Fall Harvest Meal

Well I had a very fun class recently that gave me the perfect excuse to pull out some of my very favorite Fall recipes and make a night of it! After doing so, I wanted to share the recipes along, I hope you enjoy!!

A great start to a fall dinner is a fall cocktail, of course! I have made this Apple Cider Sangria many times & it checks all the boxes for me – Refreshing, delicious and not too sweet!! I find that if you have the space in your refrigerator & can throw it together a day ahead, the flavors really pop!!


This appetizer is always SUCH a hit! I have spent hours and hours preparing intricate appetizers for events and parties, alongside this gem only to have everyone rage over the one that took all of 20 minutes…after nursing my bruised ego, I realized the win, took the advice and I just keep making this instead of spending unnecessary time on other fancy frills!! My household is nut free, so I omit the pecans (or sub for pumpkin seeds), but when able to I add them in for some lovely crunch – toast them first for even bigger flavor!

Salted Caramel Brie with Toasted Pecans



  1. Bake brie on parchment lined baking sheet for 15 minutes at 350. While it is baking, make your caramel!
  2. Use a medium sized saucepan, when you add the heavy cream at the end, the fat reacts to the hot sugar and rises quite a bit – you want to make sure it doesn’t overflow in the pot!
  3. Pour the sugar into your saucepan and turn the heat on medium. Stir constantly as your sugar melts, and continue for about 5 minutes or so until the sugar takes on an amber, or caramel color.
  4. Stir in the butter and continue to stir while it melts. Once completely melted, add in the salt & heavy cream (a little dash of vanilla is option, but lovely!) Stir this mixture constantly while it boils, for 1 minute.
  5. Take the caramel off of the heat and stir in the pecans. Let the caramel sit for about 5 minutes & then pour over the brie – serve immediately – YUM!

And now for one of my FAVORITE salads of all time, and definitely my favorite fall go to! I love this because of the warmth of it. The flavors are just beautiful & it is a nice hearty salad, so I make it into a meal, well, as often as I can!!

Roasted Vegetable & Greens Salad with Maple Tahini Vinaigrette



  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Toss your veg with ample olive oil and seasonings – roast for about 25 minutes, or until tender and a little crispy.
  3. Add all dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor, until pureed. Taste and see if you might like to add a bit more vinegar or lemon, maybe salt – everyone’s preferences are different, but I often need a bit more acid or salt to balance the flavors. If you have time and can let it sit an hour or so – even better!!
  4. Serve over greens & enjoy!!

The main dish for this menu is a lovely dinner to make for a crowd, as long as you have a pot big enough to fit it all!! Much of this entire menu can be prepared mostly ahead of time, which is why it is great for entertaining. For our pasta dish, the squash can be roasted ahead, sausage cooked, and as long as your ingredients are premeasured, the rest comes together in a snap!



  1. Preheat oven to 400. Toss cubed butternut squash with some olive oil, salt & pepper & roast for 30-40 minutes, or until fork tender.
  2. Bring pot of salted water to a boil & cook pasta.
  3. While pasta is cooking, make your cream sauce. Add 2 T olive oil to a large skillet or dutch oven. Saute garlic at meidum heat for 2 minutes & add heavy cream – bring to a quick boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add parmesan and season to taste. Stir in sausage & spinach & remove from heat.
  4. Strain pasta & scoop butternut squash. Mix all together & enjoy!!

We finished off this lovely meal with an apple cider donut cake! SO good. We ended up using a bit of our extra caramel on top and that really was the ‘icing on the cake’! If you do not have caramel, I do suggest some fresh whipped cream, as the cake is a little plain on its own and could use a bit of sweetness:). I used this recipe below for the cake, but I made my own mix vs using a boxed cake mix – you can do whatever you want!!

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake – Princess Pinky Girl

Weeknight Meals on a Budget

Weeknights are busy, but we still want to get a warm, semi healthy meal on the table! I put together a week’s worth of meals for a family of 5. 1 shop list reusing several ingredients, just a little prep on Sunday and you should be in and out of the kitchen in about a half hour each evening, all for around $100! Food prices are going up and up, so planning is our best strategy to keep our grocery bill from doing the same! Most of these dishes should leave you with some leftovers for lunches, as well as some leftover ingredients to throw together another dish or 2.

