Soft Pretzels (Mostly) Made Ahead. Really!

Every year for my annual Oktoberfest party I make a batch (or 4) of my soft pretzels. However, I don’t limit these to just October, especially when I can make the pretzels weeks ahead of time and freeze them, baking them off the day I need them. While always a crowd pleaser, I found it stressful to be forming and dipping pretzels as my guests were arriving. Enter Peter Reinhart who shared his recipe and method for his soft pretzels in an issue of Fine Cooking from Oct/Nov of 2012. I have tried a few different recipes, settling best on what works for me (I do not use Peter’s recipe) but his method changed my life (seriously) and now I can do everything ahead of time and all that is left to do as my guests arrive is to put a baking sheet in the oven, set the timer, and crack open a beer.

October 28th, 2013 0 comments Everything, Make Ahead

Creamy Ale Onions

This past weekend was our 3rd annual Oktoberfest party. I kind of live for this party because it combines SO many of my favorite things (favorite time of year, comfort food, and good friends all in once place). We place an order at the local German Pork store for some brats and bauernwurst, the red cabbage from our favorite German restaurant in Hoboken (Helmer’s) and I make soft pretzels, german chocolate cake, and my creamy ale onions. It’s a combination of well-made purchased items, and some tried and true home cooked dishes. It’s 80′s music blasting on the outdoor speakers, and brown craft paper covering the tables (crayons included). It’s good beer and sitting by the fire pit. Like I said I kind of live for this party :)

These onions are always a big hit. They are savory and sweet, and oh so creamy. I love them with…….

October 6th, 2013 0 comments Everything, Side dish

Pumpkin Beer Reviewed Part 4

It’s the first day of Fall. My favorite season for so many reasons, not least of which is the purpose of this post: pumpkin beer. But it also means cooler days, pumpkin spice latte’s and more nights in front of the fire pit. As I sit here with a slice of grilled pizza (my first time grilling a pizza) writing this post I think back on my weekend which was filled with friends, food, beautiful weather, and of course, pumpkin beer.

September 24th, 2013 0 comments Beer, Everything, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Beer, Reviews

Potato & Chorizo Soup (or The Perfect Seasonal Transition Soup)

We are starting to get that little bit of chill in the air, here in Jersey. And we all know what that means – my favorite season is almost here! In the meantime, it is still technically summer, and we are in a confusing in-between stage, where I am unsure if I should be grilling steaks, or braising beef. This soup perfectly blends the late summer bounty, with heartier fare, as we get ready for Fall.

September 15th, 2013 0 comments Everything, Make Ahead, One Pot Meal, Soup

It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day, It’s a New Blog?

Shortly before I left for the conference, for lack of a better way to describe it, I broke my blog. The theme I was using was just outdated, and upgrading to a new version of Wordpress proved too advanced for my poor theme. Things disappeared and broke, and some of my favorite plug-ins were not compatible with the new version of Wordpress. Obviously I panicked a little bit. Howe could I show up at a food blogging conference, without a usable blog? I spent the two weeks before, trying to make it look back to normal, re-adding pictures and working on the formatting. Eventually I had to admit that it was time to say goodbye to my beloved theme, and consider a new design.

September 13th, 2013 0 comments Everything

Chicks Rule (So Does Austin)

I decided to go to a food blogger conference to learn more about writing and photography, and check out my options for adding new content to my blog (including video). I also hoped it would be inspiring and help motivate me to blog more and to incorporate new media. Well, it did all of these things. But the real value I got out of the experience were the new friends and a feeling of being part of something larger. Sometimes when you are out here writing for the interwebs, it can feel a little lonely; the writing process is a solitary act. Meeting other women, with varying levels of experience and success, was just so much fun. Of course there were some men there too, but I spent the majority of my time bonding with some great women, some of whom I know I will be friends with for years to come. That to me, was the icing on the proverbial cake..

August 15th, 2013 0 comments Everything

My Love for Andrew Carmellini (his food) and a Dish That Changed My Life

In March 2013, I ate a dish that changed my life. It was at Locanda Verde, and it was simply sheep’s milk ricotta, with herbs and olive oil served with grilled bread. How could that possibly be life changing? Well, it’s because it came from the mind of Andrew Carmellini who is described by his peers as “as a cook’s cook”. The cheese was light and creamy, the amount of herbs and oil, perfect. The bread was expertly charred with just the right amount of salt. Simple ingredients were transformed into something I can’t forget, and can’t wait to have again.

May 11th, 2013 0 comments Chefs, Everything

James Beard 2013 Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards

You will note that the Writing and Literature award went to Marcus Samuelsson for Yes, Chef: A Memoir.
I had the pleasure of seeing him talk at The Lower East Side Tenement Museum about this book and his philosophy on cooking and running a kitchen. I was pleasantly surprised to hear him talk about women in the kitchen and how 50% of his kitchen staff are females. It always seemed funny to me how at home, women are traditionally expected to do most of the cooking, but in professional kitchens, it has traditionally been a men’s club. I have to admit, the highlight of that night was the surprise guest appearance of Chris Cosentino. I am a sucker for dimples. For the list of all winners: http://bit.ly/17EKFaR

May 4th, 2013 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

Thomas Keller Knows What’s Up

If you are going to listen to anyone tell you what goes with what, it should be the Great Thomas Keller. I feel slightly vindicated that he thinks the classic combination of peanut butter and jelly really works. Not only are the flavor contrasts that delectable salty/sweet I crave so much, but even the texture of the bread works to create a perfect combo. Keller lists flavor profiles that work best together, and gives some suggestions of pairings. Woot! http://bit.ly/Z7ZRs5

March 1st, 2013 1 comment Everything, Mini Post

Beet Cocktails?

Now, now. Don’t knock it before you try it. Personally I hate beets. But one day I went to a talk on fermenting at one of my favorite places on earth, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and on the menu was fermented beet juice. Say what? Oddly enough I LOVED it! It evoked images of freshly mown grass over the summer, or the smell of dew on a morning of camping in the mountains. It tasted of earth, and nature, with a slight tang. It’s really hard to describe but it was not unpleasant in any way. As I was drinking it, I actually thought: if I added booze to this, it would make a great cocktail! Wine Enthusiast would have you make three! http://bit.ly/146MpGg

February 28th, 2013 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

Butter, Glorious Butter

I make butter ALL THE TIME. That may seem weird. It always seemed like a daunting task to me, and then I saw Alexandra Guarnaschelli make it on Alex’s Day Off, and she made it look so easy. And guess what? It is!

