Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Parmesan Panzanella Salad

Parmesan Panzanella Salad

And, just like that, it's summer. And it's hot. Like, really hot. It's typical June weather in New York and the time when I start to think twice about any meal that might be too heavy. So I took myself to the farmer's market for salad inspiration.

Parmesan Panzanella Salad
There's no shortage of beautiful produce this time of year so throwing together a salad with some grilled chicken is easy enough. But, for me, any great salad contains some kind of cheese and some kind of bread. Cheesy bread would be perfect, actually.

I had a beautiful hunk of Parmesan cheese at home and I love shaving it over salads. Typically I do that with Caesar salads but I was more in the mood for those delicious croutons that typically come with a panzanella. So I combined the two.

This salad is definitely cheese happy since I added a good amount to the dressing and didn't skimp on the shaved Parmesan on top. And when I say Parmesan I mean imported Parmigiano-Reggiano. Domestic Parmesan is much saltier than the imported which only contains milk, sea salt and rennet. It comes in giant rounds with the words Parmigiano Reggiano spelled out in pin dots. You won't always see all the dots if the cut piece you're buying is small but just make sure the packaging says it's the imported Parmigiano Reggiano or ask the workers at the cheese counter. So, great cheese, great bread and fresh vegetables added up to an ideal hot summer dish. Enjoy!

Parmesan Panzanella Salad

Parmesan Panzanella Salad
by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ingredients (4 Servings)
    Salad:
    • 2 Cups arugula or baby spinach leaves
    • 1 Seedless cucumber, sliced
    • 2 Tomatoes, cut into quarters or eighths
    • 2 Bell peppers (I used orange), julienned
    • 2 Slices thick sliced bread
    • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
    • Shaved slivers of Parmigiano-Reggiano
    Dressing:
    • 1 Clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
    • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 Teaspoon mustard
    • 1/4 Cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    Instructions
    Parmesan Panzanella Salad
    Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

    Slice the bread into cubes and toss with the tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the prepared dressing. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 - 15 minutes until the croutons are a light golden brown.

    Assemble the salad with the greens, cucumbers, tomatoes and bell peppers. Sprinkle on an equal amount of croutons and drizzle with the dressing. Top with the shaved Parmesan.

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    This recipe is sponsored by Parmesan.com. For more recipes and information on the authentic cheese, visit their web site and follow them on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Thank you for supporting the brands I love and use in my kitchen.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2016

    Vodka Ginger Fizz

    Vodka Ginger Fizz

    Cocktail inspirations come to me in all kinds of places. Bars, restaurants, farmer's markets and, in this case, the beverage aisle of my supermarket. It was a hot day and a tall bottle of sparkling ginger ale caught my eye. I didn't have any thoughts beyond just pouring it over ice and relaxing but the ginger flavor was so intense that I thought it needed a mixer.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2016

    Loaded Completo Hot Dogs

    Loaded Completo Hot Dogs

    I'm always excited to try new wines and find food pairings for them. And on the food front I'm a little obsessed with trying new spices and understanding which cuisines typically use them. And then I like to mix it all up, naturally. So that's how I came to pair some great Chilean wines with an American cook-out classic and an ethnic spice blend.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2016

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies

    Last week I suddenly had an attack of summer nostalgia. The temperature jumped up 20 degrees and patriotic holidays were in the air. My New York apartment is just down the block from the East River and it's a great place to watch the 4th of July fireworks. So my friends and I would always pick up those thick ice cream cookie sandwiches (you know the brand I mean) from the store and head over to the pedestrian walkway by the water to watch. Sweet summer memories.

    Monday, May 23, 2016

    Loaded Tex Mex Burger

    Loaded Tex Mex Burger

    What is it about warm weather that makes me start craving burgers? Sure, there's the whole outdoor grilling thing but I can really make them anytime on a grill pan in my kitchen. Still, the sun is out, the temperatures have warmed up, Memorial Day is a week away and my burger cravings have started. So, I started my summer burger love with an epic version.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016

    Naked Lemon Cakes

    Naked Lemon Cakes

    Wow, where does the time go? I swear spring just started and then I blinked and now we're just a little over a week away from Memorial Day weekend. Somebody please slow the world down because I can't catch up! Still, the arrival of the first official / unofficial weekend of summer always makes me happy because it means grilling, BBQ and outdoor party season has arrived.

    Friday, May 13, 2016

    Hummus and Salad Appetizer Pizza

    Hummus and Salad Appetizer Pizza

    Did you know that today is National Hummus Day? Actually, if you were to look inside my refrigerator on any random day of the year, you would likely conclude that every day was hummus day. One of my neighbors was over recently and, when I opened my fridge to get a beverage, he remarked on the amount of hummus in there. So, yeah, I celebrate hummus day often.

    Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    Pear, Blue Cheese and Honey Tartine

    Pear, Blue Cheese and Honey Tartine

    There are just certain flavor combinations that are perfect together in any form and one of my favorites is the pairing of fruit, blue cheese and honey. Most of the time, the form they take for me is in a salad but with the weather warming up and grilling season starting, I decided to play around with new forms.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    Creamy Strawberry Banana Daiquiri

    Creamy Strawberry Banana Daiquiri

    Let's talk about warm weather drinks. Um...OK, wait. First let's talk about getting some warm weather. It's coming, right? New York has been doing the April showers brings May flowers thing and it's been a little nippy. But I know from experience that we'll wake up one of these days soon and run to turn on the air conditioners.

    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.

    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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     Thank you to Hunt's tomatoes for sponsoring this recipe.

    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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    Thank you to Hunt's tomatoes for sponsoring this recipe.

    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.