Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Friday, December 20, 2013

Pan Fried Cod with Mustard-Caper Sauce

As I mentioned, last week I got my test results back and I need to be eating a lot more fish and a lot less chicken and pork. I had just discovered Harlem Shamble’s breakfast sausage so this made me sad. I sulked a bit but then got to researching fish recipes. The biggest problem for me is that I only like bland fish…cod, haddock, etc. so I need to somehow ramp up the flavor. This recipe appealed to me because of the strong flavors of lemon, capers and mustard.

It’s very easy – although I have no idea how to get that crispy browned exterior on pan fried fish. I mixed in a bit of Dijon for some extra kick. It’s a great sauce…that would be really awesome on chicken or pork. Sigh.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pork Tenderloin with Maple Glaze

Have I really not shared one of my favorite recipes of all time??!! I suppose it’s because I use this blog to remind myself of new recipes I like since I have the memory of Dory on Finding Nemo. She's the fish that can't remember anything two minutes after it happens. Anyways, this is one of the best recipes in the world.

I often skip the sage or use fresh sage. And I have used all kinds of vinegar. You can’t mess this recipe up!

In other news, I just received my latest round of test results and apparently I need to be eating a lot less pork and a lot more fish. I’m a Massachusetts girl so fish to me means breadcrumbs and butter - both of which are off limits. So bring on the trial and error….

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic-Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is practically obligatory on the Thanksgiving table. However, even those who love it rarely take more than a heaping spoonful so you are bound to end up with a ton of leftovers. When I see something in my fridge that looks like it might not get eaten, I panic. Yesterday I realized that the cranberry sauce was the only part of Thanksgiving that was still sitting a bit forlornly in the back of the fridge. Luckily it also lasts a long time. So if you still have some sitting around, make this.

You can play around with the balance of the cranberry sauce, vinegar and salt to get the right level of tanginess for your taste. It’s a really great, easy recipe….that I assume I will make once a year. When else do you have leftover cranberry sauce?!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Watermelon Radishes

Thanksgiving can be very beige. Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cheese and crackers don't exactly stand out against the backdrop of a grey November sky. If you see watermelon radishes at your farmers market or grocery store, grab them for tomorrow. Slice them up with some lime juice, salt and olive oil and put them next to the cheese and crackers. It will brighten up the room and make you forget for a moment that it's cold and grey out there. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fesenjan (Chicken with Pomegranates and Walnuts)

We are not traveling for Thanksgiving. My parents are coming to us! I will not have to endure five hours stuck in a car with two kids. I will not have to pass cheddar bunnies over my head to the backseat, being careful not to turn around and get carsick. I will not have to listen to Daniel Tiger on the iPad or worse…Annecy screaming.  And I will not have to pay outrageous amounts of money to rent a car in Manhattan or feel guilty that Ryan is riding his bike over the George Washington Bridge in 20 degree weather to get a cheaper car. In sum, I was feeling very thankful.

And then my mom told me they had ordered the entire Thanksgiving dinner from Whole Foods. I was on the verge of making a scene and whining about how I wanted to make mushroom and sausage stuffing like this and green bean casserole with crispy onions like this. But then I started picturing a relaxing day sipping martinis, eating cheese and cracker and warming up the dinner instead of peeling potatoes, chopping onions and pretending I felt like cooking nine separate dishes. Sold!

To make a long story short, knowing that I don’t have to cook Thanksgiving dinner has given me a burst of cooking energy this week. I have wanted to try Fesenjan for years. It’s a classic Persian dish of chicken, pomegranates and walnuts. I read a bunch of recipes but settled on this one because it was the easiest and I figured if it was good, why make it more complicated?

I would leave out the honey if your pomegranate molasses has added sugar and I used cilantro instead of parsley. It’s delicious and festive to look at. It reminds me a bit of the Mexican dish chiles en nogada. Maybe I’ll try that tomorrow. There is still time!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Carrot Soup with Tahini and Crisped Chickpeas

This is a phenomenal soup. The sweetness of the carrots is perfectly balanced by the lemon, tahini and salty beans. And crisped chickpeas are great to have around as snacks so make extra.

