This past weekend we had a few friends over to our house for a casual gathering, I got a bunch of ingredients for us to make our own pizzas and we hung out around the kitchen island, making our own pizzas and drinking beers and catching up. For dessert, I wanted to keep with the casual tone and was brainstorming unfussy ideas for sweet treats. I’m participating in a little recipe challenge with Salt for Life, and a sweet and salty dessert is always up my alley.salted caramel ice cream sandwich 1 read more

In celebration of their “Kiss Clutter Goodbye” events this spring, The Container Store sent me some of the Laundress’ laundry and cleaning products to try (I don’t even want to open the packages they’re so pretty!!). Besides being adorned with an oh-so-cute black and white label, they’re a friendly reminder to get my spring-cleaning on, and the perfect place to start my new entertaining series: Modern Hostess! Hosting guests, throwing parties and all things soiree-related are what makes me happy, so over the next few months I’m going to start sharing a bit more about how I prep for parties, my favorite party tools and serving pieces, a fool-proof party planning checklist, and other entertaining tips. To start, I’m going to share a little bit about my pre-party cleaning routine.Laundress 32 read more

About 90% of the time when I ask my husband if he has any ideas for dinner, he replies “tacos?” (in case you’re wondering, the remaining 10% answer is always fajitas — clearly we were meant to be). I’ve never met a taco I didn’t like, but every staple dinner idea can use a little spicing up now and again. When Family Circle Magazine challenged me to create a new recipe using Hidden Valley Sriracha Ranch, I had just the dish in mind! I created an easy dinner of pulled chicken tacos with tasty toppings and an extra kick with Hidden Valley Sriracha Ranch Sour Cream. It’s the perfect combination of coolness and spice to bring tons of flavor to taco night. I loaded these up with my favorite toppings — big slices of avocados are a must, and I love scallions and red onions for some bite. Plus cheese, lots of cheese! If you need to sneak some more veggies in there, chopped up tomatoes and lettuce work too. Add a little Sriracha ranch sour cream to finish them off. You can check out the tacos in Family Circle, and get the full recipe below:HVR Siracha Ranch Tacos 1 read more

It’s a gloomy, cold, rainy day in Boston and doesn’t feel a bit like spring! So instead of pouting (which I’m usually quite good at), I’m going to force a little warm-weather cheer on here with a fresh new cocktail recipe that has me mentally swinging on a porch swing in 70 degree sunny weather. Natalie Orchid Island Juice sent me their brand new Iced Tea Lemonade flavor to test out, and I shook it up with some simple syrup, bourbon, and fresh mint for a new take on a mint-julep. It’s refreshing but strong, just what a girl needs to beat those Monday blues! Make sure you bookmark this one for your Kentucky Derby viewing parties this spring, it’ll be a hit! Full recipe below:

IcedTeaMintJulep1 read more

It’s Friday, and I’m ready for a cocktail! Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice sent me a big box of their handcrafted, squeezed fresh juices and when I saw the color of the Orange Beet juice I could not wait to experiment with the flavors and get that stuff in a pretty cocktail glass!  Now, beets can have an earthy flavor, so the tartness of the oranges and the sweetness of the simple syrup are good balance to subdue that flavor. I still love that bite of earthiness from the beets though, it’s a totally unique taste in a mixed drink. And when my friend and I sat taste-testing these last weekend, we rationalized that we were basically drinking vegetables, so one more sip was like we were making very healthy choices (the label even says it: no GMOs, no preservatives, no sugar — I’m nearly on a juice cleanse people!). The cocktail was super tasty, and it looks good —  take a look at the contrast of those kiwi slices and richly colored juice. Yum, and cheers to a fabulous weekend! Full recipe below: Orange Beet Cocktail A read more

In anticipation of Easter this weekend, I have two easy DIY ideas for bringing a hoppy little addition to your Easter desserts, bunny cupcake toppers! The first is super simple (the only challenge is not eating all of your supplies before your guests arrive!) — I topped cupcakes with a good amount of frosting and nested bunny shaped peeps on top of the cupcake. Try butter cream or cream cheese because they’re a bit thicker and hold up the peeps. My second DIY bunny topper is so cute with a little pom-pom tail! I drew bunny shapes, similar to the shape of peeps, on blush colored scrapbooking paper and cut them out. With a little bit of tape, I attached them to tooth picks and added pink pom-poms for tails with a dot of glue. You could even make a handful of these and string them together for an Easter garland too! Happy crafting!Bunny Topper 1 read more

Just one week until Easter, so it’s time to decorate some eggs! I love to try different techniques each year (check out my washi-tape eggs and confetti-filled eggs). This time around I went with brightly dyed eggs and gilded accents, because even our Easter eggs need a little flash, right? I dye my eggs old-school style, with food coloring (try McCormick’s Neon food coloring for some of these super bright colors). And for the touch of sparkle, I hit my local craft store for gilding papers and gilding adhesive and brushed on the faux gold foil in a speckled pattern. I love how they turned out, and now I want to gild everything in sight — more gold please!GildedEasterEggs1 read more

I haven’t quite celebrated St Patrick’s Day the same way since college – Lucky Charm cupcakes are a long way from my days of kegs and eggs and shamrock stickers on my cheeks. But one thing hasn’t changed, my penchant for playing with my food! Making these ‘lucky’ rainbow St Patrick’s Day cupcakes was a treat for my color-coordination obsessed tendencies, it felt like a nice therapy session sorting through the marshmallows and dropping them into like-colored piles.LuckyCharmCupcake read more

I had the pleasure of working with Family Circle Magazine on a tasty spring recipe featuring California Walnuts. My new obsession is my spiralizer, and getting these vegetables sliced into thin into ribbons is a creative way to replace a pasta dish on your menu (don’t get me wrong, I still love my fettucini!). These vegetables are steamed and then sautéed, and topped with a crunchy crumble of mushrooms, breadcrumbs, and tasty California Walnuts for a crunchy texture. I’ve been serving this with grilled chicken or some turkey meatballs for a healthy dinner idea!2_ California Walnuts_Spring Ribbon Veggie Salad with walnut crumble read more

Last week I had the opportunity to get a sneak preview of Chaps new spring line in Boston. They shot their spring campaign right in our backyard, featuring some of the most picturesque spots in Beacon Hill (a perfect backdrop for their preppy looks, we do prep right in Boston!). It was a really fun event — I’m a girl who can get behind mini lobster tacos, champagne, and chit chat about monogrammed collared shirts! One of the fun details at the event was live fashion illustrators sketching our outfits — I wore a super cozy striped sweater from the new line that I will be living in all summer! Check out my outfit illustration by the talented Michelle Barton below: IMG_1704 read more