Simplest and Best Guacamole!

Once you make this extra easy guac, you will never consider buying it pre-made ever again, and you will find so many wonderful uses for it beyond a tortilla chip–which is amazing in and of itself, of course. On burgers or chicken sandwiches, as a topper for black bean soup, chicken enchiladas, or fish tacos, or with a couple of eggs in the morning, this will be your new go-to condiment. More healthy fats for you! Get smashing!

Guacamole Bite

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Chocolate Mousse

It’s actually easy to make velvety smooth and rich chocolate mousse, and it is a fantastic dish to serve for parties because you can make it in advance and have it waiting for your guests! Take your time and temper the eggs slowly–I will walk you through this step–and you will have perfect mousse every time. Great garnishes include mini chocolate chips, candied orange peel, chocolate-covered espresso beans, shaved chocolate…the possibilities are endless!

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Apples with Toffee Dip

This is one of the simplest recipes ever, but sometimes the simplest combinations make the tastiest food. This dip is a great addition to an appetizer or dessert buffet. Creamy, crunchy and sweet, enjoy this dip with sliced Granny Smith apples that you toss in a little bit of lemon water. My sister-in-law Erin originally made this dip many years ago and I knew I needed the recipe upon first bite! 

Apples with Toffee Dip

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Lasagna

I have had my share of missteps while attempting to make the perfect lasagna. It seems so easy right? Just layer a ton of ingredients into a pan and bake it, and out comes oozy, cheesy, decadent Italian-Americana on a plate, right? Not for me! I have made too-dry lasagna, too-soggy lasagna, noodles undercooked on the sides and can’t cut them lasagna (that was on a Christmas Eve–I made them again), overflows into the oven and burns lasagna, takes all day and just tastes ok lasagna, and then I finally had a day when I made it just right. I took it out of the oven, let it sit for just a few moments, sliced into it, and there it was! Savory and flavorful, cheesy but not obscenely cheesy, with enough texture to hold its shape, I give this recipe to you and say, enjoy! It took many trays of disappointment for me to get here!

Lasagna

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake

There is a reason peanut butter and jelly make such a classic combination–because salty and sweet together equals happiness! Try making this cake the next time you are celebrating something (like a Friday), and do your best to let your guests try it too. The cake itself is light and fluffy, the icing salty and full of crunchy peanuts, and the filling rich with tangy-sweet raspberry goodness. Oh, and I took some shortcuts to make it very easy to prepare, so you can thank me later!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cake

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Corn Chowder with Ham

I love making soups! I think a soup is really the culinary equivalent of a hug, and over the years I have tried out dozens of soup recipes. This one is a winner–creamy, slightly smoky, filling but not heavy, and kid-friendly! There are other corn chowders that are heavier and have lots of cheddar cheese–and  I love that too, but this is more of an “anytime” soup. Try this on a chilly evening or even for a casual dinner party, served with a nice salad and crusty bread.

Corn Chowder with Ham

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Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

I have made this cake a few times, and each time I am so thrilled with the result and how my guests enjoy it. I first made it to bring into the office for coworkers during the holiday season, and then made it again years later to bring to Easter brunch. Both times people loved the combination of a coffee cake and cheesecake, with ribbons of tangy-sweet raspberry throughout. I suggest cutting it into small pieces so people are willing to try it without committing to a big piece…you’ll see them heading back for seconds!

Sorry it took me so long to post this recipe, Auntie Jan!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

 

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Spice Cake

Though I want to believe that spring is on its way and the snow and ice will soon be distant memories…so far, no dice. The good news is, you are still totally appropriate if you want to bake up this simple and amazing cake just to warm up your house and fill it with the smells of gingerbread. When you curl up with a slice of this and a cold glass of milk, spring can wait for just one more day…

Spice Cake

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Cape Cod Salad

This recipe is great because it doesn’t try to be a summer salad–it has robust winter flavors of bacon, cranberry, and apple with a dash of maple. I served a massive bowl of it for my son’s birthday party and when it almost all went along with everything else, I knew it was a hit! I bought a 4-pack of wide-mouth mason jars at the supermarket and use them all the time to shake up my dressings.

Cape Cod Salad

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Pizza Dough and Zucchini Tapenade Pizza

My family can’t seem to get enough pizza these days! And while we do order our fair share of it (Thank you, Domino’s!), we also love to make our own and have fun with the toppings. We have made black bean-cheddar-lime chicken and tortilla chip pizza, goat cheese- slivered potato-red onion and thyme pizza, and the latest fun one is zucchini-olive tapenade pizza. The fresh, light flavor of the zucchini is the perfect match for the briny, salty olives in the tapenade. If that pizza doesn’t appeal to you, this dough works well for anything you’d like to place atop your pie, and it is so easy, you just toss things in a bowl. So make like a Ninja Turtle and enjoy pizza time! (Shout out to Dylan, Happy 5th Birthday Mr. Charming!)

Olive Oil Pizza Dough & Zucchini Olive Pizza

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