September 10, 2019This is about...
Lots of PEACH CAKE---YUM!
SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER, BUT SOME OF THE BEST FRESH FRUITS AND VEGGIES OF THE SEASON ARE HERE RIGHT NOW!
In the Hudson Valley, we've had a stellar peach crop this summer, just begging to be baked into pies and cakes.
THIS BEAUTY, with its 2 layers of sweet, fresh peaches and cinnamon sugar,
IS BURSTING WITH PEACH FLAVOR and will absolutely not disappoint. Actually, once you start eating it, you may not be able to stop! It's so good.
To make sure you get the most delicious peaches,
seek out a local farmer's market or farm stand, and pick ones that are fragrant, yellow with a nice rosy blush, (no green) and firm to the touch, not mushy. The only real time consuming part....
August 15, 2019This is about...
Grilled Zucchini GUAC---YUM!
I LOVE AVOCADOS! They're creamy and added to a salad, a sandwich, mashed, or sliced with a sprinkle of flakey salt, so delicious. However, they don't always love me. Yes, they're nutrient dense, high in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, and contain good fats--HEART HEALTHY monounsaturated ones, but a whole one still weighs in at over 300-350 calories!
WE ALL KNOW HOW EASY IT IS TO SCOOP UP ALOT OF GUACAMOLE AT ONE SITTING. You could probably eat as much as a whole avocado watching TV or hanging out at a backyard picnic. So, even though there's no denying how healthy they are, they can still pack on the pounds. WHAT'S A GUACAMOLE LOVER SUPPOSED TO DO??...
July 30, 2019This is about...
A Summertime SHRIMP BOIL---YUM!
A SHRIMP BOIL MAY SOUND COMPLICATED TO PREPARE, BUT IT'S PROBABLY ONE OF THE EASIEST, MOST DELICIOUS DISHES YOU'LL EVER MAKE, especially if you can have the shrimp deveined at your market.
Basically, you add all of the ingredients to a pot of seasoned water, boil and eat.
I LIKE TO MAKE THIS WHEN SWEET CORN AND BABY POTATOES ARE THE STAR AT MY FARMER'S MARKET.
The big plus here is that this dish is very lowfat, only the sausage adds any fat.
And, the corn is yummy without having to slather it in butter and salt.
SO DON'T HESITATE!
July 22, 2019This is about...
Watermelon, Strawberry and Banana Sherbet---YUM!
BABY IT'S HOT OUTSIDE! We've had day after day of really hot weather here in the northeast.
So I'm always looking for something really cold to cool me down. Once I've had my fill of slices of cool watermelon or lemon or limeades, I start playing around.
IT MAY SOUND A LITTLE UNORTHODOX, BUT ONE OF MY FAVORITE FRUIT COMBINATIONS IS WATERMELON, STRAWBERRIES AND BANANAS. It's refreshing, sweet and the bananas add a little extra texture and substance.
This sherbet, which is somewhere between an ice and ice cream is a yummy take on that combo....
July 1, 2019This is about...
Molly's Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake---YUM!
SAD NEWS HERE. WE LOST DEAR SWEET MOLLY O'NEILL LAST WEEK AFTER A LONG BATTLE WITH CANCER. She was my food writing mentor as well as a mentor to so many you could never count them all.
I learned so much from her, especially how to see the world through a new, wider lens.
And I ALWAYS MARVELED AT HER WAY WITH WORDS, PICKING JUST THE RIGHT AND MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO GET HER DELICIOUS, WITTY THOUGHTS ON THE PAGE.
She will be so missed....
June 11, 2019This is about...
Summertime FARRO SALAD---YUM!
FARRO IS MY NEW OBSESSION. It's an ancient form of wheat, first originating in Italy back in the days of the Roman empire. Gaining popularity along with some other old-time grains like kamut and amaranth,
farro has it's own unique nutty flavor and texture. Satisfyingly chewy, it's a great addition to any salad and keeps well. And, now....