This past week I teamed up with Maureen Kyle of WKYC’s Mom Squad and we hope that this helps you to get delicious food on the table faster! Let me know if you have any questions, enjoy!

Grocery List:

  • Basil (I recommend freeze dried, so that you can keep it up to a month in your fridge and continue to enjoy it in future dishes)
  • 1 Baguette
  • 16 oz Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 2 Cans or 1 Jar Enchilada Sauce
  • Chicken (Package of 2 Chicken Breasts-alternately a Rotisserie Chicken)
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Cilantro
  • 1 lb White Rice
  • 1-8 oz Can of Tomato Sauce
  • 3 Jars Marinara Sauce
  • 16 oz Ditalini (or other small pasta)\
  • 1 Bunch Kale (Baby Kale=No Prep:)!)
  • Parmesan Cheese Block
  • Onions (3)
  • 3 Cans Cannellini Beans
  • 1 Pkg Kielbasa
  • 2 lb Carrots
  • 2 Crowns Broccoli
  • 1 pkg Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 1-2 Pkgs Udon Noodles (I prefer the fresh ones that are precooked)
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Fresh Garlic

Here is a quick list of items that I normally have on hand, but if you do not, you will want to grab as well:

  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Dried Oregano
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Cumin
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Stick of Butter
  • Lemon
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sriracha or Garlic Chili Paste

Sunday Prep:

I always like to chop a few onions and package them up for the week, it makes things so much easier. Between my cutting board not tasting like onions right away, and just having them on hand! I often will chop up some garlic as well. Many of these recipes will have us using a microplane to grate the garlic and save time as well.

We also want to precook our chicken. From fresh or frozen, you can poach your chicken on the stovetop to prepare it. Bring water to a boil, and add in chicken breasts. Turn down to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes. It will be ready for chopping or shredding and using all week! Alternatively, you can purchase a rotisserie chicken and shred the breasts for our meals, and use the rest for sandwiches and lunches!

I also recommend cutting your vegetables ahead of time to save on prep. Cut the broccoli into small florets, cut zucchini in half lengthwise and into 1/2″ slices & cut 3-4 carrots into 1/2″ slices. All of this should only take about 30 minutes & we are ready for Monday!!

Chicken (or Vegetarian) Enchiladas

Prep time: 15 minutesCook time: 25 minutesTotal time: 40 minutes


Delicious enchiladas are a great weeknight option. Add a side of Mexican rice and some chips and salsa and you’re in business! If you would like to add in some extra nutritional value, I like to mash up a baked sweet potato and spread a bit of that on the inside of each enchilada before stuffing. (You could add baking a sweet potato to our list of Sunday prep, if you are doing the full menu).



  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Sprinkle 2 T of cheese, and some chicken to the center of a tortilla & roll up. Lay into a 9 x 13 pan, seamside down. Repeat. Over and over and over again! You want to pack them in fairly tight to fit as many as possible
  3. Once you have your pan completely filled (give a count and make sure it is the amount you think your family needs – I would say about 15 for a family of 5 is good)
  4. Pour the sauce to completely coat the top of the enchiladas. (Any open areas can dry out.) Cover with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. You can top with cheese if you have any extra. Ready to serve, while they are baking, start your rice!!


  • While the enchiladas are in the oven, start your Mexican rice.

Mexican Rice (Note, double this recipe, if you would like to serve it with Sheet Pan Dinner on Wednesday)



  1. Heat the oil on medium heat. Add the dry rice and sauté for 1 minute while constantly stirring.
  2. Add all dry spices (I suggest premeasuring them together into a bowl, so your rice doesn’t burn.) & garlic, sauté 1 more minute.
  3. Pour in water & tomato sauce. Bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, stir and lower to a simmer. Add sprigs of cilantro on top & cover with lid. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, then it is ready to serve!

Tuesday: Pasta Fagioli with Baguette & Lemon Butter



  1. Begin by sautéing onion in 2 T olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Season with Salt & Pepper.
  2. Add in garlic & saute 1 minute. Pour in all liquid ingredients.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, except for basil, and let simmer about 30 minutes. While it is cooking, make lemon butter!

    For Lemon Butter:
  4. Place softened butter in a bowl, grate lemon zest and garlic over the top.
  5. Add basil, salt & pepper & mix thoroughly. It is ready to spread on Baguette!!
  6. Taste soup for seasoning, top with grated parmesan cheese & serve with bread & butter, yum!

