Monday, August 31, 2015

Heirloom Tomato Pizza

Heirloom Tomato Pizza

Summer's coming to an end and, sadly, so is heirloom tomato season. But I managed to snag a few beauties this weekend at the farmer's market. At first I was planning to just roast them with olive oil and sea salt and watch them turn into caramelized sweet treats. But then I remembered I had some pizza dough in the freezer and it struck me how pointless it would be to put tomato sauce on a pizza when I could have fresh heirloom tomatoes instead.

Heirloom Tomato Pizza
I pictured something simple and perfect. Olive oil, fresh mozzarella cheese, slices of gorgeous heirlooms, fresh basil and a good amount of salt and pepper.

And the perfect picture in my head came together exactly right. I'm sure I'll have many future pizzas slathered in sauce and slices of delicious pepperoni. But I'm pretty sure all my summer pizzas are going to look like this one from now on. Enjoy!



Heirloom Tomato Pizza
by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 7 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ingredients (2 Servings)
Heirloom Tomato Pizza
  • 8 oz. Pizza dough round (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 oz. Fresh mozzarella cheese, grated or sliced
  • 1/2 Red and 1/2 yellow heirloom tomatoes (or 1 large tomato of either color)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Large basil leaves, chopped
Instructions
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Roll out the dough to approximately a 9" or 10" round and spread the olive oil over the top. Spread the cheese over the dough and layer on the sliced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the dough is a light golden brown.
Sprinkle on the chopped basil and serve.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Rummy Peach Ice Cream Float

Rummy Peach Ice Cream Float

Is it wrong that the Halloween candy is already out in some stores? YES. It's totally wrong. Stop it right now! I don't want to see pumpkin shaped chocolate covered marshmallows (even though I will be eating them by the gross in October). I want to see peaches. I don't want fall clothes and boots, I want t-shirts and back yard BBQ's. OK, I'll stop raging.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Watermelon Lava Flow

Watermelon Lava Flow

Tick tock, tick tock, summer is counting down but I'm not ready to let it pass. So I'm making sure to enjoy every warm, sunny moment and eat all the summer watermelon I can before it's all gone. And if there's anything better than eating watermelon, it's drinking it. This fruit was tailor made for summer cocktails.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Special K® Red Berries Breakfast Scones

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This is a sponsored recipe created by me on behalf of Special K Red Berries.

Special K® Red Berries Breakfast Scones

I have a love / hate relationship with breakfast. The part of me that wants something super fast so I can get on with my busy day battles with the part that wants to make sure what I eat is healthy. And that frequently leaves me standing in the cereal aisle on shopping day, endlessly looking at nutrition labels while making sure whatever it is will taste better than the box it comes in. Sometimes I find a winner.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer Friday Flashback: Salted Caramel Peanut Pies

Every Friday this summer I'm going to treat you to a blast from the past. I've chosen some of the best recipes from the past few years to highlight because I love making them over and over again. Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Peanut Pies

I originally made this recipe to celebrate Grab Some Nuts Day because, how could I resist! But I don't need any special reason to love the combination of salted caramel and peanuts. In this case, there are also peanuts in the pastry crust for a full on nutty experience. I could eat that whole stack of mini pies in a sitting!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Peach Crumb Tart

Peach Crumb Tart

Peaches! It's August and...peaches! How can you possibly resist the aroma of ripe, juicy peaches? They're just begging to come home with you and get baked into a pie. OK, some also got made in cocktails. But for sure there needs to be pie.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Farmer's Market Spaghetti with Beet Balls

Farmer's Market Spaghetti with Beet Balls

Saturday is farmer's market day for me and I look forward to it all week. There are so many around the city but I'm blessed to have one just 3 blocks away. I've done cooking demonstrations there and gotten to know the growers and their specialties. I usually buy more than I need but then have the pleasure of coming up with recipes for my bounty.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Plum Lemonade Smash

Plum Lemonade Smash

Is there anything better than summer weekends? Long days, beach, picnics and eating outside. Even if it's just relaxing on a lawn chair after a full day of running around, drink in hand, and unwinding, it's heavenly. Is a tall glass of ice cold lemonade your thing? For me, the lemonade is better with a little kick.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Strawberry Red Wine Slushies

                     This recipe was sponsored by Sweet N Low and Social Stars. Thank you for supporting the products I love and use in my kitchen.

