Come for the Recipes . . . Stay for the Conversation

celebrating life  & sharing stories around the kitchen table  

Food isn’t just about taste, it is enhanced by what we see with our eyes, smell with our nose and feel with our heart — It is art on a plate . . .

I'm Glad You're Here!

I'm Glad You're Here!

I'm Marilyn - The Lead Muse

I’m a designer, photographer, and culinary storyteller who loves connecting inspiring people, places, ideas, and food. My kitchen is my creative playground, and the camera is my favorite tool! > Read More

Fresh Inspiration . . . Just Out of the Kitchen

recipes for every season

Easy Entertaining

Cheese Plate & Bruschetta Bar Recipes

Picking, pairing and presenting a selection of cheeses, meats & toppings is easier than you think. Learn how to put together an interesting cheese plate.

Bacon Love!

Bacon & Sun-dried Tomato Jam 

Easy to make, this sun-dried tomato bacon jam is irresistibly smokey, sweet, and savory too.  If you love bacon, you’ve got to try this  flavor exploding bacon jam!

Farmers Market Favorite

Eggplant Caponata

Perfect for all those fresh veggies now in season. Caponata is a sweet and sour eggplant dish that come to us from Italy. Make it ahead, and serve warm or cold as a perfect appetizer or savory side.

DESTINATIONS . . . You Gotta GO!

 noteworthy places to put on your list — Kansas City and beyond

The Pacific Northwest

 Seattle, San Juan Islands, Victoria, Vancouver & Whistler

What to see, where to stay, what to do, and where to eat!  I’m sharing the inside scoop from my 10-day adventure traveling from Seattle to beautiful British Columbia.

Crazy Good!

Kansas City: Mesuggah Bagels

You gotta GO! It’s the destination for “crazy good” New York style bagels! A new and vibrant addition to the KC food scene, it’s where I found the inspiration for my latest recipes.

FOOD for Thought . . .

meanderings on life, change and the art of reinvention

2016: Starting Over

Taking Risks . . . Being Brave

As much as I enjoy the holidays, I am always anxious to start over. The arrival of the new year means I’m anxious to do a little soul searching and shedding, how about you?

LEARN HOW . . . Kitchen Minute Videos

tips, tricks and techniques to improve your kitchen confidence

Hungry For More?

recipes & posts you may have missed

Healthy & Delicious Whole Grain Banana Muffins

Healthy Banana Muffins — I can't believe it's February! February makes me think spring can't be far, but I'm afraid that might be magical thinking on my part.  My sister, who lives near the San Diego coast, complained the traffic was horrendous because of all the...

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Homemade Marshmallows & Hot Spiced Mocha

Homemade Marshmallows — If you've never had homemade marshmallows, you're in for a very special treat!  Almost like magic, simple ingredients are transformed into a fluffy gourmet confection.  They are a bit messy to make, but well worth the effort, and tastes better...

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Asian Chicken Salad With Fresh Mandarin Orange —

Asian Chicken Salad: Perfect For Any Season — I make this salad a lot during the summer, but back then my blog was just an idea and had not yet been born.  So why share a salad recipe now, in a season seemingly dominated by the flavors of chocolate, peppermint and...

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Couscous with Chicken, Butternut Squash & Spinach

Reflecting the Season For me, salads are the domain of summer - cool and refreshing when the heat is on. But the minute the temps begin to drop into the 50's overnight - it's game on, as my kitchen heats up after a long summer hiatus. The crockpot is dusted off, the...

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Fresh Apple Cinnamon Cake

Apples Don't Fall Far From the Tree — An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away. That's a phrase the people spouted in a time before we used words like "health food".  Those people weren't lying because apples are now categorized as one of the healthiest foods on...

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Pumpkin Butter Cheesecake Tarts

Pumpkin, Cream Cheese, Cinnamon & Pecans. This recipe was inspired by a trip to Traders Joe's at the start of pumpkin season.  I get giddy when it first arrives -- all my "pumpkin friends" are back on the shelf, if only for a short visit.  One of my favorites is...

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Potato Soup with Smoked Gouda & Bacon

A Journey Without a Map — "It's in the not knowing that everything is still possible." This is what my friends call a "Marilynism"; a personal philosophy and a nugget of wisdom that I seem to dispense when a friend reaches out for support when life feels uncertain,...

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And You Can Quote Me On That . . .

more recipes |

Seasonal Muse

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