Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Smoked Gouda Pretzel Cheese Dip

Smoked-Gouda-Pretzel-Cheese-Dip

Serious pretzel lover here! Not the hard, crunchy ones you snack on. Wait, I mean, yes, those, too. But I'm talking about the soft, bready ones. Is bready a word? Let's just say it is. Pretzels are all my New York childhood memories of getting the big salty ones from street vendors when my mom and I went to watch the ice skaters at Rockefeller Plaza. Pretzels are my jam.

Smoked-Gouda-Pretzel-Cheese-Dip
Cut to years later when pretzel rolls and pretzel bread became a thing. When you could get soup in a pretzel bowl in restaurants and I learned to make pretzel bread at home. And then came ready to eat pretzel bread in packages at the market and I was in pretzel heaven.

I first met the Pretzilla folks at the Fancy Food show last year when they handed me a little pretzel ball topped with mustard. It was pretzel love at first bite.

Since then I've bought their pretzel rolls, hot dog rolls and mini slider buns but those little pretzel balls are still my favorite. And since today is National Pretzel Day (yay for holidays that "get" me), I'm celebrating with a homemade cheesy tip. You can make this with cheddar cheese but I basically use any excuse to buy smoked Gouda. Actually also any excuse to buy pretzel balls. Enjoy!

Smoked Gouda Pretzel Cheese Dip

Smoked-Gouda-Pretzel-Cheese-Dip
by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ingredients (4 Servings)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups milk
  • 1/4 lb. Smoked Gouda, finely grated
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon mustard
  • 1/4 Teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt, if needed
  • 1 Slice crumbled cooked bacon (optional)
Instructions
Smoked-Gouda-Pretzel-Cheese-Dip
Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the minced garlic. Saute just for a few seconds to soften the garlic. 

Whisk in the flour until it forms a paste and slowly whisk in the milk. Continue whisking, on medium low heat, until the mixture is smooth and begins to thicken.

Stir in the cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and black pepper. Continue stirring until the cheese has fully melted and taste to see if any additional salt is needed. Serve warm with the crumbled bacon on top, if using.

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This recipe is sponsored by Pretzilla. Thank you for supporting the products I love and use in my kitchen.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Liz's Shabbat Apple Cake

Liz's-Shabbat-Apple-Cake

Today I have the pleasure of sharing a recipe with you that comes from my friend Liz's new book, The Ultimate Jewish Shabbat Dinner. Liz writes the blog, The Lemon Bowl, and she shares many recipes from her Jewish and Syrian childhood. Given my passion for Middle Eastern cuisine, I'm obviously a fan.

The new book, though, is a collection of her grandmother Ljuba's Jewish recipes. I was flipping through the copy she sent me to review, and basically drooling over everything, when I came upon the apple cake recipe. Ding, ding! That was my mother's favorite cake and I was transported back to many delicious childhood memories. I knew as soon as I made the batter that this was going to be good and my faith was rewarded with a tall, satisfying cake that's bursting with apples and heavenly cinnamon. Enjoy!




You can purchase a copy of Food From Our Ancestors: The Ultimate Jewish Shabbat Dinner for $3.99 by clicking this link.

Liz is also the author of two previous Food From Our Ancestors books, Italian Sunday Dinner and Mexican Sunday Dinner. You can purchase all three books for $9.99 by clicking this link.


Liz's Shabbat Apple Cake

Liz's-Shabbat-Apple-Cake
by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 90 Minutes
Ingredients (12 Servings)
  • 4 Apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Cups white sugar plus 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 Cups flour plus 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup oil
  • 1/4 Cup orange juice
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup flour
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
Instructions
Liz's-Shabbat-Apple-Cake
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour an angel food tube pan and set aside.
Toss the apple slices with the 5 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining 2 cups of sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a third small bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, orange juice and vanilla. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined.

Pour 1/3 of the batter into the tube pan then layer with 1/2 of the apples. Add in another 1/3 of the batter and layer with the remaining apples. Pour in the final 1/3 of the batter on top.