February 12th, 2013 2 Comments Everything, Make Ahead

Just Another Pancake Tuesday

I had almost forgotten Pancake Tuesday/Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday was coming up until I received my annual King Cake from my favorite rep (shhh don’t rell my other reps) from Louisiana. I can’t tell you why I live for the arrival of this cake. It could be because they are just awesome, or they are fun (who is going to get the baby in their slice this year?), or it’s just really cool to have a part of tradition shared with me. Either way, it kind of took me by surprise that it was that time of year ALREADY! Time to make the pancakes!

February 12th, 2013 0 comments Everything, Pancakes

One-Pot Cooking Then and Now

I am sure my love for one-pot cooking is pretty obvious. Not just because of the convenience of making everything in the same vessel, but also because the dishes coming out of my dutch oven are usually something very comforting and warm. This time of year is perfect for it. This article talks a bit about the history of one-pot cooking complete with recipes. I am especially excited about the bit from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi from the much buzzed about Jerusalem: A Cookbook
http://bit.ly/V6tnhQ

January 13th, 2013 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

I think back on the dishes I normally like to make with my all-time favorite Fall ingredient, the glorious pumpkin. On this blog, I’ve done pumpkin bread, and pumpkin spice lattes. I’ve made pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, etc. I even taste and review pumpkin beers on an almost yearly basis. I think we all know how I feel about pumpkin. If you notice, I am only using pumpkin in sweet dishes. I am not the type of person to mix my sweet and savory foods together. I know this makes me weird.

October 21st, 2012 0 comments Everything, Main dish, Make Ahead, One Pot Meal, Pumpkin

Pumpkin Beer Reviewed Part 3

It’s that time of the year again when the weather turns cool, and things start smelling and tasting like cinnamon. That includes beer, which means it’s time for the annual pumpkin beer tasting. This year the boyfriend and I invited some new taste buds over to get a different take on some of our old favorites, as well as some newbies. Missy and Alex are both beer lovers just like us, so we trust their opinions. And as you will see, Alex has a way with words. It was a really fun night, and it was interesting timing because we were throwing an Oktoberfest party the next day. After sampling 10 pumpkin beers I stayed up until 4am making german chocolate cake and pretzel dough, but both gatherings we were worth every minute, every sip, and every bite.

October 14th, 2012 0 comments Beer, Everything, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Beer

Peanut Brittle Ice Cream Pie

I am writing this on the way up to Maine. Can you believe I have never been to Maine?? At least not that I ever recall (I really don’t want my father reading this and going something like “Don’t you remember we drove through Maine when you were 8 months old”??), so I am sticking with I cannot recall ever going to Maine. It’s been several months of all work and no play, and I can think of nothing better to do on the last weekend of Summer, during an absolutely picture perfect weekend, than cracking open a lobster while drinking a cold beer, on the waterfront of Portland Maine.

September 1st, 2012 0 comments Dessert, Everything, Ice Cream, Make Ahead

Another Pancake Tuesday

I started a new job, and went back to school at night, and the next thing I know, it’s 5 months later, and another Pancake Tuesday is upon us. There has been a flurry of work, homework, and papers but sadly, very little cooking going on in my life. I decided to utilize the long holiday weekend to whip up some batches of pancakes. You all know how I feel about pancakes (not the biggest fan), but the boyfriend was happy for a couple of days, trying out the new recipes! I tried out one of those fancy souffled pancakes (with mashed bananas and candied walnuts), and while it tasted pretty good, and was convenient (since I didn’t have to stand over a pan the whole time) the clear winner was these gingerbread pancakes. Don’t you judge me about having holiday type fare in the middle of February. In my mind, it should always be the holidays, and there is always room for warm, fragrant spices in a meal. While researching some ideas for pancakes this year, the boyfriend stumbled up this recipe on another blog What Megan’s Making (click link for recipe). Thanks Megan!

February 21st, 2012 0 comments Breakfast, Everything, Pancakes

In Celebration of Mardi Gras

Long asked is the question “What is the difference between Cajun food and Creole food”? I have done much reading on the subject and I like the way Louisiana Chef Paul Prudhomme explained it best. The short story is Creole food is old, steeped in history, and more “country”. Creole is fancier than Cajun, a “city” version if you will. Cajun food originated in France, came to Nova Scotia, and migrated south to Louisiana. Creole food started in Louisiana, and changed from there, adapting in the kitchens when a cook went to work in a new household, working for homes that introduced them to new nationalities. However, both are very similar, use many of the same ingredients, and have almost blended into one in many restaurants. I love both, although I have a soft spot in my heart for country fare, made with love, in a worn pot. To me, a gumbo really says that.

February 21st, 2012 0 comments Everything, Make Ahead

What’s in the Basket?

After my meltdown, I decided to take some action and actually do something about my dilemma. It was perfect timing when I heard from a friend that she was doing a CSA, and asked me if I wanted to split it. YES please! So after much anticipation, I did my first CSA pick up a week ago. Some veggies were familiar, others a little foreign to me. We were able to swap some items if we wished, but I really wanted to try the items I wasn’t familiar with, and opted to swap spinach for more broccoli rabe (which I can’t get enough of). So, this is the start of my “What’s in the Basket?” column.

July 8th, 2011 2 Comments CSA, Everything, Side dish, Vegetarian

Pancake Tuesday (again???) and a Recipe for Apple Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Whatever way you look at it (Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, Paczki Tuesday, etc), it’s that time of year again. Already?? Has a year already gone by since I made my first, of now many, batches of pancakes? Looks like it has. So, a quick background on the whole Pancake Tuesday thing: it’s mostly known in the UK, although a few other countries and some of the US still follow the tradition of Shrove Tuesday, which is when the faithful go to confess their sins before the start of Lent. Lent was a time of fasting when eggs, butter, and milk (along with meat and lard) were forbidden. So what was one to do with the last of their ingredients, but make pancakes! Other areas of the globe follow the same principle by making donuts, king cakes, and other baked goods. Whatever country you’re from, or whatever you celebrate, it’s a good excuse to indulge a little. Since most of us are familiar with, and celebrate, Fat Tuesday, I use “Pancake Tuesday” as a good excuse to whip up some pancakes for breakfast before feasting on jambalaya and some hurricanes for dinner :)

March 8th, 2011 1 comment Breakfast, Everything, Pancakes

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Meatballs

In keeping with my prediction/hope of seeing more ethnic and international cuisine, I decided to hop on board and make something a little different at home. I was going through some old recipes I had printed out and came across this one for Moroccan Spiced Lamb Meatballs in a Cumin Coriander Spiced Tomato Sauce. I printed it out FIVE years ago. I remember thinking they sounded interesting, and that they might be great for a cocktail party. Every time I considered making them, I got exhausted just looking at the ingredient list. But I am a different person now; I don’t back down from daunting tasks or feel overwhelmed by things like unfamiliar spice combinations. When it came to actually making this, it was no trouble at all, and I couldn’t figure out why I had waited so long in the first place! This dish is incredibly comforting, in an unexpected way. Most of us think of the traditional Italian meatballs in a tomato sauce, not meatballs made with lamb, flavored with cinnamon, allspice, coriander, and chili powder (among others), in a spicy and fragrant tomato sauce. The flavors were a pleasant surprise, and I intend to be making this for years to come.

