Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese

The perfect football Sunday indulgence

As I’ve mentioned in a former post, pulled pork has a special place in my heart thanks to my mom and her ability to serve it at every possible family gathering without anyone ever getting bored of it. In fact, I have a friend who comes over solely around these said holidays just to devour a few bites straight from the pressure cooker. When I was thinking about what to serve at this past snoozefest of a Super Bowl, pulled pork was the first thing that came to mind. We weren’t sure how many people were coming, we had planned this gathering very last minute so I didn’t have much time to prep, and I felt downright lazy when faced with the idea of cooking all day. Instead, I stuck to my mom’s foolproof plan and added a bit of a cheesy and indulgent twist. One of my favorite things to do at prior lacrosse tailgates or at my parent’s infamous Christmas party is combine the homemade pulled pork with some of the mac and cheese that always seemed to conveniently be served next to it. A spark went off in my brain and immediately decided what we’d be having for the big game: pulled pork mac and cheese. Let it be said that by no means is this as “clean” as majority of my recipes on here. I’m usually not one for adding butter and I typically don’t cook with a lot of cheese, but this dish just felt right. Plus, it’s the god damn Super Bowl – a time to worry less about eating vegetables and more about whether any game will ever compare to 2018’s. Plus, I’d venture to say this home cooked dish is still healthier than any comparable you could purchase or order from a restaurant.

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Valentine’s Day Date Night In Roundup

Two delicious options for a great Valentine’s Day date night in

Let me start this post by disclaiming how much I love love. However, in my opinion, Valentine’s Day is up there with New Years… two of the most ludicrous excuses of a holiday. If you’re single, Valentine’s Day kinda feels like a personal attack by shoving everyone’s relationship, happiness, and love in your face. If you have a significant others, it poses this weird stress that I relate to New Years in the sense of making sure you have the “perfect” night. Luckily for us New Yorker’s, we have all the restaurants in the world to capitalize on this by creating pre-fixed menus at ridiculous price tags. Unless you plan on signing a pretty hefty check, I suggest taking this holiday to the four walls of your own home. In the five years Joe and I have lived in NYC, we have successfully avoided this mayhem by creating delicious at-home Valentine’s Day meals in our kitchen.

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Shaved Vegetable Salad, Pressure Cooker Lamb, and Mushroom Risotto

A Valentine’s Day Dinner to Impress

As discussed in my Valentine’s Day Dinner on a Budget recipe, I’m not one for dining out on this “holiday”. Don’t get me wrong, I love restaurants and I love love, but I definitely do not love spending an outrageous amount of money for an overcharged set menu just because it happens to be a specific day in the middle of February. As a person who likes to peruse a menu, try a few things, make a shit-ton of substitutions, and split as much as possible, prefix and I don’t work to well. However, even in the walls of our own dining room (who am I kidding, we live in NY, it’s all one room), sometimes you want to ball out like you’re at a restaurant. That my friends, is why I’ve created this recipe. This Valentine’s Day Dinner to Impress will have your date (or friend, or family member, or, hell, yourself) feeling like you’ve stepped into the fine dining of one of your favorite NY restaurants. The best part? You don’t need the culinary background those chefs have. Win, win!

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Cauliflower Gnocchi with Ribeye Steak and Vegetables

Valentine’s Day Dinner on a Budget

Among many things, Valentine’s Day can be expensive – there is no getting around it. If you’re like me and you’ve already decided there is 0 chance you are spending money on a prefix menu just because its February 14th, I’m assuming you’re heading to your kitchen to whip something up. While we all (hopefully?) love to celebrate love, and want to spoil the person we are cooking for that night, whether it be a significant other, a friend, or hell, ourselves, a lot of us are on a serious budget. Who says you need to spend a ton of money for a delicious meal? Not I. For those of us who are watching our costs this Valentine’s Day, I’m here to help with a meal that costs less than $15 per person (assuming you already have the pantry staples). Hell, that’s comparable, and way more impressive, than Chipotle pickup. You’re welcome!

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Super Bowl Sunday Stars

Roundup of my favorite crowd-pleasing recipes for the big day

Sure, I love me a good Sunday meal prep to set myself up for a healthy and efficient week ahead, but there is nothing I love more about Sundays than eating delicious food with friends and family while watching football (preferably an Eagles win). That is why the Super Bowl is my Mecca of Sundays. Obviously, no Super Bowl will compare to last year’s, when Joe and I were in the stands crying as we watched the Eagles win their first ever championship live, but that’s neither here nor there. The thing I don’t love about Super Bowl Sunday (besides the fact that it should be a 4:20 start time)? Waking up on Monday and feeling like absolute shit. Why is it that majority of football food (aka bar food) is loaded with crap? Who says you can’t eat well and still cheer for your favorite team? Not I. That is why I’m here to roundup some of my favorite football Sunday recipes to make sure you have the best lineup for your party this weekend. Enjoy all the food without the stomachaches. I wish I could promise no hangover either, but that’s on you boo.

