Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

Alright friends, the countdown is on- A mere 1 1/2 days until Thanksgiving!

Despite the fact that it’ll just be Tall Guy and I celebrating in my teeeeensy tiny apartment, I am, of course, making a full feast.


As is tradition, Thanksgiving day pre-meal is all about trying to eat as little as possible, aka snacking on cranberry bread & cream cheese. In keeping with that, I’ll be making my mom’s cranberry bread.


Tall Guy was in charge of the turkey this year, which we both decided had to be cooked somewhere other than my tiny oven. So he’s getting turkey from the restaurant where he works, Paris Bistro, and I’m in charge of pretty much everything else!

I’m all about the traditional Thanksgiving dishes. You know the ones- sweet potato casserole (I’m team-mini marshmallows!), green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce (from a can!)… And Tall Guy loves corn. Like, LOVES corn. I never remember corn being a huge part of my Thanksgiving meal, but I make exceptions for Tall Guy just because he’s so darn cute.

But what specific recipes am I making? I thought you’d never ask!

Believe it or not I don’t think I’ve ever had a sweet potato casserole with pecans, so I’m making this recipe, which has pecans AND marshmallows.

I’m going out on a limb and making green bean casserole from SCRATCH this year! And it’s all Sally’s fault!

My mom taught me how to make mashed potatoes. You can find her recipe over on a recipe round-up I did for Broke Girls Go Out a couple years ago.

I bought the Pepperidge Farm cubed stuffing bag mix. It calls for onion and celery (which a lot of the bag mixes do), but I’m leaving out the celery because we’re not huge fans of it. Instead, I’m going to add in cranberries, pecans and apples.

And now everyone’s favorite part- dessert! Is it any surprise I couldn’t resist making more than 1 dish?

For my token pumpkin dish, I’ll be making a version of these pumpkin cream cheese trifles.

In addition to that, and because Thanksgiving is nothing without pie, I’m making this sour cream apple pie. What? Yes, SOUR CREAM in a pie. Since we all know I’ll use anything as an excuse to eat sour cream, this pie has my name written all over it.

If you’re looking for other dessert recipes, check out some I’ve made in the past:
Bourbon Apple Oatmeal Pie – This pie turned me on to apple pies with crumble topping instead of crust on top- a lot easier and so delicious!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles – These are a great addition to any dessert spread, and oh so addictive!
Pumpkin Cream Pie – This is my go-to Thanksgiving pie recipe. It’s so simple, doesn’t require any oven space and can be done the night before.

And I HIGHLY recommend checking out Sally’s Baking Addiction Thanksgiving recipe roundup. All of her recipes are amazing and as a bonus she has make-ahead tips for them! If I could make them all, I totally would!

What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? What are you making this year? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great holiday and HAPPY THANKSGIVING! x


4th of July American Flag Fruit Platter

I posted a few simple 4th of July themed dish ideas on Broke Girls Go Out last week and decided to make one of the dishes on the list for my holiday celebration. Sometimes themed dishes can get so complicated, but this dish only has a few ingredients and came together in minutes. Plus, it looked great and got a ton of compliments from guests at the party I brought it to.


American Flag Fruit Platter (recipe originally found here via Pinterest)

1 pint blueberries, washed and dried
1 quart strawberries, washed and dried
1 box yogurt covered pretzels
Small square container, preferably white
Wax paper
Cookie pan or rectangular cake dish

1. Line dish with wax paper.
2. Put blueberries in square container and set in upper left corner of dish.
3. Cut stems off of strawberries. Cut strawberries in half, if desired.
4. Put strawberries in a row at the top of the dish. Follow with a row of pretzels and repeat until the dish is filled. If you have extra of either item and you’re using a deeper dish, you can double the layers of each row to fill the dish.
5. Serve with a fruit dip, if desired, or serve as is.

I served this dish with a brown sugar and sour cream fruit dip and put toothpicks on the side. This was such a crowd pleaser! And it’s healthy, so feel free to eat the whole thing!

Did you make a themed dish for the holiday? Tell me the recipe in the comments!

Memorial Day Weekend in Philly

Growing up, Memorial Day weekend never seemed like that big of a thing to me. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I grew up in a place that was a vacation destination (why go on a long weekend beach vacation when you live 10 minutes from the beach already?), but whatever the reason, we never seemed to go anywhere and I can’t particularly remember my friends going anywhere either. So when I came to Philly and suddenly everyone took off over MDW, I was kind of surprised. I mean, I get it- it’s the kick off of the Summer and everyone wants to go to the beach, naturally. In college, a day off from classes meant another day to work at my part-time job and, unfortunately, even though I now work a 9 to 5, I still haven’t managed to go anywhere for MDW.