Strawberry Red Wine Slushies

I love entertaining. Whether it's an elegant dinner party, holiday gatherings or even just a couple of good friends over for a meal, it all makes me happy. I love planning a menu I think they'll love, getting the table set in a way that's both pretty and still functional and coming up with a special cocktail. I'm definitely all about the cocktail.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Summer in the City and Frozen Mango Bars



Summer in the City and Frozen Mango Bars

Summer in New York always reminds me of an old song called Summer in the City by The Lovin Spoonful. Way before my time but I'm guessing it must have been played on the radio pretty much every summer for it to be so ingrained in my head. I never remember all the lyrics but the first few lines are "Hot town, summer in the city. Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty. Been down, isn't it a pity. Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city." And all I can say is...yup!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Summer Friday Flashback: Spiced Pear Hand Pies

Every Friday this summer I'm going to treat you to a blast from the past. I've chosen some of the best recipes from the past few years to highlight because I love making them over and over again. Enjoy!

Spiced Pear Hand Pies

These irresistible pear shaped pies all started when I ran across a gorgeous pear shaped cutter and it followed me home. Sure, I could have used it to make pear shaped cookies but pie is way more fun. And little personal sized pies that I don't have to share is totally winning. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Honey Drizzled Watermelon and Yogurt Parfait

Honey Drizzled Watermelon and Yogurt Parfait

Did I mention that we're having a heatwave? In New York, the hot sticky mess usually happens in July and by August we get a reprieve. But the months got confused this year because July was cool and rainy and so far August is steam bath. Oh, well, it can't last forever but in the meantime I'm in need of refreshing things to eat and drink.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Month in Review - July 2015

The Month in Review - July 2015

As expected, winter lasted forever but summer is rushing by. August already?? July was a good month, though. There were plenty of cool drinks to ward off the heat, some fun new breakfast ideas, grilling and plenty of sweets to celebrate my birthday month. Hopefully August will be just as tasty but before we dive in, let's take a quick look back at all the July deliciousness. Enjoy!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Strawberry Gin Fizz

This recipe was sponsored by Sweet N Low and Social Stars. Thank you for supporting the products I love and use in my kitchen.

Strawberry Gin Fizz

OK, I'm officially too hot. After the horrible, never-ending winter we had I definitely was prepared to tolerate heat and I'm still not really complaining. But daily heat index readings over 100 degrees are making me come kind of close to complaining. Just slap me next February, OK? Drinks! We need drinks. Tall, icy cool drinks.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bourbon Pear Lemonade

Bourbon Pear Lemonade

Does any beverage scream summer more than lemonade? I love the sweet, tart coolness of it. But, let's face it, I love it more with a little kick. Bourbon's punch is nicely mellowed by some sweet pears and the sparkling lemonade. Slow, cool summer sipping.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

Isn't this a good looking birthday cake? Yes, I know it's a cheesecake but today is my birthday and I always want cheesecake on my birthday so this is a birthday cake. Isn't it pretty? And no we won't be sticking any candles on it because it looks way prettier with chocolate shavings. Also, that many candles would be dangerous.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Friday Flashback: Yogurt Fig Cake

Every Friday this summer I'm going to treat you to a blast from the past. I've chosen some of the best recipes from the past few years to highlight because I love making them over and over again. Enjoy!

Yogurt Fig Cake

This beautiful cake was the first time I baked with Greek yogurt and became a convert. Moist, buttery cake, fragrant with cinnamon and ginger and topped with fresh seasonal figs. It was heaven in loaf form!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

One Pot Basmati Rice and Sausage Casserole (and a giveaway)

One Pot Basmati Rice and Sausage Casserole

Have I ever described the kitchen in my Manhattan rental to you? It's small, dark and cramped with cabinets that were all the rage back in 1986 but not at anytime since then. There's only enough room for a small fridge and the little movement room I had has been taken up by the cart I bought to hold a microwave and some basic pantry items that didn't fit elsewhere. The counter top appliances are mostly hand-me-downs and I'm pretty sure the toaster is older than I am. It's not exactly my dream kitchen but somehow it all works.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Protein Packed Breakfast Bowl


Protein Packed Breakfast Bowl

Confession time. I'm not very good to myself at breakfast. I'm rushed and distracted and I tend to eat a piece of toast standing up in the kitchen and then run. Oh, I'm better the rest of the day and I will eat fruit and vegetables and yogurt before it's all done. But, seriously, what a piss-poor way to start the day. No more, though. I'm vowing to reform.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Icy Sparkling Mango Cooler

This recipe was sponsored by Sweet 'N Low and Social Stars. Thank you for supporting the products I love and use in my kitchen.

