|The Hungry (and Happy) Couple|
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Brian's not much of a champagne drinker so, with New Year's Eve coming, I wanted to make a festive cocktail that didn't rely on the bubbly. A chocolate martini seemed a good choice and I asked him to bring home a bottle of Godiva chocolate liqueur. He bought what I asked for but, as I was mixing the drink, he expressed doubt that it would be good.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I love the Christmas music that's playing all around and every time I hear The Carpenter's "Home for the Holidays" with the line about heading for some homemade pumpkin pie, it makes me want some. Ironically, neither of us are big fans of traditional pumpkin pie but this year I've been experimenting more with pumpkin and decided to see if I could come up with a pie we liked. I realized I don't care for the usual homogeneous flavor and that gave me the idea to deconstruct it. How did it turn out? Let me tell you, this is the most amazing dessert we never knew how much we wanted!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The flavor of gingerbread is, of course, a holiday staple. Traditionally made with molasses, gingerbread cakes are dark but this easy scone recipe lightens up the taste. With plenty of flavorful ginger and a bit of spice, a batch of these freshly baked scones won't be around for long!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
This tastes so completely, wonderfully, amazingly good! After we'd polished off the Thanksgiving leftovers and every last shred of turkey was gone, I still had a bit of butternut squash left in the veggie crisper. I'd already maple glazed it and served it up in a delicious salad so I needed another idea.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
It was near the end of my first week at a new job and I was exhausted. It's so stressful to be the new kid, even when you're senior, and by now I had a headache, a backache and I seemed to have pulled something in my knee. I was a train wreck pushing a cart down the aisle of the supermarket to buy some staples and decide what to eat for dinner - grilled cheese and canned soup, as it turned out. But I also felt like something baked and sweet and I was too tired to walk to the bakery.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I'm usually a raw carrot muncher but I tend to like serving them as a cooked side veggie when I have company for dinner. I find that their naturally sweet, mild flavor means that even non-veggie fans will usually eat them. I typically steam them and serve with a little butter or olive oil and some chopped fresh dill.
Monday, November 28, 2011
221 South Riverside Avenue, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520, 914-271-8868
How do you review a restaurant that you visit once a year, on the exact same date? Let us explain. A number of years ago on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, with holiday company gone, Brian and I decided on an impromptu outing. We drove up one side of the Hudson River Valley, crossed over the Bear Mountain bridge and followed the river back down through all the towns along the valley. The day was dreary and cold but Christmas music was playing on the radio and we held hands in the car throughout much of the drive. After many hours, hungry and in desperate need of a restroom, we stumbled on this diner in Croton.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
If you're not a fan of the ubiquitous Thanksgiving marshmallow and yam casserole or if you're just looking for a simpler way to add that expected sweet side dish, then try this simple and delicious recipe. This is our house standard side dish next to the mash and gravy and the only one that never has any leftovers! Enjoy!
Monday, November 21, 2011
The first time I tasted this salad was at one of our favorite restaurants and, quite frankly, the combination didn't sound like it would work. But we'd never had a dish there that we didn't like so it was worth the experiment... a delicious experiment, as it turned out! I've ordered that salad several times since then and learned to make it on my own with some personal variations. Enjoy!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The desire to order a rich delectable goat cheese tart as an appetizer in a restaurant is usually tempered by the rueful realization that we can no longer have dessert. But a little experimentation on a lazy Sunday afternoon produced this far lighter version that keeps the mouth watering flavor while removing some of the fat, calories and cholesterol.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I hadn't thought much about sweet potatoes all summer but the combination of cooler weather, and a colleague's semi- obsession with them, influenced me to pick up a couple of plump ones in the market. The colleague in question had stuffed hers with broccoli, which sounded good, and fat free cottage cheese, which sounded less appealing. But I was certainly inspired to stuff! I chose spinach instead of broccoli because of the creamier texture. Cheese, of course, although I went with cheddar. And I did keep it low fat because there's no sense in ruining the nutritional powerhouse of the mighty sweet potato with gobs of cholesterol.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Last night I was really in the mood for my risotto tart so I began assembling the ingredients and reached for my spring-form pan. But then I saw my newest kitchen additions - two mini spring-forms - that had looked so adorable, and irresistible, on the shelves at Sur La Table. When I bought them I envisioned making mini cakes but have actually found a number of other uses.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Which came first, the pumpkin or the pan? Well, truthfully, the pan. I saw this Wilton Dimensions mini pumpkin pan, and with my pumpkin obsession, knew I had to have it. Once I had it, though, I had to decide what type of cakes to bake in it.
