Browned Butter Sage Stuffing with Walnuts & Cranberries (& a Thanksgiving Menu)

This is better than I thought it would be. Truly, when I went to put together suggestions for this year’s festivities I thought it would be slim pickings. That there wouldn’t be much to choose from because I hadn’t gotten up nearly as many posts as planned. I’d been behind, slacking, negligent about my duties and responsibilities. Turns out, that wasn’t (entirely) the case. It’s rewarding to look back on the year and see what’s been accomplished. I got more up than I planned! And a lot of it would fit nicely on the Thanksgiving table, if there’s still room.

Browned Butter Sage Stuffing with Walnuts & Cranberries

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Local Lamb Flatbreads (& presents)

There’s a coworker I used to have (and friend I still have) who has this uncanny ability to get gifts. While working with her for two years I saw countless customers and coworkers bring her trinkets and tokens and treasures. “Just because.”

Local Lamb Flatbread

Because they knew her, knew what she liked and loved and what she would gladly and humbly accept. In fact, I did this quite often. I’d see something while I was out and about and go “This is so Bunny!” then happily reveal it to her during one of our shifts. Or hide it in her mailbox.

Local Lamb Flatbread

Even though I used to partake in the gift giving (and quite frequently at that), I also used to feel a twinge of jealousy every time she’d display her newest present and wonder, “How does that happen?!”

Local Lamb Flatbread

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Mushroom Risotto (& tools)

I have a pink tool bag.

It’s filled with pink screwdrivers, a pink level, a pink tape measure. It used to have a pink hammer too, but I accidentally busted it in half last year.

This little tool bag has served me well over the last eight years. My mom gave it to me my freshman year of college – stating that I shouldn’t be away from home without a way to fix things. She got it in pink because she loves me and I love pink.

I have carried this bag with me ever since. Through every move – across state lines and back again. I had it with me in South Carolina, it lives in my coat closet now. It stayed on a top shelf in my apartment junior and senior year of college.

It was there, and it was then, that it was frequently borrowed by my neighbors. I was the only girl on my floor – the three other apartments being occupied by males and their male roommates.

At first, they mocked the pink tools – their petite size and their “feminine” hue. Then, little by little, the knocks on my door increased.

“Can I borrow your hammer?”

“Hey, do you have a screwdriver?”

“Wait…are you baking?”

That last one was unrelated to tools and home improvement, but it happened nonetheless. Inevitably, the scent of whatever I was making would waft across the hall and into the other apartments. They’d come over for a few brownies or a slice of cake or warm cookies.

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Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry (& planning)

I bought a planner. It’s pink with gold embossing and a thin ribbon to mark the page. It’s got a monthly overview and a weekly to-do. Very chic, very millennial.

I also got the color-coded pens – blue, black, red, green, pink, orange. All assigned to a specific sector of my life – finance, work, Ernessi, social.

It’s my hope/belief/misguided delusion that by making lists and filling out schedules and trying to be a better planner that I will somehow get my life in order.

And yet…I’ve missed weeks, I’ve missed paying bills, I’ve missed opportunities to get posts up in a timely manner.

There’s a small bit of solace in knowing that this isn’t uncommon for creative types. There’s some reassurance that my spastic scheduling and mediocre time management are byproducts of the artistic juices flowing through my veins! See? It’s not that I’m a bad person – I’m a great person – I just didn’t respond to an email for two weeks because I’m an artiste! I can’t help it, it’s how I’m wired. I can’t be expected to create masterpieces under the shackles of a schedule!

At least, that’s what I tell myself so I don’t dissolve into a heap of tears over not meeting the actual deadlines created by credit card companies or the personal ones I’ve set for myself. In reality, I know it’s a load of bull and I have to really commit to and work on sticking to a schedule if I’m ever going to get where I want to be, doing what I want to be doing.

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Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes are a Midwestern staple.

Hearty. Filling. Cheap.

That’s what we’re all about here.

However, it took me moving down South to really learn how to harness the power of the potato. After three years there I have finally honed the art of the mashed potato. They are simple yet flavorful, and the results are do largely to the technique more than the ingredients.

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