Don’t feel too bad for me, though! I had a great time this past MDW. I spent my days lounging in the sun in my backyard and nights barbecuing with Tall Guy. Not a bad way to spend the weekend, if you ask me.

I hope you all had a relaxing and BBQ-filled Memorial Day weekend. Let me know how you celebrated in the comments!

Someone Has to Say It…

I hate Valentine’s Day.

I’ll say it again. I HATE Valentine’s Day. Not because I’m bitter or heartbroken or even single. I just can’t get behind a holiday that comes with so much pressure. Sure sure, every holiday comes with some pressure to have a good time, but there are definitely some that come with more pressure than others. Think New Years and your birthday. Which I also don’t love… Are you starting to see a pattern here?

Valentine’s Day is the worst of all the “pressure” holidays because no one ends up happy. You’re sad if you’re single because you want to be in a relationship and if you’re in a relationship, you’re sad because you wanted to have the most romantic, perfect date and it most likely doesn’t turn out as such. Nobody wins. Everyone feels pressured to do the perfect thing or buy the perfect gift. Honestly, does that sound like a good time to you?

I also think that Valentine’s Day sends the wrong message entirely. Shouldn’t you be doing nice things for your special someone more often than once a year? Is getting flowers really that romantic when everyone else is getting them at the same exact time because apparently the only way to a woman’s heart on Valentine’s Day is by sending her flowers at the office? (Note: I actually would love to get flowers sent to my office any time, Valentine’s or not, because I LOVE having flowers at my desk and am too broke to afford to buy them for myself. Roses are my favorite… Edible arrangements will also be accepted… hint hint TG) Am I completely contradicting myself here?… Maybe… Oops.

I think the only way to actually have a stress-free good time on Valentine’s Day is to keep it casual, with as little pressure to do the most romantic thing as possible. If you’re single, get together with some friends for champagne and dessert or have a girls night and watch Rom Coms with fun themed food. If there’s one thing I can get down with on Valentine’s Day, it’s themed food. If you’re in a relationship, try keeping it low key. My roommate and her ex always used to order a pizza and watch a movie. How simple and fun is that?!

So what am I doing this Valentine’s Day, might you ask? Originally it was supposed to be a surprise, but something that Tall Guy assured me was not a typical Valentine’s Day date at all. Unfortunately, Tall Guy fell and broke his knee cap a couple of days ago and he’s not exactly mobile right now. AKA he’s basically bedridden. The poor guy. So we’ll be celebrating on Sunday, when he’ll (hopefully) be able to get around a bit better. Kind of funny, given that neither of us like this holiday. I told him that we should start a tradition of doing very un-Valentine things on Valentine’s Day and this year fits right in, since we’re not even hanging out together! He wasn’t super amused. I blame the broken knee.

I imagine his fall looked something like this…

Instead of my mystery date with Tall Guy, I’m going to meet a couple friends for happy hour at Jose Pistola’s, my new favorite Mexican bar in Center City. Seriously, it’s so delicious. Is it 6 o’clock yet? After that, one of my friends has a date with her boyfriend, wine and House of Cards Season 2, but my other friend and I are going to go wherever the night takes us… I’m actually really looking forward to my Valentine’s Day plans for once.

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?

Holiday Hiatus

As you may have guessed, the lack of posts the past week was due to my week-long holiday vacation at home. My boyfriend, who shall be referred to solely as “Tall Guy” going forward, and I got back to Philly on Saturday night and were perfectly happy doing nothing yesterday since we were so tired from our trip! Going home for the holidays is always really fun, but it’s also SUPER exhausting. On top of the holiday hubbub, it was Tall Guy’s first time meeting my family (yikes!) and seeing my neck of the woods, and only his second time in Boston, so we had a lot of bases to cover in a short amount of time. Hence the aforementioned exhaustion.

Not pictured: Tree trimming, parking at South Shore Plaza the weekend before Christmas, Amtrak station at 7:30 am the Monday before Christmas, breakfast at the Mug, a pottery shop sale, Tall Guy running on 2 hours of sleep, Christmas Eve Yankee Swap hot-ticket item Dirty Water rum tasting like grain alcohol, driving around looking at Christmas lights late Christmas Eve, looking at luminary-lined streets in Tinkertown with the car headlights off, snow falling exactly as the clock struck 12 on Christmas, the 2+ hours it took us to open presents on Christmas morning, watching A Christmas Story all day but still not seeing the movie in its entirety, tearing the basement apart in search of a lost TV remote, our hilarious Sam Adams tour guide Grace, playing Think While You Drink for 3 hours, tequila shots, a snowy owl sighting and flight delays.

