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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

I’ve seen lots of people sharing their New Year’s Resolutions on social media, and one resolution that keeps popping up is the commitment to drink more water. Eight glasses a day is the goal, and I’ve been trying my hardest to keep to that over the last few months of my pregnancy to stay hydrated. It can be really hard to keep it up (especially with a few fun side affects of this baby bump!), but I’ve been getting much better at it. One thing that’s really helped is having a new Swell water bottle that keeps my H20 icy cold. Another is mixing up flat water with something that has a little bubble, and adding a few fresh elements like citrus and herbs for a tasty infusion. I thought I’d share a few ideas for your own citrus, herb, or berry infused concotions to inspire more healthy hydration in the New Year! read more

I’m super excited to have one of my recipes featured in this month’s issue of Family Circle, a perfect treat for those last few January Sundays on the couch watching football. I took a classic game day snack and gave it a healthier twist with a big tray of crispy baked brussels sprouts tossed with a classic game-day flavor: buffalo wing sauce. The spicy brussels sprouts are baked to a crisp and pairs with a cool, refreshing Hidden Valley Ranch dip. I love that combination of spicy heat and cool ranch flavors — it makes these so addictive! Serve them on their own, or as a fun side dish for burgers or chicken sandwiches.  read more

The team at Martha Stewart Living sent me a little care package this month with a challenge! The December issue features some amazing pasta dishes with just 5 ingredients, making them perfect weeknight meals (which is so crucial during this busy time of year!). Armed with a box of Barilla® Rigatoni, their new issue for inspiration, and a cute new serving bowl from the Martha Stewart Whim Collection, I was challenged to create my own 5-ingredient pasta dish. Loving the fall flavors of a brown butter sauce and sweet seasonal squash, I narrowed down my five ingredients to butter, Parmesan cheese, sage, walnuts and butternut squash (plus some salt and pepper!). The result was a hearty autumn meal with a balance of sweet and nutty flavors (and it’s so easy too!). Full recipe below:img_5958 read more

We’re at the one-week countdown to Thanksgiving, and I’ve been busy brainstorming some of the dishes I’m bringing to our turkey-day celebration. I’ve already shared my all-time favorite entertaining pieces, and a round up of my must-have kitchen tools for any type of cooking — but especially at the holidays — to help you prep for your own Thanksgiving dinners, and thought it would be a fun idea to round up some of my favorite recipes from past years for inspiration. Below are a few of my favorite appetizers and side dishes for the big day, as well as some holiday cocktail ideas (family time = cocktail time) and two fun ideas for how to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers! thanksgiving-appetizers read more

One of my favorite nerdy cooking challenges I like to give myself each year is thinking of new ways to use leftovers after the big Turkey-Day feast! Sometimes it feels like those leftovers can last for weeks, and you’re eating turkey sandwiches until you never want to see another turkey again until next Thanksgiving. I made a few of the Thanksgiving classics and experimented with a new idea for leftovers this year: layering them into a Thanksgiving leftover inspired pot-pie! Everything in this recipe can be pulled from your holiday leftovers. Start with some pie dough leftover from your holiday baking, toss in chopped up turkey and keep it juicy with some leftover gravy drizzled on top, and layer it with leftover mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce before baking with another layer of pie crust on top. The result is a slice of Thanksgiving that has just about every key leftover packed into each bite! My husband jokingly suggested that I should call this Pilgrim Pie, a rustic little nod to Thanksgiving’s roots, and I think it fits the dish perfectly! Earmark this one for your turkey-day leftovers next weekend, full recipe below:
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I have been living on IZZE drinks as the base for fun cocktail concoctions since I found out I was pregnant. Gosh I miss wine and fancy cocktails, but these sparkling drinks have done the trick while I’m riding out my last two months of mocktail-life! I mixed up an autumn inspired drink that can easily made with or without alcohol, and is a perfect pairing for friendsgiving fetes and fall dinner parties. I started with one of my favorite IZZE flavors, sparkling clementine, and mixed in a homemade simple syrup packed with seasonal spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and anise. Top it off with soda water (and pop in some vodka if you’re drinking!) for a crowd-pleasing drink. Recipe below!
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With the weather getting cooler, the holidays inching closer, and my pregnant silhouette getting bigger and bigger by the day, all I really want to do on the weekends now is cancel plans, hibernate by the fireplace, and indulge in some rich, tasty snacks. Those savory appetizers that can almost replace a whole meal have been front of mind for me, and I got an idea for this one after Family Circle Magazine asked me to create a holiday dish that featured California Walnuts. Their nutty flavor paired with crisp diced apples that are cooked down with sugar and spices and drizzled over the warm brie for a sweet and savory appetizer that will impress your guests this holiday season! Check out the write-up in this month’s issue of Family Circle Magazine, and access the recipe below: AppleWalnutBakedBrie1 read more