Friday, October 21, 2011
If you've ever tried the combination of chocolate and pumpkin then you know that they go beautifully together! But why restrict that yummy flavor to baked goods? As tasty as a pumpkin martini is, the chocolate version is simply scrumptious. It's creamy and decadent tasting with just enough pumpkin and chocolate flavors so that you taste both but neither overwhelms you. Serve it to holiday guests on chilly fall evenings... or just make one for yourself after a long day of work. Cheers!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I love how these pumpkin shaped scones turned out. But... truthfully, that wasn't exactly what I set out to do. Over the weekend I'd planned to bake a batch of pumpkin flavored scones - just basic scones with a little glaze on top. But somehow the dough was just too loose and there was no way to pat it out and shape it.
Monday, October 10, 2011
|Apple picking at Harvest Moon Farms|
We took advantage of a lovely Columbus Day weekend to take a drive upstate, watch the leaves turn and visit Harvest Moon Farms in North Salem for some apple picking, pumpkin picking, the smell of cider doughnuts and delighting in the season. With baskets of apples and pumpkins now on hand, we re-visited our favorite old and new recipes. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Friday, October 7, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
I love fried zucchini (what's not to love?) and am constantly being tempted by recipes that promise the same taste from an oven rather than a deep fryer. I try and try these recipes but the result is always soggy. Each time I vow to give up on the idea but then I find myself staring at a recipe's photo that looks so...so...crispy and I fall for it again.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
So there I was with a day off on a rainy Friday... Brian at work... me snuggled in bed with my furry sous chef... watching an Animal Cops marathon on TV... watching people starving their horses and abusing their puppies while I'm hugging the stuffing out of my own pup. I gotta stop watching this because it's making me so mad.
Monday, September 26, 2011
201 East 71st Street, New York, NY 10021, 212-452-2323 www.gracestrattoria.net
We've shopped at Grace's Market for years but only recently stopped in to the trattoria for Sunday brunch. The menu is fairly extensive and features far more than standard brunch fare.
Friday, September 23, 2011
I'll pause a moment to mourn the official passing of summer on this, the first day of fall. In reality, we pretty much say goodbye to summer after Labor Day and the past week or so has brought some delightfully autumnal weather to New York. Summer may be my favorite season but fall comes a close second and the appearance of pumpkins in the market makes me happy.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Green Goddess salad dressing is an old classic recipe, thick and creamy and reminiscent of the great salads you'd get at a steakhouse. Most of the time, I'd be just as happy to skip the steak in favor of a giant portion of salad with extra creamy dressing and thick buttery bread.
Friday, September 16, 2011
As you may have heard, New York, usually blissfully free of natural disaster (unless you count political scandals) recently got a double whammy. We were treated to a little earthquake mid-week and then spent the weekend in a hurricane.
Monday, September 12, 2011
136 Front Street, Greenport, NY 11944, 631-477-6720 www.chefnoahschwartz.com
After strolling around the town of Greenport for a few hours on a lovely warm day, we came to Noah's Restaurant. Hungry, we quickly scanned the menu outside and saw lots of tasty sounding offerings plus the outdoor seating looked quite inviting. An excellent waiter appeared immediately, showed us to a comfortable table and brought a big carafe of cool water.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
We spent one of the last warm days of summer strolling around the town of Greenport on the North Fork of Long Island.
The area is known for it's many wineries, farm stands and delightful little towns. At it's tip is Orient Point where you can catch the ferry to New England.