I hope your holiday was as fun-filled as mine! x

A Martha Stewart Holiday Party… on a Broke Girl Budget

Holiday parties take a lot of effort, you guys! Don’t let the holiday season stress you out! (On a side note, I’m a complete Martha Stewart wannabe. Help.)

Broke Girls Go Out

October 27, 2012, approximately 2:00 pm eastern standard time: Heather and I are on a mission to finish errands that have us trekking all over Philadelphia, over-decorate our apartment, make themed food and look presentable by the time our guests arrive at 10 pm. That’s right, we were throwing a Halloween party and had left everything until the last minute. The party and decorations turned out great, but we swore to never again procrastinate our party prep.

We were able to keep that promise to ourselves when we threw an ugly sweater party this past weekend.

Helpful tips to keep your party planning and spending under control

– Give yourself time to decorate, and don’t forget to re-use last year’s decorations. We’re chronic procrastinators, so we made it a point to plan out when we were going to decorate, and had the whole apartment decorated a week in advance. Take…

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A Few of My Favorite Things (Part 4)

I have a crystal clear memory of one Christmas morning when I was very young. I walked out of my bedroom and immediately spotted a present at the end of the hallway. When I turned the corner into the living room, I could see that we had so many presents under our Christmas tree that the present at the end of the hallway was not, in fact, forgotten by Santa, but placed there because he ran out of room everywhere else! We had an unbelievable amount of presents to open that year and it felt like it took us the entire day to get through everything!

Being older and wiser, I now know that there probably were not millions of presents for us to open and it most likely didn’t take all day, but I’ll never forget the way I felt when I walked out and saw all those presents that morning. It was, for lack of a better word, magical.

Christmas never feels as magical as it does when you’re a kid, but I still cannot wait to go home for the holidays every year. Christmas isn’t just about gifts, it’s about family and traditions and trees! And food. Lots of food.

I leave Philly for Boston this Friday night and I could not be more excited. I love everything about spending the holidays at home.

I love our Christmas decorations and the fact that we have a working fireplace that gets used fairly often.
I love my mom’s cooking and brunch on Christmas morning.
I love decorating the tree and re-discovering all of my favorite ornaments every year.

dad and tree

I wasn’t home for last year’s tree buying, so I had to give my text message approval.

I love that our tree topper is a starfish that my parents got when they lived in Aruba way back when.
I love the party we go to on Christmas Eve at my dad’s cousin’s house in Rhode Island.
I love that we always drive around to look at Christmas lights on our way home from that party.
I love the fact that I still wake up first on Christmas morning.
I love that we always open our stockings first and that my mom always puts an orange in the foot of them.
I love hosting a party at our house on Christmas night.
I love that my brother, sister and I take a picture together at our party every year.

Lastly, I love knowing that even though times may change, our Christmas plans are pretty much a constant. We do the same thing, more or less, every year, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy holidays! From my family, to yours. x

DIY Holiday Gift Roundup

I’m mostly done with my Christmas shopping! All I have to do now is make a bunch of DIY gifts!

Broke Girls Go Out

We here at BGGO are allllll about the DIY gifts. Why? Because it’s 92,382,584 times cheaper to make a gift than to buy something for everyone on your list. (Yes, that number is exact.)

I know I’ll be making about 10 gifts this year alone. Needless to say, there’s a lot of crafting going on in my apartment these days. Unfortunately, some people who are getting said homemade gifts read this blog, so I can’t tell you what I’m making specifically, but I have compiled a list of some really cute DIY gifts that I’ve seen this year.

Head over to our Pinterest page for more DIY gift ideas!

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Broke Girls Want Gifts

Christmas season, among other things, means gift giving and gift getting! What are you hoping for this year?

Broke Girls Go Out

Does it seem like December is already flying by to you, too? I can’t believe we’re already almost a week in and that Christmas is less than 20 days away! I had a mini panic attack at the beginning of this week when I suddenly realized that I hadn’t even started thinking about gifts for anyone yet. Yikes!

Speaking of gifts… Do you still make a Christmas wish list? Until last year, I hadn’t made one in a long time. With finances being tighter than they used to be, my family made the executive decision to start making Christmas lists again. I have to say, I love making gift wish lists. It gives me a chance to sit down and think about the things that I really want, and helps me root out some things on my list that I’m not really dying to have (looking at you, paper slicer)…

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A Thanksgiving Success

My first time hosting Thanksgiving was a success! It was a lot of work, but I’m really happy with the way everything turned out! My boyfriend and I were absolutely exhausted the next day, but it was totally worth it. See for yourself below!

A HUGE thanks to my friend Abe El, who took a good majority of the pictures in the gallery! You can check out more of his work here.