Culinary

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things… The Holiday Gift List December 11, 2017 - Are you still needing gift ideas? With the Chanukah just around the corner and Christmas right after that getting that perfect gift can feel daunting. Well, if you have a loved one who cooks or bakes this is the post that is going to help take some stress of this holiday season. 
My Cookbook Gift List December 8, 2017 - This is the time of year for gift lists of all kinds. Right now my social media feeds seem over run with cookbook gift list but this got me thinking, what books would I recommend. Not all of my recommendations were not published this year. That’s not what I am going for. I wanted to … Continue reading My Cookbook Gift List
You’ll Never Look at Leftovers the Same… December 6, 2017 - Leftovers, they get such a bad rap. I personally think this is due to a couple issues but before we get to the issues let me just say leftovers are a state of mind. Rather than leftovers we could think of them as homemade preprepared meals, or maybe tv dinners from scratch if that’s more … Continue reading You’ll Never Look at Leftovers the Same…
Ditch the PSL and Have Pumpkin Cheesecake Instead! December 5, 2017 - If you read my final post in the Week of Thanksgiving Series about this cheesecake then you already know that Bravetart is a wealth of baked treats that don’t disappoint. I didn’t think there could be something to surprise and delight me when it came to cheesecake but boy was I wrong. Other than passing … Continue reading Ditch the PSL and Have Pumpkin Cheesecake Instead!
Triple Ginger Cookies, Great for Holidays but Good Enough for Anytime of Year. December 5, 2017 - The starting point for this recipe came from Alice Medrich. I played around with the recipe until I got a consistency I enjoyed and worked for the purposes I needed them for. These originally started as a weekend treat for my husband. He used to buy ginger snaps from the Whole Foods bakery that was … Continue reading Triple Ginger Cookies, Great for Holidays but Good Enough for Anytime of Year.
A Week of Thanksgiving: Bravetart’s Pumpkin Cheesecake December 5, 2017 - Like this amazing meal and all that went into it this series is finally coming to an end. Although every bite has been delicious and interesting not to mention one to be thankful for, knowing how to end a meal can be overwhelming. When you look into the world of desserts it’s immense and delicious. … Continue reading A Week of Thanksgiving: Bravetart’s Pumpkin Cheesecake
A Light Fluffy Dinner Roll December 4, 2017 - This pillowy white dinner rolls are both visually appealing and delicious. These even work really well for petite sandwiches but for that matter you could probably make them larger in which case they could make for really great hamburger buns! However you choose to use these they are delicious. 
Triple Berry Cranberry Sauce. A Family Favorite. December 4, 2017 - This is one of those recipes that is quick and easy to throw together. It’s always been a crowd pleaser. In my recipe I used raspberry and blackberry but I have used blueberries in stead of the blackberries. Just use whatever you feel like. I also call for specific amounts but this recipe is really … Continue reading Triple Berry Cranberry Sauce. A Family Favorite.
A Week of Thanksgiving: A Mountain of Cranberries Where do They Belong? December 4, 2017 - The cranberry is my nemesis. It’s beautiful, it’s vibrant, and it’s quite possibly the only “winter” fruit here in the midwest. But what do you do with it? I have a confession. I have never understood cranberry sauce and in the few places I have tried to make it work in my mind, it never … Continue reading A Week of Thanksgiving: A Mountain of Cranberries Where do They Belong?
Butternut Squash Soup December 3, 2017 - In today’s post about being thankful for the bounty of my garden I go into detail about how this current recipe came to be. Here is the recipe I used to create a brighter and lighter take on a soup I have been doing for years. 
