One Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese

This one pot broccoli mac and cheese recipe is easy to customize with your favorite veggies or proteins and always turns out perfectly creamy and cheesy. One-pot comfort food for the win. ♡ We’re clearly big mac and cheese fans here in our house. And on busy nights when we want to save the step […]

This one pot broccoli mac and cheese recipe is easy to customize with your favorite veggies or proteins and always turns out perfectly creamy and cheesy.

One Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese

One-pot comfort food for the win. ♡

We’re clearly big mac and cheese fans here in our house. And on busy nights when we want to save the step of cooking an extra side of veggies, this one-pot broccoli mac and cheese recipe is a favorite!

We love this recipe because it’s mercifully light on prep time (especially if you grab a bag of pre-cut broccoli florets) and can easily be made gluten-free by using your favorite GF pasta. And while we really love adding mushrooms to our broccoli mac and cheese, you’re welcome to sub in any other pasta-friendly veggies or greens that you might love best. Feel free, too, to add in any extra proteins that you might like, such as chicken, sausage, bacon or shrimp. But I have to say that the vegetarian version of this broccoli mac and cheese is incredibly hearty, cozy, cheesy and satisfying all on its own.

If you’re new to cooking one-pot pastas, please be sure to read some of the cooking tips included below to help troubleshoot any issues that might arise with the cheese sauce. But otherwise, grab that cheese grater and let’s cook up a delicious pot of mac together!

One Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese Ingredients (more…)

3-Ingredient Bacon Wrapped Dates

My favorite bacon-wrapped dates recipe is made with (actually!) crispy bacon, tender Medjool dates, and stuffed with your choice of cheese. Easy to make and always a party favorite! Bacon-wrapped dates. ♡ I’ve made this 3-ingredient easy appetizer more times than I can count for happy hours, dinner parties, holiday gatherings…you name it. It’s one […]

My favorite bacon-wrapped dates recipe is made with (actually!) crispy bacon, tender Medjool dates, and stuffed with your choice of cheese. Easy to make and always a party favorite!

Bacon Wrapped Dates

Bacon-wrapped dates. ♡

I’ve made this 3-ingredient easy appetizer more times than I can count for happy hours, dinner parties, holiday gatherings…you name it. It’s one of those recipes that magically works for just about any occasion and is always guaranteed to be a crowd favorite. And I personally just find that sweet-savory-smoky flavor combo to be perfection. That said, I’ve developed a few opinions over the years about what takes a bacon-wrapped dates recipe from good to GREAT. So today I thought I would pop back in and give my decade-old recipe here a few modern updates!

First off, we’ve all officially gotta commit from now on to taking an extra 10 minutes to pre-cook the bacon before wrapping it around the dates. Otherwise, the bacon never has time to fully cook and crisp up while baking wrapped around the dates (or you end up having to bake the dates so long that the cheese burns or oozes out), which is a tragedy that can easily be avoided. Simply pre-cook the bacon in the oven, or you can cheat and buy that pre-cooked soft bacon that’s available in most stores nowadays.

Second, continuing on with the crispy bacon soapbox, the stuffed dates must be flipped halfway through baking so that each side can get evenly cooked. I’ve experimented with a number of flipping methods over the years and have found it’s simply easiest to poke the toothpick all the way through the date, which makes it easy to grab and quickly turn over.

Third, use a good-quality cheese. You only need a small amount for this recipe, but a richly-flavored cheese makes such a difference in balancing out the flavor of the smoky bacon and sweet dates. I’m partial to a punchy gorgonzola or a tangy goat cheese, but a good feta, Manchego, or even an aged cheddar are also great options here.

Finally, don’t forget to season the dates! I always add a few generous twists of freshly-ground black pepper, and also love sprinkling each date with a tiny a pinch of flaky sea salt for crunch. The perfect finish.

Sound good? Let’s stuff some dates!

(more…)

Lightened-Up Tuna Casserole

This lightened-up tuna casserole recipe is tossed with a creamy garlic-herb sauce, lots of veggies, tender egg noodles and a crispy Panko topping. Raise your hand if you grew up eating tuna casserole! ♡ This was one of our family’s favorite weeknight dinners growing up, and still continues to be one of those recipes I […]

This lightened-up tuna casserole recipe is tossed with a creamy garlic-herb sauce, lots of veggies, tender egg noodles and a crispy Panko topping.

