Things I’m Loving: Baby It’s STILL Cold Outside

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a “Things I’m Loving” post, and though I know you’ve all enjoyed the recent Monday posts about my fascinating breakup, I thought it was time for another post about all of the things I’m lusting over in the Pinterest-sphere. 

We’ve reached the point in the winter where all anyone can do is complain about how cold it is outside. However, this year, it’s just bitterly cold. I read one weather report for Omaha that went something like this: Friday – cold, snow; Saturday – much colder, more snow: Sunday – Frigid. Yep, it sure has been one hell of a winter! For those of you in warmer climates, I am absolutely jealous of you right now.


But, for the rest of the country, we could all use a few a little extra warmth in our life right now. Let’s start with these things…

Currently dreaming of warming up with…

These Cake Batter Oreo Cookies. I almost always lead these posts with Sally’s mouthwatering creations. All of her recipes are remarkably delicious and unique, yet very approachable. Doesn’t this picture make you want to curl up by the fire with a tray of these moist, flavorful cookies? 


I plan on doing just that at some point in the week, along with Sally’s first cookbook, which was just released on Saturday!


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Things I’m Loving: The New Year’s Resolution Edition

Do you ever feel like you’re constantly behind in life?

Who am I kidding? We all feel that way most of the time. The older you get, the more responsibilities you have, and the more responsibilities you have, the more you need to be what they call an “adult” and prioritize, AND the more your prioritize certain things, the more other things go on the back burner and become the “I’ll get back to that when I have the time” things. Such is life.

I’m fairly certain that the last time I didn’t feel behind was in 6th grade where the most stressful thing on my agenda was choreographing my Bryan Adams lip synching skit for the talent show. (Yes, that happened. It was a “dramatic interpretation of the hit ballad “Everything I Do, I Do it for You,” and I absolutely received a standing ovation).

Anyway, here we are in the second week of January, and I have yet to get started on formulating my New Year’s Resolutions. I realize that resolutions aren’t for everyone, but, if you haven’t noticed from some of my posts, my life has been a bit out of sorts for the last few months. I could definitely use an excuse to start getting my s*** together.

Alas, I find myself behind. I’m not ready to put the pen to the paper yet, so instead, I’ve been packing my Pinterest board with healthy recipes, workouts, organizational ideas and other items that will help me be a better “me” in 2014.

According to a Harris Poll, here are the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Americans:


None of these resolutions are too surprising, and I myself identify with each and every one of them, except for #1 and #7. In fact, I’m sure they’ll be on my list in some shape or form. So, in the spirit of the most common resolutions, this “Things I’m Loving” Edition is dedicated to items geared towards helping us out in these ever-popular self-improvement categories. Get ready to “Pin” away!

Let’s start with my favorite resolution of all…. Continue Reading →

I Just Had to Hop on the Bandwagon….

Oh…hello there! In case you eagerly search your inboxes ever Monday/Wednesday/Friday for an SHLB email, you may notice that they stopped coming for exactly 1 week. You have no idea how much that was killing me.

I started this blog back up in April and made a commitment to myself to stick to the manageable posting routine of 3 times a week. 

But over the past couple months, my life has gotten a bit unpredictable, which makes it harder for me to stick to that routine. It’s not about having the time, but rather the fact that for better or for worse, I’m an extremely genuine and honest person. I’ve gone through some tough times lately, and it’s made it difficult for me to write breezily about Peppermint Milkshakes (although it WAS delicious) and what I’m eating every Wednesday. It feels dishonest and inauthentic. 


(I cannot tell a lie. It’s really frustrating.)

I have a lot to process and some big decisions to make, so my posts may be a little less predictable until I figure it all out. But please, stay tuned for that EPIC post. I will assure you it will be filled with a bunch of epiphanies and clichés that will completely blow your mind.

Until then, no matter what is going on in my life, I’d never forgive myself for passing up the opportunity to acknowledge what the rest of the Internet has already freaked out about: Thanksgivingukkah. I touched on it briefly in my last post, but in case you live under a rock, this year, the first day of Hanukkah falls on the same day as Thanksgiving. And, it won’t happen again for 70,000 years,  so it’s kind of a big deal.