May 21, 2019This is about...
Smokey Barbecue Vinaigrette!---YUM!
THIS SALAD WILL BE A FUN ADDITION TO YOUR HOLIDAY BARBECUE MENU, AND IT'S SUPER EASY. It won't take more than some of your favorite bottled barbecue sauce, olive oil, lemon juice and some sweet heat---
2 minutes prep time tops. And, after a parade of holidays over the last month, some easy prep work might be very welcome. It is for me.
Ready to brighten up any summer salad, --
IT CAN HOLD ITS OWN WITH STRONGER GREENS LIKE ESCAROLE, WATERCRESS AND ARUGULA --and,
May 16, 2019This is about...
HOMEMADE THIN MINT GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!---YUM!
I WAS A GIRL SCOUT, even an unwilling attendee at girl scout camp for a few harrowing summers in my early teens. I went on 'PRIMITIVE" CAMPING TRIPS, MADE CAMPFIRES AND CANOED DOWN THE DELAWARE RIVER SLEEPING UNDER "LEAN-TO" METAL CANOES, even once in a thunderstorm when I was eleven--I was sure I was GONNA DIE. Unlike those summers, the girl scouts school year activities were much more tolerable, cooking and bringing food to seniors, bowling, making crafts.
So by now you've figured out that I was a girl scout. And OUR PRIMARY SCOUTING ACTIVITY that happened without fail every spring WAS....
May10, 2019This is about...
Springtime PHYLLO ASPARAGUS TART!---YUM!
MOTHER'S DAY IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. And fresh spring asparagus are everywhere. With it's phyllo base and bright green spears,
this tart looks complicated and very pretty, but it couldn't be simpler. Plus,
IT'S PERFECT FOR MOTHER'S DAY.
if you are a phyllo novice, this is the tart to get you started.
THERE'S NO CUTTING, ROLLING, CRIMPING, OR MEASURING...
April 19, 2019This is about...
Springtime DEVILED EGGS!---YUM!
THIS IS THE START OF DEVILED EGG SEASON FOR ME--from Easter to the end of summer and every picnic in-between.
They are an all-American classic, and super easy to make.
THEY'RE BEST WHEN YOU DON'T MESS AROUND WITH THEM TOO MUCH.
So, you're not gonna find caviar, shredded pork or marshmallows on top of them. The basics work best here, a good mayo--for me that mean Hellmans--, mustard, salt and pepper with maybe some chopped chives, hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne. I also might add some sweet pickle juice or relish, but that's as far as I would ever go, letting the eggs shine.
AS EASY AS THESE ARE TO MAKE, COOKING THE EGGS ARE...
April 9, 2019This is about...
An Easy CHICKEN and PEA TRAYBAKE---YUM!
TIME IS ALWAYS AT A PREMIUM FOR ME. AND, IT'S PROBABLY THE SAME FOR YOU.
So this is the kind of recipe that I usually gravitate towards. It requires no more than simply stirring everything together in a baking pan, and popping it in the oven. Can't get much easier than that. In the U.S. we call it a sheet pan recipe, but in England, Nigella Lawson calls it
Now, with of all the ingredients in this recipe and the longish cooking time, you might think that the petit peas we're using are going to get way over baked. But, it's quite the contrary....
March 26, 2019This is about...
Low Carb, Low Sugar, Dairy and Gluten Free, Fudgy, Yummy BROWNIES!
I'M ALWAYS LOOKING FOR DESSERT "CHEATS."
Basically, I want my cake and eat it too.
AND GUESS WHAT? THESE BROWNIES DO THAT!
Not only are they dairy, gluten, and grain-free. But they're also very low in carbs, about 2 net carbs, and they're even paleo if you use the coconut sugar instead of xylitol.
SO WHAT'S LEFT? ARE THEY MADE WITH AIR?
