Category Archives: Uncategorized

childhood chic up and away themed dedication

This past weekend we celebrated our second son Brody’s dedication. Opting for a less traditional theme to stay in line with our more intimate ceremony (performed by my sister-in-law), we went with up and away. With baby blue and white as our main color scheme, hints of bright red, home made hot air balloons adorning the mantel, and cloud cookies added an elegant touch of childhood.

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Up and Away Dedication

This party became quite the team effort! Hosted at my grandparents home and catered by family, every detail was personal. The theme inspiration started with the dessert table. While I have worked with fondant before (see my Sesame Street themed 1st birthday for Luca), with less than a week post-vacation to party plan I decided to bake a few cupcakes with Luca and delegate cake and cookie duty to a professional! Turned out to be a smart (and cost effective!) choice. Cut Above Cakes in Bridgeport, CT did an amazing job bringing my ideas to life while baking up treats that all our guests gobbled up 🙂 Here’s some inspiration and tips for a successful up and away party!

{click here to keep partying!…}

you’ll forget they’re not fried onion rings

This recipe is a funky take on a traditionally deep fried food. Baking saves on the greasy end result but the addition of crunchy potato chips adds enough flavor you won’t miss the oil! Give your Valentine what they really want this year with this tasty treat. Here’s my recipe for Baked Onion Rings.

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Your Valentine will thank you for this one!

 

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vegetarian shepherd’s pie

One of our 2016 goals is to incorporate more meatless Monday’s into our weeknight dinners. We’re big on chicken and fish in our house but my oldest son loves his veggies, so why not use that to my advantage?! Here’s a vegetarian take on Shepherd’s Pie that won’t leave you missing the meat! Hearty mushrooms and lentils are filling, while garlicky mashed potatoes give the feel of traditional Shepherd’s Pie with bold, layer flavors. Here’s my meatless Monday Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie.

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It may not look like much, but there’s a ton of flavor packed in this one little dish!

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heritage holiday cookies

Happy Holidays! I can’t believe Christmas is already here. It will be an exciting day in our house as my boys find out if they’ve been naughty or nice (they’re on the nice list I’ve heard 🙂 ). Luca is starting to enjoy spending his time helping me in the kitchen so baking Santa’s cookies was a lot of fun this year! I wanted to tie in a bit of the boys’ heritage so we made two different kinds celebrating their Norwegian and Italian roots. John still refuses to take up counter space and buy my a stand mixer so these both can be done by hand!

The first is a classic butter cookie (which I’ve come to realize butter is a favor ingredient of the Norwegians!) that remembers their Bestemor (Grandma) Eleanor, the Serinakaker.

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Traditional Norwegian Butter Cookies

The second is a simplified version of a traditionally complex Italian cookie recipe. We honor the boys’ GP and Great Great Gramps with our fun twist on Rainbow Cookies.

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Italian Rainbow Cookies in Christmas Colors

{click here to keep baking!}…

chicken waldorf salad with tangy mustard dressing

Here’s a fast dinner that tastes like fall with warm roasted grapes and celery but is still figure friendly! Using leftover roasted chicken makes the hard part make-ahead turning this into the perfect weeknight meal. Here’s my take on Real Simple’s Chicken Waldorf Salad with tangy Mustard dressing.

Fast, fresh, and easy!

Fast, fresh, and easy!

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back to school french toast with blueberry and banana compote

It’s back to school! While my little guys aren’t quite bus stop ready, we’re celebrating with a quick and easy breakfast for mom and an exciting start to the morning for the kiddies.

It’s always been said that the health benefits of cinnamon are fantastic; ranging from reducing the risk of heart disease to lowering blood sugar levels and protecting against cancer. This recipe is a cinnamon classic with a fancy twist adding the antixiodants in blueberries and vitamin packed bananas. (And, you can impress your loved ones by calling it “compote,” which is really just a fruit syrup!)

Here’s Luca’s recipe for Back to School French Toast with Blueberry and Banana Compote.

Fancy name, fancy looking, yet super easy for busy moms in the morning!

Fancy name, fancy looking, yet super easy for busy moms in the morning!

Start with basic ingredients and in 10 minutes you;ll have a fabulous dish!

Start with basic ingredients and in 10 minutes you’ll have a fabulous dish!

{click here to keep cooking!…}

orange ginger shrimp and pineapple kabobs

I’ve always loved the way a sweet fruit has the ability to turn into a savory dish once it hangs for a few minutes on a hot grill in the summer time. Caramelizing sugars in the fruit with a little heat gives them a whole new dimension of flavor that makes them main course ready! Here’s a fresh and fast dinner that’s perfect for any night of the week and light enough for the hottest summer days. Here’s my recipe for Orange Ginger Shrimp and Pineapple Kabobs.

Orange Ginger Pineapple and Shrimp Kabobs

Orange Ginger Pineapple and Shrimp Kabobs

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