video recipes

homemade frico (baked cheese crisps)

I’ve had frico on my To Do list for some time, sharing the recipe that is, not making them. They’ve been part of my cooking tricks for a while now. Last week, while shopping at Whole Foods, I noticed a little pack of frico, and looked at the price out of curiosity—I should’ve had something soft to catch me before I hit the floor (insert dramatic pause). They were $25 per pound. Let’s do the math here. Pecorino Locatelli cheese usually comes in around $15 per pound. I make my frico with a blend of cheddar cheese to save money. That costs $8 to $10 per pound. If I’m doing a 1:1 ratio of cheeses, that puts my homemade frico at $12 per pound for ingredients.

 

Start by using a fine toothed grater to shred the cheese.

Start by using a fine toothed grater to shred the cheese.

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pork milanese

Fried chicken cutlets were a staple growing up. It wasn’t until I was well into my 20s that I became familiar with Chicken Milanese, a sophisticated upgrade that tops my mom’s fried chicken cutlet. No, really. Imagine a crispy, thin cutlet topped with arugula, chopped tomatoes, and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

I’m wary of ordering Milanese anything (it can be pork, chicken, or veal) at restaurants. Many places don’t pound the cutlet thin enough to my liking. Others do a sub par job of frying—crispy is not optional, in my opinion. I’ve experienced two of these crimes against Milanese recently, which prompted me to finally record my recipe since this site also serves as a record of recipes to pass down to my daughters. Continue reading »

homemade vegetable egg rolls

Before we go any further, I owe an apology for the RSS feed if you’re a subscriber (if you’re not, click this link). The last couple of weeks the images have been wonky, and not exactly matching the actual post. There’s so much admin work to do when you’re a one-woman shop like myself. Much as I try to dot every “i” and cross every “t”, something falls through the cracks. It kills me like you can’t imagine.

Sooo, until I can sort out with my web developer why the image doesn’t auto fill when a new post goes live, I have to manually go in and change it. Even worse than having to do it manually is I have to remember to do it. My apologies, and I hope it hasn’t deterred any of you from clicking through and reading. I will try to get better about it! Continue reading »

snapchat recap: let’s make migas! {video}

I often feel like I’m running a marathon to keep up with social media. The constant training to stay relevant. I don’t think it’s just me, though. There’s simply too much demand required to feed the 24/7 culture we now live in. Regardless, one thing that drives me in everything I do is to just be myself. It’s for that very reason that I waited until recently to start using snapchat. I wasn’t sure how I could balance one more thing that considering I already feel pressed for time. Continue reading »

how to ripen bananas in 10 minutes {video}

Just when you think you’ve baked the best banana bread of your life, you stumble upon another recipe that makes you go “whoa”. Or in my case, it means I start out baking one of my recipes, then tweak it for one reason or another, and fall in love with an old classic all over again. Banana bread used to be one of those baked goods I made only because I had overripe bananas that needed to be used up. It was a default, a way to rescue otherwise edible food from the trash bin (stop gasping, I’m at least being honest here).

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a whole lotta pizza

I remember years ago, Isabella came home from elementary school, and told me her gym teacher said pizza was junk food. They were covering a healthy eating unit in Phys Ed. You’ve never seen a head whip around quicker than mine. If you do it right, and take a balanced approach, I’d go so far as to say pizza is health food. Okay, I know. I’m reaching far here, people. But really, the homemade version is nothing to demonize. The crust is a simple combination of flour, yeast, salt, and water. A homemade tomato sauce is nothing more than tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and basil. And when it comes to the cheese, I try to mostly use a freshmade mozzarella from the Italian market. You should see my freezer, with containers of mozzarella balls suspended in a sea of water from Caputo’s. Continue reading »

chocolate egg cream, a brooklyn classic

I know, you’re thinking “stop it, already”. You’re trying to stick to your healthy eating resolutions, and here I am sharing my chocolate egg cream recipe with you. Good news for us both—egg creams aren’t a calorie-laden treat. In fact, you can even make them dairy free, thanks to the recipe I shared recently for my homemade dairy free chocolate syrup.

Egg creams are part of any good Brooklyn upbringing. They’re as quintessentially New York as black and white cookies. And both are viewed as somewhat of an oddity outside of NYC. My vote for best is the long shuttered Dave’s Luncheonette in Chinatown. It’s been decades since I sipped one of their egg creams (I was a vanilla egg cream gal back then), but like my first crush, the memory lives on forever. Lou Reed even mentioned them in a song, which is news to me, so we never stop learning, it seems (also, I should come out of my cave more often). Continue reading »

passionfruit citrus sparkler

Well, that went by in the blink of an eye. Christmas, I mean, of course. I remember when I started my gift shopping some two months ago. Christmas shopping wasn’t even a goal on that particular day, but I stopped into one of the little shops at Wildwood near my apartment in Bethesda. Red Orchard reminded me very much of the local shops I used to support back in Brooklyn. Everything is well curated, with an eclectic array of affordable and extravagant items, mostly in tune with my sense of style and taste. So, when I happened to pop in there in early November, I unintentionally began my Christmas shopping.

This is how I usually approach the holidays. I’m not always a planner, but you’ll never catch me at the mall on Christmas Eve. Gift giving is one area where I don’t get caught up in the mad rush. But all that is for naught now, right? I mean, the advice or describing my approach. Soon, we’ll be taking down all the trimmings from the holidays. Before we get there, though, we still have some official goodbyes to bid 2015. It was a year filled with so much for which to be thankful. I’ll share more about that on Thursday. Continue reading »

maple orange butter

I like to say I’m opinionated, and not just judgey, but who are we kidding? I’m a New Yorker. Perhaps even worse (or is it best); I’m a Brooklyn gal, through and through. We judge, regardless of what we say, and sometimes without any sensibility to our conclusions. And so that is why my visit to Teaism in D.C. about a month ago was such a pleasant surprise. I grubbed a ride into the city with my guy, and was delivered door to door from suburbia to Dupont Circle. When he first suggested it as a good place to settle in with free WiFi to escape the noise of construction currently going on at our building, I shrugged my nose. You know that kind of shrug where it pushes your eyeglasses way above your eyebrows.

I’d come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t like the place just based on the name. It didn’t sound appealing, even though I understood the play on words going on with it. Well, later that morning I enjoyed my size seven shoe with a side of some pretty awesome French Toast & Orange Butter. It sounds basic, I know. And for all intents and purposes, it was, but it was prepared so perfectly. Nice, crisp edges, golden brown, and that butter elevated the whole thing to spectacular. Now, if you’re an experienced cook, you already know making compound butters is incredibly easy. And if you’re new to this whole notion of mixing flavors into softened butter, then listen up—this is a trick you want to use for every brunch or breakfast you host. The wow factor tops the charts, and will ensure your place as a domestic diva.

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peppermint cake truffles {video}

Isabella went on a cooking spree a few weeks ago. I’m not sure what inspired it exactly, but she pulled my cookbook off the shelf, and asked “mom, is it okay if I make cupcakes?” I mean, who says no to cupcakes, especially cupcakes baked by their kiddo? She proceeded to make a dozen cupcakes, a batch of vanilla buttercream frosting, my homemade chocolate syrup, and chocolate egg creams for all of us. Continue reading »