Mexican Street Corn

Hello all!  Sorry for being such an awful poster last week.  I was all ready to have some fun spring break posts (I was off last week!) but then real life stuff happened and that had to take precedence.  Anyhoo, I am back at school and back on schedule!

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you guys.  I made my parents my favorite chickpea tacos over break and my mom made a point of telling me to make enough sides for my dad.  Because he is a man and apparently men need extra sides.  So, I listened to her, because I am a good daughter, and immediately started Googling Mexican veggie side dishes.  There were some boring zucchini recipes and some weird casseroles, and then I came upon the perfect recipe.  Mexican street corn.

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I was so excited to use this and and then promptly undercooked it.  The cook time for the corn seemed a bit low, but I figured if Sunny Anderson said to cook it for so long, that’s how long I’m going to cook it!  Well, the recipe is intended for a grill pan, and I used some griddle pan thingy that my mom makes pancakes on, but I figured it would char the corn.  I figured right.  The corn got nice and charred.  It was the cooking part that was a bit lacking.

Even undercooked, this corn was pretty delicious!  The mayonnaise mixture, as weird as it sounds, adds a nice heat to the corn.  Don’t skip a little squeeze of lime at the end, either.  It’s perfection!!

Mexican Street Corn

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Ingredients:

4 ears of corn, chucked

olive oil

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic salt (or a few good shakes of salt and garlic powder if you’re too lazy to make the garlic salt like me)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 lime, quartered

Directions:

In a bowl mix together the mayonnaise, chili powder, garlic salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Heat up your grill pan.  Brush the sides of the corn with the oil.  Grill the corn for 6-10 minutes, until all sides are charred. Brush on the mayonnaise mixture and serve with the lime quarters.

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Source:  Food Network

 

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My Definitive Ranking of (New) Doctor Who Companions

This is a bit of an indulgent post since I know not all of my readers are fans of Doctor Who, but I think enough of you are to make this post not entirely useless!  I should note that this post will be filled with some minor spoilers for the show, but I am going to do my best to be vague so any non-Whovians reading don’t have the show spoiled for them!  We’re going to go from my least favorite companions to my favorite, so let’s get ranking!!

8.  Mickey

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I don’t know if Mickey actually counts, but I never liked him.  He kept going, “Oh, Rose, you’re always going to choose the Doctor.  It’s always him.  Boo hoo.”  To which I kept screaming, “IT’S THE DOCTOR, YOU IDIOT.  OF COURSE SHE’S GOING TO CHOOSE HIM.”  So, he gets last place.  Sorry, Mickey.

7.  Martha Jones

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I feel bad for not liking Martha as much as the others.  I’ll admit when I first watched I just hated her because she followed Rose, and being in complete Rose-Ten-denial, I didn’t like a new pretty girl ending up in the Tardis.  I also found her crush on the Doctor to be annoying.  Although, in retrospect, the girl was totally on point with that.  Who could travel with the Doctor and not develop a crush on him?  Anyway, I had sort of an irrational dislike of Martha, which has definitely tempered with time.  When you see the totality of her involvement (meaning all the way through S4) she’s pretty badass.  And you can’t deny she has solid leather-jacket-game.

On a completely random note, though, why the hell does she end up with Mickey?  It comes out of nowhere and feels like a very sketchy move on R.T. Davies’ part.  Not that they don’t make a banging couple, of course, but again…why???

6.  River Song

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River is one of those characters where I don’t totally know if she counts as a companion, but I’m including her anyway!  I feel bad putting her so low, but it’s only because all the companions are really fantastic and someone had to be sixth best.  River is in one of the best S4 episodes with Ten.  And then she is in THE BEST weeping angel arc in S5.  I love how blunt and sarcastic she is with the Doctor, and while their romance does not even come close to a prior one (cough…Rose…cough) I’m still a fan.

5.  Clara Oswald

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I don’t have strong feelings on Clara, which is probably why she’s lower down on the list.  Of those not-strong-feelings, though, they’re relatively positive.  I like her relationship with the Doctor and she was pretty fantastic in Day of the Doctor.  Her and River are probably interchangeable for ranking purposes, but I put Clara higher since she is an official companion, and also the current one.  She also gets points for getting the Doctor to pretend to be her boyfriend on Christmas.  Even if he showed up naked.