A Week of Thanksgiving: Garden Bounty December 3, 2017 - Although for many, if not most, Thanksgiving is long since gone I am still reflecting on it, making all my notes for next year, and sharing my insights. Of all the things that I was thankful for this year on my Thanksgiving table this soup is one that holds a special place for me. Now, … Continue reading A Week of Thanksgiving: Garden Bounty
As If Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Weren’t Indulgent Enough… December 2, 2017 - I could try to make arguments that there’s nutrition in mashed potatoes and even gravy for that matter but even I’ll admit that they aren’t necessarily the most nutritious thing to put on a plate. That said go the route of Pomme Purée and Giblet Gravy and it’s taking it to a level of indulgence … Continue reading As If Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Weren’t Indulgent Enough…
A Week of Thanksgiving: Pomme Purées, Giblet Gravy and Turkey Stock December 2, 2017 - Thanksgiving is all about tradition and family. I thought over the 10 years my husband and I have been together that I knew what the key dishes were for him. Early on he and I had a conversation about sweet potatoes. He loves them and I was like, well good luck cause I can’t smell … Continue reading A Week of Thanksgiving: Pomme Purées, Giblet Gravy and Turkey Stock
Not Your Typical Green Bean “Casserole” December 2, 2017 - Although this was originally a dish meant to be a casserole of canned green beans and cream of mushroom soup I longed for something different. I wanted something fresh, bright, creamy, crunchy, and more visually appealing. In my post about deconstructing the original and addressing the issues I felt it had this was the dish … Continue reading Not Your Typical Green Bean “Casserole”
A Week of Thanksgiving: Green Bean “Casserole” December 1, 2017 - When thinking about what worked well this Thanksgiving and what to make into their own posts I knew immediately that this years green bean casserole was going to be a focus. Each item this year found meaning and purpose on my list of “why this dish”. You see, I don’t like just doing the spread … Continue reading A Week of Thanksgiving: Green Bean “Casserole”
Homemade Sourdough, a Labor of Love November 30, 2017 - Anyone who’s had truly great sourdough bread knows it’s a thing of beauty. The flavor is truly unique. So much so that the starter or levain that you’re going to make or use is maybe the most hyper terroir thing there is. This is due to the fact that no matter where you get your starter … Continue reading Homemade Sourdough, a Labor of Love
Celeriac, Chestnut, and Sourdough Stuffing November 30, 2017 - Stuffing, dressing, or whatever you want to call it, I fancy get it. In my post about being thankful for stuffing I explain my journey to get to this point. The recipe itself isn’t that complicated so take solace in that it can all go horribly wrong for all of us. That said with a … Continue reading Celeriac, Chestnut, and Sourdough Stuffing
A Week of Thanksgiving: Celeriac, Chestnut, and Sourdough Stuffing November 30, 2017 - As I have stated in the past I have issues with the Thanksgiving menu. One of my biggest nemesis have been stuffings. Stale mushy bread has never sounded amazing to me. Add to that stuffing it into the bird is problematic and if you choose to do that it often is even wetter. 
The Techniques That Saved Turkey November 29, 2017 - Whew! Thanksgiving is over and now it’s time to talk about all the wins, missed, and everything I learned. Of all the things that I couldn’t wait to blog about the turkey was the biggest. Today I blogged about finding the Ferndale Turkey but this post is about what I did with it. I wish … Continue reading The Techniques That Saved Turkey
A Week of Thanksgiving: The Ferndale Turkey November 29, 2017 - Recently I was reading a book In Winters Kitchen. In it the author talks about key foods, her relation to them and the journey she took in finding them locally in Minnesota. The book also goes into a lot of major farming issues but we won’t get into that. The irony is I have been … Continue reading A Week of Thanksgiving: The Ferndale Turkey
Homemade Butter Makes Everything Better November 28, 2017 - Most of us put butter on the Thanksgiving table without much thought. It’s just butter right? I mean how much thought do you put into it? Most of the time it’s something we just pull out of the fridge and from many it’s not even butter. What if I told you that instead, you could … Continue reading Homemade Butter Makes Everything Better
So Much More Than “Just Another Dinner Roll” November 28, 2017 - I frist discovered these rolls when I purchased The Gefilte Manifesto over a year ago. Since then I have been smitten with the book, the recipes, and these rolls. I enjoy them so much that I have made them many times just to have as a snack during the week. Each time I make them … Continue reading So Much More Than “Just Another Dinner Roll”
A Week of Thanksgiving: Portion Control November 28, 2017 - Forget the stretchy pants, focus on portion control. If you’re on social media at all during the holidays it’s inevitable that someone will joke “it’s time to break out the stretchy pants” do to all the over the top holiday food. This doesn’t have to be the case. Now, before you get all “but…” hear … Continue reading A Week of Thanksgiving: Portion Control
A Week of Thanksgiving November 27, 2017 - Today begins a Special Series I am doing not only on my Thanksgiving recipes but also my new approach to the holiday. As many of us home cooks know this is both the best and worst holiday. We spend hours planning and cooking to have it all gobbled up in minutes and then it’s over. … Continue reading A Week of Thanksgiving
The Spumoni Cake November 12, 2017 - Spumoni cake? What on earth is that? Is this an ice-cream cake? No. In fact this is a cake inspired by the Italian gelato dessert called Spumoni. The original is Cherry, Pistachio, and Chocolate gelato layered together. It was actually what was the origin for Neapolitan that we here in the US are familiar with. … Continue reading The Spumoni Cake
Not Your Typical Bread but One You Don’t Want to Miss! November 9, 2017 - This post is for all the pickle lovers out there. Are there even people who don’t love pickles? Well that’s just silly. Pickles offer brightness and acidity to some dishes that need that to cut through all that richness and fit like hamburgers and deli meat sandwiches. What’s even better is when you can use … Continue reading Not Your Typical Bread but One You Don’t Want to Miss!
