NYC local cupcake shop Baked By Melissa has had us wrapped around their finger since they rolled into town with their delicious bite-sized cupcakes and clever ideas–remember the cupcake gumball machine and the Betsy Johnson cupcake? We even have their insanely good cookie dough cupcakes in our 2014 holiday gift guide, as an awesome BFF gift. Their latest creation is just as innovative as all of those: the Baked By Melissa online cupcake creator, ready for wannabe dessert artists to flex their design skill. You can choose from 16 flavors and turn a blank digital canvas into your own virtual artwork made up of anywhere from 100 to...Read More
Category: Food + Drink
We’ve been gearing up for Thanksgiving all week with amazing mashed potato recipes, the easiest cranberry sauce recipes, killer stuffing recipes, tips for how to make homemade pie, and a guide to best mail order pies in the country (a tasty, timesaving approach to Thanksgiving dessert). Now it’s time to talk turkey. Foodies the nation over will be debating the merits of brining, whether to spatchcock (yes, I said that), if frying is worthwhile, and otherwise discussing ad nauseum how to cook a turkey. The rest of us just need a good, easy Thanksgiving turkey recipe, and one of...Read More
Stuffing is one of those Thanksgiving dishes that I’m always changing. One year cornbread, the next sourdough. Sometimes sausage, other times bacon. Every once in a while I make it in the bird, though mostly it’s done in a separate pot. I’m not yet sure how I’m going to approach stuffing this year, but I know that one of these 8 amazing Thanksgiving stuffing recipes is going to be on my table–and you might be thrilled to have them on yours, too. I’m guessing there’s something here for everyone, no matter how you like your stuffing. Even if you call it dressing....Read More
8 seriously amazing mashed potato recipes for Thanksgiving. Or heck, Christmas, Mother’s Day and our birthdays.
I can never eat too many hot, yummy, heaping forkfuls of mashed potatoes. We’re the kind of family that has both homemade stuffing (often more than one kind) and potatoes on the Thanksgiving table. If you’re not running away from me in a carb-phobic panic right now, then we can be friends. Also, I hope you’ll enjoy these awesome mashed potato recipes for Thanksgiving–and way beyond. Oh, and because my totally insane youngest daughter refuses to eat mashed potatoes (I told you–insane) I am forced to take on the hard task of eating her portion myself. So I have double the reason to want...Read More
As a professional home cook and recipe developer, I’m always game to change things up, even at a holiday meal. But, if you ask me, certain holiday dishes, like cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving are essential. You can play with them, but don’t think of skipping them. Making cranberry sauce is easy to do—you can even use your slow cooker—and you may be surprised at how inventive you can get, if you want. Check out these 7 cranberry sauce recipes and prepare to be inspired. Jaimie at My Baking Addiction keeps it simple with her version of Homemade Cranberry Sauce. This recipes...Read More
We might as well call the holiday season “pie season” if you ask me. That’s honestly what it is—or at least what it should be. Who’s with me? Even if you’re not (and we’ll settle this later), Thanksgiving and the winter holidays create the perfect excuse to bake up a pie or seven which, despite what the saying suggests, is pretty easy to do. Especially if you follow these 8 easy tips for how to make homemade pie like the not-quite-pros but really enthusiastic home cooks that we are.. 1. Start with a great recipe. It’s simple: A great...Read More
The long season of “eat, drink, and be merry” is almost upon us, so it’s time for you pregnant, breastfeeding, or abstaining-from-alcohol mamas to consider what you’ll be sipping from now until the ball drops on another year. Fortunately, there’s Momosas: Fun Alcohol-Free Drinks For Expecting Moms , a brand-new recipe book that is filled with over 130 interesting recipes for mocktails, blender drinks, and other concoctions. They’re so yummy, you won’t miss the alcohol at all. Especially the next morning. Despite the title and the cutesy drink names like Stork Choice, Rubber Ducky, and The Pacifier, Momosas is a smart, nicely designed book chock-full of gorgeous...Read More
Fall is all about stews, chili, roasts, and salads. Yes, salads! Roasted veggies are delicious, but roasted veggies tossed with greens and a delicious dressing are sublime. And don’t forget about fall fruits; they make for delicious salads, too. These 9 amazing fall salad recipes are enough to keep us from missing summer salads. Now if only they could keep us from missing summer weather. I’ve never seen a recipe that makes Brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli—all mixed together!—look so good. Maybe that’s the power behind this Fall Kale Super Salad (above) from Seasons and Suppers. We can’t talk...Read More