Friday, September 9, 2011
We left for our Labor Day weekend getaway thinking we'd be drinking our beloved frozen peach daiquiris. But, we still had a full bottle of Midori on hand and were still freshly enamored with our recent key lime martini recipe, so we were in the mood to experiment. It took a few tries to come up with this delicious and cool blend of lime and melon but the result was well worth it. Cheers!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
A while back I had a rather poorly made melon martini at a local restaurant. Although the drink itself disappointed, the idea appealed and I set out to make a better version. The result is an amazingly refreshing and well balanced drink that's just perfect for summer.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
When I was growing up, my mother frequently served wonderful lima beans and I've loved them ever since. She rightly believed that adding sautéed onions to foods usually made them taste good and I often follow that philosophy and prepare the beans much as my mother did.
Labels: Beans and Legumes
Friday, August 12, 2011
On a recent vacation in Mystic, CT we dined at the highly lauded S & P Oyster Company and had a delightful Key Lime Martini while we waited for our table. Of course we had to try the recipe at home! None of the recipes we found online were exactly identical to the one the bartenders at S & P made but we're going with their wonderful version. It's sweet, sour, refreshing, deceptively powerful and lip-smacking delicious. Cheers!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
1 Holmes Street, Mystic, CT 06355, 860-536-2674 www.sp-oyster.com
When we mentioned to people that we were going to spend a few days vacationing in the Mystic/ Stonington area, anyone who'd been there told us to eat at S & P Oyster Company. The opinions of the place were universal and unanimous and now that we've sampled it ourselves, we'll add our voices to the cheering choir.
Monday, August 8, 2011
60 Water Street, Stonington, CT 06378, 860-535-2000 www.innatstonington.com
Situated at the quiet end of the town's main street and just off the river, the Stonington Inn is pretty, elegant and comfortable. We stayed in room one, a somewhat small but beautifully decorated queen bedroom with a private little terrace facing the water. The room's marble bathroom is actually huge and offers an inviting looking whirlpool tub as well as a large stall shower, toiletries and comfortable robes.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
|Sous Chef Hadley|
I have a very small Manhattan kitchen so it's just as well that my sous chef is only a foot tall. She's not been to culinary school but has displayed a great deal of natural talent. For example, she's helpfully pointed out to me that bacon tastes much better than carrots and that the full fat yogurt is far superior to that fat-free stuff I keep trying to push.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Recently, a chef friend and colleague was cleaning out her collection of old cookbooks and she brought me a couple to see if I wanted them. There was a great tome on pasta making that will go into my "someday" pile and there was an old Martha Stewart entertaining book. I generally enjoy flipping through the Martha Stewart Living Magazine when it happens across my desk at work, whether I actually attempt any of her ideas or not. But the old entertaining book felt quite old indeed. The recipes and ideas seemed very dated and way too fussy for me. But then I happened on a large photo of a risotto tart. Huh? A risotto baked into a tart? The thought had never occurred to me...but I liked it.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
The first time that Brian and I ate at Sojourn Restaurant, now one of our favorite tapas places, we ordered an amazing roasted corn salad. The ingredients came together in such a perfect blend of flavors and textures that I knew I'd have to try to recreate this dish at home. Happily, it was fairly easy to do and now I serve this salad frequently. Enjoy!
Monday, July 18, 2011
We usually choose not to review a restaurant based only on brunch, particularly if their regular fare is quite different. Around here there are plenty of Italian, Greek and other ethnic cuisine restaurants offering Sunday brunch menus filled with omelets, pancakes and other expected American favorites. And that brings us to the question of how popular brunch is in other parts of the country? Here in New York City it's practically required and all restaurants seem compelled to offer it.
