Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Dark Streets and Lighted Windows

An essay on loneliness and living in New York City during the pandemic of 2020.

All you Rear Window fans will understand why I love looking at windows. James Stewart's character watched his neighbors' lives through their windows while he sat in front of his, nursing a broken leg. But, most of the time, when I look out my own window or walk around in New York City, I can't see inside the windows. They're too high up or too far away or the shades are drawn. But they fascinate me for different reasons. I wonder, when I see a lighted window, who lives there and what their life is like.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Charcuterie Board (and a Cocktail) for One

Recipe for a charcuterie board for one and a gin cocktail with elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and champagne.

For most of the past decade that I've been writing this blog, I've ended the year with a round-up of the recipes you all liked best but, this year, I feel the need to write more personally. Oh, if you really are curious, the Vegetarian Salisbury Steak was the single most popular recipe followed closely by the Peanut Butter Cream Filled Doughnuts. That means that you like a healthy entree followed by a decadent dessert. You are SO my people! And yes, this post includes the recipe for an awesome champagne cocktail and charcuterie board for one because food is still my business and my passion. But now, let's chat.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Chocolate Caramel Manhattan

Recipe for a Manhattan cocktail variation made with chocolate bourbon, dry vermouth, bitters and caramel liqueur.

I am definitely a bourbon and whiskey lover, both for sipping and for mixing. So, when I hear about flavored whiskeys, my ears perk up. And when that particular flavor is chocolate, I'm all attention.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies

Recipe for shortbread cookies made with brown butter, frosted with white chocolate royal icing and sprinkles.

Shortbread is already a buttery cookie but browning the butter makes it go from good to wow. You'll know how delicious it will taste just from the aroma while you're mixing the dough. The nutty, richness of the brown butter will make your whole kitchen smell amazing before you've even begun to bake. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips

Recipe for soft, fudgy chocolate cookies, filled with peanut butter chips and rolled in powdered sugar.

If soft, fudgy centered cookies are what you like then crinkles are for you. They're easy to make and bake up soft with a gooey chocolate center. This cookie is just begging for a glass of cold milk.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Baked Potato and Cheese Croquettes

Recipe for mashed white and sweet potatoes, flavored with cheese and chives, rolled in breadcrumbs and baked.

These crispy little balls of cheesy, potato goodness are a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Normally there aren't a lot of those left over in my house but, on Thanksgiving, it's the stuffing that everyone goes for first so I've got a shot at some extra spuds.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Pack on Amazon Prime!

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx on behalf of Amazon Prime Video

Information about the series, The Pack, on Amazon Prime Video.

We're all watching a lot of Prime and cuddling our pups these days, right. I know Hadley is getting the stuffing hugged out of her daily. And, since I'm a sucker for doggie content, this coming weekend, I'll be watching The Pack, a new series that's premiering on Amazon Prime Video November 20th. I'm pretty sure it's going to be must-see TV around here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Mini Galettes

Recipe for appetizers made with savory pastry, mustard, caramelized onions and Gruyere cheese.

Let's talk about holiday appetizers. Sure, gatherings may be small this year. But even if it's just family, you still want to serve something special. That doesn't mean you want to fuss in the kitchen for hours, though, right? I've got the perfect solution.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Snack Cakes and Hot Cocoa

Recipe for pumpkin and chocolate chip snack cakes, topped with a cinnamon glaze and served with pumpkin and cinnamon hot cocoa.

I made these snack cakes to go with an amazing cup of hot cocoa. The cakes have a bit of pumpkin, a touch of spice and a whole lot of chocolate chips. The cocoa is even more special.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Gingerbread Cake with Pears and Caramel

Recipe for a gingerbread loaf cake topped with thinly sliced baked pears and drizzled with homemade salted caramel sauce.

