Friday, April 17, 2015

Mango Mint Sparkler

Mango Mint Sparkler

The mangoes are back! Just like the tulips beginning to pop up all over the city, fresh yellow mangoes are another sure sign of spring. I stopped by the fruit cart for my daily dose of bananas and a bunch of sweet grapes and there was a big bin of mangoes. Oh, yes, I'll take a few of those too, please.

Mango Mint Sparkler
I've been craving a mango cocktail ever since my last mango cocktail way back last summer so that was up first.

Something minty and lemony and refreshing was on my mind and a bottle of lemon-lime soda came in handy.

Be warned, though, that this drink is deceptive. It just tastes like a delicious cooler and totally belies the 2 oz. of vodka in each glass. So dangerous but so fun. Cheers!

For 2 Servings:
4 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Lemon juice
1 oz. Simple syrup
1 Mango
8 oz. Lemon lime soda
8 Mint Leaves

Puree the mango in a blender or food processor and add the vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup and mint. Pour evenly into two tall chilled glasses and top each with the lemon lime soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint, if desired.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Southwestern Egg and Sausage Cornbread Bake

Southwestern Egg and Sausage Cornbread Bake

It all started when I had a huge craving for cornbread. I do love it but it's not something I think about that often so this sudden urge was unexpected. Nevertheless, I have an easy recipe and all the ingredients in the house pretty much all the time so cornbread got made. I buttered a slice and ate it with a bowl of soup for lunch. So good. But then I wanted more for dinner.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lemon and Thyme Sweet Cornmeal Loaf

Lemon and Thyme Sweet Cornmeal Loaf

I keep a notebook full of recipe ideas and every week I look through to see what I feel like experimenting with. Some recipes keep getting moved to the bottom of the pile for one reason or another, sometimes because they're a bit complex. This one, however, stayed in the pile way too long for such a simple recipe. And now that I've made it, I can say it will be making repeat appearances.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Cucumber Mint Martini

Cucumber Mint Martini

The first time I ever heard about cucumber cocktails I had to stop and think about it. I love cucumbers without a doubt but, in a drink? As I let the thought absorb, though, it made as much sense as olives in a martini or celery and tomatoes in a bloody Mary. OK, I accepted it and then obviously had to try it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Chili Mac

Chili Mac

Today I'm going to tell you how to take a simple, one pot recipe and make it more complicated. No, I'm not kidding but I can totally explain. It's only going to get a little bit more complicated but it's going to get a whole lot more good. And the ratio of complication to goodness makes it very worth it.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

I was looking back through my recipes this weekend and realized that I had not shared a crumb cake dessert with you since the beginning of December. Clearly this is a huge oversight on my crumb cake loving part because I sincerely believe in crumb topping all the things! I also strongly believe in chocolate so the two were bound to come together sooner or later.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Flirty Martini

Flirty Martini

When I was out walking Hadley yesterday I looked at some of the empty street planters that are all over the upper east side of the city. Around the holiday season they're filled with evergreen shrubs and tree cuttings but since January they've just been bare and frequently filled with snow. But they weren't bare yesterday. When I looked closely I spotted some tiny buds just beginning to poke out of the earth. And I know what they'll become very soon - tulips! A riot of tulip colors all over the city shouting welcome spring. I think this calls for a cocktail.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spaghetti with Garlic Herb Breadcrumbs (Pangrattato)

Spaghetti with Garlic Herb Breadcrumbs (Pangrattato)

If you follow me on Instagram then you probably saw that I attended a PR event the other night for the National Peanut Board. It was fun and I met some cool peanut farmers and drank a peanut cocktail (yes, I do plan to recreate that, as a matter of fact) and stuffed my face with the best chocolate and peanut butter cups ever! And then I got home at nearly 8:00 pm and there was nothing for dinner...again.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Month in Review - March 2015

The Month in Review - March 2015

Goodbye cold, snowy March. I won't miss you. Well, OK, maybe a little. I'll miss the explosion of fresh citrus in the market. And I'll miss the kind of devoted kitchen time that comes from inclement weather. Warmth and sunshine will make me want to be out and about. No worries, though, because I have lots of spring and summer recipe ideas to try out. But before we kick winter out of here for good this year, let's take a look back at the delicious results of my extra kitchen time. Enjoy!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Middle Eastern Inspired Meatless Burger