No....but these ingredients are carefully chosen for their flavor as well as for what they leave out. To make a great brownie,
YOU'VE GOTTA HAVE....
March 12, 2019This is about...
Vegan Raisin Rosemary SCONES for St. Patrick's Day---YUM!
ST. PATRICK'S DAY IS ALMOST HERE! So there's no better time for a scone. THESE--BEING VEGAN--ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT TRADITIONAL, BUT I LIKE THEM EVEN BETTER.
They have a crispy exterior and a tender, satisfyingly crumbly texture inside. The raisins and rosemary add sweetness and a subtle herby twist. And even though they are an excellent vehicle for some kind of buttery or sweet spread, THEY ARE PERFECT ALL BY THEMSELVES.
Real scones are loaded with butter and heavy cream which means a ton of calories. That fact alone always makes me hesitate. I start doing the caloric calculations in my head, before I take that first bite. And then, I start to wrestle with the question...
March 5, 2019This is about...
Whole Foods DETOX SALAD---YUM!
I HAVEN'T COMPLETELY GIVEN UP ON MY NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS YET---HAVE YOU??
So in keeping with my goal of pure, simple, clean eating,
I'M SHARING THIS ICONIC SALAD FROM WHOLE FOODS---THEIR DETOX SALAD.
It's packed with raw veggies, raw seeds, and dried currants for sweetness. Plus,
it's oil-free, depending on a bright splash of fresh lemon juice to highlight all the flavors, as well as cutting way down on the calories. It's hard to believe that
IT'S SO HEALTHY AND SO NUTRITIOUS, AND still manages to be...
February 26, 2019This is about...
Paul Bertolli's CAULIFLOWER SOUP!
CAULIFLOWER HAS BEEN THE NEW KALE FOR AWHILE NOW. AND FRANKLY, I PREFER IT THAT WAY. It's so versatile that you can turn it into rice, steaks, pizza crusts, and use it raw or cooked. And, being that it's from the cruciferous clan of veggies, it's really healthy for you too.
This soup goes back to the basics, and is so simple, and so, so creamy even without any dairy, that I'm sure that it will become a winter favorite.
WITH SO FEW INGREDIENTS, THE QUALITY IS GOING TO BE IMPORTANT here. Make sure the cauliflower is fresh, preferably organic if you can, and has no black spots.
However, the true magic behind this soup is...
February 18, 2019This is about...
STEWS ARE MADE FOR WINTER.
Comforting, soothing and easy to prepare, they're perfect on a snowy night in front of a fire, or binge-watching your fave TV show. This is a delicious one,
A COMBINATION OF TWO FISH CURRY RECIPES THAT I LOVE. One has been in my recipe rolodex for years, the other, my friend "Lainey's find" from Food 52.
Except for sprinkling the fish with some ground turmeric and salt for a few minutes, which adds another layer of flavor to the stew,
this is basically a one pot wonder....
February 11, 2019This is about...
Valentine's PEANUT BUTTER CUP BARS!
WHO CAN SAY NO TO A PEANUT BUTTER CUP? I CAN'T!
And Valentines' day is THE PERFECT EXCUSE to eat them. These peanut butter cup bars become
EVEN MORE IRRESISTIBLE WHEN THEY'RE HOMEMADE.
Making them yourself allows you to choose your chocolate--
milk or dark? and your peanut butter--
smooth or crunchy? But any way you slice them, they're gonna be yummy. And since
THEY'RE NO-BAKE, they're easy as well "pie." All that's needed is a chill in the fridge and they're ready to go.
I've used my famous peanut butter truffle filling for the base. And then topped them...
January 29, 2019This is about...
Loaded Bell Pepper NACHOS!
WHEN IT COMES TO THE SUPER BOWL, I'M NOT TUNING IN FOR THE GAME.
I like watching the commercials and the half-time show.
