Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Recipe of the Week

I haven't started my holiday baking
quite yet but, when I do these will be
one of the first things that I make.

These cardamom spice cookies
from Martha Stewart, are a lovely
alternative to gingerbread.

Cardamom Spiced Cookies

5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
1 cup dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

** Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cardamom, allspice,
pepper, and cloves in a large bowl. Place butter in a mixer bowl.
Bring sugars, corn syrup, and water to a boil in a large saucepan,
stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour hot sugar mixture over butter,
then beat on low speed until combined.

**Beat cream, egg, and vanilla in a bowl, then add to butter mixture.
Beat on medium speed until well combined.

**Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture,
beating until just incorporated. Divide dough into thirds,
and flatten each into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic, and refrigerate
overnight (or freeze for up to 1 month; thaw in the refrigerator).

**Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out 1 disk between
lightly floured parchment to 1/8-inch thickness.
Alternatively, the dough can be rolled out to 1/16-inch thickness
for a crisper cookie.

** Cut out shapes with holiday cookie cutters. Transfer cookies to
parchment-lined baking sheets, grouping similar sizes together and
spacing them 1 inch apart. Roll out and cut scraps once.
Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until
edges are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
(If making small cookies, start checking after 8 minutes.)
Transfer to wire racks, and let cool.
Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 2 weeks.

**Once everything is incorporated the dough can get very sticky. You'll want to throw in the towel but don't. After it chills it will be much easier to work with.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Jams.

For me, Christmas begins today.
We've given Thanksgiving it's time to shine
but now it's time for Christmas music.

Here are some to get you in that
Christmas-y kinda mood.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Recipe of the Week

This recipe has become a Wednesday staple
for the bf and I. Prep and cooking time
totals about a half hour, and it goes by
even quicker with two people
and a bottle of wine.

This recipe is wonderful because it is
so flexible. We add sweet italian sausage
and dinosaur kale, but you can add just
about anything.

Wednesday Night Stuffed Shells

*Medium pasta shells (as many as you need)
*1 24 oz jar of marinara sauce
*1 container of ricotta (we just use 15oz and that seems to work out)
*1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
*1 c grated mozzarella
kosher salt and black pepper

dinosaur kale
1 sweet italian sausage

-Set an oven rack to the highest position and heat
to 400F.

-Cook the pasta according to the package directions,
drain and run under cold water until cool.

-Spread the marinara sauce in the bottom
of a large broilerproof baking dish

- If you are adding in the sausage and kale
precook them in a large pan until the
sausage is just cooked and the kale
is wilted. About 6 minutes.

-In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan,
1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, kale and sausage.
Spoon the mixture into the shells and place them
on top of the sauce. Sprinkle with the mozzarella
and bake until the shells are heated through.
10-12 min

-Increase heat to broil. Broil the shells until the cheese
begins to brown. 2-5 min.

(We also like to add some more sauce to the top
before adding the mozzarella cheese. This way
the broiler won't make the shells too crispy.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Jams.

For a lot of people Friday means the weekend.
"Not I" said the redhead,
my next day off will be Thanksgiving.
But today isn't all bad.
Payday, Coconut Island, bartending, and of course-
large amounts of wine.

Happy Friday : )

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Latest Obsessions

*Petit Ecolier Cookies: dark chocolate
(the bf seems to think I have some sort of addiction)
(I'm not commenting on whether he is right or wrong.)

*Freya's Prints
(my favorite is "Vast and Amazing")

*Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
(cannot wait!)

*Apollo's Angels:A History of Ballet
(I saw this at the Strand and swooned.)

*The evergreen candle that is filling our
house with a Christmas scent
(I'm holding off on the music til Nov 26)

*Leftover stuffed shells.
(comfort food)

*Daily Candy's 30 gifts under $30
(just to get you in the shopping spirit)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Recipe of the Week

For each person that is learning how to cook,
there comes that time in the process where
you really start to enjoy the things that you are making.
The dishes don't feel like they are missing something,
and you want to keep eating your food.

I've been feeling that way lately, and it's just happened
in the past few months. I've really been enjoying what I've
been making-especially this weeks featured recipe.
I found it in the latest edition of Living (naturally)
and it is one of the most satisfying things that I have ever made.

Bonus: it only calls for a cup of wine, which leaves you
with some to drink while you patiently
wait through the 2.5 hours of cooking time.

