Tag Archives: recipe

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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Something Old, Something New {Friday}

Ok, so I definitely didn’t start off this weekly feature on the right foot, since I promptly ignored it for two weeks after I started it. Let’s give this another go…

{Something Old}


New York is still hot as hell these days, but I whipped up an old favorite meal as a raindance-like plea for Fall to arrive: roasted butternut squash and chickpeas over quinoa, topped with crumbles of goat cheese! It’s a really simple and quick recipe, and totally worth turning on the oven for.

{Something New}


I took my first trip out to the Hamptons last weekend with a good friend who rented a place out there for the summer. We spent most of the weekend relaxing and leafing through September issues of magazines (and making shopping lists, naturally), and of course eating. It was amazing to see the enormous mansions that line the road to the beach — some of them have hedges so high and driveways so long that you can barely even see the house! The weekend felt so much longer than usual because there was really nothing that we had to do and nowhere we had to be. That’s the perfect weekend in my eyes!

Have a great weekend!

Top photo by bionicgrrrl via Flickr

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Recipe: Cauliflower and Leek Risotto

Risotto is not for the impatient cook. I never met another food that required so much constant attention while making you oh so very hungry in exchange. Perhaps I shouldn’t have started this recipe on a relatively empty stomach, but with each addition of another 1/2 cup of liquid to the bubbling rice I found myself praying that it would hurry up and absorb so that I could sink my teeth into the finished product.

My previous attempt at a more classic risotto sort of failed. I was hasty with adding the broth into the rice, resulting in a sort of chewy and hard risotto instead of the perfectly creamy texture that this recipe achieved. I also love that this iteration includes leeks, which I’m using pretty often these days. I love that you can saute them down or roast them in the oven, but they don’t get mushy. They always manage to hold on to a certain degree of texture and a lovely mild flavor.

This is also a great way to camouflage cauliflower for those who don’t care for it much. I’ve personally never met a vegetable that I didn’t like, but I know that many people complain that cauliflower is bland and boring… not when you add hearty vegetable broth and melt in grated parmesan! In all honesty, I doubt very much that someone would notice it too much unless you pointed it out to them.

I ended up topping this with a crumble of goat cheese, because let’s face it — what do I not top with goat cheese? I liked the way that the tangy goat cheese played off of the otherwise smooth and creamy texture and flavor of the risotto. I ate this both as a main dish for dinner and as a side another night — works both ways!

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Avocado and Bean Salad

This Avocado and Bean Salad is a current obsession of mine — they make it at our local grocery store and sell it for $7.99/lb, so I thought I’d buy my own ingredients and recreate it at home! It’s really simple to make and can serve as a side dish to a meal, or you can eat a big bowl of it for a more than sufficient lunch. As many of my self-created recipes go, this one doesn’t really have measurements, so you could easily alter this to include more of the stuff you love and less of what you don’t.

Avocado and Bean Salad

  • 1 Small bag mesclun mix
  • 1 cup red kidney beans
  • 1 cup white cannellini beans
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into strips
  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks
  • Juice from 1 medium lime
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients and enjoy! Simple, right?

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Eggplant-Tomato Ragu and Quinoa Cakes

Quinoa has become one of my favorite alternatives to rice as a side dish. I’ve heard it called a “super grain” because of all the fantastic amino acids and protein you absorb when you eat it, but I just love the taste — really flavorful and nutty on its own, and even better when cooked with a light chicken broth instead of water.

This recipe is one of my favorites as of late, and while it might just contradict the health benefit of quinoa (you fry the quinoa cakes!) it is a really hearty and delicious meal. It combines some of my favorite flavors like eggplant and roasted red peppers with a creamy finish of mozzarella cheese.

Everything about this recipe is incredibly simple — just toss the eggplant, tomato, red pepper and other ragu ingredients into a skillet and let it simmer together! I think 1.5lbs of eggplant is a lot for this recipe… I’d just use a medium-large eggplant and call it a day! Also, don’t be discouraged if your quinoa cakes fall apart a bit in the frying pan. Once the cake starts to split, there is no saving it — just try to keep it from crumbling! You’ll never know that your quinoa cake is in pieces once it is smothered in eggplant ragu!

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Maple Syrup Glazed Cookies

Last fall I went to a cool event called Brooklyn Skillshare. It was basically a day of classes taught by people who wanted to share their passions with others. The range of topics was really large — everything from how to mix and apply henna to how to fix your bike (this is Brooklyn we’re talking about, after all). I took some great classes, including one by the brain behind one of my favorite blogs, Eat Make Read.

Her class was all about infusing your own alcohols and making party snacks, which was really interesting and pretty damn tasty too! I started reading her blog frequently after that class, and found this recipe, which is hands-down one of my favorite cookies of all time. I decided to make them last weekend since we had all of the ingredients in the apartment, and in honor of the second Brooklyn Skillshare which is right around the corner on October 9th.

Since I originally hail from New England, the price of maple syrup here in NYC is shocking to me! My roommate bought some to make some pumpkin-maple cupcakes this weekend (yes, all we do is eat), so I nabbed a little to make my cookies too! I’ll definitely have to stock up when I visit home so that we don’t have to pay almost $10 for a tiny bottle next time!

These cookies couldn’t be simpler to make, but the end result is so fantastic — a buttery soft cookie with thick maple glaze and topped with the slightest sprinkling of salt. Eating just one of these is really not an option. Visit Eat Make Read for the recipe!

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Avocado and Roasted Corn Soup with Cilantro Oil

I’ve come to realize that there are two kinds of people in this world — those who love avocado and those who despise it. I fall under the “love” category (possibly even under the “obsessive” category), so I’m always looking for new recipes to use it in. The latest recipe that I tried will probably appeal to other avo-lovers out there.

I’ll be honest — I found this recipe to be a bit more involved than what I was hoping for, but the result came out pretty well anyway. This soup is served cold, which was fine, but I would have liked it better if there were actual corn kernels in it and not just what I’ll call “corn essence” (the instructions have you cook corn kernels, puree them in a food processor with chicken stock, and then press the mixture through a sieve and discard the solids!). There definitely wasn’t enough texture to this soup, which is why I added some pieces of shredded chicken.

The cilantro oil, however, was very good! I think it also made the bowl look a little prettier with the glossy dark green streaks it made! Overall, this dish was very flavorful and a refreshing summer dinner.

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