wine and cheese party with le creuset

wine and cheese party with le crueset 2 wine and cheese party with le creuset



Hi guys—long time no see! I wish I could say I’ve been missing from these parts because I’ve been traveling or doing something especially awesome, but I’ve just been working. A lot. I apologize for slacking, but I promise I will try to show up more around here!


However, I did recently find a little time to sneak in some fun with the girls. This past Saturday, before heading out for a fun painting night in the city (where I think we all learned our artistic abilities haven’t progressed much since elementary school) I pulled together a little wine and cheese spread with the help of Le Creuset.


le creuset cheese platter wine and cheese party with le creuset wine and cheese party with le crueset wine and cheese party with le creuset wine and cheese party with le creuset wine and cheese party with le creuset



As an avid cook (and food obsessive), I was thrilled to hear that Le Creuset was launching a line of wine and cheese products perfect for any holiday party. They were generous enough to send over a few of the new pieces for me to try out—the round cutting board platter, the carafe (perfect for holding your favorite wine) and the compact lever wine opener—and even a little something for you guys (more on that later!). All the dish ware is made in their signature stoneware in bright, colorful options (I love the red I got!) perfect for taking center stage on your table.


wine and cheese party wine and cheese party with le creuset wine and cheese party menu wine and cheese party with le creuset wine and cheese party with le crueset 1 wine and cheese party with le creuset



I picked up a few cheeses from a favorite local shop, Astoria Bier and Cheese. They helped me pick a delicious mix and I have to say we truly loved each of them. One of them, Cacio di bosco Tartufo, was literally one of the best cheeses any of us have ever had—a bit sharp, a bit creamy, and filled with amazing truffle flavor (my favorite!).


crispy brussels sprouts wine and cheese party with le creuset crispy brussels sprouts recipe wine and cheese party with le creuset bacon wrapped dates wine and cheese party with le creuset bacon wrapped date recipe wine and cheese party with le creuset


I also whipped up two crazy easy appetizers for us to snack on in addition to the bread and cheese—ricotta toasts with crispy brussels sprouts (simply shred and fry the brussels sprouts, then put atop toasts topped with ricotta) and cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon (the perfect salty/sweet combo…stuff dates with a piece of manchego cheese, then wrap in bacon and cook at 375 until browned and crispy). They were both definite crowd pleasers, and so easy that I can’t wait to make them for a larger get-together we have coming up next month.


wine and cheese party 11 wine and cheese party with le creuset



And now, the especially exciting part! Le Creuset is offering one lucky ready the chance to win some of the amazing products you see above from their wine and cheese line—the round platter, a wine lever and foil cutter, Le Creuset corks, place mats and pairing chart! Simply enter through the Rafflecopter widget below any time between now and Tuesday, November 25. Good luck!






a Rafflecopter giveaway

french onion soup grilled cheese

french onion soup grilled cheese recipe french onion soup grilled cheese



I’m about to blow your mind with five words, guys: french. onion. soup. grilled. cheese. I wish it was like, three words, because that seems more dramatic, but five was the most I could narrow it down to.


This grilled cheese though. I mean—there are hardly words to describe it, but I turned to my roommates (and expert taste-testers) to try and get a few descriptors for you—”Insane”, “Holy sh*t” and “This is the best thing you’ve ever made” are just a few of the phrases that popped up. I know I’m setting the bar high here, but this grilled cheese is maybe the best idea I’ve ever had.


onions french onion soup grilled cheese


French onion soup is a fall main-stay (check out my soup recipe here), and grilled cheese goes with soup better than pretty much anything else. I actually think it would be a brilliant idea to open just a soup and grilled cheese bar—like all the grilled cheeses would be different and compliment the soup pairings…hm…

OK, back on track. This grilled cheese is basically made of up bread (duh) and the beginnings of my french onion soup recipe. Fear not—I don’t expect you to go searching through the archives for it. Check out the (slightly modified) recipe, below:


French Onion Soup Grilled Cheese

You’ll need (makes about 4 sandwiches):