Wednesday: Sheet Pan Sausage & Vegetables

A Sheet Pan Meal with Some Different Veg:)



  1. Preheat Oven to 375
  2. Toss together the sausage & veggies in a large bowl.
  3. Coat with olive oil & toss with seasonings
  4. Bake on parchment lined sheet tray for 25 minutes, serve over rice!

Thursday: Asian Noodle Stir Fry



  1. Sauté onion in 2 T vegetable oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add all vegetables and cover – let cook 2-3 minutes, until veggies have softened a bit.
  3. Add sauce and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes
  4. Toss in noodles & chicken and cook 2-3 minutes, until heated through. Check for seasoning – add more soy or heat as needed. Stir in herbs and enjoy!

Friday: Calzones

Here is an opportunity to use up leftovers!!

Cut your premade dough into equal parts. Roll into circles, using a floured surface. Once rolled out, add in marinara, cheese and any toppings of your choice. Seal the edges and bake at 400 on parchment lined trays for 10-12 minutes, checking for doneness. Enjoy!!

Can Also Make Personal Pizzas!!

Grilling Season!

Grilling season is upon us! We sure had a lot of fun welcoming the season with a big grill event at Home Appliance! Smokers, sous vide, and grill marks, oh my! Here are the recipes for all of the dishes (and cocktails) that we served, as well as some tips & tricks while you’re firing up your outdoor kitchen. Please let me know if you have any questions & enjoy!

For our cocktails, we served, ‘Hot Honey Summer’ – A grilled lemon & rosemary spiked lemonade sweetened with hot honey. And ‘Smokin’ Oldies’ – Smoked Cherry Old Fashioneds.


1 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Cup Hot Honey

8 Cups Cold Water

Lemon Slices & Rosemary


Grill the lemon slices & rosemary, set aside to cool. Mix together all ingredients & serve over ice!


1/2 Cup Fresh or Frozen Cherries

1/2 Cup Simple Syrup


Angostura Bitters

Orange Peel


Cold smoke your cherries for about 45 minutes, or until you have the amount of smokiness that you would like. Soak half of them overnight in the simple syrup. To serve, pour 2 ounces of bourbon & 2 tsp simple syrup over ice. Add a few dashes of bitters, a smoked cherry & an orange peel. Enjoy!

For a fun simple app, definitely try these! Start by grilling peach slices and allowing them to cool. Cut them into equal pieces with fresh mozzarella. You can add fresh basil to your skewers or serve with fresh pesto. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, & drizzle with balsamic glaze!


1/4 Pineapple, Grilled & Diced

3 Roma Tomatoes, Diced

1/2 Red Onion, Diced Small

1/2 Cup Cilantro, Minced

1/2 Jalapeno, Minced

Juice of 1 Lime, Salt & Pepper to Taste

Such a great alternative to store bought!! Cut pineapple into planks. Brush them with vegetable oil & grill. While they are cooling, prepare other ingredients. Toss together all ingredients & season to taste.

Chef Andy Dubyoski’s Famous Grilled Mushrooms with Chili Crisp!!

Grilled mushrooms with Chili crisp and fresh ramps

6 large portobello mushrooms

4 fresh ramps (use scallions if ramps are unavailable)

Lao Gan Ma chili crisp to taste (I would use 3-4 TBS for mine)


¼ C Soy sauce

2 TBS Black Vinegar

2 TBS Toasted Sesame oil

1 Tbs Mushroom Dark soy sauce

1 Tbs Shaoxing Wine

1 tsp 5 spice

1 TBS Sugar

Marinate over night.  Grill. Garnish.


3 # Yellow Potatoes – Steamed & Grilled

4 Ribs of Celery, Chopped

1/2 Yellow Onion, Chopped


1 1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1/2 Cup Mayonaise

2 T Olive Oil

1/2 Cup Fresh Basil

1/2 Cup Fresh Dill

1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley

Juice of 1/2-1 Lemon

3 Cloves of Garlic

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper


For the dressing, place all ingredients in a blender and puree. Steam potatoes until for tender, slice into planks & grill. Once cool, cut into chunks and toss with the rest of ingredients and the dressing!

