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Category Archives: eat

How About a Little Sun(flower)?

Oh man, this winter is really trying to make us say “uncle”. Today is the second day in a row I have worn tights underneath my pants, two pairs of socks, a thermal shirt layered with a standard blouse and an oversized cardigan with a pashmina draped around my shoulders for good measure. Basically, this winter has effectively turned me into an Olsen twin.

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So how do we show Jack Frost who’s boss? How about baking up a little sweet treat so bright and cheerful you forget for a moment you are as puffy as the Michelin man from all those winter layers.

sunflower
My dear, sweet, adorable co-worker quit last week, and I decided to make these sugar cookies with royal icing for her send off. Her favorite flowers are sunflowers, but of course these cookies would work just as well with whatever cookie cutter shape you want to use. (Again, I apologize for the crummy cellphone camera pic–I snapped the photo quickly at work!)

Crazy Daisy Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Pre heat oven to 350

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
cakepop or popsicle sticks

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat at low speed until combined.
Whisk together flour, baking powder & salt; add to butter mixture and beat until combined.

Roll out on a floured surface about 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out cookies.
Place on parchment lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart, and insert stick about 1/3 of the way into each cookie. Keep a close eye on your cookies as oven temps can vary, but mine just started to turn golden at about 9 minutes.

Cool at least 10 minutes before transferring cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
4 tbs water
2 tbs light corn syrup
1 tsp almond, lemon or vanilla extract (I use 1/2 almond and 1/2 vanilla)
food coloring as needed

Mix all ingredients together, and use immediately. Note that the glaze spreads out perfectly smooth and shiny, so use less than you think you need. If the glaze begins to harden, you can add a tiny drop or two of water and stir.

Enjoy!

C

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Pizza with Carmelized Onions, Gorgonzola, Pears, and Walnuts

Traditional Turkish Tea Time!

My mom and me enjoying a traditional Turkish tea!

Last week was a tough week for me. It was hard to return to work after the excitement of our trip to Turkey, visiting with my Mom, and celebrating Valentine’s Day/my birthday.To ease the back-to-work-blues, I made lots of comfort food. This pizza might not be traditional, but it is warm and cheesy and the perfect balance of sweet/salty.

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I have yet to come across the perfect pizza dough recipe. I have tried several, but none seem to be worth the fuss (really, 24 hour rising time!?). Plus, my local pizza shop sells balls of dough for about $3. I top this pizza with arugula tossed in olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Not only is it delicious, but then it truly is a one dish dinner.

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I didn’t measure anything out, but went by sight instead. You can use shredded mozzarella for this, but the buffalo mozzarella melts so much better and is less oily, so if you can find it I definitely recommend spending a couple extra bucks on it.

You’ll need:

-Pizza dough

-Fresh mozzerella, thinly sliced

-Walnuts, crushed

-1 large onion, thinly sliced

-1 pear, thinly sliced

-Gorgonzola

-Arugula

-Olive oil, salt and pepper

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To make:

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large skillet, heat a generous glug of olive oil and a tbsp of butter over medium heat.

2. Thinly slice the onion and drop into the heated oil/butter. Sprinkle with salt and then let hang out to caramelize over medium-low heat, stirring only occasionally.

3.Lightly oil a tin foil covered baking sheet or pizza stone and roll out dough to desired thinness. Lightly oil and salt the dough.

4. Plop gorgonzola evenly over the pizza dough.

5. Spread onions evenly over dough.

6. Top with sliced mozzarella, pears, and walnuts.

7. Bake for 12 minutes.

8. Toss arugula in bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place right on top of pizza.

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Here’s a tip: To easily cut your pizza, use SCISSORS! It is much simpler and safer than struggling with a knife or even a pizza cutter. Plus, you don’t have to transfer your pizza to a cutting board, meaning one less dirty dish. Win!

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What’s your favorite pizza topping? And if you have a great recipe for pizza dough, please share!

One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookies

My all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe takes 36 hours to make and uses uber-expensive Valrhona chocolate chunks and fleur de sel. This is NOT that recipe.

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Don’t get me wrong–these cookies are delicious. They have a caramel note to them and are the perfect balance of crispy outside/chewy center. But what makes the cookies especially appealing is the fact that from start to eating they take just 30 minutes, and you only have one bowl to clean up. What is sweeter than that?