I’m all about food gifts for men. Maybe because I love the men in my life, and the men in my life happen to love food. If you’re with me, then I’ve got three fantastic resources for you if you’re all about seriously cool food gifts that have nothing to do with cheese logs or lollipop towers. Mantry First, there’s Mantry. I discovered them last year and loved them so much, my own dad got a subscription from me for Christmas. Their one-, three-, and six-month subscription food boxes are still an extraordinary gift idea for any guy who’s down with the likes of gourmet salsa,...Read More
One of the best things about the northeast this time of year is the abundance of crisp, ripe apples–and the fresh, natural apple juice we can grab at the farmer’s market. My kids are becoming such connoisseurs, they actually know the difference between a Fuji and a Macintosh, are so-so on Red Delicious, and beg for Honeycrisp at the store–at which point I have to explain that they cost twice as much as the others. So I was really psyched to get to try ‘Tude Natural Apple Juice and put my kids and their know-it-all apple attitudes to the test. Oh and I...Read More
With Halloween behind us, it’s time to collect our gourds and go home. If you haven’t already carved yours, now is the perfect time to gather your pumpkins and put them to (actual) good use by roasting those pumpkin seeds for a nutritious snack. Here is our favorite tutorial on how to roast pumpkin seeds, plus 6 awesome roasted pumpkin seed recipes with a flavor for every taste. Oh She Glows is my favorite stop for natural snacks and, as expected, Angela came through with this great tutorial on how to roast pumpkin seeds. Each step comes with...Read More
Candy may be the only Halloween treat that my kids are interested in, but with Halloween falling on a Friday night this year, I’m also looking forward to a fun Halloween cocktail to usher in the weekend. Whether you want a sweet sip, a serious drink, or a cocktail that can easily be adapted for kids and non-drinkers, one of these 8 Halloween cocktail recipes will surely do you right. My favorite thing about the Vampire Cocktail (above and top) from Self Proclaimed Foodie is that it’s interactive. I mean, who doesn’t want to squeeze fresh raspberry puree through a syringe to...Read More
Let me start by saying that I have to make four school lunches every night of the week, so if there’s anything to make the whole lunch packing process easier–and of course, healthier–I am willing to try it. That is how I ended up with a new BFF (best food friend) Organic Slammers. We’re already big squeezy fans in my house, as we call them, and GoGo SqueeZ applesauce and squeezable yogurt tubes are regular fixtures in my kids’ lunchboxes. So it wasn’t a huge stretch for us to try Organic Slammers. They combine a lot of our favorites only with more nutrients, because they include fruit and...Read More
When celebrating Halloween with little ones, there’s a fine line between fun creepy and scary creepy. Lucky for me—a firm believer that the creepier the better—my kids are finally old enough to handle scary Halloween. I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting the safe creepy Halloween thing, though, and my favorite theme is mad scientist. If you’re looking for a rated-G entree into Halloween spookiness, these mad scientist party recipes will set the perfect hair-raising mood. You know, in a ha-ha way. These monster guts (above and top) from Sugar and Cloth are a perfect safe-creepy specimen. They are also...Read More
Of all the throwback candies, candy corn reigns supreme. More than just nostalgic, it is among the most popular Halloween candies year after year. (Because it’s awesome, that’s why.) It’s also the inspiration for these fun, delicious candy corn recipes. When it comes to Halloween, I believe you can never have too much of a good thing. There are tons of Halloween cookie recipes that call for candy corn, but I love this simple, wholesome approach. With a little bit of food coloring (we love these all-natural food dyes), Jenna at PBS Food turns simple sugar cookies into Candy...Read More
If you’re having a big Halloween party this year, it’s always so much fun, but it can be crazy trying to get all that appropriately fun, spooky food pulled together in time. So I’m happy to share some of my favorite semi-homemade Halloween snacks that you can take from the grocery bag to the table in just a few minutes. Hey, it’s not cheating! I like to think of it as a big step up from bowls of pretzels and M&Ms…even if you’re not making some outrageous Frankenstein cake from scratch. Related: The ultimate last-minute Halloween idea guide: Costumes, treats, recipes, printables, crafts, decor, pumpkins...Read More