Tuna Casserole Recipe

Raise your hand if you grew up eating tuna casserole! ♡

This was one of our family’s favorite weeknight dinners growing up, and still continues to be one of those recipes I love turning to this time of year when we’re craving some warm and cozy casserole comfort food. (Forever and always a Midwesterner at heart, right?)

Three decades ago, we always used to make tuna noodle casserole from a box or with the help of some canned cream of mushroom soup. But it’s actually incredibly simple to make homemade tuna casserole completely from scratch, which gives us the chance to also toss in lots of fresh veggies and lighten up the creamy sauce a bit. If needed, you can also easily adapt this recipe to be gluten-free too.

I will say that prefer to just serve this pasta “casserole” straight out of the pan nowadays, topped with a generous sprinkling of toasted Panko breadcrumbs, rather than baked the traditional extra 20 minutes in the oven. (Why overcook the pasta when it can be served perfectly al dente with with a melty cheddar cream sauce?) And while I made this batch with the traditional mushrooms, carrots and peas, this recipe would welcome just about any leftover veggies that you happen to have sitting in your crisper drawer.

Let’s make some modern tuna casserole!

(more…)

Favorite Holiday Green Salad

My favorite holiday green salad features a festive mix of seasonal ingredients and a delicious shallot vinaigrette. Can we just agree to bejewel all our salads with pomegranates this time of year? ♡ I always think these lovely little red gems add such a festive touch to green salads for the holidays, and this pomegranate […]

My favorite holiday green salad features a festive mix of seasonal ingredients and a delicious shallot vinaigrette.

Favorite Holiday Green Salad

Can we just agree to bejewel all our salads with pomegranates this time of year? ♡

I always think these lovely little red gems add such a festive touch to green salads for the holidays, and this pomegranate salad in particular is one of my favorites. It’s tossed with your choice of greens, sliced apples, toasted walnuts, creamy avocado, crisp fennel, salty shaved Parmesan, and my favorite shallot vinaigrette. I make some version of this salad every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas (and plenty of winter evenings in between), and it’s always just as delicious as it is gorgeous.

That said, this pomegranate salad is also incredibly flexible. So if you feel like swapping in a different kind of nuts, greens, cheese, or even vinaigrette, please feel free. I’ve also written this recipe to be naturally vegetarian and gluten-free, but you’re welcome to add in an extra protein (such as chicken or bacon) if you’d like. I just insist that you generously sprinkle lots of beautiful pomegranate arils over the top like confetti, and then share and enjoy.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Holiday Green Salad Ingredients (pomegranate, apple, arugula, avocado, walnuts, Parmesan, fennel, lettuce, shallot vinaigrette) (more…)

Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Hot Honey

These bacon Brussels sprouts are easy to make and tossed with an irresistible drizzle of hot honey. It’s savory, it’s smoky, it’s sweet, it’s spicy…it’s the side dish destined to steal the show at your next dinner. Say hello to most delicious bacon Brussels sprouts. ♡ This dish comes together quickly on the stovetop with […]

These bacon Brussels sprouts are easy to make and tossed with an irresistible drizzle of hot honey.

Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Hot Honey

It’s savory, it’s smoky, it’s sweet, it’s spicy…it’s the side dish destined to steal the show at your next dinner.

Say hello to most delicious bacon Brussels sprouts. ♡

This dish comes together quickly on the stovetop with just 4 main ingredients and truly couldn’t be easier. Simply fry up some bacon until crispy, sauté a pound of Brussels sprouts in the leftover grease (or you can use olive oil), toss everything together with some spicy hot honey, then watch every last bite disappear in a flash.

Seriously, these indulgent little sprouts couldn’t be more flavorful. So whether you’re looking for a quick side dish to whip up for dinner tonight (I love serving these with some pan-seared salmon or a simple pasta) or you’re looking for a guaranteed crowd-pleaser to serve on Thanksgiving, these Brussels sprouts are here for you.

Let’s make some!

(more…)

Hot Honey

This homemade hot honey recipe is quick and easy to make with 3 ingredients and can be used in countless delicious ways! Is there anything that isn’t better with a drizzle of hot honey?! 😍 I don’t know about you, but we’ve become thoroughly obsessed with this spicy-sweet condiment over the past few years here […]

This homemade hot honey recipe is quick and easy to make with 3 ingredients and can be used in countless delicious ways!

