The Mangia Way

The most challenging aspect of entertaining is being able to coordinate all the details right so that when your friends arrive, the table is already set, the cocktails are being served, the food is ready to come out of the kitchen hot, and you’re unoccupied enough to actually entertain your guests. This is why I’ve gotten wise to the idea of taking appropriate shortcuts where I can, especially when it comes to planning a weekday dinner party. Setting the table the night before and utilizing foliage you already have as decor, like branches clippings and fruit in place of flowers, leaves you enough time to prepare your meal. Adding small, spontaneous touches like tying herbs to individual loaves of bread and dressing the table with an abundance of candles makes a huge impression with little to no effort. And simply heating up a few of Bertolli‘s many delicious, authentic Italian skillet meals over the stove, just minutes before dinnertime, means your guests will be delightfully satisfied and you won’t have to miss out on all the table side fun. After all, you are the host! Check out how our midweek, Tuscan-themed dinner party came together with the help of Bertolli. Hopefully, it will inspire you to Mangia!

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YUMBertolli2

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Vegan Winter Bowl with Creamy Pumpkin Seed Dressing

The start of the new year can be a chance to press the re-set button on eating habits. I never like to go too extreme with crazy diets or restrictions because I always think it’s better to take the sustainable route. These grain bowls are incredibly healthy, satisfying and feasible to make all year long. The key with bowls is that you want to have a little of every flavor, texture and color. You can swap each ingredient for something you prefer or have on hand. The dressing is really the star of this dish though. Instead of using an oil as the fat base for the dressing, I used pumpkin seeds. This is my new favorite dressing and it goes so well with the clean refreshing citrus and fennel. The dressing gets its creaminess from the pumpkin seeds and tofu and is incredibly fragrant. I’ll be making this dressing all winter long and I hope you love it as much as I do!

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Garibaldi Cocktail

Back in college, a close friend gifted me a bottle of Campari he’d picked up while in Rome. At the time I wasn’t familiar with the beloved Italian bitter. Embarrassingly, in those days my knowledge of alcohol revolved around the beer pong table. My friend insisted this stuff was the real deal. “Everyone drinks it out there,” he exclaimed. I took a swig, and promptly spit it out into the sink. My inexperienced palette simply wasn’t ready for the complexity that Campari brought to the table. I put the bottle on top of the fridge where it sat for a whole . . . well, a few days. You didn’t think alcohol could actually last more than a week in a college apartment, did you? After some thought, I decided to cut the bitterness with some fresh orange juice. Little did I know, I had accidentally stumbled upon a classic cocktail recipe, the Garibaldi. Indeed, the tartness of the orange juice was the perfect compliment to the bittersweet Campari. Before long, I was hooked. I’m a little obsessed with blood oranges, so naturally that’s what I’m juicing today. However, you’re more than welcome to use regular orange juice. Saluti!!

Garibaldi Cocktail | HonestlyYUM

Garibaldi Cocktail | HonestlyYUM READ MORE

Matcha Smoothie Bowl

Happy 2016, everyone! I hope your holiday was merry, festive, and relaxing. And if your time off was anything like mine and replete of self indulgence, (I’m talking to you, Hasselback Potato Gratin, Stuffing Waffles, Blueberry and Almond Morning Buns, Braised Short Ribs and Linzer Cookies) then you’re probably craving something fresh, green, and raw to help reset your body for the new year. I love making myself a tall glass of green juice in the morning, but heartier smoothies are really more my cup of tea, especially since I’m nurturing a burgeoning baby these days! Smoothie bowls are especially substantial as they are much thicker in consistency and you can add all sorts of fun toppings. So today, I’m sharing my favorite green smoothie bowl, rich in antioxidants, vitamins, folic acid, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. The addition of matcha powder not only gives it that necessary AM kick, it gives the smoothie a bright, creamy earthiness that compliments the caramelized sweetness of dates so nicely. Top with your favorite fruit toppings, dig in with a spoon and you’re ready to kick off a great year!

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A Trio of New Year’s Eve Cocktails

Well, there you have it . . . another year in the books. Twenty fifteen was a whirlwind to say the least. Life with a toddler is quite a bit different than life with a newborn. It’s still hard for me to comprehend that there’s a little two-foot-tall person following me around, studying my every move, mimicking my every word. Kinda scary if you stop and think about it. I can’t wait to see what this next year will bring. As always, I wanted to thank you with all my heart for visiting the site this year. HonestlyYUM is a true team effort, and that includes you. Thank you for all your comments. I read every single one, even if I haven’t yet had the chance to respond. Thank you for taking the time to make our recipes, and for sharing them with your loved ones. Now that the site has been around for several years, it’s fun to see that some of you have your go-to recipes from the site for certain occasions. For example, someone told me the other day that they’ve now made my punch for the third Thanksgiving in a row. It’s quickly becoming a family tradition! Ultimately, it all circles back to family and friends, enjoying a little food and drink together in celebration. Speaking of which, we teamed up with IZZE to create this delightful trio of cocktails to help you ring in the new year. What I particularly love about these recipes is that they’re simple enough to make on a casual weeknight with friends, but also festive enough to justify serving at your NYE bash. It’s amazing what a little extra sparkle will do for a party! Once again, thank you for another fabulous year. Here’s to many, many more. Cheers!!

A Trio of New Year's Eve Cocktails | HonestlyYUM

IZZE| HonestlyYUM

A Trio of New Year's Eve Cocktails | HonestlyYUM READ MORE

Blueberry and Almond Morning Buns

I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend. I sure did. Some highlights: Audrey’s sticky toffee pudding; blowing bubbles with Fiona; Cynar flips; dog walks in the rain; waffles; watching Fiona open presents – speaking of which, she ended up with her own toy cell phone, laptop, purse, and credit cards . . . I suppose it was only a matter of time. After all, this is the same girl who has a huge wad of cash hidden inside her alphabet train. I swear, she’s like a squirrel, hiding currency around the house in case we run out of diapers and forget to pay the utility bill. I digress. I’d say if I had to choose a theme for the holidays it would be baking. In addition to the sticky toffee pudding, and at least a dozen batches of cookies, we capped off the weekend with Sarah’s flaky, buttery, blueberry almond morning buns. They’ve quickly become a household favorite. If you weren’t one of the lucky souls who received a Christmas copy of Sarah’s book, The Sugar Hit, now’s the time to treat yourself. I mean, she has an entire section on midnight snacks for goodness sake. MIDNIGHT SNACKS!! In the meantime, go ahead and give these delightful little guys a try.

Blueberry and Almond Morning Buns | HonestlyYUM

Blueberry and Almond Morning Buns | HonestlyYUM READ MORE

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