Welcome to Smells Like Home

homemade. sorta healthy. unapologetically delicious.

about SLH

Hi!! I hope you’re hungry because we’ll have no problem being really great friends! Like Julia Child once said, “People who like to eat are always the best kind of people.” She also said something about a gathering without cake is just a meeting. Brilliant, right?

But seriously, you’re here for the food and I’m here to deliver. I’ve been tossing up recipes to this site since 2007 and there’s 1000+ of them to make everyone in your house happy. Here’s a just bit of what awaits you:

about tara

coffee addict. maine lover. new englander.

solo widowed mama to Riley. pup mama to Jackson.

floury mess-maker.

recipe developer. food photographer. creative.

and above all else: always hungry.

Adoption Day

it’s not just about the food.

I call the food I make “unapologetically delicious.” Some of it’s completely sinful. Some of it’s super healthy. Most of it sits somewhere in between. This is how we eat in our house.

Every recipe on this site is made from scratch, using as few packaged ingredients as possible. Yes, I use store-bought things like pasta, peanut butter, and tortilla chips.

But what you won’t find here are recipes using boxed baking mixes, bottled salad dressings, or frozen chicken nuggets. They’re just not my thing.

And now with a kiddo in the house, I’m even more committed to making wholesome meals that don’t take forever to cook.

My philosophy about food is that cooking and baking from scratch, with limited (and pronounceable!) ingredients is just as easy as opening a package and dumping it into a bowl…and that cooking should be fun!

I do happy dances when pulling a fresh loaf of homemade sandwich bread from the oven. And when methodically mixing butter-sugar-eggs-vanilla-flour-salt together for a homemade birthday cake. And when measuring a bunch of spices for homemade Indian food. And when sprinkling mozzarella cheese all over homemade pizza.

It helps that I’ve usually got Alexa playing The Beatles, TSwift, an 80s or 90s pop station, the Frozen soundtrack for the 542th time, or country rock in the background!

But let’s be clear: I have my limits too.

We eat out, order pizza from time-to-time, and indulge in pints of Jeni’s, Talenti, and Ben & Jerry’s.

Because in reality: I’m a solo widowed mama, full-time food blogger and food photographer, and an adjunct professor in Public Health.

Yes, you read that correctly. If you’ve been reading SLH for long enough, you’ll know that my husband, Kyle, was a central part of the site as my Chief Recipe Tester, kitchen sidekick, and primary dishwasher.

In November 2021, Kyle was diagnosed with an aggressive form of terminal cancer called autoimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL), a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He fought the fight of his life and passed away in February 2022.

To say that our family is devastated by Kyle’s loss is putting it lightly.

Life is completely different now and as a solo parent, there are many nights that I struggle to get a wholesome dinner on the table. Grief has effects I never expected. And I’m working on it. ❤️

The Take-Away (no pun intended)

What I want you to take from SLH – aside from a napkin to wipe up the drool – is that you CAN make this food in your kitchen.

My life may look different from yours but we have the same thing in common: our love for food.

So whether it’s with your kids, BFFs, parents, or loves, I want to help you make cooking and baking a part of your life because it really is the BEST way to bring people together.

Holiday Treats Galore!

It’s cookie season so let’s break out the butter and get BAKING!

More Holiday Treats

Work with Me: Brands I’ve Parterned With

I am available to partner on recipe development, food photography, and sponsored posts.

Contact me for rate details and more information at

tara@smells-like-home.com or visit my Contact page.

Featured Recipes On:
reader buzz

“Smells Like Home has been one of my favorite blogs for years. I can always count on finding crazy delicious, comforting, recipes, and reading the posts from Tara is like having a chat with an old friend.”

Kayle, The Cooking Actress

(via The Cooking Actress)

“I love Smells Like Home! Not only are the meals delicious and memorable (the Carrot Salad with Tahini Dressing, Crisped Chickpeas and Sesame Spiced Turkey Meatballs AND the Chicken Gyro Salad are kind of my religion…and these are ONLY two examples!), but I feel like I am cooking by Tara’s side. Her side notes, tips and most importantly, personal stories that go with each recipe, are what keep me coming back for seconds…and thirds. I look forward to each new recipe, personal story and making new memories and meals with my family. Thank you Tara!”

Stefanie, Burlington, VT

long-time reader

“I have been a long-time reader of Smells Like Home and love using Tara as a trustworthy source for delicious recipes. Her cooking style closely mirrors my own- from scratch recipes that are sometimes healthy and sometimes indulgent. Smells Like Home is one of the first places I turn to when I’m looking for a recipe, whether it is a cheesy bowl of pasta, a fancy cake, or some flavorful Tex Mex, I can count on Tara’s recipes to be reliable crowd-pleasers.”

Annie, Annie’s Cooking Lab

(via Annie’s Cooking Lab)
favorite sites

Annie’s Eats
Cook Like a Champion
Elly Says Opa!
How Sweet It Is
Island Bakes
Pastry Affair
Pink Parsley
Smitten Kitchen
Spoon Fork Bacon
The Vanilla Bean Blog

follow Smells Like Home

I mostly hang out on Instagram but you can also connect with me by “liking” SLH on Twitter, Facebook, directly by email at smellslikehometara at gmail dot com, or through the Connect page on the site for any type of question other than advertising, as I work exclusively with Mediavine Publisher Network.