OMG!! I love this product so much that I just had to share.

The Snap To It apron is a traditional apron that has a removable dish towel front. They even sell replacement dish towels! This design is truly brilliant!


I am definitely putting this on my Christmas list!!!


Magnificent Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs may be the greatest form of comfort food. Sometimes you crave it on a cold, blustery day when you are looking for something to warm you from the inside out. And other times, I think it is the perfect way to fill a belly after an exhausting summer day at the pool. The bottom line is that this is a great go to meal that is sure to please!

The Meatballs–

1. Put 2 lbs. of ground beef in a large mixing bowl.

2. Mince the garlic. A good garlic press is essential to any kitchen. You would be wise to invest in a good one.

3. Add the remaining ingredients. If your kids like to cook with you, this is a good task for them. I know that my little helpers like to help me measure and “dump” it all in the bowl.

4. Use your hands (or your stand mixer if the thought of raw meat skeeves you) to blend the mixture well.

5. Roll meatballs to about the size of a golf ball.

6. Place meatballs in even rows onto a parchment lined baking pan.

7. Bake about 30 minutes at 375.

8. Heat up 2-4 quarts of Positively Perfect Pasta Sauce

9. I enhance my sauce with 1/4 cup of red wine, 4 cloves of minced garlic, and 2 tablespoons each of fresh basil & fresh oregano. (optional)

10. Drop cooked meatballs into a boiling pot of Positively Perfect Pasta Sauce.

11. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. (The longer, the better)


Serve over spaghetti, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and a big slab of garlic bread!



2 lbs. ground beef
2 eggs
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon of dried basil
4-6 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl by hand.
2. If you are skeeved by raw meat, use a stand mixer on low speed until blended.
3. Roll meatballs to about the size of a golf ball.
4. Place meatballs in even rows onto a parchment lined baking pan.
5. Bake about 30 minutes at 375.
6. Drop into a boiling pot of Positively Perfect Pasta Sauce.
7. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. (The longer, the better)

**serve over spaghetti, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and a big slab of garlic bread!


The Turkey is Done!



How to Brine a Turkey



Brining a turkey seem like a daunting, messy process, but trust me; It is so worth every ounce of the effort. I use a brine recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse (recipe)


  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs rosemary


1. Measure the ingredients.


2. Add water and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve.


3. Prepare your cooler with 2 strong kitchen trash bags. You can purchase bags specifically for brining, but if you make a large turkey, it is easier to use my method.


4. Place one bag inside of the other so that you have a double wall of support and leak protection.


5. Rinse the turkey and remove any “parts” from the cavity. Check both ends…


6. Place the turkey in the bag, inside the cooler.


7. Pour brine into the bag with the turkey.


8. Squeeze out the air, and ensure that the turkey is completely immersed in the brine. Knot each bag tightly.

9. Pack the cooler with ice and store it in the garage or on your deck or patio, out of the sun, for 4-24 hours.

10. After the appropriate amount of time has passed, remove the turkey from the cooler, discard the brine, and rinse the turkey under cool running water.

11. You are now ready to roast the best turkey ever.

For the complete recipe, click here: The Best Freakin’ Turkey, EVER!



With Thanksgiving tomorrow, and the preparation in full effect, I get loads of questions about what can be made ahead of time, and what must wait until the day of. Here is the timeline that will help you to spread out the workload and manage your stress.

1-3 weeks ahead

  • Send out an invitation and confirm guests.
  • If your guests are contributing to the meal, send out a list of specifics that you need. I used Sign Up Genius this year and it was wonderful and very easy!

