Dinnertime can be hectic around here. The clock strikes 5pm and I know that I have to get a meal started at just about the exact moment that toddler-meltdown-hour is also about to begin. I almost think that there should be a cooking competition show where chefs have to make a dinner out of a mystery basket of ingredients while a toddler is pulling on their pant leg asking for some snacks – now that would be a cooking competition worth watching! read more

When I visit my parent’s house in New York, I always offer to do the dinner shopping because of their beautiful local grocery store. My mom laughs because whenever she asks me what I’d like for dinner, my response is always the same — let’s go to the store and get inspired. Looking at the ingredients is the best way for me figure out the answer to that question! On a recent trip, I was eyeing some fresh burrata at the cheese counter and tons of giant, colorful heirloom tomatoes. An idea sparked to mix up the tomatoes into a fresh, juicy panzanella salad with crispy bits of toasted Italian bread and bright herbs. Then I stuffed the panzanella into some of the larger tomatoes for serving and topped it all off with fresh, creamy burrata. It was a perfect dish to serve for lunch, or a side dish with A+ presentation for dinner parties. I even used some of the leftover marinated tomatoes and burrata and tossed them with warm pasta the next day for another delicious meal. Get the full recipe below!  read more

We are heading out on a family beach vacation in a couple of weeks and I’m so excited. We’re staying with friends on the Cape, and a big part of my excitement is rooted in starting traditions with Jane that meant so much to me as a kid. Some of my happiest childhood memories are from our family vacations to the beach. I remember spending the whole day in our bathing suits, with the salt water drying on our tanned skin as we played in the sand. I remember they joy of outdoor showers, and heading into town for ice cream cones after dinner. read more

I was at an event the other night where some delicious artisanal cocktails were being passed around. A few of the guests I was with weren’t drinking, so the bartenders made them a mocktail version of the same caliber. It got a conversation started among us that we were so appreciative to find more restaurants offering delicious mocktails as part of their menus. Now that I have a kid, I understand how nice it is to have a special drink for everyone to enjoy at parties; I always try to come up with a fun recipe that can taste just as delicious in mocktail form as it does in cocktail form. With the 4th of July holiday coming up, I thought I’d test a batch of a new mocktail recipe for festive patriotic entertaining. read more

June is flying by in the blink of an eye, thanks to lots of time spent on the road this month. I spent almost a week in NY visiting family and working out my parents’ house, came home and turned right around for a weekend getaway with my best girlfriends in Portland, Maine, and then I spent an overnight in Boston for a fun work event. Phew! I’m getting really really good at packing (still obsessed with packing cubes!) and even better at ignoring the growing piles of laundry. That’s how summer always seems to go though, gone in the blink of an eye as we cram all of our adventures into these few short weeks of warm weather. Sharing a few more of my summer adventures, warm-weather recipes, and reading list: read more

As soon as the weather turns warm, we are on an all-grilling-all-the-time dinner kick! I’ve been making grilled chicken, charring up steaks, skewering shrimp, and kabob-ing just about every vegetable under the sun for the past few weeks. After all of these delicious grilled meals, I’ve been thinking of ways to push myself outside my comfort zone and experiment with some new dishes that are packed with flavor from this cooking method.  Every time I pass the fish counter at my grocery store, I notice a display of cedar planks and finally decided to give them a try with this new dish: cedar grilled salmon and potatoes with creamy lemon Dijon. read more

I had the opportunity earlier this week to spend the most amazing day in Copley Square with the team at Yankee Magazine. This year is the 40th anniversary of Massachusetts Farmer’s Markets, and the Copley Square market (one of my favorites) is one of the oldest continuously running markets in the state. We got the chance to tour the market with the Executive Director and meet with many of the farmers and vendors, and even enjoyed a big picnic lunch thanks to the chef at OAK Long Bar + Kitchen in the Fairmont Copley Plaza. The sun was shining, the food was tasty, and it was the most inspiring summer day.  read more

Last week we were visiting my family in New York for a very special occasion (and my favorite summer tradition) — my hometown’s fireman’s parade. Growing up we lived across the street from the local firehouse and our house was the prime viewing location for the parade. My parents always threw a big party, invited tons of friends, and put out a fabulous spread for guests. The party always signaled the ushering in of summer vacation for me and is one of my favorite childhood memories. The annual event definitely influenced my love of entertaining today! This was the first time I’ve been back to see the parade in several years so I knew I wanted to make some special bites to bring with us to the viewing party.  read more

Of all of the times to entertain throughout the year, I think that summer entertaining is my favorite. It’s typically casual and laid-back, means we get to fire up the grill and eat outside, and often uses my favorite color palette: red white and blue! The easy DIY chambray napkins I have to share today are perfect for all of those elements that make summer entertaining so special. This set that I made for upcoming Fourth of July celebrations has a patriotic twist, but they could be customized with monograms for bridal showers, dates for anniversaries or birthdays, or even some simple shapes for a graphic design.  read more