Home Cooking, the gift of nature.


Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Brown Butter

Spinach Pasta with Brown Butter

When it comes to this pasta dish with mushrooms, spinach, and brown butter, you couldn’t ask for an easier or quicker weeknight meal.

Just sauté a hefty amount of mushrooms, add cooked pasta and spinach, and stir until the spinach wilts. Just like that, dinner is ready!

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10 Recipes For a St. Patrick’s Day Feast

10 Recipes for a St. Patrick's Day Feast

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday in which many celebrate being Irish, often regardless of one’s actual heritage!

It’s understandable though — it’s easy to get into the spirit of the day with dishes that involve ingredients such as potatoes, bread, and beer.

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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes Recipe

Lemon and ricotta are a match made in heaven. You will find the pairing in many Italian desserts like cheesecakes, tarts, and torta di mandorle (lemon, ricotta, and almond cake), but with pancakes, you don’t have to wait until after dinner to enjoy this winning combination.

Unless, of course, you are “a pancakes-for-supper” kind of gal like me. There’s nothing like pancakes to help make the stresses of just living in this world feel a little bit lighter.

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Sheet Pan English Breakfast

Full English Breakfast on a Sheet Pan

A classic English breakfast is a really special way to start the day. It’s the kind of breakfast that will leave you nice and full through the early afternoon, at which point maybe you’ll want a light snack or some tea to get you to the dinner hour. It also happens to be a fantastic cure after a night of overindulging!

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Meal Plan for March Week 2

Meal Plan for March Week 2

This month, we welcome back Marta Rivera for more of her meal plans. Marta is a trained chef, mom of twins, and Army wife – and she is also one of our Simply Recipes recipe testers!

The French essayist, Marcel Proust, said, “The smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, ready to remind us…”

Obviously, what they remind us of is wrapped up in the event itself, and as we head into the week of St. Patrick’s Day, I can’t help but remember my journey through the heart of Ireland as a young culinary student.

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What’s in Season in March?

What's in Season in March

Hello March and welcome to month 3 of our Monthly Seasonal Produce Guides.

March is all about GREEN, and not just for St. Patrick’s Day! Spring is here, or about to be, and with it comes the first of two of my favorite spring vegetables—asparagus and artichokes.

While asparagus in our local markets cost about $4/pound in the off-season, when they are plentiful in the spring, I can find them closer to $1/pound. (That’s why my mother advises me, “Always buy your food in season. Saves money, tastes better.”)

You’ll also find broccoli, fennel, and chard, watercress, arugula, and mustard greens, as well as leeks, spring garlic, and spring onions.

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Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff is a very adult-sounding dish, isn’t it? To think, when I was a teenager, I was desperate to become an adult so that I could get out there to conquer the world! Now, I’m grateful to be able to sneak in a nap on the weekend—adulthood brings so many responsibilities.

Thankfully, I have a slow cooker at my disposal, which helps me make the most out of busy days. Because once those ingredients are in the pot, it’s hands-off cooking for hours at a clip.

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10 Easy Dinners Made with Pantry Staples

10 Easy Dinners Made with Pantry Staples

Oh winter! The bad weather, the cold, and the general hibernation that it encourages in all of us—it’s enough to make you want to stock up, cook big batches of food, and stay indoors.

Or at the very least it’s enough to make you not want to make a trip to the supermarket for just one missing ingredient so you can make dinner.

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Flank Steak with Orange and Avocado Salsa

Flank Steak with Orange and Avocado Salsa

Flank steak, a long and flat cut of beef with a pronounced grain, has steadily grown in popularity over the years. In a matter of decades, this inexpensive butcher’s secret has come to occupy a prominent place in the meat case.

Flank is prized for its beefy, hefty flavor, and here, I’m cooking it quickly on the stovetop and topping it with a quick citrus salsa. This recipe – and flank steak in general — makes an excellent choice when you have a crowd to feed.

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How to Make Homemade Pasta (Without a Pasta Maker!)

Homemade Pasta Dough No Pasta Machine

I’ve been making pasta from scratch for about eight years now, often with a child standing at each hip, and all without using a pasta maker.

Sometimes gadgets can be barriers to experimentation in the kitchen, but a small kitchen or a lack of funding shouldn’t prevent anyone from making delicious homemade food. I find that most meals can be made with a few simple tools that serve multiple purposes.

In the case of my homemade pasta, my rolling pin doubles as my pasta roller.

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Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

It appears everyone has their favorite Irish soda bread recipe. Some with caraway seeds, some with raisins, some with both, some with neither.

