With kids out of school and adults working from home all day, like most people we are eating three full meals a day at home. Add to that the non-stop toddler snack requests, and my own time spent in the kitchen working on recipes for this site and my clients, I’m constantly looking for ways to make mealtime a little bit easier. It’s true, even food bloggers can use a break from all of this home cooking! One thing I’ve been doing for my own lunches lately is making a quick little snack plate to fill me up when I only have a few minutes to eat between juggling work and mom-life. It’s a choose your adventure sort of lunch, with a boost of protein from Hood Cottage Cheese, and whatever else you can find in your fridge and pantry. read more

We have been spacing out our grocery store visits quite a bit during social distancing, so getting creative with what’s in my pantry and making use of every-last-ingredient in my fridge has been a big part of mealtimes lately. We started the year off with a resolution to eat a bit less meat and swap in a few more vegetarian meals in an effort to have a lighter impact on the environment. It turns out our meat-free meal idea has translated pretty well to the current hunkered-down situation. This recipe is a winner for one of those meatless Monday lunches or dinners because it only takes about 15 minutes to make and uses a few simple pantry ingredients and my favorite Little Leaf Farms greens mix! read more

I have an endless number of variations of this pasta dish I make every spring – something simple yet buttery, a bit of white wine and pasta water for a silky sauce, and full of fresh veggies that speak to the season. My friends at Better Homes & Gardens magazine challenged me to create a recipe using delicious California Walnuts and I thought they would be a delightful and unexpected addition to a dish like this! This dish comes together quickly, so it’s perfect for weeknight dinners. read more

Soup is on repeat here the past few weeks. It’s been great for using up leftover veggies and pantry staples, pairs perfectly with all of the bread we’ve been baking, and feels like the right kind of comfort food to have during all of this social distancing. Plus the weather has been terribly cold and rainy recently: the ultimate soup weather. This soup is one that I tested a few weeks before we hunkered down, and it felt so appropriate for the times since there are lots of modifications you can make with what you have on hand. I opted for frozen fire-roasted corn, but canned works too. I used up a few pieces of bacon I had in the freezer but you can omit it if you want to make it vegetarian. You can use any kind of stock you have available, and the milk that gets stirred in the end is optional if you prefer a dairy-free version. We ate ours with some garlicky buttered naan bread that Jane and I made together using this recipe  — scroll down for the full recipe!  read more

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