AND MOST OF ALL?--I LIKE ALL OF THE MUNCHIES AND THE JUNK FOOD. The problem is that 3-4 hours of picking on wings, chips and dip, pizza, cookies, and who knows what else, can add up to a stadium's worth of calories and always some
post Super Bowl regret.
THESE "NACHOS" ARE A LIGHTER VERSION of the traditional by substituting-- OF ALL THINGS--MINI BELL PEPPER HALVES for the chips.
I say why not? Since
you can still go to town with all of the toppings, your nachos will be attending the party, just significantly....
January 14, 2019This is about...
Vegan SPICE COOKIES!
I ALWAYS MAKE THE SAME NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION EVERY JANUARY 1ST. AND WHAT IS IT?---to get back to eating, simple, clean, healthy food. BUT AS ALWAYS, I DON'T WANT TO STOP CELEBRATING---JUST YET. I still want a few indulgent goodies before I totally give in to my New Year's promises. Unfortunately, sweet, gooey treats just don't fit into this fresh start. So how do I cross this great divide?
WELL, I DO HAVE A FEW TRICKS UP MY SLEEVE....
December 31, 2018This is about...
NEW YEAR'S LUCKY LENTIL SOUP!
MY GRANDMOTHER ALWAYS MADE LENTIL SOUP ON NEW YEAR'S DAY.
And even though she was one of the best cooks I have ever known,
THIS IS THE ONE RECIPE OF HERS THAT I WOULD NEVER PASS DOWN TO ANYONE.
Back when I was growing up, the first day of the year was always reserved for dinner at my grandparent's house. And without fail, along with the ham, mashed potatoes, gravy and homemade rolls, there would be lentil soup on the table.
Unlike all of the other delicious food spread out in front of everyone,
the lentil soup was not a pretty sight. In fact, ....
December 18, 2018This is about...
Magical Cookie Forests!
PEOPLE ALWAYS EXPECT COOKIES FROM ME THIS TIME OF YEAR.
So much so that if they didn’t get any as presents, they would certainly wonder
WHAT HAPPENED TO ME?
So I would never think of giving anyone anything else.
December 3, 2018This is about...
Homemade ALMOND MILK---YUM!
OK –IT’S NOT THE MOST FESTIVE DRINK FOR THE HOLIDAYS. BUT, WITH ALL OF THAT CELEBRATING GOING ON, OUR BODIES COULD PROBABLY USE A LITTLE BREAK. And, it’s a much higher quality,
way more delicious and nutritious drink than what you buy in that box at the grocery store. Which, by the way, using
THE MOST POPULAR BRAND, ALMOND BREEZE, IS BASICALLY 2% ALMONDS AND 98% WATER! with additives like sunflower lecithin, sugar and carrageenan.
So, why spend a lot of money on a doctored, watered-down version?-- when you can.....
I LOVE MY PUMPKIN PIE.
Alright it’s really not MY pumpkin pie. It comes from a can of Libby’s pumpkin pie mix, but it’s is an absolute must have for my Thanksgiving to be complete.
SINCE IT’S PRETTY MUCH A NO-BRAINER,
I try to look for one more pumpkin dessert to have on hand for the big turkey weekend. And
THIS YEAR, IT’S A LUSCIOUS PUMPKIN COFFEECAKE with a crunchy brown sugar and toasted pecan streusel topping.
Even though at first glance you may think that it would be a heavy cake, it’s surprisingly not. And,
it has all the flavors of your traditional pumpkin pie, which makes it a real contender for your holiday table...
November 12, 2018This is about...
APPLES, APPLES EVERYWHERE!
This applesauce is raw, just the fresh apples off of the tree—
NO COOKING REQUIRED. Who knew? I never thought you could make a version without heating it. I thought it would turn out way too watery. But, that’s simply not the case.
You can’t get any easier than this recipe. Slice up some apples, and if they’re organic, no peeling is even required. Throw them into a blender with a few other choice ingredients, and
FRESH APPLESAUCE IS A QUICK WHIZZ AWAY. And most importantly, it’s delicious!