The essential ingredients in a traditional Irish soda bread are flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The acid in buttermilk reacts with the base of the baking soda to provide the bread’s leavening. This leavening from buttermilk and baking soda is what gives the bread its name, “soda bread”.

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Meal Plan for March Week 1

Meal Plan for March Week 1

This month, we welcome back Marta Rivera for more of her meal plans. Marta is a trained chef, mom of twins, and Army wife – and she is also one of our Simply Recipes recipe testers!

With so much excellent produce available all year round, you might not always realize that there are food seasons that coincide with the seasons in nature.

That’s right! While it may seem that all fruits and vegetables are obtainable throughout the year (thanks to technology and human ingenuity), the truth is that there’s a particular season for enjoying every fruit and vegetable at its ripest.

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Skillet Pork Chops with Cabbage

Pork Chops in a Skillet

It’s hard to get really excited by cabbage—it seems so ordinary! But when I was in southern Germany recently, I enjoyed some truly outstanding cabbage with pork.

I knew instantly what made it so good: the cabbage was cooked low and slow in plenty of pork fat, and the pork served alongside was incredibly juicy. It was a memorable meal, and that wasn’t just the German beer talking.

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Meal Plan for February Week 3

Meal Plan for February Week 3

I don’t know about you, but we had a lot of Valentine’s treats around the house last week, so I’m excited about jumping into the kitchen to get some real food back on the table!

For this week’s meal plan, there’s quite a bit you can tackle over the weekend to make your dinners during the week a little easier.

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Lemony Broccoli Rabe with White Beans

Lemon Broccoli Rabe with White Beans

Years ago, I was with a group of friends talking about the dishes that our mothers made all the time and that became our idea of comfort food. One of the women said that her Italian-American mom made broccoli rabe and cooked it with lots of lemon and white beans.

We all quizzed her like crazy: Was this a dish her grandmother had made, too? (Yes!) Was it a weeknight dish? (Yes!) Did her mom make it for holidays? (Yes!)

We were so intrigued that something bitter, tart, and garlicky would be considered comfort food—the rest of us had been thinking about creamy, toasty, cheese-y things!

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8 Recipes I Know My Kids Will Love

Meals My Kids Will Love

Ah, children. They can be our biggest fans and also our biggest challengers when it comes to cooking. Getting a meal on the table that they will eat sometimes feels like a Herculean task.

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Easy Chicken Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese with Chicken

As I’ve grown as a home cook, prioritizing flexibility in recipes is something I’ve learned to truly cherish. Especially now that I’m a busy parent, I find myself asking a series of questions any time I approach a recipe:

Can I substitute leftovers for an ingredient in a recipe I want to make? Can I serve this meal in a variety of ways? Is it doable to make this on a weeknight, or can I change it a bit to make it special for a weekend dinner party?

When it comes to this Easy Chicken Mac and Cheese, the answer to all of those questions is “yes!”

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Vegan Allergy-Friendly Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

Growing up, my mom always made her famous chocolate potato cake for each of our birthdays. I know, I know: it sounds very odd, but the truth is you never actually tasted the potato and it really just ensured that the batter was super moist, which I probably never appreciated as a kid but certainly do now.

These days when birthdays arise in our household, I’ve found my own tricks to achieve a really moist, super chocolatey cake and cupcakes. This recipe uses one of our son’s favorite foods: bananas.

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Vegan Chocolate Frosting

Vegan Chocolate Fudge Frosting

When I’m baking, I love having a few reliable back-pocket recipes that don’t take a lot of fuss (no candy thermometers, please!) and that have an equally fuss-free ingredient list. But a thick and fudgy chocolate frosting that spreads easily and is dairy-free? This has proven to be an elusive thing.

However, I was determined to find a good chocolate frosting recipe to go with my Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Cupcakes, so I got to work! And I must confess that I’m mighty pleased with the results.

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Meal Plan for February Week 4

I often try to keep Monday dinners super simple, but lately I’ve found that it’s Wednesday nights that have been the troublemaker. By this time in the week, everyone’s starting to get tired from the pace of the work (and daycare) week, and yet it’s just not quite close enough to Friday to let our guard down and get excited about the weekend.

So this Wednesday, I’m keeping it simpler than usual with a make-your-own Twice Baked Potato situation! This will go over well with small and large palates alike.

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Slow Cooker Taco Soup

Slow Cooker Taco Soup with sour cream and chips

A Cold-Weather Favorite

This slow cooker taco soup with ground beef is one of my favorite recipes to make in the slow cooker, especially in the fall and winter months.