  • One white or spanish onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons beef stock
  • 4 tablespoons red wine (can be any kind!)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt, pepper and thyme to taste
  • One medium block of gruyere cheese, shredded
  • Slices of bread


onions for french onion soup french onion soup grilled cheese caramelized onions french onion soup grilled cheese


To start, cook your onions on low in your pot with the butter. You want to cook them “low and slow” until they’ve reduced in size, have wilted and become caramelized and browned. The bottom of your pan will get a bit gunky in the process—no worries, this is good! We’re going to deal with that later.


gruyere cheese french onion soup grilled cheese


While your onions are cooking down, you should shred the cheese for the grilled cheese. Gruyere cheese is typically the type of cheese that is melted atop french onion soup, so that’s what I went with for these grilled cheese sandwiches. As is typical with other cheeses, gruyere melts fastest and most evenly when shredded, so take yours to a cheese shredder for the most gooey grilled cheese possible. Set aside once you’re done.


With your pan still over the heat, add the flour over the onions and toss to coat. Add the wine to “deglaze” the pan, scrapping all the browned goodness off the bottom as you stir to coat evenly. Season with salt, pepper and a bit of thyme. Allow to simmer over low heat for a few minutes longer, until the flour has pulled a thick, burgundy-tinted “sauce” together to coat the onions. Keep over lowest heat setting to warm.


recipe for french onion soup grilled cheese french onion soup grilled cheese


Coat the bottom sides of bread with butter, then lay atop a hot skillet. Add a layer of cheese to the bread and allow it to melt a bit, putting a cover over top to speed up the process if necessary (a fun trick I learned from the Food Network). Once the cheese has melted a bit, add the onions on top, a bit more cheese and a final slice of bread, coated on the outside with butter.


french onion soup grilled cheese recipe 1 french onion soup grilled cheese


Continue to flip the grilled cheese until it’s browned evenly on both sides and the cheese inside is melted. Eat hot off the skillet and enjoy your grilled cheese nirvana.





salt baked branzino

branzino with lemon and rosemary salt baked branzino



Can you remember the best thing you ever ate? I can—a few of the “best things”, actually. I have a list of about five meals that I know I will never forget, and one of them took place on our trip to Italy this past summer.


On our final night in Sorrento, we ate at Ristorante Bagni Delfino, situated right on the water overlooking Mount Vesuvius. The location alone was amazing, but what really made it memorable was the branzino both my Dad and I ordered for dinner. It was killed when we ordered it (I know—insane) and it was so incredibly moist and flavorful, I think I almost cried. I knew that once I came home, I needed to recreate it.


fresh caught branzino salt baked branzino salt for salt baked branzino salt baked branzino

The secret to a crazy-flavorful branzino? Salt baking it! It sounds crazy, but crusting the fish in a ton of salt leaves it so juicy and flavorful—it’s a method that makes it look like you spent hours perfecting the branzino, when really it’s the easiest method ever.


You’ll need:

  • One large carton of salt (3 lbs)
  • 6 egg whites
  • Two whole branzino fish, scales removed and sliced down the belly
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary


salt mixture for baked branzino salt baked branzino



Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until light and fluffy. Fold in the salt until it forms a thick mixture, similar to wet sand.


salt baked branzino salt baked branzino salt baked branzino before cooking salt baked branzino



Lay the branzino, stuffed with lemon and rosemary, onto a layer of the salt on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the filets with the remaining salt, ensuring that each fish is covered with a thick layer around all sides of the branzino.


salt baked branzino recipe salt baked branzino recipe for salt baked branzino salt baked branzino



Bake the branzino in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the salt has hardened completely and has browned. Allow the fish to sit for around 10 minutes, then start cracking the salt shell with the blunt end of a spoon, being careful not to bruise the fish.


salt baked branzino dinner salt baked branzino



Brush off excess salt and serve on a separate dish, removing the bones and sprinkling with a dash of lemon and your best olive oil. Hint: it tastes even more delicious if you close your eyes and pretend you’re on the Italian coast!



let me see your bootie pop

booties for fall let me see your bootie pop



If there’s one thing I love about fall fashion, it’s the reemergence of booties from my closet. I just stare at them, all summer long, waiting for the day where the weather is finally cool enough to pull them out and rock them with jeans, skirts and dresses.


