Jun 182017
 

I’m a bad friend. I totally stink at staying in touch with friends outside of commenting on their latest Facebook statuses. Once in a while I think to myself that I need to have all the girls over for snacks and a movie.  Since most of my friends are moms now, too, we like to keep it low key.  Recently I decided that enough was enough of this online friend only thing and had a few friends over to my house. Whenever there is a movie on at my house, good snacks are a must. I decided on chips and salsa for my get-together and ended up making some delicious Rainbow Summer Salsa. I haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t like chips and salsa.

Rainbow Summer Salsa

Continue reading »

Jun 132017
 

Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen, known as DCBK, serves up great southern comfort food and signature cocktails with a side of some of the best jazz in Boston. Tuesday thru Sunday, you will find a menu full of big Southern flavor, cocktails full of sublime combinations, and sounds full of rhythm and soul.

If you are in the mood for some classic Southern style dishes, be sure to stop into Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen.  They take classic dishes like meatloaf, jambalaya and pork chops and put their own spin on them. I had a chance to eat there with my husband recently and we were blown away by the whole experience.

We started with an order of cornbread Mini’s, because, well – I love cornbread.  After we devoured them, I told my husband that we should have gotten 16 more orders of them. They were warm and oh so delicious.

For the main course I got the chicken and waffles. If you haven’t had chicken and waffles before, you’re really missing out – it phenomenal. At DCBK’s they make a homemade buttermilk waffle, top it with their Glorifried boneless chicken strips and serve with butter and maple syrup. YUM. Continue reading »

Jun 122017
 

New London is an up and coming town in coastal Connecticut. I’ve driven through it a million times, but never got off the highway to explore all that it had to offer – until recently.  My husband and I spent a weekend in the area and were super impressed by all the great food we ate in New London.  There are lots of great places to eat in New London, but here are some of the places we loved eating at and highly recommend checking out:

Have Breakfast at Breakfast at Muddy Waters

Whether you want a cup of strong locally roasted coffee, a chai latte, or a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and a banana, Muddy Waters makes sure you start your morning off right. Pick up a paper or catch the local gossip. Baristas whip up a full menu of coffee beverages while you drool over the pastries and cookies in the display cases. Lunch offerings include sandwiches, grinders, tomato soup, and the famous “Love and Lust” salads. Enjoy the deck overlooking the river or relax in Muddy Waters’ comfortable, eclectically furnished interior. Continue reading »

Jun 122017
 

One of the great things about living in New England is the year round access to fresh seafood. Muscles are one of those things that are perfect any time and are defintely meant to be eaten by the dozen, but for some reason they just scream summer to me.  Muscles are pretty easy to get here in New England, so we steam them up all the time.

muscles1

There are plenty of ways to prepare them, but we are major garlic lovers here in our house, so we make garlic muscles quite a bit.  If you’ve ever had muscles, you know they are best served with some bread.  We prefer our bread toasted and I will explain later why bread goes so well with muscles. Continue reading »

Jun 042017
 

The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut sits high up on a hill overlooking Fishers Island Sound and Mystic Harbor. Once a private estate, the Inn at Mystic now consists of a hotel, restaurant, mansion, and full service banquet operations.   They’ve been welcoming guests for over fifty years and with relaxing accommodations including rooms with ocean views, Jacuzzis, and wood burning fireplaces – it’s no wonder.

Stay in comfort at the Inn at Mystic

The Inn at Mystic consists of three unique lodging choices: the Main Building, the East Wing, or the Haley Mansion. The Main Building and East Wing are centrally located on the property with 52 rooms decorated in a nautical style that fits in perfectly with the surroundings, all with modern amenities and private baths.

Continue reading »

Jun 042017
 

We seriously love the Minions in our house. I surprised my kids with these Minion strawberries the other day and they almost flipped their lids. They could not have been easier to make and they are oh so cute.

Minion Strawberries

Here’s what you need:

  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Black, Yellow and Blue Candy Melts (you can also used white chocolate that you color with food dye)
  • Candy Eyeballs
  • Candy Melts E-Z Thin (you can also use Crisco)
  • Candy Melts Decorating Tips
  • Decorating Bags or Ziploc Bags

Continue reading »

May 292017
 

When I was growing up, my mom always had homemade sweets in the house.  My sister, brother and I would come home from school and excitedly run to the kitchen counter to see what delicious treat she had made that day. Now that I am the mom, I know a little bit more about nutrition and eating right, so I don’t have sweets in the house all the time, but sometimes I do like to surprise all the boys in my house with a home baked goodie. Something like these Crockpot Peanut Butter Clusters for example.