For me, the holidays have never been about religion. I’m Jewish, but I’ve never thought that should hold me back from throwing back some egg nog, blasting the “Country Christmas” station on Pandora and throwing some stockings on the ol’ fireplace. But I gotta’ be honest when I say it feels damn good to finally have Hanukkah front-and-center this holiday season!

(Last year's Hanukkah tree but a bush!)

(Last year’s Hanukkah decorations…no tree but a bush!)

I myself am not the most religious girl the planet, but I’ve always embraced the food in my culture. A piece of Challah bread, a few glasses of Manizchewitz and a heaping piece of noodle kugel will never fail to bring a smile to my face.

I’m in NYC for Thanksgiving this year, so unfortunately won’t be able to partake in creating Thanksgivingukkah masterpieces. Instead, please enjoy these 5 recipes which combine the wonderful flavors of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Remember, it’s not too late to run to the store for these ingredients. Whether you’re Jewish or not, your family will thank you for this later…

Manizchewitz-Brined Turkey: At first glance, this sounds like a gimmick. Let me assure you, it’s not. Manizschewitz is an extremely sweet kosher wine, and this recipe draws upon that sweetness to flavor the turkey and help make it a beautiful color.


Challah Bread Stuffing: Even if you’re not Jewish, you’ve probably eaten challah before in french toast form. It’s a rich, braided egg bread that’s sturdy enough to hold its form when dredged in liquid. It’s also ridiculously tasty on its own, and us Jewish people actually have a prayer devoted solely to the challah (actually it’s the blessing for bread, but we break off pieces of challah before saying the prayer.)

So, why not take this already-delicious bread and make it the star of the show in your Thanksgiving stuffing? I like how this recipe draws upon the slight sweetness in challah by adding cranberries and raisins. 


If you like to stick to the savory side of stuffing, I must recommend these Challah Stuffing Muffins. I guarantee you’ll win bonus points for originality with both the challah and the muffin tin.

Stuffing Muffins

Sweet Potato and Ginger Latkes: Latkes are kind of Hanukkah’s all-star food. There’s a story about why we eat them, but all you need to know is that they are essentially fried potatoes, and that’s why I’ve always loved them! This recipe uses sweet potato (a prime part of most Thanksgiving celebrations) to create a unique twist on the traditional latke.


Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel: Kugel is by far my favorite reason for being Jewish…

I kid, sort of. But seriously, whenever I used to attend an event at Temple or a holiday meal, I would actually dream about this traditional Jewish noodle casserole dish for weeks. Carbs, cheese and butter combine to bring you the ultimate Jewish comfort food. I’ve seen lots of Thanksgivingukkah kugel suggestions, and while some are extremely creative, I believe they stray too far from the original dish. This straight-forward recipe keeps all of the important elements that make up a traditional kugel, while incorporating the cranberry flavor of Thanksgiving.


Israeli Jelly Donuts: If you’re a longtime SHLB reader, then you know I’m all about making donuts for Thanksgiving. Pumpkin pie is great and all, but really, can you ever go wrong with a donut? In Hebrew, jelly doughnuts are called sufganiyot, and believe it or not, in Israel, they’re the number one treat consumed on Hanukkah.  We eat fried foods to recognize the miracle associated with the Temple oil. Sounds like a great idea to me. Fry up these babies and serve with some melted gelt on the side. 


I wanted to create a workout with this post, but I’ve run out of time, so here’s an old favorite of mine: Perfect for your pre-Thanksgivingukkah feast!



Hope to be back soon, but until then HAPPY THANKSGIVINGUKKAH!

Things I’m Loving: ‘Tis the Season – Volume 2

A while back, I posted of my favorite fall treats from Pinterest and beyond. Well now that we’re officially almost at Thanksgiving, I think it’s time for another ‘Tis the Season, this time with a holiday focus. You’ll see a few Thanksgiving mentions in here, but overall, I can’t help but skip straight to Christmas (and Hanukkah, of course).