Icy Sparkling Mango Cooler

Summer get-togethers need a cocktail, right? Right?? And since I like spending time with my guests instead of being stuck in the kitchen or behind the bar, I like to prep in advance. And that certainly includes the drinks. Brunch parties need something light and fruity and easy on the added sugar but I have lots of ideas for that.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mustard and Herb Crusted Lamb with Yogurt Sauce

Mustard and Herb Crusted Lamb with Yogurt Sauce

Leg of lamb is a fancy meal that takes forever and is made for holidays, right? Pfft, says who? Add this to the many myths about cooking because lamb is juicy, delicious, can be prepared fairly quickly and is perfect for a weeknight meal. No need to break out the fancy wine either because it's so good with a refreshing summer ale.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sponge Cake with Creamy Strawberry Cheesecake Frosting

Sponge Cake with Creamy Strawberry Cheesecake Frosting

Those of you who come here often already know there's a complete lack of fancy decorated layer cakes. That's not due to a lack of interest but rather to a complete lack of talent in the fancy decorated layer cake department. Oh, I'm the queen of crumb cakes and fruit pies but once you start talking about frosting and layers you should probably go elsewhere. I'm working on it.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Summer Friday Flashback: Individual Chocolate Pudding Cheesecake Parfaits

Every Friday this summer I'm going to treat you to a blast from the past. I've chosen some of the best recipes from the past few years to highlight because I love making them over and over again. Enjoy!

Individual Chocolate Pudding Cheesecake Parfaits

These little pots of awesome were born of my absolute need to have this dessert and my complete certainty that if I made it in a large pan, I would eat the whole thing all by myself in record time. Layers of butter cookies, no-bake cheesecake, chocolate chips and chocolate pudding coming together to make heaven in a jar.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

When you see a basket full of little muffins do you think "awe, how cute?" I don't. I think it's boring and sad. A portion controlled basket of boring sadness. Enough that it makes me avoid muffins. Yes, I know the ones from the good bakery, the ones as big as your head, are considered too big a portion and should probably be shared or something. But that's too bad because that's the only size muffin I want and those are the ones I made. We can eat lettuce tomorrow.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Honeydew Melon Agua Fresca

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Honeydew Melon Agua Fresca

What are the components of a great summer party? Great food with plenty of snacks, cool drinks and rocking music. On the drink front, I'm a big believer in one "house" drink, pre-made in big pitchers and easily customizable for guests. Agua frescas are traditional Mexican waters flavored with fresh fruit. They're refreshing, delicious and healthy. Typically non-alcoholic so they're perfect for kids and non-drinking guests. And for the rest of us, they're an excellent cocktail base. Just add vodka!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Summer Friday Flashback: No Churn Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Every Friday this summer I'm going to treat you to a blast from the past. I've chosen some of the best recipes from the past few years to highlight because I love making them over and over again. Enjoy!

No Churn Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

This addictive ice cream is based on one of my favorite desserts, blueberry cheesecake. I was craving cheesecake ice cream in the worst way but couldn't find it in any of my local stores. Learning to make it myself became a must and the no churn version mean I didn't even have to invest in an ice cream maker. Trust me that there is always great sadness in my house when a batch of this is finished.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Month in Review - June 2015

The Month in Review - June 2015

OK, I definitely don't know where June went and how it could possibly be July already. But that probably just means that June was a good month. And given my dislike of winter, I imagine that all the lovely warm months are going to fly right by for me. Nevertheless, June was filled with loads of delicious food and a few great ideas for this coming weekend's Independence Day celebrations. So let's take a quick look back before we get to the business of zipping right through July. Enjoy!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Fruit Salad with Candied Nuts and Puff Pastry

Fruit Salad with Candied Nuts and Puff Pastry

You probably don't think of fruit salad as being in any way controversial. But I think it's divided into two camps - those who are happy to accept fruit salad as dessert and those who are not. I am firmly in the second group. So if you invite me to dinner and serve me fruit for dessert, not gonna lie, I'll be disappointed. But once you introduce another element like sweet puff pastry, that's a whole 'nother thing.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Cantaloupe Melon Martini

Cantaloupe Melon Martini

Have you mastered the art of being able to tell when a melon is ripe? Yeah, me neither. But I have learned that my best chance with melons, and all other fruit, is to go by the smell instead of squeezing the life out of it. So, if it smells like the fruit, it's probably ripe. And I've been walking past some amazingly fragrant melons lately.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tex-Mex Corn Dip

Tex-Mex Corn Dip

Sweet corn is one of the many benefits of summer and I take full advantage of it. Grilled or roasted with plenty of butter and seasoning. I love elote which is a Mexican street corn but there is also a dish called esquites in which the kernels are sliced off the cob and sauteed in butter. Both versions get a dose of mayo and cheese and the esquites are typically served in a bowl and eaten with a spoon. Sounds like the makings of a great dip to me and I added some of the flavors of the southwest like tomatoes and cumin.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Red, White and Blue Frozen Yogurt Cake

