lemon thyme sugar cookies

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These are inspired from the amazing rosemary cookies my friend Katie made at a holiday party last year.  I decided to revisit the lemon-thyme combo from Martha Stewart’s vodka thyme lemonade and apply it to dessert (then maybe drinks again too).

This recipe  involves a basic sugar cookie mix. I generally prefer to bake cookies from scratch (see manifesto) but sometimes even the standard sugar cookie calls for some outsourcing.


1 pouch of sugar cookie mix
1 stick of butter (or whatever the pouch dictates)
1 egg (or whatever the pouch dictates. listen to the pouch. pouch pouch pouch.)
2 tbsp thyme
1 tsp lemon zest

2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp water


1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine cookie ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat with electric mixer until smooth.  Using a heaping teaspoon, drop dough roughly 2 inches on to the a lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Move cookies to some parchment or wax paper on the counter for the icing!

2. Combine icing ingredients in a small bowl and stir until blended. Pour over each cookie and give at least 5-10 minutes to let it dry.



Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Tomatoes

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So when I moved to Philadelphia from Rochester NY, I remember thinking “well, at least I’ll have a mild winter!” Because in my experience, it has always been a wimpy season here. When I was at Villanova, every winter was a solid 20-40 degrees and it rarely snowed. When it did snow, it was like.. maybe 2 inches and everything would straight up SHUT DOWN.  So, it wasn’t completely out of order to think I could have a nicer, breezier version of the boreal bullshit of the upstate NY/Canada freeze. Right? Nope.

Cue record-breaking cold. Cue the Polar Vortex (which sounds like a Super Mario Land level with a penguin/abominable snowman boss or something).  Sure, I’ve definitely got an arctic leg-up on these hoagie-eaters, but I’m less than thrilled to have brought the North down with me this year.  It’s not a big deal, but:

This dish will warm your belly and it goes beautifully with meat, fish, or salad.  I’ve made this several times this winter and will continue to make it because, time and time again, it has proved itself to be a veritable mouth-party.


1 lb butternut squash, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
1-2 beefsteak tomatoes, diced (roughly 1+1/2 cups)
1 large onion, diced  (roughly 1 cup)
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
3 tbsp butter, divided
1/4 tsp salt
salt and pepper to taste
rosemary sprig, garnish (0ptional)


1. In a large pot on high heat, boil squash for in water for 30 minutes and then let simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes until squash is soft enough to pierce with a fork all the way through.

2. In the meantime, melt 1 tbsp of butter in a medium pan at medium-high heat.  Add onions and tomatoes and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  When tomatoes start to break down and the onions start to brown, add fresh rosemary and stir for 1-2 minutes. Take off heat and set aside.

3. Drain squash. Pour it back into the pot and mash into mush with a potato masher. Return to stove and set to low heat. Stir in the tomato onion rosemary mixture. Add salt and the remaining 2 tbsp butter.

4. When everything is fully incorporated, take off heat.  Garnish each serving with a sprig of rosemary and serve!  Salt and pepper to taste.

BONUS: If you have leftovers, this makes an amazing soup.  Just add chicken broth.

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The “Rill Dill” Grilled Cheese

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This guy is the real deal. It’s perfect for chilly afternoons as a warm, inviting comfort food for kiddos and adults alike.


2 slices of your favorite bread
1 oz aged sharp cheddar
1 slice american cheese
dill pickle spears, thinly sliced
a few bits of fresh dill
1/2 tbsp french butter (Normandy Butter), room temperature


Butter both sides of your bread. Cover bottom slice with a thin layer of dill pickles.  Add american and cheddar cheese. Sprinkle fresh dill over cheddar cheese and top with other bread slice. On medium heat on a non-stick pan, grill on each side until golden brown and until cheese has melted.  Eat immediately. I liked to dip this in ketchup with red pepper flakes!


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my favorite song at the moment:

Honey Ginger Rosemary Cocktail

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This right here is called the Honey Tree.  I got this one from my bud Katie Hearn while visiting her and our friends in Philly. The honey whiskey and ginger ale are a gorgeous combination and the rosemary is very subtle taste but you can smell it with every sip. PERFECT fall cocktail.


1.5 oz Jack Daniels honey whiskey
5 oz diet ginger ale
1 sprig rosemary

Combine ingredients, stir, and serve.

Gnocchi with Bacon, Spinach, and Tomato

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Three things I LOVE about this recipe:

1. It took like 20 minutes.

2. Considering how FAST it was to make, I assumed the cooking process would be stressful but it was exactly the opposite.  It involves methodical step-by-step additions instead of tending to several things at once.

3.  No need to make a side. This thing covers the better part of the food pyramid.  Pasta, starch, veggies, meat, and cheese!

In short: I made a well-rounded meal like an ADULT in 20 minutes without crying a little or burning anything.  I am the greatest!!!

