April 22, 2014

Author Spotlight: Marisa McClellan’s Preserving by the Pint + Giveway

Preserving by the Pint

Last year I interviewed Marisa McClellan about her debut cookbook, Food in Jars, based on her blog of the same name. This year I am pleased (and so impressed!) to be showcasing her newest book, Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces. Yes, you read that correctly, the goddess of preserving managed to produce two terrific canning books in the span of as many years. Wowza – that is a lot of canning, my friends! What I love about this book is that she really hits the nail on the head for those of us who might want to just make a quick pint or two of a new jam or chutney. She provides delicious and manageable solutions for canning an array of produce without it turning into a day-long (or more) sticky canning journey. It couldn’t be more brilliant! And did I mention the recipes span from sweet to savory and everything in between? She really covers all the seasons and all the produce that fit in them. Here is more about the book and our little chat:

April 18, 2014

Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake

My family has been all about Easter this week. We’ve been very busy dyeing our eggs and decorating the table for Sunday. We’ve also been planning our annual Easter egg hunt and planting fresh flowers on the front porch. Easter has always been a happy time for me and is full of so many good memories. This year in particular I’ve been thinking of our old neighbors who recently moved away, the first year we held an Easter egg hunt for our daughter in our New York apartment, and my grandmother’s carrot cake.

April 16, 2014

Easy Limeade Bars for Spring

Limeade Bars

My friend Barbara and I have declared 2014 the year of citrus. It started out as a joke about our mutual obsession with Meyer lemons, but now it has turned into a real thing. My Meyer lemon tree arrived in one piece and is slowly acclimating to a Connecticut spring. I am also still plowing through my last beautiful jar of Meyer lemon marmalade. When that goes I plan to try out the recipe for Grapefruit marmalade she sent me, and make yet another loaf of marmalade cake. So, you see, this is really turning into a bit of thing. In keeping with this trend, last week I made a big batch of limeade bars. They are just like lemon bars, only made with Key lime juice and man are they perfect for spring.

April 15, 2014

Tuscan Herb Cod with Tomatoes & Arugula

Cod Salad

To wrap up my amazing delicious month of everyday seafood meals with Sea Cuisine I made a delicious, and very easy, dish of Tuscan Herb Cod with Tomatoes & Arugula. The beauty of this meal is that the lengthy preparation is already done for you. The cod is perfectly seasoned with Italian flavors and is ready to be baked to perfection. To make mine into a healthy meal I added a side of baby arugula with halved tomatoes and a simple vinaigrette.

April 15, 2014

The Chicken Cacciatore Rice Bowl

Chicken Cacciatorie

Sometimes the trick to coming up with new dinner ideas is to take an old favorite and give it a new twist. It isn’t about reinventing the wheel entirely. It is about breathing new life into the tried and true and ending up with something completely new. This is how I came up with this rice bowl idea using Ragú Old World Style Traditional Sauce. I wanted to make my favorite cacciatore from a new angle. So, I decided to serve it over brown rice instead of pasta and, voila, a new meal was born.

April 14, 2014

Microwave Meals for a Day + Panasonic Microwave Giveaway!

Panasonic Microwave #MicrowaveOnly

Before we had children we didn’t have a microwave. We didn’t really have a need for one since it was just as easy for me to reheat food in the oven and make popcorn on the stovetop. But then we had kids. And we got a microwave right away! All that milk and food warming…all that late night reheating tea and coffee…there was no end to how much we needed it. I’ll say though, I never really cooked our food in it full-stop. I usually only used it for warming/reheating in a pinch. This all changed a couple of weeks ago when Panasonic reached out and invited me to try their new microwave and use it to cook all of our meals for an entire day. I was unsure at first, but am always up for trying new things, so I gave it a go.

April 13, 2014

Celebrating National Grilled Cheese Day with Arla Dofino Cheese

Havarti Grilled Cheese

I hope you all celebrated National Grilled Cheese Day yesterday! I’ve been celebrating it all week on behalf of my new roll this spring as the national spokesperson for Arla Dofino cheese. I am so excited about this partnership because I am a bona fide cheese nerd and I totally love their product. Last week I celebrated the beginning of our partnership with a launch in New York City at an amazing food space called Freshmade. In honor of National Grilled Cheese Day, I worked with Arla Dofino to create a few upgraded grilled cheese sandwiches featuring the brand’s delicious Creamy Havarti cheese. The cheese melts beautifully and is an easy upgrade on a traditional grilled cheese. You may have even seen my #HavartiParty images from Arla Dofino’s Grilled Cheese Day celebration this week!