In another small bowl, mix the brown sugar with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and sprinkle evenly on top of the cake batter. Dot with the butter and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Photos are my own. Recipe from The Ultimate Jewish Shabbat Dinner, reprinted with permission.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Potato Hash Shakshuka

Potato-Hash-Shakshuka

The first time I saw shakshuka on a restaurant menu, I flashed to my first experience of huevos rancheros, the popular Mexican breakfast dish. The two aren't really similar at all except for the tomato sauce but, since my first huevos experience wasn't good, I kind of mentally banned eggs and tomato sauce, no matter the cuisine. I know better now, of course.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Strawberry and Honey Oat Scones

Strawberry-and-Honey-Oat-Scones

I'm always fascinated by cooking / lifestyle programs that talk about entertaining over breakfast. I mean, I love entertaining. Come for lunch, come for tea, come for dinner or drinks. It's all good. But please don't come for breakfast. Unless you either enjoy cold, half eaten toast or like having your breakfast around Noon. I just can't fathom it any other way.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Cream Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Bagel Balls

Cream-Cheese-Stuffed-Pretzel-Bagel-Balls

Being a native New Yorker, I'm used to a bagel with a schmear (of cream cheese) as a given. Every deli has it as the morning special with coffee, as do the street vending carts that offer breakfast options in midtown. It's our thing. Our delicious thing. The only question, really, is what kind of bagel you want with your schmear.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chocolate Crumb Snack Cake

Chocolate-Crumb-Snack-Cake

Last weekend I was home, wanting a beautiful spring day but, instead, watching it snow outside. I was alternating between watching that giraffe cam and snuggling with my dog (my own personal petting zoo). Are you guys into the giraffe thing? I have no idea how I got sucked into waiting for a giraffe to give birth but now I'm involved so I'll wait it out until she has that baby and then go on with my life. But, in the interest of sanity, I decided to bake a cake.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Loaded Egg Salad Bagel with Honey Roasted Bacon

Loaded-Egg-Salad-Bagel-with-Honey-Roasted-Bacon

What's that expression about, if you're going to do something then do it right? Well, this is a breakfast sandwich done right. More of a weekend project for me but definitely a special Sunday morning treat. Maybe even an amazing brunch for two after a good long sleep.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Middle Eastern Potato Snack Platter

Middle-Eastern-Potato-Snack-Platter

I'm impatient for spring to arrive. It always happens to me around this time of year. I feel like I've endured two months of freezing cold and snow and now I want cherry blossoms and warmth. Soon, I know, but not quite yet. So, while it's still cold and bleak, I'm catching up on my streaming movie watching and that requires snacks.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Smokey Black Bean Burgers

Smokey-Black-Bean-Burgers

The other day I was looking through my refrigerator and cupboards and pulling out ingredients to make lunch. No particular plan. Just seeing what I have and what I could make with it. My own personal episode of Chopped?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Tex-Mex Potato Nachos

Tex-Mex-Potato-Nachos

It feels like I haven't been in my kitchen for weeks but, actually it's more like one week. One whole, incredibly long week of being flat on my back with the flu. Yes, that plague that's been going around since the new year finally caught up to me and all I can say is that it's evil. And I need a serious break from chicken soup for a while. Oy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Heart Shaped Chocolate Cherry Mini Cakes

Heart-Shaped-Chocolate-Cherry-Mini-Cakes

It all started when I decided to make some Valentine's treats for friends and neighbors. I figured I'd do something fun and colorful but my baking cabinet was sadly out of red or pink sprinkles. So I headed to the store to restock and saw heart shaped sprinkles (what??) and red candy melts and heart shaped cutters and I bought them all without even knowing what I was going to do with them.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Red Velvet Swirl Bundt Cake with White Chocolate Ganache

Red-Velvet-Swirl-Bundt-Cake-with-White-Chocolate-Ganache

So the Superbowl is over, right? And one of the teams won, correct? My lack of interest is showing, isn't it? In fairness, I'm a big fan of football food. I just prefer eating it while watching puppies playing with a ball. But that's not important now. What is important is that we all stuffed ourselves with copious amounts of game day snacks and now it's time to focus on the sweets. Yup, Valentine's Day is coming!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Soup and Salad Wraps Dinner

Soup-and-Salad-Wraps-Dinner

I think I've made it known in the past that I'm obsessed with soup in cold weather. And by cold weather, I mean starting right after Labor Day. And by "made it known" I mean multiple times per year going back forever. So, it's a soup-fest around here for most of the year.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Game Day Eats Ideas and Finds!