February 21st, 2011 1 comment Appetizers, Everything, Main dish, Make Ahead

New Starbucks Mobile App

As I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, Starbucks has just launched a Mobile Pay app for iPhone and Blackberry users. Essentially, instead of having to carry around your My Starbucks Rewards card, you can “load” it onto your phone (by typing your Starbucks card number into the app) and tie your credit card to it. Then, you just “pay” with the barcode displayed on your phone. Sounds easy, and it’s nice not to have to remember to always have that dang card with you. You can use it at over 7500 Starbucks locations, including those at Target stores. I am disappointed that it’s not available for us Droid users yet, although one is promised soon. One question remains though, how will this help us get through the line faster, when we’ll still be stuck behind those slow pokes who still pay with cash? Show me an app for THAT!
http://sbux.co/hVeZg9

January 19th, 2011 1 comment Everything, Mini Post

Top Food Trends of 2011

As I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, Starbucks has just launched a Mobile Pay app for iPhone and Blackberry users. Essentially, instead of having to carry around your My Starbucks Rewards card, you can “load” it onto your phone (by typing your Starbucks card number into the app) and tie your credit card to it. Then, you just “pay” with the barcode displayed on your phone. Sounds easy, and it’s nice not to have to remember to always have that dang card with you. You can use it at over 7500 Starbucks locations, including those at Target stores. I am disappointed that it’s not available for us Droid users yet, although one is promised soon. One question remains though, how will this help us get through the line faster, when we’ll still be stuck behind those slow pokes who still pay with cash? Show me an app for THAT!
http://sbux.co/hVeZg9

January 15th, 2011 1 comment Everything, Mini Post

Toffee Topped Brownie Tartlets or Mini Bites of Chocolatey Goodness

I, like anyone else preparing for Christmas, am scrambling around buying last minute gifts, wrapping presents, packing for travel, and baking some treats to bring along with me. I needed a dessert that I could make ahead of time, so that I don’t have to fight for the oven when I get to my destination, but also something that I could pull together very quickly (because of aforesaid scrambling). I recently bought a copy of Better Homes and Gardens Food Gifts (magazine) in the hopes of giving myself some more ideas for that homemade Christmas I keep intending to do, but fair miserably at preparing for. Maybe next year……Anyway, looking through, I came across several delicious looking things, but these tarts really caught my eye. There is something about mini anything that I adore. Plus, who doesn’t love brownies?? I rarely EVER make anything for an occasion without testing it first, and then tweaking it a bit, but I really didn’t have the time to be messing around with the recipe. Taking the chance really paid off. Not only is this possibly the easiest from scratch dessert I have ever made, but it really is quite delicious. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream. The brownie base is moist and chewy (and came together in no time at all), and the decadent ganache type topping sets you right over the edge into chocolate nirvana.

December 23rd, 2010 0 comments Baking, Dessert, Everything

Magnolia Set To Sell On-line and Expand Locations

Magnolia Bakery just signed a lease for a ginormous production facility in Harlem, to be able to fullfill on-line orders this coming spring. They also seem to be considering expansion into several major US cities, as well as Dubai and Abu Dhabi. This is certainly a bold business move, especially since we all know that cupcakes are out and pie is in. Has no one told Magnolia?
http://on.wsj.com/ev1jJC

December 18th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I am a bit of a potato fanatic. I’ll admit I haven’t always been a fan of the sweet potato though. Mostly I prefer to make oven fries/wedges out of them and use some sort of a spice rub to make them seem a little less sweet. The boyfriend likes that icky sweet potato casserole with the marshmallows, which I just can’t bring myself to eat. I wanted to come up with some sort of a compromise. I’ve seen these bourbon mashed sweet potatoes around for a while and always thought about trying them, but again, it was adding sweet additions (brown sugar and molasses) to already sweet potatoes. As usual, I changed a few things around to bring it more to my liking, by adding rosemary and some butter, and simmering all the ingredients together before combining them with the sweet potatoes. The result was a really creamy, delicious, mashed potato with a nice, deep flavor from the bourbon and rosemary. This will make an incredible side dish for your dinner or even your Thanksgiving table.

November 22nd, 2010 2 Comments Everything, Side dish, Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Beer Reviewed Part 2

It’s that time of year again. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means that it’s time for some of my favorite things: Fall, pumpkin flavored anything, and Thanksgiving. Last year we did a pumpkin beer tasting and I was really excited to take last year’s winner (Dogfish Head Punkin Ale) and pit it against a new group of pumpkin beers. The results this time were a little surprising, mostly because all of the beers sampled this year were pretty good, while most of last year’s were disappointing to say the least. It was so close this year that I actually had to taste my top two again the next night, in order to try to come to a decision. I can’t say there was one clear winner this year, as it all depends on what you are looking for. So without further ado, here are the results:

November 18th, 2010 2 Comments Beer, Everything, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Beer

What is the Best Way to Cook a Turkey?

There is much debate going on in this house over the best way to prepare the turkey. Last year I brined it. This year I really want to try the cheesecloth method. The boyfriend thinks I should hack it into pieces before roasting so that I can pull the breast out when it comes up to temperature, while the dark meat can continue to cook. I don’t disagree with this option except for the fact that I am sort of a traditionalist when it comes to the turkey. I like pulling it out all pretty, with the dark, crispy skin glistening in the early afternoon light. Sure, the white meat is sometimes a tab bit dry, but I’ve been eating a turkey this way my whole life, and am no worse for the wear. However, I do find the traditionalist in me fighting with the foodie in me.
So this begs the question: should you cook your turkey in parts? Read the article on Serious Eats and decide for yourself.

November 16th, 2010 1 comment Everything, Holidays, Mini Post, Thanksgiving

No Cinnamon Stick Left Behind Or What I Love About Fall

It’s officially Fall again. Yes, I know the official date has come and gone but today it FEELS like Fall and that’s what matters. I’m sitting on my newly screened in porch with a steaming cup of coffee watching the dog chase the squirrels around the yard and thinking about the tomatoes I need to can later today. No stress, no pressure. This is my idea of the perfect Fall morning. There is a crispness in the air that immediately puts me in the mood for cinnamon, and soup (not together, although come to think of it…..), apple crisps, and pumpkin bread. Fall means I can go outside without being dinner for a swarm of mosquitoes. It means I can go apple picking, and watch the dog run around in the piles of leaves, and drink a steaming cup of fresh apple cider from the farmers market. I love the Fall. It brings so many of my favorite things-cool weather, bright colors, warm food, comforting drinks, and THANKSGIVING!

