‘Tis the season for celebrations, and my favorite time of year to entertain! Our calendars are full of events from Thanksgiving to New Years, with friendsgiving, cookies swaps, gift exchanges, and holiday parties in between. I like to get prepared for the season with a few timeless tips that help me entertain effortlessly all season long. I have been relying on lots of the ideas in Better Homes & Gardens Holiday Entertaining Guide and am sharing a few more of my best tips here today: read more

The countdown to turkey day is on, and I have a one-stop-shop for all of your Thanksgiving menu planning needs! I rounded up everything from easy appetizers to decadent sides, turkey tips, batch cocktails, and some sweet treats to end your meal. I even a tasty idea for eating those leftovers the day after too! Scroll down to browse over 20 of my favorite Thanksgiving menu recipes and ideas. read more

This post was created in partnership with Hood Eggnog. All opinions, images, and content are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support this site.

This is the time of year when I’m ready to go all out for entertaining. I love big feasts, over the top appetizer displays, and decadent desserts. I especially love adding some dishes and treats to my party plan that feel special and highlight holiday traditions. That’s where the idea for this festive dessert came from – a Pumpkin Eggnog Milkshake that puts a playful spin on a favorite holiday tradition. read more

We aren’t very big on appetizers at Thanksgiving, because the main event is such an event, but one or two little bites might be passed out to keep everyone huddled around the coffee table instead of buzzing around the kitchen for a taste! These mini baked brie pie bites are as simple as can be, and you can tweak the recipe to work with ingredients you have on hand. You can take some leftover pie dough from you holiday pies (or pre-made is fine!), and cut them into small discs to fit inside a mini-muffin tin. Then you just top fill them with a slice of brie, a jam or fruit butter of your choice (I use homemade pumpkin butter from my cookbook, but apple butter or a berry jam work too!),  then finish them off with a pecan. Bake them for just a few minutes and they’ll come out of the oven ooey-gooey and oh so delicious. Get the full recipe below: read more

I’m all about the high-calorie side dishes on Thanksgiving (like butter-packed mashed potatoes, yes please!), but I know it that it’s all about balance. We need some variety on the table, and veggies that aren’t soaked in butter have their place too (right next to the mashed potatoes!). I have been on a big kick lately of roasting squash and carrots in this simple dressing made with honey, a bit of brown sugar, coarse ground dijon mustard, and a dash of olive oil. It’s such a simple dish, one that I whip up on weeknights, but comes together so beautifully that it feels holiday-table worthy too! Get the full recipe below: read more

This post was created in partnership with Hood Cream. All opinions, images, and content are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support this site!

I got to go to a really cool event last week with Hood Cream in Boston to get prepped for some holiday cooking! The event was a combination of a cooking class and demo with Chef Chris Coombs (of Deuxave, dBar and Boston Chops). Chef Coombs is the chef and spokesperson for Hood Cream was there to share some of his professional tips and tricks. read more

When it comes to holiday hosting, I like to keep a few go-to holiday recipes and tricks in my back pocket so that I’m ready to entertain within a moment’s notice. I’ve shared a few of my favorite hacks and a tasty holiday dessert recipe in the most recent issue of Family Circle Magazine, and wanted to add a few more here to help you prep for the busy hosting season ahead! read more

When my cookbook first came out last month, my sister gave me the most thoughtful present to celebrate the occasion. She had asked tons of my closest friends and family to write me a note or recall a memory of me, and she shared all of the anecdotes in a book for me to read the day before the book launched. It was probably the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me! In the collection of notes, three separate people mentioned how much they loved a recipe I wrote years ago for a mixed scallop potatoes dish. I have to admit that I didn’t even remember the recipe! I had to back into the archives and read it, and once I did I remembered instantly how tasty it was. I decided to take that concept and give it a refresh with just sweet potatoes this time, and bit of a different look — it still has all of that great, rich creamy flavor though because the holidays are not a time to be counting calories. Get the full recipe below. read more

Stuffing is one of the highlights of Thanksgiving dinner table at our house. I love it; and we’ve gotten in the habit of making two types to ensure that there are leftovers. One classic stuffing with the store-bought mix (because that stuff is so darn good in a turkey sandwich the day after the holiday) and one stuffing that has some special mix-ins. I’ve made it with sage and squash, with sausage and apples, and this year I thought it would be fun to give our stuffing some major flavor with Everything Bagel seasoning.  The base of the stuffing is made with a mix of corn bread and white bread, and it gets tons of seasonal flavor from onions, sage, parsley and celery seed. The everything bagel seasoning on top gives it texture and a salty bite — it’ll be a hit on your Thanksgiving table. Get the recipe below: read more

We are celebrating Thanksgiving with my side of the family this year, and while I won’t host it at my house, I do most of the cooking! My mom and I were starting to brainstorm the menu and she mentioned the holiday staple: green bean casserole. I admired to her that while I love the creamy sauce and French’s crispy onions on top, I didn’t care much for the actual green beans. I had a lightbulb moment and thought, what if I took those flavors I loved from the green bean casserole, and mixed them into spinach for a bit of a hybrid dish. It’s one part creamed spinach, one part green bean casserole, and I still get plenty of those crispy, salty French’s onions — they’re a tradition I’ll never break! Get the recipe below: read more