Monday, May 2, 2016

Strawberries and Cream Stuffed French Toast

Strawberries and Cream Stuffed French Toast

I've been pondering Mother's Day brunch menu options and keep hearing people tell me to make French toast. They tell me how much they love French toast. But the thing is, I don't really love it. There's nothing wrong with it, of course, but it just seems kind of boring. Stuffed French toast isn't boring though and although it's not a new idea, it was new to me.

Strawberries and Cream Stuffed French Toast
The stuffing options are endless but a pound of beautiful ripe strawberries made up my mind for me. I also found a seriously good looking loaf of brioche and I wanted to see how different it would be from the more traditional challah.

Both are egg breads but the challah tastes eggier to me and I preferred the brioche. As for the filling, it's basically a form of no bake cheesecake which means there's no way to go wrong here. And yes, this has made me way more excited about French toast. Enjoy!

Strawberries and Cream Stuffed French Toast

Strawberries and Cream Stuffed French Toast
by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ingredients (2 Sandwiches)
  • 1/2 lb. (Approx. 8 strawberries), hulled and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 Slices brioche or challa bread
  • 4 oz. Cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1/4 Cup whole milk or half and half
  • Butter for sauteing
  • Powdered sugar for serving
Instructions
Add the sliced strawberries and 2 tablespoons of sugar to a bowl and let sit for about 15 minutes to macerate.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Spread the mixture equally on each slice of bread, spoon two of the slices with about a quarter of the sugared strawberries each and top with the remaining slices of bread.

Beat the egg and milk together in a shallow bowl and dip both sandwiches into the mixture. Turn over and dip the other side as well.

Melt butter in a large skillet and add the dipped sandwiches. Saute for a few minutes on each side until the bread is a light golden brown. Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Parmesan and Spring Vegetable Risotto Tarts


A few years ago, a friend was cleaning out her old magazine collection and gave me a stack of ones she thought I might like. I'm not a magazine hoarder, actually, so I just quickly flipped through the pages and then got rid of them. All except for the one page I tore out of a Martha Stewart Living issue with a recipe for a baked risotto tart. What?? I needed a baked risotto tart in my life immediately.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Frozen Monkey Cocktail

Frozen Monkey Cocktail

I've been starting to plan a Mother's Day menu and thinking about beverages. It's going to be brunch so a little something with a kick would be appropriate, not to mention fun. But I also need a low octane version for anybody who wants to keep it non-alcoholic. And I want it cool and refreshing because, spring, so I should probably start with some kind of fruit. Decisions, decisions.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Za'atar Roasted Tomatoes and a Hummus Appetizer Bar

Za'atar Roasted Tomatoes and a Hummus Appetizer Bar

Why is it that we seem to put in a lot effort to create great appetizers when we're having company but not so much just for ourselves and our families? Personally, when I'm prepping dinner alone I tend to snack on some of the vegetables I'll be serving and I'm likely to grab a tub of hummus from the fridge to dip them in. And when I'm not alone, my kitchen sometimes becomes a free for all as hands grab for various bits of food while I'm prepping. Clearly there needs to be some kind of appetizer situation even during regular dinners.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Brown Rice Vegetable Pilaf

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Brown Rice Vegetable Pilaf

It's time for another installment of OMG it's already 6:00 o'clock and I'm exhausted and starving and I have no idea what we're having for dinner. This happens at my house on a monthly, weekly, daily...oh, let's just say it happens a whole lot.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Cobb Salad Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Cobb Salad Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Did you know that April is National Grilled Cheese Month? I'm sure I celebrate this holiday way more often than just one month a year but I'm going to roll with it. Because there are very few things more comforting than toasted bread with piles of gooey cheese, right?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Elsewhere in...March 2016

Hi friends! This is the little monthly recap of my foodie adventures elsewhere on the web. Below is a tasty savory tart, with a Mexican flair, that I created for the folks at Cacique as well as the recipes I made for my About.com Food column. Enjoy!