Hot Honey

Is there anything that isn’t better with a drizzle of hot honey?! 😍

I don’t know about you, but we’ve become thoroughly obsessed with this spicy-sweet condiment over the past few years here in our house. Drizzled on everything from pizza, biscuits, fried chicken, baked salmon, shrimp boil, roasted veggies, cornbread, baked brie, or corn on the cob? Yes, please. Stirred in to sweeten your next cocktail, cup of hot tea (or hot toddy!), or even a batch of salad dressing? Great idea. Served as a dipper for fries, chicken fingers, or a charcuterie board? Definitely. That surprise heat adds the perfect extra kick to countless dishes where you might normally just use a plain sweetener. And if you’ve never tried it before, I’m convinced you’re going to love it!

Nowadays, hot honey is pretty commonly available in local grocery stores or online, but the markup is quite high and it’s usually much cheaper to make a batch yourself. Plus, it’s incredibly quick and easy to make at home. And with homemade hot honey, you get to be the one to decide which type of hot peppers to use and how spicy to make each batch. All you need are about 15 or 20 minutes and 3 ingredients and you’ll be good to go.

One more thing — with the holidays coming up, I also just wanted to mention that hot honey makes for great DIY gifting! Just grab some cute jars (you can rinse and reuse some old jam jars, order my favorite mini tulip jars, or use these adorable honey bear bottles), simmer up a quick batch of hot honey, and I’m certain your friends and family will put it to good use.

Alright, let’s make a quick batch!

Making homemade hot honey recipe in saute pan

Hot Honey Ingredients

Before we get to the full recipe below, here are a few notes about the three basic hot honey ingredients that you will need:

  • Honey: The type of honey that you use is completely up to you. I prefer a basic clover honey that’s not overly floral, but you’re welcome to use any variety you prefer. (If possible, please consider purchasing a local honey to support bees in your area!)
  • Hot peppers: I most often make hot honey with basic crushed red pepper flakes, since I always keep them on hand in my spice cabinet and using dried peppers (vs fresh) allows the honey to be stored longer. However, this recipe is also fantastic made with fresh chile peppers (such as jalapeños, serranos, habaneros or Thai red bird chiles) or you can also have fun experimenting with other dried chile peppers (such as dried anchos, guajillos, pasillas or chiles de àrbol). The heat level of this recipe is very easy to adjust by adding more/less peppers or letting the peppers simmer awhile longer.
  • Vinegar: I like adding in a splash of apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar) to cut the sweetness a bit, a la Mike’s Hot Honey. You’re welcome to leave the vinegar out entirely if you prefer, or you can experiment with adding more or less to taste.

Making homemade hot honey with jalapeno peppers

How To Make Hot Honey

The full detailed recipe for how to make hot honey is included in the recipe at the bottom of this page, but here is the basic overview (with a few optional variations): (more…)

Garlic Parmesan Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This Garlic Parmesan Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe is easy to make, irresistibly sweet and savory, and always a crowd fave! This may just be my favorite Thanksgiving sweet potato recipe yet. ♡ Inspired by the famous garlicky Parmesan sweet potato fries at one of my favorite local restaurants, these mashed sweet potatoes strike that irresistible […]

This Garlic Parmesan Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe is easy to make, irresistibly sweet and savory, and always a crowd fave!

Garlic Parmesan Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This may just be my favorite Thanksgiving sweet potato recipe yet. ♡

Inspired by the famous garlicky Parmesan sweet potato fries at one of my favorite local restaurants, these mashed sweet potatoes strike that irresistible balance of sweet and savory and seriously could not be more delicious.

They’re made with a simple base of sweet potatoes, milk and sour cream, mashed together until perfectly soft and creamy. Then a simmering pan of garlic butter, a generous pile of freshly-grated Parmesan, and a sprinkling of chopped fresh chives join the party. And once stirred together and dished up nice and warm — well — let’s just say that people went back for thirds the last time I served these mashed sweet potatoes. So, so good!

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s easy to make and also naturally gluten-free and vegetarian. (Although if you happen to eat meat, I wouldn’t argue with some crispy bacon sprinkled on top as a garnish too!) And if you’d like to cut down on entertaining stress and make these sweet potatoes in advance, I’ve included make-ahead instructions below for prepping and reheating this recipe too.

Okay, let’s make some mashed sweet potatoes!

(more…)

The Coziest Chicken Noodle Soup

This homemade chicken noodle soup recipe is made with homestyle egg noodles, thick-cut veggies, and the coziest garlic-herb broth. Teo and I have both been under the weather this week, so it felt like the perfect time to introduce my little boy to the comfort food that my mom always used to make for us […]

This homemade chicken noodle soup recipe is made with homestyle egg noodles, thick-cut veggies, and the coziest garlic-herb broth.

