With all that’s going on around us, I’ve been leaning a lot more into cooking. On a good day it’s my way of showing my family (who I’m in very close quarters with!) that I love them. But on a bad day, it’s also always been my escape. I find a lot of calmness in cooking, focusing on the task at hand, and embracing my creativity. This time of year, my cooking starts to lean into the change of seasons, and I love getting to see some of the first fresh spring ingredients appear –I was at a bridal shower a few weeks ago (before all of this social distancing started!) and the event had a delicious, spring-inspired menu. One dish was a beautiful green salad with big shaved slices of parmesan, and a grains salad that fulfilled my carb-needs. I mixed them both together on the plate and it made me think about how silly it is that we always separate green salads and pasta salads – why not mix them together?
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Whenever I get super overwhelmed, I find that writing usually helps me feel better. I’ve been writing this blog for over a decade, but long before that I used to keep hand written journals. I find it gets all of the jumbled mess out of my brain, helps me organize thoughts, clears the slate. I think it’s safe to say we’re all feeling it this week as we roll through the first handful of days of social distancing. Even if no one reads it, open a journal or a word doc, get it all out on paper — I find it really helpful. This post today is just that — a release of all.the.feelings — emptying my brain, a little writing therapy, and sharing what’s helping us stay sane. read more

Like many people, we’re looking at least a few weeks of school and activities being cancelled. I am a little stressed trying to figure out how I’m going to get work done and keep Jane occupied at home for that time. I took a deep breath after my mild panic and surveyed our closet where we store toys and craft supplies, and even dug into my “snow day” stash I was saving for snowstorms that never arrived this year. As I was wrapping my head around how to pace out these projects and activities over the next few weeks, I thought I’d share some of my ideas and favorite toys and craft supplies with the hope this list might be helpful to others in the same situation! I linked everything below with some context for how we use, play, and extend the time on each activity, and included a few of my favorite sites I use for kids activity inspiration as well.  If you have good ideas or resources for keeping kids busy during this time please share them in the comments! read more

Let’s talk self-care for a minute, shall we? I have an unreasonable, fury-filled reaction to the term “self-care.” I have long felt the term is thrown around at women and makes me feel like I have one more unreasonable expectation added to my growing to do list. Not to mention the accompanying guilt that I have about not doing it enough or not doing it right. And self-care is often presented to women in the form of rather expensive solutions. I say all of this while knowing full well that one thing I’m trying to be better at this year is: taking care of myself. Oh the irony! So when Maelove, an affordable skin-care line founded by MIT grads, reached out to me about trying their products and I jumped at the chance to try them.Maelove Skincare Line read more

Given everything that’s going on in the world right now, our St. Patrick’s Day plans don’t exactly look like we planned and that’s totally okay. I had gotten together a bunch of inspiration and ideas for a little party we were having for our local St. Patrick’s Day parade (it’s a BIG deal in our little town!). Parades and parties have been cancelled, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a mini-celebration at home with our families. If anything, making some green cupcakes and special holiday treats are a good way to pass time and take our mind off things, right? Scroll down for some fun ideas, and give them a pin to save for next year’s bigger and better festivities! read more

I think my ultimate goal when it comes to dinnertime is to create recipes that are fast, appeal to everyone, and require minimum clean-up. Getting a dish that can tackle all three of those requirements is easier said than done, but when I find one that works, I pretty much feel like Super Woman. I’m excited to report that the recipe I’m sharing today is one of those elusive speedy, one-pan, crowd-pleasing dinner ideas. I saw al fresco Mild Mexican Style Chicken Sausages in the grocery store and they inspired this dish, which is a marriage of two crowd pleasers – it’s one-part quesadilla, one-part pizza. read more

It is 50 degrees and the sun is shining and we’re just a few short days away from Daylight Savings. I feel like spinning in a field of wildflowers atop a mountain like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music! Sure, we live in New England, so it could snow tomorrow, but it’s amazing what some sunshine can do for my mood so I’m eating up every little hint of spring that I can. You can find my gathering heaps of tulips at the grocery store today, and sharing all the spring things in this week’s download below!

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I made this dish for a quick weeknight dinner last week, it started as a “use what’s in the fridge” meal. We have been trying to get Jane to eat more veggies, and broccoli happens to be one green bite we can usually compromise on, so I’ve been keeping it on hand. I also had some tomatoes from a recent client photoshoot, and a few links of chicken sausage that I had leftover from another meal. The thing comes together in the amount of time it took to boil water and cook the pasta. While the pasta is doing it’s thing, I sautéed the tomatoes, broccoli, sausage and garlic together in butter, and the tomatoes burst to create a juicy caramelized base for the sauce. White wine deglazes and pulls up all of the flavor from the bottom of the pan, and some pasta water deepens the sauce and helps it stick to the cooked rigatoni. Fresh herbs and parmesan cheese finish the dish off, and let me tell you it was so simple and so tasty! Scroll down for the full recipe: read more

This post was created in partnership with Hatfield Quality Meats. All opinions, images and content are my own.

Is there anything tastier than a BLT? It’s such a perfect, classic combination of ingredients and one of my all-time favorite sandwiches. It’s so simple too – simple, quality ingredients like juicy red tomatoes, crisp, buttery green lettuce, and thick, crusty bread. The star of the show though is always the bacon! And high-quality, great tasting bacon like Hatfield’s Thick Cut Triple Smoked Bacon does the trick for me. To take my love for a classic BLT to the next level, I brought it from a weekday lunch to an entertaining spread (or really tasty family dinner) with a big DIY BLT Board full of all the fixings. read more

Cheese plates are kinda my thing. After a few years of working on my #DomestikateGrazingBoards series, I’ve acquired quite the collection of cheese plate accessories. From marble slabs to cutting boards to tiny dishes for honey and jam, I’ve got it all. Cheese knives are among my prop-hoarding-collection, and I have a few go-to knives that I use on almost every single board.  On a recent afternoon of cheese plate assembly, I rifled through my kitchen drawer and stopped to think about all of the different kinds of cheese knives I had, and what exactly each one of them was for. Truthfully, I knew which knives I paired with certain cheeses, but I didn’t know what each one was actually designed for — so I set out to research it and share my new wealth of cheese knife knowledge with you, in this Cheese Knives 101 overview! read more