One of the nice things about meeting up with fellow bloggers is the chance to go out for a good meal. Sometimes you might score some homemade cookies. If you happen to grab a bite to eat with Ameena, you might be lucky enough to get something purple and sparkly.

You may have read about her lovely mother-in-law before but I got to experience her (and Ameena’s!) generosity firsthand. I can’t wait to put this little jewelry box to use!

Oh, you also might spot P. Diddy at the table nearby!

Along with my two lunches at Houston’s this week, I ate a lot of good leftovers. Lately, I’ve been cooking extra food at dinner so I have more than peanut butter or soup for the next day. Thanks to this plan, I’ve completely stopped eating Lean Cuisines in favor of homemade meals. I’m loving it! In an effort to use my rainbow chard from the other weekend, I sautéed some with garlic and added tomato sauce, artichokes and potato gnocchi. It was surprisingly delicious!

I also got to repeat a dinner from Tuesday that tasted JUST like Thanksgiving. My new work acquisition, a cookbook called “Power Foods” from the editors of Whole Living magazine, has a ton of great recipes. The one for “farro and mushroom dressing” immediately caught my eye. I switched it up a bit based on the ingredients I had on-hand and ended up with a mix of pearl barley, cremini mushrooms, shallots, celery, chicken sausage, white wine and sage. I’ve never cooked with barley before and I loved the texture and chewy crunch.

Another favorite this week was the slab of chocolate I got from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker’s program and Pure Dark. The past few days have been LONG. Between fashion week, drafting last minute press materials, the upcoming launch of a client’s website, and fashion week (yes, again. How can something be simultaneously very cool and the bane of my existence?!) – I’ve really been grateful for a nice piece of chocolate in the afternoon.

Fashion Week has kind of taken over my mind, so I’m very excited that Friday is almost here and that the weekend is jam packed with lots of fun things. Right now, I’m fighting to stay awake through Thursday night TV and crossing my fingers that I have an “easy” day tomorrow!

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