Salad art

I'm thrilled by the inherent beauty in freshly picked herbs, shimmering with dew; cracked pomegranates with glowing crimson seeds; rustic french bread, steam billowing from an airy interior; and the list goes on---I could wax poetic about edible inspirations (did I borrow that from a fruit bouquet company tagline?) for hours. And capturing this beauty in a photo is almost as satisfying as devouring the finished product. So imagine my delight ...

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Eat your brussels sprouts (no really, they’re fantastic)

  Why brussels sprouts (and broccoli, for that matter) get a bad rap is beyond me. When prepared well, they're a fantastic accompaniment to just about any meal. Also, it's a fallacy that you have to add bacon to make them taste good. Of course, a little bacon never hurt anyone. Take it from my new fave paleo blogger and partner in crime, Nicole over at BaconIsHealthy.com. I digress. To prove to ...

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dry rub chicken wings

Dryglazed wings

Our sad little  gas grill is extremely neglected. After a few winters left uncovered, blanketed in snow, it's now pocked with rust, covered in a thin layer of dust and coated with remnants of burger and bratwurst from a rare summer BBQ in 2012. So when it came to testing out my Grill Master Kit and Dryglazes, courtesy of the folks at Urban Accents, I took the stovetop route---with a little ...

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Milk and cookies

I'm happy to report that after nine months of a pregnancy-induced cooking strike, everyone in Casa DiCosola is once again well fed. Our newest addition is perhaps the most nourished of us all---and he has an appetite that trumps even his mama's. In his three short months on this earth, this little meatball has managed to more than double in weight! Knowing that every ounce, every roll, every dimple comes from ...

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Smuggling pumpkins

It's an impossibly beautiful, crisp and sunny Chicago fall, my uterus is now the size of a pumpkin (how festive!), and the cooking strike in Casa DiCosola continues. Dinners these days consist of cinnamon toast crunch, apples and peanut butter, fun-size snickers, english muffins and string cheese (yes, all in one night; no, not necessarily in that order). Good thing I have this little fall-themed gem of a post in my ...

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Pickled pink (or blue?)

Hello my wonderful readers, are you still there? I've been MIA for a couple months, but I think I have the best excuse of them all: I've got a bun in the oven ... and it ain't sourdough : ) We're over the moon! But the nausea, food aversions and fatigue wreaked havoc on my blog activity---not to mention Dave's dinner. In the first trimester, most of the time I could barely ...

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Greens on greens on greens

My garden is filling in nicely, and all this green has me inspired. This pasta salad is a little taste of spring---exploding with nutritional superstars. There are enough greens to make it healthy, but enough pasta and cheese to make it a treat. Dave devoured it, so you can trust that it's delicious in spite of itself. Don't skimp on the lemon---it brings the taste to the next level. Go green pasta salad You'll ...

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Better with Butter in Women’s Health

I'm famous y'all! Well, as famous as I've ever been (but not quite as famous as my husband, the Taco Bell TV commercial star). You can catch me and this little blog o' mine in the May issue of Women's Health magazine. The article is "50 cooking tips that will change your life," and I'm in some pretty great company. I may be a little biased, but it's a fantastic read, ...

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Photo Files: Confessions of a prop-aholic

My name is Jada and I have a problem. I can't stop bringing home props for my food photography. Gilded glass bowls from estate sales; fabric scraps from JoAnn's; paper straws from the dollar bins at Target. If $1 vintage pastel parfait bowls are wrong, I don't want to be right ... So, it's only appropriate that the first post in my Photo Files series is: PROPS. Tips on using props to improve your food photos 1) ...

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