It's not too early in the season for gingerbread, right? Especially when it's a gingerbread cake that's covered in a layer of baked pears and has homemade caramel sauce poured all over it. Surely it's not too soon for that.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Pasta Bake with Beef and Pumpkin

Recipe for a ground beef, pureed pumpkin and pasta bake with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Not only is it officially autumn but I was toying with the idea of turning on the heat the other day. I held out, for the time being, but that means it's also now hot cheesy pasta bake season.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Poison Apple Manhattan Cocktail

Recipe for a bourbon cocktail flavored with sweet vermouth, apple cider and Angostura bitters.

The kids can load up on candy at Halloween but the adults should get a treat as well. OK, this adult also eats all the peanut butter cups. But that doesn't diminish my love for a well made cocktail.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Pumpkin Yogurt Parfait with Pumpkin Seed Granola

Recipe for a healthy parfait made with yogurt, pumpkin puree and honey, mixed with homemade pumpkin seed granola.

Are you a fan of pumpkin or is it just a seasonal flavor you're happy to see the back of quickly? Personally, I love it. I love all squash, not just pumpkin. But definitely pumpkin, whether sweet or savory.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fig Cheesecake Tart

Recipe for a tart with pistachio crust, no-bake cheesecake filling and honey glazed figs.

Let's talk about figs. Also let's talk about cheesecake. Figs are such a short-lived treat and we only get them for a few short weeks in late summer and early fall. But it's worth savoring every day they're here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Steak and Couscous Salad

Recipe for sliced strip steaks on a bed of couscous, corn and zucchini salad.

One surefire way to make everyone happy at dinnertime in my house is to serve steak. It actually makes most of my guests happy as well. Obviously it's amazing to just eat steak on its own but I love serving it as part of a salad. The ideal one dish meal.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Crumb Topped Baked Apples

Recipe for apples, filled with jam and crumb topping and baked until soft.

My mom used to bake apples sometimes, when I was a kid. The house would smell wonderful with that aroma of cooked apples and cinnamon. All the promise of pie but none of the satisfaction. Am I the only one who found baked apples a little disappointing?

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Cracker Jack Cocktail

Recipe for a cocktail with butterscotch liqueur, milk and Cracker Jack infused bourbon.

Last month, a couple of my friends took me out for a birthday dinner. It's still outdoor dining only in New York City but it was a lovely evening at an excellent restaurant and what could be nicer than eating outside with a summer breeze.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Shredded Chicken Tortilla Pie

Recipe for a savory skillet pie filled with tortillas, shredded chicken, sauce and cheese.

Normally, the post Labor Day, back-to-school, back to busy life is my favorite time. And it may look a little different this year. But one thing never changes which is that we need quick and easy dinner ideas for busy folks.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Champagne Grape Loaf Cake

Recipe for a loaf cake baked with champagne grapes and topped with a lemon glaze.
I'm a sucker for pretty fruit and champagne grapes definitely qualify. These mini dark purple grapes are little bursts of sweet and sour in your mouth. Plus their gorgeous on a cheese board. But they also bake up really well in a cake.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Smoked Gouda Whole Egg Souffle

Recipe for a souffle using whole, not separated eggs, and flavored with smoked Gouda cheese.

Souffles are always so tempting on restaurant menus, right? But making them at home seems daunting. It's actually a simple recipe but still, the thought of it puts most of us off. I've got a solution for that.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

Recipe for chicken, marinated in buttermilk, coated, fried and served on toasted bread.

I've been craving a fried chicken sandwich for weeks now. Not even kidding. But every time I look at take out menus I can't decide which to get. Some are just served on plain buns, some have no toppings, others don't come with coleslaw. I legit couldn't commit to a sandwich.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Spiked Frozen Mango Lassi

Recipe for a frozen yogurt and mango beverage spiked with rum.

Mangoes are definitely one of my summer treats and they're usually destined for a yogurt smoothie. Although some of them invariably end up in cocktails as well.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

No Bake Blueberry Yogurt Cheesecake

Recipe for a no-bake cheesecake made with Greek yogurt, a graham cracker crust and a blueberry compote topping.

