I think it's safe to say I never met a grilled cheese I didn't like (all you have to do is take a quick look at my unintentionally but admittedly dairy-centric "sandwiches" board on Pinterest). And as appealing as the idea of a "moist maker" is, my pescatarian diet combined with my deep-set apprehension toward all things gravy-related prevents me from eating what most would consider a typical Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich (sorry, Ross).

So, it should come as no surprise that the first thing that came to mind as I stared into a fridge full of Thanksgiving leftovers was to combine the gouda that had served as our hors d'oeuvres with some tangy, sweet cranberry sauce for a Turkey-less day-after-Turkey-Day sandwich. Melty, tangy, sweet, and just a little salty, this recipe further proves my theory that there's no such thing as a bad grilled cheese sandwich.

cranberry + gouda grilled cheese
makes 1 sandwich

2 slices whole grain bread (or your favorite bread for grilled cheese)
1/4 leftover cranberry sauce, room temperature or cooler (like this recipe)
1 teaspoon butter 
lots of gouda cheese (that is my exact measurement)


 
 
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photo courtesy of nordstrom.com
Ah, the white dress shirt. Every man has one, or at least every man should have one (one or a few with an impeccable fit is really a wardrobe must). But just because this is hanging in your closet doesn't mean it can't work against you outfit-wise. Yeah, it's easy to throw on with dress pants and call it a day, but there are definite pros and cons to this essential item, and before you pull it off the hanger, take in a few considerations--especially with holiday dress-up season fast approaching.
pros
-It really is a never fail. If you're unsure about a combination of pants/blazer/suit/tie/etc, a white shirt will never be a wrong turn in an outfit.
-For ultra-formal looks, white really is the way to go. You can get away with other colors, but white will never get a questioning look when you've got to be dressed to the nines, and you'll never appear out of place. 
-It goes with everything. Gray, black, blue, green, khaki, patterns, everything. No need to wonder if your suit, pants or tie is going to clash because white will always complement what you're wearing. Now for the other, colored elements, that's a different story.
-You need one. In the event where you have to travel or wear a formal look with several different suits and/or ties in a short period of time, or if you get quick notice that you have to dress up and don't have the time to get creative, go for the white shirt since it will always look good. This is a necessity, and you need to make sure you have a well-fitting, non-stained white shirt at the ready for anything that could come up.
cons
-It's boring. White is kind of a snoozefest. If you have the choice of shirts, try to opt against white unless any other color would actively look bad in a combination of tie/pants/suit/whatever. Because it's a go-to, it's predictable and if you're trying to stand out in any way, you won't.
-It can be costume-y. With black pants, you run the risk of being mistaken for a cater-waiter, magician, you name it. Black and white is the typical male "uniform", with or without a jacket, so go for a pattern or color if you're going with a black suit or black pants. Especially in the times that you're not wearing any sort of jacket, try go for anything but white.
-It's too easy. Easy can be good in a pinch, but if you have time to plan your outfit, get a little more creative. It will pay off because it will look like you took time to think about your look and you'll appear much more stylish and detail-oriented, no matter what situation you're dressing for. 
-It can appear too formal. I'm always a proponent of being overdressed rather than underdressed, but a white dress shirt can sometimes seem too formal. Paired with jeans it can be a weird mix of dressiness, and with dress pants, a suit or even just a blazer it can elevate an otherwise nicer than casual, but not necessarily dressy, look a little past the easy feeling you're trying to go for.
FYI: A dress shirt has no pockets. If it has pockets, it can still look nice, but it's not technically a dress shirt.
-E
 
 
I come from a city that's famous for its chili, but I've never been a fan of Cincinnati chili. I grew up with my mom and aunt making this veggie chili as an easy dinner that leaves tons of leftovers which freeze well to have on hand for many future dinners. This chili can be served over spaghetti (Cincinnati style) or in a bowl, as shown. I made a batch just as the weather started to turn cold so I could stock up the freezer for those days I need a filling meal but want to put off braving the cold to grocery shop (which will happen often).
vegetarian chili
1 batch serves 4-6

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 1 teaspoon fresh basil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large yellow or sweet onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
2 8oz. packages of sliced fresh mushrooms
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
1 14.5oz can stewed tomatoes
1 15oz. can tomato sauce
3 diced green chilis (find cans of these)
2 15oz cans spicy chili beans

for serving
sour cream or plain yogurt
shredded cheese (cheddar or mexican mix work best)
red and/or green onions
spaghetti (optional)


 
 
Most people's skin concerns can't be summed up in one simple adjective. It's never just oily, acne-prone, dull or aging; for most of us, it's an unfortunate combination of issues. But whether you're concerned about fine lines, huge pores or dark spots, one of the best tools you can use to improve the overall condition of your skin is an at-home peel. 

