Let’s have a little Earth Day chat about a topic I’ve become pretty passionate about over the last few years: reducing food waste! There are a lot of reasons to be conscious about reducing food waste, for me the lightbulb went off when I read that the EPA estimates about 22% of trash in landfills is food waste — more than any other single material in our everyday trash. And when food decomposes in landfills the nutrients in the food never return to the soil — the wasted food rots and produces methane gas. Being someone who writes about food for a living, I had a major realization that I was wasting a LOT of food. My fridge was a graveyard of uneaten leftovers and excess ingredients from photoshoots, and I knew I had to take a look at ways to majorly reduce the food waste I was creating at home.  read more

Last year around this time, I embarked on my first ever foray into gardening. I started with pretty low expectations since I’ve never been able to keep a house plant alive, but I wanted so badly to give it a try and see if I could make it work. We built raised beds, we filled them up with a variety of seedlings, and we started to watch it grow. By the end of the summer I had a bustling veggie garden with some big successes (more tomatoes, lettuce, and jalapeños than we knew what to do with), and some failures (basil that bolted, cucumbers that were stunted, and squash that never produced). More than anything, I grew a totally new, bustling love for the garden and an eagerness to do it all over again bigger and better this year.My favorite resource for figuring out what do to next in our garden is Mary Buri of @MarsKitchenGarden. I was first introduced to Mary’s wealth of vegetable gardening knowledge through my cousin and I instantly became hooked on the treasure trove of tips and tricks she shares on her page. Mary recently launched a garden coaching and design service, on top of being a mom to 4 kids, and somehow also managed to say yes when I asked to her to do this interview! I’m constantly learning from the information she shares in her instagram stories, and am so inspired by watching her business and garden grow — I hope this interview helps spark the same excitement in future veggie gardeners: read more

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

One of the things that has me in total awe lately is seeing how resilient and adapted small brands have been during these uncertain times. I’ve had the opportunity to partner with my friends at UpNext in the past on amazing in-person retail experiences, but since we’re all hunkered down at home right now I’m so excited that they asked me to help host their first ever virtual pop-up event with a collective of New England based brands.  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

It’s fair to say that Easter celebrations are going to look quite a bit different this year as we’re hunkered down at home. While I’m sad we won’t be with our larger family for a traditional gathering, I’m putting on my thinking cap and figuring out how we can still make it a special day for just the three of us. I’ve got a few little surprises from the Easter Bunny tucked away for Jane’s basket and am hoping the weather is in our favor for a mini egg hunt in the back yard.  One tradition that was always my favorite as a kid was having a big Easter brunch. It was such a fond memory from my childhood that I dedicated a whole chapter to it in my cookbook, New England Invite. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ideas from the Easter brunch chapter that would be easy to recreate at home on a smaller scale for this year’s celebrations. 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

I am quickly realizing during social distancing just how much we take for granted on a daily basis. But as I mourn the convenience of popping out the store for just one thing, I’m also energized by being creative with what we already have at home. That means digging into our pantry and making use of leftovers in the fridge (I’m pretending I’m on a cooking challenge show, what can I make with these ingredients!?). I’ve also been more resourceful with the projects I’ve been thinking up to keep Jane occupied and learning while we’re at home. The recycling bin has been fueling our imagination (see what we created last week out of paper towel rolls and egg cartons in this toddler craft round up). read more

I’m not exactly sure what Easter celebrations are going to look like in a few weeks, but I started to work on some table ideas before we hunkered down and felt like these cheery images were worth sharing even if the holiday ends up looking quite different this year. We could all use some happy tables full of velvet ribbons and champagne coupes filled with jelly beans, right?  read more