Friday Faves – 1.18.19

Happy Friday! I know not everyone has Monday off, but I do and I could not be more excited about the long weekend. I have zero plans other than watching the Patriots on Sunday (& making my famous buffalo chicken dip). A storm is on its way but it’s looking like it’s just a whole bunch of wintery mix nastiness by me, so I do wish we were getting some real snow if we’re going to be cold and stuck indoors.

I’m hoping for a good mix of productivity and Netflix binging. I’m literally obsessed with Marie Kondo and “Tidying Up” on Netflix. I never finished reading the book several years ago but after seeing the show, I was inspired. So far I’ve tackled my closet and a few drawers and want to keep going! And for TV, it’s time to get into the a new season of one of the many series we’ve been neglecting.

Read on for this week’s Friday Faves!

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On the note of the KonMari method via Marie Kondo, I’m very into the idea of fewer, better things and will be following along this writer’s experiment with that this year.

Making a goal of reading at least one book a month – hopefully more when I travel. Getting inspired by this list of 2018 books.

Totally agree that self care is more than a hashtag… and also face masks and bubble baths (though I do love both of those!).

This call-your-girlfriend post really resonated with me. Good, real friendships are everything.

Finally tried on a friend’s Rothys flats last night and am officially I need a pair… or two. You’ll get $20 off your 1st purchase using my referral link (& I’ll also get a discount on my end, so thank you in advance!).

Discovered my closet is filled with too many dresses with nowhere to wear them. Going back to Rent the Runway for next weekend’s wedding – love this dress. Same deal as Rothys, use my link on your 1st order & we both get $30 off!

In need of black sandals to wear with dresses and love these Loeffler Randall shoes. They’re an investment, but I was able to find these in good condition on Poshmark – and I know I’ll like them because I have the block heel version in tan.

Very excited about our new coffee table and end tables that need to be put together – here is a similar gold coffee table that’s super affordable!

Just started using the juicer we got at my bridal shower… 5+ years ago (oops). I’m very into it and now am considering trying out pure celery juice after reading about it here and here.

Watch the R. Kelly docu-series on Lifetime. And then feel guilty about loving the Ignition Remix as you get disgusted by everything he’s done/is currently doing.

Trying to learn the basics of clean beauty, including how to read labels/identify the worst ingredients and easy product swaps.

Have my eye on Everlane for high-quality basics that are also sustainable – anyone tried them out?

Healthy Bagel Recipe

Bagels definitely top my favorite foods list – if only they were better for you, I’d eat one every day… maybe two. When I started seeing a healthy bagel recipe popping up all over Facebook from one of my favorite blogs for recipes, Skinnytaste, I was skeptical. But I also knew that I’m very rarely disappointed with Skinnytaste recipes, so I went for it. Verdict: A+.

Healthy Bagel Recipe via Skinnytaste

The best thing about this recipe is that there are just 5 ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt, Greek yogurt and egg white – and I usually have all of them in my fridge, so I can whip these up anytime. I’m not kidding when I say that this recipe is a matter of mixing up these ingredients, kneading the dough, rolling them out and sprinkling with your favorite topping. For me, that means Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning, but you can use anything like sesame seeds, dried onion flakes or poppy seeds.

Healthy Bagel Recipe via Skinnytaste

This weekend was my second time making them and I am definitely getting the hang of the shape better than I did my first try. I will say that they have the best texture when they’re fresh out of the oven, but I still loved them as an easy at-my-desk breakfast topped with cream cheese throughout the week. Just throw them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. I haven’t tried this yet, but Gina from Skinnytaste also says you can slice then freeze them if you want to make them in bulk for later.

Head over to Skinnytaste for the recipe – let me know how it goes!

Healthy Bagel Recipe via Skinnytaste

Healthy Bagel Recipe via Skinnytaste

Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast Casserole

I love breakfast. And I also love any reason to get together with friends, especially when it gives me a reason to either try out a new recipe or share one of my go-to’s with everyone. Recently a few of my out-of-town girlfriends were visiting and we decided to do a potluck brunch at my house instead of going out. I made a delicious french toast casserole recipe inspired by the one my mother-in-law makes, which has always been a favorite of anyone who tries it.

