Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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Entries in thanksgiving (28)


What are you making for Thanksgiving?

We are just about a week away from the biggest eating holiday of the year (rivaled only in my family by Christmas Eve and summer barbecues...), and though we don't host, I never show up empty handed for either of the events that we attend. We will be having dinner at my in-laws and dessert at my aunt & uncle's house. It's a bit of traveling, but nice to be able to spend time with everyone on such a great occasion. As I'll need to shop and prep this weekend, I've been doing some serious recipe searching to get my creative juices flowing --->because, you know, I can't simply just follow a recipe that I found, need to make it my own #ihaveproblems.

Since we have 2 events and there are more main and side dishes than could ever possibly be eaten, I am trying to come up with some new ideas for dishes that will likely not be present at either Thanksgiving table. Here's what's on the brainstormed list:


Appetizers/Side Dishes:

Parker House rolls with compound butter (herb, honey cinnamon, cranberry...)

Maple glazed sweet potatoes (as pictured above; so amazing but not sure how they will reheat)

Baked brie with cranberry sauce & walnuts (via a nutritionist eats)

Warm honey fig dip with blue cheese & garlic pitas

My grandmother's cranberry sauce/mold

My cheese ball bites, but with some new flavors



Pie pops --->filled with an assortment of apple, cherry & pecan pie filling (currently the front runner)

Pumpkin s'mores cupcakes --->look amazeballs, but not sure how much work these would be...

Roasted butternut squash pie w/brown sugar marshmallow topping --->so interesting and beautiful

Apple cider cupcakes w/nutmeg frosting (these just scream cozy & warming)

Salted pretzel marshmallow blondies (maybe I'm just having a love affair with marshmallow)


So that's what I'm considering just from poking around online...I haven't even gotten to my cookbooks yet! Tonight, that is my couch-time mission!


What are you making for Thanksgiving? Do you find the same joy that I do in prepping for the holiday?


PS - Are you still doing the 27 Days of Thankfulness challenge? I am! I hope you'll share some of yours with me next week!


Happy Thanksgiving! And The Things I'm Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Shaun is cooking appetizers in the kitchen, Penelope finally gave into her nap, and I'm stealing some time away to catch a bit of the parade and write this post before the day really gets going. 

I had a blast keeping my thankful little things over the last month. Thanks to Julie for inspiring this. Of course, I'm thankful everyday for the big things in my life...like health, happiness, my amazing family, my wonderful husband and my beautiful, happy daughter.


But it is also nice to appreciate those little things that make me smile each day. And so here we go...

Nov 1: I'm thankful for Pumpkin Spice creamer making my morning coffee completely indulgent

 Nov 2: I'm thankful for five star camping with my in-laws

Nov 3: I'm thankful for truly gorgeous fall foliage in the wee hours

Nov 4: Movember! Shaun is participating, so P and I are excited to cheer him on this month! Personally, I always think a neon mustache scarf makes everything better.

Nov 5: I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the democratic process...voting!

Nov 6: for a glorious 2 hours to myself while Shaun was out and Penelope was sleeping. Mom's night!

Nov 7: for my mom not only driving to JC to watch Penelope, but for dragging a huge box of sternos behind her; we plan to use them for an upcoming party!

Nov 8: I'm thankful for a gorgeous walk to the office and the opportunity to stretch my legs and get some easy exercise each day

Nov 9: I'm thankful for whole berry cranberry sauce. Yes I am.

Nov 10: I'm thankful for so many friends gathering at our annual Sweatsgiving

Nov 11: I'm thankful for leftovers in my fridge...no cooking tonight!

Nov 12: I'm thankful for good TV which shows incredibly attractive men shirtless (I'm looking at you Jax Teller)

Nov 13: I'm thankful for baked cheese and tomato sauce on crostini. what's better than that?

Nov 14: I'm thankful for hugs from my baby and her falling asleep in my arms after being away on business

Nov 15: Starbucks oatmeal...$2.99 well spent on this sleepy, chilly morning

Nov 16: I'm thankful for in-laws who bring dinner while we're knee deep in a packing mess

Nov 17: I'm thankful for a sleepy baby on our flight to Aruba

Nov 18: I'm thankful for the familiar sticky morning heat, stiff breeze, and quiet beach of Aruba that I missed so much

Nov 19: I'm thankful for the genius who thought to use evaporated milk as coffee creamer...would it be so bad to use this in everyday life?

Nov 20: I'm thankful that I purchased all new bathing suits and cover ups for our trip. At least if I'm now in one pieces, I feel fabulous

Nov 21: I'm thankful for unlimited flank steak at Texas de Brazil. #fatkid

Nov 22: I'm thankful for a happy, belly-laughing baby playing in the Caribbean sea

Nov 23: I'm thankful for a glorious week spent in Aruba with my whole family. As my dad says...you can have all the money in the world, but it can't buy you a week of vacation with all of us together

Nov 24: I'm thankful for a smooth and safe (if daunting) airport excursion and flight home

Nov 25: I'm thankful that I don't drive to work...and for once, am thankful for the PATH...this morning it took me 1 hour and 30 minutes to go 20 miles via car

Nov 26: I'm thankful that my Thanksgiving plans don't require travel as all I'm hearing on the news is how everyone's travel plans will be ruined by a huge storm this week. Also feeling sad at the injustice of this for those who are traveling...I hope you all make it home to your loved ones!

Nov 27: I'm thankful for a happy baby, granting me smooth passage through two grocery store stops

Nov 28: I'm most thankful for family.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!

What are you most thankful for?


What Are You Making for Thanksgiving?

Oh hi!

It's been a while...that's because we jetted off to Aruba last week with my family!

We had such a blast. It was really so special to be back to the place where Shaun and I were married now with our sweet baby girl in tow.


The week was filled with lots of sun (and shade for P), pool time, beach time and food. I'm happy to say that outside of a couple of minor meltdowns, Penelope also did pretty well on both 4.5 hour flights. Can't complain about that.


We arrived home at 9:30PM Sunday night, which means that I still have suitcases filled with dirty laundry and my fridge and cupboards are bare. This afternoon I'll be braving the rain to pick up the necessary ingredients for all of my Thanksgiving Day treat making. On my list for tomorrow, as well as Thanksgiving Part II on Sunday:


Pumpkin Pie...2 of them, actually. Lots of bloggers and food sites go crazy with pumpkin-themed desserts around this time of year, but what ever happened to just a basic pumpkin pie? It's truly one of my favorite foods in the world...slathered with a healthy dollop of whipped cream, of course. So I'll be going Libby's-style and making 2 of them for our large 17-person gathering.

Pumpkin Dip, served with graham crackers, gingersnaps and apples. I just mix pumpkin, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice together for a luscious dip.

These cranberry cupcakes that I spotted in Food Network magazine. I'm oddly intrigued by them and can't seem to get them out of my mind. This is especially odd since I'm typically not necessarily a cranberry person. But if they are good, then I know they will also make a great addition to our Christmas spread.

I also plan to redo the sundried tomato cheesy bread, but this time perhaps with some pepperoni and traditional tomato sauce...I'll let you know how it goes!

That's it for my list today. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving Eve! I am so wishing that I could travel into the city with Penelope to watch the balloons blow up for tomorrow's parade, but I suppose next year might work out a bit better. 

What are you making for Thanksgiving?

And how are you doing on your Thankful Things? I'll be posting mine for the month of November tomorrow!