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Showing posts from September, 2017

Breakfast Sandwich Bonanza

When is too much of a good thing a great thing? When you take a bite of this over-the-top sandwich. This is a once in a great while treat, but no breakfast sandwich I have ever had comes close. I feel a little guilty giving you a recipe for this sandwich; it is really more of a sandwich-building instructional. You can certainly make the croissant and hash brown from scratch (I have made this sandwich with those homemade ingredients before, and while delicious, the flavor was not vastly improved and the work load was considerably larger).  I do recommend getting a really good, buttery, flaky croissant, so go to a bakery if you can. However, the rest of the greasy saltiness of the sandwich will more than make up for it if you opt for a grocery store croissant.  The melty cheese, the runny yolk, the sausage, the crispy bacon, the crunchy hash brown and surrounded by the flaky buttery croissant….. How have you not made this already? I need to go make myself another!

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream

I like this vanilla cake recipe for three big reasons: the cake is light and fluffy, the cake is moist, and the cake is super easy to make. Using cake flour means that the crumb of this cake is very light and fluffy, while the oil and buttermilk ensure that the cake is moist. This cake does not require butter, so very little forethought is needed before whipping this cake up (no need to remember to leave out butter to soften). I have other vanilla cakes that use butter for their fat instead of oil. These cakes are delicious, but they tend to be slightly denser and suffer from drying out more easily. By using oil, this cake comes out very light, moistness is all but guaranteed and you can refrigerate these cupcakes and even eat them cold without affecting their crumb texture. (If you refrigerate a butter based cake and eat it cold, I have learned from experienced, the cake tastes dry because the butter solidifies. You have to allow a butter based cake to come back to room tem

Peek-a-boo Squares

My grandma, Mimi, taught me this recipe. I used to make this with her and my mother as a child. It is my very favorite dessert. It is incredibly easy to make, and even easier to eat. My favorite part of making this as a child was dusting every bar generously with snowy white powdered sugar.  My favorite version of this dessert uses canned blueberry pie filling; I vastly prefer Libby brand over the store brand. You can make blueberry pie filling from scratch with sugar, cornstarch, bleberries, etc. but using the canned stuff is easy in a pinch and is much for nostalgic for me. Plus, I don’t notice a vast improvement over my homemade blueberry pie filling and the Libby brand; it just takes me longer to put this dessert together.  I have been known to whip up a pan of these Friday night and have them disappear by Saturday afternoon. Be warned, these things are addictive! Ingredients: 3 cups of all-purpose flour 2 cups of granulated sugar 4 eggs 2 sticks of

Herb-crusted salmon with summer veggies

This recipe is fairly fool-proof when it comes to flavorful, moist fish. By covering the fish with the herbed spicy mayo, the fish retains an incredible amount of moisture. Each bite is buttery smooth and soft; it is the complete opposite of dried out sad fish. By broiling the fish, the herbed mayo browns beautifully, adding crispy, salty flavor deposits all over the fillet.  The combination of mustard, herbs, mayo, lemon and cayenne pepper creates a lovely balanced flavor profile; not too acidic, not too earthy, not too rich and not too spicy. It has a lovely tang, aromatic herbs, acid to cut the richness, and a lovely warm heat. Since I find the salmon so flavorful and satisfying, I wanted my side dish to be fresh and light. I opted for zucchini and summer squash since they are in season, and added the seasoned panko bread crumbs for a little crunch and flavor. Best of all, by cutting the squash into 1/4 inch discs, they cooked right along with the fish; perfectly ten

Sour Cherry Apple Crisp

I love my garden. Nothing is more satisfying to me than going outside, harvesting a vegetable or fruit, and then using it in my kitchen. I like to plant tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, rhubarb, and herbs, and I delight in being able to eat things that I planted. However, the previous owner’s of this house planted a sour cherry tree, a peach tree, and concord grapes, all of which are at a fruit bearing stage. I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to be able to pick fruit off a tree and make it into a dessert that I get to share with friends and family. Sour cherries and concord grapes are not the kinds of fruit that you eat out of hand; they require cooking to make them enjoyable to eat. Sour cherries are particularly mouth-puckering; I chose to pair them with an equal amount of sweet cherries and some apples to balance their sour tartness.  The crisp topping is my standard for any crisp I make; be it apple, berry or strawberry rhubarb. I switched my usual pecan and walnut bl