Boeuf Bourguignon Soup

-4 Bone-in short ribs (2lbs total)
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
-2 teaspoons cornstarch
-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
(I used grapeseed oil because it is better with high heat)
-8 oz white button mushrooms, quartered
(I used cremini mushrooms)
-3 carrots, 2 finely chopped and 1 cut into 3/4" cubes
(I just used 2 carrots, one chopped and one cubed)
-3 shallots, minced
-2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
-2 strips of bacon, thinly sliced crosswise
-1 tbsp tomato paste
-2 thyme sprigs
-1 dried bay leaf
-1 cup dry red wine, such as burgundy
-8 cups homemade or store bought low sodium
beef stock
-2 cups water

1.Season the ribs with 1/2 tsp salt and some pepper.
Coat with cornstarch. Heat oil in a large heavy pot
over medium high heat. Lightly brown ribs on all sides
-about 6 mins, transfer to a plate.

2. Add mushrooms to the pot. Cook until browned-
about 4 mins. transfer to a bowl with the cubed carrots.

3.Add shallots, bacon, celery, and chopped carrots to
the pot. Cook until caramelized-about 6 mins.
Stir in tomato paste

4. Return ribs, with plate juices, to pot. Add thyme and bay
leaf. Raise heat to high. Add wine. Cook, scraping up brown bits
with a wooden spoon, until slightly reduced-about 2 minutes.
Add stock and water. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer partially covered until beef is tender
-about 2, 2 1.2 hours.

5.Remove ribs. Separate meat from bones;discard.
Cut meat into bite size pieces; return to pot. Add
reserved carrot and mushroom mixture.
Bring to a simmer; cook until the cubed carrots are tender.
Season with salt if necessary.

Serve over top of herbed egg noodles.
(egg noodles combined with fresh cut
flat leaf parsley) and with a side of
Horseradish Chive Bread.

Preheat oven to 375F
Mash 1 stick of room temperature unsalted butter
with 2 tbsp horseradish and 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
until smooth. Season with coarse salt. Slice 1 large french bread loaf
without cutting all the way through. Generously spread butter mixture
evenly onto each piece and wrap loaf in foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

(The bread is great for dipping, and it can be made
on a smaller scale too.
I just used 3 slices, didn't wrap it in foil,
and made a
small batch of the butter mixture. It was delicious)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Holiday Markets

I've been a busy bunny getting ready for
the upcoming holiday markets.
I'll have lots of new notebooks
and 2 new holiday cards!
I'm still waiting to hear from one more
but right now, this is my holiday
market schedule.

This Saturday, November 20, 2010
Jackson Heights Holiday Craft Fair
St. Mark's Church
33-50 82nd St
Queens NY 11372

Saturday, December 4th, 2010
3rd Ward Handmade Holiday Craft Fair
195 Morgan Ave Brooklyn, NY

Sunday, December 5th, 2010
Holiday Handmade Cavalcade
201 Mulberry St b/w Spring and Kenmare
in Manhattan.

Sunday, December 19, 2010
Big Social Holiday Market
201 Mulberry St b/w Spring and Kenmare
(yup, same place as the Cavalcade

Hope to see you at one (or all) of these!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Latest Obsessions

*The Mexican Chicken Soup and Edamame Hummus
from RICE
(I've been having lunch there on Thursdays)

*Strawberry Jars
(for my strawberry kitchen)

*Chocolate Covered Pretzels
(I have an endless craving for these)

*Drunken Mad Hatter Video
(not what you expect to happen)

*Christmas Shopping without buying myself things
(this is a challenge)

*My new Kitchen Aid mixer
(Christmas came early this year!)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Recipe of the Week

When I was younger I hated pumpkin pie,
I wanted to like it but it was always too dense
for me. Then I found this recipe a few
years ago and have never looked back.
This has a light and fluffy filling, almost
like a mousse and it comes out perfect every time.
*It's best made with real pumpkin puree and
homemade pie crust

Pumpkin Pie

* 3 cups pumpkin puree
* 1 cup sugar
* 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
* 4 large eggs
* 1.5 cans (12oz each) of non fat evaporated milk or regular whole milk
(I've used both kinds and it will turn out fine either way.)

Mix the above ingredients together and pour into pie crust
for pie crust recipes and tips check out

Bake at 425F for the first 15 minutes
then down to 350F for 50-60 minutes
until a knife or testing skewer comes out clean.

Monday, November 08, 2010


Yesterday I found myself wondering
if I could now consider it Winter, and after
some research I realized that I can't.
At least not until December 21.
But it feels like it, doesn't it?

I had made lists of things that I was excited about
for fall, summer, so I'll continue on with winter.
Keep in mind this list counts til Dec 31st.
Because come January, all I will want to do
is get the hell out of NY. From now until
12/31 is the fun part of winter in the city.
Trust me on that.

