Tag Archives: appetizers

Crispy Acorn Squash Dippers & Chipotle Cranberry Sauce


The countdown to my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, has officially begun, which means the planning process is now in motion. Much like a vacation, I think I get more pleasure out of the planning and anticipation of the day than the feast itself (though that is a big part of it too). And the better planned your vacation, or Thanksgiving meal, the more smoothly and therefore enjoyable the day will be.



My family is pretty traditional when it comes to the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, so I usually like to experiment with some of the sides and appetizers. These Crispy Acorn Squash Dippers with Chipotle Cranberry Sauce that I made on a recent Sunday afternoon while dozing through watching football would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu. They’re simple and can be made in advance (make the sauce a day ahead and just bake off the squash an hour before you’re ready to eat), so that’s one less thing to stress about when you’re juggling the turkey, potatoes, and pies. The tangy and spicy sauce perfectly complements the slightly sweet and nutty squash. Even better, they’re nice and light so you won’t feel weighed down before you even dig in to the big ol’ bird.



Or, if you want some extra inspiration in finding the perfect recipe or planning your Thanksgiving meal, you can contact me – I’d love to make your day even more delicious!


Crispy Acorn Squash Dippers & Chipotle Cranberry Sauce

Serves 2-4


2 acorn squash, cut into 1/2″ thick rounds

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/3 cup flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup panko

8 sage leaves, chopped

3 egg whites, beaten

2/3 cup fat-free greek yogurt

2 tbsp half-and-half

1/3 cup cranberry sauce

10-20 dashes chipotle hot sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Peel the skin off the squash if desired.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the spices, flour, cornmeal, panko, and sage. Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Dredge the squash rounds in the egg and then coat in the panko mixture.
  5. Place on the baking sheet and bake 20 minutes. Flip and bake 20 minutes more until golden and crispy.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the greek yogurt, half-and-half, cranberry sauce, and hot sauce until smooth.
  7. Serve the dippers hot or at room temperature with the sauce.

Your Perfect It-Finally-Feels-Like-Spring Weekend

spring weekend

I’m sure you’ve already heard this 20 times within the last 2 days, but it FINALLY feels like spring! I usually enjoy winter, but this one was especially long, dreary, and just so dang cold. With Easter this weekend, I’m especially feeling that spring energy, and with that comes spring food. Kevin is planning a surprise dinner at home tonight and we’re heading to his Mom’s on Sunday, so between those festivities, I would love to try one (or all of these recipes) this weekend. Maybe I’m skipping spring entirely, but I’m envisioning snacking on these crostini with a glass of my favorite rosé in hand on my parents’ porch in Rhode Island…paradise. But for now, my rosé and crostini will be just fine from the comfort of our kitchen in good ol’ New Jersey. Have a great SPRING weekend!!

buzz // Whispering Angel Rosé

bite(s) // Baked Asparagus Fries // Jalapeño Deviled Eggs // Blueberry-Basil Mozzarella Crostini

bark // Easter Oreo Bark

Mini Chicken Pot Pies


Wowza! It has been quite the start to the week. Still coming off the excitement of this weekend’s news and working nonstop for a bunch of holiday catering orders, I feel like I haven’t had a chance to breathe. I am SO looking forward to some major R&R with my family this week in Rhode Island. I’ll be signing off the blog over the next week to take that much needed aforementioned breath and savor our holiday traditions, like panettonne french toast, sporting Emma’s annual Christmas knitwear gifts, and getting over-caffenated on our favorite local drink: the Chippi. I hope you’ll also be enjoying whatever your holiday traditions may be! In case you’re in holiday prep crunch time or looking for a fun and festive appetizer to add to your holiday traditions, try these Mini Chicken Pot Pies. I’ve made about 200 of them within the past few days at work and they’ve been a hit every time! Bon appetit and Happy Holidays!!

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

makes 1 dozen


1 chicken breast, poached and cut into small pieces

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (corn, green beans, peas)

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 tbsp herbes de Provence

1 can Pillsbury biscuits

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, mix together cooked chicken, soup, veggies, and spices.

3. Open up the can of biscuits. Cut 6 biscuits in half so that you have 12 half moons. Flatten the half moons with the palm of your hand. Seal the ends of the half moon together and press down again to form a circle. Repeat with the rest of the biscuits. Line the muffin tin with your biscuit circles.

4. Spoon a generous dollop of the chicken mixture into each of the tins. Bake for 15 minutes until the biscuits puff up and are golden. Let sit 5 minutes before removing from the muffin tin and serving.


White Pizza Pull-Apart Bread


Normally I like to start the week off with a post featuring a healthy, well-balanced recipe. One you can make Monday night and take for lunch the rest of the week. But Christmas is less than 2 weeks away and I am in full holiday chub gainage right now, so instead today I bring you this White Pizza Pull-Apart Bread.

Allie and Raven drove down yesterday to NJ for our now 3rd annual holiday hangout day. We finally put our mason jar cocktail shaker to use thanks to Raven’s dangerously smooth gin martinis, noshed on Syrah-soaked cheese from Trader Joe’s, watched and recited all of Home Alone, and also ate this bad boy…


Garlicky, buttery, cheesy, and crusty – it’s all that you hoped pizza pull-apart bread would be. AND it comes together in about 5 minutes. Make this as a last minute appetizer for a holiday party this season and it will not disappoint.

White Pizza Pull-Apart Bread adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 sourdough or italian bread loaf

5 tbsp butter

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese mix (We used Quattro Formaggio from Trader Joe’s, which has asiago, fontina, parmesan, and provolone.)

fresh basil leaves, julienned

1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut a grid pattern into the top of the bread loaf, leaving about an inch uncut from the bottom of the loaf. Loosely tent with foil and bake for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan. Add the garlic, grated Parmesan, and thyme. Stir.

3. Pour the butter mixture into the crevices of the bread. Next, gently stuff the bread with sun-dried tomatoes. Finally, stuff with shredded cheese and top loaf with more shredded cheese and some basil leaves.

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and golden. Top with more freshly grated Parmesan and basil. Dig in hands first!

Eating with Oscar

Okay, I know the Oscars are old news by now, but I had to share the impressive menu me and my friend Elana put together last week. We’re always looking for excuses to try out new recipes, whether it’s the Super Bowl, Mad Men or any awards show. This year we decided to really challenge ourselves and come up with a menu in theme with all of the best picture nominees. Not only were all of the dishes delicious, but the funny (and somewhat stretched) movie tie-ins made for some good laughs. From the bourbon punch to the french onion crostini, any of these recipes would be great for entertaining guests, regardless of the occasion.

The recipes we found were from two of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen and Feed Me Phoebe. If you don’t already follow them, you definitely should! Click the links below to get the original recipes.

Bourbon Punch with Mint → Beasts of the Southern Wild


French Onion Crostini → Les Miserables + Amour


Black Bean Cakes with Cilantro-Lime Crema → Lincoln + Django Unchained


Hummus → Argo + Zero Dark Thirty

Naan → Life of Pi