For this recipe, you’ll want to make it the night before so the bread can soak in all of the flavors. The recipe is for a 9×12 inch dish, but if you are bringing it to a tailgate or big event, you can grab a bigger aluminum tray, increase each ingredient by 1/2 and do three layers of bread instead of two. Read on and save/pin this for your next brunch event! Just add champagne…

Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole Recipe

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Crock Pot Turkey Chili for Game Day

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameDayParty #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.

While our team sadly didn’t make it to the big game last night, we still had a few friends over and had ourselves a nice little night. Because really, the food, drinks and friends are the best part of any sports game anyway, right? I went on a cooking spree in the morning, prepping for both the game and today’s snowstorm. My favorite thing to do is throw in a slow cooker meal while I make other appetizers, and today I’m sharing my favorite chili recipe. It has just the right amount of spice and is so easy to make. Plus it’s great as leftovers.

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Football season may be officially over for the year, but there’s still college basketball to use as an excuse to entertain with friends and family. I personally love to enjoy a good glass of red wine in the winter, and this weekend I discovered and tried out Black Box Wines, which went perfectly with our Sunday Funday food and are going to be a go-to for bringing to other peoples’ houses for days like this. These wines come in 3 liter eco-friendly boxes (equivalent to four 750 ml bottles) and stay fresh for up to six weeks. But the best part is that it’s actually great wine (they’ve won over 50 Gold Medals for quality!) for 40% less of the price of comparable bottled wines. I went with the Cabernet Sauvignon but can’t wait to try other varieties.

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Anyway, back to the chili… for this recipe, I tried to keep things on the healthy side and used ground turkey. If you’re doubling the recipe for a big slow cooker, you could consider doing half and half with ground turkey and beef. This recipe requires very little prep. Just brown the turkey, add onions until they’re cooked through, then put them both in the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, set on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Then add your favorite toppings (I love a little cheese, sour cream and green onions) and you’re good to go!

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

For more game day entertaining and recipe inspiration, visit And I’d love to hear what your favorite game day recipes are – leave them in the comments! Cheers!

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Crock Pot Turkey Chili


Crock Pot Chili for Game Day


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 can (7 oz) Mexicorn
  • 2 jars (16 oz each) salsa
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp hot Mexican style chili pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, green onions, cheese, avocado


  1. Saute the ground turkey, onion and garlic until turkey is browned. Drain excess fat.
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients (other than option toppers) with turkey, onion and garlic in the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Add optional toppers and enjoy.
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Recipe: 3-Ingredient Artichoke Dip

Everyone loves a good dip at a gathering with family or friends. I have a few “go-to” dip recipes that I usually make, and the 3-Ingredient Artichoke Dip below is definitely the one that I make most. Every time I serve it to our guests or bring it to a party, people are amazed at how easy it is to make. I’ve had tons of requests from friends and family for the recipe, so I figured it was time to share it here.

3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip

You can quickly whip this up and either make it right away or keep it in the refrigerator until about 45 minutes before you’re ready to serve it. The best part about it is the small amount of ingredients needed – artichoke hearts, mayo and parmesan cheese, plus a bit of salt and pepper. Oftentimes when I tell people what’s in it, those who don’t like mayo (my husband included) are surprised that it’s included, but it really doesn’t taste like mayo once cooked – it just gives it a nice texture.

3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip Recipe

I can almost guarantee that this recipe will be a crowd pleaser and you’ll want to have the three ingredients on hand at all times. That’s what I do!

3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip Recipe

3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip Recipe

3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip Recipe


  • 3x 14 oz cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Coarsely chop the artichoke hearts
  • Mix all ingredients together and pour into an oven-safe dish
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
  • Serve with bread or pita chips and enjoy!


While this is how I like to make this dip, you can play around with the proportions and/or add a few things to make it just right for you. Here are a few other ideas:

  • Chop the artichoke hearts more or less based on your preference.
  • Add breadcrumbs to the top of the dip just before you bake it. Skinnytaste has an artichoke dip recipe that suggests doing this, spraying the breadcrumbs with olive oil spray before baking.
  • Substitute fat free Greek yogurt for some of the mayo and cheese.
  • Add in some part-skim mozzarella cheese.
  • Add in some shallots. You can easily chop and combine these and the artichoke hearts in a food processor.

What’s your favorite dip recipe? Leave it below in the comments!