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Confession: I didn’t actually use chocolate chips in these cookies. I chopped up a bag of Reese’s peanut butter bells my Mom sent us for Christmas. I am not joking when I say Nate nearly cried with joy when he bit into these babies, plump with the ideal peanut-butter:chocolate ratio of the Reese’s. You can use chocolate chips, though, or chocolate chunks, or white chocolate chips and dried cherries, maybe chop up some toffee–you get where I’m going with this. However, if you have a leftover bag of Reese’s peanut butter bells from Christmas, I highly suggest trying them.

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You’ll need:

-3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
-2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-1 large egg (set out to raise temperature while prepping, and/or warm between your hands for a few)
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour
-1 ½ to 2 cups add-ins, like chocolate chips
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How to:
1. Preheat to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment.
2. In a large microwave-safe bowl with the microwave on 50 percent power, melt the butter just until smooth but NOT clear or runny–you want the consistency and color of banana pudding. Stop and stir every 30 seconds or so. (See pic above. My butter took 4 minutes to melt.)

3. Thoroughly stir the brown and granulated sugars into the butter, mashing out any lumps with the back of the spoon and stirring until well blended.
4. Thoroughly stir in the egg, vanilla, salt, and baking soda until the mixture is well blended and smooth.
5. Stir in the flour just until evenly incorporated.
6. Lightly fold in the chocolate chips or other add-ins.
7. Drop by rounded tablespoon full onto cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 13 minutes. Let stand until they firm up just slightly, about 2 minutes, before shoving your face.
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Soak the bowl in the sink, throw the measuring cups in the dishwasher, and sit down with a glass of wine–your clean up is done!
xox
C

Apple Coffee Cake

This will fill your kitchen with the most heavenly scents of autumn–apples and cinnamon and nutmeg and clove and butter. It feeds a crowd–I brought this to work (amongst other breakfast goodies) to feed my 13 employees, and there was still some left over nearly a week later. But the real magic of this coffee cake? It tastes better on days 2 and 3, which means it is perfect to make ahead.

I was limited to the apples in my Danish grocery store, which were unmarked but tasted something like a braeburn…I think this would be even better with a few granny smiths to temper the sweetness. Regardless of which type of apple you use, the coffee cake is moist with a large crumb, and at least 1/2 inch of crumble topping. And that’s what coffee cake is really all about, the crumble topping…

This recipe is closely based off of Emeril’s Apple Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping and Brown Sugar Glaze, minus the glaze and a few other tweaks…

Ingredients for Cake:

-1 stick butter

-1 cup light brown sugar

-1/4 cup dark brown sugar

-2 large eggs

-2 cups all purpose flour

-1 tsp baking soda

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp nutmeg

-pinch cloves

-1/2 tsp salt

-3/4 cup sour cream

-1/4 cup apple sauce (I used homemade, but an unsweetened store bought version would be fine)

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-2 cups peeled apples, approx. 1/4 inch cubes

For the Crumble Topping:

-1/2 cup light brown sugar

-1/2 cup all purpose flour

-1/2 tsp cinnamon

-4 to 6 tbsp butter, softened

How to:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 13 by 9 inch baking dish (I used butter, PAM would work, too).

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, at least two minutes.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt.

5. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the sugar, butter, and egg mixture and mix well.

6. Add 1/2 of the sour cream and mix well.

7. Add the last of the dry ingredients and mix well.

8. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sour cream and vanilla, mix well.

9. Fold in the apples.

10. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

11. Mix all of the crumble topping ingredients together in a small bowl using a fork. Start with 4 tbsp of butter and add more as needed to achieve a thick crumb.

12. Sprinkle evenly over top of cake batter.

13. Bake for 35/45 minutes until golden brown and cake tester inserted into center comes out clean.

14. Cool on wire rack completely before serving.

I miss my Kitchenaid…

sour cream in Denmark = creme fraiche

 

Before…

After

 

As I mentioned, this cake held up for days. But I might have heated it up in the microwave and topped with vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel sauce a full week later…

Enjoy!

xo

 

 

April Favorites

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The products from my pantry/closet/medicine cabinet I reached for and enjoyed the most throughout the past month…

1. Harney & Sons assorted Iced Teas


These are brilliant. As you can see from the above picture, the tea bags are huge. You brew a super concentrated tea base–just 2 cups–and then add another 6 cups of cold water to your pitcher (or in my case, a giant Ball canning jar). These iced teas come in peach, raspberry, green and black. All are lovely, and I particularly love that the raspberry is an herbal infusion (meaning there are no actual tea leaves in it) so I can have it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and not worry about getting sick.

