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Entertaining

Super Bowl Salad
February 7, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Early on in our courtship, my husband and I started cooking up a Mexican spread—or at least an American version of it, for Super Bowl Sunday. I’m not sure how it started, but as time went on it became tradition. This year I intend to mix things up a little, and put a twist on the salad portion of the evening.

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Entertaining

‘Tis the Season
December 13, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

This year instead of fretting about every last detail for your holiday party, put the focus on enjoying time with your friends and family by hosting a potluck party. Don't worry if everyone is not a top chef, non-cooks can bring beverages. Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need to make sure your party is filled with plenty of jolly and holiday cheer.

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Entertaining

Thinking Outside The Box
December 8, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Everyone loves homemade holiday treats. This year skip the expensive cookie boxes, and use materials lying around the kitchen to add an extra special homespun look to your gift giving.

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Entertaining

Let’s Talk Turkey
November 24, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Thanksgiving is filled with many emotions, and getting the turkey right helps keep the peace, or at least restores sanity for the eating portion of the day.

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Entertaining

The Right Stuff(ing)
November 19, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

My first encounter with homemade stuffing was when I met my husband 15 years ago. Over the years we’ve tweaked that original recipe. I added finely chopped mushrooms to give it a “meaty” texture and threw in some fresh sage for a traditional flavor. Chopped pecans are a much easier alternative to chestnuts, and dried cherries lend a lovely aromatic note, making this a pretty tasty compromise for our Thanksgiving menu.

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Entertaining

Thanksgiving Sides
November 17, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Getting ready for Thanksgiving is like training for a culinary triathalon. Figuring how to plan which dishes get oven time makes jumping hurdles seem easy. Rather than regret having a kitchen with only one oven and four burners, I decided make ahead side dishes were the way to go. Instead of roasting or sautéing Brussels sprouts, I thinly slice them and serve with a maple syrup vinaigrette—a side and salad in one dish, brilliant if I may say so myself.

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Entertaining

Just Desserts
November 11, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Every year my family jokes we should start our holiday meals with dessert first. After a brigade of appetizers, sides and main course, the table once again disappears under a blanket of cakes, cookies and pastries.While it seems decadent to start dinner with a caramel pecan pumpkin pie, it’s totally the way to go when prepping for the big day.

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Entertaining

Trick or Treat
October 27, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I fell in love with making caramel corn a few years back. I’d planned to make some to fill Trick or Treat goody bags, except I hadn’t read the full directions. With only two hours until guests would start arriving, using the traditional oven method was not an option. I decided to improvise with my microwave. It was a unique approach to updating a classic, using a new method to deliver the same familiar flavor and crunch.

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Entertaining

Pear Ricotta Crepes
October 19, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I suddenly found myself thinking of crepes a few weeks ago. Really, my mind had wandered to manicotti, the Italian version of crepes. Well, one thought led to another, and I wondered why not make a French crepe batter and use ricotta cheese in place of Gruyere.

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A Flash in the Pan
October 13, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Pumpkin and butternut squash seem to get all the attention this time of year. While they are indeed favorites of mine, it’s time we all get familiar with the smaller, quicker to cook variety: delicata. In need of a vegetable to keep my roasted chicken company, I decided to make my own take on the dish.

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Entertaining

Grape Expectations
October 4, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

My original intention was to make a chutney, but too much multitasking resulted in a spicy grape-scented applesauce. Yes, a delicious mistake indeed. Cranberry sauce should be worried — this might just find its way onto our Thanksgiving turkey this year

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Entertaining

Cool as a Cantaloupe?
September 2, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I’m not one for impulse shopping, except when I’m at the farmers’ market, especially when it comes to first of the season fruit. I wait all winter long to devour fresh berries, peaches, plums, but have learned to steer clear of melons. They tend to be pricey and rather disappointing in flavor. This year, though, I might have unlocked the key to sweet, juicy cantaloupes, honeydew and watermelon.

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Entertaining

Be Our Guest
July 8, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Whether you’re going to an intimate dinner party or summer soiree, showing your host a simple thanks is a sure way to get invited back. Here are some tips to secure your seat at this season’s backyard bashes.

