Entertaining Tips

cream cheese christmas tree appetizer

This is my go-to recipe when someone asks me to bring an appetizer to a Christmas party. It’s fast, easy, delicious, and calls for minimal ingredients! Everyone loves it. Last night I made one with hot pepper jelly, and another with seedless raspberry jam (for the kiddos who don’t like spicy stuff.) Once again, it…

toasty oven-baked chili cheese dogs

Ahhhhh, finally Friday! The sun is shining, and we’re headed to a fish fry over the border in Wisconsin. I’ve longed for days like these allllll winter, and they’re finally upon us. I made up a big batch of these toasty oven-baked chili cheese dogs for my grand girl Maddie’s birthday this past weekend. They’re…

magic dutch oven steak + gravy

This is one of my favorite creations yet. It’s SO good and the steak comes out tender and swimming in this awesome, creamy, mushroom gravy! I always use organic, MSG-free products in my recipes whenever possible. I absolutely adore Amy’s semi-condensed soups in place of the old standby, Campbell’s. They’re generally much lower in sodium,…

mini blt cheese puffs with lobster salad

This is a fun appetizer to make any time of year. Most people think BLT and they think summer, which is what makes these such a fantastic, unexpected flavor combination around the holidays. Plus, they’re red and green, so they’re perfect for Christmas! Pair these elegant little gougeres with a crisp, fruity white wine. ~…

ranch spinach dip

This spinach dip is ridiculously easy if you make it as directed below. You certainly can make homemade ranch dressing instead of using the dip mix, if you wish. HERE’S a homemade ranch dressing recipe you can use, and HERE’S another one, if that’s the route you want to go. (You’ll have to substitute 3…

rose geranium montrachet ice cream

I had the best intentions of spending the day in my kitchen and studio today, but the beautiful weather was beckoning and my friend Nancy suggested we get out of town for awhile. We ventured to a nearby lake town and enjoyed a leisurely lunch at a favorite Tearoom, and did a little antiquing. Oh…

scenes from the past couple weeks + mason jar picnic

Lovely, lovely, lovely spring days. Time with family and friends, time to work, time to read and sip rosewater lemonade, time to play, time for a Friday night riverside fish fry, time for blossom-peeping walks around the neighborhood and time to relax. We’re planning a little getaway very soon and I can’t wait to hit…

classic layered salad {in a mason jar}

Here’s my first post about salad in a mason jar! I’m working on a series that will include about 40 different meals and desserts in mason jars (approximately 15 of these will be salads.) I’m so excited to get started and to share these yummy, easy recipes with you! Mason jars are wonderful for when…