Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin (& working)

I’ve been fully self-employed for a little over a month now.

Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin

Obviously, there’s been quite a learning curve. I’ve never owned a business before, never been my own boss. There have been victories (magazine cover coming soon!) and I have been defeated (lost a major client). On the whole, though, I’d say there have been more positives than negatives and even the negatives have been great learning experiences. (Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself with the new tools I’m learning in therapy.)  

Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin

For instance, I think my videos are getting better and better. To the point where I’m actually proud of them!

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Pan Roasted Veggies (& ease)

This is one of those “Not-A-Recipe-Recipes.” There’s not a ton of prep involved, it doesn’t require any special equipment, and it’s entirely customizable to suit individual tastes!

Pan Roasted Vegetables | Midwest Nice

It’s also one of the most delicious non-recipes ever. It’s my favorite way to get the appropriate serving of veggies in the colder months with the least amount of work possible. What could be better?!

Pan Roasted Vegetables | Midwest Nice
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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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Thankful Things

A quick list of things that I am thankful for, in no particular order.

  1. A second pot of coffee for extra guests.
  2. For cakes that turn out.
  3. Learning better and then doing better.
  4. A job that is closed on Thanksgiving, giving me time with my family and time to myself.
  5. The same stories told by the same people, because some things should never change.
  6. Support from loved ones, in every imaginable way.
  7. For snapchat and Instagram and iMessaging – keeping my connected to those, near and far.
  8. My dog.
  9. All the other dogs.
  10. Traditions carried on, even after years away from home.
  11. This space to write and babble and share with y’all.
  12. And so much more.



Sweet Potato Cream Pie with Marshmallow Whipped Cream (& procrastination)

I found this gif while scrolling aimlessly on Imgur.

Sweet Potato Cream Pie with Marshmallow Whipped Cream via Midwest Nice Blog

I identified with it so much – what with my terrible habit of procrastinating (which is what I was doing on Imgur in the first place, obviously). I’m working on it, little by little. But, I know I can do better.

For instance, maybe I should’ve posted this recipe yesterday? Given y’all a little more time to add it to your menu. But then I thought – hey, maybe there are other people like me out there. Perhaps there’s truth to the whole “procrastinators unite…tomorrow!” thing? Me waiting to post this and you waiting to figure out what dessert to make could be the perfect balance we as procrastinators need!

Sweet Potato Cream Pie with Marshmallow Whipped Cream via Midwest Nice Blog

Plus! This can be made today and be ready for tomorrow – saving time and valuable oven space on the big day. Look at us, procrastinators planning ahead! Baby steps, folks. Baby steps.

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Sparkling Cider Sangria (& a Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up)

Our turkey was delivered via the USPS today. I came home from baking pie at my aunt’s house and there it was – just sitting on the stoop. Ready and waiting. Easy as that.

Sparkling Cider Sangria via Midwest Nice Blog

Is your turkey taken care of? What about sides? Desserts? I’ve got plenty of ideas (and one more post to share) if you need a little something sweet to finish off your meal Thursday.

Everyone loves pie. Try my perfect pie crust with your favorite fillings! Not sure what to put in the pie crust? Maybe some bourbon coated pecans? Or apples? When you have leftovers – turn them into a shake! Or throw some pie crust into ice cream and have yourself a semifreddo.

More of a cake person? This caramel apple cake is a show stopper. Or this sweet potato cake (with toasted marshmallow frosting!!!) that turns a much beloved side into an even better dessert! A bundt cake filled with brandy and pears is just as beautiful and delicious (and a touch easier/quicker) as any layer cake. Does cheesecake count as cake? Does this butternut squash cheesecake count as a vegetable dish? Let’s say it does.

Believe it or not, I have actually made some vegetable recipes before! And I’ll be making my famous bacon braised Brussels sprouts for the festivities like I do every year. And then eating this salad to detox the rest of the weekend.

The cider will be flowing at dinner, after steeping with mulling spices for over 24 hours. If you need a drink to please a crowd, try this easy sangria I made a few weeks ago. It’s to die for!

Sparkling Cider Sangria via Midwest Nice Blog

Sparkling Cider Sangria 

1 bottle dry red wine – I like a nice cabernet

2 bottles sparkling cider

1/4 cup bourbon

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

1/4 cup orange juice

juice of one lemon

1 apple, thinly sliced

1 pear, thinly sliced

1 orange, thinly sliced

3 cinnamon sticks

Pour all liquid into a large pitcher and stir in fruit and cinnamon sticks. Allow to steep in fridge for at least four hours, preferably overnight. Serve chilled with extra fruit and garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired.

*inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction

Sparkling Cider Sangria via Midwest Nice Blog