Lately

Hello Beautiful!
T.G.I.F
Can I get an ‘Amen? What a week. I have noticed a trend among my fellow friends and community and it seems like this has been a long and tiring week. BUT we made it and now we can take the weekend to recharge the batteries.

I plan to recharge mine tonight with a night in on my couch, some warm tea and a movie. Tomorrow we are going to spend some time with friends carving pumpkins and enjoying fall festivities. I feel like Mikey and I are constantly saying that we are going to slow down in the fall and I honestly think (and hope) that this is the start of the slow down. Let the healthy diet and exercise really start (fingers crossed) and spend more time relaxing and less time traveling and socializing.

I am excited for more time to bake and cook! I feel like it has been a year since I spent an entire day baking and cooking and I can’t wait to spend some time with my giant stack of new recipes!

No matter if fall is your busy season or if you too feel like you are slowing down now after a whirlwind summer, make sure that you find time to reflect on the season that passed. Good and bad, be thankful for the change that comes with each season as a sort of new beginning. Time to start a new hobby, mend an old friendship or create new relationships. Maybe you form a new routine, like going to get donuts and coffee every Saturday or reading 1 chapter of that book everyone has been reading. Whatever it is, make time for it. Make time for family, friends and always, always, make a little time to treat yo’self.

Like, especially treat yourself to donuts. Preferably like the picture below, drizzled with chocolate and STUFFED with peanut butter.

65ccc2ed4134e9f475e7fea270788bc8

I love hats. I have a few hats (Mikey has way more) in my collection and I always wish that I wore them more. Now that I’m a yoga teacher I rock the sweaty bun most days, but often a hat is needed to cover up the mess of hair that appears after the sweaty hi-bun. I love the whole street style look with an edgy hat. So cute.

e58d7310930ddc66a15f97e4557b7c21

Warm drink season is here. I have not had it, but hear that Hot Buttered Rum is the best treat in the world. I’m going to make some tomorrow and I can’t wait. A drink that includes butter seems like a genius idea.

0766f0df9ebc76e32eb144acced71678

From afar this looks like a waffle. But really, it’s a Spaghetti Squash Fritter with Dill Yogurt Sauce. Yeah. Sounds great, right? Also healthy. Squash season is the best. I loveeeeeee to cook in the fall.  My favorite thing is to load up on seasonal fruits and veggies and mix them all together in new and exciting ways. You better believe I’m going to dig out my waffle iron and give these babies a go!

d308d030e6074d5dd73df0bd435cb1d2

I’m typically drawn to all white everything when it comes to living spaces. BUT, I also love the contrast of super dark everything as well. I love this boho inspired room with the bright pops of color. It’s so unexpected and cool. I just want to become this homeowners friend so they invite me over for super fancy pizza and PBR. Then the neighbor from down the hall would come and play his guitar and it would get weird, but still feel cool because of the decor…(I think I watch too much tv).  ff75b9cd44a9307656d4511126688763

Kale & Broccoli Detox Salad

I think a detox salad is in order.

After finishing my 3 day juice cleanse last week I did really well until the weekend came and then I fell off the wagon. 
DSC_0004

I was up at my parents house in WI, what do you expect?! I needed to eat cheese curds, beef sticks and drink delicious beer. It’s what you do there.

After having an awesome weekend I am back on track to some healthy foods from the earth. Simple to prep and so tasty and satisfying. This salad will honestly boost your energy levels. You will feel super energized and like you are ready to carpe freakin’ diem!

You can always sub out any veggies or nuts/dressing ingredients that you don’t like. I love to add tahini do my dressing as well for a bit more of a nutty flavor.

Check out Norman in the picture below (and also at the very bottom). He is ALWAYS trying to photo bomb my pictures. I typically stand on a chair/couch/table on one foot using the other foot to try and block him from deep-diving into my food. I literally don’t know how else to teach a cat to stay off the table and counter. I yell, chase, spray, smack and make every single other sound and motion humanly possible to try and scare him and he just stares at me like I’m a crazy person (he’s not wrong).

But, he is my fur baby and at times I will give him a scrap or two (unlike Mikey who thinks that everything he eats needs to be shared with Norm).

I follow my Mother-In-Laws suggestion and try to get as many colors on my plate and into my diet every day. This salad is no slouch and has so many colors and nutrients to leave you feeling healthy and ready to take whatever the world wants to toss your way!

Hope you’re all doing amazingly well. Sorry the Lately post’s have been M.I.A as of late. I teach a yoga class Friday mornings now so my routine is a little different and I am still getting in to the swing of things. I promise to try my hardest to keep those babies comin ‘attcha as often as I can! Happy hump day and, oh yeah, GO CUBS GO!!!!!

DSC_0033
DSC_0005

Continue reading

Classic New York Style Cheesecake (With Mixed Berry Sauce)

I made this masterpiece for Mikey’s birthday. 
DSC_0081

OK, so maybe it’s not a masterpiece to you…but to me it was!

It was his only request and I’ll be honest, I was nervous.
I’ve only ever made mini-cheesecakes and was very intimidated by the 3 plus pounds of cream cheese that were going into this sucker.

Thankfully it went off without a hitch and there were NO CRACKS!!! Sadly, this cake was served at night with poor lighting and I don’t have a picture (that is quality enough) to show you. But trust me, it was crack free!

