Shopping at Trader Joe’s is a dangerous game. You could be perusing the frozen foods section, looking for some fruit to improve your smoothie game when suddenly it catches your eye - the chocolate covered something that you’ve been trying to avoid but your willpower is simply not strong enough.

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Guys, I watched this movie on Netflix last night based on a YA novel and I absolutely loved. Don't you dare judge me - I have absolutely no shame in saying I'm a sucker for a good rom-com, especially a teen romcom. It's been a while since one of these graced our screens. I mean, What a Girl Wants? Chasing Liberty? The Princess Diaries? Those are some classics that I still enjoy even to this day! Who says an excellent movie has to be a pretentious foreign film with French subtitles and lots of weird artsy nudity? 

So maybe To All The Boys I Loved Before isn't going to win any Oscars (and a damn shame because Aiden Shaw  was flawless in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and is next-level genius in this one. But it was a heartwarming, relatable story with cute actors, a lovely set and some pretty fantastic editing. It's only fault was how poorly it portrayed winter, really. 

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So I think my 27th birthday was one of the best days of my life.

Last Friday marked my 27th turn around the sun, and I got to spend the day with some of the loveliest humans I know. I walked from Morningside Heights to Midtown East through Central Park and saw a man walking 10 dogs at once. I walked from Midtown East to Chelsea and saw so many tourists. Punctuating all of this walking was coffee with new coworkers, brunch with best friends and drinks with my partner. It was already pretty damn lovely.

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They say, when life gives you lemons; make lemonade. Well, dear idiom inventors, what do you do when life gives you pears? And not just a plastic grocery bag of pears - a huge brown bag of them every week for three weeks (thanks, CSA). Well, I say, when life gives you pears, you make some damn delicious pear scones.

Getting three pounds of scones wasn't exactly what I anticipated this season, but it seemed I couldn't eat them fast enough. And while pears are deliciously sweet on their own, there's only so many yogurt adornments, salad additions and snack time treats before you shout "no more!" Gliding past the whole poached pear thing, which was recommended to me by many a co-worker, I began to research ways I could turn pears into something more comforting. Fruit is great and all, but fall means hot cider, cozy sweaters, crunchy leaves and cinnamon baked goods. 

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The year before I moved to Tel Aviv, I spent a summer volunteering as a first-responder with Magen David Adom, the Israeli ambulance service. You might envision me delivering babies and reattaching limbs, but legally first-responders were allowed to take blood pressure and pulse and that's about. I did get to check the blood sugar of a man who had taken 8 Valium, though. My ambulance driver was pretty rebellious.

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When Rina and I first started this blog, one of our early debates was regarding the most superior potato style. I mean, what an an impossible question, right? Think of the wonderful forms potatoes take - crispy french fries, greasy hash browns, sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows, salty chips.

While I have yet to meet a potato I don't like, I find that versatility is key and lot of these potato styles (i.e. sweet potato casserole) don't really go with everything. Enter this recipe. I was playing around in the kitchen after getting a ginormous bag of potatoes in my weekly CSA (if you're not already a part of one and are looking for fresh, local produce, I highly recommend you look into a CSA. More info here). I needed a potato style that could last me many meals over multiple days. I also had some dried sage from a past CSA, so I quickly doctored up a new kind of roasted potato - a cross between home fries, roasted potato wedges and parmesan truffle fries (ish). 

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When I first moved to New York, I was terrified. 

I had never lived outside of Michigan, let alone in a city with ten million others. College was a fun and carefree place where messy kitchens were the norm and mismatched appliances expected. But this, this was real life. This was paying-rent-making-a-paycheck real life. 

My food processor arrived on a Saturday. I'd never had one before, so I was eager to use it. I scoured Pinterest for a dinner recipe, finally landing this pesto, burst-cherry tomato pasta dish from Cookie+Kate. Following Kate's straight-forward, thoughtful instructions, I made my first real New York City dinner.

It tasted like home. 

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I have a confession to make: I am not an herb person. I don't like most fresh herbs, most notably cilantro and dill - the latter results in shame, seeing as I am the only one in a family of six who detests it. Trust me, I wish I liked herbs! They're so beautiful, and can totally change a recipe with a small addition. I'm hoping this recipe is the beginning of my beautiful love story with herbs. This might not be the biggest leap, considering these biscuits have a small amount of thyme and a copious amount of butter, but hey, it's a step.

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My mom makes the best banana bread ever.

Growing up, it was one of her two dessert staples, her other being chocolate chip cookies (sometimes baked in the form of a cookie-cake) followed verbatim from the back of a bag of Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips. Even still, her back-of-the-bag cookies were so divine they never lasted more than a couple of days (especially when my brother’s friends came over). But her banana bread is something else.

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I'm a vegan doubter. There, I said it. I know it makes no sense for me to co-run a (mostly) vegan blog, but, before you give me that look, let me explain. My dessert motto has always been "it's not worth it if it's not real," which still reigns true when people try to convince me applesauce is a good substitute for sugar (sex with pants on, as Whole30 appropriately calls it). Living healthily doesn't mean depriving yourself of every sugar-filled good thing life has to offer. And let me be clear: these cinnamon rolls are by no means what I would call healthy. But, if you have a sensitive tummy, as many in my family do, having a dairy-free way to satisfy your sweet tooth means you're one step closer to food paradise. 

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