This Fall I will continue my love affair with pumpkin, bake up some yummy goodness, and whip up some comfort food. And of course, I will be sharing them here with all of you. I hope this weather inspires you to get in the kitchen and make something that warms your soul and share it with the ones you love.

October 2nd, 2010 0 comments Everything

Shrimp and Sausage Skewers

I haven’t blogged for a while. I’d like to say it’s because I finally found a job two months ago that has been keeping me very busy, and that it’s been hard to find a routine again. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been cooking meals to freeze, for people who are even busier than I am. I’d like to say it’s because I had a trip to Seattle to prepare for. But when it came down to it, I finally realized it was just because I was feeling completely uninspired. I was totally bored by looking at the same things at the grocery store and was really just going through the motions, and cooking the old standbys. I finally shook myself out of my culinary funk by going through the past few issues of Bon Appetit. Why had I not thought of this earlier? I impatiently await the arrival of the new issue each month and then devour the issue in one sitting while dog-earing more pages than not. Why have I not made anything from those dog-eared pages?? I found a few recipes that really caught my attention that used ingredients that I don’t often cook with, and that fact appealed to me in a BIG way.

September 29th, 2010 1 comment Everything, Grilling, Main dish, Make Ahead

Localvore Meltdown

I am not ashamed to admit that I had a bit of a meltdown a few weeks back. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about buying and eating “locally”. It nags at me and is always at the back of my mind every time I go to the grocery store. Don’t get me wrong, there are some things you have to get at the grocery store, such as you know, grocery items. But since I moved out of my “parent’s house” many years ago into a very urban environment (Williamsburg, Brooklyn), I started going to multiple places to get my groceries, my meat, and my vegetables. This was mostly out of necessity since my grocery store around the corner didn’t even sell produce and the meats and seafoods looked so sad that even as someone who was just beginning to learn how to cook, I knew I needed to find a better quality. Life changed and I moved to a different urban environment (Hoboken, NJ) that had brand new, shiny, mega grocery stores. It was easy to get everything in one place but there was a part of me that had gotten used to (and felt good about) buying my produce at the farmer’s market in Union Square. To this day, even though I now live in the suburbs of NJ, I look forward to going into the city and walking around the market. It’s incredibly inspiring too.

September 9th, 2010 1 comment Everything

Honey Chipotle Grilled Chicken

I really like spicy food. I’m serious, I REALLY like spicy food. I love to eat hot salsas, stuffed jalapenos, and sushi topped with mounds of wasabi. I know that many people don’t share my love of all things spicy so I try to come up with ways to cool things off a little bit on occasion. This combination of smoky chipotles and luscious honey is the perfect balance of spicy and sweet, with a little bit of tang from the fresh lime juice. It’s a really easy, quick meal for a weeknight and perfect for a weekend barbecue.

September 6th, 2010 0 comments BBQ, Everything, Grilling, Main dish

Shake Shack Midtown Location Now Open

Woot, woot! So excited that the new Theater District/Midtown location is open. Ok, ok , so Madison Square Park wasn’t so out of the way, but if you’re hanging out on the West side near Midtown, you don’t want to do schlepping down to Madison Square Park now do you?
http://www.shakeshacknyc.com/

July 14th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

White Summer Sangria

Outside of margaritas (on the rocks, no salt), this is probably my favorite summer drink. It’s ridiculously delicious and refreshing, and all the fresh summer fruit available right now just sends it right over the edge for me. You can really use whatever fruit you have on hand or can find at the store. Mostly I use nectarines, white peaches and granny smith apples but sometimes I throw in a pear or some green grapes. Strawberries, pineapple, or honey dew would be delicious as well. Just have a little fun with it!

July 11th, 2010 0 comments Beverages, Cocktails, Everything, Wine

BC Pan-Fried Onion Dip OR The Best Onion Dip You’ll Ever Eat

It’s been so long, that I can’t even remember the first time I made this dip. What I can tell you is that ever since the first time I made it, it is almost always requested for gatherings. I have had people ask me for the recipe so many times, I can’t even count. You may be wondering why, I mean it’s only onion dip right? WRONG. It is the best onion dip you will ever have in your life. It will make you want to put onion dip on your party menu again, whether it be for a football game or a cocktail party. It really is that good. Recently I brought it to a BBQ and so many people asked me for the recipe, I thought I’d just post it. Of course it’s by Barefoot Contessa. I have yet to make something of hers that doesn’t make me want to hug her. I did make a few changes of course, so check it out after the jump. Otherwise, you can find her original recipe here or in her cookbook, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook which I HIGHLY recommend.

June 21st, 2010 2 Comments Appetizers, Dips, Everything, Make Ahead

Mustard Rosemary Grilled Chicken or The Yummiest, Easiest Grilled Chicken EVER

One of my summer grilling staples is this mustard/rosemary grilled chicken that I had many, many years ago. It’s just so delicious that I still make it to this day. It doesn’t hurt that it is super quick and easy, and is pretty forgiving if you don’t follow all the amounts or ingredients exactly. For instance, I like to use a mixture of whole grain mustard and dijon mustard but sometimes I use just one or the other. If you like a little more or less garlic, no worries. Same with the lemon juice. You could probably even use a different herb like thyme or tarragon in place of the rosemary if you don’t care for it. I always make extra so there are leftovers for the next day. You can slice it over a salad or make it into a sandwich with some garlic mayo. However you want to do it, just make sure you make this chicken!

June 17th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Grilling, Main dish

Summer Grilling and Wine Suggestions

Here is an interesting, albeit long, article on summer grilling and which wines to pair with your summer fare. For instance, you could go with red or white for salmon, and which red wine to have with a steak depends on how long you cook it. The accompanying recipes on the last few pages include: Lemon Pepper Chicken with Lemony BBQ Sauce, Steak with Salsa Verde, Caprese Salad with Basil Puree, and Grilled fish w/Lemon Tzatziki. As an added bonus, nutritional information is included.
http://bit.ly/br23xn

June 4th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Grilling, Mini Post, Wine

The Pentagon’s 26-page Brownie Recipe

So I’ve been reading about this all over the internet. The Pentagon has a recipe for brownies that’s 26 pages long! Granted most of it is devoted to specifications such as which types of nuts to use and what sort of screen you can pass them through. It also touches up important things like packaging since after they are made and shipped out they could sit on a shelf for a few years or be dumped out of an airplane. You want to make sure once these brownies make it to our troops they are actually able to be eaten by them. In their defense, there is also some info on oatmeal cookies in here too. But I imagine the document itself is most useful for the vendors who supply the packing/ingredients/equipment. The NPR article (http://n.pr/cejVIR) doesn’t have great things to say about the flavor but what can one expect? If you can handle reading the whole document click here http://bit.ly/d7Hirc. If you just want to check out the brownie recipe click here http://bit.ly/c0LHzm.