Cheese and Chorizo Tart


Friday, April 1, 2016

The Month in Review - March 2016

The Month in Review - March 2016

I'm on cherry blossom watch these days and it's so close. The tulip leaves are already up and the little flower heads are starting to peak through in some of the flower beds. Since I live in Manhattan these aren't in my own garden but this city has planters basically every few feet on the sidewalks and we're awash in blooms every spring. And from my window I have a view of the block down to the river and it's lined with trees that will soon be picture perfect. My camera is on standby. In the meantime, I'm cooking up a storm with lots of great things planned for April. But first, a quick look back a very delicious March. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pulled BBQ Brisket with Honey Cornmeal Biscuits

Pulled BBQ Brisket with Honey Cornmeal Biscuits

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that there are certain food words that make me happy. Words like dumpling and biscuit, for example, make me stop to look. Cornmeal does that for me, too. I do love traditional cornbread but I'm also intrigued with adding cornmeal into non traditional foods, like cake. Today though, I'm going to combine two of my favorite words into these cornmeal biscuits.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Spiralized White and Sweet Potatoes with Za'atar Tahini

Spiralized White and Sweet Potatoes with Za'atar Tahini

I held out a good long time. I passed up the spiralizers and continued happily slicing and julienning my vegetables. I told myself I did not really need one and went merrily on my way. But, the thoughts kept creeping back into my head of all the fun things I could do if I had one. And then came the email from my friends at OXO. I've worked with them a long time and love their tools...and they just came out with a spiralizer, they said...and would I like to try it, they said. Down the rabbit hole I fell.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Cheesy Tomato Quick Bread

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Cheesy Tomato Quick Bread

I was having another one of those "what's for dinner" days. I ran through a bunch of options in my head and either they didn't really appeal to me or they required too many ingredients I didn't currently have in the house. Most of the time, when that happens, I end up with a breakfast for dinner kind of plan.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Blue Hurricane Cocktail

Blue Hurricane Cocktail

The first day of spring arrived, along with cold temperatures and wet snow. Hmm. It was so warm last week. Never mind because this is just the last bit of winter's protest at leaving. The tulips are coming up and the temperatures will rise next week. Let's celebrate.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Toasted Flax, Asparagus and Carrot Ribbon Salad

Toasted Flax, Asparagus and Carrot Ribbon Salad

I know spring is right around the corner because the market is full of lovely asparagus. And now my refrigerator is as well. There's no way I can pass up these green beauties. Of course they're great on the grill and that's a summer pleasure for sure. But I actually like them crisp and raw.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Smoked Cheddar and Thyme Croutons

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Smoked Cheddar and Thyme Croutons

We're kind of in that in-between period, weather wise, right now. Warmer days but chilly nights. The tulip buds are starting to pop out of the ground and spring is trying to make an appearance. Every day I scan the trees for signs of cherry blossoms but they're not ready yet. Must be the chilly evenings. And so I felt like making a warming soup but not one that would be overly heavy. And 'almost spring' kind of soup.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ginger Bourbon Fizz

Ginger Bourbon Fizz

What lovely, lovely weather! Winter appears to have cleared out of here in a big hurry and suddenly we have sunshine and 65 degrees with the possibility of 70 degrees later in the week. Oh, the dog and I enjoyed a good long walk yesterday and I was craving a sparkly, lemony drink to celebrate.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Cheesy Cabbage Gratin

Cheesy Cabbage Gratin

I seem to have an odd relationship with cabbage. Whenever I cook with it, I remember how much I like it and it conjures up happy childhood memories of my mother's amazing stuffed cabbage rolls and her favorite sweet and sour red cabbage. But when it's not specifically on my shopping list I walk right past it at the market. Oh, I do often pick up it's cousin, the Brussels sprout, but the large heads of cabbage don't go into my cart.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Elsewhere in...February 2016

Hi friends! This is the little monthly recap of my foodie adventures elsewhere on the web. Below is a delectable brunch cake I created for the folks at Cacique as well as the recipes I made for my About.com Food column. Enjoy!