Discovering a New Way to Use Cookbooks and Recipes November 9, 2017 - Two years ago I delved into Tyler Florences’ Inside the Test Kitchen. In it, he had a recipe for Seared Pork Chops with Creamed Kale and Fennel Apricot Salad. This was a tasty dish but left me wanting. One of my issues with this dish was the creamed kale. There was nothing wrong with the … Continue reading Discovering a New Way to Use Cookbooks and Recipes
The Cake that Almost Wasn’t November 8, 2017 - I cook and bake all the time. I would even say more times that not it goes seamlessly. Often I can alter recipes on the fly and it works even better than I thought it might. However, when it’s something I am “trying” to do thats when it’s full of mistakes and errors. You see, … Continue reading The Cake that Almost Wasn’t
The Villain in the Ocean is The Star in the Kitchen. It’s All About Octopus… September 22, 2017 - Don’t skip past this post. I know, the idea of cooking an octopus is something straight out of a comedy or in some cases a horror movie, but done correctly this sea creature goes from villain to shear deliciousness to the point it could can compete with more favored sea treats like shrimp and lobster. … Continue reading The Villain in the Ocean is The Star in the Kitchen. It’s All About Octopus…
Homemade Tomato Paste, The True Gold of Summer Gardens September 13, 2017 - I had grown up all my life thinking I knew what a tomato tasted like. You know, those red things in grocery stores. You slice into them, which is tricky in and of its self, and they are kinda light in color and even at times a bit mealy. Maybe they are the smaller oval … Continue reading Homemade Tomato Paste, The True Gold of Summer Gardens
The “Peanut Butter Cup” Cake September 12, 2017 - I make a lot of cake. My obsession with cake started over twenty years ago when I was in my early teens. Quite honestly I think cake has always been a fascination to me. Even before I got into it my mom made cakes for special occasions all the time and I can still remember … Continue reading The “Peanut Butter Cup” Cake
Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts September 8, 2017 - Anyone who knows me knows I love to bake. My obsession started with cake decorating, then quickly shifted focus to chocolate chip cookies and now knows no limits… OK, well I still don’t sculpt sugar or chocolate. So when a new cookbook comes out about baking I think “been there, done that”. There never seems … Continue reading Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts
Good Pickles Come to Those Who Wait… September 7, 2017 - I absolutely love a great sour dill pickle. I have tried and failed to make them myself many times. Each time I pick a new recipe that looks promising and then somewhere from when the fermentation begins and the pickle is bitten into it looses everything I love in a good pickle… The crunch. If … Continue reading Good Pickles Come to Those Who Wait…
Broccoli and Beef, a Great Combination August 28, 2017 - I can remember whenever my family when to the local Chinese Restaraunt my dad would always order Broccoli Beef as one of the dishes to share. This worked well as I would eat all the beef and my sister would eat all the broccoli. This dish for me is quite nostalgic. So when I saw … Continue reading Broccoli and Beef, a Great Combination
Cauliflower I Would Eat Every Day August 24, 2017 - A while back I got a cookbook called Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables. Part of what had prompted getting this book was my husbands loving but repetitive “we need to eat more vegetables”. What you need to know was that I was cooking with lots of vegetables but they often weren’t the star … Continue reading Cauliflower I Would Eat Every Day
Shrimp and Tofu Thai Green Curry August 16, 2017 - My husband and I love Thai. Being that we live in rural Iowa good Thai means making it at home, so for the last 3 years I have been working on my Thai Green Curry dish and I think I have finally found my perfect recipe and technique. Before I get into that I need … Continue reading Shrimp and Tofu Thai Green Curry
Mediterranean Chicken with Zucchini and Mushrooms August 10, 2017 - Expanding your skills can lead to new and more interesting dishes and meals for the family. Three years ago I thought of myself as an OK cook and a pretty decent baker. Recipes didn’t scare me off and I was willing to try anything. So when I saw a recipe in Fine Cooking Magazine (issue … Continue reading Mediterranean Chicken with Zucchini and Mushrooms
