I’m all about taking classic comfort foods and giving them a fresh twist. Rethinking the classics helps me keep things interesting and break out of dinner ruts! With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I wanted to give a traditional shepherd’s pie a makeover. This dish is festive to serve for the holiday, but also makes for a cozy and hearty weeknight dinner too (you can prep them in advance and bake them off when you’re ready to serve).  I used turkey to lighten the base of the recipe up a bit, and baked the filling inside potato skins for a twice-baked-potato style shepherd’s pie — scroll down for the full recipe! read more

Before I share recipes on the blog I like to do lots of testing and experimenting, and since I got a new air fryer I have been doing just that.After lots of trials with a variety of dishes, I’m excited to share my first air fryer recipe today: air fryer corned beef and cabbage spring rolls for St. Patrick’s Day! Corned beef and cabbage always reminds me of my as-Irish-as-they-come grandpa, a dish my as-Italian-as-they-come grandma would make for him on St. Patrick’s Day (it was a lot of meatballs and lasagna the other 364 days a year and he didn’t complain!). This version has a modern twist, and I think would be quite fun to make as an appetizer to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day while sipping your favorite Irish beer. The ingredients get rolled up in a spring roll wrapper (wonton wrappers would work well too!) and crisped up quickly in the air fryer. Serve it was a good grainy mustard for dipping! Get the recipe below: read more

A few months ago I got a real craving for chocolate mousse. I dug around for a recipe, made it for no occasion at all, and whipped up a decadent dark chocolate batch. In the process I realized two things: 1) it’s actually quite simple to make, and 2) it’s SO DARN DELICIOUS. I am in a season of mousse right now and have made it a few more times since, each time better than the next. I thought I’d try my hand at a St. Patrick’s Day inspired version and incorporated Guinness beer into the recipe! I served them in wide champagne coupes for easiest spoon-ability, but consider putting them in beer glasses with extra whipped cream to mimic the look of a that classic Guinness beer with a white foamy top!  Get the festive recipe below:  read more

Our family is continuing our efforts to eat more vegetarian meals each week and this Taco Lentil Soup recipe has been a perfect weeknight dish to help us with that goal. A few things I love about this recipe: 1) it’s easy to make and is a one-pot meal for quick clean up, 2) it’s full of pantry staples like dry lentils, canned beans, salsa and taco spices so I can make it when there’s not much in the fridge, and 3) the recipe is great for making ahead of time and reheats well for leftovers. read more

We are in a stage of toddler-hood where everything and anything must be tied to a seasonal theme. We need decorations on all of our windows that feature the nearest holiday, our Sunday morning pancakes must be in the shape of a holiday icon (bunnies! shamrocks! hearts!), and even our after dinner treats require some seasonal touches. Jane requested St. Patrick’s Day cookies and we made this green M&M cookie recipe together on a recent snowy day. read more

I am always on a mission to reduce food waste, and one of my favorite ways to use up the scraps leftover in our fridge is to make a big pot of chicken stock. It’s a ritual in our house, every few weeks I’ll roast a chicken for dinner and use the leftovers for lunches and the bones for replenishing my stash of chicken stock (it freezes well for later use!). The stock is a kitchen staple –I use it in so meals from soups and sauces, and it even tastes great on it’s own. My secret to make fast work of stocking up on stock is to use my Instant Pot read more

When I was brainstorming recipes and content for the new year, I was admittedly in a bit of a rut — struggling with fresh ideas. I’ve been blogging for over a decade and sometimes I have to go back to my own site to ask “did I already do that?” One thing I realized: a lot of my everyday meals, the staple dishes I make every week, are so second nature to me that I never take the time to write them down. I’m trying to be better at capturing the “classics” from my weekly meal plan, and this skillet roasted chicken is an all-time fave that I make often. We typically eat the legs and thighs for dinner and save the leftover chicken breast meat for chicken salad, soups, taco filling, etc. The bones get added to my instant pot with all the leftover veggies in my fridge drawer and I make stock to tuck away in the freezer. Don’t be afraid of the spatchcocking process, you just need some sharp kitchen shears and a brave face (this tutorial is helpful). Get the rest of the recipe below! read more

I’ve been craving a big, restaurant-style Caesar salad and mixed up one from scratch this week. The keys to an amazing Caesar salad: crunchy crisp greens, lots of fresh cracked black pepper and salty parmesan cheese, and a fresh, homemade dressing! It’s simple to make, and the vigorous whisking can count as your arm workout for the day. A few tips: You can use whole anchovies, but I opt for the paste since you only need a tiny bit and it lasts longer in the fridge! And if the raw egg makes you nervous you can substitute 1 Tbsp of mayonnaise for the egg yolk. See the recipe below: read more

I think I’m having the opposite of a Dry January (who decided to make that a thing – rude!). Mixing up a special cocktail has become part of our stay-at-home weekend rituals now. With more time hanging around the house, I’ve really been enjoying experimenting with new combinations. This drink has a flavorful simple syrup that was inspired by some beautiful blood oranges I found at Trader Joe’s last week. The blood oranges get simmered with a simple syrup mixture, and fresh rosemary sprigs and spiced cinnamon sticks. It’s a fragrant mixture that has all of my favorite cocktails notes — herbs, citrus, and a touch of spice. The syrup gets chilled and mixed with gin, then topped with bubbly prosecco or champagne — it makes for a festive bubbly drink! Get the recipe below:  read more

When I was writing my cookbook, New England Invite: Fresh Feasts to Savor the Season, I worked with my publisher to find images for the cover that exemplified each season. We had the quintessential lobster bake for summer, fresh veggie crudité for spring, and for the winter we used a holiday green salad dotted with juicy red cranberries.  The wintery, festive salad was made for holiday entertaining and after a few years on the shelf I thought it could use an update with some crisp Little Leaf Farms greens! read more