Monthly Archive: November 2011



November 2011



Feta Pepper Dip and a Happy Thanksgiving

Written by , Posted in Recipes

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year.  A 4-day weekend, friends, family, football, stuffing your face with a smorgasbord of delicious food…it doesn’t get much better.  This year we headed over to my mom’s in the suburbs for the feast…20 lbs of juicy turkey, stuffing, Greek stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, cranberry jello, buttery rolls, and pumpkin pie.  As if the main meal isn’t enough, we also had some delicious appetizers.  This year the big hit was the new Feta Cheese and Pepper dip recipe that my mom made and now I’ll share it with you!

Feta Cheese and Pepperoncini Dip

8 oz. crumbled feta cheese

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup mayo

1/2 cup chopped pepperoncini peppers

1/4 cup scallions

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1.  Blend feta and cream cheese

2.  Stir in mayo and fold in remaining ingredients

3.  Top with more scallions for garnish

4.  Serve with pita chips or crackers

Feta Pepper Dip on my Mom’s gorgeous plate from Mykonos

Feta Cheese Pepperoncini Dip with Pita Chips

The appetizer spread

20 lbs of delicious turkey

Bailey was enjoying the day as well



November 2011




Written by , Posted in Beauty


What is Birchbox you ask?  Well let me tell you my faithful blog readers…it is my latest and greatest find from Pinterest!  For those of you with a love of trying out fun new beauty products, you want to keep reading!


Way back when my obsession with Pinterest began, I stumbled upon Kate’s blog because there of tons of pins of her hairstyles all over the site and they are super cute-I even brought one of her pictures to my stylist when I chopped all my hair off!  Kate is now a permanent fixture in my Google Reader list and along with her awesome instructional videos on how to make your hair look as awesome as hers, she has some fun recipes and beauty finds thrown in there as well.  Enter Birchbox.


For $10 a month (shipping included!) you get a cute little box delivered to your door with samples of several great beauty products to try!  It’s my dream come true!  I know my blog has transformed itself into a sort of healthy eating/food blog but I do remember telling you in my very first post that I have a slight obsession with trying out new beauty products ( Sephora is a very bad place to let me loose in with a credit card).  So now, along with food and the trials and tribulations of my oh-so-interesting life, I give you the Monthly Birchbox Review!




I will admit, I wasn’t quite as impressed as I’d hoped with the items in my very first Birchbox but I’ve seen some of Kate’s and I know that there will be great things to come.  Here is what I got this month:


Kate Spade Twirl perfume:  Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a big wearer of perfume anymore because it can sometimes make me a little nauseous.  However, this Kate Spade scent was very light and I’ve been wearing it every day since I got my box.  Would I buy an entire bottle of it?  Probably not, but it is a very pretty scent that I will enjoy wearing until my sample runs out.


Zoya nail color in “Noel”:  A fun gunmetal-ish color that will be great for winter.


Thymes Eucalyptus Body Lotion:  A great feeling lotion, not greasy and fast absorbing.  The Eucalyptus scent was nice but a little on the masculine side of the scent spectrum.


Mini packet of Thymes Kimono Rose:  Same exact lotion in a different scent, I liked this one wayyy better to wear on a daily basis.  If you’re not a big fan of a rose scent, don’t worry this is very, very subtle.


Jouer Lip Enhancer:  I’m not sure exactly how much enhancing it does but it’s a decent lip conditioner and it adds a little shine.


Alex & Isabelle Classic Hair Tie:  At first I thought this was some kind of bow for the packaging but lo and behold, it’s a hair tie!  Not exactly my style but they do come in cute colors.



If I’ve convinced you to try out Birchbox, you can use this link and I’ll get points when you sign up 🙂








November 2011



Chicago Bears Oreo Truffles

Written by , Posted in Recipes

It is football season.  Which means that any recipe I make will likely have a little spin on to it to show some love to my Chicago Bears.  I am a die hard Bears fan.  My parents had season tickets passed down to them in the late 70’s and since I was a little girl I’ve been heading to Soldier Field on Sundays to cheer on the Bears, even those years when they weren’t so great.  These days, since my brother lives in NYC and my mom is not a big fan of going to games in the freezing cold, I am the lucky one who gets the tickets…yea, lucky girl 🙂  Mike has benefitted from this and is on the verge of becoming a true Bears fan…slowly but surely I will convert him!  For the last couple years we’ve brought my mom along to tailgating and the games and I think she’s starting to remember how AWESOME and fun the games can be….maybe in the next few years we’ll get 4 tickets, a girl can dream right?

For those of you who have never been to a Bears tailgate, you have no idea what you are missing.  Those years when the Bears really suck…the tailgating makes it all worth it.  We’ve toughed it out through monsoon rains and blizzards, the elements can’t stop us from having a great time!  The people, the food, and the overall craziness make the Bears tailgates the best party you’ve ever been to in a parking lot!  This weekend we play the Detroit Lions and it is a HUGE game…so of course, I have to bring some extra Bears spirit…in the form of Oreo Truffles!

Oreo Truffles

1 package Oreo cookies

1 package (8 oz.) softened cream cheese

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (you can play around with the extract to add different flavors to your Oreo balls, like Mint!)

Chocolate and White Chocolate Almond Bark

Food coloring, if desired


Almond Bark

Using a food processor, grind cookies to a fine powder.  Add in the softened cream cheese and vanilla extract and mix until there is no white traces of cream cheese.  I do this step all in the food processor, less messy bowls.  If you don’t want to use your food processor for mixing in the cream cheese, just transfer the cookie powder to another bowl with the cream cheese and use a mixer to blend together.

Refrigerate mixture for at least an hour, overnight is preferred.  The longer you can refrigerate the mixture, the easier it will be to roll it into balls.  When the mixture isn’t cool enough it gets sticky and difficult to roll.

Truffle Filling

Roll into small balls and place on wax-lined cookie sheet.  Refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Line cookie sheets with wax paper.  In a double boiler, melt chocolate almond bark.  Dip balls and coat thoroughly. My mom and I found that using a large, 2-prong fork has worked best to get the balls out of the chocolate and onto the wax paper.  It takes a few tries to get it right, so don’t expect your first few balls to look very pretty-unless you’re just that awesome.  Place the coated balls on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.

Melted Chocolate

After covering the balls in chocolate, let cool on wax paper

Once the chocolate hardens, cut off any excess chocolate around the bottoms of the balls with a knife.  If you just crack it off you risk taking more chocolate than you wanted and leave the inner mixture exposed-its just not that pretty looking

In separate double boiler, melt white almond bark.  If you don’t have 2 double boilers, just wait until you’re done with the chocolate and reuse for the white chocolate.

Add in food coloring, if desired.  Once I added the food coloring the almond bark thickened up so I had to add just a little water to loosen it up again.

Blue dyed vanilla almond bark

Using a fork, drizzle melted almond bark over balls.  Let cool.

The finished product



Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

We tripled the recipe and made about 100 balls.  It all depends on how big you roll them, ours ended up kind of medium sized.

These can also be kept in the freezer for quite some time.  They make a yummy frozen treat after dinner or a quick dessert when you have unexpected guests…my mom still has some left over balls in her freezer from last Christmas and guess what-still good!

I plan to make these for our Christmas party this year…but with red and green drizzle!  Enjoy!

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