Easy Baked Ziti

I turn to this easy baked ziti recipe anytime I'm serving a crowd. Filled with creamy ricotta, tomato sauce, and fresh spinach, it's comfort food at its best.

Baked ziti is a dish that has a special place in both Jack’s heart and mine. Growing up, I ate it at all sorts of gatherings – graduation parties, holidays, and more – and Jack’s mom makes it every year on Christmas Eve. With the holidays right around the corner, I thought now would be the perfect time to share my baked ziti recipe. Easy to make and perfect for serving a crowd, it’s the recipe I turn to whenever we’re hosting family or friends, one we’ve made and loved time and time again. Whether you serve it at a…

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Marinara Sauce

Make this homemade marinara sauce recipe once, and you'll never buy it at the store again! It's super simple to make, and it has a rich tomato flavor.

Buying marinara sauce is easy, but I’ll let you in on a secret: so is making your own! Meet my go-to homemade marinara sauce recipe. It’s simple to make – all you need is 10 pantry ingredients and 30 minutes – and it tastes immeasurably better than any kind I’ve found in a jar. Its base is canned crushed tomatoes with their juices, which I simmer with sautéed shallot and garlic for depth of flavor. Red pepper flakes give it a touch of heat, dried oregano adds Italian flair, balsamic vinegar makes it nice and tangy, and salt and pepper…

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Caesar Salad

This Caesar salad recipe is guaranteed to impress dinner party guests! It's topped with homemade croutons, extra veggies, and a rich, tangy dressing.

If there’s any recipe that’ll convince someone that they love salad, it’s this Caesar salad recipe. Its base is chopped romaine lettuce and crisp veggies, but shaved cheese, homemade croutons, and a bold, creamy dressing fill it with so much flavor and texture that it hardly feels like you’re eating a plate full of vegetables! This Caesar salad recipe would be a fantastic side dish for a holiday dinner party, but, lately, we’ve even been loving it as a meal on its own. It’s the perfect fresh, yet still satisfying, break from the holiday rotation of appetizers and sweets. Pretty,…

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Homemade Caesar Dressing

This homemade Caesar dressing recipe will blow any store bought version out of the water. Made with just 7 ingredients, it's creamy, savory, and rich.

Purists will tell you that you can’t make a good Caesar dressing without an egg yolk, anchovies, and Worcestershire sauce. But here’s the thing: what I love about Caesar salad dressing is that it’s creamy, briny, tangy, and rich. I thought there had to be a way to make a dressing that checked all those boxes with totally vegetarian ingredients (and no raw eggs). Turns out, I was right! This homemade Caesar salad dressing recipe is every bit as delicious as the traditional version, and it’s so easy to make. It calls for just 7 simple ingredients, and you don’t…

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Creamy Potato Soup

We can't get enough of this easy potato soup recipe. Filled with good-for-you ingredients, it's ultra creamy and comforting, but it's nourishing, too!

We’re obsessed with this potato soup recipe! It’s lusciously creamy and filled with bold, smoky, tangy flavor. If you have any leftovers, it tastes even better on the second day, but in our house, a pot of this soup never lasts long. In my book, this potato soup recipe is perfect for the holiday season. The weather outside is frightful, so comfort food is what I’m craving. But in between all the cookies and holiday appetizers, I want to sneak in as many healthy meals as I can. That’s where this potato soup recipe comes in. Creamy and richly flavorful,…

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50 Easy Party Appetizers

These 50 easy appetizers will blow guests away at your next party! With everything from dips to finger food, you're sure to find one you'll love.

Do you have any go-to easy appetizers? When I’m entertaining, I often turn to a simple, seasonal crostini or cheese board, but at this time of year, when we’re hosting or attending parties more often, I start to crave new appetizer recipes. If, like me, you look for fresh, inventive party appetizers around the holidays, check out the list below. With 50 appetizer ideas ranging from reimagined classics to new, creative appetizer recipes, you’re bound to find something you (and your guests) will love! Happy holidays! Dip Appetizer Recipes Butternut Squash Hummus (pictured above) One of my favorite holiday appetizer…

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Stuffed Mushrooms

These easy stuffed mushrooms will knock the socks off guests at your next party! The savory, crispy filling is delicious over juicy roasted mushrooms.

Stuffed mushrooms are a contentious item in our house. Here’s why: Whenever I take a batch out of the oven, I choose one to sample. I take a bite, savoring the crisp, umami topping over the juicy roasted mushroom. Then, I reach for a second, but in all likelihood, the rest have already vanished! Jack can’t get enough of most mushroom recipes, and these stuffed mushrooms are no exception. But honestly, I can’t blame him. The filling – a savory mix of panko bread crumbs, pecorino, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, and garlic – offers the perfect crunchy contrast for…

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French Onion Soup

This easy French onion soup recipe will rival any you've had at a restaurant. Topped with crispy, cheesy baguette, it's rich, savory, and comforting.

French onion soup is one of my favorite comfort foods. For years, I haven’t been able to find a good vegetarian version of it, because it’s traditionally made with beef broth. But since caramelized onions are what make it so flavorful, it seemed like a prime candidate for a meat-free makeover. After lots of testing (and lots of soup), I’m here to tell you that this French onion soup recipe is just as good as any made with beef stock. Swimming with velvety caramelized onions, it’s bold, savory, and delicious. To make it, I turn to my go-to ingredients for…

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

This baked spinach artichoke dip is a guaranteed party hit! It's deliciously creamy and cheesy, but shhh! A secret veggie ingredient is hiding inside it.

If you want to impress guests at your next holiday party, make this spinach artichoke dip! It’s creamy, cheesy, and rich with briny artichoke flavor. In fact, it’s so good that every time we make it, Jack and I devour it standing at the kitchen counter. We can’t get enough! But I’ll let you in on a secret: this spinach artichoke dip is made of mostly veggies. Sure, it’s loaded with the essentials – spinach and artichokes – but it also contains a surprising veggie ingredient: cauliflower! Instead of using cream cheese, sour cream, or mayonnaise to make this dip’s…

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How to Make Oatmeal

Want to learn how to make oatmeal? You're in the right place. Read on to learn about cooking different types of oats & find fun oatmeal topping ideas!

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that oatmeal has never been my thing. But this fall, after I tried Amy Chaplin’s whole oat porridge recipe, I started to come around to it. See, in the past, I always had plain instant oats, which I thought were bland and mushy. But as I started experimenting with other types of oats, I discovered that, cooked the right way, oatmeal becomes a rich, creamy porridge that’s a fantastic canvas for seasonal toppings. Lately, I’ve been hooked on two topping combinations, and you’ll find them in the recipe below.…

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Easy Sugar Cookies

This easy sugar cookie recipe is fun to make, and the results are delicious! It yields lightly sweet, buttery sugar cookies that are perfect for decorating!

When I was a kid, my family’s sugar cookie recipe was the first thing that brought us back into the kitchen after Thanksgiving. We’d spend the weekend after the holiday rolling out dough, cutting out festive shapes, and decorating the cookies once they were baked. To me, baking sugar cookies still feels like the first sign that Christmas is on its way, and this easy sugar cookie recipe is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season! It’s festive, fun, and simple to make, and the cookies themselves are delicious. They’re thick, delicate, and soft, with scrumptious crispy edges.…

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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.