The soup is so hearty and flavorful, and the beef gets so tender over the long hours of cooking. Let it cook all day and it just gets better.

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Black Rice Bowls with Tofu and Veggies

Tofu and Rice Veggie Bowl

Welcome to the world of grain bowls!

What’s a grain bowl? These are bowls filled full with fresh and delicious vegetables, some protein, and a cooked whole grain. The components can often be made ahead of time, so grain bowls make a great assemble-and-go meal.

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Fettuccine Alfredo with Mushrooms

Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo

If you’re a beginner cook, or even an intermediate one, it may not cross your mind to try making alfredo sauce from scratch. For me, it seemed just a tiny bit out of reach for years. Then one day, I gave it a try and quickly found myself saying, “Oh. That was really easy.”

Alfredo is one of the most underrated sauces—it’s made with just a few pantry staples, it’s always satisfying, and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home.

Every home cook should have a recipe at the ready for quick weeknight dinners. It’s certainly not just for restaurant dining!

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Shrimp and Grits

Easy Shrimp and Grits

A Classic Southern Dish

Shrimp and grits is one of those iconic Southern dishes that stir something deep inside those who grew up with them.

Originally from the oceanic South—Georgia, the Low Country coast of the Carolinas and Gulf Coast states all have their versions—this homey bowl of awesome was historically a simple fisherman’s breakfast: Grits, with some bacon and a few shrimp tossed on top.

If you’ve ever eaten it, you can understand why shrimp and grits has burst from the seaside shrimp shanties.

The grits are soft, buttery, and often cheesy, with a savory, bacon-studded sauce surrounding them, and lots and lots of shrimp. Maybe some parsley or green onions for color and crunch.

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Fudgy Gluten-Free Brownies

Fudgy Gluten-Free Vegan Brownies

We have a lot of friends on a variety of restrictive diets right now, and as someone who loves to entertain, I wanted to make sure I had a treat that everyone could eat. But first and foremost, it had to be something everyone would actually want to eat.

I began scheming up a super fudgy, no-frills brownie that could be gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free — and still leave us all reaching for more. Mission accomplished.

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Cheddar Broccoli Soup

During the cold winter months, everyone should have at least one great soup recipe that’s not only warming and filling, but that can also be made quickly on any given weeknight.

This simple Broccoli Cheddar Soup checks all the boxes—plus, it’s easy to make in one pot. Bonus!

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Roast Chicken on Angel Hair Pasta

Roasted Chicken on Angel Hair

If you’ve ever watched a rotisserie chicken turning slowly on a spit—my local supermarket has several going at once— then you’ve seen the tray underneath the birds to catch the drippings. Those drippings are gold!

Now, imagine those chickens roasting over a baking dish filled with pasta: All those juices from the bird would drip into the pasta and give it an unbelievably delicious roasty flavor.

This idea of roasting meat on top of other ingredients is actually an ancient technique from when individual families didn’t have their own ovens, and cooks brought pans of meat or poultry and whatever went with it to the local baker to roast in the baker’s big oven. This approach inspired this recipe.

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

A classic little treat perfect for a date or as a gift, chocolate covered strawberries are a defined part of romance in America. But don’t stop with simple dipping, dress them up to the nines with white and dark chocolate tuxedos!

Could they be more cute?

Super easy to make too!

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10 Best Side Dishes to Serve With Steak

Crispy Hasselback Potatoes

Steak and potatoes are often paired together for a reason—it’s a delicious and mouthwatering combination. We’ve got you covered where that’s concerned, no worries.

But there’s also this whole world of other side dishes available to you, some of which we think will make you rethink the concept of a traditional steak dinner.

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Meal Plan for February Week 2

February Week 2 Meal Plan

This month, Megan Gordon is here to give us a look at what meal planning looks like for her family! Megan is a writer and recipe developer living in Seattle, WA, the author of Whole Grain Mornings, and mom to a 2-year-old. Please welcome Megan!

If you’re anything like me, you may find yourself falling into a rut of repetitive cooking in the weeks (and even months) after the holiday season.

Right now, I’m burned out from hosting, and I’m feeling uninspired by the cabbage and Brussels sprouts at the store (any fresh fruits and produce are pretty limited here in Seattle). It’s been all too easy to fall back on easy family favorites and stay in our cooking comfort zone.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, of course! But I am always trying to get our son to try new foods so he’ll remain interested in new flavors and tastes.

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Preparing food with heat or fire is an activity unique to humans, and scientists believe the advent of cooking played an important role in human evolution. Most anthropologists believe that cooking fires first developed around 250,000 years ago.

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