May 25th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

All Twisted Up

NYC is experiencing pretzel mania. What was once known for only being readily available at corner carts, pretzels are making an appearance in numerous establishments around the city. Whether you like them stuffed, coated, wrapped around a hot dog, or used in a dessert, you’re bound to find to something to satisfy your taste buds, and in more places than you thought possible. Don’t get me wrong, I love a cart or stadium pretzel as much as the next person, but these establishments are going back to the roots of pretzel making and then elevating them to modern, gourmet standards. I fondly recall simple sandwiches served on pretzel bread at one of my favorites Hoboken cafe’s (sadly The Cup Joint is no more) and feel strongly that pretzels can elevate a casual dish into something special. If you’re local and want to check out what pretzel specialties NY has to offer, check out the article below.
http://nyti.ms/8XgGP2

May 12th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

As Seen on TV Kitchen Gadgets-Do They Work?

Ever wonder if those kitchen gadgets you see on TV really work? Read this article from the Boston Globe that reviews 5 of these devices. The only one I own is the Magic Bullet which I love. It’s great for smoothies and grinding coffee beans (since my coffee grinder is now a permanent spice grinder), and you can just throw everything in the dishwasher. Not sure if I would have a use for the rest of them.
http://bit.ly/bDEVxh

May 12th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

Wine Tasting Party

I had a blind wine tasting party this past weekend. We invited 6 other couples over and asked each couple to bring their favorite bottle of red, and their favorite bottle of white, under $20. The goal was to not take wine tasting too seriously, but also to taste some new inexpensive wines which would be great for those weeknight dinners. Who wants to spend $35 on a bottle of wine just to have one glass of wine with dinner? We kept it simple and just asked people to rate the wines 1-5. If it was a more specific tasting, like only reds or only say, Merlot, then I think I’d get a little more into aroma, clarity, etc. But this was just supposed to be casual and fun and with wines under $20, you can’t get too serious about the other stuff. Surprisingly, the winner in the red category, and the winner in the white category, were both $10 bottles of wine. Go figure!

May 10th, 2010 3 Comments Everything, Menus, Wine

BYOF (Bring Your Own Food)

We’ve all heard of BYOB but BYOF? This seems to be a trend in a few of the boroughs (of NYC) right now. I recall many a nights spent at Blind Tiger Ale House, ordering in a pizza or chinese, but this is a little different. People can bring food from home (or the store) and some bars even allow you to bring meat to fire up on their grill. One bar actually serves food but still allows you to bring food from home to grill, and will even supply marinades or sides for you. If a bar doesn’t serve food, this can really help them get customers in the door and it’s a nice change of pace for the urbanites who don’t want to be stuck in their apartment all night, but maybe don’t want to spend the dough eating out all the time either.
http://bit.ly/cOoWl2

May 7th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

Showdown: “Old-line” vs On-line

There’s a competition going on between the pros at Cook’s Illustrated and an on-line food community called Food52.com to determine who produces the best recipe. Each side will come up with recipes for chewy sugar cookies and roasted pork shoulder. They will post them on Slate.com for readers to vote on (for the next two weeks). Cooks Illustrated is known for rigorous testing to find the “perfect” recipe, while Food52 relies on home cooks and their experiences, and then uses their own knowledge to select the best from the submissions. I am a personal fan of Cooks, but who’s to say which is the best method here. If you are feeling up to the challenge, you can make all the submitted recipes and vote here.
http://bit.ly/db77bT

May 6th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

Daniel Boulud is a Party Animal

Ok, ok. I bet you are sick of all these James Beard Awards posts. This will be the last one. I think. Anyway as I mentioned in a previous post, my favorite food blog Serious Eats won a JBA for Best Food Blog so it seems only fitting that I read about this on their site. Daniel Boulud, winner of the JBA for Outstanding Restaurant (for Daniel) was not only playing air guitar to Guns n Roses but was also dancing on the bar. I love chefs :)
For the rest of the shenanigans read the rest of the SE post http://bit.ly/czd9w8

May 4th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

Chef of the Century Disses Molecular Gastronomy

Chef of the Century, Joel Robuchon, who apparently started the molecular gastronomy trend, thinks that “it’s not the kind of cuisine that should be important”. I wonder if anyone has told this to Jose Andres, who by the way, was up for a James Beard award for Outstanding Chef this year. He was last seen on Sunday night’s 60 Minutes, making smoke come out of Anderson Cooper’s nose. Chef Andres is heavy into molecular gastronomy right now. Ok, he’s also reportedly the guy who introduced America to the small plate dining concept but, you know, I’m trying to prove a point here.
To read the interview with Joel Robuchon: http://bit.ly/a2DKEE
If you missed 60 Minutes this past Sunday, you can get a fantastic summary of it here: http://bit.ly/9co9OC

May 4th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

2010 James Beard Award Winners for Best Chef & Best Restaurant

The 2010 James Beard Awards continues. Last night they got to the juicy stuff: Outstanding Chef, Outstanding Restaurant, Rising Star, etc. One surprise (in my opinion anyway)? Tom Colicchio named Outstanding Chef. I find this surprising because once chefs reach that “celebrity” status, I think they can start to be viewed more like public figures, and no so much actual chefs anymore. On the bright side, at least I know the guy judging my favorite reality show, Top Chef, knows what he’s talking about!
For a complete list of winners from the past two nights click on the link below.
http://bit.ly/b9VYgI

May 4th, 2010 1 comment Everything, Mini Post

James Beard Media and Book Award Winners

Last night, the James Beard Foundation announced the winners of the 2010 Media and Book Awards. A big shout out and congrats to my favorite food blog Serious Eats for winning Best Food Blog. I am also the proud owner of of the winner of the best General Cooking Cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home by the always amazing Thomas Keller. For a list of complete winners, click on the link below.
Restaurant and Chef awards to be announced today!
http://bit.ly/atylwZ

