Meatballs 15 Ways

When it comes to comfort food – which is just what I’ve been craving lately – meatballs are highly underrated. They’re easy to pull together for a meal, so versatile, and can be jam packed with vibrant flavors. If you’re still a doubter just have a look at the 15 recipes below!

















Vegetable Beef Soup


For weeks now it seems like if it hasn’t been snowing, it’s been raining. (It’s happening even now as I type.) My usual meals of chicken and Brussels sprouts or kitchen sink salads just haven’t been comforting enough, so there’s been plenty of warming soups and stews on the menu. This Vegetable Beef Soup is easy to pull together on either the stovetop or in a slow cooker, with plenty of tender vegetables to fill up your belly.



Vegetable Beef Soup

• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1.5 lb sirloin steak (or stew meat)
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 C carrots, diced
• 1 C celery, diced
• 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
• 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (optional)
• 8 C beef stock
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
• 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp black pepper

In a large stockpot heat 1 Tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat. Add half of the steak, stirring frequently until well browned. Remove and transfer to another plate. Repeat with remaining steak. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the remaining olive oil along with the onion, cook while stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, and potatoes and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, as well as the steak, to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pot, simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until steak and vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves and serve.

(This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker. Follow the above directions through the browning of the steak, then combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours, until vegetables are tender.)



Nachos 15 Ways

Last week we shared a bunch of basic vs fancy foods for the Super Bowl, and today we’re narrowing it down even further with some of the most amazing nacho recipes I’ve ever seen. Lots of borrowing from other statement dishes and turning them into the most brilliant of snack foods! Out of these fifteen surely there’s at least one to peak your interest…

















Super Bowl Party Foods: Basic + Fancy

Now that we know it’ll be the Philadelphia Eagle and the New England Patriots facing off in Super Bowl LII, we can get onto the very important task of party planning. Or more specifically menu planning. Because if either of those teams aren’t your favorite – this Pittsburgh Steelers fan included – then the most important thing happening at the Super Bowl party you’re hosting or attending will likely be the food.

I’ve only been to two types of SB parties in my lifetime – the kind that includes paper plates and cans of beer, and the type where it would be frowned upon to throw the plates or glasses into the trash. In other words, basic and fancy. Basic parties include the old standbys while fancy parties step outside the box a bit more. Both types of party foods are fantastic and delicious, and I wouldn’t turn down an invitation to either!


































New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Peas + The Best Cornbread


I know I said I wouldn’t be back until after the new year, but I couldn’t let it slip by without sharing this recipe! My mom makes a big pot of black-eyed peas and a piping hot pan of cornbread every New Year’s Day. Superstition has it that eating a bowl will bring you luck in the coming year, and I’m not one to mess with that kind of science! This dish is one she has stored in the recipe box of her mind and has never been shared before, so this is *kind of* a big deal. It’s also very versatile. Add more beans, leave out the sauerkraut, cut back on the meat? All totally doable. We like to place a piece of cornbread in the bottom of a bowl and cover it with the beans before digging in. Here’s to a fantastic 2018!



New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Peas
• 1 bag dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in a large pot of cold water
• 1 large sweet yellow onion
• 4 cloves of garlic, minced
• 2-3 large ham hocks
• 1 ring of Polish Kielbasa or Polish Sausage, sliced into 1-inch quartered pieces
• 1 ham steak, fried and cut into small 1/2-inch pieces
• 12 oz sauerkraut, drained
• red pepper to taste

Drain peas and rinse well, removing any bad ones. Combine black-eyed peas, onion, garlic, ham hocks, Kielbasa, and ham steak in a very large stock pot, then fill with water to cover. Set on low heat, stirring occasionally. Mixture will thicken as it cooks. Cook until black-eyed peas are tender and ham hocks are cooked through and falling apart. Remove ham hocks from pot and remove meat from bones, then add meat back to the pea mixture. Discard scraps and add sauerkraut and red pepper to taste. Cook for additional 15 minutes. Total cook time varies, but is usually in the three to four hour range.


The Best Cornbread
• 1 C butter, softened
• 2 – 8 oz cans corn, drained
• 2 – 8 oz cans creamed corn
• 4 eggs, lightly beaten
• 2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 2 – 8.5 oz boxes Jiffy cornbread mix

Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl stir together all ingredients until blended (do not beat with mixer). Pour into a greased and floured 9” x 13” cake pan. Bake one hour or until the top is lightly browned. Enjoy!


