I’ve got an easy little hack to make a double-duty Valentine’s Day treat for all of your sweethearts! Since we’ll likely all be spending Valentine’s Day hunkered down together, I took my favorite boxed brownie mix (Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownies, omg) and made a kid friendly batch to celebrate with Jane, and a grown-up version to serve for a special “date-night” with my husband.
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The snow is coming down outside, and  I’d venture to guess lots of other parents like me are trying to figure out how to entertain their kids this morning. I love a seasonal DIY project, Jane loves a seasonal DIY project, and we both had a really fun time making this one for Valentine’s Day: recycled heart crayons! We have a big plastic container in our playroom that holds all the random crayons — broken crayons, crayons from restaurants, crayons from craft kits, crayons that somehow ended up in the bottom of my purse. With a little bit of prep work, a silicon mold, and some color sorting, we recycled the abandoned crayons and melted them down into festive heart shapes to share with our friends.  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

When I think about all that has changed over the past year, I admittedly think there are a few things that have worked out for the better. One of the perks: curbside pick-up and local delivery have been game changers. Any mom of a toddler knows the exhausting struggle of getting a kid in and out of the car seat for a quick errand – the in and out of the car can take longer than the errand itself! Of course, there is lots I miss too, big gatherings and entertaining family and friends are at the top of that list. 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

New Year’s has always been a big holiday at our house. I have always loved the fresh start, clean-slate feelings that the new year brings, and we always host a big party to celebrate. Over the years the party has evolved – from a big, boozy, countdown bash on New Year’s Eve to an open-house style, kid-friendly New Year’s Day brunch. This year we won’t have our big party in person (but I’m trying to go virtual with a zoom countdown with friends!), but I still plan to give the holiday a festive treatment at home – a small but mighty ringing in of the new year. Especially since on a recent trip to my favorite Christmas Tree Shops andThat! I found a sparkly selection of disco balls that gave me some major New Year’s inspiration for a festive bar cart! 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

Avert your eyes if you’re on a diet! I’m combining two delicious ideas today – spinach artichoke dip and garlic knots – into one super-savory snack!  I made these comfort food bites using a warm spinach artichoke dip filling stuffed instead fresh pizza dough. Serve them with some of the extra spinach artichoke dip on the side for dipping, because go big or go home, right? I’m going to be cooking up a batch for these for a fun weekend snack to have in front of the fireplace, see the recipe below! read more

I think we can all agree that we have a long winter ahead of us when it comes to being at home a bit more often. My friends at Flyhomes asked me to share some of my best tips for creating cozy spaces at home this winter to make it a bit more enjoyable! read more