Let’s Party

Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Roasted Rosemary Potato Salad

Written on April 17, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

This dish is a great one for entertaining because it can be served hot or at room temperature, and it can easily be made ahead. I love the addition of the balsamic and pine nuts – makes it feel a little different (and a little lighter!) than your average potato salad. I modified the original recipe just a little and didn’t include bell pepper, but it’s a great alternate addition. I also added an extra onion to mine because I love them so much.


Just chop everything into cubes and roast:

I picked the rosemary from our bush out back!

It was foggy while I was shooting this dish (perfect for photographing outside!), and I couldn’t resist this shot on the deck:

For the full recipe, click here. Enjoy!

Photos & lettering by Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast.

Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Two Tomato Carrot Ribbon Pasta

Written on March 20, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

There’s something so satisfying (yet a bit indulgent) about a big plate of pasta, right? But what if you could make it just a little lighter and shave off a little of that guilt? Starting with this recipe, I replaced half the noodles with carrot ribbons, and guess what…JUST as satisfying! It’s a great flavor combo, too- sun dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, parsley and fresh mozzarella balls. Perfect when entertaining, or for a weeknight dinner.

Click HERE for the BHG recipe that I have adapted. Use any type of pasta you’d like (wheat, gluten-free, etc…they type I used with the curly edges is called Riccia). To lighten things up, substitute about half of the pasta serving per person with carrot ribbons. I have found this to be about 1-2 carrots per serving, depending on how big the carrots are. When boiling the pasta, I just throw the carrot ribbons in the water for the last 1 minute the pasta is cooking, then strain it all together. But be sure not to leave the carrots in too long- they are so thin that they will fall apart quickly when over cooked. One minute or less should do it, just until they start to wilt.

You can also use carrot ribbons to replace all the pasta if you like! For this version, instead of boiling the carrots, try just quickly sauteeing the ribbons over medium heat in a non-stick pan with a bit of olive oil until they wilt (about 3 minutes).

For the Two-Tomato Pasta recipe, click here. For my version substitute carrot ribbons for half (or all!) of the pasta. Enjoy!

Photos and illustration by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast, a blog and cookbook inspired by living in a cabin in the woods.


Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Entertaining with Quiche

Written on February 20, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

Whenever I host a brunch party, I love making quiche. It’s a simple way to serve eggs to a crowd and it feels a little special. Plus, it’s easily made ahead and delicious even as it cools.

This BHG Quiche recipe is amazing because it’s so adaptable- you can literally add anything to the egg mixture!

Some filling ideas:

  • sliced or grated zucchini squash
  • big slices of tomato
  • pesto and goat cheese
  • caramelized red onions
  • sausage and fresh herbs
  • scallions (green onions)

The list is endless! And it’s great because you can also just use whatever you have in the fridge. I usually cook the veggies or meat before adding it to the quiche to assure it’s fully cooked when the egg mixture is set. I use a pre-made pie crust, but you could certainly make your own.

For the version above, I added ribbons of yellow zucchini squash to the egg mixture, plus grated jack cheese, and a sprinkling of thyme. I made the ribbons of squash using a potato peeler, running it lengthwise down the squash. You could also use a mandolin. Another idea is to simply add big slices of tomato and grated cheese, like below.

Click here for the recipe. Happy brunching!

Photos and illustration by Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast, a cookbook and blog inspired by living in a cabin in the woods.

Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Butternut Quesadillas

Written on January 16, 2014 at 8:00 am , by


I made a big batch of these Butternut Quesadillas recently for a party, and they were a hit! They’d be perfect for a Superbowl Party. I started with this BHG recipe for Avocado Quesadillas, but swapped the avocado out for roasted, mashed butternut squash. I found that with the squash, you didn’t need quite as much cheese, and it was still moist and delicious! I made them ahead of time and kept them warm in the oven, which worked great.

I use a potato peeler to remove the rind from the squash, which makes things much quicker. Then you can just slice it up and remove the seeds. I cut the squash into cubes (about 1 inch) and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Drizzle liberally with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until a fork goes in easily and they are a bit browned. When they come out, mash them in a bowl with a fork.

Just spread about 2 tablespoons of mashed butternut squash onto a tortilla (I used corn). Then sprinkle with cheese (I used Manchego like in the BHG recipe, but anything works!), and a pinch of fresh thyme. Cover with another tortilla and heat in a skillet until the cheese melts, flipping once. Stack the quesadillas in a warm oven until it’s time to eat. I cut them right before serving, and top each with a dollop of sour cream and/or salsa.


By Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast, a blog and forthcoming cookbook full of simple recipe and entertaining ideas inspired by living in a cabin in the woods.


Erin Gleeson

Warm Brie with Fig & Pistachio Tapenade

Written on December 19, 2013 at 7:00 am , by

Every Christmas Eve, my parents host an open house with appetizers and cocktails. It’s one of my favorite annual gatherings- friends and family stop by all evening. Every year, we make some type of baked brie, and this year we are serving this recipe with a fig and pistachio tapenade, yum! It’s easy to make ahead and it’s so delicious that guests will devour it! I often make and serve it in a mini cast iron pan so that the cheese stays melted longer  once it’s out of the oven. I sprinkle mine with Maldon sea salt for a sweet/salty kick.

This recipe and many others are in the Better Homes & Gardens “Holiday Recipes” magazine, on newsstands now. Several of my fellow Delish Dish bloggers also share some fantastic recipe ideas.

My warmest wishes to you and your families this holiday season!




Get the recipe for this Warm Brie with Fig and Pistachio Tapenade here. 


Kristin Porter

Feta, Honey & Date Spread

Written on December 18, 2013 at 8:30 am , by

I love the holidays not only for the festivities, family-time, and general good cheer but also because they’re a great excuse to try out new recipes. I swear, every weekend there’s a get-together where I need to take a dish to share, and the Feta, Honey & Date Spread I made for a family lunch a few weeks ago was a huge hit.

Holidays or not, it’s nice to have a little nibble available for guests to munch on before a big meal at a party or gathering, and this dip, dunked into with crispy homemade pita crisps, is absolutely mouthwatering.

Crumbled feta cheese, chewy medjool dates, salty green olives, and crunchy roasted almonds come together with help from a dressing of melted honey and a dash of cayenne pepper. Seriously inspired!

Full of different textures – crunchy, chewy, creamy – and flavors – salty, sweet, and tangy – this dip is a blast to eat, and satisfies with just a few bites.

Start by making the pita crisps. Cut pita bread rounds into eighths then toss with extra virgin olive oil, dried thyme, and salt.

Arrange the wedges on a couple of baking sheets then bake until golden brown and crisp.

Next, toast sliced almonds for the dip by giving them a quick bake. Toasting nuts is essential, in my opinion, as it really amps up their flavor and crunchiness, and only takes 5 minutes. Easy!

Cool the almonds slightly then add to a big bowl with chopped medjool dates, crumbled feta cheese, lemon zest, chopped green olives, and a bit of dried thyme.

Finally, microwave honey with a dash of cayenne pepper until warm then drizzle over the other ingredients and stir to combine.

That’s it! Easy as can be and incredibly unique. It’ll be the first thing gone at the party…promise!

Click here for the Feta, Honey & Date Spread recipe >