Whether they’re heeled, suede, leather or patterned I always feel like booties add a bit of a “cool girl” edge to any outfit—like you pull them on and instantly you’re the type of chick who hangs with Alexa Chung at coffee shops, has a favorite type of whiskey and DJs recreationally on the weekend. Who says a new pair of shoes can’t change everything? Here are a few pairs of booties I’m dying to add to my closet this fall:


booties perfect for fall let me see your bootie pop

Booties, from L to R: Kate Spade Sedgewick Bootie | Vince Camuto Amori Pointy Toe Leather Bootie | House of Harlow 1960 Blaire Bootie | Seychelles Melancholy Bootie | Franco Sarto Haverly Bootie | Kork-Ease Velma Bootie | Michael Kors Salem Bootie | Sperry Top-Sider Ambrose Bootie | ShoeMint Isla Bootie | Michael Kors Salem Cheetah Bootie



top image via

let’s talk: the jealousy excuse

the jealousy excuse lets talk: the jealousy excuse



A few months ago, I was riding the subway when I overheard a mother talking with her young daughter, who was probably 6 or 7 years old. They were discussing a girl at school who commented negatively on the little girl’s dress. In an attempt, I’m sure, to make her daughter feel better, the mother uttered one of the most damaging, complex-inducing phrases I can think of: “She’s just jealous of you.”


Yikes. Can we just talk about this for a second? I’ve always had an issue with the “jealousy” excuse—to the point where I won’t even allow myself to utter it to friends or dream it up as an excuse for someone’s behavior. To immediately conclude that if someone doesn’t desire your friendship, or agree with your point of view or want to spend time around you means they’re jealous is as baffling as it is laughable. To write any negative behavior from others off as a mere by-product of jealousy is ignorant and counter-productive.


“She’s just jealous of you” has been dished out on numerous occasions during a time of need—to convince your friend that the girl making moves on her boyfriend just envies her, to convince yourself that your cut-throat coworker is just after the good graces you have with your boss. It’s just so easy, so simple to say someone is just jealous—there’s all your reasoning, wrapped up in a neat little package with a bow. You’re off the hook—they’re just jealous. Sure, the excuse has it’s moments of validity (everyone does get jealous of others from time to time), but chalking any issue you have up to “jealousy” is just an excuse to not have to examine the attributes or behaviors that have landed you in the position you’re in.


Maybe you wrote a blog post that came across as a little arrogant and unhelpful to readers—so view the feedback you’re getting as a chance to grow and correct your mistakes moving forward, not as jealous bots taking out their own envy-induced misfortunes on your blog. In the case of the little girl on the subway, maybe her classmate just didn’t like her dress and said that as any frank, uncensored 7-year-old would. Maybe that group of women aren’t jealous of your wardrobe or your car or your job—maybe they just don’t have any desire to be friends with you, plain and simple. And that’s fine—that’s a situation you can grow and learn from.


If you’re not constantly being challenged to grow and change by those around you, if you’re just sitting there excusing yourself from every social issue or tough moment with this one simple phrase, then what’s the point? Until we stop attributing every negative experience with others as “jealousy,” we’ll just be stuck. Stuck not owning our behavior, the good and the bad—the behavior that makes people both love and loathe us. The moral of the story? Jealousy is just an excuse to skirt around the real issue—and a really bad one at that.

caramel apple dutch baby

caramel apple dutch baby caramel apple dutch baby


Ahhh, fall—’tis the season for apples, am I right? And after copious amounts of apple pie, apple chips, apple cobbler, apple cider donuts and warm apple cider, I was jonesing for a little different kind of apple fix.


Luckily for me, this craving coincided perfectly with picking up the latest Bon Appetit issue. I pretty much worship Bon App, and am constantly trying out recipes or ingredients I spot in their pages. When I came across the apple dutch baby recipe in their r.s.v.p section (where readers write in asking for the recipes to their favorite dishes from restaurants), I knew I’d found my Sunday baking project. 


recipe for apple dutch baby caramel apple dutch baby



If you’ve never had a dutch baby before, let me fill you in: it’s some sort of hybrid child of a pancake, custard and cake. It’s sweet and quick and comes out looking far more impressive than the time you actually spent on it. You can all thank Bon App for the delicious recipe that’s to follow—I can take credit for nothing besides eating the whole thing with my roommates once I was done photographing it. That, I’m owning.