This weekend I made it just to have around in case we got caught between meals. This happens a lot in NYC. People invite you to brunch at 2 pm but if you have kids, chances are you have been up since 7 a.m. Soup to the rescue. I also knew we were going to the Museum of Natural History this weekend which is code for eating at Shake Shack. So we actually had it for breakfast on Sunday. Guilt averted. Well….look at those burgers…maybe it’s more like guilt mitigated?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cremini and King Trumpet Mushroom Stew

I don’t eat enough mushrooms. I love mushrooms – although only when cooked –but somehow they rarely make into my recipe rotation. I suspect it’s because I’m usually cooking some sort of meat with a vegetable and mushrooms don’t seem to count as a vegetable in my mind. They aren’t green enough.
This week I decided to try out a recipe that makes mushrooms the centerpiece of your meal.

I used cremini and king trumpet mushrooms. It was my first time buying trumpet mushrooms and I initially balked at the price. But then I realized I would pay just as much for chicken so it was just a matter of changing my mindset. It was worth the splurge.  King Trumpet mushrooms are awesome. When you google king trumpet mushrooms recipes, the first thing that comes up is vegan ‘bacon’ from king trumpet mushrooms. If these mushrooms are the closest vegans can get to bacon, you know they are good. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chicken with Cardamom Rice and Caramelized Onions

We have a rice maker that has gotten a lot of use ever since we splurged on it in Chinatown over ten years ago. Usually, however, we use it to make basic white rice to accompany stir fry dishes, curries or soups. Occasionally I’ll doctor the rice up with some garlic or chicken broth but it’s simply a platform on which to serve the main dish. Ottolenghi’s recipe for Chicken with Cardamom Rice from his Jerusalem cookbook takes rice to a whole other level.  In this dish, the chicken takes a back seat to the delicious rice that is flavored with caramelized onions, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves and currants.

It’s a one pot dish that actually comes together fairly quickly. I have made it exactly how the recipe suggests but I have also substituted boneless, skinless chicken thighs. If you are on a budget (Hi self!), you can use just one of the three suggested fresh herbs. I tried to pass this off to Xavier as ‘rice with raisins’ as he was feeling under the weather and is a fan of both. He took one look at the cardamom pods and whole cloves poking out of the rice and went back to watching TV. I guess the plain white rice cooker will continue to steam away in our house…

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chickpeas with Pumpkin, Lemongrass and Cilantro

Ever since Annecy was born, I cheat more on my restricted diet. I feel a lot less guilty doing damage to my own thyroid than hers! To prepare for last weekend’s trip to San Francisco however, I decided to make a healthy vegan dish that would justify all my California cheating. Think Anchor Steam beer, giant burritos, chili and cheese tamales, dim sum, pastries from La Boulangerie and wedding cake.

Nigel Slater’s cookbook Tender had this interesting looking recipe that caught my attention since it seemed like a good way to get through my dried chickpeas, frozen lemongrass and under-used mustard seeds.

It is a fair amount of work but it results in hearty, complex curry that didn’t leave me craving the addition of chicken or shrimp. I even packed some to go for the plane and it was good cold. Yes…I was the weirdo on the plane eating vegan curry, pumping in my seat and watching Gael Garcia Bernal. (Check out his most recent flic “No” about Pinochet!) Anyways, the irony of this pre-trip healthy eating was that I was flying to northern California. Had I wanted to, I could have had gluten-free, vegan  beer, Mexican food, and dessert. This is the land of Berkley after all. But what fun would that be?!



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Spicy" Birthday Cupcakes

Every mom has something (many things!) they feel guilty about and then they have their tricks to make themselves feel better. For me, cooking for Xavier makes me feel like a good mom. There is no logic behind this. Xavier doesn’t like my co

oking and would much rather eat pasta and butter. And when I’m cooking, he’s usually watching TV or begging me to play trains with him. But for whatever reason, I still insist on going out of my way to make him homemade goodies. For his birthday, the day after Halloween, I thought I would be clever and make pumpkin cupcakes. I was feeling incredibly virtuous for actually making the cupcakes for a bunch of toddler I barely know and for sneaking in a vegetable.  

When I picked him up at daycare, I asked him if he liked his cupcakes. In blunt toddler fashion, he said “No. They were too spicy.” Spicy??? Ay ay ay. Whose kid is this and how can he think ground ginger is spicy when it’s surrounded by cups of sugar and cream cheese frosting?! For his actual birthday party, I made vanilla cupcakes with Reeces Pieces. Zzzzzz. I snuck two spicy ones in there (the ones with cinnamon sprinkled on them) and the adults gave a thumbs up.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rose’s Vinaigrette

If somebody is cooking for me, I honestly don’t care what they put on my plate. Sitting down to a meal cooked entirely by somebody else is the height of relaxation for me. I don’t want to be asked if I think the chicken is done or if it needs more salt (it does). I just want it placed in front of me with a glass of wine. Letting go and having no control over the preparation feels good.

