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Someone recently commented on one of my instagrams that they were surprised I was able to cook so much with a newborn baby. The first month of Jane’s life I actually barely lifted a finger in the kitchen.  My mom stayed with us for about two weeks and took over most of the cooking duties when we were right out of the hospital. The next few weeks after that we were so lucky to have amazing friends that brought over frozen casseroles and easy to reheat dinners. Once we finally got into a rhythm with Jane though, I really missed cooking and was eager to get back to my kitchen — cooking has alway been my best method for relaxation. Cooking with a baby is a different experience than before, and while I still love to chop and sauté and season, I have to get the whole thing done a bit quicker now.  read more

One last snow day calls for some savory, indulgent comfort food, am I right? I have been craving sweet potatoes lately and decided to mix up my usual method of baking them into crispy fries and try something new. Enter my twice baked buffalo blue sweet potatoes. After baking sweet potatoes in the oven for almost an hour, I scooped out the center and mixed in blue cheese, scallions, butter and hot sauce to incorporate all of my favorite elements of Buffalo chicken. Then I filled the potato skins back up with the mixture and baked them off with more blue cheese on top to melt in the flavors. A few more scallions and some sour cream were added on top for a true twice-baked potato experience! Get the full recipe below:  read more

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

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

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

Do you have a go-to warm weather recipe? The one you default to when it’s just too hot out to cook? I think this is my new  heat-wave dinner default, a summery panzanella salad packed with local, fresh ingredients that would make any farmer’s market wanderer proud. Panzanella always reminds me of Ina Garten, she’d say to use “good” olive oil and sprinkle giant sea salt flakes on top, so I like to channel her when tossing this together. What makes this panzanella different? Lots of sweet fresh corn — it’s the best this time of year and adds so much flavor and color! I served it with a few pieces of rotisserie chicken (didn’t even make it, I cheated and snagged one from the grocery store! Another great way to beat the heat!) and drizzled it with olive oil and salt and pepper to dress it up the flavors. I know this dish is going to be on repeat all the way through Labor Day.IMG_4161 read more

Life goal: find ways to make pasta more healthy. I could seriously eat pasta for every single meal, but know that I shouldn’t! Salt for Life and their team challenged me and a few other bloggers to come up with healthy recipes featuring a few key ingredients (like our own version of Chopped!). This is my second recipe in the series, check out the avocado-toast appetizer I created for my first recipe.CornSwissChardShells1 read more

Everywhere you look there’s a girl instagramming her avocado toast. I’ve seen more avocado toast on the internet than macarons lately, and that’s really saying something. So I start this post with a disclaimer, this isn’t an avocado toast, it’s California Bruschetta. So very different, right? I was going to call these mini-avocado toasts, but my husband walked in to scoop one off the tray mid-click of my camera shutter and asked — “what is this? California bruschetta?” He gets full credit for naming this one (and truth be told, he has a lot of great ideas that end up on this blog that he doesn’t always get credit for).  California Bruschetta 6 read more