Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe: Rosemary Sea Salt Focaccia

I wish I had never discovered how easy it is to make focaccia from scratch. My first batch was out of the oven for less than an hour, and I’m already conspiring about the next flavor that I want to make. Then I remembered that I had an entire sheet pan worth of fresh focaccia sitting in my kitchen, ready to be made into sandwiches and snacked on all week long — bliss!

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Focaccia is that beautiful, puffy bread that comes cut into large squares at the bakery. This bread is completely saturated in olive oil, which makes it all the more decadent. I used Anne Burrell’s super simple focaccia recipe, adding a few tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary to the top just before baking it. This is more of a time-consuming recipe than a difficult one (like most breads, it has to rise twice before baking), and it was totally worth it when the bread came out perfectly golden and chewy. There was more than enough to share with friends and coworkers while still holding on to a stash at home, too! One night we made simple sandwiches by cutting squares of this bread in half, toasting it with a little butter and garlic, and stacking slices of grilled steak inside — such an easy and delicious dinner.

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Macaron class for all!

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Super exciting announcement today! As you may know, I teach a monthly class on making French macarons in New York. Thanks to the awesome people over at Skillshare, I’m now able to teach classes that anyone can take, anywhere! That’s right, I’m taking French Macarons 101 online!

The class starts on February 25th, and will run over the course of a week and a half. You’ll learn everything you need to know to make your own French macarons at home through a combination of video instruction and class discussion boards — pretty sweet, right?

You can register now for just $15. I promise that I’ll talk about how to make the sinfully delicious cayenne chocolate macarons that you see above, as well as a ton of other flavors! Hope to see you there!

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Balsamic Beef Stew

balsamicbeefstew

Even though I’m not a big meat-eater, I seem to have an affinity for beef stew. Especially when the days get as cold as the ones we’ve had lately, there is nothing better than a hearty stew to stick to your ribs and keep you warm. Last night’s dinner of Balsamic Beef Stew went above and beyond my expectations, and couldn’t have been simpler to make!

You may remember the Kerala-style beef stew that I posted here a while ago. My one (easily addressed) complaint with that recipe is that the beef isn’t slow cooked, resulting in tougher cubes of meat. This recipe is intended for the slow cooker, both to help the meat get fall-apart tender and to meld the incredible flavors packed into the soup.

I know that some people use red wine in beef stew to bring a hint of acidity and a little richness to the broth. The addition of just three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar instead just took me by complete surprise. Not only did it bring a rich body to the broth (thanks also, in part, to the addition of tomatoes), but it also gave it the most pleasant tang!

You can really use any kind of vegetable in this recipe — I skipped the root veggies and instead just went with sweet potato (I live with a carrot-hater… compromises). The herbs are really what make this dish special though — fresh rosemary and thyme give the soup a fresh, earthy flavor that I loved. And the best part is, I have plenty of leftovers to last me another day or two! Yum.

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Recipe: Tofu Scrambled Eggs

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I’m going to pretend that we always eat healthy around here: you know, that this isn’t my feeble attempt to eat healthy because the calendar recently changed over to a new year, bringing me a new-found desire to take care of my body, go to the gym, drink more water… definitely not the case. Whether or not you are plagued by the “get healthy” bug this month, I recommend trying out this recipe because it is really quite delicious AND healthy!

Tofu has never been my favorite food. It’s bland and can be a little rubbery, so the dishes I’ve enjoyed most have usually been fried (what doesn’t taste good fried, really?). These Tofu Scrambled Eggs are now top on my list of tofu dishes for a number of reasons: The tofu is crumbled (like scrambled eggs), which gives it a nicer consistency than when it’s cut into blocks. You can add pretty much any fresh veggies that you’d like into this dish and have something tasty! You can serve this meal as a fun riff on breakfast for dinner, or actually eat it for breakfast. And finally, it has turmeric in it, which gives it the beautiful natural yellow color AND is thought to have some nice health benefits! I’d make this again in a heartbeat — the only change I’d make would be adding some freshly diced avocado into the mix!

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Recipe: Kerala Beef Stew

With the impending visit from Hurricane Sandy looming over us, Frank and I made a beeline for the grocery store to stock up on ingredients to make some hearty food that would keep us full and warm while we were stuck inside. I made this recipe from Bon Appétit a few weeks ago for the first time, and it was literally so good that I forgot to take photos before we devoured it, so this seemed like the perfect excuse to whip up another batch.

Kerala is a state in southwestern India (thank you, Wikipedia) where coconut palms are abundant, hence the addition of coconut milk into this delicious beef stew! When I saw that this recipe called for three serrano chilies, I was a little wary — we like some heat, but I’m a wimp when it comes to anything that hurts too much. As it turns out, the cooking seemed to mellow out the peppers, giving the soup a little zing without too much of a harsh bite. Honestly, I had a bigger problem with my fingers burning from the capsaicin (aka the chemical in peppers that makes them spicy) after just cutting the peppers.

I really love the chunky vegetables in this soup, as does my carrot-hating boyfriend who can just easily avoid eating them since they are in large pieces. The pearl onions are a special treat, as they really soak up the flavors of the soup nicely and add a texture that you just don’t get with a diced onion. Oh, and did I mention that this one is even better re-heated the next day? It’s a total win!

Hope everyone is staying safe and dry! As I write this, we’re watching our lights flicker and just waiting for the power to go out.

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Recipe: Mango Coconut Chocolate Bark

A quick, simple, and DELICIOUS recipe for you today! Remember a few weeks back when I made those chocolate bacon truffles (go check ’em out if not!)? Well the thing about making truffles is that you need a lot of melted chocolate, and you don’t necessarily end up using all of it. So what to do with the extra? Make chocolate bark, of course!

I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper, and then spread my leftover melted chocolate into a large rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Then, I diced up some dried mango that I had in my cabinet (I love to snack on Trader Joe’s Just Mango slices!) and sprinkled it over the chocolate along with some unsweetened shredded coconut. Then I just popped the whole thing in the fridge for an hour and broke into pieces after it had hardened!

This was such a tasty treat, and it took almost no effort to make! The flavor combinations you can make here are endless — I’d love to try a dried cherry with almond bits next! No chocolate shall go wasted in my apartment!

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Recipe: Chocolate Bacon Truffles

What is it about men and bacon? I’ve seldom met a guy whose ears didn’t perk up at the words “buffet breakfast” for the sole possibility that bacon might be involved. Not that I’m a hater of the crispy, fatty goodness either — I certainly indulge in a slice or two (or four) from time to time!

It was the boyfriend’s birthday last week, but I’d already given him his gift a few weeks before since he really needed a new bag for work. I subscribe to the belief that it is a complete and utter tragedy to not have something sugary to consume on your birthday, so I started searching for a great recipe to treat him with. As much as I would have loved making him a cake, it’s just not practical to make an entire cake when it’s just the two of us in the apartment (aka I would have eaten it all). When I came across this recipe for chocolate bacon truffles on Pinterest, I knew I had it. My bacon and chocolate loving boyfriend was going to be so thrilled.

Bacon bits going into the whipped filling

Of course, I had to buy pig-shaped candy molds to make these in, because it makes them that much cooler. The flavor in these is incredible, considering how little filling can fit in each mold (less than 1/4 tsp),  but that may have something to do with the bacon grease in the whipped filling. Maybe.

Wee piggies filled with bacon-y goodness!

When you bite into one of these little guys, you get a hit of porky, fatty flavor followed by the smooth dark chocolate and then crunchy bits of bacon. I’m pretty sure that this is where the phrase, “if this is wrong, then I don’t want to be right,” came from!

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