January 1. It’s right around the corner. Might as well give in and accept…smoothies. And healthy things, like…a vegetable every now and again. Good thing we have awesome healthy bloggers to remind us that healthy and smoothies can still involve chocolate, even if it is in a protein powder. Erin of Erin’s Inside Job has so much good stuff to get you back on track for the new year, but I must say, this smoothie really intrigued me.

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Chocolate Blueberry Basil Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2-3 cups of your green of choice (feel free to mix it up)
  • about 10 basil leaves (more or less depending on your love affair with basil)
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup (approx) of water**

For the full recipe with instructions, visit Erin’s Inside Job.

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Happy Day after Christmas! You may need a little something quick and easy today, so I’ve got Annie, a new Chicagogrammer and amazing blogger at The Brazen Gourmand, bringing you what may be the most delicious combination of grilled cheese I’ve seen in awhile! Check this out!

Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese

Apple Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices Sourdough Bread
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 tbsp. The Bacon Jams Bacon Spread (I’ve personally not had this one, but I can 100% vouch for the Trader Joe’s version!)
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 slices Cheddar Cheese

For the full recipe with instructions, visit Annie at The Brazen Gourmand.

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Merry Christmas, Dining at my Desk readers!! I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday with friends and family, and if for some crazy reason, you haven’t made anything for Christmas Day, perhaps you’d like to consider these stunning/delicious/gorgeous/calorie-filled Smores Brownies from Kelsey of With a Little Grace. It might surprise you to know that Kelsey…is a Chicagogrammer!!

Smore Brownies

Smores Brownies

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers
6 Tbsp butter (softened)
⅓ cup sugar
1 Boxed Brownie Mix
1 Bag of Mini Marshmallows

For the rest of the recipe with full instructions, visit Kelsey at With a Little Grace!

smore brownie

Smores Brownies

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Hey, hey – tonight’s the night that Santa’s going to shimmy down your chimney! Better leave him some cookies, amiright? These super easy pecan meltaways are from….drumroll….another Chicagogrammer, the amazing, talented, wonderful Joelen of What’s Cooking Chicago. We’re pretty sure Santa will love them, and if he doesn’t I definitely would!!

Pecan Meltaways

Pecan Meltaways

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup oil
powdered sugar for dusting

For the rest of the recipe with the full set of instructions, visit What’s Cookin’ Chicago…and stay there awhile, because there are SO many good recipes!!

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Because it’s GREEN (you know, for Christmas?!), AND I love it, I figured we’d feature this basil pesto sauce from yet one more Chicagogrammer on the Recipe Countdown! I truly can’t believe I’ve blogged for 23 days straight, and so far I’ve only made one of these recipes. Hint: it was a dip. Leave me a comment if you know which one it was. But back to pesto! This classic recipe comes to us from Kelly of Chicago Supper Club, and it looks fantastic. Man I love pesto.
Classic Basil Pesto

Classic Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for storage
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano or Asiago cheese
  • coarse sea salt to taste

For the full recipe with instructions, visit Chicago Supper Club!

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Another day, another recipe, another member of Chicagogrammers. This time we’ve got Maggie from The Love Nerds hitting us up with a side dish that I ABSOLUTELY will be trying soon! I LOVE Minute Rice Medleys, and the addition of cranberry, pear and spinach is clearly welcome in my book!! Hey Mom, if you’re reading this, maybe we should make this as a Christmas dish?!

Cranberry-Pear-Spinach-Rice-Pilaf-8

Cranberry Pear Spinach Rice Pilaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 Bags of Minute Rice Multi-Grain Medley
  • 1¾ cups pear juice (substitute for the water exactly)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pear, chopped
  • 1½ c dried cranberries
  • 1 c chopped pecans
  • 2 c spinach

For the full recipe with instructions, please visit The Love Nerds. It’s a truly wonderful blog packed with so much deliciousness! PS – Maggie, I really want to be invited to your next food event!!

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