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

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