They are absurdly easy to make and they always go over well.  Plus, they cover both sweet and salty cravings and if you are anything like me, you have both. Often. So if you’re looking for a tasty snack to have on hand for the family, try these crockpot peanut butter clusters. I promise, they will be a big hit!

Crockpot Peanut Butter Clusters

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 cups unsalted peanuts
  • 4 cups salted peanuts
  • 1 – 12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 – 12 oz bag milk chocolate chips
  • 2 – 10 oz bag peanut butter chips
  • 2lb white almond bark or vanilla candy coating

Continue reading »

May 212017
 

Memorial Day is next week and before we know it, it will be the 4th of July. Man, they came up quick this year didn’t they? I am not sure what our plans for July 4th are yet (because we will have out of town guests staying with us this year), but we are definitely having some people over for a Memorial Day cookout. Nothing too big, but since my mom passed in February it’s really important to me to spend as much time as possible with the rest of my family – so we’re having my family over for a cookout. Not that I ever need an excuse for a cookout…..

I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy planning out the menu for parties and cookouts. I am a planner by nature and I suppose that’s why I like doing it so much. Anyhow, this year I am making some Patriotic Cherry and Blueberry Stuffed Crescent Roll-Ups for everyone.  When I host a cookout, I like to have some finger foods ready for my guests while the food cooks on the grill. These Patriotic Cherry and Blueberry Stuffed Crescent Roll-Ups are perfect because they are super easy to make and really yummy!

Patriotic Cherry and Blueberry Stuffed Crescent Roll-Ups

Continue reading »

May 142017
 

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While I don’t like to eat a big meal first thing in the morning, I always like to send my boys off to school in the morning with a good meal in their tummies. These Pancake Breakfast Sliders are one of my favorite things to make for the boys. They both love them and I love them because they are relatively quick and easy to make.

You only need a few ingredients for these Pancake Breakfast Sliders and they are great to grab and go if need be. Plus, everything is better with bacon, right? Right!

Pancake Breakfast Sliders

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 pkg. Pancake Mix
  • 12 pieces Bacon, cooked
  • 12 Sausage Patties, cooked
  • 8 Eggs
  • Syrup

Here’s what you do:
1. Prepare your pancakes per the directions on the package. You will need 24 pancakes approximately 3 inches round. Continue reading »

May 082017
 

Mother’s Day is going to be here before you know it (seriously – it’s this weekend)! Growing up, my sister brother and I always made my mom breakfast. Somehow over the years it seems that most people have transitioned from breakfast to brunch and that is a-ok by me. I love brunch and I am always on the lookout for great new things to try when I host brunch. Lucky for you, I recently found a bunch of great new recipes that are perfect for brunch. These Mother’s Day brunch recipes are sure to please mom (and everyone else) on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

Apple Cinnamon Crumple Doughnuts
http://strengthandsunshine.com/apple-cinnamon-crumble-doughnuts/

Breakfast Tacos
http://www.youbrewmytea.com/2015/05/country-style-breakfast-tacos.html

Nutella Deviled Strawberries
http://www.laurenslatest.com/nutella-deviled-strawberries/

Peanut Butter Banana Stuffed French Toast
http://leavenoleftovers.com/peanut-butter-banana-stuffed-french-toast/ Continue reading »

May 072017
 

If you are looking for a salty and sweet kid-friendly trail mix, then look no further! This is a very simple trail mix with only four ingredients. Everything in this mixture is kid approved and any child should absolutely love this trail mix. You can even raid your pantry and toss in some dried fruit, or other fun snacks your child loves. It is a very versatile trail mix!  If you have never had M&M’s and popcorn together, trust me when I say that it is a very tasty combination! Then throw in the crackers and grahams, and it is heavenly! Very simple to make, hardly no prep, and a great snack option for you and your kiddo!

