Simple, yet special, recipes for the home chef.

Chili Lasagna #McCormickFlavor #GlutenFree

Gluten-Free Chili Lasagna - No matter your reason for skipping gluten, this casserole doesn't skip any flavor! Layers of pasta, hearty beef and bean chili, and Colby Jack cheese, topped with Greek yogurt and avocado! |

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes launch as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I received free samples of McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes and I was compensated for my time. Sponsored posts help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.

While I don’t need to eat a gluten-free diet, I have a few acquaintances who do, for medical reasons. You may be in the same situation, or have a friend or family member who chooses to abstain from gluten for another reason. Whatever the reason, I’m never one to shy away from a recipe development challenge. I love flexing my creative muscles and figuring out a way to adapt any recipe for a specific nutritional need. I mean, I’ve even made vegetarian “chorizo” chili, and fed it to an unsuspecting husband. I love a challenge.

Italian Grandma Pizza

Italian Grandma Pizza - A spicy and sweet pizza topped with soppressata and fennel. |

In this monthly series, I commit to cooking whatever is on the cover of Bon Appetit, Saveur or maybe some other food magazine. There’s a reason these particular dishes are on the cover – they’re usually the best recipes in the magazine.   I guess you could say I cooked the cover of Bon Appetit’s October 2014

Turkey Meatball & Vegetable Soup with Cheesy Crostini

Turkey Meatball & Vegetable Soup with Cheesy Crostini - Turn a bowl of vegetable soup into a meal by adding nutritious turkey meatballs and serving it with crunchy, cheesy crostini. |

While a few men I know (I think my father-in-law is one of them) would argue that soup isn’t a meal, I completely disagree. Soup is totally a meal! Not only can you pack it full of vegetables and maybe a little meat for flavor, but the hot broth is filling, and warms you up

Athens, Mykonos & Santorini, Greece

Athens, Myknons & Santorini, Greece |

I know, I totally fooled you. I did a crazy amount of work and pre-scheduled a bunch of blog recipes so that I could go frolic around in Greece and Italy for two weeks without you noticing. I wish I could have brought you all with me, and spoon-fed you yogurt and honey. Allow me to

Spiced Applesauce Bars with Pumpkin Frosting

Spiced Applesauce Bars with Pumpkin Frosting - Cake bars made with whole wheat flour and sweetened with agave nectar and applesauce, with a light pumpkin-cream cheese frosting. |

By now, I’ve been at this professional recipe development thing for long enough that my family and friends are completely unfazed by eating unseasonal food. When I worked in the publishing industry, I would be roasting Thanksgiving turkeys (and trying, unsuccessfully, to find fresh cranberries to accompany them) in May, frosting Christmas cookies in July, and

Peanut Butter-Sriracha Popcorn Balls #JollyTime100

Peanut Butter-Sriracha Popcorn Balls - An easy, spicy and sweet treat made with popcorn, sriracha, peanut butter, ginger, peanuts and sesame seeds. |

Mark “popcorn balls” down with “baking bread with real yeast” on the list of my kitchen firsts for this year! I didn’t even know that popcorn balls were on my kitchen bucket list until JOLLY TIME Pop Corn invited me to help celebrate their 100th birthday with them! All of the sudden, popcorn balls were added

Cauliflower Cordon Bleu Soup

Cauliflower Cordon Bleu Soup - Pureed cauliflower and potato soup, topped with crispy prosciutto, swiss cheese and green onions. |

To be completely honest, I’m feeling a bit down today. I came home from vacation with a sinus infection, and it’s pretty soul-crushing. I talked a little bit about my history of chronic sinus infections and my decision to finally have surgery in this post. Of course, there were no guarantees that I wouldn’t get