4.  Jack Harkness

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Again, I’m not entirely sure Jack counts as a companion, but I’m pretty sure that John Barrowman says he was a companion and that’s good enough for me!  I love Jack.  So much.  He’s such a saucy and fun character.  I love how he flirts with anything that has a pulse.  I love his faith in the Doctor.  I love his long jacket and unbridled sass.  He’s just the best.

Now I need to go watch some Torchwood.

3.  The Ponds

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I know some people weren’t a big fan of the Ponds, but I really enjoyed them.  I thought their entire arc was well-done and their exit, while heartbreaking, was perfect.  Admittedly, Rory started off pretty useless and then he turned into the guy who just died all the time.  By the end, though, he’d become his own strong character.  Amy also grew from the Girl Who Waited to part of one of the greatest bromances in Doctor Who history.

2.  Rose Tyler

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What is there even to say about Rose Tyler?  She was the original new companion.  You entered the Whovian world with her, and then nothing was ever the same.  The budding romance with Nine was beautiful to watch, and then the continuation with Ten was equal parts adorable and heartbreaking.  If anyone watched Doomsday and Journey’s End without crying, well, you’re a better person than me.

You also cannot forget that Rose Tyler is a package deal.  With Rose you get her hilarious mother Jackie Tyler and that, my friends, is a blessing.  I love Jackie Tyler with her over-lined eyes and dubious taste in men.  Love, love, love.

1.  Donna Noble

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We’ve reached number one!  I have so much love for Donna Noble.  She saw herself as this completely ordinary and unimportant temp, but then ended up being the most important woman in the universe.  Not only did she pretty much save everyone in Series 4, but she also helped the Doctor heal after Rose’s departure.  Sure, it seemed like a minor thing in the Christmas Special, but I think she was the driving force behind the Doctor finding Martha as his new companion.  She made him realize that he’s better off when he’s traveling with someone.  No one wants a lonely and bitter Time Lord!

I think the main reason I love Donna Noble, though, is because of her grade-A sass.  Her and the Doctor were best buds, which meant she never held back from yelling at him when he was being an idiot.  Also, the exchange between the two of them when he says he wants “a mate” and she thinks he said he wants “to mate” is one of the funniest Ten moments.

Do you guys agree with my ranking?

Wheat Berries with Strawberries

The weather is finally getting nicer out here and because of that I have officially retired my puffy winter coat.  I also should probably officially get that baby cleaned.  It was a long winter.  While I’m loving these comfortable temperatures, I’m not loving the high winds we’ve been getting.  I fully stand by the proposition that people without bangs do not fully understand the horror of high winds.  Sure, windblown hair isn’t the end of the world.  Bring a brush.  Embrace the poof.  Whatever.

Do you know what is not so easily remedied?  Being poked in the eye by your in-need-of-a-trim-bangs as they fly around your forehead like Medusa’s snakes.  Also not fun?  Poking yourself in the eye as you try to fend off the stab-ey bangs.  I’m telling you, guys.  Wind is a real hazard for those of us with covered foreheads.  Bangless people don’t understand our pain.

In honor of the nicer weather I am posting this summery salad!  It starts off with some berries: strawberries and wheat berries .  And then there’s this ridiculous citrus vinaigrette that you’re pretty much going to want to put on everything.  There is so much goodness happening in this salad you won’t know what to do with yourself!

Wheat Berries with Strawberries

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Ingredients

2 cups wheat berries, rinsed and drained

4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 tsp salt

grated zest of 1/2 orange

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tbsp light agave nectar

1/4 packed cup fresh mint, finely chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

10 medium strawberries, hulled and chopped

2 ounces (1/4 cup) goat or feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:

For the wheat berries:

Combine the wheat berries, broth, 4 cups water, and the salt in a large sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, covering the pan.  Cook until the wheat berries are tender, 60-70 minutes.  Drain and set aside ot cool, around 15 minutes.

For the dressing:

Whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, oil, agave, mint, salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the wheat berries and add the strawberries and goat or feta cheese.  Toss to combine.

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Source:  Giada’s Feel Good Foods

Friday Faves

HAPPY BEST DAY OF THE WEEK!!!

I’ve always loved Fridays (who doesn’t?) but I love them EVEN MORE because of these Friday Faves.  You all know how much I love going on about my hobbies/TV shows/etc and I love having a venue to do it at every.single.week.  I just love it guys.  I love it so hard.