You’ll need:

Apple Cider Syrup

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Dutch Baby

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large apple, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar


caramelized apples caramel apple dutch baby


For the apple cider syrup: Bring ingredients to boil over medium heat in a saucepan. Reduce and boil gently, whisking occasionally, until thick and syrupy, about 30-45 minutes.


For the dutch baby: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Whisk eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, salt and 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a medium bowl until smooth. Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a skillet—add apples, brown sugar and remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Stir to coat, then cook until apples are coated and softened, about 4 minutes. Set aside.


Heat an empty cast iron skillet (should be able 10 inches in diameter) in the oven for 10 minutes. Take out using an oven mitten, then add the remaining two tablespoons of butter to it, tilting to ensure you coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Add the cooked apple to the center and pour the batter over top. Quickly transfer the skillet to the oven, cooking for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are brown and the center is set, but still a bit custardy.


caramel apple dutch baby recipe 1 caramel apple dutch baby


The dutch baby will sink into itself once you take it out of the oven—don’t freak out, this is supposed to happen!


Finish yours with a generous sweeping of that yummy caramel apple cider syrup and a dollop of whip cream if you have it. Enjoy as dessert—or as breakfast, because there’s fruit and fall is beautiful and fleeting. Reason enough, yes?


recipe for caramel apple dutch baby1 caramel apple dutch baby


beyond burgundy: 7 oh-so-chic nail shades for fall

chic nail polish for fall beyond burgundy: 7 oh so chic nail shades for fall


Come September, the chance to paint on dark nails feels like a relief. After months of bright pinks, florescent neons or sea-inspired blues, wearing deeper shades on my nails make me feel a bit moody and mysterious and…dare I say cool?


Burgundy has always been a go-to (along with black) for fall and winter months—I love the sophisticated, wine-inspired hue—but this year I’m craving a little something different for my nails. A little more of a unique, off-beat fall color. Here, seven shades I’ll be painting on these next few months.


nail shades for fall beyond burgundy: 7 oh so chic nail shades for fall

one: chinchilly, by essie |  two: russian navy, by opi | three: power clutch, by essie | four: jade is the new black, by opi | five: toast, by RBG | six: crossroads by phillip lim for NARS | seven: fighter, by RBG


This season, I’m loving soft, feminine grays, like Essie’s Chinchilly, sophisticated navy shades like Russian Navy by OPI and barely-there nudes like Toast (what a great name!) by RBG. I’ll be rotating these all throughout fall (that is, when I actually manage to get a chance to paint my nails!)—what are you wearing?




top image via

the year of 50 books: 26-30

the year of 50 books 26 to 30 the year of 50 books: 26 30


Now that the cool weather has started rolling in for fall, I’ve been flying through books. There really is no better feeling than spending a cozy day on the couch with a blanket and a good read. And this batch was full of them—there was a book with a little thriller action, a book with some family drama and books filled with a whole lot of wisdom from smart women. Let’s get down to it:



1582e94a0a13d747 this is where i leave you book cover the year of 50 books: 26 30

This Is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper You may have seen preview trailers for the movie version of this book, starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey—I’ve been dying to see it since it came out but haven’t gotten around to it. The timing of my reading this book was actually just a happy coincidence. While I always make a point to read the book before seeing the movie, I didn’t actually know this was coming out as a movie until I was almost done with the book. I’m kind of glad, too—there’s something special about forming your own idea about characters before seeing how Hollywood has type-cast them to life.


