MINI PUMPKIN MUFFINS

These pumpkin mini muffins are full of wholesome, natural ingredients and are so easy to make. This recipe is super kid-friendly and tastes absolutely delicious, with just the right blend of spices!

Pumpkin Mini Muffins on plate.

I’ve clearly been on a mini muffin kick over the past few months, and with good reason – they’re perfect for little toddler hands to grab and gobble. 🙂 They’re also just so much cuter than regular muffins, and are perfect for adults when they want just a little *pop* of something sweet. It’s been hotter-than-you-know-where here in New Jersey over the past several days, and between the heat wave and the pandemic…I’ve been dreaming of cool, crisp, Fall days.… Read more

INSTANT POT SHREDDED CHICKEN

This recipe for shredded chicken cooked in the Instant Pot is the best way to cook chicken breasts – they come out juicy, perfectly cooked, tender, and flavorful…every single time!

Shredded chicken in Instant Pot.

You’ve heard me sing praises for the Instant Pot before…and I’m here to do the same today. 🙂 Guys, the one thing that has always intimidated me when it comes to cooking is…chicken. Steak? Easy! Burgers? No problem! Homemade pizza? You got it! But…chicken. Oh, chicken. I have always been so afraid of undercooking it, which caused me to often overcook it…which then left me with gummy, tough chicken.… Read more

INSTANT POT MAC AND CHEESE

This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe is incredibly easy to make with simple ingredients. It comes together in no time and is creamy and delicious, with the just the right amount of cheese!

Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot, and in a bowl.

Guys…if you haven’t hopped on the Instant Pot train yet, it’s most definitely time! 💜 I’ve been using mine for years now, and it’s totally changed the way that I cook. While it’s definitely not truly instant, it does cut down on the cooking time of many recipes quite significantly. One of my absolute favorite recipes to make in mine (I’ve made it an embarrassing number of times during quarantine, not ashamed) is Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.… Read more

BLENDER SPINACH MINI MUFFINS

These blender spinach mini muffins are a healthy, easy, kid-friendly recipe that are full of wholesome ingredients. They’re perfect for breakfast and snacks, and are vegan and free of refined sugar!

These mini muffins have saved us over the past few months as quick breakfasts/snacks for Chloe (and ourselves, on occasion 🙂 ). After making quite a few batches of them, I figured I should finally sit down and share the recipe! These muffins are just as their name – Blender Spinach Mini Muffins – suggests:

  • They’re thrown together quickly in the blender (no other bowls or mixing required!)
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EASY FLOUR TORTILLAS

These homemade flour tortillas are chewy, soft, and full of delicious flavor. They’re quick and easy to make with simple pantry ingredients (including one surprise ingredient!) and taste so much better than store-bought tortillas!

Stack of flour tortillas.

For our family, one of the best things to come from quarantine are these flour tortillas. ♥️ A few weeks ago, I was making tacos for dinner and realized that we didn’t have any tortillas. I also couldn’t go out to the store just for one ingredient, but we were dead-set on having Taco Tuesday. 😉 I scoured the internet for inspiration, and after some tweaks and many, many taco nights (I’m not complaining!)… Read more

BERRY OATMEAL BARS

These berry oatmeal bars are made with just a few simple ingredients, plus berries of your choice. They are hearty, healthy, and perfect for the whole family! (Bonus: they’re also vegan!)

Berry oatmeal bars stacked with strawberries.

Hi, friends! Am I the only one who feels like I absolutely live in the kitchen these days?! Many of us are spending so much extra time in our kitchens these days, cooking three meals per day for our family. And as much as I love cooking, all of this extra time coupled with working from home, caring for a toddler, and keeping up with the regular household tasks…it’s a lot!… Read more

EASY, CHEESY GROUND BEEF PASTA

This easy ground beef pasta comes together quickly and is full of delicious cheesy flavor. This is a comforting meal that the whole family will love!

Ground beef pasta in saute pan.

Please tell us that we’re not the only ones craving allllll of the comfort food during quarantine?! The amount of carbs, cheese, and sweets we’ve eaten over these past few weeks has been, umm…eye-opening, to say the least. We’ve decided to be kind to ourselves, though, and you should too during these difficult times – eat what you crave (with some greens thrown in there too, for good measure!) For us, that means this easy, cheesy ground beef pasta.… Read more

TZATZIKI SAUCE

This is the BEST authentic, easy, and quick Greek Tzatziki Sauce recipe! It turns out perfect every time – it’s full of flavor, ready in 10 minutes, and is perfect for dipping or topping your favorite dishes with!

Tzatziki with lemon and dill.

We love Greek food in the Downes home. Like….L-O-V-E. In fact, when we have date nights, we more often that not end up at a Greek restaurant (Barry’s standing order is octopus, and mine is Spanakopita). I was lucky enough to visit Greece on a high school trip, and I absolutely fell in love with the cuisine while I was there (whole blocks of Feta cheese on salads, Moussaka, the freshest produce…and of course, copious amounts of Tzatziki sauce <3).… Read more

SHEET PAN SAUSAGE, POTATOES, AND PEPPERS

Sheet pan sausage, potatoes, and peppers is one of our favorite quick and healthy, one-pan meals. It’s perfect for busy weeknights or when you need dinner on the table quickly, with barely any prep!

Sheet pan sausage, potatoes, & peppers.

