Cranberry Walnut Bagels | @stephmwise

First, we had peppermint brownies. Then, carmelitas. Now, these cranberry walnut bagels. In other news, I am officially set for the winter with carbs (lolololololz, just kidding. I can never have too many carbs).

Speaking of carbs, a story: Last week, my husband approached me with an idea. “I’m reading a preview of this book,” he said. “OK,” I said, probably while eating one of the aforementioned carbs. “It’s called ‘Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog.’ I think I want to order it,” he said.

Here’s where you think I’m totally kidding about the title of the book. I am not. This is real life, guys.

Continuing: “From what I’ve read so far, the writer says you should eat more fatty foods like bacon and cheese and fewer carbs like bread and bagels. What do you think?”

It’s like the man doesn’t even know me.

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Carmelitas (Oatmeal Caramel Chocolate Bars) | @stephmwise

Oatmeal and caramel and chocolate all rolled into one decadent dessert bar? OKYESPLEASE.

That’s what you get when you bake these carmelitas — a double-layer of oatmeal cookie goodness sandwiching layers of smooth, chewy, ooey-gooey caramel, melted chocolate chips and toasted nuts.

It’s not even Christmas and I’m already getting out my fat pants.

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WUSTHOF Classic 7-Piece Block Set {Giveaway} | @stephmwise

Just imagine I’m saying this post out loud in Oprah voice. Ready?

IT’S THE HOLIDAAYYYYYYYS!! And to celebrate such an occasion, a group of bloggers plus I are banding together to spread the cheer with a giveaway. A WÜSTHOF knife set giveaway!! EVERYBODY GETS A —

Oh all right, I’m done.

Anywho, just popping in on this day before the weekend to share this awesome giveaway with y’all for a WUSTHOF Classic 7-Piece Block Set to one lucky reader, valued at $300 (psst — it’s the brand’s #1 selling set during the holidays, so you know it’s good).

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Dad's Beef and Red Wine Chili | @stephmwise

Prepare thyself to eat at least two bowls of this goodness. With alllll the toppings.

Remember that one time I told you about my dad, my dad’s white chicken chili, my dad’s plans to open a restaurant that serves hot dogs and chili, and the fact that my dad also has ah-mazing red chili that I wanted to share with you one day (like a year ago, oy)? OH YEAH. This is it, my friends. Dad’s (family-wide) famous, flavorful chili, loaded with chopped veggies, lean beef, red wine, tomatoes, chipotle chile pepper, beans and spices.

You actually might want to start preparing a third bowl.

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Thick and Fudgy Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mocha Brownies | @stephmwise

Oh hai. Let me introduce you to the reason I am going to be in a sugar coma all holiday season. BROWNIES.

Not just brownies, but the best-ever thick and fudgy and chewy dark chocolate-drizzled peppermint mocha brownies. Life is complete.

As my husband claims he is a hash brown snob (um, OK), I am most definitely a brownie snob. I blame it on the fact that I’ve eaten so many brownies in my life, my palate has become selective. So yeahhhhh no cakey and fluffy brownies allowed, if you even dare to call those brownies. It’s a fudgy, chewy brownie dessert club only over here.

If you’re in full agreement with me on the brownie thing (this is a rhetorical question, right?), then you’ll be oh-so-pleased to know that this recipe is based on what are by far the most delicious, fudgiest, chewiest and densiest brownies I’ve ever eaten. I stumbled upon Tessa’s recipe for ultimate brownies a few months ago and I don’t think I could ever make brownies any other way again. These are just too perfect. And though you can’t improve upon perfection, they taste pretty darn festive and fantastical with an added hint of mint and espresso flavoring.

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Cherry, Coconut and Pistachio Biscotti Gift Jars | @stephmwise

There’s something extra special-like about homemade gifts, don’t you agree? Because you know the person who is giving you the homemade gift really took the time to think about what you like, and make it just for you. Even if it is, say, a lime green crocheted scarf for your cat.

One of my favorite gifts to give are baking mixes in jars — because if you can’t actually bake the cookies/bread/pancakes/snack mix for the person, you can certainly hand her a jarful of the goodies to make herself. And this season, I’ll be giving the gift of cherry, coconut and pistachio biscotti in jar form. It’s gonna be grand.

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