HEALTHY DINNER IDEASAfter the holidays we are always looking for some solid healthy dinner ideas that are on the lighter side. Not to loose weight – but recipes that offer more vegetables than what we had been consuming over the holidays. We pick…
How to make a Hot Toddy at home, that we think is better than most of the professional versions you’re likely to encounter! This Oaxacan slant uses mezcal, lime juice & honey. In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in m…
How to make a Hot Toddy at home, that we think is better than most of the professional versions you’re likely to encounter! This Oaxacan slant uses mezcal, lime juice & honey. In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. ― Albert Camus, L’été Great bars, like...
Confession: I brought a sad cheese plate to last year’s Friendsgiving, and it went ignored in the corner. It was an embarrassing moment for a cookbook author,…
Confession: I brought a sad cheese plate to last year’s Friendsgiving, and it went ignored in the corner. It was an embarrassing moment for a cookbook author, and I’ve been determined to improve my cheese board game ever since.
I walked into the party to find a gorgeous and elaborate cheese board nearly spanning the full length of the dinner table. My friend Jordan has a degree in sculpture, and she can sure put together a beautiful cheese board.
I took the opportunity to study her design. I can’t say that my efforts are quite to her level yet, but I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks to share with you today.
Building a beautiful cheese board feels like a fun art project. We’ll mix different flavors, colors, shapes and textures to build an enticing appetizer board. Give yourself some time to put it together, and you’ll enjoy the process all the more. The trick is to fill every little space on the board with nuts and fruit so it looks completely abundant.
A cheese board is the perfect excuse to break out your special serving items. If you don’t have a dedicated cheese board in your cabinets, though, don’t fret. For your base, you can use a nice wooden cutting board, a large serving platter, or even a tray or baking sheet covered with parchment paper. If you don’t have a set of cheese knives, offer butter knives, cocktail forks, cocktail picks or toothpicks.
Basically, anything goes, and no occasion is too minor for a cheese board. You just might have everything you need at home already. How about a cheese board with your French 75 this evening?
Golden Cauliflower Dal with Spinach, Red Lentils and Coconut, a gently spiced Indian stew that is warming and comforting. Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, rin…
Golden Cauliflower Dal with Spinach, Red Lentils and Coconut, a gently spiced Indian stew that is warming and comforting. Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true. ~ Tennyson A whole head of cauliflower...
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It’s that time again! The time of year where I round up the top 20 recipes from the past year. Instead of picking the most viral or most visited recipes of the year (because algorithms can be deceiving), I’m rounding up the recipes that I found to be the most delicious. These are the recipes […]
It’s that time again! The time of year where I round up the top 20 recipes from the past year. Instead of picking the most viral or most visited recipes of the year (because algorithms can be deceiving), I’m rounding up the recipes that I found to be the most delicious. These are the recipes that I don’t want you to miss! So if you haven’t tried one of these 20 recipes yet, make sure to put it on your list!
Top 20 Recipes of 2020
Roasted Broccoli Pasta with Lemon and Feta
Roasted Broccoli Pasta with Lemon and Feta – This dish is simplicity at its best. You only need a few ingredients to make this pasta, but the flavor totally pops.
Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables
Smoky Roasted Sausage with Vegetables – I was all about the sheet pan meals this year. This one boasts a super delish smoky vinaigrette to drizzle over top of the roasted vegetables and sausage, which totally takes it to the next level. Serve it over rice to soak up every last drop of that delicious drizzle.
Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Ranch
Roasted Cauliflower Taco Bowls – There’s something about super colorful meals that make them even more delicious, and these cauliflower taco bowls are a great example. So much color, texture, AND flavor in one bowl.
Chunky Ham and Bean Soup
Chunky Ham and Bean Soup – Bean soups usually require hours of soaking and simmering, but this super hearty ham and bean soup gives you all the cozy-comfy vibes in way less time. Stock your freezer with this one so you can reheat a bowl of comfort any time!
Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy
Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy – Try not to think about TV dinners from the 80’s when you make this because I promise this Salisbury Steak is soooooo good! That gravy is everything.
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad
Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad – This simple salad was the runaway hit from 2020. It’s like, “I can’t stop eating this” good and the best part is that it holds up well in the fridge so you can keep eating it for days.
Chocolate Depression Cake (No Eggs, Butter, or Milk)
Chocolate Depression Cake – This type of eggless, dairy-free cake has been around since the Great Depression and it proved to be just as useful in 2020, while we once again experienced grocery shortages. But honestly, it’s easy and delicious at any time!
Yogurt Banana Bread
Yogurt Banana Bread – Banana bread is great and all, but yogurt banana bread is like 💯. The rich and creamy yogurt really takes it to the next level.
Comeback Sauce – I lost count of how many times I made this incredible sauce this year. It’s so good on EVERYTHING. Fries, roasted vegetables, sandwiches, chips, and more.
Blackened Salmon with Zucchini
Blackened Salmon with Zucchini – Blackening seasoning is magic. That is all.
Summer Sweet Corn Salad
Summer Sweet Corn Salad – This one is my new favorite way to eat fresh summer sweet corn! Those fresh little kernels give you a pop of sweetness in every bite. If we ever get back to having potlucks in 2021, make sure you have this salad bookmarked!
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup – CHEESE LOVERS PAY ATTENTION. This soup is so thick, lush, and cheesy! And it has just enough vegetable action to balance that cheesy goodness. I’ve been making this one on repeat and I don’t get to do that with many because of how many new recipes I have to test and photograph.
Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet
Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet – This recipe like a quickie jambalaya for people who don’t have time to do it the traditional way. Rice cooked with a whole heap of herbs and spices, plus smoked sausage to make everything super flavorful and rich. I just love everything about this recipe. <3
Sheet Pan Kielbasa Potatoes and Green Beans
Sheet Pan Kielbasa Green Beans and Potatoes – As I mentioned above, I was very into sheet pan meals this year. This sheet pan meal is the EASIEST of all sheet pan meals. Even with just SIX simple ingredients, this meal has tons of flavor. LOVE IT.
French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup – While I love quick and easy recipes, some recipes really do require you to take your time and go slow. French Onion Soup is one of those, but it is so worth every minute. I would eat this soup on a weekly basis if I could.
Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash – I originally developed this recipe to be a vegetarian main dish option for Thanksgiving, but it’s really so good that I would eat it any day of the week. Bonus: the filling for the squash is incredible on its own and would make a great side dish to any dinner.
Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner
Sheet Pan Cranberry Chicken Dinner – Sheet pans for the win again! The cranberry balsamic glaze is what makes this meal. It has only three ingredients but is so rich and vibrant. You might start making it to drizzle over all of your other meals!
Marinated Cauliflower Salad
Marinated Cauliflower Salad – Colorful, fresh, flavorful. I LOVE this crunchy vegetable salad. It’s another “refrigerator salad” that you can keep on hand for lunches or snacks throughout the week.
Tomato Lentil Soup
So what do you think? Do you agree that these are the best 20 recipes from the year? Is there one that was a home run for you? Share your favorites in the comments below!
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An offset spatula is a must-have tool for every home baker who wants to easily and expertly spread frosting on cakes and cupcakes. And it has other uses, too! Continue reading “One Simply Terrific Thing: Ateco’s Offset Spatula” »
Drunken shrimp just got a makeover. Not sure if you can call this drunken since I significantly cut down the wine, but the shrimp aren’t 100% sober either. Drunken Shrimp This Drunken Shrimp is a little less drunk than most recipes – I only use a one-quarter cup of white wine combined with clam juice […]
Drunken shrimp just got a makeover. Not sure if you can call this drunken since I significantly cut down the wine, but the shrimp aren’t 100% sober either.
