Happy Thanksgiving + Vegetarian Foods to Keep You Warm

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Are you ready to eat? I sure am.  Ryan and I are heading to Portland to spend some time with his family. But before I head out, I’m sharing some tasty  vegetarian recipes for Thanksgiving. Really, you could eat these any time during the fall and winter, whenever it’s cold and you need something warm and satisfying.


A lot of these recipes are from my blog’s beginning. They’re still some of my favorite go-to dishes, but the photos aren’t the best quality. It’s fun to see how I’ve improved my photography throughout my blog’s life. Also, it’s very clear I have a problem with butternut squash.

Vegetarian Dishes for Fall and Winter (from top left left to bottom right)

  1. Vegetarian Pineapple Chili
  2. Warm Butternut Squash Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
  3. Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pecans and Raisins
  4. Pumpkin Pecan Bread
  5. Butternut Squash Soup
  6. Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
  7. Pumpkin Chiffon Cake
  8. Vegan Carrot Cake Pie

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll be back next week.

guest blogging: white hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream

I imagine most of us haven’t adjusted to the cold weather by now. I know I sure haven’t. As a source of solace, a way to console my loved ones, and a caring way to entertain guests, I always turn to hot chocolate. When my Miami-loving sister came to visit on one of our colder New York fall days, I made her a super decadent treat.



I’m sharing my white hot chocolate recipe over at From Gardners 2 Bergers, where I contribute posts monthly. You’ll want to check it out for a few reasons. First, it tastes just like Starbuck’s version. Second, I made my own whipped cream and I share the recipe. and Last, I also show you how to make chocolate shavings, in case you didn’t know how.

I hope you enjoy!

DIY Spa Pedicure Essentials

If there’s anything I like more than  crafting and cooking, it’s pampering. I’m always sold by products that promise to pamper your skin, hair, teeth, whatever. It’s not a “I’ve gotta have it” impulse, just a voice in my head saying, “ah, that would be nice. I deserve a break.”

So, usually after a long day, I’ll flip on some netflix (gossip girl) and show my toes some love. I’ve practically destroyed them from living in NYC and running countless miles. And while no amount of scrubbing can make them look like they did when I was a teenager, I like to think, “well, at least I’m trying.”

Here are a few of my favorite things to use for my at-home spa pedicure.

At Home Spa Pedicure Essentials

DIY At-Home Spa Pedicure

  1. Before you soak your feet, take the pumice stone (#5) and go to town. Scrub all over the bottom of your feet, paying particular attention to your heels.  This will make them feel incredibly smooth.
  2. Grab a large tub (big enough to soak your feet in) and fill it with warm water.
  3. Pour 1/2 of a cup of epsom salt (#3) into the soak and stir it around to dissolve. I’ve been taking epsom salt baths since I was a kid. It’s great for any aches
  4. Add a few drops of essential oils (#1)  in your foot soak and prepare to feel like a queen. I think peppermint, orange, or eucalyptus work best for giving you that “clean” feeling, while lavender works best if you’re trying to achieve the “relax” mood.
  5. Grab your favorite glass of wine (#7) and soak your feet for 20 minutes or until the water gets cold.
  6. Dry your feet and cover them with a generous spread of coconut oil (#4). Wrap your oiled feet in saran wrap to keep the coconut oil from getting on your furniture and floors. Secure the saran wrap by covering your feet with an old pair of socks. Stay put, have another glass of wine, and let your feet “marinate” for another 10 or so minutes. They’ll be super soft by the time you’re done. Also, since coconut oil is a little pricey, you can avoid the organic stuff. It’s going on your feet, not in your mouth.
  7. When you’re finished with step six, wipe off any residual oil and dry your toes completely.
  8. Trim and file your nails like you normally would.
  9. Add a base coat (#6) and let it dry before you start with your polish. Base coats keep your polish on longer and keep your nails from discoloring.
  10.  Paint your toes with two coats of your favorite nail polish. I love Essie brand (#2). Let it dry in between coats.
  11. Finish off your toes with a top coat (#6) to seal in the color and protect your new polish job from chipping.

That’s all it takes. Here is product list below (affiliate links).

  1. Essential Oils
  2. Essie Nail Polish Winter 2014 Collection
  3. Dr. Teals Epsom Salt Soaking Solution in Lavender
  4. Coconut Oil
  5. Earth Stone Lava Pumice Rock
  6. OPI Top Coat and Base Coat
  7. Your favorite white wine

So, what do you do to relax after a long day? Have you created your own spa night? I’d love to hear how.