Recipe | Best Brussels Sprouts

As I mentioned about a year ago, I am a little obsessed with brussels sprouts (after 25 years of loathing them). Throughout the last year or so, my friends and I have been gobbling them up right and left at almost any restaurant in DC that serves Brussels sprouts. To this day, I still think Lincoln’s Brussels sprouts are the best I’ve had, time and time again. But I do love cooking up my own at home, which I’ve done about every week for the last many weeks! I was poring through my October 2014 Southern Living magazine, and I knew this recipe was definitely going to be a winner – plus, I’d be able to pull out my fabulous cast iron skillet to make these Brussels sprouts! I’ve made this recipe three or four times recently, and it’s definitely a winner. The blistered, roasted Brussels sprouts combined with the salty-sweet combo of soy sauce & honey is beyond amazing! Definitely give this easy recipe a shot; I think you’ll make it often.

Best Brussels Sprouts Ever aka Cast Iron Blistered Brussels Sprouts

adapted from Southern Living, October 2014


  • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper


Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Trim Brussels sprouts, and cut in half lengthwise. Add canola oil to skillet, and tilt skillet to evenly coat bottom. Place Brussels sprouts, cut side down, in a single layer in skillet. Cook, without stirring, 4 minutes or until browned. Sprinkle with kosher salt; stir and cook 2 more minutes. Stir together honey and hot water. Stir minced garlic, soy sauce, dried crushed red pepper, and honey mixture into Brussels sprouts. Serve immediately and enjoy!

image via Southern Living


Recipe | Apple, Sausage, & Onion Pizza



The other evening, I had the overwhelming urge to cook. That might sound like a silly urge to have, but it’s true! With so many back to back to back weekends of traveling and then endless weeknight plans and activities (all of them fun!), I realized that I hadn’t actually cooked a full meal in about a month. And that’s sad! I love to cook and be in the kitchen, but, as trite as it may sound, I just hadn’t had the time lately. I can’t complain about all of the exciting weekend travels and the fun weeknights after work, but I was missing time in the kitchen and time to just be. After a little thought, as I rarely ever cancel plans, I kindly asked my friend if I could take a rain check on Monday night’s happy hour plans. Then I headed home – straight after work! what a novel idea! – to run to the grocery store (since I hadn’t been in way too long), go for a beautiful evening run, and settle into the kitchen for a Fall-inspired meal, made from (mostly) scratch. My September issue of Southern Living had a few dog-eared recipes, and that was just the inspiration I needed to settle on a little dinner menu.

Southern Living’s apple flatbread served as my main inspiration for a pizza/flatbread main dish, but I tweaked it to make it perfect for me – and for leftovers for lunches at work throughout the week. Trader Joe’s frozen naan is often an ideal solution (with four frozen naan), as it serves as the perfect base and is already portioned out. A ricotta base and topping of caramelized onions, sliced apples, and chicken and apple sausage were the perfect accompaniments, and the flavors melded together seamlessly. I also had been craving arugula lately, which is typically one of my least favorite salad greens. I think my mind has been changed, though, after enjoying a simple arugula & shaved parmesan cheese side salad with a delicious homemade vinaigrette I improvised (which is not hard to do, promise!). I topped off my chicken-apple-sausage and apple and caramelized onion pizza and arugula salad with a crisp white wine from Greece that my sweet sister gave me. It was the perfect evening to be in the kitchen, prepare my ingredients, let time pass by slowly, and savor a fantastic meal on a beautiful early Fall evening.

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try, as it was simply marvelous, quite inexpensive, and seriously easy to make. Enjoy!

Apple, Chicken Sausage, & Caramelized Onion Pizza


four pieces of naan

1 package of chicken and apple sausage, sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 apples, thinly sliced

1 lemon

1 container of ricotta

salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper, to taste


Thinly slice up the red onion, and caramelize it on the stove. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Juice one lemon, and add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to ricotta cheese, stir. Lightly brown sliced chicken and apple sausage in a separate pan from onions. Thinly slice up apples. Bake naan (plain with no toppings yet) in 400 degree oven for two minutes. Once onions and sausage are cooked, begin assembling your pizza. Top each naan with about two dollops of the ricotta mixture, and spread evenly. Then add your caramelized onion, chicken and apple sausage, and apple slices evenly to each pizza. Once assembled, bake for two minutes and then broil for one minute. Yum!

Wedding Invitations | Wedding Paper Divas

Wedding Paper Divas is an incredibly popular, well-known, and expansive wedding invitation website, well-known throughout the wedding industry. Recently, Wedding Paper Divas has expanded their wedding invitation line, stayed ahead of the wedding stationery trend, and has partnered with some incredible brands (like my beloved Southern LivingBHLDNClaire Pettibone, and Pottery Barn) to create exclusive, custom wedding stationery collections. Browsing through all of these collections, I was blown away by the uniqueness, beauty, and feel of each of the invitation suites and how accurately they represented the collection’s brand, style, and mission.

I created a wedding inspiration board that is inspired by the new Southern Living Collection for Wedding Paper Divas, since this curated collection was ultimately my favorite. I have read every issue of Southern Living for roughly fifteen years, and I have a deep-rooted love of the South. The Southern Living Collection epitomizes so much of what I adore about the South, especially weddings in the South – as Southern Living says, the Southern bride is “rooted in tradition, but modern in spirit!”

wedding paper divas

Southern Living “Encircled Love” for Wedding Paper Divas | Jose Villa | Adam Barnes Photo for Southern Weddings

Style Me Pretty | Southern Weddings | 100 Layer Cake | Ruffled Blog

I love the blush pink invitation (such a Southern classic!), and such stunning calligraphy was the icing on the cake when selecting a favorite invitation of mine to feature. You know how much I adore calligraphy! I wanted to create a wedding inspiration board for a fabulous Southern bride centered on this gorgeous, classic invitation suite. The inspiration draws on the unique setting of the South, with a wedding set amongst the massive oak trees and Spanish moss. Pulling in soft blush accents, lush florals, and Southern fruit, like peaches, this wedding cohesively celebrates the South and sets the mood for a romantic, joyful celebration.

Wedding Paper Divas is one of the first places I look when helping brides select their wedding invitation suite, as there are endless beautiful, diverse options for any type of bride. I am continually impressed by the new designers they bring on board and the plethora of design styles. And I just love that Wedding Paper Divas has partnered with so many brands that I am already fond of to create such unique collections for any type of bride!