Chef Andrew Dubyoski’s Smoked Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush

2 lbs of Eggplant (about 2 small to medium eggplants)

1/3 C Tahini

1 Head Roasted Garlic

¼ C Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Plus 1-2 Tbs for garnish)

½ tsp Smoked Paprika (plus more for garnish)

½ tsp Cumin

Sumac for garnish

Juice of 1 Lemon

Zest of 1 Lemon

Kosher Salt

Fresh Black Pepper

Cut eggplant in half lengthwise.  Rub with olive oil.  Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika.  Smoke until tender.  Whip tahini and roasted garlic in food processor till smooth.  Add eggplant with skin removed, lemon zest and juice and pulse several times.  Finish with extra virgin olive oil, adjust seasoning.  Garnish with more extra virgin olive oil, smoked paprika, and sumac.

Chef Andy at The Grill!


1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

1 T Vanilla Extract

2 3/4 Cups Flour

1 t Baking Soda

1 t Salt

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Smoked Sea Salt

Cream butter and sugars together for 3-4 minutes in electric mixer. Add 1 egg at a time and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Gradually add them until just combined and toss in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes (they will look a bit underdone), and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Enjoy!!

Cinco De Mayo

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Battle of Puebla in 1862, when Mexico came out victorious over France. In the United States, it has evolved over the years as a celebration of Mexican culture & heritage. For me it is my wedding anniversary as well! We are eager to join in the festivities & enjoy the beautiful colors, incredible flavors, & absolute merriment of the fiesta! Here are some of my favorite recipes to help celebrate the day, or any day, at that! Enjoy!!

Street Corn Salsa


  • 2 Cups Fresh Corn off the Cob, or Thawed Frozen Corn
  • 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Red Onion
  • 2-3 T Finely Chopped Jalapeno
  • 1 T Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 T Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Cotija Cheese, Crumbled


  1. Stir together 1st 7 ingredients, season to taste & sprinkle with cheese. Enjoy!

Pickled Red Onions are the perfect addition to any street taco, Click here for my recipe!!

Shrimp Tacos


  • 1 lb Shrimp, Peeled & Deveined
  • Zest of 1 Lime, plus 1 T Juice
  • 3 T Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Toss Shrimp in vegetable oil.
  2. Mix all the spices together in a separate bowl.
  3. Toss all together and spread in a single layer onto a parchment lined sheet tray.
  4. Roast at 425 for 6-8 minutes.

Cauliflower & Chickpea Street Tacos


  • 1 Head of Cauliflower, Broken into Florets
  • 1 Can of Chickpeas
  • 3 T Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Toss florets & chickpeas in vegetable oil.
  2. Mix all the spices together in a separate bowl.
  3. Toss all together and spread in a single layer onto a parchment lined sheet tray.
  4. Roast at 400 for about 25 minutes.

Avocado Crema


  • 1 Avocado, Peeled & Pitted
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2-1 Jalapeno, Seeded
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 T Lime Juice
  • 1 Cup Fresh Cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 T Olive Oil


  1. Add all ingredients to food processor & puree until smooth. Season to taste. ******alternatively, if you do not have an avocado, or they are rock hard (like the ones I got!!), you can substitute to avocado for 1/2 cup of mayonnaise…it adds the necessary fat to make it good and creamy and serves as a stand in when we can’t wait for the avocados to ripen!!

Mexican Rice


  • 2.5 Cups White Rice
  • 3 T Vegetable Oil
  • 12 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Cilantro (Stems & All)
  • 1 tsp Salt, Pepper to Taste
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 5 Cups Water or Broth


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat & add garlic. Add your rice, coat in oil and let toast for 2-3 minutes
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Lower heat to a simmer, cover pan & let cook about 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Season to taste.

Cilantro Lime Slaw


  • 3 Cups Thinly Shredded Purple &/or Green Cabbage
  • 1/2 Jalapeno, Chopped Finely
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro, Chopped Finely
  • 3 T Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 T Lime Juice
  • 1 T Orange Juice
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt


  1. Toss together all ingredients & let sit for at least an hour before serving.

This is a quick video with my recipe for Pickled Red Onions…I think they are a MUST on a taco and honestly on so many other things too!! They last for a few months in your fridge, just place into a jar and cover them in pickling liquid!

Sopapilla Cheesecake

This is the recipe that I use for Sopapilla Cheesecake, and it is delicious!!

Now for that Margarita Bar!!! All sorts of exciting items on this table, and some are my absolute favorites!!