1)  Forks over Knives

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I’m sure a lot of you have heard about this movie.  I knew about it for around a year before I finally sat down and watched it.  I would highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in food or health.  The basic premise is how animal products and processed foods contribute to the development on many chronic diseases and certain cancers.  The movie advocates a whole foods and plant-based diet where animal products are completely eradicated.  While I don’t think a drastic eating change will result for me from watching (we all know I love my Meatheads) it has made me more cognizant of what I’m putting in my mouth.  It’s really not that difficult to cut down meat consumption, and I think it’s something that ultimately is better for us and for the planet.

2)  Chicago Comic Con

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(This is from last year.  You can bet I will recreate this exact pose in August.)

Okay, this doesn’t actually happen until August but they’ve released some exciting guests that are going to be there, and I am beyond excited.  Not only is Karen Gillan from Doctor Who going to be there (!!!!), but Evan Peters from AHS, a large chunk of the Walking Dead cast, and my main main James Marsters from Buffy.  Plus, they just released a particularly exciting name…David Boreanaz!!!  Angel/Seeley Booth is going to be in the house for his first public signing, and I could not be more thrilled it’s in Chicago!  August cannot come soon enough!!!!

3)  Hallmark Channel Movies

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So, a few weeks ago I made the (terrible) discovery that on Saturday and Sunday Hallmark Channel plays its made-for-TV movies pretty much the entire day.  I ended up tuning in halfway through the classic See Jane Date, which had just about every bit TV actor in it, and then I found myself staying for the next movie.  And the next one.  Annndd the next one.  All of a sudden it was dinnertime and I didn’t know where my last five or six hours had gone!

4)  Pickles

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This is going to sound weird, but I love eating pickles straight out of the jar.  When I’m wanting something salty I find that a quick pickle slice from the refrigerator is enough to satisfy my craving!  I know it’s weird, but let’s be honest, half of this blog is peppered with my weirdness.

5)  The Veronica Mars Movie

I already waxed and waned about this movie, so I won’t do it again.  But I couldn’t not include it in my Friday Faves!!!  I absolutely loved it and have loved gabbing about it all week.  Now I’m ready for the book series to start up!!

What are your favorites right now?!

Pork Milanese

I made this for two friends last week for a movie night.  I’d like to say we watched something really serious and visceral like Her or Twelve Years a Slave.  But that would be a lie.  My friends and I instead met specifically to watch the ABC Family classic Revenge of the Bridesmaids.

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This movie is great for many reasons, but the only pitch really needed is Raven.  She’s just the absolute sassiest in this movie.  The love interest is also a bit Gilmore Girls actor who I freakily recognized from his ten minutes on the former WB show.  That’s my party trick.  Some people can slam back shots or tie a cherry stem with their tongue.  I can sniff out an old Gilmore Girls actor within seconds.

I have a lot of love for made-for-TV-movies.  They’re all pretty predictable and seem to take place on the same small-town-set, and I just love them.  Sure, the budget is low and the storyline usually makes no sense when you actually sit down and think about it, but sometimes I just don’t want to think when it comes to movies.  I want corny jokes and attractive men – and TV movies never fail me!

You all should make this pork milanese because it literally takes under twenty minutes to make.  Also, if you have some pent up aggression – which, let’s be real, we all do – going at the meat with the meat mallet is a great way to vent.  I served this with some pasta, but if you want to go a healthier route it would be great with some green veggies!

Pork Milanese

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Ingredients

4 8 oz pork chops, pounded to 1/4 inch

1 1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried thyme

salt/pepper

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup flour

1 lemon, quartered

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions

Mix together the bread crumbs, dried herbs, parmesan and salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.  In two other shallow bowls, add respectively the beaten egg and flour.  Set up on the counter in this order: flour, beaten egg, bread crumb  mixture.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan.  Take each pork chop and dredge lightly in the flour, dip in the egg, and then dredge in the bread crumb mixture.  Cook two at a time in the heated oil, cooking for roughly 3-4 minutes on each side.

Finish the pork milanese off with a squeeze of lemon.  Serve immediately.

