I have been in kind of a dinner rut lately, making the same things on repeat. As I was thinking about what to make for dinner last week I realized that I’ve been lacking my favorite summer inspiration: strolls through the farmer’s market. Perusing fresh ingredients, taking in the colors and smells, and pulling ideas from what is in season is a huge part of how I brainstorm new recipes. Until I can get back to the farmer’s market, I started to dig into some older summer recipes to freshen up my meal plan. I stumbled upon an “ultimate caprese” board I made last year and decided to give it a revamp. This version is full of sweet peaches, prosciutto, burrata and tons of juicy tomatoes and fresh basil from my garden. I love how the sweetness of the peaches balances the salty prosciutto and creamy burrata — it’s like summer on a plate!  read more

I partnered with EatingWell magazine to share some tips and pointers to go along with a beautiful recipe series their editorial team created that celebrates the summer table. All of the recipes feature fun spins on warm-weather dishes and highlight the best ingredients the season has to offer. While I love coming up with my own recipes and experimenting in my kitchen, there’s something really relaxing about working my way through a new recipe that someone else created. I got the opportunity to just that, and recreated all of the dishes from the summer table series at home! I’m sharing a bit more about each summer menu item and the ingredients that made them stand out – be sure to check out July-August issue of EatingWell magazine on newsstands now for all of the recipes. read more

I’ve been thinking lately, with all of these meals we’re eating at home, how to mix up the staple recipes in our weekly dinner routine to feel new. With the warm weather (finally) here, I’ve been turning to the grill quite a bit for dinner-prep. I love that it gives me some time outside in the fresh air, and generally makes quick work of the cooking process. We love a good pasta dish in our house, and this recipe is a fun way to bring the grilled flavor into a quick, weeknight pasta recipe. I made this simple dish with just 10 ingredients: pasta, veggies, tons of fresh herbs from my garden, and flavorful al fresco chicken sausage. read more

Picnics are having a real moment at our house. Since we’ve been spending so much time at home, taking our lunch outside is a welcome change of scenery. It’s also usually a tasty excuse to think about how to make a weekday meal feel special. Now that the weather is feeling more summery, I’ve also been plotting some outdoor activities where a packed picnic is key. I made these simple mason jar salads that were built for backyard picnics and weekend adventure lunches — layered with antipasto ingredients, vinaigrette and Little Leaf Farms lettuce. read more

We have a few summer traditions that are absolute essentials for our family and one is particularly tasty: making my Grandma’s homemade blueberry cobbler recipe. The family recipe is in my cookbook’s summer berry chapter, but I still love pulling out the original flour and butter stained index card that my Grandmother wrote the recipe on years ago. To me, each bite tastes like a burst of summer. I was craving it recently and looked in the fridge to see I only had a few blueberries left — not enough to make the recipe. What I did have was some leftover peaches and strawberries from a rosè sangria I had mixed up earlier. So, I did a little experiment and used my base cobbler recipe to mix up a strawberry and peach cobbler. read more

Before we started social distancing, I used to go to the grocery store at least 3 times a week. Popping into the store every few days for last minute ingredients that I forgot or fulfilling a craving I had for a dinner idea. Now I am trying to stretch my grocery trips to last me 9 or 10 days and it’s totally flipped the way I think about my meal plan. I’m leaning on recipes that use up every last ingredient in the fridge and picking proteins that have a longer shelf life. The al fresco chicken sausage has been a lifesaver. I have different varieties stocked up in my fridge to toss into a pasta dish or serve on top of roasted spaghetti squash, to mix into omelets and frittatas, and I’ve even chopped up the buffalo chicken style sausage on top of a loaded baked potato. read more

A few years ago I hosted a bridal shower at my home on a steaming hot summer day. The weather was so warm that I started to panic that my menu wouldn’t hold up in the heat. I went down my list of recipes, trying to figure out what I could rework and tweak to survive the oppressive backyard sun. I got to the potato salad on the list and decided to cross off my traditional recipe (which you can find in my cookbook!) from the menu and swap it for a French-style potato salad made with a vinaigrette instead of mayonnaise. It was a winner, and something I always keep in my back pocket now for warm weather gatherings. read more

Have you noticed recently how so many people are cooking from scratch more now that everyone is at home? We have tried our hand at fresh bread, roasting chickens, and tons of baked goods. Part of it is that we’re looking for something to do at home on the weekends (cooking with kids is usually a pretty fun, if not messy, activity). But another big part of it is out of necessity! We place our grocery store order online and it’s a bit like playing roulette to see what exactly will be in the bags when we arrive for curbside pick-up. My recent order was missing an out of stock item that I was craving: tortilla chips to dunk in my favorite Heluva Good! Dips, so I decided to try and make my own. read more

Taco night is a favorite in our household. Whenever I’m stumped about what to make for dinner, the first suggestion that always gets thrown out is “how about tacos?” and I am nearly always on board. Lately we have been making it part of our Saturday routine to grill up a bunch of tasty chicken and make our own tortillas (my sister gave us this fun tortilla making kit for Christmas and it’s fun to do as a family).  One of my favorite side dishes to make when we’re having taco night is a spicy chipotle broccoli slaw. Most of the time when I make this dish, I use a broccoli slaw mix that you can get near the bagged lettuce at the grocery store. I’ve had trouble finding it lately in my grocery orders so I decided to make my own version — scroll down for the full recipe! read more

There’s a lot of tough news in the world right now, so I’ve been trying my hardest to find the silver linings wherever I can. Little bits of light and positivity make all the difference to my mood and outlook. It can be something as simple as making our weekends feel a little bit different than the weekdays, even though when we’re all at home together it all kind of feels like it’s blending together! One fun thing I’ve been doing on the weekends is mixing up some special cocktails, experimenting with the ingredients I have on hand to make something tasty. My friends at Riondo Prosecco sent me some of their delicious, bubbly prosecco to  #TakeASeccoTo enjoy a little happy hour, and I got to work mixing up this simple cocktail. read more