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Month in Review - February 2016

The Month in Review - February 2016

February is a fun month in that it contains both Valentine's Day and National Drink Wine Day. It also contains snow and freezing temperatures but that just meant we spent more time indoors eating the Valentine's desserts and drinking the wine. We should probably start thinking about eating some salad, huh? But first let's take a look back at the deliciousness of February. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bubble and Squeak Fritters


Years ago, I was in England with my family. We stayed in London but spent a few days driving around the gorgeous countryside and eating in the quaintest, most adorable inns you can imagine. It was my first exposure to traditional English foods and to some of the best names of dishes ever! How can you even resist ordering a dish called bubble and squeak? Fortunately it was totally delicious.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Beef and Stilton Pie

Beef and Stilton Pie

For years I would watch British cooking shows and hear about beef and Stilton pies but the concept didn't resonate with me. Oh, the part about putting beef inside pastry sounded just fine because that's basically a pot pie. But I was stuck on the cheese. Sharp cheddar, sure, but Stilton seemed more like something I should serve with crackers and wine? I kept it in the back of my mind, though.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cheesy Skillet Irish Soda Breads

Cheesy Skillet Soda Breads

March is almost here and that means St. Patrick's Day is almost here and that means it's my annual excuse to make Irish soda bread. So what if I'm not Irish, I LOVE soda bread! Yes, I could make it year round, of course, but...um...maybe I love it a little too much to do that.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Sweet Potato and Thyme Gratins

Sweet Potato and Thyme Gratins

Did you know that February is American Heart Month? Sure, we've indulged a bit with some Valentine's desserts but I actually look for ways to incorporate more heart healthy options most of the time. The big New Year's resolutions are fine and there is something empowering about new beginnings. But in the long run, I've always found that small changes along the way make the biggest impact.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cherry Lemon Drop Prosecco Fizz

Cherry Lemon Drop Prosecco Fizz

Happy National Drink Wine Day. Yes, of course that's a holiday and one that's well worth celebrating. Admittedly, some of us celebrate it quite a bit more than once a year. I like wine, all sorts, but I especially like bubbly wine. A number of years ago I was dining at a restaurant owned by a chef friend and he sent over some complimentary Prosecco. Until then I'd only ever had champagne but I was instantly in love and Prosecco became my go-to bubbly wine beverage. And since I'm just as big a fan of cocktails, I often mix the two. It's a double celebration!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Caprese Macaroni and Cheese

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Caprese Macaroni and Cheese

So, the weekly gatherings of football fans and/or fans of the food at gatherings (that would be me) is over now that whichever team you were rooting for either won or lost the Superbowl. And, no, I have no opinion on this because I was watching the Puppy Bowl in the other room. But, seriously, the gatherings have certainly not ended because it's award show season. So much more fun to watch with a group.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Bourbon Vanilla Marzipan Shake for Two

Bourbon Vanilla Marzipan Shake for Two

Marzipan has always held a special place in my heart. When I was a little girl, my German born father would take me to a part of the city that had many German stores, including an incredible shop called The Elk Candy Company. Their specialty was little marzipan figurines or bonbons made with cake, chocolate and marzipan and I always chose the cutest one. And sometimes, even when we didn't go there, my father would come home from work and there would be a little marzipan candy in his pocket for me as a surprise.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Elsewhere in...January 2016

Hi friends! This is the little monthly recap of my foodie adventures elsewhere on the web. Below are the recipes I created for my About.com food column. I hope you'll come visit me there. Enjoy!

