Read & Friday links.

Would you rather... horrible.

My book club finished The Lowland recently, so we decided to meet at an Indian restaurant to discuss. We went to Cumin and it was so good. I forgot how yummy Indian food is. (Next up on our list is Americanah.)

Do you wrap your presents this way?

I love book lists.

Headed home tonight for my friend Julia's wedding AND I get to see Callie!!!

Happy weekend!



Read & life lately.

A random assortment of life lately...

We had a fun little Sunday... after lunch at Piece with some friends, we headed to our patio to make a fire, sit outside with a glass (or two) of wine and listen to 1989 on repeat.

I just started Serial and am officially addicted. If you haven't listened to the podcast, I highly highly recommend.

SPOILER ALERT FOR HOMELAND: Pete and I watched Sunday's episode of Homeland on Tuesday night. WOW. I could not believe how many people were killed off (Fara!) but really like the direction the show is going... Brody who??

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...!



Read & Friday links.

Everything Bagel pasta. (River Road anyone?)

Are you KIDDING me, Blake? She's the most amaze pregnant woman. Ever.

I wish this dress wasn't $548.

Chicago Children's Charities Holly Ball is tomorrow night! One of my favorite nights of the year!!

Pete and I decorated our little baby tree on Wednesday night (after I hit up BrewLights at the Zoo with some friends!) and made Ina's truffle pasta as a special treat. I love Christmastime!

{Dinner on our Christmas china!}

Happy holiday weekend!



Read & a recipe.

One of my favorite things to make for a party is something on a little toast or baguette (Ina's whipped feta is an obvious favorite). Toasts are perfect for parties since they are easy to pick up and eat and look good when arranged on a fun platter. :)

On Saturday I decided to try Smitten Kitchen's french onion toasts (from her cookbook). I honestly can't comment on them since I literally did not even have a bite at the party (crazy!) but my friends said they loved them. Ha!

{4 yellow onions, chopped.}

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with olive oil in a pan and add onions. Cover for about 15-20 minutes until the onions are soft. Stir in a little salt and a pinch of sugar and continue cooking another 15 minutes, uncovered. Then add a cup of broth to the onions and cook for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

{Gruyere cheese.}

{About two cups, shredded.}

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Assemble the toasts by putting a spoonful of the onion mixture on the bread, followed by a heap of the shredded Gruyere.

{Cook for 15 minutes until cheese bubbles.}


I also whipped up two batches of cumin chili (made one a little spicier) and had them simmering on the stove for the party.

Party success!



Read & a recipe.

Saturday was one of those parties where I was chatting so much that I didn't even eat (the same thing happened to Pete)! Good thing I snuck a few bites of the pumpkin chocolate chunk cookies (recipe here) and the spiced pecans (here) while I was cooking...!

{I've made these once before - when my sister Whit came to visit - super easy recipe.}

{I decided to add a little sea salt to some of the cookies. Love a little sweet/salty mix.}

OMG the pecans were bomb. I am definitely going to make these to bring home for Thanksgiving and maybe bring a batch to Pete's family's Christmas!

{Toasted the nuts in my cast iron skillet for about 5 minutes.}

{Added the butter, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and brown sugar (decided I didn't want to include the orange peel) for another few minutes.}

{Let the nuts cool completely before transferring to serving bowls.}




Read & a fall party.

On Saturday we invited our friends over to celebrate the fall season. Though it was way more like winter out there, we had such a blast - good food, drinks, friends and cheer.

{The spread: meat (from our favorite place, Bari) and cheese plate, french onion toasts via my Smitten Kitchen cookbook and pumpkin chocolate chunk cookies.}

{This guy is amazing. Though people didn't really hang outside, it did make the party feel a little more festive!}

{Spiced pecans - recipe coming soon!}

{Fire master Pete!}


{Gotta love a good selfie. I wore my new favorite boots with the softest Zara sweater.}

Stay tuned for recipes!



Read & Friday links.

Something about fall makes me want to bake - yum and yum.

Interesting fun fact about why it's always 9:41 in iPhone ads.

Loving these navy suede loafers.

As we all know, I love Taylor. She looks amaze here, and check out her singing at age 12!

We're having a little fall (or maybe we should call it winter?) get together this weekend - can't wait to share some snaps (and recipes!) here next week.

Happy weekend!

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