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Entertaining

A Spring Chicken
June 24, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I’ve learned to stretch a tender pasture-raised 4-pound chicken into two meals by adding lots of grains and veggies the first night it’s served. I decided it was time to turn those leftovers into chicken salad— perfect timing with picnic season underway, right? All it needed then was some peppery greens which I plucked from the backyard and tucked with the chicken salad between a toasted sourdough roll from the local bakery.

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Hidden Treasures
June 18, 2010 • Posted by Rebecca Marber

A few days ago, I hosted a barbecue and was shocked to learn that none of my guests had ever tried two of my favorite foods - jicama and quinoa. These not-so-well known foods are easier than you’d think to find in stores and are nutritional and delicious.

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A Cooler Cookout
June 8, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I find my recipe inspiration from many places. Some seemingly sensible, like memories of my Nana’s meatballs or remembering the fresh chopped garlic my mother would sprinkle atop grilled steak. Stumbling across my recipe for making frozen margaritas was totally accidental. In fact, it started out innocently enough as a kid-friendly recipe for strawberry slushies

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Let’s (e)scape
May 26, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Garlic scapes are the shoots from, drum roll please…garlic plants. You can chop them up and sauté them as you would regular cloves, but another addictively delicious use is pesto. Instead of waiting for your basil plants to come full-bloom, get some scapes and you’ll be in for a real treat.

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Entertaining

It's Picnic Time!
May 19, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Memorial Day is the official beginning to a season of fun in the sun, so it’s time to start thinking about outdoor entertaining. What better way get started than with a picnic? Check out my secret to perfect picnic sandwiches every time...

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Entertaining

Quick Thinking Bolognese
May 13, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Some nights I crave a dish a bit more, shall we say, elegant. It was on such a night that I came up with my recipe for 10-minute Bolognese. Tired of plain old meatballs, I decided to mash them up with a fork and sauté the bits of meat with some red wine. A quick simmer in some marinara sauce and in the time it took for the pasta to cook, dinner was done.

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Entertaining

Tea Lattes? Yes, Please.
April 7, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I’ve been a religious coffee drinker for years now, decaf being the brew of choice because I want the taste without the buzz. In the evening, though, I prefer a calming cup of tea and this latte hit the spot.

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Entertaining

Wake Up, It’s Spring
March 25, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Last year, I set out to do some container gardening. Even if you have no more than a windowsill, it’s easy to add some edible greenery to your landscape. Here’s a few of my favorite recipes to give you incentive to channel your inner green thumb.

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Entertaining

Just Another Meat Free Monday
March 4, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Taking meat out of the equation for just one day a week can positively impact your body, the planet and your budget. Imagine a meatless makeover of your favorite dishes. That’s just what I did recently.

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Entertaining

Skillet Croutons
February 25, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Whether you like them big and chunky or tiny and bite-size, homemade croutons are a delicious departure from their packaged counterpart

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Entertaining

A Taste of Summer
January 30, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

What better way to beat the winter sniffles than with a warm bowl of tomato soup?

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Game Time!
January 22, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

The prep is incredibly easy but the pay-off is priceless: homemade onion dip without the artificial aftertaste.

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Sweet Potato, Leek & Ricotta Souffle
January 15, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

The Cuisinart Stand Mixer’s food processor attachment ensures a super smooth sweet potato puree.

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Hold the Fries
December 23, 2009 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

The secret to a crisp on the outside, soft-pillowy on the inside latke is adding the potato’s natural starch back to them.

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The Ultimate Potluck Party
December 18, 2009 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

When the days get shorter and temperatures dip into unthinkable territory, I like to have a house full of company. One of my favorite meals to make is a hearty beef stew in my slow cooker. It does all the heavy lifting so I can run out and get some wine.

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Entertaining

Holiday Entertaining, Manicotti Style
December 10, 2009 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

One of my favorite dishes to make is manicotti from scratch. These ricotta cheese-filled tubes of pasta are actually very easy to make—the batter comes together in the blender, and guests will be impressed when you tell them they’re 100% homemade. Round out your buffet with a salad of winter greens and roasted root vegetables, an antipasto platter and keep the red wine flowing for a fabulous holiday celebration.

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