This Drunken Shrimp is a little less drunk than most recipes – I only use a one-quarter cup of white wine combined with clam juice and fresh lemon. The sauce is so flavorful – definitely serve some crusty bread on the side to soak it up! For some more Italian shrimp recipes, try my Shrimp Fra Diavolo and Shrimp Scampi with Broccoli Orzo.
This was a great reading month! I managed to JUST hit my reading goal for 2020 of 75 books. While I didn’t read any knockouts this month, I really liked most of what I read. Now that I’ve shared that I’m pregnant, I can share that it’s the reason I was able to hit my […]
This was a great reading month! I managed to JUST hit my reading goal for 2020 of 75 books. While I didn’t read any knockouts this month, I really liked most of what I read.
Now that I’ve shared that I’m pregnant, I can share that it’s the reason I was able to hit my goal! When I was pregnant with Emilia, reading was one of the only things I could do to distract myself from the nausea. Same went for this time too. I also have had major pregnancy insomnia, so I’ve read a ton at night. There have been many nights where I’ve been awake from 12-5 or 3-7, so I just read! Almost a blessing in disguise because I don’t know if I would have hit my 2020 reading goal during these busy months.
While I’m keeping my reviews here on the blog, remember that you can follow the goodreads account with what I’m reading, so you can see what I read in real time.
What I Read in December 2020
Christmas At The Island Hotel – 3 stars
I downloaded this on a whim when I was dying for more Christmas books. The story follows a family who is getting their new hotel ready for the holiday season. I LOVED the setting here – on an island between Scotland and Norway. Wish I could be there right now! I did like a lot of the characters at the hotel but ultimately I just couldn’t get into this one. It was a pretty quick read for me but I never felt HOOKED, you know? I wasn’t very invested in this story which was a bummer.
Leave The World Behind – 4 stars
Oh my gosh, I don’t even know how to explain this book. Given my hope to read only holidayish happy things this month, I REALLY wanted to read this one – but perhaps it could have waited until January or February. I think this book is considered a psychological thriller, but it also deals with racism and how people act and respond during a tragedy. The story follows a family who rents a vacation home, but shortly after “something” happens. The frustrating thing is that we are never told WHAT happens – is it some sort of terrorism or chemical warfare or something? Very weird things start happening (honestly it was freaky) and what made me crazy is that we get NO solution at the end! However, the book is still good and the writing is amazing. Def recommend, maybe just not at the holidays, haha.
This Close To Okay – 4.5 stars
Ooooh I loved this one! FYI this is an early release that I got through Book of the Month – it doesn’t come out until February. The story follows two strangers who meet under… interesting (!) and possibly devastating circumstances. There are some truths held back and a twist and this is just such a great story. The book jacket mentions the magic of human connection and I have no other words to describe it – that is the perfect description. Loved the ending of this so much. Definitely grab it when it comes out!
Jingle Wars – 2.5 stars
Oh man I wish I had better things to say about this, I hate giving a not-so-favoroable review. This story was cute – it was just a little too harlequin romance-ish for me. I love a romance novel but lean more towards women’s fiction over true gritty romance. For instance, the word “boning” is used more than once and I just couldn’t get past a lot of the language. Haha that makes me feel so old but I don’t know how else to describe it. I do love a steamy novel (hello, Idea of You!) but I just couldn’t do it with this one, it was a bit too raunchy.
This Time Next Year – 4 stars
Really enjoyed this one!! It was super cute. The story follows two people who were born at the same time and continue to run into each other with many coincidences. I really loved this story AND I loved the characters! It kind of had a bit of One Day In December vibe, but I may have even liked it more than that. I loved the storylines of both main characters and it was such a cute, feel good read that I needed in December.
Faking Under The Mistletoe – 4 stars
See how into Christmas reads I am? This was another super cute one. I have a hard time giving anything 5 stars because I hold Elin Hilderbrand’s Winter Street series in such high regard. But this was adorable! It follows Olivia who is obsessed with Christmas (so naturally I was obsessed with her) and gets entangled with her boss. I loved the story, it was super Christmasy and another light, feel-good read.