I have been nursing a cough and a cold for over a week – the change of the seasons always gets me! Add to that a week of cool, rainy weather, and I’ve been gravitating all things cozy and comforting. Lots of tea, early bedtimes, and a craving for soup that I just couldn’t ignore. I’ve been thinking a lot about one soup in particular that I just couldn’t get out of my head – an amazingly balanced potato leek soup from a farm store near my parent’s house. I had it for lunch a few weeks back, and couldn’t get it out of my head. We ate it with crusty bread and slices of sharp herbed cheddar cheese and it was so flavorful. I knew I had to recreate it home – and decided to combine the best parts of this unforgettable lunch into one pot: a potato leek soup infused with those sharp cheddar and herb flavors. read more

It’s been a whirlwind week, and it’s only Wednesday! I spent all of last week in New York for business (at the awesome Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker Conference!) and for play (celebrating my sister’s engagement, yay!). I’ve been going a million miles a minute since, because on Monday my cookbook officially launched! It’s been absolutely surreal to see people sharing pictures of it online, hearing from friends and family that they’re flipping through it in their homes, and seeing it in a bookstore. All I can say is, WOW. While I catch my breath, I have a few new recipes, links, and updates to share! read more

I feel very protective of my autumn weekends now. I try so very hard not to overschedule them so that we can enjoy quiet Sundays at home. I’m not much of a football person, but I do love the idea of hanging out with my family on the couch and eating tasty homemade food. The game is on in the background, but I’m really here for the lounging and the snacks.  My husband got a smoker earlier this year, and we have been firing it up on weekends to make all kinds of slow-smoked dishes. One of my favorite things we’ve made on the smoker is pulled pork. It is full of flavor and moisture, and the outside gets the most delicious crispy bark. read more

I had a perfect fall Sunday — we picked up some pumpkins for our porch, played outside with Jane, and watched football. During Jane’s nap time I had a few items on my to-do list that needed to get done, so of course I decided to procrastinate and do a little baking. That perfect autumn weather was calling me — it was so nice to turn on the oven without worrying about heating up out kitchen. I was craving something sweet and pumpkin-y, but had a bunch of too-ripe bananas that needed to be used up. So I tested a banana-pumpkin batter to make these tasty little muffins. They have the density of banana bread, a sticky moist texture from the sour cream, and all of the flavors of sweet pumpkin spice. Jane woke up from her nap and was delighted to find the results of my to do list procrastination, she gobbled up a muffin in minutes and was standing on her tippy toes to grab a second one off the counter. Get the full recipe below! read more

Is there anything better on this earth than climbing into a freshly made bed with crisp, clean white sheets? I actually get giddy thinking about it; I always have the best sleep on that first night that clean sheets go on and they’re tucked neatly around me. As fall weather rolls in I always love making the bed with the new season in mind – adding on an extra blanket, giving our duvet cover a wash, and laying out some pretty throws for extra warmth at the foot of the bed. read more

I picked up the most amazing herbed cheddar cheese at a local farm store this morning, and came right home with it and a loaf of bread to make myself some savory grilled cheeses and soup for lunch. I opened up the cheese and bread to just have a little taste, and completely abandoned my lunch plans. We had no need to make these tasty ingredients into anything else, they were perfect just the way they were. After my impromptu cheese-plate lunch, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips for building a beautiful and balanced autumn cheese board. It’s one of my favorite tools for entertaining! read more

I’m taking my show on the road to celebrate my new entertaining cookbook and will be popping up at some of my favorite bookstores and boutiques and libraries around New England for book signings, shopping events, and workshops. Find an up to date list of all of the events below. I hope to see you there! read more

I sat down to write a different post today but was confronted with a bit of writers block. And then I went to tackle some other items on my to-do-list, and couldn’t quite decide where to start. My only next logical step was to go stand in front of the open refrigerator for 5 minutes, find a snack, and then make my way back to the computer for a little download of all of the stuff going on in my brain. A little bit of everything I’ve been reading, watching, and thinking about this week: read more

As soon as that first drop in temperatures happens in September, I get SO excited about switching up my weekly dinner menu to bring in some autumn-inspired dishes. It’s so nice to get to bring some comfort foods back in the mix, and not to fear turning my oven up and overheating in my kitchen. When the cool air blew in last week, I got experimenting with this easy weeknight dinner full of fall-harvest flavors: Apple Dijon Skillet Chicken. Just seeing my skillet back on the counter is a sign of the seasons changing! read more

I have a few fun pictures to share today of a little makeover we did to create a playroom nook for Jane off of our kitchen! There is a small room off of our kitchen that we originally used as a breakfast nook when we first moved in and over the few years that we’ve lived here it’s evolved into a sitting room, a space for me to shoot recipes (most of my cookbook was shot on the floor of this room!), and now recently into a play space for Jane. The play area came about after we finished redoing our living room — I loved how the space looked and wanted to reduce the toy clutter in the room. Jane also needed a spot to play that was scaled for her, and we set out to create a little spot off the kitchen that could be her own.  read more