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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

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

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

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

One of my favorite Sunday nights of the year is rolling in at the end of this month: Oscars Night! I’ve been thinking through my snack options, drink recipes, and Oscar party details and my friends at Scratch.com offered to help with some of the leg work in pulling ideas together. Scratch.com is a cool new service that aims to make life easier for busy people (like me!) by helping them discover and buy gifts, home decor and more. We worked together and published a guide to all of the supplies you need for a glitzy (and tasty) viewing party — including glitter coasters and gilded barware and the best popcorn making tools that I used to create today’s recipe.  Let’s talk about this popcorn for a minute. I used pipcorn kernels and tossed them with a caramel glaze, sea salt and rosemary, and I don’t mean to brag but this stuff is GOOD. Like, I had to throw the leftovers in the trash AND then throw more garbage on top because I couldn’t stop eating it. I’m not proud to admit that, but it’s so addictive, I had to warn you. Serving them in darling gold and white popcorn boxes helps too. I hope you enjoy your red-carpet viewing with this tasty treat and manage to pace yourself better than I did eating all this popcorn; full recipe below (and a little treat for my readers, if you try Scratch.com between now and 3/2, you can enjoy 15% off your first purchase with code DKLIFE15): SaltedCaramelRosemaryPopcorn read more

I’m a mission to bring more funfetti-flavored carbs into the world. It’s a noble quest, and one I decided to invest some time in this weekend as a mini-celebration to ring in 7 years of blogging. If this blog is going to have a birthday treat, you better believe it’s going to get a funfetti-waffle. This idea is so simple, it doesn’t even need a recipe. Just whip up your favorite waffle or pancake mix, and fold in a few handfuls of sprinkles right before popping them in the griddle or waffle iron. For good measure, top with homemade whipped cream and extra sprinkles (I served mine with some salted caramel syrup, yum!).Funfetti Waffles 1 read more

Last weekend when Alison and I stayed at the Lark Hotels property in Narragansett, RI — The Break Hotel — we got the opportunity to meet their Chef Basil Yu at Chair 5 and partake in a little cooking class. We walked in not knowing what we were making, but were greeted by Basil and some fresh Narragansett Lobsters chilling out in the kitchen. He let us know we were going to be making their creamy Narragansett Lobster Fettucini with homemade pasta, and my eyes lit up. Give me all the cheesy, creamy pasta and top it off with some buttery fresh lobster plucked right out of the water down the street and I am a happy girl. Basil was awesome, he walked us through making the pasta by hand, we learned how to break down the lobsters (I’m going to be so much more confident ripping into a lobster this summer!) and went step by step through the recipe to create this gorgeous dish. It was ah-mazing, like I couldn’t stop eating it. And lucky us, he gave us the recipe to share with you so you can make it at home!Lobster Fettucini 1 read more

I got a julienne peeler for my birthday (it’s the same brand as my garlic press that I’m obsessed with — I love their tools) and have been so excited to use it. It’s a tiny littler alternative to some of those giant spiralizer tools, which I’ve tried and returned — am I the only one that’s had trouble with getting zoodles to work?! So I put my new kitchen gadget to the test and made these sweet potato corn cakes and have been eating them as a side dish, in the morning with eggs, and snacking on them too! It took a couple of tries to get them to stay together, so make sure you follow this trick in the recipe: squeeze the moisture out of them when you’re packing them into patties to help them hold their shape, and don’t flip them in the pan until one side is fully caramelized — it seals the pieces together. Full recipe below!Sweet Potato Corn Cakes 1 read more

Do you have those go-to recipes in your head that you can just make with your eyes closed? You know that pinch of this and a dash of that are the perfect measurements, no need for measuring cups or recipe cards. That’s my chili recipe — honed over the years to be both classic and at the same time totally unique to me. For example, I alway do half beef, half ground turkey — you still get the flavor of the beef but it cuts down on fat; I also feel strongly that all chili should be made with tasty golden kernels of corn (fire roasted is the way to go!) and simmered for hours in a sturdy cast iron dutch oven (I love our Martha Stewart one.). And my secret ingredient — a trick my dad taught me as a kid — is to add a can of baked beans into the mixture for a little punch of sweetness to balance out the spice.  A  few weeks back my sister pointed out that even though I make this 2x a month all winter long, I never posted about it before on the blog. So here it is, finally written in stone for her to use (and hopefully you too!). Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset read more