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Showing posts from March, 2019

Cucumber Avocado Sushi Rolls

I greatly enjoy sushi. I used to get it a lot during college from a place less than a block away from my school. Always fresh, always delicious, and incredibly filling. I miss my local sushi joint and have been intending to make sushi at home for quite some time. Before trying out a recipe at home with raw fish, I wanted to experiment with the construction of sushi first. Since I find cucumber and avocado rolls delicious and they are also cheap to make,  knew this had to be my first sushi made at home. The most key thing for me is the sushi rice. Do not substitute with any other kind of rice (jasmine will not work, believe me, I tried). Sushi rice keeps it shape and sticks together; it’s perfect for sushi. Who would have guessed?  Rolling is easier than I feared; be sure to get a bamboo mat (they are ultra cheap at amazon) and lay plastic wrap on top of it to prevent stickage. Just keep practicing; your rolls will get prettier and tighter with practice.  I enjoy thes

Berry and Avocado Salad

It’s just turned spring! The world is indeed, mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful, as e. e. cummings said. The sun is shining, the snow is thawing, the wind is warming rather than icy, and green things and beginning to poke through the ground. Gone are my cravings for soups and stews and roasts; I want salads. I want salads full of color and texture and taste; this delivers on all fronts. Sweet and ripe red strawberries, deep navy blueberries, magenta raspberries and deep purple blackberries jut out between white and salty feta, brown and crunchy walnuts and pecans, the white and crisp apples, the forest-green spinach and the chartreuse and creamy avocado slices. Drizzle the whole thing with creamy raspberry poppyseed dressing and you have a salad to satisfy the eye and the stomach. Enjoy! Ingredients: 6 ounces baby spinach 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced 1/2 cup blueberries 1/2 cup raspberries 1/2 cup blackberries 1 avocado, sliced 1 apple, diced 1/4 cup feta

Chai Latte Cream Pie

I have been suffering from a cold at the worst possible time; right smack dab in the run of a show where I have to sing an F6! I have been resting and hydrating and drinking so many concoctions that singers swear by (recipes I will not share on this blog because they must be choked down rather than savored). The one thing I have been enjoying, however, if drinking copious amounts of tea, which inspired this pie. I wanted something creamy and cool to soothe my sore throat. Combine the two and we have a decadent Chai Latte Cream Pie with a buttery graham cracker crust. The cookie crust is simply because I felt too tired to make a real pie crust; I think I hit upon a winning combination quite by accident thanks to my laziness. This is a wonderfully spiced, incredibly delicious and throat-soothingly creamy pie. You don’t have to be sick to make it; in fact, I recommend making it to stave off the cold. There- it’s practically health food and thus you must make one for yoursel

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms with a nutty twist- pecans! They add lovely flavor and crunch to the standard earthy and cheesy stuffed mushroom. There are very few ingredients in this appetizer and they are dead simple to make. Just a little time to saute, assemble and bake and voila, you have made the most addictive appetizer on the party table. I like to serve these at holiday dinners, potlucks, cocktail parties and sometimes on the weekends in place of a real meal. I just add a side salad and some crusty bread and feast on stuffed mushrooms. And wine, depending on the kind of week I have had. Enjoy! Ingredients: 20 large fresh mushrooms 3 tablespoons butter 1 small onion, chopped 1/4 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans 3 tablespoons grated pecorino romano 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme pinch cayenne pepper olive oil for drizzling Method: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove stems from the mushrooms. Finely chop th

Beef and Barley Stew

Hooray for the humble slow cooker; he toils quietly in my kitchen all day allowing me to work, run errands or simply laze about the house. In March, that miserable will the winter ever end month, the slow cooker becomes my nearest and dearest kitchen appliance by making chilies, soups and stews. My slow cooker is particularly fabulous because it has a sear function which means I can sear my meat in the same device I slow cook in, saving me from using another dish. This time, I craved that earthy, filling classic; beef and barley stew. Chuck beef, mushrooms, carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, garlic and barley; healthy, filling and absolutely delicious. I serve it with crusty bread rolls generously slathered with butter, for an extra carb explosion. Butter is, of course, always invited to my dinners. Enjoy! Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 cup flour 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1 inch cubes salt pepper 8 ounces of sliced cremini m

Chicken Enchiladas

February is finally over; the longest shortest month of the year. Still, the weather forecast predicts more snow, more cold, more wind. March is a slog to get to on the way to dear spring. I need something spicy and warm to cure my endless-winter doldrums. Enter the enchilada. Full of smoky heat from the chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, brightened with the mellow green chilies, packed to the brim with chicken, corn, tomatoes and smothered with cheese, the enchilada is a comfort food favorite. I have often made this with leftover rotisserie chicken if you’d like to skip a step and get to feasting that much sooner.  I eat my enchiladas with a generous amount of sour cream, fresh scallions and generous slices of avocado; feel free to garnish with your very favorite Mexican accompaniment and enjoy! Ingredients: 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts salt and pepper 2 teaspoons cumin powder 2 teaspoons coriander, gro

No Churn Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

Here is another variation on no-churn ice cream. In this version, I take my basic vanilla base and swirl in blueberry pie filling. Feel free to substitute other canned pie fillings, like cherry, pineapple, or jams like strawberry or raspberry. Personally, my favorite versions of this fruit swirled no-churn ice cream are blueberry and raspberry; they are my favorite berries and I always have a can of blueberry pie filling and raspberry preserves on hand.  This blueberry version is especially good served alongside a blueberry peek-a-boo square, a dessert bar my grandmother taught me how to make. Or enjoy it with a tall, cold glass of milk. Just be sure to take two scoops. Ingredients: 2 cups heavy whipping cream 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste 1 tablespoon rum 14 ounce can of blueberry pie filling Method: Whip the heavy cream into soft peaks. Fold in the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla bean paste and rum. Pour into a

No Churn Chocolate Ice Cream

Today was a long, dreary day. I knew that I would want ice cream as a treat, and wanted something delicious that would come together quickly. No-churn ice cream is a great option when you have no time to spend in the kitchen but you do have some time to wait. You can whip them up in the morning, stash them in the freezer, and be able to enjoy them after dinner as a special treat while doing whatever you want throughout the day. I also think they create a very rich, creamy ice cream that melts silkily on the tongue. (Plus I love having a spoonful of the sweetened condensed milk that remains on the lid of the can….) I opted for chocolate today. I used both melted chocolate and cocoa powder to give the ice cream a deep, velvety and rich chocolate flavor. The salt and espresso powder intensify the flavor while the vanilla rounds it out. The rum prevents the ice cream from freezing too solid (you can’t really taste it; the chocolate is overpowering). Give yourself a scoop or two

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Nothing is as wonderful as a lazy Sunday breakfast. Sleeping in until the sun wakes you up, staying cosy underneath your warm blankets, stumbling out to the kitchen, sipping on a mug of hot coffee and pottering about at the stove, creating something absolutely decadent to feast on back in bed. There is so much to love about this sandwich; it’s the marriage of a souped up grilled cheese and french toast. Melty cheese, salty ham, eggy french toast, golden brown and buttery all dipped in sweet syrup- it’s the best part of any breakfast buffet perfectly packaged in sandwich form. This treat couldn’t be easier to make, either. Whisk eggs and milk, assemble sandwich, grill, eat. I do like to add mayo and mustard to the inside of my monte cristo and cayenne to my custard; the heat and tanginess cuts through the richness of the dish and lifts it. And, then of course, I douse the whole thing in warm maple syrup, because some times more is just enough! Ingredients: 4 slice