Sheet Pan Meals 15 Ways

Sheet pan – or one pan – meals serve a myriad of purposes this time of year. First, they’re easy and fairly healthy during a time when you’re *probably* indulging more than usual. Second, they’re a reason to use the oven and add extra heat to your home. (Can you tell mine has been freezing??) Third, there’s minimal cleanup involved which is honestly always plus in my book. I’m very much looking forward to trying out some of these recipes this winter!

















24 Homemade Gifts + Foods to Give

Homemade gifts are so thoughtful, and they’re also great to have on hand for some other reasons. Unexpected guests, coworkers, and stockings to name a few! I’ve pulled together twelve simple DIY projects and twelve recipes that would make for great give, I’ve also shared what to pair them with to create and extra sweet and thoughtful gift!



PAIR WITH a bottle of wine or new book


PAIR WITH a set of vintage candleholders


PAIR WITH a bottle of lavender pillow spray (see below)


PAIR WITH a simple soap dish


PAIR WITH a pair of linen pillowcases


PAIR WITH a package of your favorite pasta and a jar of sauce


PAIR WITH a nice box of matches


PAIR WITH a bouquet of fresh eucalyptus


PAIR WITH a pretty candlesnuffer


PAIR WITH a tray to arrange them in


PAIR WITH a pottery dish to set it in


PAIR WITH a few tiny baskets to set them in drawers, closets, etc



PAIR WITH toothpicks and a large bowl


PAIR WITH a loaf of fresh local bread


PAIR WITH the recipe!


PAIR WITH quality hot chocolate mix


PAIR WITH a pair of small glass tumblers


PAIR WITH a wooden cutting board


PAIR WITH a nice candy dish


PAIR WITH a linen dish towel – tie them up in a bundle


PAIR WITH a small dish or cake stand that can be used year-round


PAIR WITH a recipe for English muffins or crumpets and a spreader


PAIR WITH a pair of new mugs and tea strainer


PAIR WITH an air-tight tin that can be reused again and again for storage


Mega Christmas Sweets Roundup

1/ Almond Buckwheat Chocolate Brittle
2/ Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies
3/ Belgium Waffle Maple Fudge
4/ Caramel and Cardamom Kisses
5/ Cardamom Cake Mix Cookies with Saffron Sugar
6/ Caramel Apple Spice Thumbprints
7/ Cashew Filled Baklava Rolls
8/ Carrot Cake Cookies
9/ Chai Spiced Salted Caramel Macarons
10/ Cherry & Lime Macaroons


11/ Cherry Chestnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
12/ Chocolate Flecked Slice and Bake Cookies
13/ Chocolate Graham Crackers (GF)
14/ Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies
15/ Chocolate Tahini Fudge
16/ Chocolate-Peanut Butter Marbled Biscotti
17/ Cinnamon Sugar Pie Crust Cookies
18/ Cranberry and Almond Oatmeal Cookies
19/ Cranberry Cherry Ribbon Cookies
20/ Cranberry Wafer Cookies


21/ Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies
22/ Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars
23/ Easy No-Bake White Chocolate Thin Mints
24/ Espresso Caramel Shortbread Bites
25/ Fluffy Vanilla Nougat
26/ Frosted Soft Sugar Cookie Bars
27/ Gingerbread and Honey Jumbles
28/ Gluten-Free Chocolate Dipped Gingersnaps
29/ Hazelnut & Caramel Cookies
30/ Healthy Almond and Cinnamon Christmas Stars


31/ Homemade Chocolate Bars
32/ Lemon Cranberry Biscotti
33/ Malted Hazelnut & Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
34/ Christmas Maple Sugar Cookies
35/ Matcha Oreos
36/ Lemon Shortbread Cookies
37/ Meyer Lemon Pizzelle
38/ Middle Eastern Millionaire’s Shortbread
39/ Nutter Butters
40/ Oatmeal Chewies


41/ Orange Chocolate Cantucci Biscuits
42/ Pecan Praline Cookies
43/ Pumpkin Ginger Sandwich Cookies
44/ Rosemary Chocolate Biscotti
45/ S’mores Bites
46/ Salted Caramel Cookies + Coffee Chocolate Drizzle
47/ Salted Dark Chocolate Chip and Roasted Pecan Cookies
48/ Peppermint Bark Cannoli
49/ Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
50/ Walnut Mushroom Cookies