November 24, 2015

happy (almost) thanksgiving!

image via Cup of Jo

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Are you traveling or staying home? Allen is headed off to the east coast to his family, while I stay in town to spend the holiday with mine. Natalie is also staying close to home (and the hospital!) while she waits out baby Howes’s impending arrival with family in Portland.

In keeping with tradition from last year, we are sharing some fun alternatives to classic Thanksgiving recipes. What are you looking forward to eating on Thursday? Will you be celebrating turkey day with a traditional feast, or something totally different? (Like our friend Michelle’s Asian-style Thanksgiving tradition – love this idea!)

INSTEAD OF: Green Salad

TRY THIS: Kale Salad with Pomegranate and Pepita

This salad showed up in my Instagram feed the other day, and I’m dying to try it. The garlicky-acidic dressing paired with pomegranate and pepita will provide a nice bite against the other Thanksgiving flavors – and add a nice pop of color too!

INSTEAD OF: Green Bean Casserole

TRY THIS: Jalapeno Corn Casserole

Okay, so maybe this isn’t new and exciting to some, but my grandmother has been gracing the Thanksgiving table with this deliciously spicy corn casserole for years. And it’s one of my favorites. My sister is trying her hand at it this year, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

– Kelsey

INSTEAD OF: Stuffing

TRY THIS: Spinach Gruyere Pretzel Stuffing

Confession: I hate traditional stuffing. You know, the kind you cook inside the turkey and pump with celery, white bread and chicken stock? (I seriously just gagged thinking about it.) That’s why I am so jazzed about this recipe for what is basically my favorite pub snack in stuffing form. A welcome addition to any Thanksgiving table I’m sitting at, that’s for sure.

INSTEAD OF: Sweet Potato Casserole

TRY THIS: Caramelized Sweet Potato and Kale Wild Fried Rice

This recipe has been sitting on my Fall/Winter Recipes pin board for a couple of weeks now, and I think Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to make it in real life. What is really selling me on this side dish are the textures – the chewiness of the wild rice, soft bite of the sweet potato and crunch of the roasted pepitas. Although I committed to dessert this year, this recipe is so tempting that I might just have to bring two dishes to Thanksgiving dinner.

– Natalie

November 19, 2015

third trimester favorites

third trimester favorites | TWELFTH AVENUE

Baby Howes’s due date is only 2 weeks away, and to say I’m over being pregnant would be an understatement. All of those clichés about the last four weeks of pregnancy – time slowing down to a crawl, your belly suddenly becoming enormous, being so tired you can barely function – are all ringing very true. But all of that pales in comparison to the excitement I’m feeling as I await this little peanut’s arrival (and finally find out if baby is a boy or a girl!).

Phil and I are fitting in as many date nights as we can these days, although sometimes all I’m good for is a hot chocolate and an episode of Law & Order: SVU in bed. I can’t quite wrap my head around the enormous life change that’s about to happen, so I go back and forth between “I need to live it up while I can!” and “I’m so tired, please just wake me up when the baby gets here.” Fellow pregnant women and moms – did you struggle with this? How did you deal with it?

Fortunately, there are a few things making it a tad easier to survive the last trimester, which I thought I’d share here. Anything you’d add to this list?

Tracy Anderson’s Pregnancy Project. $22.49. I’ve been a fan of the Tracy Anderson Method for a long time, and I think the pregnancy series is my favorite of all. It’s gentle on my body, but I still feel like I get a great workout when I’m done, and the stretching is really beneficial during the last months of pregnancy.

Blanqi maternity leggings. $64. My friend Brooke gifted me with a pair of Blanqis for my birthday this year, and I so in love with them. The material is breathable but thick, so I don’t have to worry about show-through. And the belly support in these things is actually quite remarkable. Like a bra for my big ol’ belly.

Honeydew hipster panties. 3 for $30. I know I featured underwear when talking about my second trimester favorites, but cute, comfortable undergarments are important to me. These are made of the softest material and provide the extra coverage I needed in the third trimester. Definitely size up.

Hydro Flask (40 oz). $36.95. To quote Chandler Bing, I was dangerously dehydrated during the first six months of our relationship my pregnancy. Okay, dangerously dehydrated is an exaggeration, but I was not drinking enough water. At work, I would forget to refill my water bottle between meetings and go hours without drinking a single sip. No good. As soon as I upgraded to a 40-ounce, vacuum insulated water bottle, my problems were solved. Now I’m up to 100+ ounces of water a day!

Ezekiel 4:9 bread. $4.89. This bread makes the best toast, full of nutrients for me and the babe. Four grams of protein and zero sugar per slice, it can’t be beat. I like to top it with avocado, egg, or PB&J for a healthy breakfast.

