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I've been in charge of desserts for both families the past couple of years and this year I ended up going with Smitten Kitchen's Pumpkin Pie (made my first pie crust from scratch!), this Low-carb Pumpkin Cheesecake (because even if you have dietary restrictions you should still be able to enjoy dessert) and this Double Layer Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake from Carlsbad Cravings. Everything was a hit!
Last weekend we went to the final home Badger football game of the season against the Minnesota Gophers. I was really excited to go not just because the Gophers are our biggest rivals and the winner takes home the coveted trophy that is Paul Bunyan's Axe, but there was also a great epilepsy awareness campaign that an organization I used to intern with, Lily's Fund, had put together. In case you were wondering, we got to keep the axe and had a beautiful purple sunset to boot!
I've been chugging away with the wedding planning lately. We sent out our save-the-dates a couple of weeks ago, have our ceremony site officially reserved and have our flowers in the works with a non-traditional florist. Last weekend we took advantage of some Black Friday sales to get some odds and ends from The Knot Shop and bridesmaid dresses ordered from Weddington Way. Only seven months to go!
I'd like you all to meet our newest roommate, Ruger! He's my oldest sister's dog and will be temporarily living with us for the next few months. I'm thinking I might have to whip up some homemade treats for him, like the apple cheddar pupcakes that Brittany has made for Bear.
One of my favorite new cookbooks is The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka. Gina's blog Skinnytaste has been one of my favorites pretty much since I discovered food blogs a few years ago. She makes lightened up versions of a wide variety of foods from different cultures and for every occasion. I've never come across a recipe on it that disappoints so I knew that her first cookbook would be a must-have.
One of my favorite things about the cookbook is that every recipe has the nutritional information printed right on the page so it's nice and easy to find and there's no guessing as to whether the recipe is in fact healthy or not. If you're a reader of her blog, one thing you will definitely notice is that she does not provide Weight Watchers points for the recipes in the book. Since that is one of the features that I think really helped her blog grow it would have been nice to have it in the cookbook as well but I can only assume there were legal issues associated with that.
Throughout the book almost every recipe has a tip or "skinny scoop" that accompanies it as well as many food facts that really help you to learn about what you're putting in your body. There is also a set of icons used throughout the book on both the recipe page and the recipe index at the beginning of the chapter which is one of my favorite features because it makes it really easy to identify some of my favorite types of recipes quickly. The "slow cooker" and "quick" labels appeal to me the most, but there's also "vegetarian", "gluten-free" and "freezer-friendly".
Just like the Skinnytaste blog, I haven't come across a recipe yet that we haven't enjoyed. Recently we've enjoyed the Greek Chickpea Salad and the Slow-Cooker Santa Fe Chicken. Some recipes are cross-overs from the blog, but they are some of the most popular so you can't really blame her for including them in the book. This cookbook would make a great gift this holiday season and the pictures are sure to leave the recipient's mouth watering.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own, honest truth!