This cheesecake has so many things going for it. It's no-bake, all or parts can be prepared in advance and the filling is actually yogurt, not cream cheese based. Plus it's absolutely delicious!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Red, White and Blue Charcuterie Board

Patriotic themed charcuterie board with red, white and blue fruit and star shaped cookies.

It's fun to serve red, white and blue themed food for the 4th of July but I'm not a fan of using food color just for the sake of making things look patriotic. Fortunately, it's easy enough to do naturally with a bounty of summer fruit.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Fresh Apricot Bourbon Fizz

Recipe for a bourbon cocktail with fresh muddled apricots, lime juice and elderflower liqueur.

The other day I had the pleasure of being invited to speak about current foodie topics during an Instagram happy hour chat with Michal from Seasoned Moments. She asked that I give her a cocktail idea that she could make for our conversation and I suggested this bourbon fizz.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Chocolate Mug Cake with Peanut Butter Sauce

Recipe for a single serving chocolate cake, cooked in a microwave, and topped with a peanut butter glaze.

I've made quite a few batches of chocolate mug cakes lately, and have been forced to taste them all in the name of research. I do this for all of you, of course. Because I want to make sure that I give you a recipe for the fluffiest cake with just the right amount of everything. It's a tough job.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Smoked Gouda and Thyme Scones

Recipe for savory scones flavored with smoked gouda cheese and fresh thyme.

My love of scones dates back to childhood and my mother's fondness for them. And once I learned to make them, I turned out a batch every few weekends. But I admit it took me a while to go from making good scones to great ones.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Boozy Peanut Butter Chocolate Egg Creams

Recipe for a boozy chocolate soda with cold milk, peanut butter and whiskey.

If you haven't been to New York, you may have heard of egg creams but not tried one. Is it eggy? Is it creamy? Eggnog-ish? None of the above, actually. It's nothing more than a chocolate soda, albeit, a really tasty one.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Chocolate Dalgona Mudslide Cocktail

Recipe for a vodka, Bailey's and Kahlua cocktail topped with whipped Dalgona coffee.

You've probably seen the Dalgona whipped coffee trend on social media. Not completely a new idea because it's similar to an old Indian beverage, but maybe new to us now. Plus it looks really cool so, of course, I had to try it.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Tomato and Cheese Bean Bake

Recipe for white beans cooked in tomato and chicken stock, then baked with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

I have been on the hunt for dry cannellini beans for weeks now but with no luck. Even the canned ones have been hard to come by although I did eventually find those. I normally don't mind canned beans as a great shortcut but I find that white beans remain a little too tough from a can. But, we all need to make do these days so I found a way to make the canned version work.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Cheesy Broccoli and Cheddar Stew with Cornbread

Recipe for a thick, chunky stew with broccoli, potatoes, carrots and cheddar cheese, served with cornbread.

I was torn between calling this a soup or a stew because the consistency is somewhere in between. If you're a Rachael Ray fan, you know she calls this type of dish a stoup and that's probably a fair description for my recipe.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Pot Roast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Recipe for tender beef pot roast, shredded and served in roasted sweet potatoes.

I've been craving a melt-in-your-mouth roast for the past few weeks but couldn't find the cut of meat I normally like to use. So I waited and it paid off because I snagged a beautiful 3 lb. chuck roast last weekend and have been loving the leftovers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Peanut Butter Banana Cream Tarts

Recipe for pastry tarts filled with peanut butter pastry cream, topped with bananas and peanut butter glaze.

A couple of weeks ago, when I made a batch of no-yeast doughnuts and filled them with peanut butter pastry cream, I had leftover filling. So I spooned it into a jar and kept it in the fridge, trying to decide what to use it for. Tarts, of course!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Deluxe Smashburgers

Recipe for thin, extra crispy burgers topped with cheese, pickles and caramelized onions.

In contrast to the thick, juicy burgers we've all come to crave, Smashburger brought us the thin, crispy version and I'm all in. Bonus points for the fact that they're quick and easy to make at home.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Peanut Butter Cream Filled Doughnuts

Recipe for no-yeast fried doughnuts filled with peanut butter pastry cream.

