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Rose & pistachio white chocolate bark

JonPaul and I are usually not big “gift” people when it comes to birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays. Instead, we usually opt for an experience together, which if I get to pick, usually means traveling.

Traveling together is one of our favorite things to do together. I think it’s because it gets us away from our day-to-day responsibilities, work, and let’s be honest – the kids. It’s time for us to just focus on each other and experience something new together.

This Valentine’s Day we’re headed to NYC for a quick trip (JonPaul’s already in NYC for work, so I’m just meeting him there for a few days). We’re also celebrating our 40th birthdays while we’re there. Our birthdays are two weeks apart, with Valentine’s Day falling right in between (I know, how cheesy, right?). So lot’s to celebrate this month.

We also just planned a trip to Paris this spring to celebrate both of our big milestone birthdays (I’m kind of dying over this one. Beyond excited). So needless to say, we are not exchanging “gifts” this Valentine’s Day.

Instead, I made this rose and pistachio white chocolate bark and am planning on taking a few of (if not all 😉 the pieces with me on the plane to surprise JonPaul. Just something small to say “I love you.” I know it’s probably a little cheesy, but I still think “homemade” gifts are the best kind – especially when they involve chocolate.

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Vegan chocolate nut bars

I’m not much of a baker. I wish I was though. I have such an appreciation for bakers.  Baking is an art form, but it requires such a different skill set than “cooking” (at least in my mind). One is all about precision and accuracy, and the other is about creativity and being flexible.  Cooking

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Roasted red pepper soup

It’s really starting to feel like winter here in Chicago. We had a big snow storm a few days ago, and although it was beautiful, it has made hibernating the only thing on my agenda (that and making soup!).  It has been so cold and dreary this week that all I really want to do

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My health and wellness habits

Creating a healthy lifestyle and taking care of ourselves is more than just about what we eat.  It’s the every day, often small, choices we make which add up to create a larger impact.  One that either helps to create a life that serves us well, and keeps our mind and body healthy.  Or one

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Sweet potato pad thai

Ok, so I have to admit, I kind of hated the whole “spiralized veggie” thing. I’m sort of a traditionalist at heart (plus I hate extra kitchen gadgets). If it can’t be done with a chef’s knife, I don’t like it. So I was NOT going to be buying a “spiralizer” (or an Instapot) any

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A letter to my son

10 years ago, today, I was standing in the kitchen of our Chicago apartment, polishing off a PB&J counting down the hours until I could meet you. The date had been planned for months.  We were being induced, so I felt as though I had some sense of control over when you’d arrive.  I had

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Pomegranate & thyme vodka spritzer

This past weekend we had a few friends over to our house for a little holiday celebration and we had the best time.  I made a few yummy holiday cocktails, we ate pizza off of paper plates, and the kids ran around like wild animals.  It was perfect.  Messy, loud, warm and laid back.  My

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Roasted cauliflower and chickpea soup

Winter has officially arrived here in Chicago, which means the only things on my menu these days are soups, stews, and maybe a few cookies (testing them out for santa of course ;).  This time of year always has me craving warm and cozy comfort food.  I want everything hot, in a bowl, and bonus

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