*Hot Chocolate at the Ronnybrook Farm stand
at the Union Sq Greenmarket (last year it was $1.25)

*Watching the ice skaters-or actually skating- at
Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park or Central Park

*Walking around the 5th Avenue (in the 50's) area. Even if you never
venture over that way it's fun to see everything covered in lights.

*Staying in and watching holiday movies

*Baking Christmas cookies, at my house and at Carly's house

*Meandering around the holiday markets (and selling at them)

*Decorating the house

*The first snow, which hopefully will occur on a day
when I don't have to leave the house.

*Trips to Serendipity for frozen treats

Most of the list ends up being Christmas related,
oh well. I love the holidays. Just the thought
of doing all these things gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Friday, November 05, 2010

A New Yorker

There is something special about living in this city.

Even when you are cursing the MTA for their latest
blunder, having a meltdown because you realize that
you are living above your means, or dealing with the never
ending crowds of (occasionally rude) people.
You still love this city, and you stay because there
is nowhere else like it.

I was reading over the Village Voice's list
of 50 Reasons to be Pretty Damn Euphoric
You Live in NYC. I agreed with a decent amount
of the reasons, and it inspired me to write my own list.

Here are the General Loves:

1. Food.
Do you have a local Peruvian restaurant? Have you
eaten hand pulled noodles in a questionable basement area?
Can you name at least 5 cupcake places within a 5 mile radius?
New York's population is so diverse, of course there is going to be
a huge variety of food. Anything you want, you can surely find.

2. No drinking and driving.
Get home by train, cab, or Right Rides.
(If you are lucky enough, you can
walk home from your favorite local bar)

3.)Things to Do
You can find an outlet for anything you enjoy doing,
right here in the city. You can see just about any movie
or museum exhibit that you want. Learn a language, join
a book club, take bellydancing classes, run a marathon.
Being a New Yorker allows you to participate in
just about anything that interests you.

The city is full of amazing people.
After spending time here, you'll find your own crowd
of ridiculously awesome folks.

5.) My Neighborhoods.
I have 2 to be exact. I have the one where I live,
and the one where I work. You become
personally invested in the people
and the places at exist in these small areas.
It's comforting to have a bar where people know
you, or a bagel shop that remembers your order.

And now the little details:

*Spa Castle
*Bubble Tea in Chinatown
*Watching the dogs in the Tompkins Sq dog run
*Secret Bars- specifically PDT
*Union Square Greenmarket
*Grand Street waterfront park in Wburg
*The Asian Wing at the Met
*The cafe in the Neue Gallery
*The view of the Manhattan skyline from the end of my street
*Pupusa's and Asia Dog at the Brooklyn Flea
*Skeeball @ Ace Bar
*Cab rides from E 4th to E 9th St.
*McNally Jackson bookstore
*Landmark Sunshine midnight movies
*Ceci Cela pastries
*Mickey Johns, where the bartender knows what the bf and I drink
(guinness and magners with ice.)
*The dollar book section of Housing Works
*The smell of the bread bakery on Manhattan Ave in Greenpoint

I <3 NY

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Latest Obsessions

*This photo of Serg and Big Big Mees.

(There is nothing better than seeing your
two best dog friends snuggling together.

(Masterpiece Mystery never disappoints)

*Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns
(I am so making these on Saturday morning)

*Dorado Riding Boots from Frye
( in my dreams..)

Homestead Print by Beauchamping

(Because I do)

*Samhain Dress from Anthropologie
(I think it would compliment my gingerness)

*Awaiting the return of th Peppermint Mocha
@ Starbucks
(I know, I know. I can't help it)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Recipe of the Week

Back from a weekend of eating
more sweets than I care to remember,
I'm going on a mini detox this week.
Lots of veggies, fruits and juices.

This post on Smitten Kitchen
caught my eye. I'll be making this tomorrow.

photo and recipe source

Spicy Squash Salad with Lentils

3/4 cup black or green lentils
6 cups peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash or sugar pumpkin
(1-inch cubes) (from about a 2-poudn squash)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika*
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4 cups baby arugula
1 cup soft crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves (optional)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus additional to taste
Roasted seeds (about 1/2 cup) from your butternut squash (optional; see note above)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss squash or pumpkin cubes with 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, paprika and salt. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet and roast 20 minutes. Flip pieces and roast for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Cool.

Meanwhile, soak lentils for 10 minutes in a small bowl, then drain. Cook lentils in boiling salted water until tender but firm, about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water, then drain and cool.

Combine lentils, pumpkin, any oil you can scrape from the baking sheet with arugula, if using, half of goat cheese, mint, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper and extra vinegar, if desired. Divide among plates and pass with remaining goat cheese to sprinkle.