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Life with a newborn in the house has given us a newfound appreciation for weekend brunch. We’re up early, and those morning hours are when our little gal is at her happiest. So instead of meeting friends out for drinks like we used to on Saturday nights, we’ve been inviting friends over for a late morning brunch to catch up instead. With Easter just a few weeks away, brunch ideas have been even more top of mind – my family has a tradition of celebrating the holiday with a big brunch-style feast! read more

Someone recently commented on one of my instagrams that they were surprised I was able to cook so much with a newborn baby. The first month of Jane’s life I actually barely lifted a finger in the kitchen.  My mom stayed with us for about two weeks and took over most of the cooking duties when we were right out of the hospital. The next few weeks after that we were so lucky to have amazing friends that brought over frozen casseroles and easy to reheat dinners. Once we finally got into a rhythm with Jane though, I really missed cooking and was eager to get back to my kitchen — cooking has alway been my best method for relaxation. Cooking with a baby is a different experience than before, and while I still love to chop and sauté and season, I have to get the whole thing done a bit quicker now.  read more

One last snow day calls for some savory, indulgent comfort food, am I right? I have been craving sweet potatoes lately and decided to mix up my usual method of baking them into crispy fries and try something new. Enter my twice baked buffalo blue sweet potatoes. After baking sweet potatoes in the oven for almost an hour, I scooped out the center and mixed in blue cheese, scallions, butter and hot sauce to incorporate all of my favorite elements of Buffalo chicken. Then I filled the potato skins back up with the mixture and baked them off with more blue cheese on top to melt in the flavors. A few more scallions and some sour cream were added on top for a true twice-baked potato experience! Get the full recipe below:  read more

It’s my Mom’s birthday this weekend (don’t worry Mom, I’m not revealing how many candles!) and we took a trip down to visit her in New York so she could get some time with Jane, and celebrate together as a family. I’m usually in charge of cooking when we all gather at their house for the weekend, but with a busy schedule we’re opting for a fancy dinner of take-out from the neighborhood Italian restaurant. I did offer to bring the cake though, and texted her last week to ask what flavor she wanted for her special day. She locked in her cake request: a Kentucky Butter Cake. read more

Last weekend the weather was so warm, we were walking outside with short-sleeve t-shirts on and enjoying brunch at a restaurant that had all of the windows open. This weekend? Back to boots and sweaters and bundling up baby with temperatures in the teens. I’m ready for that spring weather to make a come back, but if it’s going to be arctic-cold for a little while longer I’m going to make the best of it. We had some friends over for lunch this weekend (life with a newborn guys, lunch dates are the new dinner date!) and took advantage of these chilled temperatures with a crackling fire in the fireplace and a hearty lunch menu. I was craving something warm like a homemade soup, and decided to test a new recipe with tons of my favorite soup ingredients: hot Italian sausage, white beans, carrots, spinach, and some tasty cheese tortellini. read more

The reality of having a newborn means that most mornings I’m waking up to some cute little baby cries and need to throw on my glasses and slippers get to feeding her before a meltdown ensues. If I’m super lucky, my husband has already made the pot of coffee and I’ll grab a mug before the baby squeaks turn to screams. I’m usually starving when I wake up (feeding this kid has made me more hungry now than I ever was while pregnant!) so I have gotten into the habit the past few weeks of grabbing a granola bar to eat quickly during that first feeding of the day. It’s easy to grab and I can eat it one handed, so it’s the perfect snack to curb my early morning stomach grumbling. read more

I’m getting so excited to watch the Academy Awards on Sunday night, it’s the biggest TV night of the year for me (sorry SuperBowl, red carpet wins!). My viewing traditions include cozy pajamas, fully charged iPad, iPhone and computer for live-tweeting and red carpet reviewing, and of course super-tasty Oscar’s night snacks. I have a sweet-tooth fix for this year’s show, a movie-theater snack inspired ice cream sundae. I started with vanilla bean ice cream (if you’re going vanilla, vanilla bean is always the right choice!), drizzled it with salted caramel sauce, and topped it off with caramel popcorn and salty peanuts. I’m a sucker for that salty and sweet flavor combination, and this sundae hits the spot. For a little extra nod to the Oscars, I served them in champagne coupes and topped them with Hollywood star cupcake toppers! Can’t wait to whip one of these up on Sunday as I settle in for a night of celebrities and ball gowns. read more

Post-baby we have been so lucky to have friends and family dropping by with sweet treats and delicious, hearty freezer meals. Though, after almost a month of eating homemade cookies and cheesy baked pastas like it was our job, the indulgent eating is starting to catch up to us and I’m realizing we need to get back onto a healthy kick. One of the best ways for us to get into a healthier routine is to plan out our meals ahead and have everything prepped in the fridge — otherwise I grab whatever snack is easy to pop-in my mouth with my free non-baby-holding hand! I decided to make some hearty winter-flavor inspired salads, with everything pre-portioned out for easy to grab lunches. read more

It’s a strange thing, missing your favorite cocktails for 9 months! I’ve been easing back into mixing up a tasty adult beverage since having Jane; my hiatus seems to have my cravings and flavor preferences flipped upside down. I used to love really sweet and floral drinks, but I’ve been instead reaching for the hoppy beer my husband drinks and seeking out much spicier, citrus-y drinks. When I saw blood oranges stacked up high at the grocery store this week, my taste buds were inspired and I saw a sweet citrus  cocktail with a punch of spicy ginger tang in my future. I took the blood orange juice and fresh ginger, and simmered them down with water and sugar to make a flavorful simple syrup. The simple syrup dressed up some champagne in a sweet little pair of coupes which I garnished with orange zest. It’s a perfect cocktail for Valentine’s Day, a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy, and of course a bit bubbly too! Full recipe below: read more

The team at Martha Stewart Living sent me a little care package this month with a fun Valentine’s Day challenge: using some of the tastiest array of Swiss Chocolat Frey treats and some Martha Stewart crafting supplies, they encouraged me to find a creative way to share the love with my friends and family. Food is one of my favorite ways to show my love, and I decided to tackle a sweet, indulgent dessert inspired by the Chocolat Frey Milk Chocolate and whole roasted Hazelnut Crunchy Nut bars: Valentine’s Day Chocolate Hazelnut Cannolis. read more