Four Seasons, Punta Mita, Mexico


Even though it’s just a photo of one of the 4 spectacular sunsets we saw at the Four Seasons, Punta Mita, Mexico, it almost makes you feel like you need sunglasses! This was one of the most magnificent resorts we’ve ever visited. The location is about a 30 minute ride by car from Puerto Vallarta airport. Upon arrival, as you walk though the breezeway, you are greeted by friendly staff and panoramic views of the beautiful property and ocean before you. The sprawling resort gives you the feeling that you are the only ones there, it’s absolutely amazing in every way!

Continue reading →

Slow Cooked Short Rib Ragu Over Penne Pasta


Wow!  This Slow Cooked Short Rib Ragu over Penne Pasta will blow your mind!  We had dinner this weekend at a newer restaurant in our town called Locanda Ravello.  Honestly, I can’t get enough of the place.  It’s the kind of Italian restaurant where there is always a wood-fired pizza oven burning in the center of the restaurant, the staff speaks more Italian than English and every once in a while, if you’re lucky, they’ll break into song during your meal.  After being inspired by the special Short Rib pasta I ordered and how scrumptious it was, I needed to try to recreate it.  This is my version.

Continue reading →

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


My sister-in-law Lisa is the one behind this recipe for these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Around our house, we call them “Lisa’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies”.  She loves to bake and every year when she and my brother come to visit for Christmas, she gets us all in the kitchen baking.  My daughter looks forward to it every year!  The cookies are delicious and the recipe is super simple and quick.  Lucky for us, she passed on her secret recipe…I’m pretty sure my daughter doesn’t even need the recipe to make them anymore because she’s made them so many times.

Continue reading →

Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb

I was born in New Zealand and my dad’s side of the family all still live there.  My husband is half Greek.  Basically, our kids have no choice but to love lamb, it’s a double whammy!  This Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb always reminds me of Christmas.  We usually have it on Christmas Eve at my mom’s house.  It’s funny, I grew up having it prepared this way by both my mom and dad, not sure who taught who, but it is clearly a Julia Child recipe for the marinade.  I will tell you this, I have found no better way to prepare any cut of lamb than with this recipe.

Continue reading →

Friendsgiving – No Kid Hungry



We have 3 kids in elementary school and every year around this time, we look for something we can do as a family to give back.  I think it’s so important to have them take a step back and think about all of the blessings in our lives and how we can do something to give to others.  Our hope is that one day, when they’re off on their own, it will be like second nature to think “what can I do to make a difference or to help someone else?”.  Of course, that’s a dream, only time will tell if it actually translates.  At their school, they are also required to do a certain number of service hours per year and then write about their experiences at the end of the year and what they learned from it.  I love this because it reinforces what we do as a family and it’s something special to teach our kids about caring, giving, selflessness and compassion for others.

Continue reading →

Cornish Game Hens & Wild Rice Stuffing


Hands down, Cornish Game Hens & Wild Rice Stuffing is one of my favorite fall meals!  This recipe is pretty easy but makes for a beautiful presentation and it’s a break from the norm.  I usually cut them in half to serve, no one can usually get through a whole one on their own.  Adding the dried cranberries and apricots enhances the wild rice with a little pop of fall colors.  And the slivered almonds adds a crunch with every bite.  Impress your family and friends with this delicious dish!

Continue reading →

Classic Meat Lasagne


There’s nothing better than a Classic Meat Lasagne for a comforting family meal or to feed a crowd.  This recipe is the best I’ve ever tasted.  I think it’s the homemade, slow simmered bolognase sauce that makes all the difference.  If you want to make a lasagne that will take it over the top, this is it!

Continue reading →

Chicken Marsala


Chicken Marsala is another classic that is so easy to make but tastes and looks beautiful on the plate.  Definitely do-able for a weeknight family style dinner or fancy enough for a weekend dinner party.  Pounding the chicken thin keeps in tender and cooking time is quick.

Continue reading →

Sparkling Pear Cocktail


I just hosted my first Friendsgiving last weekend.  We invited our closest friends over to share an early Thanksgiving meal with us.  Everyone brought a side dish and we raised money to benefit No Kid Hungry.  Whenever we have a large dinner party or get together, we always come up with a signature cocktail for the evening.  After searching ideas on the internet, we couldn’t find exactly what I was envisioning, so we came up with our own.  My husband and I did some taste testing (tough job but it had to be done) and we came up with this Sparkling Pear Cocktail.

Continue reading →

Cranberry Orange Sauce



I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week!  Being a super foodie (is that a thing?), it is absolutely my favorite holiday.  Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is great too, but as far as cooking and eating goes, Thanksgiving wins hands down.  Now, to all of you out there who buy canned cranberries…you know who you are.  Technically, this is actually only a 3 ingredient side, but I elevated it with orange peel, zest and a cinnamon stick.  The half cup of sugar keeps it a little tangy.  It’s the way I like it and let’s face it, my family eats what I like and the way I like it.  Sorry kids, you may never know what mayo out of a jar tastes like, I just can’t do it.  If you want it a little sweeter, feel free to adjust to 3/4 or a full cup of sugar.  The beauty of great cranberry sauce is that it’s even better the next day.  Therefore, it’s perfect for leftovers or on a turkey sandwich with toasted sourdough, yum!

Continue reading →