Peppermint Chocolate Pretzels

Christmas is just two days away and it’s time to finish wrapping up the presents and getting ready for the actual day with family, friends, and whoever else you spend the holiday with. My husband and I make the rounds on both Christmas Eve and Day, with four different events packed into two days.

This year, I wanted to bring along a festive dessert, but one that was easy to make since I’m not exactly an experienced baker. These Peppermint Chocolate Pretzels are perfect because you can make as many or as few as you’d like. I quadrupled the recipe and made lots to hand out at work and bring to upcoming holiday gatherings. You can use inexpensive mason jars (make them festive with these snowflake lids!), clear cellophane bags or holiday cello bags with ribbons tied around them. They’re nice and simple and all of the ingredients are found right at the grocery store!

Peppermint Chocolate Pretzels {Recipe}

Peppermint Chocolate Pretzels {Recipe}

Peppermint Chocolate Pretzels {Recipe}

Peppermint Chocolate Pretzels {Recipe}

Peppermint Chocolate Pretzels {Recipe}


Peppermint Chocolate Pretzels


  • 25 Hershey's Kisses Candy Cane
  • 50 square pretzel snaps
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • Red and green sprinkles for decorating


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Place 25 pretzel snaps on a baking sheet. Add one Hershey's Kiss on each pretzel. Set aside the remaining 25 pretzel snaps.
  3. Bake for 3-4 minutes (test one out first, as oven times may vary), until the Hershey's Kiss is soft but not completely melted.
  4. Place one pretzel snap on top of each Hershey's Kiss and press down lightly to form sandwiches. Set aside and cool completely. Optional: speed up the process in the freezer or refrigerator.
  5. Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler (or pot with glass bowl the side of the pot opening), stirring occasionally until smooth.
  6. Dip corner of each sandwich in white chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off. Coat with sprinkles and set back on baking tray. Cool completely.
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This Year’s Thanksgiving Recipes

It’s been a while since I shared a recipe post, and that’s mainly because I’ve been traveling a bunch and haven’t been good about cooking on a daily basis. Now Thanksgiving is coming up this week and I’ve been busy planning out the menu for our gathering at my mom’s house. Since I’ve never hosted a big holiday with family (our condo is too small!), I’m focused on making the food prep and serving run smoothly while also being delicious – and that means not getting crazy with creating my own recipes.

This year, I’m sticking with a few of my favorite go-to recipes and then adding some others that I found on Pinterest, all of which are either simple, can be cooked in a slow cooker, or can be made ahead of time and then popped in the oven on Thursday. To make things even easier, my father-in-law is deep frying the turkey, so the oven will be free to finish off the apps and sides all day. Read on for my Thanksgiving menu and use the links to get the full recipes! And I also threw in a few tips and shortcuts for making things like stuffing and mashed potatoes even easier.

Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas - this is what I'll be cooking!

1. Cheese Platter

You can’t go wrong here. Grab your biggest platter and pick out an assortment of cheeses with different textures, shapes and sizes. Then add delicious deli meats, olives, grapes, nuts, spreads, crackers, sliced baguettes, or whatever you like to pair your cheese with.

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas: DIY Cheese Platter

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2. Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip

This dip has been my go-to for years. It’s a crowd pleaser and has a few tricks within the recipe that make it healthier than most spinach artichoke dips. I always make this one ahead of time and put it ion the fridge until I’m ready to serve it. Then you just pop it in the oven for 20 minutes or so and you’re good to go. I’m also planning on trying out a slow cooker version of this soon – stay tuned!

Thanksgiving Recipes: Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

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3. Veggies & Greek Tzatziki Sauce with Garlic and Dill

Whip up an easy, Greek yogurt-based dip to fancy up your veggie tray. It’s healthier than the dip that comes with the pre-made trays and it’s also delicious. You can make it with or without the chopped cucumbers – I’m going to leave them out since I’ll be serving lots of different veggies to dip in it. Make this one ahead of time too, give it a stir and pour into a bowl for serving when you’re ready.

Thanksgiving Recipes: Greek Yogurt Veggie Dip

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4. Baked Brie Bites

I love baked brie with the crescent roll exterior and some delicious jam inside. But the reality is, it can get messy and it will probably leave your guests with sticky fingers. This is an easy alternative that gives you the same taste but in bite-sized portions.