This is the BEST cheesecake I’ve had. It is super light and fluffy but at the same time so rich and decadent. The mixed berry sauce helps cut through that rich, creamy cheese and the slightly salty crust is the final touch. I would probably double the crust next time and press it halfway up the sides of the pan (because I’m obsessed with graham cracker crust) but you do you!

DSC_0100

I saw somewhere that it’s national dessert day! HAPPY NATIONAL DESSERT DAY!!

I’m doing a juice cleanse…so editing this post and looking at these pictures and thinking about dessert is NEARLY KILLING ME. But, I’m on the last day (day 3) and I am glad to say I’m almost through. I can’t wait to chew something!

Mikey had a great birthday. We sang and ate cheesecake and watched the Cubs bring home a win. It was a great day celebrating my favorite human and the fact that he loved the dessert was all I needed 🙂

Hope you’re enjoying this day, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE eat some dessert for me!!!! DSC_0097
DSC_0063DSC_0066DSC_0054

The cheese stands alone.
Literally. It can be eaten plain. It’s soooo good.

DSC_0037 Continue reading

Glazed Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies

There is a gloom that has fallen on Chicago. The sun refuses to shine and there is a haze that sticks heavy on everything.

Baking saves me when the gloom takes over. It brings the sunshine in and I forget that the warm days of summer are gone and the days of hibernation are looming.

I recommend you grab the ingredients for these cookies and make them asap. I brought a bunch of them to my yoga studio and they were gone within the hour. They are fluffy and sweet with a spicy chai flavor from the pumpkin pie spice. They are just slightly pumpkin flavored and the perfect treat for fall! They have vegetables in them so they count as at least one serving of veggies!


DSC_0068

Tomorrow is an exciting day for the Evon family. My favorite human is entering into the last year of his twenties. How is it possible that I have known him for a decade? Someone please explain the speed at which life goes by?!

Tomorrow is also an incredible day because Mikey gets to spend his birthday watching the Cubs play a very important game…I won’t say any more about that because I get too nervous.

Needless to say I’m going to spend the night making a cheesecake for him. It was his request. ACTUALLY the specific request was to “Make a cheesecake like the one your Mom makes”. So, props to you, Donna (I know you’re reading this). Thanks for:
A. making the best desserts
B. texting me all morning with answers to my questions
C. being “on call” with all the questions I (and everyone you know) always have about baking
OH, and also,
D. for teaching me everything i know 😉

So, as I feel all sentimental about all the things tomorrow, I’m also going to go and eat 12 of these cookies so I can get my daily vegetable intake as well as eat my feelings on this gloomy day.
DSC_0051DSC_0046DSC_0049DSC_0041DSC_0067
DSC_0070

Continue reading

Vanilla Layer Cake with Raspberries and Mascarpone Frosting

This is THE cake of your dreams. I promise.

I never want to make and then consume another cake or frosting ever again. This cake is too good. I saw a cake like this and loved how pretty it was but couldn’t find a recipe that I liked. I looked for months. Then finally, I found it. With a few little tweaks I’ve found what is the best white cake/frosting combo of all time. You choose the fruit/filling of your choice and I promise you dreams will come true.

DSC_0086DSC_0106

The older I get the more I like fruit with my dessert (I literally remember being so annoyed when all the old church ladies would bring lemon bars and fruit desserts to all the potlucks and now I’m starting to get it. Plus there’s the diabetes I guess…). Don’t get me wrong, fruit certainly isn’t a necessity in my desserts. I literally just sat on the couch and ate an entire sleeve of graham crackers dipped in Nutella while binge watching Netflix. Damn you Netflix for nurturing my bad habits. Fruit desserts just seem to be creeping their way higher and higher on my list (but it’s fruit which means it’s healthy).

I just had a terrifying realization…I was about to reminisce about how it’s totally cool to devour garbage foods while binge watching Netflix because winter is on the way and that means I can hide myself under sweaters and baggy clothes…wrong!! I have to wear yoga clothes and be an example of health…what have I done!?

JK…(for the most part).  Yoga is the greatest thing ever and it actually helps me eat way healthier when I know I am headed to class or to teach! But even yoga isn’t going to stop me from eating all the cake at all times of the morning, day and night!

Aren’t you obsessed with these pictures. The raspberries look sooooooo pretty. And seriously this cake tastes even better than it looks!

DSC_0107

And then you slice into it…and it is filled with even more beauty. More raspberries and MORE frosting. This frosting is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good. I ate that on graham crackers too…and then I ran out of grahams so I just switched over to regular crackers. I HAVE A PROBLEM.

You could also mush up the raspberries for the middle/filling of the cake if you wanted more raspberry in every bite. You could also just do a layer of jam or a homemade sauce throughout this layer (or chocolate/caramel)…the list goes on and on!

Whether you’re looking for a cake for a party or celebration or just feel like making a cake for no reason (that’s what I did), I recommend you try this recipe as soon as possible. It’s delicious! And no one has to know if you eat the entire thing on the couch while binge watching Netflix. I promise you won’t be the first….

DSC_0209

DSC_0212 DSC_0216 DSC_0094 DSC_0232

Continue reading