Sweet and Salty Kid-Friendly Trail Mix 

Continue reading »

Apr 302017
 

I don’t know about you, but I am super excited about the fact that it’s finally spring. Once the nice weather rolls around here in New England, I like to plan out dinners that my family can enjoy al fresco.  To me, food just seems to taste better when it’s eaten outside.  Am I right? That is why these Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches are the perfect spring/summer meal.  They are really easy to make and they definitely taste better when eaten outside. Ok, ok, they taste good no matter where you eat them, but try them outside – you’ll like it.

You probably have most of the ingredients to make them on hand, too.  Raid your pantry and whip these delicious Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches up for dinner. I’m sure they will be as big of a hit with your family as they are with mine!

Crockpot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Here’s what you need:

  • 3-4 lbs. Chicken Breasts
  • 16 oz. Prepared Coleslaw
  • 2 cups Pineapple Juice
  • 1 ½ cups Barbeque Sauce
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Onion sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. flour, optional

Here’s what you do: Continue reading »

Apr 272017
 

Culinary Fight Club is a National Food Sport Organization. They produce live cooking competitions to highlight local Culinary Talent, ingredients and resources. Culinary Fight Club competitions take place in Chicago, Omaha, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Boston, Knoxville, Johnson City, Pittsburgh, Virginia Beach, Charlotte, Twin Cities, Kansas City, Montgomery, Charlotte, Charleston, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Los Angeles and now Boston!  I was invited to attend the inaugural Boston event and it was such a fun experience.

cooking competition plymouth ma

The Chefs Competing in Boston’s First Culinary Fight Club Event.

Culinary Fight Club brings the passion of a high-energy kitchen and the thrill of a timed competition for you to enjoy. As a self proclaimed foodie and someone who is obsessed with cooking competition shows on the Food Network, it was amazing to be able to attend an event like this live and see the chefs in action with my own eyes.  No two events are the same, with new teams and themes every time, so you will definitely want to attend as many events as possible. Continue reading »

Apr 252017
 

may 5th Mexican recipes for cinco de mayo

Cinco de Mayo, otherwise known as May 5th, is next week! Around here in our house, we have a true love affair with Mexican food.  Not that my family ever needs an excuse to eat Mexican, but if Cinco de Mayo isn’t the perfect day for it, I don’t know what is!

I am already busy over here planning out my menu for Cinco de Mayo.  Since it’s a celebratory holiday for our neighbors to the south, I feel semi-obligated to help them celebrate it by cooking up a Mexican feast.  As I was combing the internet trying to narrow down my Cinco de Mayo menu, I ended up coming up with approximately 20 of the best recipes out there. Now I am in a quandary because I don’t know which ones to make and I am afraid the feast for my family is going to end up turning into a party for the whole neighborhood.

Anyhow, here are all the amazing recipes I rounded up.  I hope you scroll through them and find a few that you like, too!

20+ Perfect Recipes for Your Cinco de Mayo Menu

Mini Taco Stuffed Peppers
http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2014/08/mini-taco-stuffed-peppers.html Continue reading »

Apr 182017
 

Did you just get an Instant Pot for a holiday gift or birthday present and have no idea what is next? Maybe you read the manual and the *beginner’s guide* (link to the first article!). Now, you’re ready to start cooking! Before you get started, there are a few things I want you to know. You can cook healthier foods with your Instant Pot from simple entrees to gourmet dishes. I also want to show you that you can use your Instant Pot daily which can make it one of the most valuable appliances in your kitchen.

How to Cook Healthy Foods in Your Instant Pot

Easy does it. If you’re a beginner, start off easy. Skip long or heavy recipes until you get the hang of it. With simple recipes with few ingredients, you can learn how to make adjustments and discover how the Instant Pot works. You will learn how your food cooks and what you might need to read up on to truly master your Instant Pot. Try rice to learn the rice cooker setting and shredded meat to learn how to make your meat flavorful.

Start with a whole chicken. If you’re not sure how to get going with your Instant Pot, a whole chicken could be just what you need. While there are many recipes online for a whole chicken in your Instant Pot, you can add your own flair with seasonings and broth. Don’t forget that your Instant Pot should always have a cup of liquid in your pot when you cook. Continue reading »

Apr 162017
 

cocoa-pebbles-donuts

What’s your favorite cereal?  Hands down mine is Cocoa Pebbles and you can be guaranteed that no matter when you walk into my house, there is a box of Cocoa Pebbles handy.  I would literally live on them if I could.