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Month in Review - January 2016

The Month in Review - January 2016

Is it just me or did January disappear so quickly? Seriously, I feel like I blinked and it was gone. All that shiny new year stuff got lost in the post holiday, back to the daily grind business. That's not to say that any of my plans for this year aren't still being worked on. Just that the newness of it has worn off. And it's back to being a typical winter in New York with cold and snow. I don't love that part but it gives me a chance to concentrate on work and on creating some amazing recipes. Whatever else January was, it was delicious. So let's take a quick look back before we dive into a chocolate-fest for Valentine's Day. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Black Forest Brownie Dip

Black Forest Brownie Dip

Let's talk about couple dining situations. Are you the type that doesn't mind eating off each other's plates and even forks? Or are you the type that, if your partner comes near your food, will stab him or her with the fork? It's these types of intimate situations that need to be made clear right up front if you have any hope of making it as a couple and not ending up in the emergency room with a fork stuck in your hand.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

Sure, Valentine's Day is associated with chocolate and I'm fine with that. But sometimes I wonder if I should make a non chocolate dessert and save the chocolates for my favorite box of decadent truffles. But if I'm replacing chocolate, there probably needs to be peanut butter. And if I'm not pairing the PB with chocolate then my choice is my other favorite flavor, banana. Peanut butter and banana is awesome.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hazelnut Chocolate Cream Tart

Hazelnut Chocolate Cream Tart

I feel strongly about crust. Maybe not as strongly as about political and social issues but crust is definitely important and way more fun. Crust should be more than a delivery vehicle for filling. It should be worth eating on it's own, too. OK, that's my crust manifesto. Now let's talk about ways to make that sort of crust happen and also include a seriously kick ass filling because Valentine's Day is coming and it needs to be delicious.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Onion and Smoked Gouda Bisque with Puff Pastry

Onion and Smoked Gouda Bisque with Puff Pastry

More than two feet. That's how much snow we got in New York over the weekend. It's not our worst storm but it's up there in the record books although it's a bit late in the season for us. At least it hit on a weekend so that the grounding of flights and suspension or ground traffic wasn't as bad. And we did know it was coming so most of us stocked up for a comfy couple of days of cooking, eating, movie watching and puppy snuggling. Eh, let it snow.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blood Orange Mint Julep

Blood Orange Mint Julep

Excuse me but, whoever turned winter on, can you please dial it back a little? Single digit temperatures are a bit extreme when I'm trying to walk the dog. Or walk anywhere. Or breathe. At least there's plenty of cooking and recipe testing going on these days because it's nice and warm in my kitchen.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Warm Roasted Root Vegetable and Farro Salad




Warm Roasted Root Vegetable and Farro Salad

I know I've been going on about healthy new year cooking lately but the fact is that grains are a large part of my diet all year long. I have an entire shelf filled with canisters containing a wide variety of them and I love experimenting with new ways to use them. Farro is a favorite and, therefore, in frequent rotation.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Crispy Potato and Hummus Balls

Crispy Potato and Hummus Balls

What's that sound? Oh, it's the sound of friends and family calling, emailing and texting, wanting to know when to show up to eat snacks and watch the big game. Now, they do know what time the game is on so they really just want to make sure you'll be providing a sufficient amount of snacks. Uh huh.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Meatballs

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Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Meatballs

It's cold and dark and all I really want to do is curl up in bed, snuggle with my dog, watch movies and eat comfort food. But it's January and I'm trying to undo some of the comfort food eating from over the holidays. So, what's a woman to do? Actually, this is a pretty easy one for me because lighter comfort food is my specialty. I got this.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Yogurt with Banana and Honey Almond Crumble

Yogurt with Banana and Honey Almond Crumble

You all know I'm the crumb cake queen, right? I love crumb topping so much that I also just bake it separately sometimes and toss it into parfaits and puddings...and my mouth. After all, it's the best part! But it might not exactly be on the list of New Year's resolution, OMG even my stretchy pants are tight, approved foods. So depressing. Too depressing, actually, so I did something about it.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Curried Potato and Broccoli Soup

Curried Potato and Broccoli Soup

Happy New Year! Did you start whatever resolutions you made right on January 1st? Or did you admit that there was little chance of anything changing on a weekend and wait until this morning like I did? Very sensible. Because on Friday there was still leftover champagne in my fridge...and cookies...and a serious mac and cheese craving...and a Downton Abbey marathon all weekend long. So unless my resolutions included lying on the sofa, eating cookies and watching TV, it just wasn't going to happen. But now it's Monday and my unofficial official start to the new year.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Elsewhere in...December 2015

Hi friends! This is the little monthly recap of my foodie adventures elsewhere on the web. Below are the recipes I created for my About.com food column. I hope you'll come visit me there. Enjoy!


