Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spring Pea Soup

Spring Pea Soup

When I was wandering around the produce section of the market, looking for dinner inspiration, I wasn't really expecting to make soup. Not that I'm opposed to it almost year round but my mind was looking for spring food inspiration. And there they were - spring peas. And fresh chives and even pea tendrils. And I started to think about a light, simple but flavorful soup.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Walnut Cake

Walnut Cake

As much as I might ooh and aah over some beautifully decorated and artfully frosted cakes, the fact is that I usually prefer something more simple. Give me a crumb cake and make sure there's a thick layer of it, a good coffee cake dusted with powdered sugar or a simple almond pastry and please have a pot of tea ready as well.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Blueberry Cheesecake Martini

Blueberry Cheesecake Martini

For most of my life I was obsessed with strawberry cheesecake. That is, a standard New York style cheesecake with a layer of strawberries on top, usually glazed with some kind of syrup. Steakhouses are the best places to find perfect examples of this classic and it's what I always ordered. Until a few years ago when we had dinner at Sojourn and tasted their blueberry ricotta cheesecake. And my fantasy cheesecake repertoire suddenly grew.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cast Iron Loaded Deep Dish Pizza

Cast Iron Loaded Deep Dish Pizza

I'm a lazy pizza maker. There, I've said it. Living in New York, it's easy enough to satisfy a pizza craving by simply walking two blocks in any direction of my apartment but I don't so much care for those thin pizza parlor slices. OK, I may have just jeopardized my right to live here but I've said that now, too. There are several excellent options for pre-made artisan dough around here and I tend to keep balls of it in my freezer. Are you sort of thinking of forgiving me? But I tend to dump whatever form of tomato sauce I have in the house, some pre-shredded cheese and slices of pepperoni on it, put the whole thing on a sheet pan and shove it in the oven. Wait! Come back here. I can do better, I promise.

Monday, April 20, 2015

New York Frito Pie

New York Frito Pie

I grew up in Manhattan. We had Frito's but no Frito pie. We also had no Walmart or Target or any supermarket larger than a standard studio apartment because real estate is way too expensive around here. It was a deprived existence. OK, not really. New York is an amazing place to grow up but we still had no Frito pie. Thanks to some of the wonderful southern foodies I've met through blogging though, I have been introduced to this creation and it sounded wonderful.

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.

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.