Thursday, October 29, 2009

I can not believe that people put this in their mouth

Food That Can Kill You Instantly

This article is very interesting and gross all at the same time. I am a food lover. I love to cook it and then eat it. But the level that some people go to is unbelievable. I understand the logic that everything fried is delicious but a Cadbury Egg? Hot dog Twinkies? I also if you look at the gallery in the article, the smoked pig creature is frightening!

The Apple Pie Post

I am not a huge apple pie lover. I mean it is ok but I am mainly on board for the whipped cream that is served with the pie. Anyway, after my pumpkin pie someone at work offered me money to make an apple pie. I was like of course I’ll do that. I have made this apple pie for BPII before and it was pretty amazing. However, I used store bought pie crust and puff pastry. This time around I wanted to perfect my pie dough making skills.

I used the same recipe as my pumpkin pie post but doubled the recipe to accommodate the top portion of the pie. I also used half warm butter and then half frozen butter that was grated. I am still a little unsure of exactly how much ice water I should be using. I don’t want to use to much and have this sticky mess but I also so not want a dry floury dough. The result was still a little dry and when I was making the lattice work, the dough was falling apart on me a bit. I remedied the problem by piecing it back together. Definitely not perfect but it worked and tasted great.

This was a home run at work. Everyone loved it. I definitely recommend trying it out.

Grandma’s apple pie


1 Pie Crust
1 sheet of pie dough
4 Apples, peeled
1 TBL of lemon juice
½ cup of granulated sugar
½ cup of brown sugar
¼ cup of water
3 TBL of flour
½ cup of butter


1.) Preheat oven to 450º

2.) Arrange peeled apples in pie crust. Sprinkle with lemon juice. (This keeps the apples from browning when exposed to air)

3.) Take sheet of pie dough and cut with a knife into strips. I used 6 wide strips. Place pie dough strips on to apples and make a lattice formation. ( Video Below)

4.) On medium-high heat melt butter in a sauce pan. Add flour and combine. Essentially you are making a roux.

5.) Add granulated sugar, brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.

6.) Pour the caramel colored mixture through the lattice work and on to the apples.

7.) Place on baking sheet and bake at 450º for 15 minutes, then at 350º for 35 minutes or until the dough starts to brown.

8.) Let cook before serving.

That is it. So easy and so delish!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Rainy Night in the City

I have had this apple crumble recipe for awhile now and keep meaning to try it out. The time finally came this weekend when it was cold and rainy here in the city. I had no intentions of leaving my apartment and decided to make a dinner and dessert for BPII and myself. For dinner I made an Asian salmon dish my old roommate used to make. So yummy and so easy to make. I recommend coating the salmon with some oil on both sides before placing in a hot pan. It is such a delicate fish and has stuck to the pan and fallen apart on me many times. Also, if the heat is too high and the skin is brown but the fish is not done yet, just pop it into the oven for 5 minutes. It should be flaky and moist.

KLamp Salmon Recipe


¼ cup honey
¼ cup soy sauce
3 TBL lime juice
2 TBL of water
1 tsp of Dijon
2 tsp of vegetable oil


  • Heat pan to med-high heat and add vegetable oil
  • When pan is hot, add salmon and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until brown
  • Very carefully remove salmon from pan and place on a plate and cover with foil
  • Combine honey, soy sauce, lime juice, water and Dijon into a bowl and whisk
  • Pour mixture into the salmon pan and cook until a glaze like consistency. Be sure to get the browned bits from the pan.
  • Pour over salmon and serve 
Now for the crumble. OMG so good. I got this recipe from and old Bon Appetit article. BP II was nice enough to whip up some home made whipped cream for us.

Apple Crumble


1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
10 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, diced

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 Pippin or Golden Delicious apples (about 2 3/4 pounds), peeled, quartered, cored
Lightly sweetened whipped cream


  • Whisk first 6 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until small moist clumps form. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Stir sugar and butter in large skillet over medium heat until smooth sauce forms. Add lemon juice and cook, stirring, until caramel is deep brown, about 5 minutes. Mix in salt, then apples. Toss until apples are evenly coated, about 1 minute. Scrape apples and caramel into 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish; spread evenly. Sprinkle topping evenly over.
  •  Bake crisp until apples are tender, sauce is bubbling thickly, and topping is golden, about 50 minutes. Let crisp cool 15 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My First Ragu

I have never been a huge fan of red sauce on my pasta. I am not sure why, I mean I love tomatoes. When I was younger, I would ask my mom to just put a little sauce on, enough to make it pink. As I got older, I started putting olive oil and garlic salt on my pasta. I know it sounds like the grossest thing ever put it tastes so good. BPII is not this biggest fan because well you know what happens with garlic. Anyway, I saw this recipe from about a quick ragu. I thought that would be a great way to spice up a bla weeknight pasta. It turned out really yummy, even though I do not like red sauce. The recipe calls for milk but instead I used 1 part heavy cream and 1 part water.