I think using a syrup for adhering you ‘rim’ to the glass is much more effective than water or lime juice. For our margarita bar, we used a dandelion syrup & a ginger syrup. Both of these are just infused simple syrups (equal parts sugar & water, simmered until the sugar has dissolved and steeped with a flavoring agent). Pour syrup onto plates just as the rims are and start there!


Basil, Cinnamon, & Sugar – Pulverized in food processor. I used 1 cup white sugar to 1/3 cup of basil and 2 tsp cinnamon

Smoked Sea Salt

Lime Zest, Hot Pepper, & Salt – Lime zest should be air dried before mixing in. 1 cup sea salt to zest from 3 limes and 1.5 tsp crushed red pepper flakes – pulverized in food processor.


Lemon Sugar – zest from 2 lemons to 1 cup of sugar, pulverized in the food processor.


Classic Lime – 1 cup fresh lime juice, 1.5 cups simple syrup (3/4 cup of sugar & 3/4 cup water – gently simmer until sugar is dissolved – let cool), and 1.5 cups cold water – mix and serve!

Spicy Pineapple – 2 sliced habaneros – let steep in 1/2 gallon of fresh pineapple juice. stir in 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice.

Hibiscus Lemon – Make a strong hibiscus tea using flowers or tea bags & 2 cups of water. Add to 1/2 gallon of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice.

Have fun, & Fiesta like there’s no Manana!!!

Spring is In The Air!!

I can’t say that Spring is my favorite season, but it is certainly the one that stirs the most excitement. I know that may not make a lot of sense but living in Northeast Ohio, there is nothing more hopeful than those first tastes of Spring. The sun on your face, a flower bud, the perfect green grass poking through after months of ice and snow. And all of the fresh flavors! We have spent the winter eating California & Florida produce and can finally enjoy some native wild foods as well as watch the farmer’s markets come to life with our local bounty.

The recipes below are just a handful of favorites. Ways to enjoy some of the very first items to ‘spring’ up first, this season. If you have any questions, please let me know, enjoy!!

Mint Pea Soup

Serving Size:


  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 4-5 Cups Green Peas (I used both Fresh English Peas, simmered in the broth, & Defrosted Sweet Peas)
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Mint
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Parsley
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Basil
  • Zest & Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Salt, Pepper, Good Olive Oil, Creme Fraiche & Parmesan for Serving


  1. Begin by heating up a little olive oil & do a quick sauté on your onion & garlic. Season these with salt & pepper.
  2. Add this & other ingredients, up to the garnishes into your Vitamix, or high-powered blender. Blend for 5 minutes on high, until heated. Taste for seasoning. I tend to add a bit more salt, pepper & lemon at this step.
  3. serve with a drizzle of olive oil, a few dollops of creme fraiche, a few shaves of parmesan and a couple of cracks of pepper, yum!
Ramps (Wild Garlic)

Ramp Butter

Serving Size:


  • 1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 3 Ramp Bulbs, Chopped
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1/4 Cup of Parsley, Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Mix together all ingredients. Place onto plastic wrap in the shape of a log. Roll plastic wrap around the butter and shape into a cylinder.
  2. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or freezer for 1/2 hour. Open and slice into medallions to serve over your food. Can be frozen (double wrap and bag it) for up to a year. Enjoy!

Sous Vide Steak & Asparagus Risotto

Serving Size:
3 Hours total, 1 Hour Active


  • 4 Steaks, 4 T Olive Oil, 4 Cloves of Garlic sliced, 4 Sprigs of Rosemary, Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Cups Arborio Rice
  • 6-8 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth (warming on the stove)
  • 1/2 lb Asparagus, Steamed, Cut into 1 inch Pieces
  • 2 Shallots, Chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • Thyme, from 4 Sprigs
  • 1 Cup Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 T Butter
  • Zest & Juice from 1 Lemon
  • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Begin by setting your sous vide circulator to 130. Next season and vacuum seal your steaks into individual bags with all of your aromatics. Let come to temperature over the course of about 1.5 hours.
  2. For risotto: Heat up a few T of olive oil and sweat your shallots for a few minutes, then add garlic & thyme.
  3. Toss your rice in with an additional 2 T of olive oil. Stire to coat and let your grains toast for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in wine and let reduce by half.
  5. Making sure that you are no higher than medium heat, begin adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time. Stirring continuously, when your broth no longer pools in the center of the pot, add the next scoopful.
  6. Continue to stir, add, stir & add for about 15 minutes. At this point, you can watch/taste for doneness of the rice.
  7. When you are getting close with the rice, it’s the perfect time to remove the steaks and get a quick sear on each side. Set them aside to rest.
  8. Add in the remaining risotto ingredients, tasting as you go, so as to not over season. Serve with steak & ramp butter on top, enjoy!

