Dinner is always a challenge, but recently I’ve been a little more frazzled getting a meal on the table. A certain toddler in my life may have something to with that? I’ve been trying to do a little bit of meal-prep on Sunday afternoons so that we have at least one meal in the fridge that we can use for lunches or a quick dinner for busy weeks. My favorite kind of meal-prep recipe is one that I can make once and use in a few different meals, and this flavor-packed garlic and herb turkey meatball recipe is one of them! read more

I have been nursing a cough and a cold for over a week – the change of the seasons always gets me! Add to that a week of cool, rainy weather, and I’ve been gravitating all things cozy and comforting. Lots of tea, early bedtimes, and a craving for soup that I just couldn’t ignore. I’ve been thinking a lot about one soup in particular that I just couldn’t get out of my head – an amazingly balanced potato leek soup from a farm store near my parent’s house. I had it for lunch a few weeks back, and couldn’t get it out of my head. We ate it with crusty bread and slices of sharp herbed cheddar cheese and it was so flavorful. I knew I had to recreate it home – and decided to combine the best parts of this unforgettable lunch into one pot: a potato leek soup infused with those sharp cheddar and herb flavors. read more

I feel very protective of my autumn weekends now. I try so very hard not to overschedule them so that we can enjoy quiet Sundays at home. I’m not much of a football person, but I do love the idea of hanging out with my family on the couch and eating tasty homemade food. The game is on in the background, but I’m really here for the lounging and the snacks.  My husband got a smoker earlier this year, and we have been firing it up on weekends to make all kinds of slow-smoked dishes. One of my favorite things we’ve made on the smoker is pulled pork. It is full of flavor and moisture, and the outside gets the most delicious crispy bark. read more

I had a perfect fall Sunday — we picked up some pumpkins for our porch, played outside with Jane, and watched football. During Jane’s nap time I had a few items on my to-do list that needed to get done, so of course I decided to procrastinate and do a little baking. That perfect autumn weather was calling me — it was so nice to turn on the oven without worrying about heating up out kitchen. I was craving something sweet and pumpkin-y, but had a bunch of too-ripe bananas that needed to be used up. So I tested a banana-pumpkin batter to make these tasty little muffins. They have the density of banana bread, a sticky moist texture from the sour cream, and all of the flavors of sweet pumpkin spice. Jane woke up from her nap and was delighted to find the results of my to do list procrastination, she gobbled up a muffin in minutes and was standing on her tippy toes to grab a second one off the counter. Get the full recipe below! read more

As soon as that first drop in temperatures happens in September, I get SO excited about switching up my weekly dinner menu to bring in some autumn-inspired dishes. It’s so nice to get to bring some comfort foods back in the mix, and not to fear turning my oven up and overheating in my kitchen. When the cool air blew in last week, I got experimenting with this easy weeknight dinner full of fall-harvest flavors: Apple Dijon Skillet Chicken. Just seeing my skillet back on the counter is a sign of the seasons changing! read more

I had a giant craving for a taco salad this week, and got to work on creating the very best version I could dream up. I remember my mom making taco salad when were kids, and she would give us a scoop of tortilla chips that we could crunch up on our plates before adding toppings (which was mostly just cheese and meat as a kid, right?). My version has a little bit of everything, and a whole lot of color — ground beef with black beans and corn, yellow rice and crispy lettuce, tomatoes, olives and scallions, big slices of ripe avocado, and of course some cheese and tortilla crisps. I finished the salad off with a homemade honey lime vinaigrette; it’s easy to make in a small mason jar! Add in all of the ingredients and give it a vigorous shake before dressing your salad — and save the extra in the mason jar for taco salad leftovers for lunch the next day. Get the full recipe below: read more

The most frequent question I get asked by readers is what do I feed Jane at mealtime? All us moms are in the same boat –toddlers are complex, finicky little creatures and feeding them things they’ll actually eat can take a whole lot of energy and creativity! For the most part, Jane is a great eater; she tries lots of things and enjoys a good variety of foods. We’re very consistent with breakfast – she eats eggs and a smoothie everyday. For dinner, she will generally eat a broken-down version of what the adults are having. read more

Grilled pizza is a weekend staple at our house, the perfect Friday night treat! We mix up the toppings each week with leftovers from the fridge — it’s a great way to use up extra veggies and other ingredients. My most recent grilled pizza experiment used up the end of a batch of my hidden-veggie bolognese sauce. It’s a heart meaty sauce that I pack with carrots and spinach — a perfect way to sneak veggies into toddler meals! It made for a super tasty pizza, and the best part is that a big batch of this sauce will get you a few meals. I use it on pizza, on pasta, in casseroles and even freeze the leftovers to save for future dishes! Get the recipe below.  PS: there is a whole chapter dedicated to grilled pizzas in my new book with recipes for homemade pizza dough, a simple tomato sauce, my favorite pizza seasoning, and lots of grilled pizza combinations — pre-order it here!  read more

Last week I wrote a big blog post about my favorite cookbooks that I use for dinner inspiration — especially when I’m in a dinner-planning rut. I heard from so many readers that they were often in a similar spot, uninspired and stumped about what to make for dinner. More than that, everyone seems to be looking for ideas that quick and easy because dinner time can be downright hectic (we have our fair share of toddler meltdowns right before dinnertime too!). I decided to dig into my recipe archives this week and pull out over 20 of my tried-and-true dinner ideas that I lean on when I need to get something tasty on the table after work. I hope this list helps make planning dinner a little bit easier this week!  read more

I was going to save this post for later in the week, assuming people were more likely to get excited about making cocktails over the weekend. It’s Monday though, and man, Mondays can be rough — a good cocktail just might be the perfect solution to send this darn Monday off into the sunset. (Side note: I think summer Mondays are the hardest because summer weekends are SO fun and awesome that they just magnify how Mondayish Mondays can be). Okay, onto cocktails! I have made this simple summer sangria on several occasions this summer and it has been a hit. It’s really tasty, like, the pitcher is magically empty in 15 minutes kind of tasty. The best part is it’s super easy to make — just chop up some fruit, add tiny bit of sugar and lemon juice, and top with white wine before chilling and serving. You can mix it up and add in whatever fruit strikes your fancy — I made one batch with some juicy pieces of watermelon, and another where I muddled in a few raspberries. Get the full recipe below, and cheers! read more