Last year I threw an awesome Halloween party for my kids. (Really! There’s video, complete with Halloween dinner recipes, to prove it.) It was a blast, but now my kids want to do it again. I’m game—anything to show off my rockin’ Cleopatra costume—but it has to be easy. So I’ve found these super fun, easy Halloween party recipes that are just right to keep your Halloween festive without too much hard work. Because Queen Cleopatra doesn’t do hard work, thank you very much. Three cheers for Halloween Candy Bark (above) from Just a Taste. Candy on candy: It’s the only way to go on...Read More
Being a food writer who focuses on (mostly) healthy family eats is a funny thing during the Halloween season. I get a lot of nervous laughter and jittery explanations from friends about giving into the bloodbath of candy—as if I don’t do the same (or as if I’m judging your choices–rest assured that I’m not). Halloween is about candy. And, other than being sensitive to kids who have to stick to allergen-free candy, I’m down for whatever. However, with these five fantastic choices for natural Halloween candy that taste as delicious as the more traditional candy brands, I don’t see why we...Read More
You may be tired of hearing about pumpkin spice flavored foods and drinks, but I’m going to bet that you’re not sick of eating them. Because when they are good, they are oh-so-good, like these six easy, delectable pumpkin spice recipes that hit just the right note without going too far (Leave my hummus alone, pumpkin spice.) If you love a good special occasion pumpkin pie, these Pumpkin Spice Pop Tarts (above) are the perfect everyday fall day treat. This recipe from Southern Fatty calls for scratch dough which is surely worth the effort, but you can also keep this...Read More
Think outside of the cookie box: 7 easy, festive recipes to make use of your Halloween cookie cutters
I’m taking a stand: No more seasonal cookie cutters for a single use. If I can’t use the cookie cutter for multiple purposes I’m not buying it, and I don’t think you should either. Now we just have to figure out how to use the pile of cookie cutters that we already have! With Halloween coming up, I found seven easy, delicious ways to use your pumpkin-shaped Halloween cookie cutters. Now you just have to find them in that junk drawer. PS: If you don’t already own pumpkin-shaped Halloween cookie cutters, now you can officially buy a set. You’re welcome. These...Read More
I hate to admit it now, but I was one of those first time moms who didn’t feed my son cookies until he was nearly two. I am proud to say that I was much more relaxed the second time around, and I’d like to think that I would have been more measured from the beginning had there been healthy cookies for toddlers when my kids were little like these two new options. It may be too late for me, but there’s still time for you toddler moms and dads to adopt a healthy, everything-in-moderation approach to snacking thanks to...Read More
What’s a chocolate-nut spread without the nuts? Chocolate No-Nut Butter is what. It’s real and according to reviews it’s delicious, too. The catch is that this spread made by Missy Chase Lapine, better known as The Sneaky Chef (and by me as the queen of nut free snacks), is not widely available yet. Missy’s Kickstarter campaign to launch her Chocolate No-Nut Butter spread just got funded with 42 hours to go–fantastic news, because we’re already dying to see it on shelves. It’s been a couple of years since The Sneaky Chef released a cookbook and now we know why. Missy has launched a...Read More
Am I the only one with a kid who has a runny nose already? From the state of my little one’s classroom, the answer is no, I am not. Cold and flu season has arrived, but is hasn’t yet taken hold. It’s time to take preventative measures and keep those sniffles from turning into full-blown sickness. These seven foods for cold and flu season are natural preventative and cold remedies that can help keep you and your family healthy all winter long. The obvious place to start: Chicken Noodle Soup (above). The restorative power of chicken soup is not just an...Read More
We all know that apples shine in sweet recipes for tasty apple snacks and delectable apple desserts, but this versatile fruit also rocks the dinner table. And not just in salads, I’ll have you know. There are lots of ways to use apples in all three meals of the day. Here are 8 of my favorite apple recipes for dinner. In salads, apples are often paired with blue cheese, walnuts, fennel, or kale, which is why I love this unexpected Spicy Thai Mango Apple Salad at The Pickled Plum. It’s refreshing in concept and taste, and can be turned into a...Read More
5 copycat coffee drink recipes as good as the overpriced ones at the coffee shop: Our gift to you this National Coffee Day.