Pie Crust Cookies


  • 1 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 2 T Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Stick of Cold Unsalted Butter, Cubed
  • 4-5 T Ice Cold Water
  • Cinnamon Sugar Mixture


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, place the 1st 4 ingredients. Using the pulse feature, pulse the mixture until the butter resembles gravel or is the size of green peas.
  2. 1 T at a time, begin to drizzle the ice cold water through the tube while pulsing. Add only enough to bring it together, you do not want it to be sticky or dry.
  3. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375. Roll out dough and cut into shapes. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake for 6-8 minutes!

Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet

Recipe from Sur La Table

Serving Size:
2 hours Total


  • 1 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1 lb Rhubarb, Cut into 1 inch Pieces
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 lb Fresh Strawberries, Hulled & Sliced
  • 2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar, rhubarb, vanilla & salt. Simmer until rhubarb softens and the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. In a blender, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth. Strain over a fine mesh strainer and churn to sorbet in an ice cream maker. Enjoy!

Entertaining: French Dinner Party

When it comes to entertaining, my goal is always to have as much done ahead of time as possible. I want to be able to enjoy the time with my guests, without being constantly tied to the kitchen. The beauty of this menu is that much of it is prepped ahead and the beauty of French cuisine is that it focuses on method & a few simple ingredients, so there is much less to chop & shop for!

My 1st rule of thumb is to have something out to snack on when your guests arrive. Whether you are hosting 2 people or 50, this eliminates the urgency of serving dinner straightaway. The simple crostini Appetizer below is a perfect starter. Though it is a dinner party, the focus is on the experience rather than just the meal. In most cases, you don’t need to plan to serve your 1st seated course for at least 45 minutes. This gets your guests acclimated, allows room for late arrivals and gives time for some mingling & a drink…which brings me to my 2nd rule of thumb!

Cocktails may very well be the key to a great dinner party…well for me at least!! This cocktail below is my absolute favorite! My preferences lean toward a little less sweet & a little more acidic, you can adjust to your own of course. I love to infuse some lavender or rosemary into my simple syrup for a floral or herbaceous note. I recommend using a brut sparkling wine to top it off, as it will brighten the overall flavor. I also always recommend fresh lemon juice to bottled. Bottled citrus loses many of the enzymes that hold the best flavor and tend to have a metallic taste as well…non merci. Plus, you will want the twist from the lemon peel as a garnish, so it works out well!! These do pack a bit of a punch, so you can plan to switch to serving straight sparkling wine, or a crisp French rose or sauvignon blanc to pair with the rest of the menu.

When serving several courses, do yourself a favor and keep it simple. A great vinaigrette is the key to a beautiful salad. This particular salad course will be fresh arugula dressed with a champagne vinaigrette. You can certainly doll it up if you’d like. Some shaved fennel, toasted hazelnuts & blue cheese would pair beautifully. We will keep it simple, as I said, and focus on the dressing and peppery arugula greens for this course!

For the main course we’re serving a classic French dish, Chicken in a Tarragon Cream Sauce. Accompanied by herbed farro, it lends nuttiness & and the perfect base to absorb the delicious sauce. Farro is a hearty grain that responds well to being prepared ahead of time. Our tarragon chicken can be started before your guests arrive and finished in the oven as well, shaving some off even more time away from the party.

For the farro:

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add 1.5 cups of quick cooking farro. Cook for 10-15 minutes & strain. Stir in some butter, herbs, salt & pepper!

Jacques Pépin’s Poulet a la Crème (Chicken in Cream Sauce) – C H E W I N G T H E F A T

*The only thing that I tend to do differently than the above recipe is saute some garlic and shallots with the mushrooms, as well as substitute the water for chicken stock!

ANNNNNNND, I can’t think of a more delicious way to end a French dinner party, that also takes into account preparing ahead, as creme brulee. Baked and cooled as much as a day in advance, the only step left is caramelizing the sugar and serving! Voila! Enjoy!

Creme Brulee Recipe | Alton Brown | Food Network