November 21, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi All! I am taking the week off next week to spend with my family. It will be a double whammy holiday since someone we know is celebrating a very special birthday ON Thanksgiving Day. The photo above are the cupcakes I made for her birthday party last weekend (recipe to come!). In the mean time, here are some fun ideas for your Thanksgiving Day this year. Have a fun and safe week with your friends and family. I’ll back on December 1st and we can start in on our holiday gift guides (!)

Fun Thanksgiving Dishes (except the turkey!):

Overnight French Toast

Cranberry Sauce

Caramelized Shallot Dip with Chips

Pear, Pecan, Gouda Salad

Classic Scalloped Potatoes


Lace Cookies

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Cherry Apple Streusel Pie


November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Around the Web

I’ve been cooking up lots of stuff around the web this week. Here are a few of my favorites if you’d like to take a look:

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce in the microwave!

Salted Caramel Pecan Pie Bars

Salted Caramel Pecan Pie Bars are all you need for dessert this year. They are no joke.


Easy edible place card ideas.

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Hot Spinach & Artichoke dip is a favorite.

No-Bake CHeesecake

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake – perfect if you don’t want to make cheesecake from scratch.

Hidden Valley Ranch Quiche

This super easy ham and cheese quiche with ranch would be perfect for Thanksgiving morning!

November 19, 2014

5 Important Tips for Holiday Preparedness

Arla Entertaining Tips

Try as I might, I am never completely ready for the holidays, no matter how much I plan.  There is always something I overlook or, more likely, don’t anticipate. Like that time our friends stopped over to chat and we ended up having an informal dinner party. Or the time our neighbors’ furnace broke and we took them in for the better part of an evening. It is always fun when people come by, but it is important to be prepared so you don’t greet them with an empty kitchen and a glass of tap water. In order to help you be properly prepared this holiday season, I’ve assembled some easy tips to ensure you’re ready to entertain at the ding of the doorbell.

1) Stock your kitchen so you are ready to entertain in an emergency cocktail hour situation with:
– 1 block of Arla Dofino Havarti
– 1 block of flavored Arla Dofino Gouda (cracked pepper, chili-lime, or jalapeno are
current favorites)
– 1 box of water crackers
– 1 box of baked crisp or unusually flavored cracker
– A container of cocktail nuts
– A bag of dried apricots and dates, or similar preferred dried fruits
– Toothpicks for serving cheese cubes
– A couple varieties of wine

With these ingredients at the ready, you can assemble a fruit and cheese platter and pour a glass of wine within minutes. In fact, you can even put together the cheese platter while your impromptu guests chat with you in the kitchen. It is that easy and it never fails.

November 18, 2014

Simple Tips: How to Host Lasagna Night

Last weekend some dear friends came to visit and we had a fun, easy (keyword: easy) lasagna night at home. Casual entertaining is my favorite, especially when it is cold outside. We make cheesy comfort food, light a fire, and serve lots of good red wine. The mood is casual and comfy. All we do is chat for hours on end while keeping one ear on the kids playing upstairs. Here is how we go about hosting lasagna night if you’d like to see:

Lasagna Night

November 17, 2014

Kitchen Booster Shots in The Kitchn Cookbook + Giveaway!

thekitchn cookbook cover

I have been a longtime fan of The Kitchn and editors Sara-Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand. Their website is insanely informative and now they’ve gone an written an amazingly handy cookbook, too. The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking is not just useful in the it-has-great-recipes kind of way. It is covers the entire kitchen from renovations and maintenance, to cooking and entertaining. It teaches you how to stretch your kitchen to limit and make it a room you love to live and cook in.

November 11, 2014

Mushroom & Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup

My mother made these recipe when we were visiting Cooperstown in October. It was so warm and hearty I couldn’t wait to share it with you. It isn’t an original of mine, my mom mined it from the depths of Google and gave it her own tweaks. She has such a well-trained eye for good recipes! I am always looking for new ways to make mushroom soup. My old favorite is delish, but we all need change now and then. I promise, you’ll love the smooth silky flavor with the undertones of nuttiness from the barley. It is easy to whip up during naptime and put away in the fridge (or freezer) for later. Stay warm!

November 10, 2014

Salted Caramel Pita Chip Clusters

Pita Chip Clusters

Where there are families, there is snack food. No two ways about it. I’ve long advocated for generally healthy eating habits in our home and that includes an assortment of store-bought products we love. Some things are just better purchased than made at home! One of the things I buy are Stacy’s Pita Chips. They are made in small batches by hand and I never worry about giving them to my kids. We eat them plain or with hummus, or sometimes even with a caramel dip for dessert. To spice things up this holiday season my friends at Stacy’s came out with a delicious limited edition flavor. Salted Caramel Pita Chips! Seriously, they are as amazing as they sound.