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Taco Tuesday for a Crowd

Behind the scenes look at hosting friends for my favorite night of the week

From following me on Instagram, you all know by now that there are two things that are very important to me: taco Tuesdays, and cooking for friends and family. Growing up in a family that continuously hosts others, it is one of my favorite ways to use our apartment. While Joe and my tradition of Taco Tuesday is consistently just us, and often times our weekly date night, there are many times we open our doors to any friends free to join us. Last week when I was heading home from Florida on a Tuesday morning, I realized it was about to be taco time. Firing out a quick text to see who wanted to join us, and put our new and very overdue dining room table to work, I realized this would be a perfect opportunity for a behind the scenes #FFTacoTuesday VLOG. In an effort to show how easy it can be to throw a dinner party together when serving this crowd-pleasing spread, I’m here to show you all the necessary steps. From creating a grocery list on the plane all the way to the final product, this video and corresponding recipe is here to assist you host your own classic Taco Tuesday with all the fixings.

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Meat Lasagna (with Dairy & Gluten Free Substitutions)

Yes, it is possible!!!

The other day the craving for lasagna hit me like a freaking mack truck. Even though I haven’t had it in forever, I suddenly couldn’t think about anything but lasagna. This meant one simple thing: lasagna was going to be on the menu for dinner. As someone who is currently avoiding gluten and dairy, I noticed the challenge that was ahead of me. How the F do you make a lasagna that does not include the two primary ingredients? Oh, also, throw in the fact that I am intolerant to garlic and onion. Maybe there was a reason I hadn’t had it in forever… All of that aside, I decided it was time to create something delicious. I wanted a rib warming dinner on this snowy night and lasagna was the vehicle to do so. With some oh-so-sneaky ingredients, and things I never in a million years thought I would purchase (hello dairy free cheese, I’m talking to you), I made a freaking incredible allergen free lasagna. Trust me, I wouldn’t encourage you to be seen purchasing vegan cheese unless I meant it. This thing is freaking delicious. Lasagna, oh how I’ve missed you. Welcome back into my life, beautiful.

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Freckled Foodie Thanksgiving 2018 E-Book

Your Survival Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Or are you responsible for prepping and bringing a side dish to your Friendsgiving but have no idea what to make? Either the case – I’m here to help you navigate this holiday like a PRO with my new Freckled Foodie Thanksgiving 2018 E-Book. Complete with recipes for a crowd-pleasing snack to keep your guests satisfied when they arrive, a gorgeous and perfectly crisped while still juicy turkey, five sides that may steal the limelight of that fore-mentioned bird, and a warm and cozy dessert that’ll leave your home smelling as delicious as the meal you just served. Oh, and did I mention an organized grocery list (for a group of 10 plus leftovers) to keep you sane during the madness that is Thanksgiving grocery store shopping?! And, of course, it includes some serious time saving tips for each recipe. Because who doesn’t need more time when hosting a dinner party? Seriously, this book is the answer to all of your hosting dreams.

If you purchase within the first 24 hours of this E-Book posting, 10% of the proceeds will go to my Friendsgiving campaign over at No Kid Hungry!

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Roasted Chicken Thighs with Blistered Mushroom and Kale Pasta

The Perfect Anniversary Dinner Date

As someone who loves the NYC restaurant scene, I am a big fan of date night out exploring either some of the new “must go” spots or returning to some of our favorite local places. However, almost as often, I crave a date night in. There is something about actually putting in the time and effort to make a meal for the person you love and then enjoying it in the comfort of your own home (and the comfort of leggings and a sweatshirt, but that’s another conversation). Joe and I just recently celebrated our eleven-year anniversary of which Joe continuously reminded me that “this really isn’t our anniversary anymore”. I understand that, going forward, we will now celebrate our wedding anniversary, but this day will always have a special place in my heart. So, in the compromise of still celebrating while not making it a big deal, a date night in was established and a more elaborate than usual weeknight menu was prepared. One of Joe and my favorite meals to make is a deliciously juicy crispy chicken thigh. I mean, is there anything better than the perfectly crisped chicken skin? The answer is no. To serve alongside these beauties I decided to create a veggie packed pasta that would use majority of the juice from cooking the chicken as it’s sauce. The smartest idea I’ve had all year? Quite possibly.  Date night or not, this dinner is a hit!

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a Pumpkin Cream Sauce

my Halloween inspired dinner

Since I was away majority of October, I feel like I missed out on not only all of the pumpkin flavored food, but also the hype surrounding Halloween. (True story, I didn’t really realize it was Halloween today until midway through the afternoon when I saw a kid in a costume while running an errand). So, safe to say, I am not a big Halloween gal in this stage of my life. That being said, I wanted to celebrate somehow – in addition to contradicting my food beliefs and handing out classic Snickers and M&M like candy to little kids. Obviously, my celebrating turned into creating a new recipe for dinner. Along with my desire to make a dish that featured pumpkin and the color orange, I also have felt this deep anger towards the fact that I haven’t been able to get my hands on any of the Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi since it was released (what feels like years ago). Combining all of these random thoughts I had during my yoga class this morning, it came to me: I was going to make my own god damn gnocchi for dinner and you better believe it was going to be orange! Hello, my favorite vegetable, sweet potato to the rescue. Not only did I feel really freaking important and chef-like while making this dinner, because I hate to admit I’ve never made homemade pasta before (sorry!), but it is also absolutely delicious. Fall flavored, cozy, rib warming, I want to take a nap in this bowl, kind of dinner. I’ll let you see for yourself! Plus, not like I follow all of these, but I’m just going to through it out there: this meal is vegan, gluten and dairy free, paleo, and Whole30 compliant…

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