The exception, however, is salad dressing. I have a hard time being a passive observer when it comes to salad dressing.  When Amie, Carolyn and I lived in San Francisco we had one of those glass salad dressing containers and we would fill it with the packet of Italian spice mixture, oil and vinegar. Every night. The thought of having one more teaspoon of that overly-flavored concoction makes me gag. Why get good lettuce if you are going to drown it in bad dried oregano?

Have I converted you? Anyways, recently my mom made me dinner. I don’t even remember what it was to be honest because like I said, I don’t care as long as it’s made for me! What I do remember, however, was the salad dressing. It’s called Rose’s Vinaigrette after cookbook author Lucinda Scala Quinn’s mother I believe.  I doubled the recipe and it’s been in my fridge all week. It has a few more ingredients than my standard vinaigrette but it’s awesome and  works with everything.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Fall always feels a bit melancholy to me. I think it still, even after all these years, reminds me of going back to boarding school after awesome summers at home. (sniffle, sniffle)

Luckily fall food is awesome…roasted vegetables, stews, apple crisp and pumpkins. Yesterday I took a stab at pumpkin whoopie pies for Lionel and Julie's Oktoberfest BBQ.

I felt a little ridiculous making these cutesy little desserts. I purposely skipped Martha Stewart's version of the recipe to maintain some semblance of badass-ness. But despite their cuteness, they are really good and not as high maintenance to make as I originally assumed. And washing them down with a good German beer made me feel a little cooler. Then this morning I sent a few to school for Xavier and Annecy’s teachers. My coolness took a big hit.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples and Onions

I’m still trying to use up our apples. We have a giant bag of them dangling off our kitchen cabinets (to protect them from the mice) and I have barely made a dent in them. Last night I made a pork tenderloin recipe that used the two Granny Smith apples that were the least likely to get eaten fresh as snacks.  It’s a very easy, quick weeknight recipe that I will put into a weekly rotation this fall. I used green anise instead of fennel seeds but otherwise followed this recipe exactly.

Considering how few ingredients there are, it is full of flavor.  Next time I would double it so there are more leftovers. By next time I mean tonight. These apples aren’t going to eat themselves!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Apple Cake

This weekend we went up to Mark’s “cabin” about two hours north of the city. I say “cabin” because it had five bedrooms, a tree house, a huge heated pool, a fire pit down by the lake and a basement set up with a projector and giant screen for rainy movie days. When we weren’t teasing Mark about the meaning of the word ‘moderation,’ we were playing scategories, swimming, drinking and eating.

Mark had gone apple picking the day we arrived so we had plenty of fresh apples. Ryan made a great whiskey and cider cocktail garnished with fresh apples…but we still had dozens to use up. The house was stocked with awesome cookbooks including “Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods.” I made the recipe for apple cake which I think goes something like this. (If I’m a cup or a tablespoon off, blame Ryan’s cocktails!)

Mix together 3 cups of flour, one teaspoon baking powder, one teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and set aside. In a larger bowl, whisk together 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil. Then mix in one teaspoon of vanilla and three eggs. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients and four cups of chopped apples. Pour into a greased bundt pan and cook for an hour. Check for doneness and cook another few minutes if necessary.

This is a sturdy, fruit-packed cake that isn’t too sweet. It’s great for breakfast and snacking.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Dijon Sauce and Crispy Pancetta

I went back to work this week. Along with this fresh start came the usual New Years-esque promises of going to the gym and healthy eating.  I figured eating lunch with colleagues might stem my peanut butter from the jar and ice cream habits and force me to at least acknowledge the existence of salads. But then I saw a recipe for roast chicken with pancetta. Cooking with bacon didn’t exactly scream ‘salad’ but this recipe includes some of my favorite ingredients such as Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and shallots.

I made as is except my chicken breasts were skinless. The pancetta makes up for the loss of fat. As I have mentioned before, chicken breasts can easily become dry and gross so take them out of the oven when you are still a tad worried they are undercooked.

Serve this over greens….and it’s a salad!