Middle Eastern Inspired Meatless Burger

Excuse me but how did it get to be nearly 7:00 pm and I'm still at my desk? Oh, yeah, it's all that lovely extra light that happens after DST in early spring. And I'm not complaining for a second because I love it. But I should probably be more mindful of the clock so that I don't finally come up for air, starving and realizing I have not prepped anything for dinner.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Lava Cakes

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Lava Cakes

Do you know what day it is today? It's Chocolate Peanut Butter Day! Actually, it's the second annual Chocolate Peanut Butter Day. It seems like there are random food holidays every day of the year but somehow the combo of chocolate and PB is not officially recognized. Fortunately, several of my food blogging friends and I are rectifying that mistake because this is certainly a combination that needs celebrating. Carla from Chocolate Moosey and Miriam from Overtime Cook are hosting our little online gathering and you can see all the other delicious creations from my fellow bloggers at the bottom of this post.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Passover Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread (Jewish Biscotti Cookies)

Passover Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread

Mandel bread or mandlebrot (the word mandel is Yiddish for nut or almond) is a traditional Eastern European Jewish delicacy. Baked as a loaf and then sliced, the texture is slightly softer than Italian biscotti (which I love) but there are certainly similarities. Although my parents are Eastern European, sadly my mother's baking repertoire did not include these cookies. The only ones I'd ever tasted were the packaged ones from the store and I'd just as soon pass on those, thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Grape-tini

Grape-tini

It has stopped snowing in New York, at long last. And it's warmer. Not warm, exactly, but with the hope of warmth in the near future. And with that, the fruit man has returned. Carts filled with all types of fresh fruit can be found every few blocks in Manhattan and I love them. I've missed the fruit man.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cheesy Potato and Parsnip Kugel

Cheesy Potato and Parsnip Kugel

Growing up in a Jewish household, kugel was a holiday staple. It's basically a casserole style dish that can be made with either noodles (typically sweet) or potatoes (typically savory). Because of the no-flour restriction of Passover, noodle kugel usually appeared at Rosh Hashanah but, to tell the truth, I'd be just as happy if it never appeared at all. Potato kugel, on the other hand, was always welcome.

Monday, March 16, 2015

One Pot Mexican Style Quinoa

One Pot Mexican Style Quinoa

I was spending a rainy weekend at home but with plenty of paperwork and computer work to do. So, a rainy, working weekend at home. No lazing around watching movies and cooking a Sunday roast with all the fixings, sadly enough. So I took a stroll through my fridge and pantry and was thinking along the lines of a rice and beans dish with some extra veggies thrown in.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Honey Grapefruit Bourbon Smash

Honey Grapefruit Bourbon Smash

A few years ago we had dinner at the lovely Water Club on the river. While we were waiting in the bar for our friends to arrive the bartender offered to make us a special cocktail. As a general rule, we never turn down an offer to sample what the bartender thinks is good but sadly, this time we were disappointed. He made us a honey and lemon drink that, frankly, tasted like a cough drop, and it put me off the idea of using honey in drinks. But enough time has passed so that I've gotten over that medicinal taste and decided to see if I can do better.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spinach Colcannon Bake

Spinach Colcannon Bake

Traditional Irish colcannon is a dish of buttery potatoes mixed with sauteed buttery cabbage. So, Irish buttery comfort food. This? Well, this is not exactly that but it's still buttery and comforting and a tasty twist. I've seen colcannon made with kale or even spinach instead of the cabbage but I took it a step or two further from tradition but no further from delicious.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Million Dollar Everything Bagel Potato Chip Idea



Everything Bagel Potato Chips

Let's talk about favorite flavors today. Do you love seeing "experimental" flavors from your favorite brands? Do you love trying the new ones and are you sad if you loved it and never saw it again? Or do you sometimes stare at the new flavors and wonder whose weird idea was that? If you answered yes then we so need to talk because I'm giving you a chance to weigh in on all this!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Blood Orange Mint Gimlet

Blood Orange Mint Gimlet

Oh, look, it's snowing again. For the bazzilionth time this winter. Shocking, I know. I'm trying hard to be positive and see the bright side. I'm cozy and dry at home. I have food in the fridge and a blissfully well stocked liquor cabinet. I have a sweet furry dog to keep me extra warm. But the house-bound, stir-crazy thing is making it hard to see the glass as half full. So I'm going to fill it with a little spring.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Creamy Chicken Stew