Game-Day-Eats-Ideas-and-Finds!

I'm back today with more game day food ideas but with an eye toward convenience. Let's face it, sometimes you've just been cooking too much and too many folks are coming and you need some shortcuts. Or, at least, recommendations for good products to buy to supplement the snacks you've made yourself. So here then are some items I've tried lately that deliver on flavor, convenience and quality. I hope some of them will find their way to your game day festivities. Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Southwestern Chorizo Filled Potato Poppers and Pineapple Salsa

Southwestern-Chorizo-Filled Potato-Poppers-and-Pineapple-Salsa

I'm deep in game day recipe mode around here. Between regular Sunday sporting events on TV and the big game coming up soon, it's a bit of a snack fest around here. And the cold rainy weather outside is not doing anything to remove the desire to eat yummy food in front of the TV inside, if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ultimate Crispy Topped Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Ultimate-Crispy-Topped-Cheddar-Mac-and-Cheese

Superbowl is almost here. Are you getting really excited? Are you cheering for your favorite teams and planning a big get together with lots of great snacks? Me, too! Um...OK...maybe just the food part. Seriously, I have watched football (the things you do for men), I understand football (sort of, in the sense that I know the rules of the game) but I'm really just here to eat.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Spiralized Root Vegetable Pasta with Crispy Chickpeas and Walnut Pangrattato

Spiralized-Root-Vegetable-Pasta-with-Crispy-Chickpeas-and-Walnut-Pangrattato

This recipe title is a mouthful, I know. And it really should be even longer because it's technically a walnut gremolata pangrattato. Ouch. So many big words for such a simple and easy to make dish. Healthy, filling, delicious and on the table in 30 minutes. Let's discuss, shall we?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Southwestern Black Bean Salad with Sweet Potato Wedges

Southwestern-Black-Bean-Salad-with-Sweet-Potato-Wedges

Happy New Year, friends! I have to say that I love when New Year's Day falls on a Sunday. I mean, I'm all for resolutions and new beginnings and all that. But to go from chugging a bottle of champagne (I admit nothing) to presenting yourself at the gym the next morning on a bowl of high fiber, whole grain cereal, is a little daunting. By which I mean, it ain't happening. So this way, we kind of get a bridge day to get it together.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Bourbon Manhattan Cherry Shrub

Bourbon-Manhattan-Cherry-Shrub

I always find it hard to say what my favorite foods and drinks are because I love so many. But if there's one cocktail that's had a starring role over the years, it's the Manhattan. It's one of the first real drinks I ever tried and I'm sure the name had a lot to do with the attraction for this native New York girl. But I did really like it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Baked Gingerbread Doughnut Holes

Baked-Gingerbread-Doughnut-Holes

In between the rounds of cookie baking I've been doing lately, I was suddenly struck with an urge for a doughnut. Of course, the problem could also be that I was gifting all the cookies and developing sweet treat withdrawal. It actually doesn't take much to put me in sweet treat withdrawal which is probably why stretchy pants are such a good idea. But back to the doughnuts. I wanted some right now.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Satsuma Mandarin Shrub Martini

Satsuma-Mandarin-Shrub-Martini

This year I added a new treat to my list of favorite things. I wasn't completely sure how I felt about the idea of drinking something that was made with vinegar. But, as it turns out, I'm totally on board and the shrub experiments began in earnest around here. If you haven't tried it yet but are a fan of kombucha, you probably will become a shrub lover.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Potato, Onion and Cauliflower Latkes

Potato-Onion-and-Cauliflower-Latkes

It's getting to be the most delicious time of the year. And if there's anything better than the smell of frying potato pancakes, I don't know what it is. Yes, Hanukkah is in a couple of short weeks. In fact, it's rather late this year, with the first menorah candle being lit on Christmas Eve. So, there will be yuletide carols and frying potatoes. It's going to be epic!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Southwestern Cheddar Stuffed Meatballs