Monday, September 23, 2013


I stopped by our community farm stand on the way back from the park this weekend. I told Xavier he could pick out anything he wanted. This is a dangerous move in Whole Foods but a safe bet at a stand that sells cheap kale and okra. Xavier opted for a huge, bushy bunch of greens that I didn't recognize. It turns out it was callaloo and they are delicious!

Callaloo is the name of the leaves but also of a popular Caribbean stew that I want to try when I have more than 45 seconds to cook dinner. This weekend, however, since I was alone with the kids I simply sauteed the greens in some oil and garlic. They are sturdier than spinach but don't have the bitterness or toughness of kale. I gobbled them up. Xavier did not touch them. Macaroni and cheese beats callaloo every time apparently.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bhindi Masala

This summer they opened a community garden across the street from me. To be honest, I'm not sure eating vegetables that grow THAT close to my stoop is a particularly good idea but nevertheless, I wanted to support the idea and the people behind it. I therefore ended up with some okra this weekend and finally got the chance to make one of my favorite Indian dishes.

Bhindi Masala is a flavorful dish that begins with frying the okra (which takes away some of the stickiness that some people don't like). I read through a bunch of recipes and picked this one based on the ingredients I had at home.
I didn't have dry mango powder but I did add the fenugreek which is delcious. Now I just have to stop picturing the giant rats that probably roam our community garden. Ick!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Plum Coffee Cake Muffins

I haven't been cooking this summer and it's actually been wonderful to take a break. I have been mooching off my parents, vacationing and eating out and having lazy lunches of spoonfuls of peanut butter with a side of ice cream. It's been awesome.

This weekend, however, my parents asked me to stop by the farmer's market to pick up some vegetables for dinner. I guess they have caught on to the mooching trend. Anyways, I got sweet talked into buying way too many plums which turned out to be too ripe. (I knew I was getting the hard sell!) I didn't want them to go to waste so I made muffins. I followed Martha Stewart's recipe exactly but I added a bunch of ground flax seed to try and get something besides sugar into my toddler.

The report back was that these were really good. The plums in the middle, however, create a natural break point that allows said toddler to more easily just eat the sugary tops off the muffins and leave the rest. Owell...I'm the one eating ice cream for lunch so it's hard to claim any moral ground these days.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sweet Mustard Shrimp on Skewers

Cold shrimp makes for a great summer lunch.  However, most people associate cold shrimp with shrimp cocktail. I like shrimp cocktail, but it's overplayed.

My mom makes a great cold shrimp dish that beats the hell out of shrimp cocktail. Combine 1/2 cup Dijon, 2 tsp dry mustard, 1 tsp toasted mustard seeds,  1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp dill, 1-2 tbsp lemon juice, 6 tbsp sugar, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 2 tbsp finely chopped red onions. Toss with 2 pounds of cooked shrimp. Marinate for a minimum of two hours or overnight.

Eat with your fingers or serve on skewers. We had this over the 4th and it was the only thing that cheered me up in the 100 degree heat with a newborn and a terrible parade!

Monday, July 8, 2013

DIY Lobster Roll

I have two rules when I go out to eat. I don't order anything I could make myself  (roast chicken) or easily buy for half the price (cheese plate). I try to order dishes like soup dumplings, slow roasted anything or Indian dosas. For years, however, I have been ordering lobster rolls despite the simplicity of the recipe and how overpriced they tend to be.

This weekend Ryan and I changed that trend. Whenever he is up at my parents, he insists on getting his fill of seafood. (If it were up to me I would raid their freezer and spend a week eating Stouffer's chipped beef.) On Sunday we wanted to treat my parents to a special dinner to thank them for the help with the kids. Yes, that's plural. Gulp. Anyways, we bought a pound of lobster meat for $40 and some hot dog rolls for $2 and easily made six hearty lobster rolls. We opted to skip the mayo and instead heated half a stick of butter with a pinch of paprika, oregano and salt. We then tossed the melted butter with lemon and the lobster. Amazing. Take that you $22 NYC lobster roll!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Grated Beet and Carrot Salad with Pistachios and Feta

I love beets. But they are really messy and stain absolutely everything they come into contact with. They ruin clothes, manicures, dish towels and everything else in a 10 foot radius. The best way to cook with them is to be stark naked…which may not be ideal for a dinner party, but it’s perfect for the mom on maternity leave who is nursing 24/7.

