This post was created in partnership with Hood Cream. All opinions, images, and content are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support this site!

I always find when I make a dessert “mini” sized that people are more likely to grab a bite – and these cheddar apple hand pies are no exception. They’re a bite-sized take on the traditional apple pie with just a few adjustments to make them feel exciting and new. I served them with a spiced caramel whipped cream that acts as a dipping sauce for the hand pies – made with cinnamon, nutmeg, and rich caramel swirled into a homemade whipped cream made with Hood Heavy Cream. read more

I have a super easy appetizer idea for your holiday celebrations today: Butternut Squash and Ricotta Crostini. It takes just a few simple ingredients to put this together; sweet roasted cubes of butternut squash, creamy whole milk ricotta, and crusty toasted slices of bread. Then these little bites are finished off with a garnish of chopped fresh sage and the star ingredient: a sprinkle of Sel Marin. Louis Sel is the most delicious sea salt blended with provencal herbs. A good friend of mine, Karen, found out about this amazing salt at a Parisian food fair and could never quite find something similar back here at home. She decided to bring Louis Sel to the US and I’m so glad she did because now I put it on everything (I call it magic salt, because it magically makes me crave vegetables when I add it on top of a dish!). If you have any foodie friends or family, it would make a lovely holiday gift (maybe pair it with a nice cookbook, I have one you might like, wink wink!). Or grab some for yourself and get making this tasty appetizer for the holidays — full recipe below: read more

This is my favorite time of year for setting a beautiful table. I set this table for a fun event I’m hosting with Boston Interiors on December 6that their Natick store where I’ll be sharing some of my best tips for styling a holiday table. You won’t want to miss it, there will be swag bags, giveaways, tasty treats, and I’ll be signing books after my table styling demo. Plus you can get a little holiday shopping done with 20% off all holiday gifts, and pick up some of the pieces I used in this tablescape. You can RSVP at www.bostoninteriors.com/events. read more

This is my season to shine! I love coming up with new recipes for the holiday season, and this year I have so many fun ones to share. When I’m brainstorming recipes ideas I’m always thinking about how I can create tasty dishes that can be prepped ahead of time. While I love cooking for friends and family, I also like to actually hang out with them too and don’t want to spend the whole time they’reover in the kitchen. Today’s holiday appetizer idea is a Garlic and Herb Crab Pinwheel – it’s very easy to prepare, and you can make most of the recipe in advance;just slice and bake when you’re ready to serve them! read more

‘Tis the season for celebrations, and my favorite time of year to entertain! Our calendars are full of events from Thanksgiving to New Years, with friendsgiving, cookies swaps, gift exchanges, and holiday parties in between. I like to get prepared for the season with a few timeless tips that help me entertain effortlessly all season long. I have been relying on lots of the ideas in Better Homes & Gardens Holiday Entertaining Guide and am sharing a few more of my best tips here today: read more

The countdown to turkey day is on, and I have a one-stop-shop for all of your Thanksgiving menu planning needs! I rounded up everything from easy appetizers to decadent sides, turkey tips, batch cocktails, and some sweet treats to end your meal. I even a tasty idea for eating those leftovers the day after too! Scroll down to browse over 20 of my favorite Thanksgiving menu recipes and ideas. read more

This post was created in partnership with Hood Eggnog. All opinions, images, and content are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support this site.

This is the time of year when I’m ready to go all out for entertaining. I love big feasts, over the top appetizer displays, and decadent desserts. I especially love adding some dishes and treats to my party plan that feel special and highlight holiday traditions. That’s where the idea for this festive dessert came from – a Pumpkin Eggnog Milkshake that puts a playful spin on a favorite holiday tradition. read more

We aren’t very big on appetizers at Thanksgiving, because the main event is such an event, but one or two little bites might be passed out to keep everyone huddled around the coffee table instead of buzzing around the kitchen for a taste! These mini baked brie pie bites are as simple as can be, and you can tweak the recipe to work with ingredients you have on hand. You can take some leftover pie dough from you holiday pies (or pre-made is fine!), and cut them into small discs to fit inside a mini-muffin tin. Then you just top fill them with a slice of brie, a jam or fruit butter of your choice (I use homemade pumpkin butter from my cookbook, but apple butter or a berry jam work too!),  then finish them off with a pecan. Bake them for just a few minutes and they’ll come out of the oven ooey-gooey and oh so delicious. Get the full recipe below: read more

I’m all about the high-calorie side dishes on Thanksgiving (like butter-packed mashed potatoes, yes please!), but I know it that it’s all about balance. We need some variety on the table, and veggies that aren’t soaked in butter have their place too (right next to the mashed potatoes!). I have been on a big kick lately of roasting squash and carrots in this simple dressing made with honey, a bit of brown sugar, coarse ground dijon mustard, and a dash of olive oil. It’s such a simple dish, one that I whip up on weeknights, but comes together so beautifully that it feels holiday-table worthy too! Get the full recipe below: read more

This post was created in partnership with Hood Cream. All opinions, images, and content are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support this site!

I got to go to a really cool event last week with Hood Cream in Boston to get prepped for some holiday cooking! The event was a combination of a cooking class and demo with Chef Chris Coombs (of Deuxave, dBar and Boston Chops). Chef Coombs is the chef and spokesperson for Hood Cream was there to share some of his professional tips and tricks. read more