An Ina Garten Thanksgiving

Ina Garten (aka Barefoot Contessa) is a rockstar.  I have and love (and more importantly use on an almost weekly basis) all of her cookbooks, and although I love incorporating some family recipes into our holiday meals, I couldn’t imagine a celebratory meal without an Ina dish on the table.

This past Thanksgiving, I incorporated her sausage stuffing and apple crisp into our feast.  Read on for my modifications.

P.S.  These would be great additions to any Christmas meal too.

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My Favorite Holiday Wines under $30

Happy Thanksgiving week!  Hello red/white wine and farewell rose (unless you are taking that trip to St. Barth’s for New Years or are heading down to South Beach any time soon — in which case by all means enjoy that Whispering Angel while the rest of us grip our glasses of pinot with an extra chilly hand).  Read on for some of my favorite wines under $30.  I’ve also thrown in a few suggestions for what would be particularly tasty with that Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham or roast.

P.S.  Stay tuned for my NYE bubbles picks. Continue reading “My Favorite Holiday Wines under $30”

Holiday Gift Guide: Part 3 – Host/Hostess Gifts

Thanksgiving is a week from tomorrow, which means holiday party season is around the corner!  Whether you are dropping by for ten minutes or closing down the party, you don’t want to arrive empty-handed.  Read on for my hostess picks.  P.S. – they are all under $40.  Continue reading “Holiday Gift Guide: Part 3 – Host/Hostess Gifts”

Cocktails for a Crowd: The Basil Lemon Drop

Whenever we have people over, I never want anyone to leave hungry or thirsty.  For drinks, wine and beer are always good standbys to have on hand, but I love to have a cocktail to offer my guests.  Of course, the bar is always open (and well stocked with a variety of liquor and mixers), but I’ve found that people are more likely to have a pre-made cocktail than to make themselves a vodka soda or a bourbon rocks off the bar.  So, I bring to you my most favorite cocktail for a crowd — the basil lemon drop. Continue reading “Cocktails for a Crowd: The Basil Lemon Drop”

Easy Weeknight Baked Salmon Served Two Ways (and some wine suggestions)

I am always looking for easy, healthy recipes — especially now that I have one kiddo that goes to sleep at 7:00 pm and a newborn that likes to hang out until at least 8:30 pm.  After all, we aren’t Spaniards and don’t enjoy eating at 10:00 pm (or staying up past then for that matter).  Long gone are the days where I’d spend 45 minutes to an hour leisurely cooking elaborate dinners and sipping on wine — at least for now.

I’ve had so many wonderful friends drop off dinner since having the baby last month, but it has also been nice to cook and feel a bit like my old self again.  I’ve made this salmon once a week since having the baby, and it is as delicious as it is easy and balanced.  It also doesn’t hurt to have a crispy bottle of something white chilling in the fridge for this one. 

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The Importance of Date Night

If I could offer one piece of advice to new parents (or seasoned parents for that matter), it would be to establish a date night if you do not already have one.  It is so easy to get stuck in a rut at home or to only get a sitter when there is a special event or a group of couples that are going out, but you and your significant other need one on one time.

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Revisiting our Wedding Registry (A Decade Later)

It’s been almost a decade since we embarked on creating our wedding registry, and looking back, we totally aced it (which is a little baffling since I was 20 and picking out items I hoped to have forever).  We still use most of the items on a weekly if not daily basis, and we haven’t had to make any major purchases to fill the gaps.  Read on if you are registering or just looking to update or add to your household goods.  I’ve only included things I was happy I registered for or later acquired and love!

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Foodie Friday – Tzatziki Pasta Salad and Grilled Pineapple Sundaes

We cooked out Sunday night of Memorial Day weekend, and I dreamt up the most delicious Greek-inspired pasta salad to go along with our grilled chicken sandwiches and grilled pineapple sundaes.  The pasta salad was creamy without being heavy thanks to the addition of Greek yogurt, and my toddler even took a few bites – gasp – despite the garlic and dill.  Read on for the easy and delicious recipe.

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A Backyard Picnic Birthday Party

My daughter just turned two, and we had the sweetest little backyard picnic for her!  I wanted to celebrate her birthday without overwhelming her — or me!   I can now say that I’ve found a sweet little backyard party that I can replicate for years to come with little to no effort or much expense!

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