2. Cerave SA lotion

Like approximately 50% of the population, I have keratosis pilaris–those tiny red bumps on the back of my arms. The only way to get rid of those dreaded bumps is by using an alpha hydroxy acid to slough them off gently. This lotion is the best over the counter option. I’ve been using it every single morning and every night I don’t use my self tanner in an effort to get smooth skin by tank top season!

3/4. Batiste Dry Shampoo and L’Anza leave in Trauma Treatment

I’m really trying to improve the health of my hair, which means two things: washing it less and protecting it pre-heat styling. I use the Batiste dry shampoo in between washings, and it is hands-down my all time favorite dry shampoo. It’s cheap, smells great, and not at all sticky. The L’anza is absorbed very well by my parched hair, and yet doesn’t weigh it down at all–which is somewhat miraculous considering how fine and thin my hair is.

5. Rimmel Lash Accelerator Serum

Spring allergies have destroyed my poor eyes. I have tiny red sores on the corner of my eyes from constant tearing and rubbing, and my lashes are brittle and dry. This nightly serum has helped my lashes 100%. Not only are my lashes appearing thicker and stronger, but my mascara lasts at least fifty percent longer. While I don’t think this is of the Latisse caliber, it certainly is making my lashes as lush as they can be.

6. The Best Blemish Treatment

Every September and April, my skin breaks out. I don’t get those tiny, easy to conceal blackheads or whiteheads–oh no. My acne announces its arrival days in advance as a deep achy spot that slowly emerges, is about the size of a pencil eraser (or larger), deeply painful, hangs around for a week, and then sloooooowly fades. In other words, THE WORST POSSIBLE KIND OF ZIT. The only thing that keeps me from jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge when this happens? My very own blemish treatment. I liberally cover the offensive spot with a thick dot of cortizone cream, and then slap on a waterproof bandaid (Nexcare is my favorite because–I swear–they are invisible enough on the skin to run basic errands in!) This is nearly as powerful as those expensive cortisone shots celebrities get in their spots on red carpet days. Do this two nights in a row and your blemish should be history. (I even made Nate try this method earlier in the month and now he is a convert, too!)

7. Vincent Longo Liquid Canvas Dew Finish foundation + Neutrogena Healthy Skin bronzer

My new Holy Grail foundation, this Vincent Longo formula is pure perfection. It goes on perfect with just a few swipes of your fingers, and is totally undetectable on the skin. Furthermore, the SPF is an added layer of protection for my super sun-sensitive skin. This range comes in several shades, and I can’t recommend it enough. If you are looking for a very sheer yet buildable foundation, I urge you to check this out. The Neutrogena bronzer adds just the right amount of tan glow to my cheeks and doesn’t have the chunky glitter most bronzers are loaded with.

8. Danskin for Walmart Sport Bra with Foam Inserts

 

OBSESSED. This is the best sports bra. Ever. The removable foam inserts give your girls a little extra boost AND protect from–ahem–headlights. The back is mesh for maximum breathability. And guess how much this cost. C’mon, guess. TWELVE DOLLARS. I need to order approximately 6 more.

9. White River (via Marshall’s) Gold knock off Sperry’s 🙂

From Ann Arbor to LA to San Francisco to Manhattan to the Boogie Down Bronx, I have LIVED in these shoes the past month. They are comfortable and cute, and seem to go with everything. The metallic gold keep them from feeling too preppy. If I find another pair I would totally snatch them up for after this pair dies.

10/11. Baja Shrimp OPI nail polish & stacks of slender rings

All month I’ve been loving this hot coral nail polish. It is the perfect rainy spring day pick-me-up. And I’ve been very into stacking tons of mixed metal tiny rings on several fingers.

I really can’t believe it’s already May! This is a packed month with Cinco de Mayo/Kentucky Derby, Mother’s Day, my brother’s 30th birthday (!!!!), my boyfriend’s birthday, and Memorial Day all back to back. I guess I’ll sleep in June?

xo

 

 

INSANELY DELICIOUS Baked Doughnut Holes

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Churros. Elephant ears. Beignets. Funnel cakes. Krispy Kremes. Apple fritters. I l-o-v-e fried dough. But, I seriously hate frying anything. It makes your house stink for days. It’s a bitch to discard a gallon of gross, dirty fryer oil. And I’ve heard rumors it’s unhealthy.