May 3rd, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

More Cooking But No More Fine Living For You

Why am I just hearing about this? I am woefully behind the times *Sigh* The Food Network is starting a spin-off network called the Cooking Channel, starting May 31st. It’s supposed to be “edgier” and a little more “hip”. I’m all for it, since I find myself watching the Food Network less and less these days. I mean why do I give a crap what Brian Boitano would make? However, I am sad to hear that it will be replacing the Fine Living Network. Will Scripps find a new home for my favorite shows, “Sarah’s House” and “Mail Order Makeover”? What will happen to my reruns of “Molto Mario” and “Emeril”?? On the bright side it looks like we’ll be able to check out some old school Julia Child episodes. Not sure how that’s “edgy” but I guess vintage is still the “hip” thing, right? I’d be interested to know, who will check out the Cooking Channel?
http://nyti.ms/bEoUHS

April 25th, 2010 2 Comments Everything, Mini Post

Watch Out! Martha Stewart Enters the Gaming World

Martha Stewart is bringing “sensibility” to gaming. Whatever that means. Cooking games seem to be rising in popularity and it looks like she’s hopping on the bandwagon. Personally, I’d rather be doing actual cooking than spend my time pretending to cook but that’s just me. I suppose there is an appeal in having no harm done if you burn the meal or something. Not that that’s ever happened to me……
http://bit.ly/dzItns

April 21st, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

Twitter Your Way to Some Good Eats

Recently I’ve read/seen some interesting ways of finding food via Twitter. First it was the Pop-Up Eateries in NYC; these random temporary eateries that literally “pop-up” and sometimes the only way to find when and where, is via Twitter. Food and Wine recently named the Best New Chef in the US – the guy who runs the korean taco truck (Kogi BBQ) in LA (recently seen on FN’s Best Thing I Ever Ate: Snack Attack). The only way you know where the truck will be is via Twitter. He is now set to open his first restaurant this week. There is also a new trend in Seattle where restaurants tweet their specials or useful information to help drive traffic to their restaurants. I think it also makes people feel part of something, as if they are “in the know”, especially when it comes to the eateries that travel, whether it be a new store front, or a new parking spot. Looks like social networking is taking yet another step away from just being about what someone did that day, and another step towards finding good food. And I think I like it :)

April 9th, 2010 1 comment Everything, Mini Post

3 yr old Cooking Show

I came across this video and just had to share it. It’s a video of a 3 yr old making cookies on her own “show”. Some of it is really cute and hilarious, while some parts are fairly alarming. I feel bad for the mother who not only seems expected to clean up the mess but also has to deal with a child who’s on a sugar high. That’s the price you pay for entertainment I guess! I warn you that you need to have a bit of patience (as I imagine you have to with most 3 yr olds on occasion) and it does get LOUD in some spots but it’s pretty amusing nonetheless. Considering she’s 3 and is cooking in front of a camera and I am thirty-* cough, cough* and haven’t the guts, she’s way ahead of me!
http://bit.ly/9UoxNo

April 9th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

Banana Bread Crisp

Since I went with a “comfort food” theme for Easter, I decided to make this Banana Bread Crisp I saw on one of my favorite baking blogs, Bake or Break. What’s not to like here? No, it’s not actually banana bread but it contains so many of the best parts of banana bread (bananas, sugar, butter) and combines it with the crispy, oat-y topping that you come to associate with a fruit crisp. A few things you should know: One, this recipe is actually titled Banana Bread Cobbler but it really is more of a crisp so I changed the name. Two, the only things I actually changed in the recipe were the cooking vessel (I used small crocks to make this in), replaced the pecans with walnuts, and I added a ½ tsp of cinnamon to the topping, although I will probably add a tad bit more the next time around (and you better believe there will be a next time). This dessert was so creamy and crunchy and gooey it almost seemed like it shouldn’t be allowed to exist. It really was that good. We also had it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it was pure heaven. For the recipe click here.

April 6th, 2010 1 comment Dessert, Everything, Make Ahead

Lamb and Eggplant Shepard’s Pie

I woke up at 5:00 am Easter Sunday morning. No, it was not because I was making a complicated and delicious spread for Easter. It was because I was attending sunrise Mass (crazy I know). Lucky for me, it was just the boyfriend and I for Easter so I didn’t see any reason to make a big production of things. We’re comfort food junkies so the idea of this Lamb and Eggplant Shepard’s Pie was appealing to us on many levels, plus it still counts as lamb on Easter, right? To be honest, I could barely keep my eyes open but this dish is one of those half day things, with periods of inactivity, while yummy things simmer away and are made yummier. Plus, the day was so beautiful, it seemed a shame to sleep through any of it. I spent the rest of the day reading in the back yard, mingling with the neighbors and talking to my Godmother on Skype (she lives in Paris), while the boyfriend made a batch of beer. The day could not have been better.

April 5th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Holidays, Main dish, Make Ahead

What’s on the Menu at Three Broomsticks?

I am not ashamed to admit that I am a Harry Potter FANATIC. Seriously. I, like every 10 yr old in this country, have been eagerly awaiting the opening of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”. Outside of it just being general fun, I really am curious to see how they re-create the world that J.K. Rowling created in that mind of hers. This being a food blog, I’ll only touch upon the food related aspects, namely the menu at Three Broomsticks.

April 2nd, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

The Benefits of Humanely Raised Chickens (and Eggs)

This is a really interesting article on sustainable and humanely raised chickens. I watched Food, Inc. and had some trouble eating chicken for several months after. This article helps to explain the difference between the humanely raised chickens (and eggs) and the massed produced ones, complete with quotes from chefs including Top Chef season 6 contestant Jennifer Carroll. It’s a pretty long article but I think it’s worth the read.
http://bit.ly/c3LkEa

April 2nd, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

Amateur Food Photog Frenzy

Interesting article on the “food photography” fad at restaurants. I’m torn on which side to take here. The chef implies that the integrity of the food could be ruined if it sits while someone takes a picture (relax there buddy) but at the same time he says diners pull out video cameras to record waiters describing the dishes (crazy on more than one level). I’ve taken a picture or two at a restaurant although not nearly as many as my non-food blogging friends and I’ve been known to grill a waiter about certain dishes but I would never record them doing so. If someone as obsessed as I am about food can control myself, why can’t these crazies? On the other hand I imagine diners are taking pictures of the food because they think it’s beautiful and while I understand where the chef is coming from, he should feel flattered. My two cents. :)
http://bit.ly/cpcHzm

March 30th, 2010 0 comments Everything, Mini Post

Beer Isn’t Just for Drinking Anymore

We’ve heard about beer being paired with food before. Old news. Now beer is even being paired with desserts. Beer is also being used in desserts. What started out with beer ice cream floats has evolved into beer flavored ice cream, beer cakes, beer brittle and beer bread pudding.
http://bit.ly/a2O8g7

