recipes

Croissant French Toast Casserole

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Raise your hand if you love brunch! And there are so many things to love about brunch… savory egg dishes, sweet baked goods, fried or roasted potatoes, and mimosas. Can’t forget mimosas.

My mom relinquished holiday-hosting duties the year Chris and I bought our first house. I already loved to cook, so I thought it would be easy to host. I picked out all the recipes I wanted to try, and imagined all the delicious food we would eat. I went overboard, declined help from others, and quickly realized how stressful hosting can be. Trying to make all those dishes from scratch left me completely frazzled. I would be stressed and exhausted before the party even started! My advice is to simplify your menu and make as much as you can ahead of time. One dish that fits the bill is this Croissant French Toast Casserole.

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recipes

Champagne Floats

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Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fantastic New Year’s Eve. We certainly did!

This year, we hosted a party at our house. We brought out the NERF guns and Nintendo 64, did Café Olé shots ( 1/2 Rumchata and 1/2 Patron XO), and noshed on tons of delicious homemade food. Some of the highlights included sushi, spinach and artichoke dip, pulled pork sandwiches, nachos, and cupcakes with cookie butter frosting. Lots of indulging before our 2017 diets begin!

Chris and I tend to go a little overboard when buying drinks for parties. We like to try new flavors and create interesting cocktails. But this year I wanted to keep it simple, so we bought lots of soda for our guests to mix with their liquor of choice, as well as Patron XO and Rumchata, some beer, and lots of champagne.

Champagne makes everything feel a little more special. But I also like variety, and sipping on straight champagne all night wasn’t going to do it for me. Enter sherbert.

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reviews

Review: Starbucks Fruitcake Frappuccino

Chris and I usually get our caffeine fix at home with our Ninja Coffee Bar, but occasionally we like to spice it up with something from Starbucks.

I almost never get frappuccinos, but once in a while Starbucks offers flavors that I just have to try. My little sister Claudia is 15, and I have learned from her that it’s all the rage to order crazy flavors and secret-menu frapps. Time to channel my inner 15 year old!

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recipes

How-to: Deseed a Pomegranate

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A couple years ago, my boss Kathleen surprised us with a holiday celebration that she had kept a secret for weeks. She stocked a rented stretch Lincoln Navigator with mimosas and bloody marys and the driver drove us into downtown Chicago for a cooking class.

Let me tell you, that is a fantastic way to spend a work day.

The class was hosted by a Chicago food entrepreneur who makes Big Fork Bacon Sausages, and him and his assistant helped us create some delicious and innovative dishes, which we ate for lunch. One of the dishes was to be topped with pomegranate arils, and our instructors spontaneously decided we would have a little competition to see who could deseed a pomegranate the fastest. They asked if anyone knew how to deseed a pomegranate.

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recipes

Christmas Cookies

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The holiday season is finally here! It’s such a great time of year, with so many opportunities to be with friends and family.

And did I mention the food? That’s pretty great too.

One of my favorite holiday events is my friend Laura’s annual cookie exchange – we call it “Cookie Bake.” Laura sets her oven to 350°F, and friends and family gather at her house to bake and decorate hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of cookies. It really is impressive. At the end of the day, everyone fills their tupperware and tins with an assortment of cookies. I’ve heard they’re great to share with coworkers, but mine don’t usually make it that far.

Do you see that gingerbread lady up there in her itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini? My friend Tina decorated her, and I took her home. She’s almost too cute to eat. Almost.

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