Eat. Drink. Love.

Cheddar and Gruyère Scalloped Potatoes Gratin

Cheddar and Gruyère Scalloped Potatoes Gratin

Are you guys ready for some Thanksgiving side dish ideas? I am and I’ve got a few to share with you over the next couple of weeks!

At this point, I have no idea what kind of Thanksgiving we are going to have. Yes, I’m still pregnant. Her due date is not until Tuesday, but I’m well aware that she might just decide she is not ready yet and we might find ourselves with an induction during Thanksgiving week. Ugh. Please pray and send positive labor vibes my way that she will arrive sooner rather than later. Sometime in the next 10 minutes would be great actually. I want to enjoy a good Thanksgiving dinner, darn it!

To start the side dishes off, we’re going with potatoes. My husband has been asking me to make some “cheesy” potatoes for a couple of months now and I finally got around to meeting his request. And boy oh boy, did we love these. Obviously not the healthiest side dish on this blog, but for Thanksgiving or for any other night you just feel like a little splurge, this is the perfect side! Warm and delicious potatoes baked in a cheesy sauce. What’s not to like?! I used a combo of cheddar and Gruyère cheeses and thought it was the perfect match. The Gruyère adds richness with a little nuttiness. So dreamy! While this is a great side dish for Thanksgiving, it would also be great served with steak or even grilled or roasted chicken!

Cheddar and Gruyère Scalloped Potatoes Gratin

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Shortcuts are pretty much my best friend these days. I’m just too tired to make a big fancy meal, especially after working all day. I have no shame when it comes to kitchen shortcuts. You just have to use them sometimes! One of my new favorite secret weapons?

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Foster Farms Crispy Strips. Don’t get me wrong, I love to make Chicken Parm from scratch with my homemade sauce that simmers for hours, but we don’t all always have time for such things! This Easy Chicken Parm recipe is a great alternative to making it all from scratch. You don’t have to worry about defrosting the chicken, breading it, cooking it, and all that jazz. I really like the Foster Farms Crispy Strips. I’m usually very picky about frozen chicken, but I was pleased with the quality and flavor and I like that the strips are also all natural.

While I didn’t use my usual tomato sauce recipe, I did still mix up a semi-homemade version that was ready in about 20 minutes. If you are still looking to cut down on time, you can also use your favorite jarred sauce. This is a great recipe to have on hand that the whole family can enjoy and it’s ready in a flash. Serve it with a side of pasta and a salad and dinner is ready!

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Pumpkin Mug Cake

Pumpkin Mug Cake

Someone pass me all of the cake. I need more cake. Now at 38 weeks pregnant, to say I am so ready for this baby to get here is an understatement. I’m officially uncomfortable. I feel so swollen and my feet can barely fit into even just a pair of sandals! The worst part now? My hands going numb. Seriously, this is the worst. And they don’t just go numb, they also just hurt and feel so sore, especially at night and especially when I lie down. This of course means that sleeping is no longer enjoyable. I know I should just get used to it, but it would be nice to get at least a few more good sleeps in before the baby comes! I’ve resorted to sleeping in a recliner as it helps a little bit, but it’s not the same. I want sleep, hands that do not go numb, and cake.

Let’s talk more about cake. This pumpkin mug cake. First, I love a good mug cake because they take just a few minutes to make and it makes just enough for one serving so I’m not left pulling a Miranda à la Sex and the City where I lose all self-control and keeping going back for more. This pumpkin version is perfect for the season. It’s warm and comforting with just the right amount of sweetness. Really, the perfect quick dessert to eat while snuggled up in a warm sweater or blanket!

Pumpkin Mug Cake

Ham, Asparagus, and Cheddar Frittata

Asparagus Ham and Cheddar Frittata

One of my favorite dishes to make for company for breakfast or brunch is a frittata. First, you can add all sorts of things from meats, cheeses, and veggies. And second, they are pretty simple to prepare! And with the holiday season upon us, I thought you all might want some easy breakfast recipes to have handy. This frittata makes me think of my grandma because she loves to make frittatas with asparagus. I remember eating them a lot on nights where she didn’t feel like cooking a big meal for dinner.

My friends at STAR sent me some of their Cara Mia Marinated Asparagus to use in a recipe and I thought it would be perfect to use in a frittata! It made the frittata even simpler to make and I like the added flavor from the marinade on the asparagus. I also added some sliced ham and sharp cheddar cheese. I would happily eat this for breakfast, brunch, or dinner!

Asparagus Ham and Cheddar Frittata

Pizza Dip

Pizza Dip

Sometimes I make a recipe, photograph it, eat it, and then have no words. This pizza dip is one of those recipes. It’s pretty much everything my dreams are made of. I mean, you got cheese, sauce, more cheese, olives and pepperoni, and then you dip warm bread into it. Can you think of anything more dreamy than that? I cannot.

Pizza Dip

This dip is perfect for game days, a night in with friends, parties, you name it. Everybody loves pizza so it’s one of those appetizers that will be the first to go once you place it on the table. I know for me, I could seriously eat the entire dish, but that would be totally embarrassing so I won’t, but it does take some serious willpower not to eat all of this dip! If you are unlike me and actually have some self-control or are trying to avoid carbs, you can also serve this dip with fresh cut veggies like celery or sliced green pepper.

I put some turkey pepperoni and black olives on top of mine, but just like any pizza, you can obviously customize this dip however you’d like by adding your favorite pizza toppings!

Pizza Dip

Spiced Apple Cider

Spiced Apple Cider

Halloween is this Friday! It’s no secret that it is by far, my favorite holiday ever! Now if only it wasn’t going to be 90 degrees…This Cleveland girl is seriously missing the cool, fall weather that a lot of you are getting and all of the gorgeous leaves changing colors. Ugh. Since I can’t have my beautiful and perfect fall weather, I just have to pretend it’s cooler out by lighting a zillion fall candles, having lots of decorations, watching Hocus Pocus 10 million times, and sipping on hot cocoa or spiced apple cider!

This spiced cider is perfect for warming up after a night of trick-or-treating or even for the upcoming holiday season. This version doesn’t have any booze so it’s great for kids too, but you can easily add some to make it more adult-friendly for parties which you guys know my non-pregnant self is all about! Oh and not to mention, this cider makes your whole house smell just heavenly while it simmers away on the stove.

If you can, I recommend using a good quality unfiltered apple cider, it’s a little darker, but the flavor is usually better, more uhhh…apple-y? Can apple-y be a word? It is now. Anyway, it is also cloudier than regular cider so just note that if you use a filtered cider for this recipe, it may not look exactly like mine does.

Spiced Apple Cider