March 27th, 2010 1 comment Beer, Everything, Mini Post

Bolognese

Any time I have guests over for dinner I try to serve something I can make ahead so I am not cooking the majority of the time they are there, unable to enjoy their company. As it is things get crazy right before serving as you’re assembling your salad, getting plates on the table, pouring more wine, etc. Why stress yourself out more than you have to? Sure, your guests want a good meal but the point of them being there is to hang out with you, not stare at the walls, while you cook an entire meal from start to finish. I had guests over recently that I don’t see often, and really wanted to spend some time with. These guests also happen to be “plain” eaters (their words, not mine) and it was a challenge to come up with something I could make ahead, that they would not only eat, but enjoy. I knew they were meat eaters and pasta always works for a good make ahead meal. I’m kind of bored with penne vodka and lasagna so I opted for a Bolognese sauce. I’m sure some Italians would kill me for several reasons. One, I consider Bolognese a glorified meat sauce, a fancy meat sauce, so to speak. Secondly, I did not make a traditional Bolognese but wow, was it good, regardless. I did some recipe research on-line and found several different recipes. Traditionally, I believe the sauce is made with ground veal and pork, white wine, milk, and tomato paste. I’ve done it this way before and it was certainly delicious but I’m American and I really like some tomatoes in my sauce. I also found some recipes that used red wine instead of white. I found that interesting as well. So in my usual form, I combined a little from this and a little from that to make my own recipe. It turned out to have the exact body and flavor I was looking for. Can I call this a Bolognese? After all the variations I saw on-line, I feel perfectly fine calling it just that. Maybe it’s not “traditional”, but hey, neither am I!

March 23rd, 2010 0 comments Everything, Main dish, Make Ahead, Pasta

Turtle Ice Cream Pie

I came across this recipe in the March 2009 issue of Bon Appetit and have been dying to make it since. It took me almost a year to get around to it, but it was worth the wait. I’ve always loved ice cream cake and this is a really cool spin on it. It’s made in a glass pie dish and instead of having those little chocolate crunchies in the middle, it’s got a graham cracker/pecan crust on the bottom which gives that crunch that you come to associate with an ice cream cake. It then has layers of caramel sauce drizzled between vanilla ice cream and is topped with a rich, decadent, layer of ganache with some pecans sprinkled on top for crunch. In summary, two of my favorite things (Turtles and ice cream) together in perfect harmony, in the form of a pie. I’m doing a happy dance.

March 16th, 2010 7 Comments Dessert, Everything, Ice Cream, Make Ahead

One Pot Pork

I love to cook but I really, really, hate the cleanup. I don’t like to wash dishes (who does), and I don’t like turning around and realizing that I’ve used most of the pots/pans/bowls/cutting boards in my cabinet preparing one meal. Therefore most of the time I like to cook simple food that can be prepared easily and with little fuss, and done in one pot, thank you. I stumbled across this dish in an issue of Cuisine at Home (one of my very favorite food magazines). It’s in their CuisineLite issue which was also very appealing. It’s a pork tenderloin dish made with fennel, red onion, and potatoes, with one of my very favorite flavor combinations-rosemary, garlic and lemon. Yummm.

March 9th, 2010 1 comment Everything, Main dish, One Pot Meal

Black Bean Soup

It’s still winter and winter makes me crave soup. Not only is it comforting to dive into a steaming bowl of soup but I find it to be particularly satisfying as well. Chicken soup is the ultimate comfort soup for me but unfortunately I am still smarting from my viewing of Food, Inc and I refuse to buy, cook, or eat chicken of any kind. Having limited myself in this way I decided to concentrate on hearty non-meat sources. Black beans and lentils made the most sense to me, not just because they are great sources of protein but also because I actually love black bean soup and lentil soup. It certainly helps that both soups are extremely healthy as well and what girl isn’t watching her waist-line this early in the New Year? So I decided to spend an entire Saturday making two different kinds of black bean soup and do a comparison (I also made Alton Brown’s lentil soup but that’s another post).

March 1st, 2010 2 Comments Everything, Make Ahead, One Pot Meal, Soup, Vegetarian

Pancake Tuesday

Not only is it Fat Tuesday, it’s also Pancake Tuesday (or Shrove Tuesday). In honor of this, I’ve done something this morning that I’ve NEVER done before-made pancakes! I found this recipe while perusing the top photos on FoodBuzz. It’s a carrot cake pancake which is what really got my attention (who doesn’t love carrot cake), and I’ve been dying to try it. I am not a fan of pancakes in general (I know, what’s wrong with me) but these were delicious and I would definitely make them again.

February 16th, 2010 5 Comments Breakfast, Everything, Mini Post, Pancakes

Beef and Beer Stew

It’s winter and there is nothing that warms my chilly bones like a steaming bowl of stew. It’s so comforting, especially when it’s accompanied by a perfectly crusty piece of bread. I’ve made various stews in the past but I was really looking for a hearty beer stew this time around. I was inspired by a recipe I found on Simply Recipes and used it as a base for this one. The end result was a rich and hearty stew with depth of flavor from the beer and tomato paste, and a nice tang from the mustard. It’s gotten rave reviews from both friends and the boyfriend.

February 10th, 2010 3 Comments Beer, Everything, Make Ahead, One Pot Meal, Stew

A Whole New Year for Having Fun and Eating Good Food

I never thought I’d say this, but I am kind of tired of eating. I’m sure I’ll get over that soon enough but there have been more than enough feasts the past two weeks that I can’t even think about eating without groaning. I think this is leading me to be incredibly indecisive about the first recipe I blog about this year. I plan on making Smitten Kitchen’s Pear Bread for a meeting I have on Wednesday (which will help me use up some of the fairly large bosc pears I have hanging around the house) but I can’t very well blog about someone else’s blog, at least not as my first recipe for the New Year. I have to go think about this carefully, while trying not to groan of course!
It’s a new year. We can’t have a do-over but do we at least get a fresh start? I think that’s the best way to look at a New year. Instead of beating yourself up about the things you didn’t get to do or all the bad things that happened, you can focus on making this a better year

January 1st, 2010 0 comments Everything

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

If there is one dish that reminds me of Fall, it’s butternut squash soup. It’s incredibly comforting on a cold rainy day and that’s the very reason I was inspired to make it today. I haven’t seen the sun in days and it feels like I haven’t been dry in a while either. Tonight I decided to cozy up with a warm bowl of soup and a good movie (Almost Famous). My version starts with roasted butternut squash and is seasoned with roasted garlic and one of favorite herbs, sage, which always reminds me Fall. It’s pretty low in fat too, which doesn’t hurt, but so full of flavor that you’ll never miss it! It’s incredibly smooth and creamy with a slight tang to balance out the sweetness of the butternut squash. This recipe can be cut in half but I encourage you to make the whole recipe since you’ll want leftovers, plus it freezes beautifully.