There's pretty much a peel designed for every skin issue, and most of them use glycolic acid or other exfoliators to combat a wide range of issues. They're especially great for fighting blackheads, reversing signs of aging, fading dark spots, minimizing pores and exfoliating for a brighter complexion. Just be careful to use these peels as directed on the package, as overusing or applying to super sensitive skin can cause chemical burns. Here are a few of my favorites: 
favorite all-around:
Malin + Goetz 10% Glycolic Acid Pads, $48, malinandgoetz.com
favorite for anti-aging/dark spots:
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel, $78, sephora.com

favorite for dull skin:
Origins Brighter By Nature High-Potency Brightening Peel with Fruit Acids,
$38.50, sephora.com
favorite for oily or acne-prone skin:
Advanced Home Actives Brazilian Peel Clear, $45, advancedhomeactives.com
favorite for delicate eye area:
Ole Henriksen Truth is in the Eyes Eye Peel, $42, sephora.com
-S
 
 
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I like to think of my approach to style as non-traditional and a little ironic. Whenever I buy a new item of clothing, I usually try to find ways to wear it for day or night and in any season so that my most of my wardrobe is fair game at any given time. That's one of the main things that attracted me to this Forever 21 dress. It's just a black tank dress with sequin detail, and the first thing I thought when I saw it was that it would be a great not-too-dressy LBD to have on nights where I need to look nice in the time it takes to just throw something on. What made me even more excited to buy it, though, was the fact that the simple silhouette made it easy to layer and make more casual for an interesting daytime look. One of my favorite ways to style an outfit in an unexpected way is to take a sequin item of clothing (which are almost always considered "dressy" or for going out) and dress it down so that I can wear it casually without looking too "nighttime." 
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For this outfit, I tied a military-style button down over the dress and paired it with gray tights and brown booties. The gray offsets the black to make it a little more casual while still staying warm in the fall, and the booties are some of my favorites if I want a little heel without looking too dressy. If I wanted to easily dress this up, a black blazer or nice cardigan, black tights and heels or boots does the trick!
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Outfit: Forever 21 dress (similar silhouette here, similar look here), Zara shirt, Joe Fresh tights (only available in store), H&M booties (similar here), 
Accessories: Madewell bracelet, Dakota watch, Forever 21 ring (similar here), BCBG ring
-E
 
 
what it is: Zara studded camouflage shirt

why I love it: I'm not really a camo girl, but I saw this hanging not where it was meant to be hanging while at Zara and the thing where I instantly come up with about 1,000 outfits happened. Then I couldn't stop thinking about it for days and eventually went back and got it. I got it a little big so that I can wear it as a "jacket" over pants and a shirt or a dress, or button it and wear it as a modern take on a button down with pants or a skirt (tucked in, left out, sloppy tucked, sleeves rolled, etc, etc I could go on and on). The green is a neutral and the studs and gold accents make a regular casual-leaning shirt more interesting, modern and dressier. It looks great against dark or light solids and is the perfect element for pattern mixing, and it's just right when you're traveling or don't know what to wear; you can just throw on and it basically makes and outfit instantly. 

where to get it: Zara, $79.90
-E
 
 
Go Vote!
-E&S
 
 
This dish has been a staple for my mom's Yom Kippur break fast for as long as she's hosted it, so I decided to follow suit. This is perfect for big brunches...or whenever because I could probably eat the whole thing myself. I halved it because I only had a few people over, but it turned out just as delicious. It's super easy, but be prepared to make it in advance since you have to let it refrigerate overnight!
french toast casserole
serves 6-8

13 to 16 ounces bread (she calls for french, but brioche or challah add a great texture and sweeter flavor to this dish)

8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
dash salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans (optional; I roasted them and served them on the side)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
maple syrup

 
 
In the midst of Hurricane Sandy, there wasn't much to do besides use all your electronic devices at once. Following Twitter got pretty entertaining, but it was also useful. Refinery 29 put up a helpful slideshow of food to make with ingredients you were bound to have lying around now that you couldn't leave your house/apartment and had stocked up on a bunch of food that would last through a power outage. Being the pizza lover (understatement) that I am, the recipe for pizza toast, original recipe here, of course caught my eye. (Like I've said before, I do my best to make pizza in as many forms as possible.) I made this as my next snack immediately, with some alterations from the original recipe to accommodate what I had in my kitchen, and it did not disappoint. This is definitely my new go-to snack. I guess I can thank Sandy for one thing!
pizza toast
makes one piece of toast

1 piece of bread (sandwich type bread works best)
tomato paste (NOT sauce)
mozzarella cheese
herbs/spices for seasoning (optional)
your favorite pizza topping(s) (optional)

 
 
For summer, you've got your sockless shoe options for those occasions that you want to look like you put in the time (which should be often). But once the colder months hit, boat shoes with socks are probably something you shouldn't be considering, and only the masterful dressers can successfully pull off the socks with loafers look in a non-dressy outfit.

So for fall, your footwear must have is the desert--or Chukka--boot. The option above is Cole Haan, but most stores that sell men's clothing and shoes sell this style of boot: Johnston and Murphy, J.Crew, Aldo, Banana Republic, the works. These can be styled with or without socks, tied allt he way up or a little undone, and they look great under jeans, khakis and most things in between. Like the loafer or boat shoe, these are a great non-dress shoe option that really take your outfit to an "I tried" level that makes you seem much more stylish and put together than a pair of sneakers. Also like the boat shoe and/or loafer in your wardrobe, if you're short on shoe options, go with a brown or possibly gray shade that can look good with many outfits and colors. And get them in the material that is most you--suede, leather, whatever.  Once you realize what these can do for your look, you'll be finding ways to wear them with pretty much everything you own.
-E