With all that’s going on around us, I’ve been leaning a lot more into cooking. On a good day it’s my way of showing my family (who I’m in very close quarters with!) that I love them. But on a bad day, it’s also always been my escape. I find a lot of calmness in cooking, focusing on the task at hand, and embracing my creativity. This time of year, my cooking starts to lean into the change of seasons, and I love getting to see some of the first fresh spring ingredients appear –I was at a bridal shower a few weeks ago (before all of this social distancing started!) and the event had a delicious, spring-inspired menu. One dish was a beautiful green salad with big shaved slices of parmesan, and a grains salad that fulfilled my carb-needs. I mixed them both together on the plate and it made me think about how silly it is that we always separate green salads and pasta salads – why not mix them together?
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I think my ultimate goal when it comes to dinnertime is to create recipes that are fast, appeal to everyone, and require minimum clean-up. Getting a dish that can tackle all three of those requirements is easier said than done, but when I find one that works, I pretty much feel like Super Woman. I’m excited to report that the recipe I’m sharing today is one of those elusive speedy, one-pan, crowd-pleasing dinner ideas. I saw al fresco Mild Mexican Style Chicken Sausages in the grocery store and they inspired this dish, which is a marriage of two crowd pleasers – it’s one-part quesadilla, one-part pizza. read more

I made this dish for a quick weeknight dinner last week, it started as a “use what’s in the fridge” meal. We have been trying to get Jane to eat more veggies, and broccoli happens to be one green bite we can usually compromise on, so I’ve been keeping it on hand. I also had some tomatoes from a recent client photoshoot, and a few links of chicken sausage that I had leftover from another meal. The thing comes together in the amount of time it took to boil water and cook the pasta. While the pasta is doing it’s thing, I sautéed the tomatoes, broccoli, sausage and garlic together in butter, and the tomatoes burst to create a juicy caramelized base for the sauce. White wine deglazes and pulls up all of the flavor from the bottom of the pan, and some pasta water deepens the sauce and helps it stick to the cooked rigatoni. Fresh herbs and parmesan cheese finish the dish off, and let me tell you it was so simple and so tasty! Scroll down for the full recipe: read more

This post was created in partnership with Hatfield Quality Meats. All opinions, images and content are my own.

Is there anything tastier than a BLT? It’s such a perfect, classic combination of ingredients and one of my all-time favorite sandwiches. It’s so simple too – simple, quality ingredients like juicy red tomatoes, crisp, buttery green lettuce, and thick, crusty bread. The star of the show though is always the bacon! And high-quality, great tasting bacon like Hatfield’s Thick Cut Triple Smoked Bacon does the trick for me. To take my love for a classic BLT to the next level, I brought it from a weekday lunch to an entertaining spread (or really tasty family dinner) with a big DIY BLT Board full of all the fixings. read more

When I’m hosting family and friends – in groups big or small – I always try to lean on menu items that are customizable to guests tastes and preferences. It makes it easier when guests can pick and choose some elements of their dish to make their meal best fit their needs (particularly this time of year when lots of people are on New Year’s diets!). My grazing boards are always a big hit, and I thought I’d take that same concept and translate it to a DIY salad bar board so that guests could mix up their own combination of toppings and dressings with lots of leafy greens. read more

As a parent, I often feel like I’m James Bond on a secret mission. The mission, should you choose to accept it, is to do anything in your power to trick your toddler into eating vegetables. My latest sneaky-veggie-hiding spy tactic is in everyone’s favorite breakfast treat: waffles. The amazing thing about a waffle iron is you can waffle almost anything! I have been keeping some cauliflower tots in our freezer to add to Jane’s dinner plate every so often, anything dipped in ketchup is a sure bet for her. With a bunch of leftover tots on hand, I experimented with pressing them in the waffle iron and the outcome was delicious. They pressed together and resulted in a crispy, savory hashbrown-style waffle. read more

Over the holidays my husband and I did an overnight at the TWA Hotel in New York, and one of the highlights was our cocktail hour on Connie — the TWA plane that has been restored and turned into a bar and lounge. We ordered our drinks (martini for me, old fashioned for him) and settled on a hummus plate for a snack to fill us up before we went into Manhattan for a Broadway show. Our little mezze platter arrived along with our drinks and it was such a surprise hit — the hummus was delicious, the veggies were colorful and fresh, and the whole dish filled us up much more than we had expected. I’ve been thinking about it ever since and wanted to recreate it! read more

Anyone else feel like you need to eat all the vegetables the day after the Super Bowl? We had a fun weekend with a taco & margarita party at a friends house, and snacked our way through some homemade buffalo wings last night during the game so I’m ready for a week of healthy eating. I have a new recipe to share today for these easy hoisin turkey meatballs that I served with shredded carrots, pickled onions, and a tangy sriracha sauce over lettuce wraps. They make for great leftovers to pack for lunch, and I keep a few sriracha-free to serve with rice for a kid-friendly version. Scroll down to get the full recipe, and if you’re looking for more healthy, family-friendly dinner ideas visit a few of my blogger friends who are also sharing recipes today too: Home with the Wileys | Lilies And Lambs | Caitlin Houston | Purely Simple.
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I need to admit something: I’m not actually throwing an Oscars viewing party. I used to have a few of my work friends over to watch the Academy Awards back when I was young and fun and didn’t mind staying up late on a Sunday night. These days, it would be a certified miracle if I didn’t fall asleep on the couch before they announced Best Picture. The good news is, I’m an entertaining blogger! Which means I get to throw fake parties a week before any actual holiday or event in order to share my fun ideas for hosting your own celebration! So, I put together some ideas for a Hollywood-inspired, black tie grazing board to get ready for some awards show viewing this weekend. I won’t be sharing this with any Oscars night party guests, but I will certainly be making a mini-version for myself because I need to fuel up on snacks while I’m judging the red carpet from my cozy spot on the couch. read more

The commercials, the half-time show, and the snacks! Ok, the football too, but really it’s about the snacks. Brainstorming delicious bites for the Super Bowl is an annual tradition for me on the blog. I love my classic game day dishes like Mexican layer dip, buffalo chicken, and pigs in a blanket, but it’s such a fun night to indulge and try new recipes too! I have a big round up of over 30 recipes from to inspire your menu for the big game – from savory to sweet and a little spice mixed in too! Scroll down for all of the ideas, and warning: you may be hungry!

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