If you want homemade doughnuts (or should that be when), the options are usually no-yeast baked doughnuts or yeast-risen fried doughnuts. Both are tasty but I really wanted that fried doughnut flavor. Yeast, however, as in short supply. Enter option number three.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Glazed Apple Turnovers

Recipe for apple turnovers in puff pastry with a sweet sugar glaze.

It's getting weird out there, isn't it? And yeah, I was half tempted to call these quarantine apple turnovers but they'd be good no matter what.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Beef Skillet Pie

Recipe for a skillet pie with ground beef, mustard sauce and flaky pastry crust.

If ever there was a time for comfort food, this is it. And any kind of pot pie situation is my idea of comfort. This skillet version combines browned beef with a creamy mustard sauce and is topped with flaky pastry. And if all you have on hand is ground chicken or turkey, the recipe will work just as well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Spaghetti with Arugula and Tomato Confit

Recipe for a pasta dish with arugula, confit tomatoes and crispy torn bread.

Sometimes my favorite meals are the ones borne of necessity because the contents of my fridge and pantry and a little light that day. I usually have some form of dry pasta in the house so that's a reliable base. But on the day in question, I had a package of baby arugula and a whole lot of cherry tomatoes left over from a photo shoot. Hmm. Of course, I could just make an arugula and tomato salad but I had a better idea.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Vegetarian Salisbury Steak

Recipe for a vegetarian version of the classic ground beef Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy.

So, no, I haven't gone vegetarian on you. And my love of homemade Salisbury steak is strong. I particularly love the mushroom gravy - always the best part for me when I was eating it grown up. But the veggie version is damn good, too.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Valentine's Chocolate Treat Board

This post is sponsored by on behalf of Tribe Hummus. As always, all opinions and ideas are my own.

Tips and tricks for building a Valentine's Day dessert treat board including chocolate hummus, fruits and pastries.

My love of snack boards is not limited to cheese and charcuterie. Dessert boards are the bomb. I'd always much rather snack on a whole bunch of different things than choose just one and this way I can try all the sweet things.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Cara Cara Orange Margarita

Recipe for a tequila cocktail flavored with fresh lime and cara cara orange juice.

It somehow never stops surprising me that the dead of winter is peek season for some of the most delicious citrus fruit of the year. The market is overflowing with blood oranges, Meyer lemons and grapefruits of every color. I try to taste each different one, especially if it's new to me.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Winter Crunch Salad

Recipe for a crunchy vegetable salad with arugula, apples, cucumbers, beets, goat cheese and candied pecans.

The other day I was reading a story and the main character was digging into a big salad for dinner. It might be sort of an odd thing to crave but that's what I instantly wanted. Not some simple side salad but a hearty, crunchy, filling recipe with lots of different textures.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Chocolate Chip Crumb Topped Muffins

Recipe for bakery style chocolate chip muffins with a crumb topping.

Last week I was staring at a display of muffins at the store and one crumb topped version insisted on coming home with me. Naturally I agreed. (What January diet?)

Friday, January 17, 2020

Oat Crunch Oats 'N Honey Breakfast

This post is sponsored by General Mills. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Breakfast of new crunch oats and honey Cheerios cereal served with yogurt and fruit.

Every January I include eating a better breakfast (sometimes translated as any breakfast) to my list of New Year's goals. I do use the term goals instead of resolutions. Somehow, the word resolution makes me feel like one mistake and I've trashed the whole year. A goal is something to be worked towards which means I'm still allowed to finish the last of the Christmas cookies even after January 1st.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Crispy Chicken Tacos

Recipe for crispy chicken pieces, mixed greens and a creamy lemon dressing served in naan bread or a tortilla.

It might be a new year but we're still asking the same old question - what's for dinner? And, since we're still stuffed with Christmas cookies and cheese, can we make whatever the dinner is kind of light? Yup. I've got this.