One day soon though, I want to make a real ragu that you have to simmer on the stove for hours. That sounds like a Sunday project.


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound Italian sausage, removed from casing if necessary
1 cup milk
1/4 cup tomato paste
Salt and pepper
1 pound pasta
At least 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup white wine


Set a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Put the oil in a 10-inch skillet, and turn the heat to medium; a minute later, add the onion. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage in bits, and turn the heat to medium high; cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is nicely browned, 5 to 10 minutes.

Add a cup of white wine to deglaze the pan. Reduce until wine has evaporated.

Add milk and tomato paste, along with some salt and pepper; stir to blend, and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thickened but not dry. Keep it warm if necessary, and if it becomes too thick, add a little more milk or water.

Meanwhile, salt the water and cook the pasta. When pasta is tender but not mushy, drain it. Toss with sauce and Parmesan; taste, adjust seasoning and serve.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Told You There Would Be Pie

So after an entire week of telling people I was going to make a pumpkin pie, I finally did. I found the elusive pumpkin puree at Whole Foods (or as some would call it Whole Paycheck). It is amazing how much better run that store is then my local Food Emporium. Employees asked if I needed help finding items and located my free environmentally friendly shopping bag for me (Thanks Food and Wine Festival). Too bad I don’t shop there more often; I might have a satisfying shopping experience. I am telling you I was so close to roasting a pumpkin for this puree. Lord knows the amount of havoc that would have caused.

Anyway, back to the pie. I have never made my own pie crust before and wanted to try it out. The problem is I do not have a food processor. How did grandmas make pie dough before the food processor? Well they do it with a fork. I found a video on YouTube and it was easy enough. Simply, mash butter into a flour and salt mixture, then add spoonfuls of ice water until it turns into a ball of dough. The end result was successful. Next time though I want to freeze the butter and then grate into little butter pieces. I think this would make the mashing easier and keep the butter cooler for a more flakey crust.

The recipe for the dough and pumpkin pie are from

All-Butter Pie Dough


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup ice water


1. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the salt. Add the butter and pulse until the size of peas. Drizzle in the water and pulse until the crumbs are moistened; turn out onto a work surface. Gather into a ball, flatten, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Classic Pumpkin Pie


All-Butter Pie Dough
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Pinch of salt
One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup heavy cream


1. Preheat the oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough to a 13-inch round a scant 1/4 inch thick. Fit the dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate and trim the overhang to 3/4 inch. Fold the dough under itself and crimp decoratively; refrigerate the pie shell for 10 minutes.

2. Line the pie shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in the center of the oven until nearly set, about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake until the crust is pale golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, cloves and salt until smooth. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, then the cream. Working near the oven, pour the filling into the crust. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the custard is set. Let the pie cool on a rack.

Everyone at work seemed to enjoy the pie. I must say this is a very classic recipe and with that there was no WOW factor. It was good but not OMG.

On another note, I entered a cooking/baking contest in the 5th grade and decided to make a pumpkin pie. I have always loved pumpkin pie and I guess I thought I could make it. I called my Aunt Pat up and asked her for her recipe. My Aunt Pat has always been the best cook. She gave me detailed instructions and believe it or not, I won 3rd place with that pie. I was so proud. I think that was the start of my love for cooking.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh Where oh Where is the Pumpkin Puree

I have been trying to make a pumpkin pie for quite some time now. The problem is that there is no pumpkin puree in New York City. I have searched every grocery store only to be told that I am the 15th person in the last hour to ask for it. I thought New Yorkers ate out, they are not supposed to be at home making pumpkin goodies. It is not even Thanksgiving for goodness sake.

The thing is, I told people at work that I was making this pumpkin pie and everyday I come in with empty hands. I am beginning to feel like an empty promise maker.
However, I did find out how to make pumpkin puree. It seems to easy to be true.

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.) Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds
3.) Place in baking pan with 1 cup of water
4.) Roast for 90 min
5.) Scoop out flesh and blend

That’s it! So I am sure tomorrow I will have a pumpkin pie post for you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What are you buying at the grocery store?