Now you make it:

Serves 4


2 strips of raw thick cut bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 beefsteak tomatoes, diced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tbsp dry red wine
1/4 tsp salt
1 lb gnocchi
5 cups fresh spinach
1/3 cup grated parmesean cheese


1.  Chop bacon, dice tomatoes, and mince garlic (I bought pre-minced garlic for this one).  Set aside tomatoes and garlic

2.  On medium heat, cook bacon in a large non-stick skillet, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir for about 30 seconds

3.  Add tomatoes and crushed red pepper. Cook and stir until tomatoes are almost completely broken down, about 5 minutes.  Stir in red wine and salt,  immediately remove from heat.

4.  Cook gnocchi in boiling water until they float, about 3-6 minutes depending on the package directions. While gnocci is cooking, place spinach in a collander.  Drain gnocchi over the leaves, wilting them slightly.

5.  Add gnocchi and spinach to the sauce in the pan.  Add parmesean cheese. Toss to combine.  Eat.

I topped with more cheese, because cheese. Italian parsley might be good too!

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Adapted from: calorie count


Cheese O’ Clock: crostini with blue cheese, peaches, and honey

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This installment of cheese o’clock is the exceptional salivate-r that is the peach blue cheese crostini.   Just be warned: every single bite may be followed by a maniacal laugh of delight and surprise- so if you’re on the shy side, you might want to eat the first few solo.


1 baguette,  cut into 1/2 inch diagonal slices
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 peaches (ripe but firm), sliced
8 oz. blue cheese
2 tbsp honey


1. Preheat oven 400 degrees

2. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet- cover in aluminum foil or parchment paper to avoid the mess.  Lightly pour olive oil over bread slices.

3.  Bake for 5 minutes, or until the toasts are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and rub each toast with the raw garlic clove. Arrange the peach wedges over the bread. Divide the cheese over the peaches and place back in the oven for another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and drizzle honey over crostinis.  Serve immediately.

Source: Bev Cooks

Ginger Beer Mojito


This spicy, sweet, minty concoction is very good and I highly recommend it.  If a regular mojito and a dark n’ stormy could have a baby, the ginger beer mojito would be that baby. The union of two top-notch cocktails to create a new rum king.  Just like Will and Kate’s new baby.  See that? It’s both tropical and topical.

Kind of a reach to correlate the two, but c’mon…doesn’t the cocktail above look pretty majestic? Like it could be the sweet nectar of the gods and kings?  The answer is yes. Yes it does.

Serves 1


10-15 mint leaves
1.5 oz. rum
1 oz lime juice
4 oz ginger beer
1 oz club soda
lime and mint for garnish, optional


Place mint leaves and pour a small splash of ginger beer in a 12 oz glass. Using a pestle or a blunt utensil, muddle the mint until leaves are sufficiently broken.  Add ice. Pour rum, lime juice, ginger beer, and club soda.  Stir. Add garnish and serve.

Adapted from fabtastic eats

Summer-y sounds:


Blueberry Basil Ricotta Pasta

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It’s mid-July and we are in the crux of summer.  My skin is mosquito-bitten, speckled, and slightly sunburned- so I’m right on cue.  I like summer as much as the next person, but I’m also a ginger harboring the same muted enthusiasm for summer heat and beach babe-dom as a 70-year old Newfoundland fisherman.  You will find me in a dark theater or an empty bar long before you will find me at a hot crowded beach.

My new favorite thing to do is eating pasta salad in the shade while reading a magazine.  I’m happy to incorporate this recipe to that summer “activity”

Serves 4


2 cups gemelli pasta
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 cup diced onions
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
2/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup ricotta
2 tbsp torn basil leaves
black pepper
crushed red pepper (optional)


1.  Boil pasta in water with salt.  Drain.  transfer pasta to large bowl. Sautee onions with 1 tsbp olive oil in a medium pan.  Stir in the onions, lemon juice, vinegar, and the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil.

2. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.  Add blueberries, ricotta, and basil. Mix until well blended and sprinkle fresh pepper and crushed red pepper. Serve! 

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Cheese O’ Clock: The Hungry Dude.


Years of heavy snacking has taught me that triscuits, peppered salami, and sharp cheese is THE ultimate, infallable savior for the hungry, angry, and hangry alike.

What you’ll need:
Gruyère cheese
10 oz peppered salami
hot sauce (optional)
dijon mustard (optional

I called this one the hungry dude because it could be the snacking solution equivalent to that of those gross frozen meals for the hungrier gent..Hungry Man dinners.  So manly. Remember those commercials?

Root Beer Float for Grown-ups


A root beer float for adults is still a regular root beer float, but we have an alternative option exclusively for adults.. one with hard liquor.  Yeah it’s pretty great to be a grown-up sometimes..


Crushed ice
1.5 oz Pinnacle whipped vodka (they sell them in smaller bottles if you dont want to commit to a whole bottle)
6-8 oz. root beer, Dr. Pepper, or Coke- whatever you prefer
whipped cream
1-2 marchino cherries

Fill tall glass with  ice, add vodka and root beer. Stir. Top with whipped cream and cherries.  Serve with a straw.

 This is quite a treat for summer and tastes exactly like a regular float.  I suggest you TREAT YO SELF