Give Thanks
Thanks to a stroke of rather unexpected good fortune, I came home a day early. I wasn’t scheduled to fly out until tonight, but when the weather advisory made it clear I was better off flying out on Tuesday, I asked for the boss’s blessing to work from home, changed my flight at no cost on the airline’s encouragement, ran to my apartment to pack a suitcase full of dirty clothes, rushed to the airport, and made it to Denver late last night. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. So, to help me recover, I’m starting my break from the blog a day early and I won’t be back until Monday. In the meantime, I plan to count my countless blessings (my family, Brian as my fiancé and your readership chief among them), spend as much time as I possibly can with my parents and brother, and make the most of this special time together. Wishing you and yours the same. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Plugging my favorite Turkey-Day leftovers recipes one last time. You can’t go wrong with Thanksgiving Balls or Thanksgiving Egg Rolls. Enjoy!

Image via Anna Victoria Calderon

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Fortune Finds74
I hope this Tuesday finds you well. Here are some of my current desires and distractions. 

1. Jimmy Kimmel’s Celebrities Read Mean Tweets videos never get old. (YouTube)
2. I’m going dress shopping with my mom this weekend and I have no idea what to expect. I’m feeling a little less clueless after reading these 10 things no one tells you about gown shopping. (Bridal Guide)
3. A comprehensive how-to guide for surviving your family’s Thanksgiving arguments. It covers everything from immigration to the Hunger Games. (Vox)
4. I just discovered Mouth, an online store that curates all kinds of independently created foods. Edible gifts happen to be my favorite kind to give and receive. (Mouth)
5. A comfy grey sweater that’s the perfect mix of chunky and stylish. (Gap)
6. Introducing IKEA’s revolutionary “Bookbook.” (Time)
7. The coolest-ever dollhouse that any full-sized human would be lucky to live in. (Gizmodo)
8. Handy infographic on how to spice up your cup of hot chocolate. (Bored Panda)

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This holiday season I’m thankful for great friends. So many in fact that picking only six to be my bridesmaids was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Next hardest was figuring out how exactly to ask them. 

I’ve never been a bridesmaid myself, but the importance and – dare I say it? – burden of the role aren’t lost on me. 300-some dollars for a dress is a big ask. So, to make the commitment a little less painful, I popped the big question with a small box full of goodies.

Brace yourself for an exhaustive look at how I did it. What can I say? It was fun!

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Thanksgiving Leftovers Egg Rolls
For diet reasons a while ago, I told myself I wouldn’t post two fried Fryday recipes back to back (if you missed last week’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Wontons, you should unmiss them). Today, I’m breaking that rule, but for a few choice reasons: (1) I have an incredible Thanksgiving Leftovers Egg Rolls recipe that I just have to share, (2) Turkey Day is soon upon us and we all know diet rules go out the window this time of year, and (3) this is my blog and I can make and break the rules as I please. 

So with that said, let me introduce what I believe to be the absolute best, most appetizing, crowd-pleasing way to repurpose your Thanksgiving leftovers, and egg roll wrappers are all you need to add to the grocery list. Easy and low maintenance just how I like it. 

If you entertain or go to potlucks the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving like we do, this is a great recipe to have in your back pocket, because let’s face it, no matter how aggressively we stuff our faces, we always have turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes left over. Excessive food preparation is one of America’s many charms. Leftovers are great, but no one wants to show up at their friend’s doorstep with a plate of turkey scraps or a bowl of half-eaten mashed potatoes. That wouldn’t be so classy of us. So what is one to do?

Well, one option would be to whip up something entirely new in your tired, post-Black-Friday state. The second is to take the delicious leftovers you already have, roll them into easy-on-the-eyes appetizer egg rolls, perfect for a party, and fry them up in just a matter of minutes. I’ll take the second option, and hope you will too.

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Recipe Reciprocity - Sweet Potato & Pineapple CasseroleRecipe Reciprocity - Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries & PecansRecipe Reciprocity - Green Beans in Garlic Mushroom SauceRecipe Reciprocity - Cranberry Orange MuffinsRecipe Reciprocity - Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll
For today’s Recipe Reciprocity, I thought I’d share some great Thanksgiving recipes, but not for the obvious menu items like turkey or stuffing, because everyone already has their favorites there. Instead, I’m highlighting some great sides and desserts that are a little out of the ordinary, but big on awesome. 

1. I didn’t think sweet potato casserole could be improved, but then I stumbled upon Chattavore’s Sweet Potato & Pineapple Casserole and I knew I had to give it a try. 
2. When I’m stuffing my face with turkey, potatoes and stuffing, it’s easy to forget about eating my vegetables. Such an oversight is far less likely with a Rachel Schultz’s Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries, Pecans and Gorgonzola
3. Green bean casserole made with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup and French’s Fried Onions is up there with my favorite Thanksgiving sides. Fully aware that it’s not exactly the classiest dish, I have big plans for Dora Daily’s Roasted Green Beans with Garlic Mushroom Sauce
4. I love cranberries with anything, so Thanksgiving is always a treat for me. Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Cranberry Orange Muffins seem like a great way to keep the Turkey-Day feeling going strong. 
5. There are few things better than the combination of pumpkin and cream cheese, but rolling them up as they are in Neighborfood’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Roll and I think we have a winner.

That’ll do it for this week’s hat tip to my fellow food bloggers. Thanks for all the great inspiration, ladies!

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There’s no denying it. It’s going to get a whole lot colder before it gets warmer. So, on this Thirsty Thursday, I thought I’d revisit some of my favorite hot chocolate recipes for warming up to. Plus, the Facebook page recently hit 800 likes – quite a big feat, so please join me in raising a mug full of hot chocolate to our newfound friends. Cheers!

Check out my favorites below:
Nutella Hot Chocolate // Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate // Green Tea Hot Chocolate // Eggnog Hot White Chocolate // Peppermint Hot Chocolate

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