I find that at the end of each season (ugh yes, it’s the end of summer, SIGH), I get into a bit of a dinnertime rut. I lean on a handful of go-to recipes each season – in the summer, lots of grilling – and they can feel a bit tired after several weeks in the rotation. As I sat down to do my weekly plan this week I was itching for some inspiration and dug into my cookbook collection in our kitchen. As I flipped through a few of my go-to cookbooks, I thought I’d start a list of the favorites I use for dinner ideas again and again. This list has several dinner-idea classics, a few that I use in specific situations (like when I’m looking to eat healthier) and a few that are totally new to me that I’ve been using for recent inspiration. I hope they spark some dinnertime creativity in you too!
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It’s Taco Tuesday! I actually just had to check the calendar to confirm it is in fact Tuesday, since this week seems to be dragging. Confirmed: we haven’t quite yet made it to Wednesday, so we will reward ourselves with the one redeeming quality of Tuesday: taco night. Tacos are the most-requested meal in my household, and I’m always on board with that suggestion. This week I decided to mix up our standard taco fillings with a few new ingredients! These tasty tacos are loaded with flavorful bites of chorizo sausage crumbles, black beans and corn with lots of spices, and crispy little potatoes underneath queso fresco and taco toppings. I’ve been dreaming of this recipe since I last tested them, and think I’ll double the batch next time so we have lots of leftovers for lunch too! Get the full recipe below: read more

Our local library has been hosting a summer concert series, and for the past few weeks we’ve gone and had a little picnic dinner and listened to the music. It’s been so cute to see Jane get into the music, she sat with her little box of snacks and clapped at the end of each song. Last week I wanted to make a few simple snacks that we could transport for our picnic, and I got a craving for a savory crostini. This recipe was made with a rather loose plan of blending a few pantry ingredients together in my food processor and crossing my fingers it came out delicious. I’m happy to report, the experiment was a success! The sun-dried tomato chickpea spread has a lot of the Mediterranean flavors of a white bean dip, but a bit more of the texture of a rustic hummus. It tasted really fresh and delicious for a summer snack, but I’m going to keep this recipe in my back pocket for some easy holiday entertaining appetizers too! Get the full recipe below:  read more

I’m constantly brainstorming new recipes that can be prepped in big batches and reheated throughout the week. It’s the best way to keep us on track with healthy eating choices, especially during lunch time. One of our all time favorite meal-prep recipes that we have for both lunch and dinner is a spicy chicken thigh recipe that we grill over high heat for a tasty charred flavor. We have made it so often though, that I needed to think of a way to refresh it and prevent lunch boredom. I decided to take the same flavors from the marinade and turn it into a spicy lime peanut sauce that would glaze baked turkey meatballs, and serve them over white rice with some diced carrots, onions and scallions. One of the things I love about this recipe is you can be prepping all of the elements simultaneously; the sauce can cook on the stove while the meatballs are in the oven, and I use my Instant Pot to cook rice while I chop up the veggie toppings. It makes enough for a few dinner portions or a whole work week of lunches broken down into some microwaveable glass containers! Get the full recipe below:
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Sometimes instagram makes me crazy — the always changing algorithms, my slight addiction to checking it — but one thing I currently love about it is that it’s an instant feedback loop for my content. People tend to comment on my blog posts less and less, but more and more I’m having great 1:1 conversations with readers in Instagram messages. Last week I shared a fun summer BBQ menu idea, and right after posting it I got a ton of questions from readers about the pasta dish in the images. I wasn’t planning on sharing the pasta recipe because I didn’t have great photos of it, and the recipe needed some adjustments. But after a few requests I decided to write it up and with some tweaks!   read more

I’m really excited to share this recipe with you today because it’s one I’ve been working on for a bit! I love a corn chowder. While most young adults gain the freshman 15 at college from drinking too much beer, I gained it because I used to eat corn chowder for lunch 3x a week at the Au Bon Pain (ironically) located underneath our campus gym. I debated with someone recently about corn chowder being a summer dish — it is, after all, the season when corn is at peak-tastiness. And I find it to be a delicious thing to eat on a cool summer night by the beach. I made a batch of it when we were on the Cape a few weeks ago, and decided to tweak the recipe a bit more another night last week. This spin has lots of spiced flavor from the cumin and chili powder, balancing out the sweetness of the corn. One of my favorite local restaurants serves a version of this dish with a potato crusted haddock, which inspired me to give my own recipe a seafood addition. I served it with a piece of blackened cod on top, and it was a hit. Even Jane got in on the action and had a piece of the fish and some corn — yum! Get the recipe below. read more

I’m really looking forward to this weekend; we have a perfect amount of fun-plans and downtime on the calendar. I’m heading into Boston for a girls night with my best pals, plan to hit up a barbecue with friends, and will do a little grilling of our own too! I am acutely aware of the madness that is about to start as summer turns to fall and my book comes out. I spent much of this week working on event plans for the book launch, and as my fall calendar fills up, I’m relishing in these lightly scheduled summer days. Here’s hoping you also have a some quiet summer days ahead – before you get there, a few Friday links to get you to the weekend! read more

When we were on vacation we visited a fun restaurant in Provincetown, and I swore that every other guest that came back from the bar and a big giant frosé cocktail. I didn’t get to order one and I have been thinking about it ever since! When I got home I decided to try my hand at making my own version of frosé mixed with some sweetened berry flavors. I got a little bit impatient as the wine was freezing, and before I got to blending it in our blender into a true frosé, I decided to dig in sooner while it was still in it’s slushy frozen state. It came out like a sweet granita dessert, but with rosé flavors coming through. It’s one part cocktail, one part frozen snack, and 100% delicious — find out how to make this easy treat below!  read more

Last night, Mike and I got to go on a super fun (kid-free!) excursion in Boston thanks to the team at Marshalls. We started the afternoon off at the Marshalls Fenway store, heard about their partnership with the Red Sox, and got a sneak peek at some of the trends and products that are coming for fall and the back to school season (lots of denim, athleisure, and comfortable spins on classic autumn looks). After we heard about the trends, we actually got to shop them and explored the store for a bit. I came home with a really pretty fall blazer in a soft sage-army green with leather sleeves that I’m SO excited to wear! read more

I know I’m probably in the minority here, but I really love grocery shopping. I get that it’s a not-so-fun chore for a lot of people, but I really enjoy it. I love to go to the store for inspiration, scanning the produce and proteins for my next recipe ideas. Last week I got the chance to check out the new Wegmans store in Natick, and because I’m a grocery-shopping-nerd I was delighted to explore it. read more