Recently, we got into a lively discussion in the office on the virtues of wine versus beer—I’m not much of a beer drinker myself, but there are a few kinds I like. One staffer proposed that our taste in beer tracks to the wine we like, so we decided to go to a pro for arbitration: Greg Engert, the beer director for Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which includes the award-winning, brew-centric Birch & Barley and ChurchKey restaurants in Washington, D.C.. He offered his thoughts on what a novice beer drinker might be interested in, plus specific craft beer recommendations based on wines you already like. Enjoy!


Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food: Meaty, cheesy, carb-y, saucey, gooey. Its only downfall is that people think it’s hard to make. Well guess what, people? My version only takes 10 minutes of prep, and the slow cooker does the rest. But it’s okay if you let your guests think you slaved away at it. It tastes better that way.

MORE: Simply Delicious Sausage & Butternut Squash Lasagna


Forget chocolates—all this fuss about Valentine’s Day makes a fellow want a drink! Whether you’re celebrating your love or your freedom, these Valentine's Day cocktails will have you seeing red—in a good way—on February 14.

MORE: These Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles Will Have Your Valentine Eating Out of the Palm of Your Hand


I love to curl up on the couch with a bowl full of something delicious on my belly. And this time of year, I love that rich, smoky-sweet flavor you get from roasted veggies. I get both with this healthy, easy to make (one pan and into the blender!) Roasted Carrot & Parsnip soup. Spiced with ginger and garlic, it’s the perfect starter for a big fall meal—or a satisfying vegetarian entrée all by itself.


In the ongoing quest to bring you foods that are easy, scrumptious and affordable, here’s our twist on Ropa Vieja, a traditional Cuban dish that combines beef, tomatoes and spices. Just grab a cut of reasonably priced flank steak and throw it into the slow cooker. You’ll seriously be amazed by how much flavor you get out of these ordinary ingredients. De-lish!

MORE: Slow Cooker "Loaded Potato" Soup with Cauliflower


I love how a fruity drink instantly transports you to a land of sea breezes and warm sand (even if you’re just sitting on your front stoop). And gin is my liquor of choice, so I especially love the Singapore Sling. Invented at a hotel bar in the early 20th century, there are many variations, a lot of which call for fancy ingredients, but my version gets the same amazing mix of sweet, tart and bitter without an extra trip to the liquor store. Just be aware of the golden rule of the Singapore Sling: Must Have Garnish. Pineapple wedges, cherries, citrus—whatever!—stack ‘em high onto a skewer before you serve it, otherwise it just won’t do.


Surprise! We took the guilt out of this guilty pleasure soup by replacing the potato with cauliflower and the heavy cream with milk and chicken broth. Trust us, after one bite of this soup you'll wonder why anyone eats potatoes at all. It comes together in a snap since you use the food processor and your slow cooker. Have your soup and eat it too AND stick to your New Year's resolutions. If you do those kinds of things, read Clinton's take on resolutions. Then check out more of our calorie-cutting recipes starring cauliflower: Creamy Cauliflower Rice Pilaf and Better-For-You Fettuccine Alfredo.

MORE: Easy Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Soup


This is my new favorite dessert! Easy and good-lookin’, just like me in the ’90s. All you need is a handful of store-bought ingredients—think, a can, a block, a bag, a tin—and a few hours of freezer time. You can make it in a pie pan or ramekins, but I love the presentation of making it in a loaf pan. When you slice it, you see the gorgeous berry shapes. If you really want to wow your guests, smear a little bit of berry jam on the plate under the slice of cheesecake first. Everyone will think you’re fabulous!

MORE: Our Favorite No-Cook Recipes


I have made a ton of no-bake desserts, but this may be my best recipe yet! Layers of chocolate graham crackers, rich mascarpone and whipped cream come together for a no-bake dessert that tastes like the perfect Oreo dunked in milk. Pull it out of the fridge and garnish with shaved chocolate (looks super-fancy, but it’s so easy!) just before showtime for a sweet and refreshing dessert.


It’s still too damn hot to be spending any time baking. So we created this delicious dessert for you: If key lime pie and my signature berry trifle had a baby, this would be it. Of course we added a splash of booze - refreshing limoncello – to layers of rich vanilla ice cream and lemon curd, then topped it all with tart raspberries and crunchy vanilla wafers to make every bite a flavor explosion.

MORE: No-Bake Layered Chocolate Cake

Greek Yogurt Ambrosia

When I was growing up, ambrosia wasn’t just the food of the gods—it was the queen of classy desserts. To update it from a classic holiday dessert to an everyday treat, I added Greek yogurt which is packed with protein. Serve it in a trifle bowl or in individual cups at your next gathering or even at the breakfast table!


Do you like to party? Then call your girlfriends, whip up a party punch, and make these amazing Toasted S’Mores Bars for them to nibble on. They’re seriously so good—everything you love about s’mores in the summer, in bar form. Apologies when you eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of the weekend, like my staffers did after we tested them. You can have a kale salad on Monday, it’s fine.

MORE: No-Bake Layered Chocolate Cake


Are you looking for a last minute, show-stopping dessert with patriotic flair for this weekend? How about one that uses in-season fruit and easy-to-find ingredients, and doesn't require you to turn on the stove? Well you are in the right place: Try my delicious red, white and blue summer berry trifle.


Here’s a recipe for summer happiness: Take a treat you loved as a kid, make it a cocktail, and serve it in fancy glasses. These snow cones are equal parts fun and fabulous, and therefore a fantastic dessert (or starter!) for any summer party and so patriotically perfect for July 4th!


Bittersweet day. Thank you to these two beautiful souls for sharing their laughter and expertise with me for seven years. And thank YOU for welcoming us into your homes. Have a fabulous life, everybody!!!

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