Cereal marshmallow bars

I adore Rice Krispies treat squares; well, I adore homemade Rice Krispies treat squares. Somehow, the ones you buy taste too sweet to me. The ones made a home with butter, fluff or marshmallows, vanilla and crisped rice cereal always taste so much richer to me.  I was craving this childhood treat, and went to make it, but quickly realized I didn’t have enough crisped rice cereal for a full batch. Rather than halve the recipe, I peeked into my cabinet to see what else I could chuck into dessert square; I ended up selecting cinnamon toast crunch (to lend a kind of knock off s’mores bar square flavor) and pretzels (because I love combining sweet and salty). I added some mini-marshmallows to help the s’mores idea, along with milk chocolate (and peanut butter chips because if I have them, I cannot resist using them). The resulting marshmallow salty-sweet peanut buttery s’moresish cereal bar was the perfect treat to enjoy on movie night, along with some very buttery popcorn. (

Gnocchi, Sage and Butternut Squash

It’s August, yet I am yearning for the Autumn. Fall season is full of wonders to me: vibrant fireworks of foliage set against crisp, blue skies, big comfy sweaters, apple picking, the aroma of cider and pumpkin pie, apple crisp with melting ice cream and caramel sauce, costumes and candy on Halloween, family, friends and the feast of Thanksgiving, my birthday, and an abundance of squash. Despite the warmth of this dog day of summer, I wanted to anticipate autumn, gastronomically speaking. I remember going out to eat with my roommate and her family in the North End during college; the patriarch of the family ordered fancy bottles of wine, and copious amounts of dishes for us to share, family-style. That night I had a dish I never had before: pumpkin ravioli in a brown butter sauce. It was unlike any other pasta I had ever eaten; sweet, nutty and unforgettable. With this recipe, I try to recreate that dish in a fraction of the time (not ravioli stuffing here!). I added frie

Summer Shrimp Salad

Shrimp is one of my very favorite proteins; it cooks up super fast and works well with almost any flavor profile- sweet, sour, spicy, in broths, in cream, with cheese, doused in bread crumbs…. It’s a great protein to choose for a weeknight but it can also be the star of the show for impressive weekend dinner or parties. For this recipe, I wanted to feature in season produce alongside shrimp. I have an abundance of zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes growing in my garden, and decided to incorporate them in this salad, alongside sweet corn on the cob. Like most incredibly hip, trendy youths, I have a spiralizer. As kitchen gadgets go, I find it very useful, particularly when I am awash in squash. It turns my squash into wide ribbons or so-called “zoodles”. For this recipe, I opted for the “zoodle” shape, mostly because I like to say “zoodle.”  Combine shrimp, zoodles, hard-boiled egg, bacon, arugula, corn, tomato and a yummy vinaigrette, and you are in business. Enjo

Mango Lassi

Lassis are a traditional yogurt-based Indian drink. There are salted lassis and sweet lassis; salted lassis are savory and often use cumin as a spice. Sweet lassis use sugar, honey or fruits. There are many different varieties of both kinds of lassis, some that use saffron, or rosewater, or butter, or even clotted cream.  The Indian restaurant I sometimes visit for lunch has an amazing mango lassi that I like to order with my naan and tandoori chicken. The drink is supposed to help cool your tongue after tasting spicy chilies; I can’t say that I am ever brave enough to eat chilies, but the drink is delicious regardless. Have it with your next spicy meal or as a refreshing snack on its own! Enjoy! Ingredients : 2 cups of plain yogurt (for a thicker lassi, use greek yogurt) ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom The juice of half a lemon 1 1/2 cups of ice 2 ripe mangos, pitted, skinned and sliced 1 to 2 tablespoons honey Method : Put all the ingredients in your high spe