Memorial Day is coming up next weekend, and I’ve been thinking about all of my favorite summer BBQ recipes to break out for some grilling and al fresco celebrations. It’s also the perfect time to test a few new recipes too, and one of the ideas I’ve been cooking up takes no actual cooking at all! I made these mini berry mascarpone cakes, and didn’t even have to turn on my oven. Want to know the secret to this magical 15-minute no-bake dessert? A few store-bought ingredients! I used a pre-made pound cake and cut it into little cake rounds, then topped it with a sweetened mascarpone and lemon spread. Fresh berries give the dessert tons of patriotic color and sweet seasonal flavor. Just a little dusting of sugar on top and it is ready to serve. It comes together in just minutes, and can even be prepped a few hours in advance and chilled before your guests arrive. I think this is going to be on the menu for all of my summer parties this year! Get the full recipe below:  read more

My husband asked if we had any plans this weekend and I answered (maybe too quickly), “The Royal Wedding!”  — as if, you know, I’m going to get up at 6am on Saturday morning to attend these festive nuptials.  The fervor in my response was met with some teasing, but I am genuinely excited to wake up early this weekend to watch the coverage on TV. It might partly be that we’ve just returned from a trip to London, so I’m still riding a buzz for all things British, including afternoon tea and all of the treats that go along with it. In fact, I decided it was the perfect time to make some baked treats to enjoy during the royal wedding broadcast, inspired by our vacation tea time. read more

Can we all agree on one thing? The absolute best reason to watch the Kentucky Derby is so that you can have an solid reason to mix up an ice cold mint julep! I realized this week that the derby is coming up in a few weeks, and decided to try my hand at mixing up a berry-muddled version of this classic cocktail. The most delicious mint julep I’ve ever tasted was made at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia — the drink was brimming with crushed ice, fresh mint leaves, and a pretty dusting of powdered sugar — YUM! I gave the derby staple a slight spin with some muddled mixed berries in the bottom of vintage cut crystal glasses that my mother-in-law just passed down to me, and gave them some Kate-flair with horseshoe drink stirrers too! Scroll down for the full recipe.  read more

I realized this weekend, as I was making a double batch of mac and cheese to bring Easter dinner, that I’ve never shared my go-to classic recipe for this cheesy, family favorite dish. It’s one of those dishes that I make so often (for nearly every holiday occasion) that I’ve never actually taken the time to measure everything out and write it down — until now! A combination of rich gruyere cheese, sharp cheddar, and savory parmesan cheese make the perfect coating for al dente pasta. read more

Sometimes I think my favorite part of  holidays is the anticipation in days leading up to the actual celebration, when I think about all of the delicious food we’re going to eat. I’ve spent the last few days thinking about digging into Easter dinner on Sunday, and all of the tasty dishes that will along with it. While my dinner daydreams tend to be focused on savory flavors (I’m visualizing the mac and cheese!), I’ve been having a bit of a sweet tooth craving lately for carrot cake. read more

More snow today, ugh. I think it’s safe to say that we all need a drink! In fact, maybe Mother Nature could use a cocktail to chill out too? I’m happy to mix this one up for her. One of my favorite way to shake up cocktails at home is with homemade simple syrups, usually made out of fresh ingredients I have leftover in my fridge. This week my leftovers included a brimming bowl of satsuma oranges — which are tiny and sweet and the prettiest orange tone. I juiced them all by hand and simmered them with a piece of fresh peeled ginger, some water and sugar. read more

I was reading a magazine the other day when saw a mention of a classic chicken marsala recipe, and I have been thinking about (and craving) chicken marsala ever since. It’s one of those dishes that I order at restaurants, but rarely think to make at home. To fix up my insatiable craving, I got to work on making my own spin on this rather simple chicken dish. My version gets tossed with al dente campanelle pasta, sautéed mushrooms and shallots, lots of parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, and baked for just a few minutes in individual serving bowls. I’m happy to report there were lots of leftovers that I’ve been cheerily chipping away at for lunch this week! Get the full recipe below: read more

One of the really fun things about my job is that I get to experiment with delicious food, and work with some of the brands that I admired for years. One of those brands is Martha Stewart Living, and I was so excited they invited me participate in a challenge this month to create an over the top tiny toast recipe using Boursin® Cheese that would wow guests when entertaining. read more

A brunch recipe on a Monday, you ask? Why, yes! Things are a little bit backwards here this week after lots of stormy weather, 2 days of power outages, and of course, no internet. It was an unintended digital detox weekend without lights, TV, or blogging. I read an entire book from start to finish, we got out of the house for most of the weekend, and indulged in lots of dining out and take-out. As power-outages go, this one was chilly but survivable. Now that we’re back in action (hallelujah for heat and WiFi!), I have a tasty brunch recipe that can finally be shared! read more

Is there any better way to start your morning than with coffee and donuts? I don’t think so! Which is why I love making homemade mini-donuts, and serving them with a fresh pot of coffee when we have friends and family stay the weekend. read more