Tropper’s novel centers on a family gathered together to practice shiva in honor of their recently deceased father. The Foxmann family is a fun bag of tricks—there’s Judd, the narrator of the novel, who just discovered his wife is cheating on him, along with his siblings Wendy, Paul and Phillip, the youngest brother Judd describes as “the Paul McCartney of our family: better-looking than the rest of us, always facing a different direction in pictures, and occasionally rumored to be dead.” (<< I’m a huge McCartney/Beatles fan, so this cracked me up). And let me tell you…you think your family has issues? Wait until you meet these guys—let’s just say a week in the same house poses an interesting challenge for all of them. The whole book had me cracking up, feeling strangely sad and sympathetic at times and even missing my own crazy family. Tropper wrote the novel with a thread of biting, sharp humor woven throughout, but took care not to discount the individual struggles that each character was experiencing—his prose was so engaging to read that there were occasions I almost rode past my subway stop, I was so engrossed. This Is Where I Leave You is an incandescent, brilliantly written book about loss, love, forgiveness and the experiences that bind us together. It was above and away one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. What are you waiting for? GET IT! Rating: 10 out of 10



51qyucQNlUL the year of 50 books: 26 30

Obsessed, by T.R. Ragan I truly don’t know what it is with me and stalkers, you guys—I promise this isn’t a sign of a larger issue. You don’t need to report me. Seriously…


Unbeknownst to me, Obsessed is actually book four in the “Lizzy Gardner” series, created by T.R. Ragan, that follows—you guessed it—a detective named Lizzy Gardner. I didn’t find it totally off-putting that I hadn’t read the other three books before reading this one…I was able to get a pretty firm grasp on the characters anyways. There were a few moments where I was like, “Huh? What’s her back story?” but for the most part, if you want to dive right in here, you can. A word to the wise, though: this book does not have a happy ending (I mean, with a title like Obsessed, did you think it would?). It follows the story of radio psychologist Madeline Blair who, in fear of dipping ratings on her show, tells her listeners she has a stalker. Um, in case any of you were considering this—DON’T BE STUPID AND DO THIS. Especially if, like Madeline, there is a real-life man obsessed with you and your scary faux-stalker story sets him off to “protect” (aka stalk) you. And once he finds out that you were lying? Well, things are going to end pretty bad for you, friend.


Naturally Madeline hires Detective Gardner to help protect her and trace down the unhinged man now wreaking havoc in her professional and personal life. The manhunt that ensues will risk the lives of Lizzy, Madeline and several others close to them (sorry to be so cagey, but I don’t want to give it away!). For me, Obsessed was one of those “love the book, hate the ending” moments—I didn’t want my experience with the book to be colored by what I deemed a really awful (albeit intriguing for the next installment) ending. I think you’ll see when you get there—there’s definitely more of Lizzy’s story to come. Rating: 8.2 out of 10




cover38203 medium the year of 50 books: 26 30

The Opposite of Loneliness, by Marina Keegan You’ve probably heard of this collection of essays—whether you read Keegan’s viral essay just days after her death or read the startling number of accolades from some of the biggest names in the literary world. Keegan’s whole book—a collection of essays on love, death and growing up—was published posthumously, after she tragically passed away in a car accident just five days after graduating from Yale.


And sure, there’s a good part of me that read out of a bit of sad, morbid intrigue initially. But I stayed for Keegan’s gutting, blisteringly honest writing. She may not have led a long life, but the one she did lead was full of kindness, growing pains and an introspective outlook that’s rarely present in the most self-aware 50-year-old, let alone a 22-year-old. Within the first pages, you learn the title of the book stems from one of the more beautiful quotes in Keegan’s essay, “We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.” My first thought was, well—me too. And that’s kind of how I experienced Keegan’s essays. There were lots of “me too’s” along with a few “She totally said what I was thinking-s.”

I just thought every word in the book was so beautiful, partially due to Keegan’s sheer talent as a wordsmith, and partially because of what the book stood for as a whole. A moment preserved in time of a young women who hasn’t had the chance to become jaded yet—hasn’t had the chance to write down her words and then go back years later, embolden by age and the wisdom imparted by her years and change them. The circumstances surrounding her book, the fact that it was published as-is, with minimal editing, made it all the more raw, fresh and realistic. As she says in the book, there is something romantic in preservation at a moment of static bliss. Rating: 9.5 out of 10



81J+9qYEqYL the year of 50 books: 26 30

Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty Oh hiiiiiiii, it’s just me!! The Liane Moriarty groupie, back at it again!! I refuse to apologize for soaking up as much as I can from Moriarty, especially given her latest (and newest) read is her best yet.


