Homemade Hot Chocolate

Learn how to make the BEST homemade hot chocolate! Rich, creamy, and deeply chocolatey, it's the perfect cozy treat for a cold winter night.

When the weather outside is frightful, there’s no better way to warm up than with a rich, creamy cup of homemade hot chocolate. Really, take it from us – last winter was a particularly snowy one here in Chicago, and we did a lot of shoveling. When our fingers and toes would start to tingle from the cold, I’d come inside and make this hot chocolate recipe. It’s thick and comforting, the perfect fortifying treat on a chilly winter day. With the holidays right around the corner, I thought it would be a great time to share this recipe with…


25 Best Dutch Oven Recipes

These easy Dutch oven recipes show off the versatility of everyone's favorite cast-iron pot. Use yours to make bread, stew, pasta, risotto, and more!

‘Tis the season of cozy soups, comforting stews…and holiday shopping. If you’re thinking about treating yourself or a loved one to a new piece of kitchen equipment, let me recommend a Dutch oven! This type of heavy-duty pot might seem like a specialty item, but if you cook often, I promise, you’ll use it daily. In fact, I always have one perched on my stovetop, ready and waiting for the next time I cook a soup, pasta, sauce, or whatever other Dutch oven recipes I might have up my sleeve on a given day. Speaking of Dutch oven recipes, I’ve…


How to Make A Cheese Board

Learn how to make a perfect cheese board for entertaining! Filled with a fun variety of cheeses, fruits, and spreads, it offers something for everyone.

Whether I’m hosting a dinner party, a happy hour, or a holiday get-together, a cheese board is always my go-to appetizer. It’s my #1 choice for so many reasons – it offers a little something for everyone, it looks so pretty and festive, and it’s easy to put together (no cooking required!). Now, if you’ve never made a cheese board before, it might not seem so easy. What cheeses do you pick? What do you pair with them? I promise that the process really is simple, and to get you started, I’m sharing my favorite way to assemble a cheese…


Crispy Smashed Potatoes

These smashed potatoes are SUCH a tasty side dish or snack! They're crispy on the outside, creamy in the middle, and packed with savory garlic flavor.

Crispy smashed potatoes? Two, no, three. …Ok, more like four for me, please! I’m a huge fan of potato wedges, roasted potatoes, and even French fries, but these crispy smashed potatoes might just be my favorite potatoes yet. They have glorious crispy skins, comforting creamy middles, and a savory garlic-Parmesan flavor that I’m pretty sure no one could ever get enough of. Conveniently, they’re perfect for a wide variety of occasions. Top them with a drizzle of chipotle sauce, and they’d make a mouthwatering game day snack. Sprinkle them with fresh herbs, and they’d be a crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving side dish.…


Garlic Knots

We love to make this garlic knots recipe when we're entertaining. The soft, fluffy knots always impress guests, but, secretly, they're super easy to make!

I’m trying to think of something more delicious than warm garlic knots fresh out of the oven. …And I’m giving up. It’s just not possible. Garlic knots deliver everything you love about dinner rolls – soft! fluffy! – plus an extra kick of rich, savory garlic flavor. And because they can pass as an appetizer, snack, or even a side dish with the right meal, there’s never an occasion where they’re out of place. If you want to be the life of the party at any gathering you’re attending this season, my advice to you is simple: make this garlic…


Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Balsamic

This beet salad recipe is a stunning fall or winter side dish! Goat cheese, apples, and arugula fill it with a delightful mix of textures and flavors.

I love all the colors in this roasted beet salad recipe. The vibrant greens, the red and golden beets, the pale pink shallot, and the dots of white cheese. This kind of colorful salad is exactly what I like to serve at a dinner party or holiday meal. It adds some needed freshness to a spread of, say, stuffing and mashed potatoes, and it looks so striking, but it’s delightfully simple to make. You can even prep the components a day or two in advance! Beet Salad Recipe Ingredients To make this beet salad recipe, you can use any variety…


Balsamic Vinaigrette

Skip the store-bought salad dressing! Instead, make this balsamic vinaigrette at home. It's rich, tangy, and SO easy to make. Just 7 ingredients!

If you keep a bottle of balsamic vinegar in your pantry, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be making your own balsamic vinaigrette at home. Really, skip the store-bought stuff: this balsamic vinaigrette recipe calls for 7 ingredients and comes together in under 5 minutes. It doesn’t get simpler than that! And this recipe isn’t just simple – it’s flavorful, too. Thanks to the balsamic, mustard, and a touch of honey, it’s bold, sweet, and tangy. It’s a perfect way to jazz up salads, roasted veggies, and more. Try it once, and you’ll be hooked. Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe Ingredients Here’s what…


50 Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Whether you're seeking classic Thanksgiving recipes or something totally new, you're sure to love one (or more!) of these 50 Thanksgiving side dishes.

Roast turkey and pumpkin pie may have permanent spots on your Thanksgiving menu, but if you’re anything like me, you like to throw new Thanksgiving side dishes into the mix every now and again. If you’re looking for new Thanksgiving recipes, read on to find over 50 of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. With ideas ranging from classics like mashed potatoes and green bean casserole to inventive stuffings and soups, you’re sure to find a dish (or two!) you’ll love. Potato Thanksgiving Side Dishes 3 mashes, plus 1 delicious recipe for crispy roasted potatoes! Try any of them – among…


Green Beans Almondine

If you love low effort-high reward recipes, you need these green beans almondine in your rotation. They're super simple and absolutely delicious!

If you’re not one for green bean casserole, add this glossy green bean recipe to your Thanksgiving menu instead! It’s my twist on green beans almondine, or amandine in French. Though it sounds fancy, this classic French side dish is really just green beans topped with sliced almonds. It’s remarkably simple and absolutely delicious. Green Beans Almondine Recipe Ingredients To make this green beans almondine recipe, you only need a few basic ingredients: Fresh green beans, of course! French haricots verts are best here, as they’re more tender than other varieties of string beans. Sliced almonds – Their nutty crunch…


Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

If I could, I'd make this arugula salad recipe every night of the week. Tossed in a bright lemon dressing, it's a simple, fresh, and flavorful side dish.

There are few things I love more than a simple arugula salad. To his credit, Jack knows it. Not far from our house, there’s a little food market/sandwich shop that sells the BEST arugula. It’s crisp, tender, and perfectly peppery. Every time Jack goes out to get a sandwich for himself, he comes home with a box of arugula for me. I’ve used it to make all sorts of arugula salad recipes over the years (this one, this one, and this one, for starters), but lately, I’ve been especially smitten with this combination. I toss the arugula with a bright…


Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

These Instant Pot mashed potatoes are rich, buttery, smooth, and creamy. Made with just 5 ingredients, they're such an easy, delicious side dish.

When I made these Instant Pot mashed potatoes for the first time, my goal was to earn Jack’s stamp of approval. He’s a devout mashed potato lover, so if these Instant pot mashed potatoes weren’t fluffy or flavorful enough, I knew I could count on him to let me know. After a few tastes and a tweak or two, he began happily scooping himself a bowl. “They’re great!” he said. And I had to agree. I don’t usually consider myself much of a mashed potato person, but at that moment, Jack wasn’t the only one loading up a bowl. I…

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.