We have a special guest today from none other than my PIC, Ari King. He took a little time off from his radio show to share a recent cooking project. –MarenAlthough I am usually the one on ‘dish patrol’ (as my mom always puts it), I’m occasionally able to give my scoundrel a respite when it comes to cooking. True, this recipe doesn’t exactly translate to “Hey, I’ll take care of dinner tonight, you’ve had a long day” but it does show an effort has been made and it is pretty tasty.
I’m going to come right out and say it: I love cereal. I love it. I love it for breakfast and I love it for dessert. But, I recently chose to cut back on the sweet cereal (Frosted Flakes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch) and look into different types of granola. Each grocery and health food store I went to carried granola but it was always so expensive. I decided to just make the granola myself and, like most amateur kitchen-dwellers, I Googled recipes and got 22,000,000 results in 0.57 seconds and drove myself crazy trying to find the perfect one before settling on this one from Bon Appétit. The good thing about making your own granola is that beyond the essentials – oats, nuts, olive oil, sweetener – you can add whatever you want. I threw in flax seeds, chia seeds, coconut shreds, and added goji berries and currants on top.
And a little something extra:
*If you are feeling really groovy, toss in some chocolate chips. Go head. It’s cool.
*Imagine eating a toasted cloud. Put some granola on top of your delicious yogurt and you can know that feeling. Add fruit if you are into that kind of thing.
*Hungry between meals? Grab a fistful and tilt your head back and throw it in your mouth like popcorn at the movies. Read More
How great is this blanket from Donna Wilson? Given my recent black & white kick, I think this would be perfect to add some cheeky, high-contrast fun to your living room or bedroom. Will be back later this week with a new recipe!
Image from donnawilson.com
When I was growing up, Valentine’s Day meant a special dinner with our family, and most importantly, CANDY. I still remember one V-day in particular where my sister and I each received a giant Hershey’s Kiss, and I’m pretty certain that we both ate at least half that night (Solveig, you know what I’m talking about). Besides having an incorrigible sweet tooth, Valentine’s Day was never really my favorite holiday – I never really thought it was necessary to have one day to let the people close to you know that you love them. Of course, I’m never going to say no to a good dinner, so when Ari and I were deciding what we were going to do (obviously, House of Cards was the first item on the agenda), I thought it would be fun to come up with some things I don’t make on a regular basis. Surprisingly, I have never tried my hand at chocolate mousse, always one of my favorite desserts at French restaurants, but after this I will definitely be making it again. Seems fancy, and is deceptively simple – plus you can make it hours ahead of time, which makes it perfect for a dinner party.
I’ve really been feeling Scandinavian minimalism lately. I think it could be this crazy winter we’ve been having, but I love the simple, neutral color schemes and variety of textures that the Swedish and Norwegians seem to do so well. I put together a roundup of a few black and white items I’ve been coveting lately (and I might need to buy that blanket for myself!)
1. blanket/2. tray/3. salt & pepper shakers/4. bag/5. pillow/6. sheepskin/7. napkins/8. teakettle
You might also notice a few changes around here: I decided to do a little redesign to (hopefully) keep the site user-friendly, while making it look a little more modern. I’m still working out a few kinks, so let me know what you think and if you are having any issues!
Most of the time, my preferred salads are either of the crunchy Asian variety, or some type of arugula-blue cheese-pear mash-up. But every now and then, all I really want is crisp iceberg lettuce, creamy blue cheese dressing, crispy bacon, and of course, avocado – yes, it might be old-fashioned, but sometimes you just can’t beat a good iceberg wedge salad. I made these to go along with the wings while we were watching the Super Bowl, and I must say, it was pretty perfect. If you’re anywhere on the East Coast, you’re probably snowed in, or at least had a pretty bad commute this morning – and I think that this salad is the perfect antidote, hearty but crunchy, doused in a rich dressing and filled with salty delicious bits — just how it should be for a snow day.
