baked hasselback cinnamon apples

With Thanksgiving right around the corner our house is filled with talk of autumn recipes from classic and traditional to new and reinvented. Here’s a simpler take on apple pie that will still leave your guests’ sweet tooth satisfied! Try it topped with vanilla bean ice cream and a sprinkle of toasty granola! Here’s my Baked Hasselback Cinnamon Apples.

how to hasselback

how to hasselback

An in-season treat

An in-season treat

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tapas tuesday empanadas

It seems like everyone’s on board with Taco Tuesdays these days but here’s a twist that’s just as easy and just as versatile! Think of these empanadas as the perfect finger food. I made these for my cousin Becca’s 14th (eek!) birthday a few weeks ago to go along with her “tapas” theme. It took me back to my study abroad in Spain surrounded by all the tasty pickings, minus throwing my trash on my aunt’s clean floor 🙂 Here’s my weeknight Tapas Tuesday Empanadas.

Homemade empanadas are easier than you think!

Homemade empanadas are easier than you think!

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my grandmother’s favorite dish

Tradition is the foundation of my kitchen. So many dishes come from ones cooked by my grandmothers while I watched with starry eyes. Over the years I have added to my recipe collection but I have always held dear our family favorites. They may not be the fanciest (think egg noodles with cottage cheese or chopped meat and scrambled eggs!) but we love them none the less. Today would have marked my Great Grandma Zam’s 108th birthday. She’ll be celebrating in heaven  but she’s still in our hearts and in my kitchen.

Grandma Zam's favorite dish

Grandma Zam’s favorite dish

They say that dishes get “flavored” through use and this is one of my favorite ones. I can’t count the number of casseroles, meatballs, lasagnas, and so on that have been baked in this dish but I do know that everything I make in it always seems a bit more magical. It was a staple in Grandma’s kitchen and now in mine. I’ll cook in it for my children as she did for hers. With trusted Elsie and Elmer by its side, anything I make, can’t go wrong. So remembering my Grandmother and wishing her the happiest of birthday’s, it may not be exact, but here’s the Conti households’ Grandma Zam’s Macaroni and Beef.

Classic and heartwarming :)

Classic and heartwarming 🙂

I can see these two dancing around like something out of Beauty and the Beast when the kitchen lights go out!

I can see these two dancing around like something out of Beauty and the Beast when the kitchen lights go out!

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compost cookies: a quick treat from leftover halloween candy

Oh the sweetest things! Halloween has come and gone and all that remains of that frightful night are the mounds of candy sitting in my kitchen. What better way to “recycle” those leftovers then by mixing them together and baking them a la cookie style? Here’s a quick and fun recipe for Compost Cookies.

Compost Cookies

Compost Cookies

Here's an idea for all that leftover candy!

Here’s an idea for all that leftover candy!

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broccotots

This fun twist on a childhood favorite makes for a healthy and delicious side to any dinner! Broccoli as a substitution for potato is an easy swap and making them at home ensures you know exactly what’s going into your little ones dinner. Here’s my take on Broccotots.

A healthier version of a childhood favorite

A healthier version of a childhood favorite

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game day turkey and bean chili

The Mets are in the series! Ok, so I’m a married into Mets fan but I have witnessed the pain and desperation Mets fans endure. But we are ecstatic this week that our team has made it to the final stretch! In honor of our houses New York team, here’s a quick and simple weeknight chili that will please (and serve!) a crowd on a budget! Here’s my Game Day Turkey and Bean Chili.

Canned beans and veggies make this the simplest chili ever!

Canned beans and veggies make this the simplest chili ever!

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mini meatloaf hauntings

Another creepy Halloween themed dinner in our house tonight! Making “bite sized” meatloaves allowed me to make my little guys dinner first and save the grown-ups portion to be baked later. Homemade mashed potatoes are great as long as you get them to a creamy texture; if you used boxed, I won’t tell! Here’s my festive Mini Meatloaf Hauntings.

Boo-tiful dinner!

Boo-tiful dinner!

A happy haunting :)

A happy haunting 🙂

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