Monday, December 26, 2016

Bourbon Manhattan Cherry Shrub

Recipe for a bourbon cocktail flavored with a 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

Recipe for baked mini doughnuts, flavored with ginger and cinnamon.

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

Recipe for a gin cocktail flavored with a mandarin orange shrub.

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

Recipe for fried potato pancakes with onion and cauliflower.

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

Recipe for meatballs stuffed with cheddar cheese.

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

Recipe for a creamy acorn squash and potato soup, flavored with cumin and fresh thyme.

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

Recipe for a rum cocktail flavored with cocoa, caramel and cinnamon.

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

Recipe for an apple and pear pie with a homemade butter crust.

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

Recipe for lasagna made with a creamy butternut squash and Parmesan bechamel sauce.

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

Recipe for a creamy polenta side dish made with ricotta cheese and served 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

Recipe for crispy, oven smashed potatoes drizzled with a curry olive oil.

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

Recipe for cheesecake ice cream flavored with pumpkin puree and cinnamon.

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

Recipe for a sandwich cookie filled with peanut butter and strawberry jelly.

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

Recipe for a creamy sauce flavored with pumpkin puree, sage and smoked paprika.

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

Recipe for a sandwich, dressed with hummus and filled with avocado, tomato, cucumber, carrots and a fried egg.

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

Rich, two layer deep chocolate cake with a flavorful pastry cream in the center and chocolate ganache on top.

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

Recipe for a peanut butter mousse pie with a 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

Recipe for meatballs in a beef, mushroom and Worcestershire gravy.

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

Recipe for pasta in a sauce made of corn, milk, Parmesan and herbs.

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

Recipe for a gin cocktail with lychees and elderflower 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

Recipe for a sweet blueberry quick bread made with honey, Greek yogurt and a 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)

Recipe for a bourbon cocktail with lime and fresh peach.

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

Recipe for a cherry and goat cheese pie with a decorated all butter crust.

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

Recipe for a baby spinach salad with cucumber, red onion, feta cheese and a fresh 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

Recipe for a vodka cocktail flavored with mango, pineapple and lemonade.

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! And yes I do buy a lot of fresh mangoes in season but the thought of juicing those babies is a little tiresome.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Roasted Cauliflower with Tomato Greek Yogurt Tahini Sauce

Recipe for a roasted cauliflower side dish, served on a bed of tomato flavored tahini sauce.

Can we talk about how people think summer is laid back? Um...where does that come from because there is nothing laid back or slow or even reasonably paced about my summer so far? I thought maybe it was just me but my friends have been talking about crazy kid activity schedules or that frantic rush to get extra work done in advance so you can take a vacation. Nope, not feeling the summer relaxation just yet!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Market Salad with Eggs, Asparagus, Corn and Mizuna

Recipe for a salad with eggs, asparagus, corn and peppery mizuna greens.

On Saturday mornings, especially in spring and summer, you can usually find me at my local farmer's market. I'm fortunate to have a sweet little one just a couple of blocks away. It's not the size and scope of the giant Union Square market but a good supply of vendors set up their tents here on Saturdays and it often serves as my cooking inspiration for the weekend.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Grilled Cumin Chicken Tacos with Guacamole and Pickled Red Cabbage

Recipe for tacos made with cumin grilled chicken, guacamole and pickled cabbage.

I know "taco Tuesday" is a thing and today is not Tuesday. But, when faced with a great taco idea, I see absolutely no logic to waiting. My normal market only carries white flour tortillas but I was shopping at a different location and saw the corn ones. Instant inspiration and tacos coming right up!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Parmesan Panzanella Salad

Recipe for a bread salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and Parmesan cheese croutons and dressing.

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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Vodka Ginger Fizz

Recipe for a vodka cocktail flavored with strong ginger ale and lime juice.

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

Recipe for a loaded hot dog sandwich with Latin flavors and a roasted corn.

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

Recipe for thick and chewy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies with ice cream sandwiched in between.

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

Recipe for a burger with southwestern flavors and topped with guacamole and crunchy tortilla strips.

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

Recipe for a lightly frosted (naked) cake, flavored with lemon and topped with fruit.

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

Recipe for an appetizer pizza with hummus and salad greens.

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

Recipe for grilled, open faced sandwiches with pears, blue cheese and honey.

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

Recipe for a rum cocktail flavored with banana, strawberry and cinnamon.

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

Recipe for French toast filled with sweet cream cheese and strawberries.

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

Recipe for a baked rice dish flavored with Parmesan cheese, fresh asparagus and peas.

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

Recipe for a frozen banana and coffee drink with both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic option.

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

Recipe for roasted tomatoes and a tutorial on putting together a hummus party platter and fixings 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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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Minute® Rice.

Recipe for a rice pilaf with onions, peppers and carrots.

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

Recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich with chicken avocado, tomato, bacon and blue cheese.

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 The Spruce Eats column. Enjoy!

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

Recipe for cornmeal biscuits, sweetened with honey, and served with a BBQ pulled brisket.

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

Recipe for spiralized and sauteed white and sweet potatoes with za'atar.

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.

Recipe for a savory quick bread flavored with tomatoes and cheese.

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.