Teo and I have both been under the weather this week, so it felt like the perfect time to introduce my little boy to the comfort food that my mom always used to make for us when we were little…

…this homestyle chicken noodle soup. ♡

I don’t think it will ever get more nostalgic in my book than a big pot of chicken soup simmering on the stove. But when made the way my mom always used to make this soup — with homestyle egg noodles, tender chicken, thick-cut veggies, and a rich herb broth — this classic soup levels up into the ultimate cozy comfort food. Perfect anytime your soul needs some extra warmth, right?

As I mentioned earlier this week, this recipe happens to be one of the rare instances when I’m going to recommend that you skip the freezer shortcut and spend an extra 15 minutes mixing up a quick batch of my 4-ingredient homestyle egg noodles, since their flavor and texture really are unmated here. But of course, if you’re short on time (totally understand!), just grab a bag of frozen egg noodles and this soup will be ready to go before you know it. I also highly recommend serving it with a big loaf of crusty bread to mop up every last bite of that delicious garlicky herb broth. Yum.

I’m happy to report that Teo absolutely adored this soup, which made this next-generation mama’s heart so happy. Here’s to hoping that you will too!

(more…)

Giant Cinnamon Roll

This giant cinnamon roll recipe is made with the most delicious soft dough, cinnamon-sugar filling, and a tangy cream cheese icing. Ready to go in one hour from start to finish! Only thing more delightful than a pan of cinnamon rolls? One giant cinnamon roll. ♡ Seriously, we’ve been having such a fun time serving […]

This giant cinnamon roll recipe is made with the most delicious soft dough, cinnamon-sugar filling, and a tangy cream cheese icing. Ready to go in one hour from start to finish!

Giant Cinnamon Roll

Only thing more delightful than a pan of cinnamon rolls?

One giant cinnamon roll. ♡

Seriously, we’ve been having such a fun time serving up this variation on my 1-hour cinnamon rolls recipe over the past year. People are downright delighted each time this giant roll emerges from the oven. And when topped with my favorite cream cheese icing, sliced into wedges, served up nice and warm, and drizzled with a little extra icing for good measure (I insist), this giant cinnamon roll will definitely be stealing the show at your next brunch!

The great news for all of us is that this recipe is pretty simple to make and comes together easily in just one hour. There’s also no stand mixer required (although you are welcome to use yours if you own one), and the giant roll can be baked in a skillet, pie plate, or any other oven-safe pan that you prefer. We’ve also included detailed step-by-step instructions in the video below for exactly how to wrap this giant roll, so I recommend giving it a quick watch before you begin.

If you love cinnamon rolls as much as we do in our house, you simply must give this one a try. Enjoy!!

(more…)

Barclay’s Kefir Pancakes

This kefir pancakes recipe is easy to whip up and always so fluffy and delicious! Sundays are pancake days here in our home. ♡ Barclay decided to start this weekly tradition back when we were newlyweds, always saying with a wink that was practicing to get his skills in shape so he could be “that […]

This kefir pancakes recipe is easy to whip up and always so fluffy and delicious!

Sundays are pancake days here in our home. ♡

Barclay decided to start this weekly tradition back when we were newlyweds, always saying with a wink that was practicing to get his skills in shape so he could be “that dad who makes really good pancakes” someday if a little one came into the picture. And now, five years into marriage (our anniversary was this week) with a hungry little sous-chef happily perched on his hip (hola, Teo!), I have to say that Pancake Sundays have become sweeter than ever.

It’s usually a bit of sweet chaos, of course, with a 14-month-old in the kitchen. But now that Teo is old enough to “help” out a bit, he loves getting to add in the ingredients and stir the batter. And the moment those hot cakes land on his high chair tray, you’d better believe our little dude is on it. He absolutely loves his dad’s pancakes and always polishes off every last bite, which couldn’t delight Barclay more. And I have to agree…these pancakes are amazing!

Barclay always makes them with kefir instead of buttermilk, which adds some extra probiotics and makes them extra fluffy. And while we usually just prefer ours plain with a drizzle of maple syrup, there are all sorts of fun mix-ins or toppings that you’re welcome to add too. The batter is incredibly quick and easy to make, and I’ve included all of my best pancake tips below too to help ensure that yours brown and fluff up perfectly.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for years. So come join us for Pancake Sunday — or any day of the week that you’re craving a sweet treat for breakfast — and let’s make a round of Barclay’s kefir pancakes together!

(more…)