Red, White and Blue Frozen Yogurt Cake

Let's talk about the 4th of July or any summer gathering, actually. Guests are coming, there's going to be grilling and salads and side dishes and copious amounts of snacking while you're waiting for it all. And when it's done you still want something sweet but cold and light. It's easy to just serve ice cream but maybe you kind of want to impress your guests a little, too?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mint Lychee Collins

Mint Lychee Collins

I love watching as each summer fruit comes back into season. This week, on my stop at the fruit vendor, I spotted the display of bright red pods. The lychees are back. Sweet, juicy, tropical little orbs. Great as a snack but even better in a cocktail.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tomato and Cottage Cheese Tart with Quinoa Crust


Tomato and Cottage Cheese Tart with Quinoa Crust

Cottage cheese has always been a staple in my house. My mother used to spread it on her morning toast and she'd mix it with apples or peaches for me as an after-school snack. I guess that stuck with me because I still sometimes make myself an afternoon snack of apples in cottage cheese. Although mom never cooked much with it, over the years I've learned that it's a great filling for casseroles and tarts, too.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Glazed Mango Bread

Glazed Mango Bread

The other day I picked up a mango on my way home. It was my afternoon snack with some Greek yogurt but I was so mesmerized by how juicy and perfectly sweet it was that I new I needed more mangoes immediately. Fruit and Greek yogurt snacking made me think of my favorite Greek yogurt quick bread recipe. Mango bread coming right up.

Friday, June 12, 2015

French Onion Mac and Cheese

French Onion Mac and Cheese

Well, hello sweet onion season. The Vidalia's are back and I'm going through them like they're going out of style, or at least out of season, very soon. I'm sure I'm driving my neighbors crazy with the smell of sweet onions caramelizing in my cast iron pan on a daily basis. And I don't even necessarily have a plan for what to put them in but I'm just happy to eat them with bread if need be.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Peanut Butter Banana Frozen Yogurt (No Churn)

Peanut Butter Banana Frozen Yogurt (No Churn)

For the last few summers I resolved to make healthier frozen treats using the pureed fruit and yogurt trick. And I become quickly disappointed with the results. Oh, they taste good enough when you first mix them but after they freeze they seem to lose their flavor. And that creamy texture we all love never returns. So many plans, so many disappointments. Except...

Monday, June 8, 2015

Pasta with Jeweled Beets


Pink pasta? Oh my, yes! I'm a pretty ardent beet fan but I seem to have been stuck in a roasting rut. I wanted to find something to change things up and maybe also speed them up. Enter my food processor and cast iron pan. In the time it took me to cook the spaghetti, I literally had the beets done and ready to go in. And the aroma in my kitchen was wonderful.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Blackberry Mint Bramble

Blackberry Mint Bramble

The other day I was stocking up on berries, my summer snack obsession, and admiring the blackberries. Such an unusual but beautiful fruit and I've always loved the color. I was turning over potential recipes in my head when I remembered the Bramble. It's a sweet gin based drink that's typically made with blackberry liqueur but I always prefer to use fresh fruit anyway.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Blueberry Cobbler with Goat Cheese and Thyme

Blueberry Cobbler with Goat Cheese and Thyme

Although I'm a big proponent of homemade pie crust, there's a lot to be said for making it the lazy way. Galettes are lazy pies where the dough is just folded over onto the fruit without any fancy edge crimping. Cobblers forgo the crust altogether in favor of sweet biscuits layered on top of the fruit, giving it a cobbled together appearance. No need even to worry about a bottom crust. Quick, easy and completely satisfying.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Month in Review - May 2015

The Month in Review - May 2015

I enjoyed May way too much. And the reason I know that is because it went by way too fast. Because winter lasted so long, our cherry blossoms and tulips were late this year. But once they appeared I wasted no time grabbing my camera, and my furry assistant, and capturing as much as I could. Now they've been replaced with the lush greenery of summer and the first of many summer in the city street fairs is coming up next week. And I'll be there, enjoying those too. The food in May was pretty amazing as well so let's take a quick look back. Enjoy!

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Manhattan

The Manhattan

The classic, elegant Manhattan is one of the first cocktails I ever learned to drink. It seemed like such a grown up, classy thing to sip on while sitting in some dark, oak paneled New York bar. So the young me thought it was fun while the...um...older me now appreciates the taste.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Roasted Potato and Bacon Caesar Salad

Roasted Potato and Bacon Caesar Salad

I love Caesar salad and you probably do, too. I've rarely met anyone who doesn't. But let's be honest and say that there's not much to it. Yes it has delicious garlicky toasted croutons but mostly it's a delivery vehicle for Caesar dressing. That's what we really love, isn't it?