The above chart is from ( and shows the best-selling grocery items for the 52 weeks ending June 14, 2009. I can not believe that the best selling item in grocery stores is carbonated beverages. I like my soda too people (please see: I’ll have a coke) but the number one selling item. Don’t they sell food items at grocery stores? The only perishable foods on this list are milk, bread and cheese. I do not eat the healthiest, I mean I ate sweet potato fries last night for goodness sake but at least they were natural and grown from the earth. In the time is takes to heat up a frozen dinner, you could have made some grilled chicken and a steamed veggie. My parents divorced when I was young and worked very hard to support my bother and I; however, we always had a family dinner no matter how late they would return home. My dad would make kielbasa or my mom and her hamburgers. There are lots of items that you can make quickly that are still good for you without taking something out of the freezer with preservatives.

I am trying to think what my top grocery store items are. I spend the majority of my money on protein. In the city it is just so expensive. Then a dairy items, either butter or cream, maybe a cheese. Veggies come third and starches come 4th. OOOOOOOOOO wait. I forgot about the wine. Wine/beer is up there. Maybe it would be after protein? I am such a lush!
Anyway, I guess to each there own when buying items at the grocery store. It is a little interesting, don't you think?

The accident that was the sweet potato fry

I wanted to make roast chicken last night for me and BP II as an easy after work meal. The dish kinda fell flat. Usually, when I roast some chicken breasts I use my conventional oven. However, lately I have been using my toaster because it seems more environmentally friendly. I only heat up this little baby oven instead of my big clunky oven. The result I have come to find is that the skin is not as crispy. The chicken is ok and moist on the inside but there is definitely something lacking. I will go back to using my conventional oven and let you know if that makes a difference.

The sides of the dish were corn on the cob and sweet potato fries. The corn was easy. I just boiled, buttered and seasoned with Old Bay (yes, the crab spice but OMG it is delish!). The sweet potato fry was not so easy. UGH! The sweet potato fry. I am not sure why I decided to make this. I really don’t even like fries that much. It was a spontaneous disaster that went horribly wrong. I do not have a fry thermometer so that could be a huge issue. I heated some vegetable oil in a pot and waited until the oil was hot. I tested by dropping a bit of water. If it sizzled, I assumed the water was hot enough. I cut the sweet potato in matchsticks and dropped a few in at a time. I removed the potato when it started to brown, about 5 minutes later. Then laid them on a paper towel to remove extra oil and sprinkled with salt. The result tasted a little soggy but edible. BPII ate his with ketchup.

I probably should have just baked them like I always do but I wanted something different. I will keep away from the frying for now. Anyway, I have included a recipe for baked sweet potato fries below from the Neely’s at These seem like a much better option.


4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 sweet potatoes , peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch wide strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, paprika and cinnamon. Toss the potato strips into mixture, to coat well, and spread onto baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and brown sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes

Monday, October 19, 2009

Red Wine Stew

I wanted to make a stew because the weather was changing and I was ready for something hearty and warm. I brought the idea of stew up to BPII and he was less then thrilled. He doesn’t like stew and would rather have a chili. I hate chili. We were at a stalemate. Until, I found this recipe. It was hearty and just what I was looking for but not too creamy which made BPII happy. I planned on making it Saturday night and was in fact in the process of making it when some unexpected Yankee playoff tickets landed in my lap. I couldn’t just let those pass me by so I browed the meat, added the red wine simmered away for about 2 hours. When it was time to leave for the game, I popped the mixture in my refrigerator and let the guy marinate until 8:00 Sunday.

After my football nap (I take a nap after the 1:00 football game to recover from the heavy day drinking) I took the stew out of the refrigerator and put on low heat. In the meantime I boiled the bacon (the recipe calls for pancetta but I had bacon on hand. Pancetta is the Italian form of bacon and is less fatty) and prepared the veggies. I also added some beef broth to the red wine and meat mixture because it looked like it had evaporated a bit. It retrospect, I did not need to add it. The result was pretty delightful. The red wine sauce was sweet and the veggies were tender but not mushy. I will definitely use this recipe again.

Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce

Recipe by Jacques Pépin (From


2 pounds beef from the flatiron part of the shoulder
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon flour
1 bottle of red wine
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh thyme
15 cipollini or pearl onions
15 cremini mushrooms
15 baby carrots
5-ounce piece of pancetta
1/4 cup water
Dash of sugar
Chopped fresh parsley


1. Buy about 2 pounds of beef from the flatiron part of the shoulder. Remove the skin or sinew from the top. Alternatively, use lean beef chuck in the same manner. Cut the meat into 8 pieces.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast-iron pot that is attractive enough for the table. Arrange the meat in one layer in the pot, and season it with salt and pepper. Cook on top of the stove over high heat for about 8 minutes, browning the meat on all sides.