Southwestern-Cheddar-Stuffed-Meatballs

Meatballs again? Oh, hell yes, I love them! They're easy to make, use ingredients I usually have around the house and the flavor can be customized in lots of different ways. They're great as leftovers or on a sandwich. Hey, there's a reason that a meatball themed restaurant is doing so well in New York that it's opened multiple locations. More meatballs!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Potato and Acorn Squash Soup

Potato-and-Acorn-Squash-Soup

Every year I flip through fancy housewares catalogs and see gorgeous soup bowls shaped like pumpkins and squash, just begging to be added to an elegant holiday table. And I want them. And I imagine making pumpkin or squash soup to serve in them. But I never buy them because they're kinda pricey for something I'll just use at Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Cocoa Caramel Cocktail

Cocoa-Caramel-Cocktail

Every year I plan a "house cocktail" for the holidays. I make a big pitcher of it in advance and then just shake off the individual cocktails with ice as guests arrive. Since I'm a big believer in making as much ahead as possible so I can enjoy actually spending time with friends and relatives, it makes sense to do the same with the drinks.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Pear and Apple Autumn Pie

Pear-and-Apple-Autumn-Pie

Holiday desserts in my house have always meant pie. Sure, there might be a few other things that I whipped up or that guests brought. And they change with the season and mood. But there's always pie. When I was a kid, I really only ever wanted the crust and could do without the filling. But now that I make my own pies, I want them both.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Butternut Squash and Parmesan Lasagna

Butternut-Squash-and-Parmesan-Lasagna

So, I was basically a nervous wreck all day yesterday, waiting for election results and watching cable news obsessively. I knew I needed some comfort food so I put my nervous energy to work in the kitchen, layering flavors, creating something delicious and keeping my mind occupied.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Butternut and Ricotta Polenta with Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Butternut-and-Ricotta-Polenta-with-Crispy-Brussels-Sprouts

I've been on a serious polenta kick around here lately. I think it's a combination of chilly weather and busyness. Polenta is a big warm bowl of comfort and it's also easy to make and cooks pretty fast. And, for even more fun, it's wonderfully versatile so I can change up the flavors and not get bored.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Crispy Curried Smashed Potatoes

Crispy-Curried-Smashed-Potatoes

Have you ever had crispy smashed potatoes? To me, they're sort of like potato skins only a few notches above. Skins have tons of toppings but not much potato. Definitely more appetizer than side dish. But smashed potatoes give you the crispiness as well as the full flavor of the potato. But, somehow, I rarely get around to making them.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream with Praline Pecans

Pumpkin-Cheesecake-Ice-Cream-with-Praline-Pecans

For most of my life, I stopped craving ice cream after summer was over. But all that changed a number of years ago when I first tasted pumpkin ice cream. There's a small local artisan ice cream shop near my apartment and they put a sign out announcing the flavor. Curiosity eventually got the better of me and I went in and got a scoop. An obsession was born.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies

Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Sandwich-Cookies

We will now take a brief recess from pumpkin spice everything to bring you some peanut butter. I promise that things will go back to orange very shortly. But sometimes, peanut butter and jelly beckon and you cannot refuse. OK, I cannot refuse.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Smokey Pumpkin Sage Pasta Sauce

Smokey Pumpkin Sage Pasta Sauce

Wow, it's almost the end of the first week of October and this is the first pumpkin recipe I've shared with you this season. That's quite a lot of restraint on my part because I love pumpkin and my kitchen has been stocked with them since I saw the first one in the market.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Park Avenue Vegetarian Sandwich

Park Avenue Vegetarian Sandwich

Many years ago (we won't discuss how many), I worked at an ad agency that was on Park Avenue in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. And down the block was a great deli where most of the neighborhood headed for lunch. They piled their sandwiches high with all the lunch meat you could ever hope for but they also offered a veggie only option, called the Park Avenue Vegetarian, that was piled just as high.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Joan's Ding Dong Cake