Plus, it’s so healthy. Wouldn’t ya know—
AN APPLE A DAY REALLY DOES KEEP THE DOCTOR AWAY.....
November 5, 2018This is about...
Throwback SUNDAY POT ROAST---YUM!
WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, LIPTON’S SOUP MIX WAS ALL THE RAGE. The only onion dip I ever knew was made with one of those white and red packets stirred into a lot of sour cream.
And, pot roast? Well, it wasn’t Sunday pot roast without it. We used to place a chuck roast on a piece of heavy duty foil, sprinkle the soup mix over the top and add a few squirts of Worcestershire sauce. Then, we’d throw some cut up carrots and potatoes in for good measure. You’d pull up the sides of the foil, seal it tight, throw it in the oven and just forget about it. About two and half to three hours later it was done--- a yummy pot roast for sure.
ALTHOUGH LIPTON’S IS CONVENIENT AND TASTY, I’M NOT SO FOND OF....
October 29, 2018This is about...
SPOOKY Witches Fingers---BOO!
Here’s A FUN LITTLE TREAT for Halloween---SCARY GREEN WITCHES FINGERS.
They’re very easy to make and very fun to eat. Just grab some pretzel rods, white candy melts or chocolate chips, some creepy green food coloring and toasted sliced almonds.
A QUICK PRETZEL ROD ROLL IN THE GREEN COATING, SOME WRINKLES DRAWN FOR KNUCKLES, AND A SLICED ALMOND MANICURE ARE ALL YOU NEED. —Stick them into the tops of cupcakes, on the top of a spooky cake, or coming out of the top of carved mini pumpkins----they’re guaranteed to spook out anyone that comes close!
October 22, 2018This is about...
Easy Curried Butternut Squash Soup---YUM!
COLD WEATHER AND ALL SORTS OF “HARD” SQUASHES GO TOGETHER.
Nature knows best, always ripening what works best with the season.
THIS SOUP USES BUTTERNUT AS ITS STAR, with a supporting cast of curry powder, onions, garlic and if you like it spicy, a bit of Thai red curry paste.
It’s warming, earthy, easy to make and a great gateway soup into the winter ahead. And, unlike most butternut squash soups which tend to be sweet, this version is
A CURRIED SAVORY TAKE on that classic.
Although I love winter squashes of all kinds,
peeling them can be a challenge unless ...
October 8, 2018This is about...
End of Summer Vegetable TIAN!
Here in the Hudson Valley,
WE ARE STILL IN “SO MANY VEGGIES, SO LITTLE TIME” MODE---completely up to our ears in bushels of tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini.
With such an embarrassment of riches, I’m constantly thinking of different ways to use them up.
HERE I’VE MADE A TIAN. WHAT’S THAT?
October 1, 2018This is about...
Grandma’s PLUM CAKE!
THERE’S THIS NEW YORK TIMES RECIPE, ORIGINALLY POSTED BY MARIAN BURROS, in September of 1983, that has continued to make the rounds in the newspaper for decades.
It’s her recipe for a “Plum Torte.” She got it from her childhood friend, Lois Levine, and it ran in the newspaper every fall for years, until one year it just stopped. The readers freaked! So back it went into the NY Times cooking pages. It’s such a simple recipe and
SURPRISINGLY, IT HAS BECOME THE MOST REQUESTED RECIPE IN NEW YORK TIMES HISTORY.
September 17, 2018This is about...
HOMEMADE CHIMICHURRI IS A DELICIOUS WAY TO USE UP ANY OF THE FRESH HERBS IN YOUR FRIDGE OR GARDEN, even if they are starting to fade a bit.
It’s a tasty, herby, green, spicy, tangy sauce traditionally served over grilled steak,
BUT DON’T STOP THERE---USE IT EVERYWHERE--- over veggies, fish, chicken and grains.
