Posted by: Lauren | August 16, 2010

it’s fun playing hostess

It has been so fun hanging out with Allie, she is such a sweetheart! Before she got here, I prepped some things for the evening to make it easier, like the berries for the pavlova, two salads, and lit some candles and put out fresh flowers to make it homey. 🙂



We meet at last! Allie came on the train from Chicago after attending the Healthy Living Summit. Hopefully she’ll have fun out here in the ‘burbs for a day!


Easy apps: Apple pie cheese form Costco-hmm, not sure what i think about it yet. Italian Harvest pita chips, peppers, sugar snap peas with roasted red pepper hummus. Organic tortilla chips with TJ’s corn salsa, and some snacks of almond m&ms and dark chocolate raisins.

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Dinner was freshly baked wheat artisan bread, with olive oil & romano for dipping, butter, and pumpkin butter. Two salads: spinach and red leaf lettuce with cucumbers, sugar snap peas, and craisins. Garden fresh tomatoes, basil from my herb pot and mozz topped with balsamic and sea salt and pepper. Lastly whole wheat pasta with garlic, peas, and shrimp. Dessert: pavlova with berries and whipped cream.

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Salad was topped with Angela’s Better than Bottled Balsamic Dressing which I have been making so much because it is delicious! See the link for the easy recipe.


Allie was so kind to bring us some of her Alliebars! I’ve been so excited to try them, so I had to have a taste last night.

IMG_3639 IMG_3638 They are delicious! I had one this morning before working out:

IMG_3640 I could go through these so fast, but I must savor them. Allie, sell these bars!

More adventures to come today!





  1. So happy to hear you had a nice visit with Allie! Wow, you fixed a feast and my mouth is watering at the thought of that homemade balsamic dressing. I must make that! Lauren, I bet that would make an awesome marinade for chicken….here’s what I might do…..baste split breasts (bone-in) w/ that dressing while grilling and add some minced onion to it. We do a marinade with balsamic, Mrs. Dash, tons of minced onion etc. No need to really marinate the chicken, though, because I guess balsamic starts to cook the chicken. So, just baste a few times during cooking. It’s really good and I’m excited to try that new recipe. Love you!

    • Sharon, you always have such good ideas! I’ve been wishing for a grill, we just haven’t bitten the bullet yet on that one! But it would still be good even in the oven or on a skillet! You will love the dressing! So easy and full of good flavors. Love you!

  2. Miss you already!!!!

    Pavlov’s dogs 🙂

  3. I just found you through Allie and you are THE BEST hostess in the world! Your dinner looked out of this world girl! I’ve never even HEARD of Elburn, but I guess it’s only an hour away from me!

    I’m going to keep reading! 🙂

    • Chelsey, thank you so much for such a sweet comment! What city do you live in?! Yeah, Elburn is teeny tiny!

  4. Love your blog! I just found it via Allie’s blog and your recipes look incredible. I already tagged about 5 of them!

    • Thanks, Sophie! I hope you enjoy them-let me know which ones you make! 🙂

  5. I just declared on Allies blog that you should open a healthy B&B!! I’d so be there!! lol

    • You’re so sweet-I love that idea!!!

  6. Hi and the same with other comments, I found you on Ellie’s blog! I’m encouraged by reading your blog, the first two and the’ about you’. You have a beautiful heart. I’m sure be backreading your posts for sure. Love love your pictures!

    • Aww thank you Ping! I’m so glad you feel encouraged-that’s so great to hear.

  7. Ooops, I meant to spell Allie:)

  8. Just got off the phone w/ your mom and I’m SO PUMPED about your blog today! Need I say more…………….love you!

  9. Thought of you tonight as I make my own homemade “gravy” for gnocci. Ode to a garden tomatoe!

    • Go Mom! And where were we?! That sounds a lot better than what we ate! Although, garden tomatoes made another debut with Caprese salad again.

  10. […] Overnight Oats and they did not disappoint, in fact, none of her recipes have. I’ve made her Better-Than-Bottled Balsamic vinaigrette, and Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash multiple times. She has such creative, simple, delicious, and […]

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