Raw vegetables scream summer. This simple salad consists of raw beets and carrots mixed with a bit of arugula or other greens, nuts and some feta. I have also made it with a dollop of hummus instead of feta. Dress with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. I used white balsamic which is my new favorite.

I didn’t ruin any of my clothes this time around but Annecy’s white onsies now have what look like bloody finger prints all over them. Creepy. But it’s a really good salad!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tunisian Fish Cakes with Lemon and Paprika Aïoli

Annecy has arrived. Cooking has not come to a total standstill like it did with Xavier’s arrival, but meals have been very basic these past two weeks. Theo swooped in last night to liven things up with Tunisian fish cakes. Armed with bushels of cilantro and parsley, lemons and fresh fish, he quite quickly whipped up about 30 fish cakes.

Initially I was nervous about fish cakes for multiple reasons that stem from my deep-rooted suspicion of all seafood besides the harmless (and dull) white filet. This is a result of growing up with a father who ate oily, stinky bluefish for breakfast.  Additionally, anyone who has worked in a restaurant knows that fish cakes are often made out of fish that needs to get used up quickly. Making something into a cake with lots of spices and herbs can hide fish that has passed its prime. Recipes with ‘fish’ in the title as opposed to a specific kind of fish also freak me out. For example, fish stew sounds less appealing to me than roasted halibut. And finally, I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of fish in my food processor.

BUT, I trust Theo completely where food is concerned. This is a guy who has brought me fresh za’atar after all. And my fears were unwarranted. These were delicious.

Thank you Theo. Anybody else want to cook us dinner? ;)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Braised Eggplant, Pork and Enoki Mushrooms

I always enjoy eggplant in stir fry dishes but when I make it myself, it's always a bit chewy and underdone. I was recently drawn to this Mark Bittman recipe in the New York Times since braising the eggplant guarantees it will cook through.

It's a very easy weeknight recipe that involves minimal chopping and a short cooking time. The eggplant requires no preparation besides cutting it and enoki mushrooms tend to be easy to clean and pull apart.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lamb, Grated Beets and Millet Meatballs

If you only own a few cookbooks, which I do, Nigel Slater's Tender should be one of them. It's not a vegetarian cookbook, but it's organized by vegetable. So if you have a vegetable, you can just look in the table of contents for dozens of recipe ideas. It's awesome.

Also awesome is his recipe for beet and lamb meatballs. It's a fantastic way to lighten and sweeten the ground lamb while packing in the nutrition found in beets. I followed his recipe fairly closely but substituted millet for the cracked wheat and cilantro for parsley.

Mix together approximately 14 ounces of ground lamb and 10 ounces of grated beets. Add one grated onion, 3 crushed garlic cloves and 3 tablespoons of herbs (parsley, dill, cilantro or whatever sounds good to you). Add approximately half a cup of cracked wheat or millet. Mix it all together with salt and pepper. Form into around 16 small patties and chill for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly fry each meatball on each side until brown and then transfer to a baking sheet. Cook for 15-20 minutes in the oven. You'll have to try one to see if they are done as they stay a gorgeous color red even when cooked.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chickpea Flour Fritters with Spinach, Red Onion and Potatoes

I have been having fritter envy lately. It started with Smitten Kitchen’s post about cauliflower and feta fritters with pomegranate that people have been raving about lately. They look awesome! Unfortunately, most fritters contain the still-banned flour, eggs, cheese or all of the above. Sigh. Refusing to give up, I did a bit of research and…Indian pakoras to the rescue!

These fried snacks are made with very thinly sliced red onions and potatoes, spinach and are packed with fresh spices. They hold together well and are easy to flip…especially if you are liberal with the oil. I’m becoming increasingly convinced that chickpea flour is the solution to all the world’s problems…or at least my cravings!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chicken Thighs Glazed with Lemon and Kalamata Olives

Chicken breasts are rarely very good. While ubiquitous on everything from Caesar salads to sandwiches, they are often tasteless and dry. They make for terrible leftovers since heating them up tends to dry them out even more. They are also expensive. Chicken thighs, however, have much more flavor and just enough fat to keep them tender and juicy when grilled, sautéed or thrown into curries. And they are much cheaper!

Last night I made this simple chicken recipe for fellow salt-lover Amie J. It’s a delicious combination of lemons, Kalamata olives, tarragon and capers that comes together quickly and is packed with flavor. I used chickpea flour instead of regular flour and regular lemons.

