Archive for the ‘Make Ahead’ Category

Ciabatta Sammies (2 Ways)

March 25, 2017

What happens when you tweak one of your favorite Ina Garten sandwiches to make it vegetarian?

Good things. Good, good things. I actually LOVE pouring through vegetarian cookbooks and visiting vegetarian cafes, because despite what your kids may tell you, vegetables are delicious. Finding new ways to use them and bring out there surprising flavors is one of my favorite kitchen adventures.

So when I started to think about some of our favorite meals, and how we could make them meat-less, I turned to one of our favorite Ina Garten recipes. I saw her make these chicken tender sandwiches on her show years ago, with sweet peppers and onions, and goat cheese for a tangy kick. Since then it has become an easy quick week-night dinner that my husband loves, but it also makes a great go-to party food recipe, since it is easy to assemble and feeds …

A Southern Dinner

February 26, 2017

(Hi Food Lovers – just a note to say as I completed my edits for my book I got behind on everything, including blogging here. I am attempting to make it up to you with not just one recipe, but a whole meal. These recipes are truly all new favorites on our rotation, and it feels so good to be back sharing a love of food with you here.) 

It’s hard to step your baby toe into a love of food without feeling the effects of Southern Cuisine on America. Southern Cooking has become synonymous with cooking with soul, or love, or heart, or something approximating all three. But you don’t need to get philosophical to know that southern food just tastes good. With its mixture of rich fatty meat, an ample supply of butter and cheese, and tangy, vinegary liquids, most of which have been cooked …

Best Instapot Beef Stew

January 22, 2017

Oh, my goodness. This is Heaven in a bowl.

This recipe makes me so glad that I am still blogging about food. (Novel almost finished! A week or two before I hit send to the publisher and I am so, so proud of how it’s turned out. Will keep you posted when they tell me its available.)

After I did an IG story where I made beef stew in the Instapot, I had a bunch of people ask me how I make it, so I was determined to snap some pics the next time we had it. Lucky for you, we made it last night. The sun set while it was cooking away and we took a nature walk, so these last few shots are only lit with artificial lights, which is my photo pet peeve. But the recipe is SO amazing, I have to spread the …

{Crowd Pleasing} Mac & Cheese Bar

December 21, 2016

Having a houseful for Christmas or New Years?

Want to serve something decadent?

Want to serve something in one pot? Enter this Mac & Cheese Bar. 

This is the perfect crowd friendly meal for a festive occasion – I made this last year for my families Christmas Eve party and it was so fun to watch our relatives grab piles of lobster in the middle of winter (something they would never do) and my kids top theirs with bacon. They were also my very favorite leftovers for sure.

The idea hit me because chefs are always offering AMAZING mac & cheese dishes at restaurants, and I often can’t decide which ingredient I would want the most.

Mac & Cheese with Lobster? Mac & Cheese with Bacon? Mac & Cheese with Truffles?

Why not share the love and have toppings with all of these goodies?  I invited a …

Holiday Cheese Ball {3 Ways}

November 22, 2016

We’re going retro on this post and I love it.

The Holiday Cheeseball is a classic, like bacon and dates, shrimp and cocktail sauce, chicken on a stick with peanut satay. They all say “grab a rum and coke and take a deep breath”. They’re not new ways to wow people but rather old favorites that invite everyone to put their hair down and relax, like piano ballads or cult movies. They’re feel good and you have fun with them.

They’re also really easy. I’m convinced these were invented because someone was scrambling to make something for a holiday party and looked in their fridge. The ingredients are what we pretty much have in our bare bones state + still thriving herb pot.

The combo my mom made most frequently growing up involves a stick of butter, a package of cream …

Cranberry Pear Chutney

November 16, 2016

Are you in as much shock as I am that Thanksgiving is next week?


Luckily my first attempt at getting ready for it was this easy Cranberry Pear Chutney that is LOADED with flavor. It also nicely solves the whole cranberry debate: We think the pilgrims used them, so we have to have them, but how? Cranberry bread? Not if there is pie around. In a can? Um, I am just going to pass on that one. My mom loves this fresh chunky side salad with chopped cranberries, orange zest, and sugar, but it is just a little too hard to eat raw cranberries for moi. 

Enter Cranberry Pear Chutney. You may have gathered from the sheer number of curries I have posted on this site that I love everything about Indian food, but especially their condiments. And chutney is tops. The acid …