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:

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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

Remember that little dip party I hosted last week? Well, it’s haunting me, I can’t stop thinking about the dips, particularly a few of the dessert dips that were on the menu. Emily from Simply Gourmet in Southie made adult dunkaroos. Be still my funfetti loving heart, a dip made from funfetti cake mix?! Yea it was as good as you’re imagining. I added another dessert dip to the table in the form of a deconstructed cannoli. It’s a slightly more dippable version of the filling in the classic Italian dessert, and was served with a mixture of pizzelle and waffle cookies. I made this version with mini chocolate chips, but you could try crushed pistachios or other toppings to give it your own spin! Full recipe below. Cannoli Dip 1

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I waited to pick my dip recipes until after I saw what all of the other guests were bringing to the dip-potluck party so I could fill-in-the-blanks with some recipes that would be a little different. We had one avocado-yogurt dip that was close to guacamole, but no one had jumped on a salsa or a Mexican dip so I took that category as inspiration and got brainstorming. I knew I wanted to update the Mexican dip category so I mentally scrolled through the menu items at my favorite Mexican joint and we always order a side of Mexican Street Corn (because, hello, delicious). Taking the corn off the cob and adding in a bit more lime juice and it was simple enough to translate that dish into a sweet and spicy Mexican Street Corn dip. The recipe is easy, and I know will taste great in warmer months when we can get fresh local corn and char it on the grill, but cooking in a skillet did the trick too. It tastes great with tortilla chips; I paired it with Food Should Taste Good jalapeño chips because the subtle spice is a nice kick to complement the cool flavors of the corn and cotija cheese (plus they’re gluten free and all-natural, everybody wins!). This dip is definitely going to be a summer-time favorite, and a great warm-weather swap out for a classic Mexican dip. Full recipe below:
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This weekend I threw what I hope is my first annual dip party. A dip party you say? What is a dip party? Well, a group of girlfriends got together, everyone bought a different homemade dip and we snacked and snacked and snacked! I had each girl send me their recipe in advance so I could make sure we had no repeat ideas (we had quite the variety, from asian dips to hummus to dessert dips!), and it gave me the opportunity to pick out some delicious  all-natural Food Should Taste Good chips to pair with them. I used a big tiered serving stand to display all different flavors (jalapeño, blue corn, and sweet potato were my favorites). I also used the recipes to make little recipe card sets for party favors, each guest brought home a stack of cards with each dip recipe to make again and again. I’ll be sharing some of the recipes here over the next few days!Dip Party 1 read more