Double the recipe. Chicken thighs make great leftovers!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini, Green Onions and Sumac

Meatballs don’t need breadcrumbs or eggs. It’s official. I have made two of Ottolenghi’s versions and neither one required breadcrumbs as a filler. His lamb kofta recipe that I wrote up here relies on crushed pine nuts to hold them together. I recently made his turkey meatballs with grated zucchini and green onions and substituted the three eggs for flax seed with no issues. (One tablespoon of ground flaxseed with about 2 tablespoons of water equals one egg).

Breadcrumbs and eggs aside, these flavorful meatballs are awesome. And any recipe that simply says, ‘combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl’ immediately earns points in my book.  Since I wasn’t making the accompanying yogurt sauce (no substitute found for that yet!), I just added the sumac into the turkey mixture so I wouldn’t miss out on that flavor. All that’s left to do after mixing together all the ingredients is to pan sear them and throw them in the oven for 8 minutes.

I doubled the recipe as these little patties travel well and make for great lunches for a few days. They are so packed with flavor that you can serve them with a simple grain and sautéed vegetable to give your taste buds a rest between bites.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Raw Buckwheat, Walnut and Apple Porridge

When I first tried this porridge a few months ago, it tasted like how I imagine health food stores smelled in the 1970s. It just tasted so….healthy! Too healthy.
However, I had made a big batch and I am not one to waste food, so I continued eating it dutifully every morning that week. By the third day, I was hooked. Don’t get me wrong, this does not taste like oatmeal with cream, brown sugar and butter, but it’s quite good when you consider how healthy it is. It’s fresh, filling and packed with magnesium and omega-3. And while buckwheat has a strong, earthy flavor, you can top it with whatever spices, fruit or nuts you like to suit your taste.

This is not for everyone but give it a shot if you are feeling like a hippy!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Two Recipes for Mediocre Street Cart Berries

Around this time of year, I start to crave beautiful fruit. After a long winter of clementines and not much else, I’m more prone to give into the $7 raspberries at Whole Foods. The other day I felt I was feeling particularly clever and frugal when I got two pints of berries at my local street cart for $3. What a bargain! But then I tasted them and…well, nothing. They weren’t bad necessarily but they weren’t good enough to eat on their own or even sprinkle on cereal. There is only one solution for mediocre berries – add lots of butter, eggs, sugar, etc. and bake them!

For Easter I made this gorgeous strawberry cake. It’s very simple and delicious served with some boozy whipped cream (whipped cream plus rum).

For breakfast a few days later, I made Smitten Kitchen’s blueberry cornmeal butter cake.

Both recipes were simple and came together with the basic ingredients in your cabinets. I’m looking forward to not making them this summer though. It’s high time for the season of just popping berries in your mouth with a glass of prosecco. Sigh….

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Double-Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Ryan and I were born two days apart. I’m the older woman. This year my birthday fell on a Saturday and his fell on a Monday. This may seem like a minor detail but it meant that I spent mine drinking a Cuban Mojito off the coast of Mexico and he spent his in snowy NYC. To make up for it, I wanted to make him an indulgent dessert. He is easy to please when it comes to dessert. The only two he doesn’t like are flan and cheesecake. So I made him a cheesecake.

I won’t even bother trying to explain my logic but let’s just say somebody stole my cake pans, I hate cupcakes and cookies didn’t seem festive enough. Luckily Ryan loved his cake...a fact that is easy enough to believe when you read how much butter, heavy cream, chocolate, sugar and peanut butter I managed to squeeze into one small pie pan.
Happy Birthday Ryan!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chickpea Flatbread with Rosemary and Onions

Argentines eat chickpea flatbread – or as they call it faina - with pizza. It always seemed a bit bizarre to me to combine gooey, doughy pizza with another starchy side-dish, even if it is delicious. Now, however, I can’t eat pizza…so bring on the flatbread!

Last night I gave it a shot with this simple recipe that combines chickpea flour, water, olive oil, rosemary and onion.

I’m still craving pizza like nothing else but this really did the trick to tide me over. The dough is moist and satisfying and the onion caramelizes in the skillet to give it a touch of sweetness. It would be a great base to serve prosciutto, roasted vegetables or mixed greens. Tonight I’m going to serve it with some roasted lamb. You know what it would be awesome with though? Pizza.