Like most of her novels, this is more of an ensemble drama than a story about a single person. That’s what I like best about Moriarty’s writing—you can somehow care about half a dozen characters and the outcome of their trials and tribulations equally. It really is a true gift. Anyways, Big Little Lies centers around a group of Australian “Kinder” parents, whose kids are all starting at the local prestegious school at the same time—sort of Gossip Girl style, only with the parents instead of teens. You start the story knowing someone has been killed—but not knowing how it happened or who is to blame. Moriarty focuses on the intersecting stories of three women—Madeline (the town fireball), Celeste (the trophy wife who has it all) and Jane (the reserved outsider)—and how their friendship, self-preserving lies and greatest mistakes influence the lives of everyone around them. I wanted to have Madeline on my team, I wanted to befriend poor Jane and I wanted to shake some sense into Celeste—I just wanted to know them all! Big Little Lies was juicy and scandalous and sublimely entertaining—I loved it, of course. And trust me when I tell you—you won’t see the ending coming at all. Rating: 10 out of 10



412XRtVOPnL the year of 50 books: 26 30


I Feel Bad About My Neck, by Nora Ephron As a writer (both on this here blog and in real life), I’ve long worshiped at the alter of Nora Ephron. I like to think I could be even 5 percent like her when I grow up. I read her work every few years, finding I can relate to it different now, as a writer and New Yorker, than I could when I was a freshman in college, just trying to make it to class on time.


I Feel Bad About My Neck has long been one of my favorite Ephron collections—it’s full of her signature quick wit and dry sense of humor that became a hallmark of her classic films like When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle. True, most of it centers on her experience with aging (something I guess I can’t complain too much about yet since I’m only 25), but there are still nuggets of wisdom to take away as a reader, no matter what your age. One of my favorite quotes from the book? Well I have two: “What failure of imagination had caused me to forget that life was full of other possibilities, including the possibility that eventually I would fall in love again?” (discussing her divorce and meeting her new husband) and “I now believe that what my mother meant when she said “Everythign is copy” is this: When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you; but when you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it’s your laugh. So you become the hero rather than the victim of the joke.” Rating: 9 out of 10





image via

slow-cooker pulled pork with honey corn cakes

pulled pork sandwich recipe slow cooker pulled pork with honey corn cakes



I debated endlessly as to whether or not I should post this recipe. You see, slow-cooker pulled pork is my secret weapon—my Hail Mary, my trump card. Any time I want to make people happy (make their stomachs happy, really), I make this pulled pork recipe. So naturally, I like to keep it close to the chest. Because it really (really really) is that good.


Slow-cooker pulled pork is at almost every family function we have. It’s my Auntie Lina’s specialty and we all beg for it any time there’s a celebration or get together on the calendar. Now that I live on my own and do my own entertaining, pulled pork has become my own party go-to. The guys love it, the ladies love it and—perhaps most importantly sometimes—it lays a solid base for a night of drinking. Hey, just being honest.


pork shoulder slow cooker pulled pork with honey corn cakes



Obviously, after all that internal debating, I’ve chosen to share the recipe. And I implore you: make it wisely. It can cause, in not-so-rare occasions, cases of mild obsession, over-eating out of deliciousness and even impromptu marriage proposals. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


These pulled pork sandwiches are best served on toasty potato rolls (MUST be potato rolls) with a decent helping of corn cakes and honey butter on the side (more on that later). This will make about 15 pulled pork sandwiches, which makes it great for a crowd.


You’ll need: 

  • One pork shoulder or pork butt between 3 and 4 pounds (you should be able to find this at the meat counter of your grocer).
  • 1 cup water
  • 18 oz (one bottle) Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

toasted buns for pulled pork sandwiches slow cooker pulled pork with honey corn cakes


Place the pork and water into a crockpot or slow cooker. Cook through the day (3.5-4 hours if you have it set to “high”, between 5.5 and 7 hours if you have it set to “low”). You’ll know it’s done when the meat is fragrant, a light brown color (as seen above) and literally falls apart at the touch of a fork.