No Bake Ginger Labneh Cheesecake Shooters


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Year in Review - 2015

The Year in Review - 2015
And so another year ends. For me, 2015 was mixed. It saw my hard work start to pay off professionally, gave me the ability to work with some amazing people and it's been enormously rewarding. But it was also marred by enough world tragedies, hate and intolerance to last a lifetime. And I lost a friend this year, a fact I still can't quite reconcile myself to.

Joan Hayes, whose ultra popular blog Chocolate, Chocolate and More, was very dear to me. We chatted almost daily, we got each other through some very difficult personal times, were each other's business sounding boards and we gabbed about the things that girlfriends gab about. She passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the end of October, at the age of 49, and there's an empty space in my heart and in my days now. I miss you, my friend. You made my life sweeter.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Winter Citrus Champagne Cocktail

Winter Citrus Champagne Cocktail

It's getting to be almost that time again when we break out the champagne. I actually quite like using it in cocktails although any sparkling wine works the same way. When a drink calls for fizz, why settle for flavorless soda when this adds so much more. So even though it's traditional to drink champagne straight on New Year's Eve, I like creating a special cocktail.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Candy Cane Bourbon Nog

Christmas Candy Cane Bourbon Nog

With all the holiday baking going on around here lately I've been neglecting my holiday cocktail brainstorming. But now that all my cakes and cookies and gingerbread creations are done I set my mind to creating something special for holiday guests.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Peanut Butter Pretzel M&M Crumb Bars

Peanut Butter Pretzel M&M Crumb Bars

The holiday baking has been in full swing around here for what seems like weeks now. And it's been mostly gingerbread and other ginger and cinnamon spiced delights. I love those holiday flavors but, um, after the umpteenth spiced cake and gingerbread men cookies were baked and packed up for gifts, I was kind of a little over it. Time to switch it up and use some of those fun holiday candies in something.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Savory Coeur La Creme with Cranberry and Apple Chutney

Savory Coeur La Creme with Cranberry and Apple Chutney

I have a couple of things I wanted to talk to you about today. One is this fancy looking appetizer with the fancy sounding name which is actually so simple to make. The other is the importance of milk.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Elsewhere in...November 2015

Hi friends! This is the little monthly recap of my foodie adventures elsewhere. Here you'll find the recipes I created for my column on About.com Food as well as some great cocktail and gingerbread round-ups from my other writings around the web. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cranberry Collins and a DIY Cranberry Cocktail Party

Cranberry Collins and a DIY Cranberry Cocktail Party

So, did I ever mention my slight obsession with housewares? Part of it is being a food photographer, of course, but I like them even apart from that. Some women browse in the shoe department but I'm over in the kitchen department eyeing a new casserole dish. Add to that my fondness not just for cocktails but for barware and it can get to be an expensive habit. I've found a decent number of "treasures" in dusty old thrift shops and flea markets but those are hit or miss. The fact is that when I know what I need, I shop at the restaurant supply stores.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Tomato and Onion Appetizer Pastries

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Tomato and Onion Appetizer Pastries

I love having guests and throwing parties but it can get to be hectic and a bit overwhelming around the holidays. For as much as I try to plan ahead and enjoy putting together menus, sometimes I find myself panicking a little because time got away from me and I didn't get to do my shopping. So my survival guide for holiday entertaining is to keep some basic staples in the house at all time.