Tums. $5.49. Pregnancy heartburn is no joke. I fought a mild case throughout my second trimester, but by week 29, I couldn’t take it any more. Bring on the Tums. (The Smoothies flavor is my favorite.)


October 31, 2015

mini halloween pumpkin cupcakes

It’s been a busy fall, and while most times that’s great, the homebody in me has been yearning for a weekend with no plans. And oddly enough, I felt like baking in my free time. I loved the look of these Bon Appetit mini pumpkin cupcakes, so I tried my hand at my own. I’ve shared a few photos below if you’d care to see.


Mini Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes
Makes 24

1 cup self-rising flour
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 large egg
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
Orange and black food coloring; orange, black, white, and yellow candies and sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 mini muffin cups with 1 3/4×1-inch paper liners. Mix flour, golden brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice in large bowl. Whisk egg, canned pure pumpkin, vegetable oil, sour cream, and vanilla extract in medium bowl. Add mixture to dry ingredients; stir to fully combine. Spoon batter into paper liners (batter will almost fill liners).

Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 16 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely on rack.

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl to blend. Beat in powdered sugar.

Divide frosting among 3 bowls. Tint frosting in first bowl with orange coloring (or combine red and yellow coloring to make orange) and frosting in second bowl with black coloring, keeping frosting in third bowl white. Chill frosting 2 hours or until firm enough to easily spread.

Frost cupcakes; decorate using candy and sugar crystals as desired.


October 28, 2015


October flew by at a pace we can’t even comprehend. Between weekend travel, football games and baby showers, I don’t think we had a free weekend between us all month. Looking forward to a less busy and much cozier November as we slide into the holiday season (and baby Howes’s due date!). Hope you all are having a beautiful fall, and here are a few fun links we’re browsing lately…

New girl crush alert.

Can’t stop watching this video (from our permanent girl crush).

Speaking of which, it was only a matter of time.

Obsessed with these at the moment.

Everyone and their mom is wearing this shoe trend.

Will it taco?

This beautiful hair tutorial sort of kind of maybe makes us want to grow out our hair.

The nightly routines of 15 successful women.

Stocking up on these for an upcoming hospital stay (wink wink).

Made us laugh.

(Top photo via Instagram.)

xKelsey & Natalie

October 27, 2015

spooktacular at salt & straw

Salt & Straw

Does anyone else feel like they’re in Halloween limbo? We’ve reached that time in our lives when we’ve outgrown the insane Halloween parties of our college years (damn, those were a good time), but we’re not quite ready for trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving with the kiddos. Rather than call the whole holiday a bust, we’re taking advantage of the season in a different way this year…

Salt & Straw

…with ice cream! (We might as well just change the name of this blog to “FREAU: Food Rules Everything Around Us”.) Over the weekend, we ventured over to Salt & Straw on NE Division to sample their October Spooktacular flavors, y’know, just for funsies. We slid up to the counter where Zach, the Assistant Manager, took us through each of their five seasonal flavors, spoonful by yummy spoonful. While some were standout favorites (that Potion of Malicious Delight…preggo over here couldn’t leave without a pint), they were all distinctly spooky and “Halloween-y”. We took a few photos from our afternoon at the ice cream shoppe, if you’d care to see.


Salt & Straw{The Candy Corn ice cream tastes just like the candy, minus the waxy coating, so we’d consider it an improvement. A little bit goes a long way on that one! And Halloween candy lovers rejoice – The Great Candycopia is like dumping the contents of your Halloween candy (just the chocolatey ones, let’s not be silly) into a butterscotch ice cream and giving it a churn. Probably the “safest” flavor of the lot, if you’re not feeling overly adventurous.}

Salt & Straw{Zach wanted us to taste this one before telling us what was inside, so we’re not going to spoil it for the rest of you. A Potion of Malicious Delight was our favorite flavor of the day – a little sweet, a little heat.}

Salt & Straw{Salt & Straw’s Head Ice Cream Maker, Tyler Malek, came up with the Essence of Ghost flavor by asking, “What do ghosts taste like?” Texturally, he nailed it…although we’re not so sure about the flavor of this one.}

Salt & Straw{Oh you know, just chomping on dead bugs stuck in crystallized sugar. Every year, Salt & Straw pushes the weirdness envelope with one flavor, and this year happened to be a tequila and orange laced matcha ice cream with shards of real candied bugs.}

Salt & StrawYou can sample the Salt & Straw October Spooktacular flavors for yourself at their Portland and LA locations, or buy a pint pack for delivery. (This is not a sponsored post – we just really love Salt & Straw.)

We’re curious, how will you be spending Halloween this year? We’re planning a fun dinner with friends and a little baking to ring in the holiday on Saturday. (Seriously: FREAU.)