So what’s a girl to do when she’s craving a hot, golden ball of cinnamon-sugary goodness? BAKE THESE:

Deb of smittenkitchen amazingness is responsible for these babies. Now, Deb calls these “cinnamon brown butter breakfast puffs,” but I don’t want to pigeon hole these as a strictly morning delight. In fact, I think these might be best at night, post dinner, served alongside a cup of coffee and perhaps a drizzle of salted caramel and chile-spiked chocolate sauce. Just off the top of my head.

In truth, every time I’ve made these, it’s been for brunch. But that’s because I simply can’t wait all day to dive mouth first into a heaping plateful of these.

This recipe is quick and easy, and the doughnut holes keep for two days if tightly wrapped….but I doubt you’ll have leftovers.

Ingredients:

COATING:

-2/3 cup sugar (I used coarse, but granulated is fine)

-1 tbsp cinnamon

-8 tablespoons unsalted butter

DOUGHNUT HOLES:

-1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

-1 1/2 tsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp baking soda

-1/2 tsp table salt

-1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

-1/2 cup granulated sugar

-1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

-1 large egg

-1 tsp vanilla

-1/2 cup buttermilk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 30 mini muffin cups or 12 standard size muffin cups. Set aside.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

4. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined.

5. Mix in 1/3 of dry ingredients.

6. Mix in 1/2 of the buttermilk.

7. Mix in another 1/3 of the dry ingredients.

8. Mix in the rest of the buttermilk.

9. Mix in remaining dry ingredients just until combined.

10. Fill muffin cups 3/4 the way full.

11. Bake 12-15 minutes for mini muffins, 20-24 minutes for standard size muffins.

MEANWHILE…..

12. In a small saucepan, melt 8 tablespoons butter over medium heat.

13. Continue cooking while stirring regularly.

14. As color darkens, watch for brown bits forming on the bottom. Scrape these off and continue stirring.

15. As soon as the butter smells nutty and heavenly and is a dark amber color (your butter might froth like mine), remove from heat and set aside.

16. In a small bowl, stir together the 2/3 cup sugar and cinnamon.

HERE’S WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS:

17. When a toothpick inserted into doughnut hole comes out clean, take out from oven and let cool for a minute or two.

18. As soon as you can physically stand it, pick up the warm doughnut and roll in browned butter.

19. Immediately drop into bowl of cinnamon sugar coating and roll.

20. Set on plate.

Go make these. Right now. And don’t question me on the “Wait, is 8 tablespoons of melted butter really healthier than fried dough?” I don’t have time to explain the chemical process of frying and how it produces unnatural compounds yadda yadda yadda. I have some delicious toppings to test out on these doughnut holes.

xo

Tropical Turkey Burgers

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Hello, summer! It was nearly 90 degrees here in nyc yesterday. (Maybe Al Gore was on to something, eh?) As someone who is allergic to the sun, sweats like a monster, and attracts any mosquito in a mile radius, I’m not too keen on summer. The one thing that makes all the seasonal discomfort worth it? THE GRILL.

Here’s a super quick, yummy, healthy recipe for Hawaiian turkey burgers. I think I’ve mentioned before just how much I love pineapple, so this is definitely my favorite kind of turkey burger 😉

For the burgers:

-1 lb ground turkey

-1/2 half red bell pepper, finely diced

-1/2 half small yellow onion, finely chopped

-1 clove garlic, minced

-1/4 cup bread crumbs

-3-4 tbsp teriyaki sauce

-salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Throw all together in a bowl and mush with your fingers. If it feels too dry, add more teriyaki sauce. If mixture feels too wet, add more bread crumbs.

2. Smoosh together into a big ball. Then, divide ball in half. Then, half it again so you have 4 even sized patties.

3. Grill for 6-7 minutes on each side on a medium-high grill.

Toppings:

-1 avocado, sliced

-1 pineapple, sliced into rings and grilled

-1/4 cup bbq sauce mixed with 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce

Directions:

1. Cut off pineapple top and bottom.

2. Stand up and slice off skin.

3. Use a corer to remove center.

4. Turn on side and slice into 1/2 inch thick rings.

5. Grill for about 1-2 minutes per side.

Top bun with turkey burger, then pineapple, teriyaki bbq sauce, and avocado slices.

I grilled up some sweet potatoes on the side, which is highly recommended. Wrap the little suckers in foil and toss on the grill for an hour or so. Check out this steamy shot:

Enjoy!

xo