Classic Meatballs | Holiday Recipes: Make Ahead

There’s one question people who rock the holidays always get: How. Do. You. Do. It? For starters, a lot of very serious planning. Once the planning is out of the way, preparation beings. It’s crazy to believe that one person can prepare a meal for 10+ people in just a day. No. It takes days of work, and weeks of advance preparation a little bit at a time. Just yesterday, I was visiting with one of my best friends. While I was putting the final touches on the meal planning for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, she was making homemade turkey stock for Thanksgiving. Why? Because it’s one less thing to worry about when you’re in the final countdown. There are several make ahead recipes that will make it to my holiday parties this year, including these delicious Classic Meatballs…

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Apple Hand Pies | Holiday Recipes: Desserts for Non-Bakers

As an Italian, the sweet table at holidays rivals that of our dinner table. I come from a family of bakers and not just average bakers, great bakers. Pie making, pastry wielding bakers. Bakers that make me feel incompetent with a whisk and mixer. In case you haven’t caught on, I’m not a baker. Sure...I can whip out a muffin or two, brownies and easy one-bowl creations. But I hate to measure and I certainly don’t have the patience for butter to soften. Have you noticed that any recipe I’ve shared that uses butter in baking, it’s always melted? Simply put, I don’t have the patience for baking. When I need to make desserts, I want them to be easy and brainless. That’s what inspired me to come up with a few recipes for other people like me this holiday season who are not born bakers and would rather whip up a pot of Coq au Vin than measure out perfectly portioned cupcakes. Starting with these scrumptious Apple Hand Pies that take a shortcut for the hard part…

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Sauteed Kale with Bacon & Apples | Farmers Market Series

Not to start a panic or anything but Thanksgiving is two days short of three weeks away! If you’re hosting this year, I hope you’ve got your ducks in a row. The last thing I want for anyone is an overwhelming feeling of stress from procrastination until the last minute. Get those turkeys ordered, set that timeline for prep and execution, start stocking up on supplies and ingredients that won’t spoil...and in case you need a helping hand to get started, we put together a few tips. Regardless of the occasion, recipes that whip up quick without much effort are ideal for busy weeknights or holidays. This sauteed kale recipe is tasty, it’s fast, and there are only three total ingredients making it a winner. I served it for a regular weeknight dinner alongside seared steaks but this would be a delicious addition to any holiday dinner table as well…

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Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts + Beets | Fall Recipes

November is just a few days away and I am in the thick of holiday planning. My conversations are focused on what we will be assigning, how many desserts we really need, how many batches of gravy (spaghetti sauce) I prepare in advance, etc. This weekend was all about experimenting with my family’s gravy recipe. I had an outline of what was supposed to be included and had to tweak it by taste to come up with the final solution. The great thing about family recipes is that they’re handed down over generations. The bad thing is that no one ever actually writes the recipes down so it’s a giant guessing game until you create your own version of it. My recipe will never be the same as my great-grandfather’s but it gives the memory of his gravy a nod and takes on my own personal twist. For one...I will never cook a pot of gravy without a Parmesan cheese rind. Ever. That should be a cardinal rule unless you have a severe dairy allergy…

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Apple & Chorizo Quesadillas | Apple Season Recipes

It’s a brisk morning as I write this post and the final sips of my morning coffee have gone cold. I’m fighting to keep my eyes open, my sleeves are pulled as far over my hands as possible without impeding my ability to type and all I can think is that I could really use a nap. It’s not even 9AM but the call of a warm blanket is strong. Do you ever have one of those days where it’s the perfect weather outside and energy in the air to chill on the couch and watch Halloween Baking Championship reruns on the Food Network? I’ve taken one too many days off this month though and really need to put my head down and be productive. I guarantee it will include another cup of coffee...this time, one that I’ll hopefully finish before it gets cold…

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National Pumpkin Day! Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Muffin Recipe

Happy National Pumpkin Day! Happy Friday! Today is a great day because pumpkin day and Friday happened to land on the same day this year. That calls for celebration! Celebration in the form of these super tasty, borderline addictive Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Muffins. I’m one of those people who believes pumpkin is a year-round flavor but I still love celebrating its abundance in the fall. Especially in the form of baked goods. Considering my love for pumpkin, I was a bit shocked at the lack of pumpkin recipes in the index! Clearly that needs to change, starting with these muffins…

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Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fall Veggies | Fall Recipes

Coming off a two-week east coast trip, you’d think that the weather here in Chicago would be similar to what I experienced. Instead, I’m still somehow adjusting to a 30 degree temperature change. My last day in Boston was 80 degrees, my last day in Washington DC was 70 degrees and this weekend, we had a 10 minute blizzard in Chicago. Yes, snow in October! It's not unheard of but not usually this early. With that said, comforting dinners have been front of mind lately and nothing says cozy fall dinner like a roast chicken. Except, who has time for a whole roasted chicken on weeknights and more important, who wants to carve it? Not me, that’s for sure…

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National Apple Day! Jumbo Apple Cinnamon Muffins | Apple Season Recipes

Happy National Apple Day! I got back from a two-week east coast trip this week and it’s been a whirlwind getting back into a regular routine. Organizing my planner last night, I realized that I have only two free weekends as of right now through the end of the year. Goodbye sleeping in, productive hours of writing, movie nights, delightful Sunday night dinners, and freedom. The last few months of the year are always the craziest as many of you can probably relate to as well. I can’t help but love them anyway. The 31 Nights of Halloween is on the TV every night like clockwork lately...I’m regretting that Sweeney Todd movie night. I just bought a bunch of pumpkins for the front porch too. ..

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