Typically, this Argentinian sauce includes fresh parsley and oregano, chili peppers--fresh, dried or both-- some fresh garlic, cumin, a fruity oil, and the zing from some red or white wine vinegar. But,
I like to switch it up from the original, by usually adding some mint, cilantro, and lime juice—even a few drops of honey sometimes. My way is not a true chimichurri, but it’s still a delicious green sauce.
AND, IT DOESN’T HURT THAT IT COMES TOGETHER IN A FLASH --- simply a whizz away in your blender or food processor.
Like I said
this sauce is considered an Argentinian creation.
BUT GUESS WHAT?
September 3, 2018This is about...
Black Bean TARTINES --YUM!
SADLY, SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER. BUT HAPPILY, THIS IS THE TIME OF YEAR WHEN WE HAVE AN AMAZING ARRAY OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES TO CHOOSE FROM.
And, this black bean salad makes use of a lot of this season’s harvest. Packed with fresh corn on the cob, red bell peppers, scallions, and parsley, it’s dressed in a bright, tangy vinaigrette of lemon, soy sauce and mustard.
THIS RECIPE IS INSPIRED BY ANNEMARIE COLBIN.
Back in the day when I was singing TV jingles in NYC, --Fa La La La--, I’d fill in the holes of time between sessions with a bunch of fun cooking classes, all taught by her, in her apt bldg. on West End Ave. That was
BEFORE THE NATURAL GOURMET COOKING SCHOOL BECAME WHAT IT IS TODAY....
August 27, 2018This is about...
PEACH COBBLER with a Hot Sugar Crust--YUM!
August 20, 2018This is about...
Chicken MILANESE with Tomato Arugula Salad--YUM!
I DON’T CRAVE A LOT OF PROTEIN WHEN IT’S HOT OUTSIDE.
But lately something crunchy with a fresh salad on top has been calling out to me.
TRADITIONALLY, A MILANESE IS MADE WITH VEAL, BUT I ACTUALLY LIKE IT USING CHICKEN EVEN BETTER.
Even though it requires a frying pan, and some breading, the process goes by pretty quickly. And, the
CRUNCH is so worth it. This bright, peppery salad with a summer’s harvest of arugula, tomato and red onion is a simple and delicious pairing. I always like to add a little squeeze of lemon over the chicken just before serving too....
August 13, 2018This is about...
Green GODDESS Dressing--to be or not to be vegan--YUM!
It’s Wednesday afternoon, and I’m strolling through the Woodstock Farm Fest—
OK, IT IS WOODSTOCK, WE CERTAINLY CAN’T CALL IT JUST A FARMERS MARKET—
and of course, I want everything. Weighted down with a treasure trove of organic fruits and vegetables is a weekly occurrence for me, this and every summer.
ONCE BACK HOME, I’M CONFRONTED WITH 2 VERY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. First,
what am I am going to make with all of this stuff, because inevitably I buy way too much. And second,
how am going to use up all of this produce while it’s still at it’s peak. Let’s face it...
August 6, 2018This is about...
Corn on the Cob with Fresh Herb Butter and Parmesan ---YUM!
I’M A CORN ON THE COB SUPER FAN! And even though you can make so many other recipes with summer’s fresh corn, I never get past eating it right off the cob. I always slather it with a lot of unsalted butter, and sprinkle it with a healthy dose of flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
This recipe is just one scrumptious step away from my basic, butter, salt and pepper version. But the effort-to-reward ratio is huge.
THERE’S A LITTLE ELBOW GREASE INVOLVED --- mincing some herbs, stirring them into some softened butter and grating some parmesan.
But that’s it. Then, all you have to do is wait for the corn to finish cooking.
I LOVE A LOT OF FRESH BASIL, PARSLEY AND A SMALLER AMOUNT OF ROSEMARY FOR MY HERBS, but you can use any combination that you like. And if you need more.....