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Source:  Everyday Italian

Kale Chips

The Veronica Mars movie came out on Friday, and it was everything I could have hoped for and much, much more!!  I was pretty much having a heart attack the entire time, in the most amazing and not fatal way.

So many familiar faces were brought in, and the movie was chock full of little references for fans to freak out over.  I just loved the movie so much, and it’s even better because the fans really made it happen.  I know some people had issue with fans helping to finance the movie, but I think it’s a really beautiful thing.  All of us (well not  me..because I didn’t donate to the Kickstarter campaign…which I still regret) banded together to bring back characters and a world that we loved!

There’s literally nothing bad about that.  It’s good.  All good.  So, while the haters still go on with their hate-faces-on, all us Marshmallows are going to continue freaking out over the perfection of the movie, and the forthcoming book series (!!!), and how mobilizing a fandom really can make things happen.

These kale chips have nothing to do with Veronica Mars, but I think its resident vegan Kristen Bell would enjoy them.  I, myself, had never tried kale chips before but I had a large stash of kale in my refrigerator and wanted a quick way to use it before it turned bad.  Fun note – I actually underbaked this batch.  They got all soggy after I put them in the container, but I still ate them because they tasted like oil and salt.  I subbed in the correct cooking instructions in here, though!  With just a bit more time in the oven, you end up with delicious crispy kale chips!  They’re the perfect way to keep your hand out of that Lays bag!!

Kale Chips

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Ingredients:

1 bunch of kale, de-stemed and torn into bite sized pieces.

1 tbsp live olive oil

salt/pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl mix together the kale, olive oil and salt/pepper.  Lay the kale evenly on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the kale is just beginning to darken at the edges.

Source:  Giada’s Feel Good Food and Oh She Glows

Turkey, Kale, and Brown Rice Soup

I’ve been staying at the law school a bit later than usual, and a few days in a row I’ve driven home around five o’clock.  Each time, the sun was SO BRIGHT that pretty much everyone driving was blinded by the big ball of light.  It’s a wonder no one rammed into the car in front of them.  Visibility was that bad.

Are there any Greys fans here?  Well, it was released a few days ago to Isaiah Washington is returning to Greys Anatomy.  I actually dropped off watching this season, but the prospect of some of the original gang returning has be interested.  Greys creator Shonda Rhimes hinted that he’s returning to be a part of the big arc that Sandra Oh’s character (Cristina Yang) goes through before she leaves the show at the end of this season.  I’m sort of on the fence.  On the one side, it’ll be cool to see one of the original characters return.  But, the show’s gone on for seven seasons without him.  I don’t know, I’m conflicted!  Anyhoo, enough TV talk.  It’s time to talk soup!

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Namely, it’s time to talk turkey-kale-rice-soup.  This soup is amazing.  It has such a fun variety of ingredients, and comes together so quickly.  Like most soups, it gets better after it sits in the fridge for a while.  Which makes this the perfect thing to make for a few simple weeknight meals!

Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup

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Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

5 large shallots, chopped

3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

8 oz ground white turkey meat, broken into chunks

1 tbsp herbes de Provence

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes

1 cup cooked brown rice

4 cups packed kale

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat oil in a large soup pot.  Add the carrots, shallots and bell peppers, stirring frequently as they cook.  Sauté until they brown and soften slightly, 8-10 minutes.  Add the turkey and stir until it turns white and browns a bit, 5-7 minutes.  Add the herbs de Provence and stir for one minute.

Add the broth, can of tomatoes and cooked rice, and bring to a boil.  Stir in the kale, salt and then reduce to a simmer, covering the pot to cook for another 15 minutes or so.  Test the vegetables for doneness and then season with a bit more salt.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with freshly chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.

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Source:  Giada’s Feel Good Food

Texas Sheet Cake Cookies

I’ve always feared I would accidentally bake a strand of hair into a batch of cookies.  I try to put my hair up when I bake, but I have shorter layers and sometimes they won’t stay put.  Well, it happened.  And I was sitting right across from the person while he ate it.  I saw him take a bite and then show the guy next to him the cookie.  I figured he was just saying it was good, but then he looked at me and showed the strand of hair poking out of the cookie.

Mortified.  I was absolutely mortified.  I tried to make him take a different cookie, but he just shrugged nonchalantly and said, “It’s just hair.”  If that were me, I would have chucked the cookie across the room.  Thankfully, he wasn’t me.

