The Perfect Easter Meal

Whole rack of lamb, vegetable quinoa medley, and a kale salad

I’m a big fan of lamb no matter the day, but I specifically love that Easter provides a tradition, for many families, to roast a whole rack. Now, while this dish is, and always will be, the star of this meal, you can’t forget to dress it up with some delicious sides. While I was creating this recipe I realized that, about five years ago, Freckled Foodie was truly born on Easter weekend. My mother was traveling somewhere and we had somehow become responsible for hosting over 10 people for an Easter lunch. Instead of cancelling on everyone, I, not quite knowing what I was doing yet, decided to step in and run with the task at hand. That Easter was the first time I confidently prepared a meal for a large group of people; proving to myself that I was not only able to, but also that I loved it. This meal is the prime example of a pretty effortless and healthy Easter spread that will impress your guests, taste delicious, and not break the bank. With the lamb being the center of attention, you are able to pair it with some delicious, yet affordable and quick, sides. If you’re in charge of cooking, here is your answer!

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Whole Roasted Chicken & Root Vegetables

My favorite meal for a crowd

People often ask me, “what is your favorite dish to make?”. As someone who know cooks at an extremely frequent rate, that is an extremely difficult choice to make. How the heck can I choose just one dish!? After spending some time debating and reassessing all of my favorite foods, there is one meal that I always come back to: whole roasted chicken with root vegetables. There is something so comforting, loving, and warming about this dish. To me, it feels like home, so it is the perfect way to welcome people in to mine. When I was making this dish for a Sunday night dinner in a few weeks ago, I was shocked to see I hadn’t posted a recipe on my site yet. How can I claim this is my favorite thing to make if I haven’t shared it with all of you yet!? Here is to hoping that you too enjoy this meal as much as I do and that it not only fills your home with delicious scents that I can only label as “cooking”, but also warms your soul.

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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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Whole Roasted Chicken & Root Vegetables

The true definition of “home cooking”

People often ask me, “what is your favorite dish to make?”. As someone who know cooks at an extremely frequent rate, that is an extremely difficult choice to make. How the heck can I choose just one dish!? After spending some time debating and reassessing all of my favorite foods, there is one meal that I always come back to: whole roasted chicken with root vegetables. There is something so comforting, loving, and warming about this dish. To me, it feels like home, so it is the perfect way to welcome people in to mine. When I was making this dish for a Sunday night dinner in a few weeks ago, I was shocked to see I hadn’t posted a recipe on my site yet. How can I claim this is my favorite thing to make if I haven’t shared it with all of you yet!? Here is to hoping that you too enjoy this meal as much as I do and that it not only fills your home with delicious scents that I can only label as “cooking”, but also warms your soul.

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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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