Sous Vide Cod with Beluga Lentils, Squid Ink, and a Seared Side Salad August 4, 2017 - I should warn you now you are going to be reading a lot of future posts about sous vide. This may seem like some many modernist cuisine technique that you’re not interested in but you’d be surprised to learn that this cooking technique will not only wow everyone you cook for but ensures perfect results … Continue reading Sous Vide Cod with Beluga Lentils, Squid Ink, and a Seared Side Salad
Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cake August 3, 2017 - When we think of cake we think of the classics. There’s plain or vanilla cake, there’s chocolate, there’s spice cakes, there’s carrot cake, there’s even red velvet cake but why stop there. Once you find a good cake recipe why not flavor it with whatever tickles your fancy? Well I am doing just that. To … Continue reading Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cake
Capturing the Essence of Spring June 29, 2017 - I spend a lot of time thinking about food. More specifically ingredients. I want the best. Who doesn’t? On problem is the cost. High quality ingredients cost more. One way to help with this is knowing when they are in season and where they are grown. If you can buy produce in season from a … Continue reading Capturing the Essence of Spring
Learning to Love Vegetables All Over Again… June 22, 2017 - In an effort to eat healthier without “dieting” my husband and I have been talking a lot about vegetables. Now, anyone who knows me will tell you I don’t like vegetables. Well, here’s the funny thing, I have learned and I continue to learn it’s not that I don’t like them it’s that I don’t … Continue reading Learning to Love Vegetables All Over Again…
Quite Possibly the Perfect Gym Smoothie June 21, 2017 - So this post is going to be a bit different. I need to start with some background and personal information but to keep you reading I need to tell you this smoothie is dairy-free and sugar-free! Curious? Then please keep reading. I should also add that a high-power blender is beneficial for this recipe but … Continue reading Quite Possibly the Perfect Gym Smoothie
Jackfruit, a Tropical Treat June 20, 2017 - When summer was approaching I knew I wanted to focus on the flavors of all of the delicious melons. Nothing says summer to me like watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew as I wrote in my post about the fruit bowls this got me thinking about a fantastic breakfast we had in Bali. That in turn lead … Continue reading Jackfruit, a Tropical Treat
Tropical Hummingbird Layer Cake June 19, 2017 - Thumbing through “Bake from Scratch” Magazine I came across a recipe for a Tropical Hummingbird Cake. This grabbed my attention right away. The original “Humming Bird Cake” was something the made a big splash in the 70’s. The actual origins are a bit of an unknown as there are a few different sources that claim … Continue reading Tropical Hummingbird Layer Cake
The Power of Food June 16, 2017 - I have been going through a lot of rough personal issues recently, which combined with getting our garden in and the crazy weather we’re having here in the midwest, has been keeping me from blogging. Yesterday however, I was out mowing our acreage thinking about life and everything I am going through right now. Then … Continue reading The Power of Food
Fool Proof Poached Eggs, but There’s a Catch… It’s All About Sous Vide. June 8, 2017 - So back in October when I started blogging I wrote a post: There’s more than one way to poach and egg. It was yet another hack and trick which used the microwave. This worked somewhat OK but was inconsistent at best and left a lot to be desired. At that point I was happy enough … Continue reading Fool Proof Poached Eggs, but There’s a Catch… It’s All About Sous Vide.
Mediterranean Salad with Squid, Feta, and Olives June 7, 2017 - Before we even begin I need to give a HUGE disclaimer… this is done “sous vide” using a Joule by Chef Steps. You can cook the squid other ways for this salad if you don’t have the ability to sous vide it but the recipe was written using this particular technique.
