Spiced Apple Cider Recipe

hot spiced cider recipe

While pumpkin has been the darling flavor of fall these past few years, I think we absolutely need to give the apple a little more credit.  I mean, doesn’t the flavor of a fresh honey crisp just make you want to go run through a field of flaming red foliage?  Am I the only one?

Regardless, I was having breakfast with a good friend last weekend, and the drink of choice (for both of us) was an apple cider topped with fresh maple whipped cream.  Sounds delightful, no?  It was, but it was a teeny bit too sweet as well.  I decided to head home and create my own version of this recipe.  My main goal was to spice things up with the cider in order to bring some balance to this wonderful fall warmer.

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Hot Spiced Apple Cider

Serves 4
Ready in 10 minutes

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 2 star anise pods (optional)
  • 1/2 of one orange
  • 2 quarts apple cider

Mix first five ingredients together in a coffee filter or piece of cheesecloth.  Drop the spice bundle and the orange into a small saucepan of  the cider.  Bring up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-20 minutes or until the cider has reached the desired level of spice.  The longer the spices are left in the cider, the stronger they’ll get.

I’ve just been making this in small batches during the week, but if you’d like to go the extra mile (especially if you’re making this for a party), I would highly recommend adding a little spiced rum (after the boil) and then topping the cider with maple whipped cream. It makes quite the fall cocktail.


I’ve been enjoying this sweet and spicy recipe (sans rum) as an afternoon snack with some maple sandwich cookies (from Trader Joe’s).  It’s really made each workday into an amazing little fall ‘moment’.

I hope you’re really savoring all of the little moments fall has to offer, no matter how small!  And if you REALLY want to jump into all the fall feelings at once, check out my other post today on 10 Ways to Feel the Fall!


Cafe Culture


I’ve been achingly nostalgic this week about Europe and every piece of me wants to go back as soon as I can.  When talking to Matty about it, the biggest pull for me has been the cafe culture that I saw everywhere while in France and Italy earlier this spring. I miss the rows of colorful chairs, the outdoor heaters, the coffee in the morning, espressos at mid-day, and wine in the evenings – all enjoyed slowly and with friends.  The mindset of sitting down and enjoying a cappuccino or espresso instead of putting it in a paper cup and running off to work is what got me thinking about how I can maybe enjoy my own little slice of cafe culture here at home.

I have an espresso maker, so I got the idea late last week to indulge a little in an afternoon espresso…. after all, who couldn’t use an afternoon pick-me-up? I will admit however, as non-European as it is, that I can’t drink espresso plain.  Because I’m a wimp. So, I created the most perfect little mid-day sipper that I’m sure will become a new favorite with the most surprising ingredient.

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Whole 30 Sangria

whole 30 cocktail

Ok, I’m going to disappoint a lot of you here, but this Sangria has no alcohol. WHAT?!?! Yes, you read that right.  Sans alcohol, alcohol free, virgin. Which leads you to your second thought… why in the world would you want to drink a cocktail without the best part? Well, mostly because Matt and I are smack in the midst of another Whole 30.  So, we haven’t been drinking for the last 20 days.  In that 20 days, I got really really nostalgic about summer happy hour. I was just drinking my sparkling water with lime and was a little underwhelmed. I also have a few pregnant friends right now, and I think they were feeling a little underwhelmed with their drink choices too, so I whipped this recipe up.


Here is how the idea came to me, I was minding my own business at the grocery store last week and picked up a bottle of Kombucha (which is Whole 30 friendly) and thought that although it’s super trendy and that kind of bothers me, I’d give it a try anyway.   I immediately wondered where this had been all my life and why I had been reluctant.  It’s my new favorite thing – whole 30 or not.

The Kombucha (if you’ve never had it) is a fermented tea that has live and active cultures (like yogurt, but I detest yogurt).  When I opened that first bottle, I was pleasantly surprised that it’s lightly effervescent, and has a little bit of an acidic kick (like other fermented things (sauerkraut, kimchi… wine?!?!)). The idea of wine popped right into my head and I thought, this would make an amazing sangria.  A sangria that is alcohol free, low in sugar, and has those active cultures?!  Sign me up. [Read more…]