Our love affair with sheet pan meals has been going strong for months now. There’s something so satisfying about adding a few simple, healthy ingredients to a sheet pan, tossing them with some olive oil and herbs, and baking until they’re hot and flavorful. Sheet pan meals have transformed the way I cook dinner during the week – I used to dread coming home from work and having to spend much of my evening cooking.… Read more

FLUFFY EGGNOG PANCAKES

These fluffy and soft pancakes are made with the rich, delicious flavor of eggnog! They are the perfect Christmas morning – or anytime – breakfast!

Fluffy eggnog pancakes stack in front of Christmas tree.

Are you an eggnog lover or hater? I find that most people are either one or the other, but their opinion is strong either way! It’s almost like how so many people are torn about cilantro (huge fan here!) or mayo (BIG thumbs down from me!) We happen to love eggnog in our home, and last weekend I decided to try my hand at making some eggnog pancakes. These came out DELICIOUS, and would be the perfect Christmas morning (or, let’s be honest, the perfect anytime) breakfast.… Read more

CAULIFLOWER FRIED RICE

This quick and easy, low carb cauliflower fried rice is customizable and makes the perfect side dish to any meal. Add a protein of your choice to make this a complete meal!

Cauliflower Fried Rice Pinterest pin.

Hello? Is this thing on? 🙂 Hi, friends! We missed you. Life has been crazy over here – we enjoyed the last bit of our Summer, before jumping into a new school year a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been busy meeting my new students and getting into the swing of being back at work. For these crazy hectic days, I’ve been turning to my tried and true recipes that can be prepared quickly after a jam packed day.… Read more

SHORTCUT THAI BASIL CHICKEN

This flavorful, spicy Thai dish requires only a few staple pantry ingredients and comes together in no time!

Shortcut Thai Basil Chicken.

Since I’m off during the Summertime, I like to use my extra free time to experiment in the kitchen and stray from my, oh, five dinner recipe regulars. 🙂 Barry’s absolute favorite dish from our beloved local Thai restaurant is Thai Basil Chicken (known as Pad Krapow Gai). One of my cooking goals this Summer was to try to recreate this dish at home, with a few tweaks to make it even simpler to prepare. I think I’ve done it with my Shortcut Thai Basil Chicken!… Read more

CACIO E PEPE

This comforting pasta dish requires only a handful of ingredients and a few minutes, yet is SO flavorful and impressive. Enjoy as either a main or side dish!
Cacio e Pepe.

Cacio e Pepe is a classic meal that I ate many times when I studied abroad in Rome during college. Until now, however, I never thought it make it myself. Now, I’m kicking myself for waiting so long! This simple pasta dish (the name translates to “cheese and pepper”) requires only a handful of ingredients, features the most delicious creamy sauce, and is just so, so easy to whip up in a short amount of time.… Read more

INSTANT POT CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

Instant Pot corned beef and cabbage, carrots, onions, and potatoes.

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking…why on earth are we talking about corned beef and cabbage in May?! We all know that this classic dish most often surfaces in early March, sticks around for St. Patrick’s Day…and then promptly disappears until the following year. In our home, however, we LOVE corned beef! We stock up on these briskets when they’re on sale in March so that we can enjoy them in the coming months. This past weekend, the craving struck (this was probably due to the fact that we gave up red meat during Lent – we are still making up for lost time 😉 ).… Read more

THE BEST AIR FRYER FRENCH FRIES

Air fryer French Fries

Although I’m the main cook in our home, Barry is in charge of the air fryer. He was interested in getting one for months, and I finally decided to gift him one this past Valentine’s Day. I have to say…doing this has been one of my best decisions to date. 🙂 He has had so much fun trying out recipes in it since then, and I’ve had even more fun taste-testing them! The biggest hit so far has been these tasty air fryer French Fries.

I have to give credit where credit is due and share that even though I love to cook and very much enjoy being the family chef, Barry has so much more of a natural knack for cooking than I do!… Read more

EGG ROLL BOWLS

Since Barry and I are currently abstaining from red meat for Lent, I have been trying to find creative ways to jazz up chicken dinners. After a few nights in a row of boring chicken breasts, we were ready to try something totally different and more fresh and flavorful. One of our favorite cuisines is Asian, so I decided to take a stab at creating Egg Roll Bowls. I can’t take credit for the idea…I’ve seen all different types of these floating around the Internet in the past few months!

Egg roll bowl

I’ve been trying to clean up my diet after a couple months of (a little too) relaxed eating while on maternity leave.… Read more

TRADER JOE’S RAVIOLI – 5 INGREDIENT MEAL HACK

As much as I love to cook elaborate meals and try new things in the kitchen, I equally enjoy having recipes up my sleeve that are delicious, simple, and FAST (25-minute Egg Roll Bowls, anyone?) With a newborn at home, I’ve never appreciated quick meals more…that way, I have even more time for baby snuggles 🙂 Enter: Trader Joe’s Meal Hacks. Specifically, this five-ingredient Trader Joe’s ravioli.

Trader Joe's Ravioli

Before we dive in, let’s discuss how we are HUGE fans of Trader Joe’s in our home. Each time we go (after wandering the aisles and scoping out all of the new products for what feels like hours) I challenge myself to dream up a new “dinner hack” that meets the following criteria: five ingredients or less, inexpensive, relatively healthy, and quick.Read more

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