3-5 days ahead

  • Go grocery shopping for all of the items on your list.
  • Wash and iron table cloths and napkins
  • Clean the house.
  • Get wine
  • Defrost the turkey (depending on weight, some can take 3-5 days to thaw)

1 day ahead

  • Brine the turkey
  • Boil the giblets with any extra veggies you may have floating around in the fridge. Strain and reserve the broth for roasting the turkey.
  • Purchase and assemble any flowers for centerpieces.
  • Set the table
  • Make the stuffing, but do not bake it until tomorrow.
  • Chill white wine

Thanksgiving Day

  • Put the turkey in the oven.
  • Make mashed potatoes in the morning and then keep them in your crockpot on “warm” until you are ready to serve.
  • When the turkey is done and resting, make gravy
  • Cook any side dishes, including the stuffing.
  • Try to do as much of your prep-work early in the morning so that you can wash those pans and dishes before anyone arrives.
  • Run the dishwasher and empty it  and the sink prior to the meal so that when you start clearing the dinner dishes, you have somewhere to put them all.
  • Hint– ask guests to bring their own storage containers, or purchase some extra at the dollar store, and share the leftovers with all of your guests. This prevents food waste and helps to keep your own calorie indulgence to a minimum! No one needs to eat pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes for 4 days straight!
  • Take a moment and enjoy the meal! You worked hard to make it, so be sure to savor it!

My Mother-In-Law’s Stuffing

I recently had the opportunity to write a guest post for the website be sure to check out my post here My Mother-in-law’s Stuffing and check out her other very helpful posts!


The Power of 4

Normally I would be writing about food, entertaining, and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, but tonight, my heart is somewhere else. I don’t feel like posting a recipe, or tips on how to brine an absurdly large turkey; I just want to write about being a mom.

Tonight, as I tucked my youngest into bed, we said goodbye to 4. This is significant for me, because this year has been my most favorite year as a mom. While all three of my kids have very unique personalities, and each child fills a specific purpose in my life, I feel that this was the year of my youngest daughter, Adeline.

My oldest daughter, Olivia, is my growth. She has a determined spirit, and she does not give up easily. Being the oldest, she is where I learned to be a mom, and she is the one that challenges me. She pushes me to look at things in a different way, she challenges me to accept differences, and she encourages me to be the best mom that I can. Without her, I would not grow.

My second daughter, Amelia, is my laughter. She has the sweetest soul, and the most contagious laughter. You can’t help but be happy around her. She reminds me of all that is good in life. She snuggles affectionately, and loves unconditionally. She teaches me daily about forgiveness and reminds me just how fragile little hearts can be. Without her, I would not love as deeply.

And my youngest, Adeline, is my balance. She has an old soul. She seems to understand well beyond her years, yet she has a spunky, sassy personality that is addictive. Adeline is the one that keeps me on my toes with her curiosity, but also touches my heart daily. She is affectionate and insightful, and it is this year, the year of 4, that I will hold onto forever in my heart.

I cannot pinpoint exactly what made 4 so great. Maybe it is how she senses when I am stressed, and crawls up in my lap to hug me and just say, “I love you, mama!” Or the maturity she displays when she picks up her toys without complaint, avoiding a mommy meltdown. Perhaps, it is how she swells with pride at her own accomplishments. She melts my heart, and the hearts of her sisters, too. Even they see that she has a special little soul. Adeline is a gift to our family, and we would not be complete without her. I have to believe it is a blend of all of these behaviors wrapped up in the cutest little package that has made this a remarkable year.

Either way, I feel very sad to say goodbye to 4. I know that she will not be any different when she wakes up in the morning, and that she will still “Houdini” her little body into my bed around 7am, wrap her arms around me, and beg me not to go to work, but I see this birthday as a concrete marker of time passing. It is a reminder to me just how fast the journey goes.

So, as we say goodbye to 4, and we happily welcome 5, I will remember to absorb every moment. For I fear that it won’t be long before she is too big to do many of the things that make me feel love to the depths of my core! To me, this particular Thanksgiving is not about flavors and food, it is about savoring the moments and people in life that truly make me thankful.


Simple Sausage Stuffing

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4 loaves of stuffing bread or white bread (torn into 1-inch pieces and left out to get a bit stale)


2 large bags of dried, seasoned stuffing cubes

One bunch of celery

3 large yellow onions

2 tubes of sausage

2 large cans of chicken broth

2 sticks of butter

4 tbsp. of fresh sage, finely chopped

2 tbsp. of poultry seasoning

Saute sausage, drain, and crumble. Set aside.