Bali Inspired, Tropical Fruit Bowls with Homemade Granola June 6, 2017 - Breakfast was never anything I was big on. Well, let me clarify… first thing in the morning trying to come up with anything interesting to eat was the furthest thing from my mind. If we happened to be on vacation or out and about early sure eating always sounded great and I do love many … Continue reading Bali Inspired, Tropical Fruit Bowls with Homemade Granola
I Have Been Cooking Lobster Wrong All This Time… June 1, 2017 - This week I set out to make Braised Rabbit, Shrimp, and Lobster Rice Stew out of Jose Garces’ cookbook The Latin Road home. This is a recipe that has many parts. One of the pieces to it was to cook lobster tails and/or claws according to his recipe Poached and Seared Main Lobster. This recipe … Continue reading I Have Been Cooking Lobster Wrong All This Time…
Chicken Pho May 31, 2017 - My husband absolutely loves Pho. So when I heard Andrea Nguyen interviewed on Splendid Table about her cookbook, The Pho Cookbook: Easy to Adventurous Recipes for Vietnam’s Favorite Soup and Noodles, I knew this was a must buy cookbook. Although it’s not the most well written cookbook I have ever seen it gives you huge … Continue reading Chicken Pho
The Best Things Come to Those Who Wait… May 26, 2017 - So I have had this image in my head for a while now of a perfect fried chicken dinner. One with juicy well seasoned pieces of chicken, a nice creamy coleslaw, and tender biscuits. The problem was I have never made fried chicken before. I have seen it done a few times but the results … Continue reading The Best Things Come to Those Who Wait…
Motivation May 18, 2017 - I was recently asked, “What is your motivation to make everything so beautiful for just two people?” Since then, I have been thinking a lot about this. There are the short easy answers. “It’s just who I am.” But that doesn’t answer the question. Those who might ask obviously don’t have the same drive that … Continue reading Motivation
Herby, Creamy Dressing May 17, 2017 - Learning to make your own condiments is a big part of eating healthier. Most commercial products are packed full of chemicals, preservative, artificial flavoring, and sugars. One that has become a American staple is “Ranch Dressing”. Americans will eat this on just about anything but making a homemade version is tricky. There are tons of … Continue reading Herby, Creamy Dressing
Beginning of my Summer Menu Planning May 17, 2017 - With summer only being weeks away it’s time to think about what are the flavors and influences of the season. Summer and Fall are probably my favorite seasons to cook. There is so much bounty it can be a daunting task to try to focus in on the flavors that showcase the season best but … Continue reading Beginning of my Summer Menu Planning
A Boozey Blondie. Adding Depth to this Perfect Treat. May 16, 2017 - My favorite sweet treat is a chewy chocolate chip cookie. A close second? The blondie. This is essentially a cookie in bar form. However, as easy of an idea it might sound it is far from easy. The issue is getting it fully cooked without over cooking the sides. 
A Work in Progress… Another Step in Perfecting My Lasagna… May 15, 2017 - Lasagna is not a hard thing to make, but that said it’s a hard thing to perfect. It’s often either the simplest or most familiar dishes that are ones that can take a life time to perfect so each time I make headway on a dish I want to make my own I am going … Continue reading A Work in Progress… Another Step in Perfecting My Lasagna…
Red Cooked Chicken with Chestnuts April 29, 2017 - This dish caught my eye early on in the spring season. Yet again Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees offered another unique flavor combination that I couldn’t pass up. With having been using chestnuts through the holiday season I became fascinated on how to use these both in sweet and savory applications. So when I encountered … Continue reading Red Cooked Chicken with Chestnuts
How to Have Home Cooked Meals When My Husband is Out of Town for Work… April 29, 2017 - It’s not often anymore that my husband has to travel for work but when he does I still want to have enjoyable meals. This is hard enough when feeding only two people but gets even harder when trying to feed just myself. What I need are meals that are fully cooked (cause I don’t want … Continue reading How to Have Home Cooked Meals When My Husband is Out of Town for Work…
Lunch, a Delightful Balance Between Jewish and Chinese Flavors in Schnitzel Bao! April 28, 2017 - When looking for a lunch for this week I was drawn to another Molly Yeh recipe. It was for Schnitzel Bao with Sriracha Mayo and Sesame Pickles. In her recipe she shaped her bao into something that resembled more of a taco but being short on time and not having much luck with the shaping … Continue reading Lunch, a Delightful Balance Between Jewish and Chinese Flavors in Schnitzel Bao!
