Jane’s birthday party was this past weekend and her request was for a celebration with “rainbows, sprinkles, and snacks” — all of her favorite things. When I was planning the menu I knew I wanted to incorporate some of her favorite foods, and donuts top her list of sweet treats! We unfortunately don’t have great gourmet donut shops by us, so I got creative with a little DIY to dress up some store-bought donuts with sprinkle to fit our party theme. read more

This post is sponsored by FAGE, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Raise your hand if you’re on a new year’s health kick! During the holidays I must have said “I’ll be better in the new year” about a dozen times, and now that the new year (and new decade!) are actually here, I’m buckling down to kick things off in a positive and healthy way. I read recently that a more effective way to tackle resolutions (particularly around health and eating) is to focus more on the good you can add rather than subtracting the bad – it’s less about missing out on the junky stuff, and more about adding in better options. One of the better options I’m experimenting with is delicious, rich and creamy all-natural FAGE Total Plain Greek yogurt. read more

On Christmas Eve I made this salad and it was one of the highlights of our holiday meal. Let’s be honest, that usually isn’t the case with the salad. We had a veritable Italian feast, and everyone was talking at the table about this pear vinaigrette, the creamy goat cheese, the sweet dried fruit and the crunchy roasted nuts (get the Trader Joe’s roasted sesame almonds if you can find them!). I even saw a few people go up for second helpings of the salad, the salad!!  I sat there kicking myself because I didn’t write down any of the ingredients or measurements as I was making it, and I knew I’d be working backwards trying to figure out what the heck I did to make it work. Well, I put in the time and got experimenting to recreate it so that I could share the details here — it makes a delicious lunch or side dish for entertaining — get the full recipe below: read more

I’m excited to be partnering with Little Leaf Farms this year again on some tasty recipes – their lettuce mixes are grown locally in a greenhouse facility in Devens, Massachusetts. I kicked off the year with a post about my sustainability goals, and I love that the Little Leaf Farms brand is aligned in those efforts –from collecting rainwater to use in their greenhouses to reducing the distance our food has to travel by growing year-round here in New England. My first recipe with  Little Leaf Farms is Chicken Caesar Salad Pizza – with football playoffs and that big snack-fueled football fest at the end of the month, I’ve been thinking about some new game day bites to add to my menu. read more

Please note: This post was created in collaboration with Chase Freedom Unlimited. All opinions, images and content are my own.

I have been working on my “be a better baker challenge” in collaboration with my friends at Chase Freedom Unlimited for several months now, and I’m winding down the official challenge but still baking away! This month I decided to tackle an apple pie, for a few reasons. First, I used my cash back credit card to stock up on the most beautiful, seasonal farm stand apples and I needed to make something with them! And second, apple pie is one of the few baked goods that I always felt really comfortable baking. It felt like the perfect time to come full circle, back to the basics, and see how far I’ve come over the past few months with a dish that’s tried and true. read more

This is one of my favorite posts to write each year — it’s like a greatest hits album for all of the deliciousness that I love about Thanksgiving. I’ve got everything from appetizers to desserts and all of the side dishes in between that you need to plan a drool-worthy Thanksgiving feast. Scroll down for 30+ Thanksgiving recipes to inspire your turkey day feast, and don’t forget, there’s a full Thanksgiving menu with recipes and tips in my cookbook — New England Invite: Fresh Feasts to Savor the Seasons! read more

I proclaimed to my family that after tons of work events and big projects this past week that I’m in desperate need of an “introvert night.” All I want is some cozy jammies, a rolling fire in the fireplace, a full DVR, and a delicious cocktail I can sip on while not talking to anyone. It’s a tall order for this time of year when our schedules are so darn busy with the beginning of the holiday bonanza but know I can check one item off that dream list though, in the form of this delicious cocktail that’s perfect for the late fall. It’s a Bourbon Ginger Pear Punch, and it packs some serious flavor into a glass. read more

I shared a hearty cornbread-sausage stuffing on the blog to kick off my new Thanksgiving recipes, and this stuffing is a swing in a totally different direction: Mushroom, Shallot Brioche Stuffing. It’s lighter and fluffier — almost like a bread pudding texture — and the flavors are much more earthy with shallots and mixed mushrooms and loads of fresh thyme. I’m always a fan of having one classic, basic stuffing on the table to stick to tradition, and then one stuffing that is a little bit more gourmet and different. This version definitely fits the bill for the latter category! Get the full recipe below, and check out all of my Thanksgiving recipes here! read more

I am feeling all of the fall flavors lately and finding ways to work the season’s best ingredients into every dish I make. This salad is bursting with those seasonal notes, combining roasted sweet potatoes, pepita-coated goat cheese bites, dried cranberries and a simple pumpkin vinaigrette made with pumpkin puree. The key to any good salad though is the base that it sits on – the greens! I build this harvest-inspired salad on Little Leaf Farms Red & Green Leaf Mix, which is grown locally in a greenhouse facility in Devens, Massachusetts! read more

I polled my readers a few weeks ago to figure out what people were looking for in their Thanksgiving menu research and overwhelmingly there was a call for fresh takes on vegetable dishes. I think that people were generally looking for healthy vegetables but on a day like Thanksgiving I find it quite hard not to make even the poster-child of healthy veggies — cauliflower — a bit indulgent. Cauliflower is such a great ingredient because it can take on so many different flavors depending on how it’s prepared (see my garlic and herb cauliflower mash for another good example). This version starts with roasting the cauliflower for a nutty, caramelized flavor and then gets topped off with a quick sauce made of brown butter, a splash of bourbon and sweet maple syrup. Then it’s all tossed together with chopped walnuts and fresh parsley — it’s simple but so flavorful! Get the full recipe below, and check out all of my Thanksgiving recipes here! read more