Chop onions and celery finely and saute in butter and spices until soft.

Add one can of chicken broth and simmer for about 10 minutes

Combine bread with the celery and onion mixture in a LARGE mixing bowl

Add more broth as needed until it’s just moistened. (you can also add a few basters full of juices from your turkey broth if it is too dry)

Season with salt and fresh ground pepper ( you may need to add more seasoning, if you did not use seasoned bread)

Gently fold in sausage

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until it is hot throughout and brown around the edges. Approximately 45 minutes.

***This makes enough to compliment a family of stuffing lovers and a 10-12 pound turkey.

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A great way to serve this traditional favorite!

The Fabulous Fairy

Sweet Potato Gratin

  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup of heavy cream

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Use a 2 qt. shallow casserole dish or large ceramic pie plate.

  1. Coat dish with oil and sprinkle with garlic.
  2. Cover the bottom of the dish with a single layer of potato slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat until all the potatoes are used.
  3. Pour cream over the potatoes.
  4. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes ( may take longer if your dish is deeper or if the slices are thicker) until the potatoes are tender and the top is browned.
  5. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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The Best Freakin’ Turkey EVER!


Turkey IS NOT turkey!

We all know what it is like to have awful, dry, sawdust turkey topped with watery, bland gravy that tastes of the floury lumps that plop out of the gravy boat. It is usually at the hands of a well-meaning, elderly relative that does not own a meat thermometer.

This post is an attempt to end the tradition of turkey travesty, and I intend to turn you into a turkey snob.

THIS IS THE BEST TURKEY!!!! It is unbelievable, and if you don’t use any other recipe on this site, TRY THIS ONE!!

Imagine serving the moistest, most amazing meat, topped with golden gravy goodness that will make you crave leftovers for days.

Go ahead, step out of your comfort zone, and just do it!

Now, to be fair, I cannot take credit for this. The original recipe is courtesy of Emeril Lagasse and can be found here:

But over the last ten years, I have made some adjustments that make it a bit easier.

Brined and Roasted Turkey

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2001


  • 1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey
  • Brine, recipe follows
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 8ths
  • 1 large orange, cut into 8ths
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or turkey stock, for basting

Turkey Broth:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Reserved turkey neck and giblets
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 3 cups turkey stock, chicken stock, or canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 cups water


  • 4 cups turkey broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper




  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs rosemary

To make the brine, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, plastic garbage bag.) Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary.

I cook a 22lb. turkey, so if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.

Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey and reserve for the gravy. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water.

Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. I cook a very large turkey, so I put the turkey in a doubled trash bag with the brine. Then, I store it in a large cooler with ice overnight, on my patio.



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels, inside and out. Place breast side down in a large, heavy roasting pan, and rub on all sides with the butter. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with the onion, orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, and thyme. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string.

For the turkey broth: I add all the broth ingredients, along with the “turkey parts” into a medium pot and boil it for about an hour. Strain, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids. Reserve this broth for the gravy.

Roast the turkey, uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, turn, and baste with 1/2 cup stock. Continue roasting with the breast side up until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the largest section of thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 3/4 to 3 hours total cooking time.Baste the turkey once every hour with 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock. BE AWARE THAT THE BRINING PROCESS CAN SHORTEN THE COOK TIME! Keep a close eye on the thermometer.

Remove from the oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

For the pan gravy: Pour the reserved turkey pan juices into a glass-measuring cup and skim off the fat. Place the roasting pan on 2 stovetop burners over medium heat add the pan juice and 1 cup turkey broth and the white wine to the pan, and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining 3 cup of broth and bring to a simmer, then transfer to a measuring cup.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a light roux. Add the hot stock, whisking constantly, then simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Pour into a gravy boat and serve.