3. Add 1 cup of finely chopped onion and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic. Cook over moderate heat for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tablespoon of flour. Mix in well so that the flour doesn’t form lumps. Stir in 1 bottle of red wine. Add 2 bay leaves, a sprig of fresh thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir well and cover.

4. Place the pot in the oven and continue to cook for about 1 1/2 hours; the meat should be soft and tender and the liquid properly reduced. The recipe can be prepared to this point up to a day ahead.

5. For the garnishes, peel 15 cipollini or pearl onions, wash 15 cremini mushrooms and peel 15 baby carrots. For the lardons, you will need one 5-ounce piece of pancetta. Bring the pancetta and 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan and simmer for about 30 minutes; drain. Cut the pancetta into 1/2-inch slices and then cut the slices into 1-inch-wide lardons.

6. Combine the onions, mushrooms, carrots and pancetta in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of water and a good dash each of sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes; at this point, there should be practically no water left. Uncover and cook over high heat, sautéing the vegetables until nicely browned on all sides, about 4 minutes.

7. To serve, mix some of the vegetables and lardons into the stew and sprinkle the rest on top as a garnish. Add a little chopped fresh parsley and serve.

Friday, October 16, 2009

“If a pot is cooking, the friendship will stay warm”

This idea was actually thought up by my father one day when I told him that I wanted to become a better cook. We were driving home from the train station and I was telling him how much I really love to cook and how I want to improve my culinary skills but was having trouble finding an non-expensive school. He suggested I get some friends together, try different dishes and then talk about what happened. I was skeptical. I thought no one I know would really want to do this. I was wrong. I sent out an email asking if anyone would want to join a club I was starting that would revolve around cooking. We would meet once a month and pick a type of cuisine to cook. I invited 7 girls hoping to have one or two bite. I was incredibly surprised about the positive return. Only one person said they were not interested but the other 6 girls were energetic and some even wanted to bring friends.

The first meeting will be thanksgiving dishes. I left the decision of what to make up to them and anything they want to make that reminds them of Thanksgiving was an option. The group is full of cooks at all different  levels. On the designated day, we will all get together and share the food that we made and talk about the experience. (and of course we will be drinking some wine) My hope is that some girls who have really shied away from cooking for whatever reason will feel comfortable trying new dishes and get to experience the feeling of making a homerun dish. Also, I want somewhat experienced cooks to push the kinds of dishes they make and receive honest feedback from the group.

I will be posting the recipes the ladies bring to the meeting and sharing some of the great stories they have to tell.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One potato, two potato, three potato, four

I have always been a huge fan of the potato. I like them roasted, mashed, chessed and double baked. Have you ever gone into a grocery store and been so confused about the different types of potatoes? Which type is best for your dish? Up until I started this blog I have gone by the trial and error method. I wonder on down the potato isle and see what catches my eye (or what is on sale). Then, I go home and figure out what to do with it. Most commonly roast it or mash it. However, I want to start learning about the food I am cooking and why one ingredient works better then others.

The type of potato you use depends on this dish you want to create. If you want to make a soup or stew (boiling), go for a potato that is low in starch (yellow, blue or red) so they won’t fall apart on you. When baking, you should use a starchy potato such as yellow or russet. An easy way to tell is if the skin has a waxy texture it is a boiling potato and will hold its shape when cooked. If the skin is dry and cork-like, the potato is high in starch as should be used for baking and mashing.

Potatoes should not be refrigerated because this turns the starches to sugars. Instead, keep potatoes in a cool, dark, dry and well ventilated place. Do not expose to direct sunlight. If little sprouts start to form this is fine, just cut off with a knife. Potatoes are best if they are used within a week of buying but can keep for about 2 weeks.

Yellow Potatoes (Yukon Gold)

This potato is considered the all around potato. They are good for pretty much everything. You can mash, steam, boil, bake or roast them

Red Potatoes

These potatoes are good for steaming, boiling, roasting, au gratin and scalloped. I use these for my German potato salad and they hold up really well

Russet Potatoes

These potatoes are good for baking and boiling. They are high in starch and by far the best for mashed potatoes and French fries. They are easily identified by their course, dry skin.

White Potatoes

These potatoes are also a good all around potato. You can mash, boil, steam, au gratin and roast them.