Joan's Ding Dong Cake

Earlier this month, a foodie friend posted a link to the Ding Dong cake from Chocolate, Chocolate and More and a flood of memories came pouring in. My darling friend, Joan, created that blog and made it hugely popular. She loved to bake and loved to spend time in the kitchen with her three children in her lovely Georgia home. But Joan was not a small town girl and she and this big city girl hit it off like gangbusters. She was smart, funny, sassy, irreverent and a good time. But she was also the person most likely to help anyone with anything without ever looking to take credit for it. She was a rare and special light.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Covered Pretzel Crust

Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Covered Pretzel Crust

I was in the grocery store last week and planned to pick up a bag of pretzels to snack on. All they had were large bags, more than I needed for a snack for sure, so I thought I might use the rest in a pie crust. And while I'm standing there, deciding, my eyes fell on a bag of chocolate covered pretzels. I'm totally a sweet and salty fan and chocolate covered pretzels are some of my favorite treats but I normally try to avoid them. The reason my eyes lingered is because my brain was thinking along the lines of pie crust and I wondered what would happen if I made a chocolate covered pretzel pie crust. Very, very good things would happen, actually.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Salisbury Steak Meatballs

Salisbury Steak Meatballs

Last week I came home from grocery shopping with a pound of ground beef but no fixed idea how I was going to use it. That's not really all that unusual and I picked it up because I knew I needed dinner ideas, even if I didn't know what they were. One of my go-to ground beef dinners is meatballs and my basic recipe includes an egg and breadcrumbs with the herbs and spices varying. A basic tomato sauce works most of the time but the sauce is a good opportunity to give the dish a new flavor. So, what flavor?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Late Summer Pasta with Roasted Corn Sauce

Late Summer Pasta with Roasted Corn Sauce

I know summer isn't technically over until the third week of September but it never feels that way. The whole vibe of the city changes right after Labor Day weekend. Kids go back to school, summer beach house shares are over and stores start decorating for Halloween. Even the temperature seems to dip abruptly during those first few days. Everything says summer is over.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Lychee and Elderflower Gin and Tonic

Lychee and Elderflower Gin and Tonic

Back in my youthful clubbing days (no, we're not going to talk about how long ago that was) I was a gin and tonic girl. I can't say I remember exactly loving it but it seemed to be popular with my friends and I rather liked the smell of juniper berries. And then, I didn't. One day I got tired of the juniper and the tonic and moved on to more involved cocktails.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Honey Blueberry Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl

Honey Blueberry Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl

How is it possible that summer's almost over? Didn't it just begin recently? Ugh, it's always such a whirlwind. And this was a busy summer for me, work-wise, so it definitely flew by. I know that in just a couple of weeks we'll be planning the last official summer cookouts of the season and getting ready to send the kids back to school and us back to full time work schedules.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer Party in the Big City (with Bourbon Peach Fizz Cocktails)

Summer Party in the Big City (with Bourbon Peach Fizz Cocktails)

No back yard to hold the summer party? We big city types are not fazed in the least. Sure, we can take our picnics to the park but since New Yorkers spend so much time vertically, we love holding our parties up high.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Mixed Cherry and Goat Cheese Pie

Mixed Cherry and Goat Cheese Pie

Sometimes in life it's worth making a fuss. Now you know that normally I'm not a fussy baker and I like more rustic looking desserts. But I've been seeing some seriously beautiful pies on Instagram lately (are you following me there at hungrycouplenyc ?) and I found myself with a sudden overwhelming desire to cut leaf shapes out of pie dough. I can't explain it so let's just go with it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Spinach Salad with Crumbled Feta and Tomato Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Crumbled Feta and Tomato Vinaigrette

Last week I was talking about my crazy busy summer schedule (which hasn't even remotely slowed down, by the way) and how I've been trying to combine store bought dinner help with an easy fresh side dish. So, let's chat about that again because it seems to be working well to get me through the crazy days without ordering take-out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mango Lemonade Vodka Fizz



Mango Lemonade Vodka Fizz

I am definitely a sucker for anything mango flavored and I will find whatever it is on any menu or any grocery store pretty much right away. And I'm most likely buying it because...mango! And yes I do buy a lot of fresh mangoes in season but the thought of juicing those babies is a little tiresome.