We know you love coffee, so we thought long and hard about what to give you for National Coffee Day today. We’ve already shared our favorite iced coffee recipes and coffee recipes from around the world. We’ve made it easy to make your own cold brew and hot buttered coffee. So what else can we serve up for your sipping enjoyment? How about five of the most delicious copycat coffee drink recipes so that you can enjoy your favorite coffeehouse drinks at home on the cheap. That’s right, java lovers: Five new recipes and for each one, five bucks you get to keep...Read More
Everyone’s always talking about how hard it is to get a good dinner on the table, but I find that breakfast is way more hectic, with less time and no delivery options! There’s always cereal, but unfortunately most cold cereals completely lack what we need to start the day off right. There’s oatmeal too—these oatmeal recipes saved me last winter—but I still need more. These tasty, quick-cook hot cereal brands and recipes are the answer. Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Hot Cereals Purely Elizabeth has been around for a little while but I just wasn’t so into their products when...Read More
My experiments with gluten-free cooking and baking have taught me that it can be a seriously tricky endeavor. Not only is it hard to find great gluten-free breads and pastas, but avoiding all of the foods that surprisingly contain gluten—from soy sauce to sausage—can be a painstaking chore. These four awesome gluten-free cookbooks and two gluten-free baking blends offer tons of inspiration, recipes, and mixes that make eating a gluten-free diet easy and, more importantly, totally delicious. The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen America’s Test Kitchen is the place to start...Read More
At a recent family brunch with Cool Mom Picks, Cool Mom Tech and LiveHealth Online, an awesome new service that gives you immediate access to board-certified doctors from home, I was reminded that cooking with kids is an awesome opportunity to go beyond chocolate chip cookies. And that they’re more likely to try what you make if they’ve helped. I watched my son and a slew of other kids make—and eat!—these three healthy snack recipes, and may have stolen a few bites for myself. I wasn’t alone: I watched all of the other parents sneak bites, too. These snacks are that good....Read More
I’m all for starting the Jewish new year off right, and for me that means a gourmet Rosh Hashanah food taster from our favorite online indie food marketplace, MOUTH. Why stick with plain old apples and honey, when the goodies in the “High Holy Day-licious” pack (ha) go a step further? They make a perfect hostess gift to bring to a Rosh Hashanah dinner or appetizer spread to kick off your own holiday celebration. The deliciousness will set the intention for a great year ahead, or at least a delicious one. But you have to order now! – Don’t miss an...Read More
Apples come to mind first when most people think of fall fruit. And yes, they are great–these six apple snack and dessert recipes are proof–but they’ll also be around for a while. Right now, I’m all about seizing the moment with pears–which, by the way, have more potassium, fiber and folate than apples. Pears are just as versatile as apples but beyond eating them plain, I love them most in dessert. Check out these five easy pear dessert recipes and, to help make sure that they come out perfectly, check out our quick guide to choosing ripe pears. How to select...Read More
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