Anyhow, one of my sister’s in law inspired me to get a little creative with my Cocoa Pebbles.  She makes these ah-mazing Fruity Pebbles bars (like Rice Krispie treats, but with Fruity Pebbles instead).  They are seriously awesome, but after a little thought, I decided that I could make something pretty awesome out of my Cocoa Pebbles.  So I did.  I made these awesome Cocoa Pebbles donuts and to say they’re a hit in my house is a complete understatement. As soon as I make them, they’re gone.  Seriously – within 30 minutes.

donuts9

You’re intrigued, right?  Here’s the recipe:

Cocoa Pebbles Donuts

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 Cups cocoa pebbles cereal
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • White Wilton chocolate melts
  • Sprinkles
  • 1/2 tablespoons butter or non stick cooking spray

Continue reading »

Apr 102017
 

I’ve hosted several Easter dinners at my house over the years, but this year I am happy to say I’m just a guest. My parents are hosting this year, but of course I can’t show up to their house empty handed.  Since my parents are making the meal (and they are feeding 12 people, so I know it’s a lot of work), I offered to bring a dessert – actually, I had told them I would bring a couple of Easter desserts because I want to make sure there’s enough for everyone.

That left me with the big decision of what to make.  I spent some time searching the internet for festive Easter desserts and treats the other day and came up with more than I could ever possibly make – but they were sure fun to look at. Here are some of the yummy recipes I found:

Easter Blossom Cookies
http://mykitchencraze.com/easter-blossom-sugar-cookies/

Italian Easter Bread
http://bakewithchristina.com/italian-easter-bread/#comment-5976

Carrot Cupcakes
http://www.justataste.com/carrot-cupcakes-with-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe/

Bunny Cupcakes
http://www.pillsburybaking.com/recipes/bold-tie-dyed-layer-cake-8660 Continue reading »

Apr 052017
 

Freezer meals are a quick way to meal plan healthy dishes. The main idea is to freeze some of your meals for use at a later day. You can cook the meals ahead of time, freeze them, and heat it up at dinner time in an oven, on the stove, or even in a slow cooker. It saves you a lot of time and energy throughout the week, and it helps you stay on track with your healthy eating goals.

Here are a few ideas for easy freezer meals for your family. It is important to note that there are two different ways of “freezer meals.” The first is by adding ingredients to a freezer bag and freezing. The second way is preparing the actual meal first (in the oven or on the stove) and freezing it. Both ways have their benefits, but the second way provides a way to slash prep time. You just simple defrost, heat up, and serve.

Easy Freezer Meal Ideas

Baked Macaroni and Cheese. Create a comfort meal for everyone with mac and cheese! It is a classic dish that is much tastier when made from scratch. Skip the powdered cheese and make your own with whole wheat noodles (or even vegetable pasta if you dare!), cheddar and low-fat cottage cheese, some vegetables like spinach and broccoli, and cream. Bake, cool, and freeze the entire container. What a time saver! Continue reading »

Apr 022017
 

If you’re hosting Easter dinner this year, you can totally wow your guests with this delicious Cadbury Creme Egg Dip! Seriously, I have seen many jaws drop over the years when people walk into my house and see the dip sitting there in all its glory on my kitchen island.  The best part is that it’s insanely easy to make, so if you’re in a hurry, you can make this dip in just a few minutes. If you love Cadbury Creme Eggs, you are going to want to try this dip recipe. I promise, you will thank me – it’s divine. Like eyes rolling back in your head divine. Really.

Cadbury Creme Egg Dip

Here’s what you need:

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup Butter, softened
  • 7 Cadbury Creme Eggs

Continue reading »

Mar 272017
 

April Fools Day is coming up quick guys and I am already planning out some awesome April Fools Food Pranks to play on my boys.  Growing up, there was absolutely no pranking in parent’s house.  They didn’t go for that sort of thing, so my sister, brother and I behaved. Then I met my husband, Christian, and he happens to come from a family full of pranksters. Christian knows I am not a fan, so they rarely get played on me, but my boys are a whole other story.

The boys think pranks are the best thing ever and pretty much live for April Fools Day because that’s the only real day that they can get away with them without consequences. But what kind of a mom would I be if I didn’t play a few pranks back?  I have experimented over the years and have found that food pranks are the best way to go with my two. It gets them every time. If you want to try some food pranks of your own, take a peek at some of these links.  There is lots of good stuff in there. Continue reading »