Friday, July 15, 2011
My first taste of X-Rated Fusion Liqueur was a year ago on summer vacation in Maine. The interesting cocktail menu at One Dock in Kennebunkport offered an X-Rated Martini and it sounded to fetching to pass up. The drink itself was a delightful pink hue and had a summery sweet and sour kick. I loved it and determined to buy a bottle of that liqueur. But somehow a year passed and it always fell down the list as we experimented with other delectable concoctions.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Last summer, while on vacation in Maine, I had pasta bolognese that was so under-whelming and bland that it never occurred to me to want to make it for myself. But a more recent experience was far more pleasant. Over the Independence Day weekend, we dined at a lovely waterfront restaurant on the south shore of Long Island and I ordered the bolognese. I wasn't sure what to expect but I wanted a pasta dinner since the rest of the holiday weekend was shaping up to be a meat-intensive grill-fest.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Frozen blender drinks are terrific in summer but a great alternative to plain ice is to use a bit of sorbet. And what better summery flavor than the sweet and tart blood orange. Our easy formula for cocktails is a little tart, a little sweet, a flavorful mixer and the liquor of your choice. In this case, our liquor is vodka, the flavorful mixer is Cointreau (an orange liqueur), some lemon juice for the sour and the sweetness of blood orange sorbet. Blend up a big batch, pour into cocktail glasses and stash them in the freezer. It's slushy and sweet...and powerful! Cheers!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I love creamed veggies as much as anyone but the "cream" part usually keeps me away. But while flipping through the pages of a food magazine, my eye was drawn to a recipe for "creamless" creamed corn from chef Daniel Boulud. Although he left out the cream, he did substitute gratuitous amounts of butter! Nevertheless, the idea seemed adaptable and my leaner version came out quite delicious. Enjoy!
Monday, July 4, 2011
3 Consuelo Place, Oakdale, NY 11769, 631-589-2694 www.viewoakdale.com
Dinner at The View was a confusing experience, filled with conundrums. Reservations at a waterfront restaurant on Long Island on a summer holiday weekend should be hard to come by but we had no trouble despite a late decision to dine here.
Friday, July 1, 2011
It occurred to me, as we were mixing up this weekend's cocktails, that if the world had ended on schedule back in May, we would not have been subjected to photos of Anthony Weiner's various... um... parts. Or forced to endure any of the other subsequent political scandals, for that matter. But, the upside of the doomsday delay is that we can continue to enjoy the cocktails we experimented with that night.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
My Cuisinart food processor is as old as the hills and I hate the thing. There's no reason to replace it because it works perfectly but it's heavy and cumbersome and annoying to clean. It is the perfect tool to make my pie dough and ideal for my favorite cheesecake recipe. But for the majority of the year it sits tucked away in the bottom of a cabinet. Sometimes I encounter recipes that require a food processor but I'll either pass them up or just chop things by hand.
Friday, June 24, 2011
We're all for the interesting and complex where cocktails are concerned but sometimes simplicity and expedience rules. Our favorite, go-to cocktail is the Balalaika which is the fancy name of a classic Sidecar made with vodka instead of gin. Three simple ingredients - equal parts vodka and Cointreau and a half part of lemon juice, shake well over ice and serve in a chilled glass. The drink tends to be on the sour side so we prefer it in a glass with a sugared rim.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
As a nutritious change from pasta and potatoes, whole grains taste great, are loaded with fiber, protein and vitamins and make wonderful side dishes. I usually have some type of grain salad in the fridge for easy lunches and snacks. Most supermarkets sell whole grains and they can usually be found in the rice aisle. So, if you're not familiar with some of the more popular ones, look for them the next time you go grocery shopping and try one of these delicious recipes.
Monday, June 20, 2011
1582 York Ave, New York, NY 10028, 212-717-7311 www.theethiopianrestaurant.com
Neither Brian nor I had ever eaten Ethiopian food before. The opportunity hadn't presented itself and we didn't seek it out. But there does happen to be a little Ethiopian restaurant, appropriately named 'The Ethiopian Restaurant' about 5 blocks from our apartment. We'd passed it dozens of times, usually on our way back from taking our pup to the river promenade, and when we were almost certainly headed to our favorite outdoor cafe to eat.
Friday, June 17, 2011
This heavenly concoction came about by happy accident. I was watching a Food Network show about confections that highlighted the Sugarland Bakery in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In addition to traditional bakery goodies, they serve gelato cocktails including a signature blue Tartini that caught my eye. It looked so delicious that I instantly wanted one! But although the show mentioned some of the ingredients, I could not find a recipe. So, after a quick trip to the store for Blue Curacao, I got out my blender and began to experiment.