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Chestnut-ricotta dumplings with butter and sage

A week before Christmas we had spent a quiet (and slushy) afternoon at Dinosaur Barbecue, and then like we always do we walked over to Whole Foods in order to get some food to make for a relatively light dinner given that we had just eaten some wings and sliders. I’m not sure what came over me while we were shopping, but I saw that they had bags of fresh chestnuts and I decided then and there I’d make something with them for Christmas dinner. (I partially blame the addition of the Silver Spoon’s Tuscany cookbook for this inclination.) After doing a little research I decided that I could fold in chopped up chestnuts into my favorite ricotta dumpling recipe, and the only question remained was how to cook them. Read More

Confetti cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar.

Confetti cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar.

Happy 2017, my friends! My year started off inauspiciously with my phone suddenly not working, so I have to send it to LG to see if it’s salvageable. (At least my old Razr smartphone is functional so I’m not completely without a phone right now. Here’s hoping it can hang on until August when my upgrade is finally available.) The weather hasn’t helped much in that it’s been dreary and rainy for the past few days, and while I know we need the rain, it doesn’t help with the whole getting back in the swing of things all that much. Read More

Not pictured: the birthday cake crumb and the empanada meat mixture chilling out in the fridge.

I was all ready to wax philosophical on you all on how I like to plan for parties…but I’m in the midst of party planning and can’t do that just yet. Above is a glimpse of what I’ve been up to in our kitchen, and I can’t wait to share the details with you in the new year because that’s probably when I’ll finally have a chance to sit down and write in earnest. Read More

 

French Marble Two-Tier Server from C&B

French Marble Two-Tier Server from C&B

The notion of writing a gift guide this year feels kind of, well, superfluous given that everything that’s happened, but at the same time, I fully endorse finding items that give you and your loved ones joy, and I think that we need to arm ourselves with equipment that will help us cook great food in the next four years, and in my humble opinion, it totally calls for fabulous serveware too.

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm: Honestly, I can’t believe I haven’t sung the praises of this device sooner. I bought one of these a few years ago for Michael for Valentine’s Day, and it’s been worth its weight in gold and then some ever since. This is the same company that makes the ThermaPen–a product avid watchers of Good Eats would recognize easily–and Alton Brown likes to tweet about how great this thermometer is as well. (Full disclosure: he is NOT endorsed by them and therefore isn’t paid to sing ThermoWorks’ praises. He simply believes in their products that much.) This is the thermometer you can insert into a piece of meat, set the desired temperature accordingly, and then set an alarm for when it gets to that precise cooking time, thus saving you a metric ton of worry on whether something is cooked to the proper temperature, and it also comes with a timer because I find you can never have enough of those in a kitchen. Read More

Selections from our meat and cheese board.

Happy New Year! It’s so surreal that it’s January and actually cold out (although I was one person who was not sad about the warm December whatsoever). I hope you all had fantastic celebrations and have started the new year off in a good place, filled with the possibilities of new experiences and new beginnings and all that jazz.

Our New Year’s celebration was normal in that it was filled with food and drink and lots of cooking, but slightly different as this year we had a few more people to celebrate with over the course of the evening between our out of town guests as well as some locals. It all went really well and we had a lot of fun, and I think the spread this year was one of the most impressive yet. Read More

Wireplay candleholder illuminating our NYE ’14 spread.

One downside of starting a new job in December means I am expecting to be really busy with learning the ropes of my new role and therefore likely won’t have nearly as much time to shop for holiday gifts as I normally would, so I’ve actually gotten a head start this year and have several gifts not only purchased, but even wrapped. No, I don’t know who I am either being this prepared.

Needless to say, my mind has been focused on finding cool stuff for all of the people in my life (and OK, definitely a couple of things to put on my wish list) and so I wanted to share some of the cool things I’ve found recently that I really love. (Note: this is not an excuse to post a bunch of affiliate links or anything–I just really love these products and thought you might too.)

So without further ado, please find my 2015 guide to cool stuff you might like for your kitchen and home or to give to someone else: Read More

Home-cured gravlax with Wasa crackers, cream cheese, and pickled shallots

Another year, another New Year’s Eve in the books. Like last year our celebration was small but special as we were able to sit and nosh and chat all evening, and honestly I couldn’t ask for much more than that. I was beyond excited because it was the first time we could properly entertain in our new digs without bags of paper and flattened boxes lying everywhere, and truth be told I kind of felt like Marnie from Girls when she was fluttering about that North Fork house getting it ready for what would be the dinner party from hell.

(Fortunately our get-together did not include a choreographed dance number, not enough food for everyone who was gathered, or a drunken confession session in which everyone’s dirty laundry was aired, so really the comparison ended during the preparation stage.)

When it came to the menu we largely stuck to the edict of not serving brand new recipes, sticking with tried and true staples like hummus, lamb meatballs, and my crostini with mozzarella di bufula and serrano ham, but I admittedly did try something that was sort of new by trying Tom Colicchio’s recipe for cured salmon. It’s not the first time I’ve made gravlax, nor was this the first time we’ve tried making a cured product following a Tom Colicchio recipe, so it didn’t feel quite as much of a risk as, say, test-driving a recipe from either the Le Bernadin cookbook or even the Gramercy Tavern cookbook. Read More

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