Remove it from the crock pot, place on a cutting board and begin to shred the meat with two forks. Drain the crock pot, the add the shredded meat back into the pot, along with the BBQ sauce, hot sauce, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.

slow cooker pulled pork recipe slow cooker pulled pork with honey corn cakes


Stir to coat then allow to cook for another hour. You can keep it on “warm” throughout your party if you have guests serving themselves.


mini cornbread slow cooker pulled pork with honey corn cakes honey slow cooker pulled pork with honey corn cakes



For the mini corn cakes (which taste better than regular corn muffins, because they’re mini), I use a Jiffy cornbread mix—keep it basic, because the real magic here is in the butter. I first had the corn cake/honey cinnamon butter combo at one of my favorite restaurants here in Astoria, Butcher Bar, and knew I needed to try making it at home someday. It’s so easy!


You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup stick butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Whip ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer until they’re combined and the butter is light and fluffy. Serve on everything from corn cakes and pulled pork (duh) to waffles, french toast and sweet potatoes!


cornbread with honey cinnamon butter slow cooker pulled pork with honey corn cakes





is your workout ruining your skin? 3 easy fixes

workout skin fixes is your workout ruining your skin? 3 easy fixes


There are a lot of obvious pros to working out—a hot bod, for one….plus boosted confidence, a happier outlook thanks to all those endorphins, and face time with that cute guy in your running club, just to name a few. But all that sweating (and running, and crunching, and sports-bra wearing) can take some surprising tolls on your skin. I mean, you’re already getting up at the crack of dawn for a 6 a.m. boot camp class…should you really have to deal with acne or a rash or irritation? I think not. Here, three easy fixes to workout skin woes:


workout skin acne is your workout ruining your skin? 3 easy fixes


It’s actually a myth that the act of working out causes acne—in fact, regular sweat sessions will improve the look of your skin (just a little perk we like to call the post-workout glow). What does cause acne? Sitting sweat. If you’re someone who works out on their lunch break, hits up a spin class then brunch with friends or works out in the evenings and doesn’t shower until the morning, you’ve probably experienced bouts of face and body acne. The reason? Sweat that isn’t washed off your skin post-workout can breed bacteria, which in turn causes breakouts to occur. An easy solution: once you hop of the elliptical and pack it up for the day, do a quick wipe down of your face, chest and upper back with a clarifying/acne specific wipe, like Murad’s Clarifying Wipes for Blemish Prone Skin. They’ll remove any traces of bacteria, so even if you’re headed home to shower, you won’t risk breeding some blemishes on your way there.


workout skin rash is your workout ruining your skin? 3 easy fixes


A word to the very sweaty: moisture-wicking workout clothes are a must. High-tech workout gear may seem like an unnecessary indulgence (trust me, I work out in old college tees as much as the next girl), but they really are worth their weight in…um, sweat? If you have sensitive skin, you’re more likely to develop rashes or eczema from frequent workouts (irritation tends to develop at “tight” areas, like around the arm pits and band of your sports bra). Tops and gear that boast “moisture-wicking” features are designed to help move heat and moisture away from the skin and keep skin (and subsequently you) cooler and more temperature controlled. I swear by Nike’s Dri-Fit line, and Under Armour has some great pieces as well. Trust me—once you go moisture-wicking, you’ll never go back (that’s totally a saying, right?)!


workout skin chafing is your workout ruining your skin? 3 easy fixes

Chances are, if your thighs rub together like 99% of the population, you’re going to have to deal with chafing. The irritation, causes by the repetitive rubbing together of your skin, is especially common in runners and can be super super painful if it goes untreated or isn’t prevented. I’ve heard of people using deodorant to ward of thigh rubbing, but products formulated especially for this problem, like Glide sticks, are just as (if not more) successful in preventing skin irritation. How it works: pre-run or workout, put a few coats on your trouble areas (typically the thighs, although it can be the armpits too). The stick will prevent that friction from building up, leaving you without a painful and blistery rash at the end of your workout. I’d say that’s a win, no?




image via