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 900+ 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.

mama to Riley. wifey to Kyle. pup mama to Jackson.

floury mess-maker.

recipe developer. food photographer. creative.

and above all else: always hungry.

Adoption Day
credit: Sarah Rossi

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 toddler in the house, I’m even more committed to making wholesome meals that don’t take forever to cook.

credit: Sarah Lehberger

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, an 80s or 90s pop station, or country rock in the background!

credit: Sarah Lehberger

But let’s be clear: we have our 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: Kyle and I are a busy couple with a toddler and a super active dog in the house. I’m a full-time food blogger and food photographer, and I run a part-time real estate gig. He runs an electrical contracting business. And sometimes, the dishes are just TOO MUCH to handle.

Life is crazy and there needs to be some balance!

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 and have a blast doing it! 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.

credit: Sarah Lehberger

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

(via The Cooking Actress)

“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.