Creamy Chicken Stew

Know what makes a food blogger happy? New pots and pans. OK, and kitchen appliances and new dishes and cooking gadgets. But for sheer ooing and aahing, nothing beats a shiny new pan. The only problem comes when we're hesitant to use it because it's too pretty and we don't want to mess it up. This new beauty from OXO sat on my table, being admired, for longer than I care to admit.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Month in Review - February 2015

The Month in Review - February 2015

Snow...snow...snow...groundhog emerges, says "eek, snow" and runs back into his burrow...snow. Pause for chocolatey love celebrations. Snow...snow...snow...oh, look at all this lovely citrus in the markets now...snow...snow...snow. That was my February. How was yours? I guess the only upside (and I'm struggling to find one, believe me) is that I got to spend a lot of time in my kitchen. So, it was a freezing cold, overly snowy and generally unacceptable February but with lots of delicious food.  Let's take a quick look back at all the recipes before we climb back under the covers and pray for spring. Did I mention it's snowing this morning?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Banana Bread Doughnuts with Banana Glaze

Banana Bread Doughnuts with Banana Glaze

One sad, lonely, over-ripe banana. One baked doughnut pan. And a sweet tooth. That's how this all started. Normally, if I have sad bananas, I think about banana bread but this time I had just one. Not enough for a well flavored bread. But, it was just right for a small batch of baked doughnuts.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Vegetable Frittata with Pasta Chip Crust

Vegetable Frittata with Pasta Chip Crust

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to my newest snack obsession, Pasta Chips. I'll admit that I couldn't wait to taste every flavor and then I mostly just wanted to munch away while watching a great movie. But what makes these special is that each variety is its own little flavor bomb and really deserves to be used in some way other than just shoved into my mouth in record speed. So, I think the only practical solution is that, from now on, I just buy two bags of each!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Marinated Greek Yogurt Cheese Balls (Labneh)

Marinated Greek Yogurt Cheese Balls (Labneh)

I'll be the first to admit that I'm completely obsessed with Greek yogurt. If I don't have my daily serving, I get a little cranky. If my supermarket runs out of my favorite brand, I will go to another market to find it. I need my fix! But apart from my daily treat, I love using it as an ingredient in dips, dressings and even cakes and quick breads. But my number one passion these days is turning it into cheese.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Pasta with Cauliflower Ragu

Pasta with Cauliflower Ragu

A few years ago I was attending a business dinner at a fine Italian restaurant and saw cauliflower ragu on the menu. I'd never heard of it before and, I admit, it sounded a bit odd. But, given my lifelong fondness for cauliflower, it was a sure bet I'd order it. And I promptly fell in love.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cherry Cheesecake Skillet Brownies

Cherry Cheesecake Skillet Brownies

Let's say that you're in the mood for an ooey gooey chocolatey dessert. OK, that would be pretty much every day. But let's say that you also wanted to make something pretty simple and no fuss. And a little special, but still no fuss. And maybe even a little romantic? These skillet brownies are so what you're looking for!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Tarts for Two

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Tarts for Two

It's getting to be that time, isn't it? Heart shaped boxes of chocolates for sale everywhere. Cards and bouquets of flowers and restaurant reservations to be gotten. Hmm. I'm all for the chocolates and cards and flowers but being packed into crowded restaurants on Valentine's Day is actually not big on my list. I much prefer a romantic dinner at home. And this is definitely the time to splurge on a good dessert.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thirsty Thursdays: Pink Greyhound

Pink Greyhound
Pink Greyhound

Check out today's post on A Cocktail Life for this simple and refreshing variation on a classic!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tamale Pie

Tamale Pie

After a long busy day, when I get hungry and realize it's already dinner time but I'm still at my desk, want to know what makes me happy? Remembering that I have dinner all ready in the fridge and it just needs a quick re-heating. Really happy.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Greek Yogurt and Grapefruit Panna Cotta



Greek Yogurt and Grapefruit Panna Cotta

In case I haven't mentioned it in the last ten minutes, I don't like winter. I bring this up again this morning as I look out the window at a snow and sleet covered mess outside. It's also Groundhog Day but I doubt he can see his shadow or even dig his way out of his burrow. Sigh. Still, all this inclement weather means more time in my kitchen. And it's all a bit more bearable when I can get some of Florida's sunshine, at least in citrus form.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winter Root Vegetable Gratin (and a Le Creuset Giveaway!)

