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I always find when I make a dessert “mini” sized that people are more likely to grab a bite – and these cheddar apple hand pies are no exception. They’re a bite-sized take on the traditional apple pie with just a few adjustments to make them feel exciting and new. I served them with a spiced caramel whipped cream that acts as a dipping sauce for the hand pies – made with cinnamon, nutmeg, and rich caramel swirled into a homemade whipped cream made with Hood Heavy Cream. read more

I have a super easy appetizer idea for your holiday celebrations today: Butternut Squash and Ricotta Crostini. It takes just a few simple ingredients to put this together; sweet roasted cubes of butternut squash, creamy whole milk ricotta, and crusty toasted slices of bread. Then these little bites are finished off with a garnish of chopped fresh sage and the star ingredient: a sprinkle of Sel Marin. Louis Sel is the most delicious sea salt blended with provencal herbs. A good friend of mine, Karen, found out about this amazing salt at a Parisian food fair and could never quite find something similar back here at home. She decided to bring Louis Sel to the US and I’m so glad she did because now I put it on everything (I call it magic salt, because it magically makes me crave vegetables when I add it on top of a dish!). If you have any foodie friends or family, it would make a lovely holiday gift (maybe pair it with a nice cookbook, I have one you might like, wink wink!). Or grab some for yourself and get making this tasty appetizer for the holidays — full recipe below: read more

This is my season to shine! I love coming up with new recipes for the holiday season, and this year I have so many fun ones to share. When I’m brainstorming recipes ideas I’m always thinking about how I can create tasty dishes that can be prepped ahead of time. While I love cooking for friends and family, I also like to actually hang out with them too and don’t want to spend the whole time they’reover in the kitchen. Today’s holiday appetizer idea is a Garlic and Herb Crab Pinwheel – it’s very easy to prepare, and you can make most of the recipe in advance;just slice and bake when you’re ready to serve them! read more

The countdown to turkey day is on, and I have a one-stop-shop for all of your Thanksgiving menu planning needs! I rounded up everything from easy appetizers to decadent sides, turkey tips, batch cocktails, and some sweet treats to end your meal. I even a tasty idea for eating those leftovers the day after too! Scroll down to browse over 20 of my favorite Thanksgiving menu recipes and ideas. read more

We aren’t very big on appetizers at Thanksgiving, because the main event is such an event, but one or two little bites might be passed out to keep everyone huddled around the coffee table instead of buzzing around the kitchen for a taste! These mini baked brie pie bites are as simple as can be, and you can tweak the recipe to work with ingredients you have on hand. You can take some leftover pie dough from you holiday pies (or pre-made is fine!), and cut them into small discs to fit inside a mini-muffin tin. Then you just top fill them with a slice of brie, a jam or fruit butter of your choice (I use homemade pumpkin butter from my cookbook, but apple butter or a berry jam work too!),  then finish them off with a pecan. Bake them for just a few minutes and they’ll come out of the oven ooey-gooey and oh so delicious. Get the full recipe below: read more

I’m all about the high-calorie side dishes on Thanksgiving (like butter-packed mashed potatoes, yes please!), but I know it that it’s all about balance. We need some variety on the table, and veggies that aren’t soaked in butter have their place too (right next to the mashed potatoes!). I have been on a big kick lately of roasting squash and carrots in this simple dressing made with honey, a bit of brown sugar, coarse ground dijon mustard, and a dash of olive oil. It’s such a simple dish, one that I whip up on weeknights, but comes together so beautifully that it feels holiday-table worthy too! Get the full recipe below: read more

When my cookbook first came out last month, my sister gave me the most thoughtful present to celebrate the occasion. She had asked tons of my closest friends and family to write me a note or recall a memory of me, and she shared all of the anecdotes in a book for me to read the day before the book launched. It was probably the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me! In the collection of notes, three separate people mentioned how much they loved a recipe I wrote years ago for a mixed scallop potatoes dish. I have to admit that I didn’t even remember the recipe! I had to back into the archives and read it, and once I did I remembered instantly how tasty it was. I decided to take that concept and give it a refresh with just sweet potatoes this time, and bit of a different look — it still has all of that great, rich creamy flavor though because the holidays are not a time to be counting calories. Get the full recipe below. read more

Stuffing is one of the highlights of Thanksgiving dinner table at our house. I love it; and we’ve gotten in the habit of making two types to ensure that there are leftovers. One classic stuffing with the store-bought mix (because that stuff is so darn good in a turkey sandwich the day after the holiday) and one stuffing that has some special mix-ins. I’ve made it with sage and squash, with sausage and apples, and this year I thought it would be fun to give our stuffing some major flavor with Everything Bagel seasoning.  The base of the stuffing is made with a mix of corn bread and white bread, and it gets tons of seasonal flavor from onions, sage, parsley and celery seed. The everything bagel seasoning on top gives it texture and a salty bite — it’ll be a hit on your Thanksgiving table. Get the recipe below: read more

We are celebrating Thanksgiving with my side of the family this year, and while I won’t host it at my house, I do most of the cooking! My mom and I were starting to brainstorm the menu and she mentioned the holiday staple: green bean casserole. I admired to her that while I love the creamy sauce and French’s crispy onions on top, I didn’t care much for the actual green beans. I had a lightbulb moment and thought, what if I took those flavors I loved from the green bean casserole, and mixed them into spinach for a bit of a hybrid dish. It’s one part creamed spinach, one part green bean casserole, and I still get plenty of those crispy, salty French’s onions — they’re a tradition I’ll never break! Get the recipe below: read more

The Thanksgiving recipe bonanza continues this week with an easy to make holiday sangria. I’m a big proponent of batch cocktails for entertaining because they’re great for the host so that you can prep them ahead of time and guest can serve themselves. They’re also great for guests, because it takes some of the guesswork out of deciding what to drink. Whenever I serve a signature cocktail it’s almost always the option guests pick to drink. I get this prepped in the morning, and then it’s ready to serve over ice when everyone arrives; it’s a perfect precursor to enjoy with some light snacks before the main event starts. Get the recipe below (PS: if you’re looking for more Thanksgiving recipes, my cookbook New England Invite has a whole chapter dedicated to the holiday!). read more