I had to share this one last detail from my sister’s bridal shower last weekend because it was one of the tastiest things I’ve ever made! We had a local Italian restaurant cater the party since my sister is a big fan of pasta (go follow her @agirlandherpasta instagram account!). We decided to tackle a few salads to go along with the pasta and chicken dishes we ordered — one bridesmaid brought a beautiful caesar salad, and I was in charge of caprese salad. My motto for this event was go big, or go home and I brought that mantra to every detail (she’s my little sis and BFF after all!), including the caprese salad.

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I love making crostini for easy entertaining appetizers. It’s such a simple dish but is always a crowd favorite, and a versatile one that you can adapt to use tons of different types of ingredients. I shared a few varieties of these seasonally inspired crostini in my entertaining cookbook, New England Invite. read more

Living close to the beach in New England, we get our fair share of summer visitors that swing in for a visit. After a day out in the sun, the last thing I want to do is run back out to the store for snack-rations. This recipe is one of my easy-entertaining tricks that I keep in my back-pocket for one last-minute guests pop by. It’s made out of ingredients that I almost always have in my fridge (like Hood Cottage Cheese) and freezer (like frozen filo pastry cups).

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We all seem to be in the same boat – whether we’re rushing home from a long day of work or juggling the toddler-witching hour – dinner can be a struggle! I have a handful of extra-speedy, low effort weeknight dinners that I keep in my back pocket for busy weeks. Sometimes they’re almost so simple that I forget to write them down and share them here, but those are the ones that people always end up loving the most. One of my staple ingredients that I always grab at the grocery store to have on hand are packages of al fresco Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage. read more

Gearing up for Memorial Day weekend, the official kick-off to summer bbq season! I can’t wait to pop open the grill to cook up some burgers and hot dogs; the classics are always on my menu. One thing I do like to mix up is my side salads, and I have a round up of 10 of my favorite BBQ side salads from over the years — including a few new ones that I just added this week. Scroll down for all your holiday weekend cook-out menu inspiration! read more

Inspiration for my recipes comes from so places. I love flipping through magazines and cookbooks, perusing restaurant menus, and rethinking flavors from my childhood. The inspiration for this Grapefruit Ginger Fizz cocktail recipe though, came from a totally unique place – a perfume! I was at a book signing at a fun pop-up last week and had a few minutes to shop around the store as we wrapped up the event. I’m normally not much of a perfume person, but my eye caught a Grapefruit Ginger scent by a local company called Farm+Sea and I had to give it a try. It smelled delicious, and as I was rolling it on I commented that I loved it as a perfume but I bet I’d love it even more as a cocktail. I bought the perfume, and mixed up a batch of these Grapefruit Ginger Fizz cocktails when I got home! They taste as good as I now smell, get the recipe below. (PS: I found these amazing coupes at H&M for a steal, I love how delicate they look!) read more

Let me tell you all of the reasons I love a good antipasto salad, there’s quite a few! To start, it’s a great dish to make ahead. It’s one of those side dishes that almost always tastes better after the flavors hang out together in the fridge overnight. Another reason I love it is that it’s pretty easy to tweak and adapt to your guests preferences — leave out the salami for vegetarians, skip the cheese if someone is dairy free, and it works as a gluten-free dish too. We have a few carb-etarians in our family, so I’ll often add in some cooked cheese tortellini to make sure they’re getting enough pasta in their diet, wink wink. It also makes great leftovers after a party too; you can toss all of the ingredients over some mixed greens for lunch the next day or use the combination to make a flavorful pizza for a quick weeknight dinner. It’s a fool-proof side dish and one that I love to serve up for summer entertaining. Get the details on how I make mine below:  read more

Pasta salad is pretty much my holy grail of summer barbecue menus; it’s always the side dish I most look forward to! I’ve probably tried dozens of recipes and variations, and love to tweak what I toss in every time I make it for a party. I got creative with a new twist on my classic pasta salad to gear up for Memorial Day weekend with this new recipe — Zucchini Basil Pasta Salad. It features my favorite pasta salad noodle shape — rotini — and lots of chopped up zucchini and squash, fresh basil, and crunchy pine nuts that add tons of flavor. I ate a giant bowl of it for lunch this week, so I can attest to the tastiness! Get the full recipe below:  read more

Let me tell you my favorite thing about summer barbeques: the sides!! I go nuts for an herby potato salad, and have no self-control around a classic macaroni salad, I even love a good crunchy coleslaw. With Memorial Day coming up in about a week (where did May go?!) I wanted to add some new summer side salads to my repertoire. I’ve been on a BIG roasted chickpea kick lately, and love that it’s a healthy-ish snack that Jane enjoys too, so I wanted to find a way to work them into this recipe. I start off by roasting them in the oven with a touch of olive oil and an all-purpose seasoning – I love What’s Gaby Cooking Go To Blend, and Trader Joe’s 21-Seasoning Salute is another great option! Then I combined the roasted chickpeas with a flavorful, nutty whole wheat pearl couscous and some delicious herbs. The salad tasted really fresh and wholesome, and it serves really well at room temperature, which is perfect for outdoor entertaining! Get the full recipe below: read more

Somewhere in all of this spring rain, there was one beautiful day of sunshine over Mother’s Day weekend and it felt glorious. We flew kites at the beach, ate oysters at little seafood shack by the water, and I mixed myself the most refreshing mom-reward cocktail. I’m calling it the limoncello mint sparkler, and it was so tasty. A little bit of honey and mint muddled in a glass, combined with refreshing limoncello liquor and topped it off with bubbly prosecco and more fresh mint. I used store-bought limoncello for this batch, but you can easily make some on your own (here’s my limoncello recipe infused with thyme). Get the recipe details below: read more