This past weekend we had a few friends over to our house for a casual gathering, I got a bunch of ingredients for us to make our own pizzas and we hung out around the kitchen island, making our own pizzas and drinking beers and catching up. For dessert, I wanted to keep with the casual tone and was brainstorming unfussy ideas for sweet treats. I’m participating in a little recipe challenge with Salt for Life, and a sweet and salty dessert is always up my alley.salted caramel ice cream sandwich 1 read more

It’s a gloomy, cold, rainy day in Boston and doesn’t feel a bit like spring! So instead of pouting (which I’m usually quite good at), I’m going to force a little warm-weather cheer on here with a fresh new cocktail recipe that has me mentally swinging on a porch swing in 70 degree sunny weather. Natalie Orchid Island Juice sent me their brand new Iced Tea Lemonade flavor to test out, and I shook it up with some simple syrup, bourbon, and fresh mint for a new take on a mint-julep. It’s refreshing but strong, just what a girl needs to beat those Monday blues! Make sure you bookmark this one for your Kentucky Derby viewing parties this spring, it’ll be a hit! Full recipe below:

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It’s Friday, and I’m ready for a cocktail! Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice sent me a big box of their handcrafted, squeezed fresh juices and when I saw the color of the Orange Beet juice I could not wait to experiment with the flavors and get that stuff in a pretty cocktail glass!  Now, beets can have an earthy flavor, so the tartness of the oranges and the sweetness of the simple syrup are good balance to subdue that flavor. I still love that bite of earthiness from the beets though, it’s a totally unique taste in a mixed drink. And when my friend and I sat taste-testing these last weekend, we rationalized that we were basically drinking vegetables, so one more sip was like we were making very healthy choices (the label even says it: no GMOs, no preservatives, no sugar — I’m nearly on a juice cleanse people!). The cocktail was super tasty, and it looks good —  take a look at the contrast of those kiwi slices and richly colored juice. Yum, and cheers to a fabulous weekend! Full recipe below: Orange Beet Cocktail A read more

I haven’t quite celebrated St Patrick’s Day the same way since college – Lucky Charm cupcakes are a long way from my days of kegs and eggs and shamrock stickers on my cheeks. But one thing hasn’t changed, my penchant for playing with my food! Making these ‘lucky’ rainbow St Patrick’s Day cupcakes was a treat for my color-coordination obsessed tendencies, it felt like a nice therapy session sorting through the marshmallows and dropping them into like-colored piles.LuckyCharmCupcake read more

I had the pleasure of working with Family Circle Magazine on a tasty spring recipe featuring California Walnuts. My new obsession is my spiralizer, and getting these vegetables sliced into thin into ribbons is a creative way to replace a pasta dish on your menu (don’t get me wrong, I still love my fettucini!). These vegetables are steamed and then sautéed, and topped with a crunchy crumble of mushrooms, breadcrumbs, and tasty California Walnuts for a crunchy texture. I’ve been serving this with grilled chicken or some turkey meatballs for a healthy dinner idea!2_ California Walnuts_Spring Ribbon Veggie Salad with walnut crumble read more

Remember that little dip party I hosted last week? Well, it’s haunting me, I can’t stop thinking about the dips, particularly a few of the dessert dips that were on the menu. Emily from Simply Gourmet in Southie made adult dunkaroos. Be still my funfetti loving heart, a dip made from funfetti cake mix?! Yea it was as good as you’re imagining. I added another dessert dip to the table in the form of a deconstructed cannoli. It’s a slightly more dippable version of the filling in the classic Italian dessert, and was served with a mixture of pizzelle and waffle cookies. I made this version with mini chocolate chips, but you could try crushed pistachios or other toppings to give it your own spin! Full recipe below. Cannoli Dip 1

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I waited to pick my dip recipes until after I saw what all of the other guests were bringing to the dip-potluck party so I could fill-in-the-blanks with some recipes that would be a little different. We had one avocado-yogurt dip that was close to guacamole, but no one had jumped on a salsa or a Mexican dip so I took that category as inspiration and got brainstorming. I knew I wanted to update the Mexican dip category so I mentally scrolled through the menu items at my favorite Mexican joint and we always order a side of Mexican Street Corn (because, hello, delicious). Taking the corn off the cob and adding in a bit more lime juice and it was simple enough to translate that dish into a sweet and spicy Mexican Street Corn dip. The recipe is easy, and I know will taste great in warmer months when we can get fresh local corn and char it on the grill, but cooking in a skillet did the trick too. It tastes great with tortilla chips; I paired it with Food Should Taste Good jalapeño chips because the subtle spice is a nice kick to complement the cool flavors of the corn and cotija cheese (plus they’re gluten free and all-natural, everybody wins!). This dip is definitely going to be a summer-time favorite, and a great warm-weather swap out for a classic Mexican dip. Full recipe below:
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One of my favorite Sunday nights of the year is rolling in at the end of this month: Oscars Night! I’ve been thinking through my snack options, drink recipes, and Oscar party details and my friends at Scratch.com offered to help with some of the leg work in pulling ideas together. Scratch.com is a cool new service that aims to make life easier for busy people (like me!) by helping them discover and buy gifts, home decor and more. We worked together and published a guide to all of the supplies you need for a glitzy (and tasty) viewing party — including glitter coasters and gilded barware and the best popcorn making tools that I used to create today’s recipe.  Let’s talk about this popcorn for a minute. I used pipcorn kernels and tossed them with a caramel glaze, sea salt and rosemary, and I don’t mean to brag but this stuff is GOOD. Like, I had to throw the leftovers in the trash AND then throw more garbage on top because I couldn’t stop eating it. I’m not proud to admit that, but it’s so addictive, I had to warn you. Serving them in darling gold and white popcorn boxes helps too. I hope you enjoy your red-carpet viewing with this tasty treat and manage to pace yourself better than I did eating all this popcorn; full recipe below (and a little treat for my readers, if you try Scratch.com between now and 3/2, you can enjoy 15% off your first purchase with code DKLIFE15): SaltedCaramelRosemaryPopcorn read more

One of my finer skills in life is coming up with great excuses for mixing up a fancy cocktail, and with the Oscars coming up next Sunday, an awards show libation was just too easy of an excuse to pass up. I have been craving a drink that’s got a bit of a summer-y flavor to it, a Salty Dog, which combines some of my favorite flavors: sea salt and tangy grapefruit. With some IZZE sparkling grapefruit and a sprig of rosemary I think this is a cocktail I can easily enjoy all year round. Full recipe below, and cheers to great excuses for tasty cocktails! Sparkling Salty Dog 1 read more

I’m a mission to bring more funfetti-flavored carbs into the world. It’s a noble quest, and one I decided to invest some time in this weekend as a mini-celebration to ring in 7 years of blogging. If this blog is going to have a birthday treat, you better believe it’s going to get a funfetti-waffle. This idea is so simple, it doesn’t even need a recipe. Just whip up your favorite waffle or pancake mix, and fold in a few handfuls of sprinkles right before popping them in the griddle or waffle iron. For good measure, top with homemade whipped cream and extra sprinkles (I served mine with some salted caramel syrup, yum!).Funfetti Waffles 1 read more