November 14th, 2009 0 comments Everything, Make Ahead, Soup, Vegetarian

Thanksgiving for Two (or An Unconventional Thanksgiving)

Perhaps this year you don’t feel like travelling, or dealing with the stress of having the family to your house. Maybe you just want to spend a nice quiet Thanksgiving with your partner or just hang with your roommate this year. The question is, do you still want to go through the trouble of a traditional Thanksgiving feast? Before answering that question consider this untraditional option. I found this recipe in Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Cookbook: Explosive Flavors from the Southwestern Kitchenand was intrigued by it. Instead of turkey, it’s cornish hens, but they make such a beautiful presentation and they are the perfect size for each person. It’s filled with a wild rice and goat cheese stuffing, although I opted for a brown/wild rice blend and added dried cranberries to it for a more authentic Thanksgiving flavor. If you aren’t having a small Thanksgiving this year, I urge you to try this on another night for dinner for 2 or even 4!

November 13th, 2009 0 comments Everything, Holidays, Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Beer Reviewed

I admit, I am taking my pumpkin obsession to new heights. The boyfriend and I were in a liquor store the other day and after seeing so many varieties of pumpkin beer, I came up with the bright idea of a pumpkin beer tasting. By the time we had a few hours to devote to it, I had already consumed an entire bottle of champagne (mimosas) and was deep into cooking for some friends who were moving into a new home (beef stew with beer no less). But I am a dedicated pumpkin (and beer) lover so I toughed it out. Even though there are numerous varieties of pumpkin beer out there, we settled on six for this tasting.

October 29th, 2009 5 Comments Beer, Everything, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Beer, Reviews

My Love Affair with Pumpkin con’t.

As you know by now, I love pumpkin. Not only do I love to eat it, I also love to drink it, specifically in the form of a pumpkin spice latte. What I don’t love is the price tag. The way I order it, with soy milk and an extra shot of espresso, it normally costs over $5 a pop. I’m unemployed right now, but even if I wasn’t, $5 for a latte is a bit much, especially since I like to consume them as much as possible in the short season they are available. What is a girl to do? The answer is to make them at home!

October 10th, 2009 4 Comments Beverages, Everything, Pumpkin

My Love Affair with Pumpkin

I know I’ve said it before, in more ways than one, but I really do LOVE Fall. I have been waiting for it since Summer started! Aside from the crisp days, or the leaves turning vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow, or the elaborate Halloween decorations, it’s the food I look forward to the most-specifically PUMPKIN. You could bake pumpkin 600 ways and I would eat every one of them. If it wasn’t totally weird I would eat pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins with a pumpkin spice latte all year long. Just like I would listen to Christmas music all year long, but I digress. This is Autumn we are talking about here. And pumpkin. Did I mention how much I love pumpkin?

October 5th, 2009 1 comment Baking, Dessert, Everything, Pumpkin

Dreaming of Blueberries

Blueberry season is pretty much over now. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been thinking of blueberries nonstop lately. Recently I decided to bake one last blueberry coffee cake before it was too late. I found this recipe several years ago on the Food Network website and have been making it ever since. It’s so delicious! I think the several sticks of butter help, but it makse a pretty large cake that feeds a crowd. I think it’s worth it for a few special occasions. This is also the type of cake that is better the second day and even BETTER the third day!

September 20th, 2009 0 comments Baking, Dessert, Everything

Labor Day Weekend BBQ

It’s the unofficial last weekend of summer. This doesn’t bother me in the least since that means my very favorite season, Fall, is just around the corner! Therefore I am not sorry to see summer go. I know, something must be wrong with me right? For me, the best part about the summer is grilling but I grill pretty much year round, so it doesn’t really make that much of a difference to me. If anything, standing over a hot grill in the middle of summer and then eating outside afterward while trying to not be dinner for the mosquitoes is just not my idea of a good time. Having said all this I do LOVE the idea of backyard bbq’s, which is why I decided to have one this Labor Day weekend, especially since it’s finally below 85 degrees.
On the menu? My bourbon flank steak. We grilled this up and served it with an incredibly flavorful bacon & blue cheese potato salad. Also on the menu-guacamole and a roasted eggplant dip. I found some beautiful cherry tomatoes for a salad with fresh mozzarella and a simple vinaigrette. The meal was rounded out with a fruit crostata for dessert. My guests left full and happy, just the way I like it!

September 7th, 2009 2 Comments BBQ, Everything, Grilling

Bourbon Flank Steak

I found this recipe in a special grilling issue of Cooking Light last summer. It sounded delicious but for some reason the taste fell flat. I made some adjustments to it and now it’s one of my favorite marinades/sauces. It’s sweet and savory at the same time. The honey and brown sugar create a beautiful crust and the vinegar and bourbon give it a little kick. You can’t fail with this one!

September 7th, 2009 0 comments BBQ, Everything, Grilling, Main dish

Bacon & Blue Cheese Potato Salad

When we had people over for the 4th of July this year, we decided to skip the bacon and blue cheese potato salad I had been dying to make, for the comfort of a tried and true mayo based potato salad. I felt now was finally the time to try something new. As much as we like to grill year round, potato salad is just not something to be had after the summer, so this was my last chance. I found the recipe in an issue of Martha Stewart Living, although for me there just seemed to be too much blue cheese and not enough other components so I kept looking to see if there was something similar, but with more flavor. I found what I was looking for in Bobby Flay’s Grill It. He had the same buttermilk base with some extra flavors, although no blue cheese. No problem though, I’ll just add it in! So essentially this recipe is a hybrid of both Martha’s and Bobby’s, and WOW, was it DELICIOUS! I got a “this is the best potato salad I ever had” from one guest and a “this is probably the best potato salad you ever made” from the boyfriend.

September 7th, 2009 0 comments BBQ, Everything, Grilling, Side dish

Roasted Eggplant Dip

This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Her recipes come out perfect every time and I very rarely change a thing. This is one of those recipes.

September 7th, 2009 1 comment Dips, Everything

My first blog post EVER!

Hello there! This is my first post and I thought it would be a good time to just talk about what’s in store. I’ll be posting some recipes, obviously, being a food blog and all, right? I love to entertain so I’ll do some menu planning and game plans to accomplish the menu. I’ll also try to give some helpful tips and information. I love all books, magazines and television shows having to do with food so I’ll probably have lots to say about the new season of Top Chef (I hope to get some spirited debates on the contestants and their dishes) or the latest book I read. Any time I try to cook a new dish or try a new cooking gadget or ingredient, it’ll be on here.

Basically this blog will be written the way that I cook-a little of this and a little of that-but in the end, it all comes back to my one true love-FOOD!

To learn a little more about me check out the About page.

August 22nd, 2009 0 comments Everything

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