Does anyone eat chicken wings after the Super Bowl? I know, this post comes a little too late. But since the Super Bowl itself was pretty boring (and heartbreaking for us as diehard and pretty-into-it 49ers fans – guess who is who), I was much more excited about the food – which, let’s be honest, isn’t very surprising. I had actually never made wings before, and I have to say that this recipe is far too good to save for only once a year – and you could easily switch it up with a whole chicken cut into pieces, or even skin-on chicken breasts. It also make a great addition to my lunchtime salads this week, and now I have such a leisurely walk to my office through Times Square without all of the Broncos and Seahawks fans running all over the place (not really, but a girl can dream, right?)
When I turned 21 and started going to bars, I never knew what kind of drink to order. I’m pretty sure there was a period of time where I drank exclusively flavored vodka and soda (I’ve tried to block it out of my memory) or I would panic and just order a beer. Gradually, I started to try new things and moved from whiskey sours to Sidecars to Old-Fashioneds, and now, I’m currently in a Manhattan phase (can you tell that I’m a whiskey fan?) and when I was home in December, this was the cocktail of choice once 6 o’clock rolled around. If you can’t tell by the bar cart, I do love a good cocktail – and to me, a well-shaken Manhattan is pretty much the perfect winter drink: strong enough to warm you up, but with only a few ingredients and easy enough to make in minutes.
I have a confession to make: I met Thomas Keller for a very brief moment a few months ago I was completely starstruck. He was, of course, just as charismatic as you might imagine (and taller than I had pictured), and of course, passionate about his cooking. I remember getting the French Laundry Cookbook from the library when I was in high school, poring over the pictures and marveling at the recipes.
It was astonishing that anyone could take the time to make all of the separate components for just one dish at the French Laundry – but the part I loved the most was that Chef Keller didn’t dumb anything down for the home cook, like many cookbooks do: if you wanted to make Oysters and Pearls like they have at the French Laundry, then damn it, you were going to have the same recipe the trained cooks have there. It might not look or taste exactly the same, but if Thomas Keller thinks you can do it, then I think that’s a pretty good endorsement.
Needless to say, I’m kind of obsessed with anything Keller-related and every single thing I have made from the Ad Hoc Cookbook has been delicious. So when I came across a recipe on Epicurious for Fava Bean Agnoletti with Curry Emulsion, I knew I had to try it out, particularly since I had been wanting to try my hand at a filled pasta for a while as well. I swapped the fava beans for a more winter-appropriate roasted butternut squash, and I have to say that this might be my favorite pasta sauce ever. Surprisingly simple, and yet with a complexity that complements the creamy pasta perfectly. You could, of course, make the sauce to use with store-bought pasta, but if you have a couple of extra hours on a weekend I truly think it’s worth the effort. And you don’t want to let Thomas Keller down, do you?
I firmly believe that you can never have enough egg recipes. My personal favorite way to eat eggs is over-easy, atop a piece of avocado-slathered toast with a little hot sauce, but every now and then I like to switch it up a little. This recipe looks impressive, uses one pan, and can be expanded exponentially to accommodate a crowd – really, what’s not to love? You could also add bacon for a smoky flavor, or switch the vegetables for other items you prefer. The only thing I really insist on is the croutons and runny eggs. A perfect winter breakfast, if I do say so myself.
You know those restaurants where, no matter what mood you are in, it makes everything a little better? Where the food isn’t too fancy, but delicious and comforting every time, and where you know you’ll be treated well. For me, that restaurant is Frankie’s 457 in Brooklyn. Of course, it helps that they have the loveliest garden in the five boroughs, with an outdoor bar and string lights (I’m always a sucker for string lights) that makes you feel like you have escaped the city to a magical place. Needless to say, it’s one of my favorite restaurants and the one thing we order from there every single time is orecchiette with spicy sausage and broccoli rabe.
It’s always the perfect combination of greens, buttery pasta and spicy pork sausage – and last week, I realized it probably wouldn’t be so difficult to make at home. (Spoiler: it’s not – in fact, it might be mine and Ari‘s new favorite weeknight meal). I swapped the broccoli rabe for kale since that was all my grocery store had, and I think that it makes an excellent substitute – but you could just as easily stick with rabe, or try another hearty green like collards or Swiss chard.