Thanksgiving Recipes: Baked Brie Bites

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5. Salad with Goat Cheese, Pears, Candied Pecans and Maple-Balsamic Dressing

My sister-in-law is the best at making salads. She’s actually in charge of salad for this year’s Thanksgiving feast, but based on what she’s made in the past, I would imagine this is something along the lines of what she’ll be making. Plus I love goat cheese and walnuts in salads, so I might have to make this one soon.

Salad with Goat Cheese, Pears, Candied Pecans and Maple-Balsamic Dressing

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6. Deep Fried Turkey

As a Thanksgiving amateur, the turkey was stressing me out, so I was a bit relieved when my husband mentioned how much he loves deep friend turkey – and that his dad knew how to do it. Honestly, I don’t know much about making turkeys, but I do know that deep frying it makes it so moist and delicious. Just make sure you do it outdoors and away from the house to avoid fire hazards!

Thanksgiving Recipes: Deep Fried Turkey

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7. Slow Cooker Buttery Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes

The same says it all… an easy way to make mashed potatoes that are loaded with buttery, garlic goodness. For this recipe, you can even leave the skins on, so all you have to do is chop some red potatoes, add a few ingredients and let it be for either 2-3 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low. Mash them up when they’re done and you’re good to go! If you want to make things even easier, try my go-to shortcut: Ore Ida’s frozen mashed potatoes. You steam them, add milk and butter, mash up and serve, and no one will know they weren’t the real deal.

Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas: Slow Cooker Buttery Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes

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8. Slow Cooker Cranberry Pecan Stuffing

Stuffing is another easy thing to make in the slow cooker – just need to borrow a second one from a friend of family member! I love the idea of sausage in stuffing, and this recipe adds a few other flavors with the additions of cranberry and pecans. Or if you want to take the super easy route, go for the tried and true Stovetop and add in whatever you like (my husband is pushing for this instead of homemade… we’ll see!).

Thanksgiving Recipes: Slow Cooker Cranberry Pecan Stuffing

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9. Green Beans with Cremini Mushroom Sauce

You can’t go wrong with green beans, and this recipe also has lots of flavors with the addition of cremini mushrooms and a delicious sauce. If you can’t find cremini mushrooms,  you can use a variety of different mushrooms instead, such as white button or chantarelle. This recipe made the list because it was a step up from regular cooked green beans but could also be made ahead of time – just let it return to room temperature and put in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. And while I’m sure it’s delicious to make the crispy shallots yourself, I’m going to make this dish a little easier and cut out that step. Instead, I’ll top the dish with store-bought french fried onions.

Thanksgiving Recipes: Green Beans with Cremini Mushrooms

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10. Brussels Sprouts Gratin

My husband tried to tell me that Brussels sprouts aren’t Thanksgiving-y, but I disagreed, and then discovered that the whole internet also disagrees. So here they are on the menu, along with bacon. Because it’s a holiday and why not make them even more delicious?

Thanksgiving Recipes: Brussels Sprouts Gratin

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11. Citrus-Infused Cranberry Sauce

Fancy up the cranberry sauce this year by taking frozen cranberries, adding orange juice and zest, grapefruit juice and zest, brown sugar and cinnamon. You can also use fresh cranberries if you prefer. Or just stick with the canned version. Nothing wrong with that!

Thanksgiving Recipes: Citrus-Infused Cranberry Sauce

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12. Crock Pot Cranberry-Orange Mulled Wine

Festive drinks are fun for the holidays, so I went on the hunt for an easy one to pull together for Thanksgiving. I was originally looking for a spiked apple cider but then came across this one. I love any excuse to use my slow cooker and this drink sounds so good and perfect for fall!

Holiday Cocktail Recipe: Crock Pot Cranberry-Orange Mulled Wine

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13. Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Bars

I don’t consider myself a baker, so I like to keep it safe on the desserts. These pumpkin cheesecake desserts are easy and delicious. And everyone seems to love cheesecake, so you can’t really go wrong there. If you have leftovers, enjoy them all week.

Thanksgiving Recipes: Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Bars

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14. Caramel Apple Trifles

Since I’m not an experienced baker, I love either simple desserts or no-bake desserts, and this recipe caught my eye because it looks easy and delicious! It’s pretty much cinnamon apple goodness in a dish.

Caramel Apple Trifle Dessert

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