It’s hard to improve mashed potatoes, I mean they’re carbs mixed with butter, so basically perfection in a side dish! I love to experiment with little tweaks to my favorite Thanksgiving dishes and had the zany idea to give my classic mashed potato recipe a Cacio e Pepe twist! I started with peeled russet potatoes and cooked them until they’re tender, while reserving a bit of the starchy potato water. When you make cacio e pepe, the starchy pasta water is key to a silky sauce! In a pan of melted butter and lots of cracked black pepper, I whisked in fresh parmesan cheese with the starchy potato water and a tiny bit of heavy cream to create a gooey, nutty, cheesy sauce that gets poured over the hot potatoes and mashed together. Mashing the potatoes by hand is KEY to getting them light and fluffy (I use this masher). In a recipe like this where the ingredients are so simple, quality makes a big difference – spring for good parmesan cheese and a high-quality butter (I like Kerrygold!), they’ll add so much flavor to the dish! Get the full recipe below: read more

Thanksgiving is *right* up there with my favorite holidays because I mean, FOOD! Amiright? Last year we stayed home and had the teeniest tiniest Thanksgiving feast with just the three of us and lots of Facetimes with our friends and family from afar. This year though, we are vaccinated and ready to talk turkey! I am so excited to celebrate with family again that I have already started testing my menu and making plans for my holiday table, and I did a little test-run at my house thanks to Walmart! read more

Raise your hand if you have 25 apples sitting on your counter from your autumn apple-picking excursions? Me too,  which can only mean one thing: it’s pie season! And pie season is the perfect time to share my go-to classic pie crust recipe. I use it for my holiday pie recipes as well as for all sorts of seasonal summer hand pies. My favorite way to use it is to top a piping-hot chicken pot pie. It’s a super simple recipe and versatile enough to work with sweet or savory pies. I recommend using a pastry cutter and blending the ingredients by hand to keep the butter from getting to warm; cold butter is the key to a flaky crust. Keep this one in your back pocket for Thanksgiving prep; you can double the recipe and keep the dough tightly wrapped in the fridge for about a week. Get the recipe below:  read more

I’ve got a cute little trick for dressing up my favorite Trader Joe’s pumpkin muffin mix, that makes for a fun, kid-friendly snack! I make the pumpkin muffin mix as directed – use your favorite recipe or mix – and then let the muffins cool completely. Then I break up some pretzels and use the curved bottom of the pretzel knot to push in a sage leaf. Leave some of the pretzel out to look like the stem of the pumpkin. (My husband thought they were supposed to look like apples, to which I say, great idea – this would work with an apple muffin mix too!). A two-minute decoration that makes these muffins look perfectly seasonal for fall entertaining!  read more

With Halloween parties, and Thanksgiving feasts, and Christmas dinners all on the horizon, we are entering one of my favorite seasons – tablescape season! I love to build a beautifully textured and layered design when setting my table for the holidays, and one of my favorite tricks for making a unique tablescape is to use fabric-by-the-yard for a handmade touch. I got a chance to play with some of the new Waverly Inspirations line of fabrics at Walmart, and I was like a kid in a candy shop playing with all the of colors and patterns in the collection! I picked out a few of my favorite Waverly Inspirations fabrics to set a fall-inspired table and share a few of my tricks for using fabric by the yard to create a handmade table design. read more

Tis’ the season for all things pumpkin! I love sneaking this seasonal flavor into dishes this time of year. I am partnering with my friends at Little Leaf Farms to share a few of my favorite ways to incorporate pumpkin into your salads, from savory roasted pumpkin to salty pumpkin seeds, pumpkin goat cheese, even a pumpkin vinaigrette. I love that you can pick one of these pumpkin-flavored ingredients for a hint of pumpkin to your crisp, fresh Little Leaf Farms greens or combine them all together for a pumpkin-packed salad experience! Get all the ideas below: read more

I’ve got an easy little hack for dressing up a box of brownie mix to make a festive holiday treat! I start with my favorite boxed brownie mix (ghiradelli dark chocolate!) and make the batter as directed on the box. Then I bake the brownies about 3/4 of the way, and then take them out to add my own festive toppings like candy eyes, Reese’s Pieces, halloween sprinkles and candy corn. Then I place them back in the oven for the rest of the cooking time to set the toppings but not fully melt them. It’s one additional quick step to the brownie making process and the result is a fun and spooky dessert for your Halloween celebrations!  read more

We are gearing up to host our second annual kids halloween party with a few of our closet friends, and I’ve been busy coming with fresh ideas to make it festive and fun for our guests. One idea that I tested out this weekend was a kid-friendly halloween snack board, full of toddler-friendly bites that fit my spooky theme!  read more

I love to mix up a signature drink when I entertain, and with the change of the seasons I’ve been adding to my cocktail repertoire with some fresh takes on classic recipes. Moscow mules are one of my favorite drinks for the fall, it’s a great in-between-drink when you’re done with summer but not quite ready to dive into the mulled wine territory. Moscow Mules have a bit of warmth and spice from the ginger beer and still feel crisp from the vodka and citrus. This version gets an extra boost of flavor from a homemade blackberry cardamom simple syrup, which smells just as good as it tastes from all of the fragrant flavor notes. Get the recipe below:  read more

Roasted butternut squash is one of my favorite fall treats, it’s like an autumnal harvest in every single bite! I’ve wanted to try a stuffed version that turns this sweet and savory squash into an entree and packed to the brim with even more seasonal flavors. This recipe brings together fragrant shallots, crumbled sausage, mushrooms, Swiss chard and quinoa for a hearty addition to the butternut squash. You can also leave out the sausage to make it a meat-free dish, I think this would be a lovely dish for a vegetarian Thanksgiving! Get the full recipe below: read more