Anyhoo, despite at least one (I hope only one…) cookie being marred by my hair, these really are delicious cookies!  As the name suggests, it’s basically cake in cookie-form.  It’s portable cake.  And that, my lovelies, is a beautiful thing.

They are also ridiculously easy to make.  The batter comes together in minutes and is really easy to handle when you’re measuring out your 1 tbsp clumps.  Then, after they bake and are cooled, you make this equally ridiculously easy icing that you literally just pour over everything.

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These cookies.  They’re so low maintenance.

Texas Sheet Cake Cookies

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Ingredients

For the cookies:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/3 cup flour

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

For the icing:

1/2 cup of butter

2 tbsp cocoa powder

3 tbsp milk

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Mix in the egg and vanilla, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently.  Mix in the salt and baking powder.  Slowly mix in the flour.

Using a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips in 30 second increments until melted.  Add to the dough and mix just until combined.

Drop tablespoon measured mounds of dough onto a prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 6-7 minutes, just until the edges are set and the tops no longer look wet.  It really important not to over bake these, so watch them carefully in that last minute.

Let cool on a wire rack.

Next, let’s make the icing.  In a medium sized sauce pan, melt the butter with the cocoa powder and milk.  Once melted, remove from heat and mix in the powdered sugar.  Pour over the cookies (either on a baking sheet or on the cooling rack with something beneath it), making sure they’re all coated.

Let the icing set and then remove the cookies to a container.

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Source:  Cookies and Cups

Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrp

I’ve always wanted to make a breakfast casserole.  Being just one person, though, I could never rationalize making something with such a large yield.  Unofficial seemed like the perfect answer to my breakfast-casserole-dreams!  A large group of friends gathered at my friend’s apartment and I brought this casserole.  While my friends pre-heated the oven WITH pans still in it and didn’t have potholders (you can probably guess they’re guys), it still ended up turning out well!

On the topic of Unofficial, I proved again that I am a sixty year old woman in a twenty-three year old’s body.  I ended up going home around 4:00, and could not have been happier.  For me, sometimes, the best part of going out is getting home.  Yeah, sure, dancing and socializing is fun, but do you know what’s even more fun?  Vegging on the couch with Netflix and some sort of food that you’ll regret the next day.

Yep.  I’m definitely an old lady.  But as long as I get to lay on my couch and eat this casserole, I really don’t care.

Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

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Ingredients

1 loaf of french bread

8 eggs

1 cup milk

2 cups half and half

2 tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

pinch of salt

Directions

Slice the bread into 20 1 inch slices.  Layer in a shallow 9×13 baking dish.  In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, half and half, sugar and spices until slightly frothy.  Pour over the bread slices, making sure all pieces are evenly covered in the egg-mixture.  Cover with tin foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake, uncovered, for about 40 minutes.  Serve with maple syrup.

Source:  Food Network

Friday Faves

I love Fridays.  So much.  Especially because today is Unofficial, and I have nothing to do but hang with my friends, drink green beer, and have so much fun that it should be illegal.  It’s going to be a good day!  Without further adieu, this week’s faves…

1.  Ellen ordering pizza at the Oscars

There was a lot to love about this year’s Oscars, but this part was my favorite.  First, the initial joke was hilarious.  And then she followed through with it!!!  I loved Brad Pitt passing out plates.  I loved Ellen walking around with Pharrell’s hat later to get money for it.  I loved it all.

2.  Lea Michele’s Louder album.

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You all might not know this about me, but I am the biggest Lea Michele fangirl.  I have loved her ever since I saw the very first episode of Glee, back when they aired one episode and then made us wait almost half a year for the rest of the season.  Well played, Fox.  Her album is delightful, and proves yet again how incredibly talented she is.

3.  Fat Tuesday

I can’t even tell you how many times on Tuesday I justified what I was eating by saying, “It’s Fat Tuesday, guys!”.  But, seriously, I ate so much.  And it was glorious. I wish every day was Fat Tuesday.

4.  York Peppermint Patty Minis

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Fun fact – I almost always have these stashed in my freezer.  I’d say that it’s a great way to quell my sweet tooth, but the number of wrappers strewn all around the apartment says otherwise.  When they’re that small two in the row is practically the same thing as only one, right?  Right.

What are you loving on this lovely Friday??