Winter Root Vegetable Gratin

I don't recall ever eating gratins at home but my first restaurant taste of one fixed my obsession forever. Rich, creamy, gooey, often cheesy, they were right up there with the best in comfort foods. And so I learned to make them. But seeing first hand how rich they really were, made me rethink them. Oh, not to top eating them...don't be crazy! Just to remake them a bit.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Greek Yogurt Coeur La Creme

Greek Yogurt Coeur La Creme

If you're not familiar with this French classic, it's typically a luscious blend of cream cheese and heavy cream, sweetened and topped with a fruit sauce. The French word coeur means heart and this dish (literally "heart of cream") is usually molded in a heart shaped pan, hence the name. And that certainly makes it popular for romantic occasions. Sure, I'm all about chocolate on Valentine's Day but this makes a nice dessert alternative, especially if there's also a box of chocolate candy involved for late evening snacking.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Un-Stuffed (Deconstructed) Cabbage Rolls

Un-Stuffed (Deconstructed) Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed cabbage rolls were on my mother's regular meal rotation when I was a kid. And I loved them. Even the cabbage part. As a very young woman on my own, I kept a crazy schedule with a full time job and grad school at night. No time to cook much and mostly what was in my fridge was yogurt. Except on those lovely evenings when I'd get home late, open the fridge and find that my mother had dropped by during the day and left me a pot of her homemade cabbage rolls. She was such a good mommy.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dried Plum and Honey Scones



Dried Plum and Honey Scones

When I was growing up, my father used to eat prunes and tell me they were healthy. But all I saw, when he offered me one, was a wrinkled, shriveled mess. I couldn't image what kind of tree had grown it and I certainly wanted nothing to do with it. And he would chuckle and continue eating his prunes. At some point in my adult life, somebody clued me in that prunes were dried plums. Plums? Really? I like plums. I eat plums. They're really plums, huh? Hmm.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Nutty Whole Wheat Couscous Pilaf

Nutty Whole Wheat Couscous Pilaf

I have a very well stocked pantry with an enviable variety of grains from which to choose when making interesting recipes. The only thing that could possibly be more interesting is if I actually looked in there once in a while instead of just reaching for potatoes. But, it's a new year, a whole new me, a healthy me...OK, I was out of potatoes. But that gave me a chance to reacquaint myself with one of my favorite quick cook grains.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cauliflower "Rice" and Butternut Squash Bake

Cauliflower Rice and Butternut Squash Bake

Over the weekend I found myself doing the thousand yard stare into my pantry, trying to decide what to make for dinner. I had some salad ready and some chicken but I needed a side dish. Potatoes, polenta, rice...hmm...I kept coming back to the rice. I guess I like rice with chicken. Except that I'm trying to cut back on the starches for a while and add a few more vegetables. And then it hit me that I could make my favorite non-rice rice!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Crunchy Pickled Beets

Crispy Pickled Beets

Let's talk about beets this morning. Come back here! I'm not talking about that mess you got at some school cafeteria somewhere. And when people tell me they think beets taste like dirt, I have to assume a cafeteria is the only place they've tried them. Beets are sweet. Unless they're pickled. Then they're sweet and sour. And good.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Curried Potato and Chickpea Soup

Curried Potato and Chickpea Soup

OK, I'm officially cold. Somehow the holidays make the weather seem bearable and being outside, among the lights and decorations is festive enough to overcome the chill.  But my annual post-holiday intolerance of all things cold, snowy and wintery has set in.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thirsty Thursdays: Sparkling Apple and Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

Sparkling Apple and Cranberry Champagne Cocktail
Sparkling Apple and Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

Check out today's post on A Cocktail Life for this celebratory drink!

The Year in Review - 2014

The Year in Review - 2014

At last we've come to the end of 2014 and not a moment too soon. I'm not gonna lie, this was not my favorite year and I'm looking forward to waking up tomorrow morning with a fresh new attitude and endless possibilities.