This Candy Cane Fudge. I couldn’t help but kick it off with another one of Sally’s drool-worthy treats. This recipe is as simple as they come, with only 5 ingredients and limited cooking time. It looks like the hard part is waiting for the creamy peppermint fudge to set for 3 hours before digging in!


These delectable mint brownies. Talk about festive! That beautiful green mint layer almost looks to pretty to eat, but take my word for it, that wouldn’t stop me. I can’t help but wonder: if I baked these brownies, would they REALLY look like the pretty picture?


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Things I’m Loving: There is No Life I Know to Compare to Pure Imagination

Last week, “Things I’m Loving” was quite a hit, so I’m going to give it another go this Monday. 

Sometimes I feel like all we are ever told is to “be realistic” and “live in the real world.” After all, dreaming is for dreamers and there’s no sense in having false hope right? That’s why, right now, I’m going to go ahead and embrace this phrase from one of my favorite movies of all time: “There is no life I know to compare to pure imagination.”

If Willy Wonka says it, ya’ll know it’s just gotta be true!

And sometimes I  just want to let my imaginiation run wild…about dishes I may never be skilled enough to bake (and even if I do, they’ll never quite look like in the picture) or about delectable fried foods that magically won’t go straight to my thighs if I eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner…or about picturesque little islands where you can escape at a moment’s notice…


…These Angel Food Cake Churro Bites. Hold it right here: isn’t angel food cake supposed to be one of those “healthy sweets?” Nope, not when you slather them in cinnamon and sugar and then fry ’em in oil until they are moist and crispy. Who would have thought that you could turn angel food cake into one of those yummy things you pick up at the state fair? With only 4 ingredients, these little guys can be whipped up in a flash before a party.



But wait? I need something to dip these churro bites into. Maybe I should try some of this homemade apple butter? And then when I have a whole bunch of leftover apple butter, this recipe takes it a step further, and shows me how I can wash down every delicious bite with a heavenly Apple Butter and Maple Cream Vanilla Milkshake.  Hey, when in Rome, or when eating fried food dipped in apple butter, you might as well finish it off with a sinfully creamy milkshake! 

Seriously though, I am a healthy living blogger. I can’t just indulge in these churro bites and the milkshake without eating some sort of meal beforehand. My mom taught me well: no dessert before your meal. That’s why I’ll go ahead and make these apple brie quesadillas for dinner. It has all the essential food groups: dairy, carbs, fruit and ooey, gooey caramel sauce. Sounds like a proper meal to me! The best part of this recipe is that it’s not impossible to make. Perhaps we don’t have to dream…. Continue Reading →

Things I’m Loving: ‘Tis the Season

I always love when my favorite bloggers post their favorite things from across the blogosphere and Pinterest, so today, please enjoy Volume 1 of “Things I’m Loving.”  The theme is ‘Tis the Season” as nearly everything I’m looking at right now evokes the holiday spirit, whether it’s Halloween or Christmas (yes, I’m already there).

Happy Pinning ya’ll!


These Cookies: If you’ve never heard of Sally’s Baking Addiction, then you’re definitely missing out. This recipe sandwiches Pumpkin Marshmallow Peeps in between 2 soft, moist cookies, packed with peanut butter, M&M’s and sprinkles. Enough said.


These Semi-Homemade Sticky Buns: A mere five ingredients are combined to create these flavorful sticky buns. Imagine waking up to the smell of Pumpkin Sticky Buns on a cool, crisp fall Sunday morning. Feel free to share this recipe with husbands, boyfriends, etc. because it’s incredibly easy. I sometimes like to drop not-so-subtle hints to my BF, such as an email with the subject line, “Wow these Would be PERFECT to Serve me for Breakfast in Bed.”


This Sinful Breakfast: Why not take all of the best parts of fall, mix it with bacon and throw on-top of some delicious waffles? That’s exactly what is happening here with these Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Bacon Butternut Syrup. It almost feels too good to be true…but it’s not. You’ll need a waffle iron to cook these up, but I’m sincerely considering buying one JUST to make these. Continue Reading →