Tart, Sweet, and a Little Unexpected… The Perfect Spring Cake April 26, 2017 - As any follower of my blog knows, we eat a lot of cake here at our house. To keep it interesting I am always looking for a seasonal slant on cake. This means I am always keeping my eyes open for any new and or interesting cakes in all of the food blogs and cookbooks … Continue reading Tart, Sweet, and a Little Unexpected… The Perfect Spring Cake
Not Your Average Matzo Ball Soup… April 25, 2017 - Becoming a good cook is all about the basics. I would say if you’re wanting to work on your cooking skills start with chicken stock. Learning to make a good chicken stock will change so many of your dishes and will give you a depth of flavor that no store bought version can offer. If … Continue reading Not Your Average Matzo Ball Soup…
Flash-Fried Lamb with Leeks and Sichuan Crisp Fried Mushrooms April 24, 2017 - Breaking out the deep-fryer… This weekends Asian inspired dinner showcases some great reasons why everyone should have a deep-fryer in their kitchen arsenal. When most people think of deep-fried foods they think it’s drenched in oil, super fatty, and bad for you. Though there are good reasons for this the concept of cooking submerged in … Continue reading Flash-Fried Lamb with Leeks and Sichuan Crisp Fried Mushrooms
Quick and Easy, Coconut Macaroons April 21, 2017 - A favorite tradition of mine during Passover is coconut macaroons. This are not the fiddly Parisian almond treats but instead this mountain of coconut. The tradition is one that my grandfather started, well, at least to the best of my recollection. When he started attending our family Seder he would always come with a can … Continue reading Quick and Easy, Coconut Macaroons
Chicken Caesar Salad April 20, 2017 - Last week was so busy with Passover I never got to posting about my go-to lunch for the week of Passover. This lunch is quick and easy and the only special equipment you need is a good blender. Word to the wise: If you are going to be spending time around people after eating it … Continue reading Chicken Caesar Salad
Everything But the Kitchen Sink Salad April 18, 2017 - Some might call it a chopped salad. Some might call it a chef salad. This weeks lunch is definitely one of my favorites. When my husband and I started trying to eat healthy this was the first thing I made as a “take to work lunch”. The key for making these ahead and keeping it … Continue reading Everything But the Kitchen Sink Salad
Easter and Passover: How to Celebrate Both Through Food Without Overdoing It. April 17, 2017 - I was raised in a Christian household but we also celebrated some of the big Jewish holidays. We even went through a period of celebrating the sabbath every week. Depending on the time of year it seemed like there was either a heavier emphasis on my Christian upbringing, say like Christmas, or my Jewish heritage, … Continue reading Easter and Passover: How to Celebrate Both Through Food Without Overdoing It.
Busted Braided Bread No More! Troubleshooting a Recipe with Tremendous Success! April 17, 2017 - The idea seemed simple enough. Make a enriched dough add some amazing flavors. Complete the loaf with braiding and baking. What could go wrong? Well how about everything. It started with the best of intensions. I was going to make a special bread for easter. Time kept getting away from me but I was confident … Continue reading Busted Braided Bread No More! Troubleshooting a Recipe with Tremendous Success!
Rustic and Elegant: My Passover Salad April 14, 2017 - When looking for a new Passover salad I quickly discovered a huge gap in cookbooks. Where are all the salads to compliment a dinner. There are tons of recipes for salads that are meant to be a meal but where are the ones meant to be a side salad or the salad corse of a … Continue reading Rustic and Elegant: My Passover Salad
A Delicious Disaster April 13, 2017 - For those of you who don’t think I have kitchen disasters let me just put that misconception to rest. I, like the rest of you, have failures in the kitchen. Ok, so you’re looking at the featured image and thinking “that doesn’t look like a disaster to me”, well hang on because it’s all headed … Continue reading A Delicious Disaster
A Modern Twist on a Timeless Classic: The Seder Plate April 12, 2017 - For over 30 years I have looked at the Seder plate and wondered why we don’t eat everything on it. If it’s about symbolism and reverence what better way to create a lasting memory than with flavor. Our ability to remember something from a smell or taste is truly remarkable. The taste, the smell, the … Continue reading A Modern Twist on a Timeless Classic: The Seder Plate
Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Beitzah with Karpas April 12, 2017 - On the Seder plate there are two items. The romaine lettuce or “Karpas” and the roasted hard-boiled egg or “Beitzah” of the two typically you only eat the Karpas. This is actually the first thing you eat during the Seder. It is dipped into a bowl of salt water. The salt water dripping off the … Continue reading Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Beitzah with Karpas
Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Zeroa April 12, 2017 - On the Seder plate this would be the shank bone. I grew up in one the the families that treated it as something not eaten or handled. However in Jewish culture that was not always the case. The shank bone came from the time of the lamb being offered to the Jewish Temple as the … Continue reading Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Zeroa
Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Chazeret with Matzo April 11, 2017 - The horseradish sandwich. This strikes strong memories for anyone in my family and/or anyone who has attended our families Seder. Here’s the idea if you’re not familiar… The leader of the Seder will take a piece of matzo from the three stacked on the table. Then they will break it up in to bite sized … Continue reading Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Chazeret with Matzo
Ras El Hanout Crusted Leg of Lamb April 11, 2017 - This years Passover meal was not only a huge success but it was also completely overhauled. Recently I read an article by Jeffrey Yoskowitz (co author of The Gefilte Manifesto) titled Don’t Make Passover Too Easy. Not only was this a fantastic read but the overarching sentiment is to embrace the traditions and foods of Passovers … Continue reading Ras El Hanout Crusted Leg of Lamb
Tzibbele Vegetable Kugel with Spice Blends April 11, 2017 - Kugel. What is it? It seems like there’s every flavor of kugel imaginable. There are sweet kugels and there are savory kugels. For all account farfel was introduced about 800 years ago to the mix by the Germans; then eventually eggs were added. From there it continued to grow and evolve. Essentially kugel is an … Continue reading Tzibbele Vegetable Kugel with Spice Blends
To Buy or Not To Buy Matzo, That is the Question… April 10, 2017 - When thinking about todays post I was thinking about all the things I have been prepping for days. Sauces, fillings, stocks, schmaltz are just a few things I have been working on. However, those of us who grew up with the tradition of Passover and/or a full on Seder all have one thing in common, … Continue reading To Buy or Not To Buy Matzo, That is the Question…
Pizza Night Just Got A Makeover! April 8, 2017 - One of the keys to surviving putting a homemade meal on the table every single night is to not have to cook every single night. There are a few ways to do this. One is to make a large meal at the beginning of the week and serve it throughout the week and the other … Continue reading Pizza Night Just Got A Makeover!
Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Charoset April 6, 2017 - I would think that every Jewish household that does a Seder has their own take on Charoset. The base that most will agree on is a mixture of apples and nuts but it can be so much more than that. Growing up our mixture was apple, nuts, and grape juice. There’s something about this sweet … Continue reading Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Charoset
Pressure Cooker Lamb Stock April 6, 2017 - When people thinking of stock they will usually just grab a box from the store or throw a cube into some water. This is fine if you’re pinched for time or are still working on building up your skill set but stocks play a critical role in cooking. They are the base flavor to your … Continue reading Pressure Cooker Lamb Stock
Falafel Fattoush: The Perfect Spring Salad April 5, 2017 - Salads are a tricky business. The idea should be… hmm, could be… how about, ought to be… healthy. Yet once you load them up with all the toppings the “healthy” aspect has kinda gone out the window. I should interject here that if you’re not wanting a healthy salad then go for the good stuff! … Continue reading Falafel Fattoush: The Perfect Spring Salad
Shepherd’s Pie: A Complex Recipe That Offers Exquisite Taste and Texture April 4, 2017 - You can not have a spring dinner that features lamb without at some point having shepherd’s pie. So this week dinner was just that but this is no quick 30 minute meal. This is time consuming, this is painstaking patience, this is indulgence. However in my opinion it’s worth every bit of it and who … Continue reading Shepherd’s Pie: A Complex Recipe That Offers Exquisite Taste and Texture
Shulchan Orech: Passover Style April 3, 2017 - One of the things I love about special event dinners is setting the table. I love this so much I have coined the term “tablescaping” primarily because it’s so much more than just setting the table. It’s about height, scale, proportion, theme, and balance of color. So when as Passover was approaching quickly on the … Continue reading Shulchan Orech: Passover Style
Lemon Debutante Cake April 3, 2017 - I am on a journey to learn more cakes, to learn new techniques, and to end up with at least a dozen different cakes that all taste equally amazing but where do you start? For years I had been doing a white cake that included white chocolate in the batter. I enjoy this cake but … Continue reading Lemon Debutante Cake
Miso Lime Chicken Salad March 31, 2017 - A couple years ago I a renewed inspiration in my passion of cooking and baking. With this renewed focus I started purchasing cookbooks in heaps. One of the first books I got was one called Keepers by Kathy Brennan & Caroline Campion. The concept is quite clever it’s recipes are all “keepers” ones that as … Continue reading Miso Lime Chicken Salad
Kurdish Fried Chicken with Black Rice and Kerchief Flatbreads from Kurdistan March 30, 2017 - Dinner this week I again turned to Taste of Persia. It was made of three main components chicken, rice and bread. Sounds simple enough but it wasn’t without it’s challenges. There was some scratching of the head and even a bit of harsh language directed at the recipes but in the end it was another … Continue reading Kurdish Fried Chicken with Black Rice and Kerchief Flatbreads from Kurdistan
Aronofsky Creations 2017 Passover Menu March 29, 2017 - I have been running behind on my post of what I have been cooking this week. Fear not, I will get caught up. I have some fun dishes to write about. What’s been keeping me too busy to post is finalizing my Passover menu. This meal of all the ones I do throughout the year … Continue reading Aronofsky Creations 2017 Passover Menu
Next to NO Waste, Menu Planning and Time Management are Key. March 28, 2017 - If the saying goes “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”, then I would posit “give a home cook all the ingredients in a box to make a single meal and you feed him for the night; teach … Continue reading Next to NO Waste, Menu Planning and Time Management are Key.
The Secret of Blueberry Muffins is All in The Topping March 27, 2017 - Blueberry muffins are a sensory memory for me that go quite aways back. When I was a kid and we would go visit my maternal grandparents.The first morning we were there my grandmother always made a batch of blueberry muffins. It was something right out of a Norman Rockwell painting to wake up to the … Continue reading The Secret of Blueberry Muffins is All in The Topping
My Tips for Eliminating Food Waste. March 24, 2017 - So this morning I woke to a post on thekitchn.com titled “This is how much you should really be spending on food and groceries”. Then in my Facebook feed there was “4 reasons why Martha & Marley Spoon is America’s best meal kit”. These both play into a growing trend I am seeing on social … Continue reading My Tips for Eliminating Food Waste.
Moroccan Lamb Burgers with Quinoa Tabbouleh March 23, 2017 - I discovered this recipe in Williams Sonoma’s cookbook Two in the Kitchen. In it they have a whole section on “Supper for Two”. This is an invaluable section of any cookbook. Being that it’s just my husband and myself I am always grateful for recipes that are tailored for two but these recipes are also … Continue reading Moroccan Lamb Burgers with Quinoa Tabbouleh
Roasted Chicken with Barley and Vegetables March 22, 2017 - If you have read my blog you know I am a huge fan of The Gefilte Manifesto. Not many cookbooks can have hit after hit. I am usually happy with a cookbook if I get 3-4 successful recipes. With this book though I have yet to have a miss. I am up to eight amazing … Continue reading Roasted Chicken with Barley and Vegetables
Braised Lamb with Jujubes… No, Not the Candy… March 21, 2017 - Anyone who wants to know why I cook so many regions just needs to look in my pantry and in my spice drawer. Being able to go from Ashkenazi to Persian, then Chinese, to German, and on and on keeps the meals as well as the preparation interesting and exciting. So when I came across … Continue reading Braised Lamb with Jujubes… No, Not the Candy…
Tips and a New(ish) Recipe For a Better Waffle March 20, 2017 - Getting from point A to point B is never a straight line. There’s a journey. Being able to look back on that journey and see all the turning points can be fun and interesting to see how small things lead to big changes. This waffle recipe was one of those things. 
Double Checking What You Bought, Menu Planning (Part 4) March 19, 2017 - Just over a month ago I wrote a post about putting away your groceries. As part of my new shopping strategy I am trying to take more control over my food budget by buying all the meat I need for the months meals all at once. Yesterday I made my monthly trek to St. Paul … Continue reading Double Checking What You Bought, Menu Planning (Part 4)
Rosewater & Pistachio Vanilla Cake March 17, 2017 - Yesterday I wrote a post about my struggle to produce my latest cake. The goal was a harmonious blend of rose, pistachio, strawberry and vanilla. After struggling with my cake batter and then again with my buttercream I was feeling defeated. Then, last night I just into it for the first time and boy was … Continue reading Rosewater & Pistachio Vanilla Cake
Successes and Failures, But In The End There Was Cake… March 16, 2017 - One of the things I love to do in the kitchen is revision a recipe, adjusting the flavors, or presenting the final dish in a new and exciting way. So when we were wrapping up with the Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Icing I started giving thought as to how I wanted to approach the next … Continue reading Successes and Failures, But In The End There Was Cake…
This Weeks Lunch? Chicken Tacos with Kale and Salsa Verde! March 15, 2017 - Last week for much we I made Lamb Barbacoa. The dish was complex and delicious so this week I opted for a different direction. Chicken Tacos. These were simple and took minimal work but what they lacked for in complexity in technique in making them they made up for in taste. 
Hands Down the Best Mac ‘n’ Cheese I Have Ever Had… March 15, 2017 - It seems like everyone has some twist on homemade mac and cheese. It wasn’t until I stumbled across this recipe in Heston Blumenthal at Home that I knew I was going to have to try my hand at making one. What got me was the name. Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese. This did NOT sound good … Continue reading Hands Down the Best Mac ‘n’ Cheese I Have Ever Had…
A Middle Eastern Culinary Adventure March 14, 2017 - About a month ago, knowing that spring was coming, I started giving thought to the meats I would be working with, being lamb and chicken. Chicken was going to be easy enough to come up with ample recipes but I knew lamb would be more of a challenge, not because it’s not versatile but because … Continue reading A Middle Eastern Culinary Adventure
Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies March 13, 2017 - I love cookies. Well, I should be fair. I love a nice soft chewy chocolate chip cookie. It’s actually to blame for me getting into cooking. Sure watching my mom meticulously decorate cakes and then later trying it myself satisfied the artist in me, but cookies were the “gateway drug” into the world of cooking. … Continue reading Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

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