Fingerling Potatoes

These are good for baking, boiling and roasting. They are a low starch potato and I use these potatoes for my roasted potatoes. I cut the fingerlings lengthwise and into bite size pieces. Then spread out evenly on a baking sure, making sure not to overlap. I drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. Next, use your hands to mix everything together making sure the fingerlings are evenly distributed. Bake at 400 degress for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'll Just Have a Coke

I was told at lunch recently that I was being unhealthy for drinking a can of diet coke a day. I eat fruit everyday. Always have a vegetable when I make dinner. Does the fact that I drink soda undo all the healthy things I try to do? Well I decided to research this very important issue in my life. According to several websites ( I am not sure if you can believe everything on the Internet but I figured if I took a sampling, I might be able to draw a semi-correct conclusion) the main problem is sugar. Sugar causes obesity which leads to all kinds of problems. What about diet soda?
Apparently, diet soda can deregulate our innate ability to judge caloric intake, subconsciously make people eat more because they think they are ingesting fewer calories and there is a theory out there stating that even though there is no sugar, our body still releases insulin. Honestly, there is no real proof that diet soda is bad for you. It seems like if you can control what you eat you will be fine. (Besides that insulin theory, but that is still in theory stage so I am just not going to count that) I feel like the point being made over and over again is that soda is just not the best choice of drink for you, 100% juice or water would be better. Soda does not contain any vitamins or minerals and therefore it would be better to drink something that did have those things. But if you get plenty of vitamins and minerals and drink water regularly, I do not believe you are doing your body harm.

Winter Squash

Fall has always been my favorite season. The leaves turning from green to red and yellow hues; the smell of smoke billowing from chimneys for the first time, really makes me happy. Can you tell that I am a Pennsylvania girl at heart? Around this time of year we start to see winter squash also appear in our local grocery store. Truth be told I was a little frightened by them. They look ugly, oddly shaped and seem difficult to cook with. Turns out -not true. Well kind of.

I saw this recipe with roasted butternut squash in one of my food magazines. Or was it zucchini? I don't remember but the recipe had mussels and veggies in pasta and I do not like mussels. Sooo I decided to do my own version. When I was at the farmers market this weekend, I picked up a butternut squash and a huge zucchini. I figured I could just roast them then toss in with pasta. The zucchini was easy cut up and drizzle with olive oil and top with some salt and pepper. The butternut squash was much more difficult. I had no idea how to cut this sucker up into cubes to roast. I decided to just cut down the middle and see what happened. (BTW I tried to be as low key as possible because BPII was in the other room and I told him I knew what I was doing. HA) I scooped out the seeds like a pumpkin and decided to cut into quarters and roast with the skin on. I again drizzled the butternut squash with olive oil and topped with salt and pepper. I roasted both the zucchini and butternut squash at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, I look to see how things are going and I find my zucchini has shriveled into little tiny pieces while my butternut squash has not even begun to brown. I take the zucchini out and cover with foil and wait another 15min - then another 15 minutes. Finally the butternut squash is starting to brown and I take it out of the oven and insert my knife to see if it is soft. Knife goes in easily and it looks like we are good. But I still need to take this tough skin off. The flesh turned out to be really soft and I could easily separate the skin from the yummy squash insides. I then cubed the squash up and tossed both the zucchini and butternut squash with some pasta. I added some olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. The dish was interesting. Each part was good but together it was a bit odd. So my first try at winter squash was not a homerun but I believe this is the start of a beautiful friendship.

I found a video to show how to properly cut up and peel a butternut squash. I think it would have been much easier to roast this way. Lessons for next time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nectarine Pie

After the Food and Wine Festival, me and BPII went to the Union Square farmer's market. I love getting my produce from a farmer's market instead of going to the local Food Emporium. I feel the prices are better (as long as you are not buying the all natural and organic beef they keep in those coolers) and the produce just looks more appetizing. Anyway, I am mingling around looking at all the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, fresh corn on the cob and pumpkins. Then I see BPII by the peaches. I tell him that we can make a tart or a pie out of them if he wants to buy some peaches. I started to go through the peaches bin and they were bruised and sticky from the peach juice. Definitely not a good sign. Right beside the peaches bin were white nectarines. They looked great and I decided to scrap the peaches and go for the nectarines instead. BPII was skeptical but bought the nectarines. I found the following recipe at but I did not follow the recipe exactly.

2/3 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
5 nectarines
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell


1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.)Place a large pot of water over high heat, and bring to a boil.
3.) Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, heavy cream and almond extract. Set aside.
4.)Place the nectarines in boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds. Immediately place nectarines under cold running water and remove skins. Cut nectarines in half and remove pits. Place halves in the pie shell with the cut side down. Pour the cream mixture around the nectarines.
5.) Bake at 400 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes. Good served warm or cold.

I boiled my nectarines for 35 seconds and promptly put them in an ice bath. I tied to take off the skins with much difficulty. I think I should have boiled them a bit longer. In the end, I decided to leave the skins on. I recommend you sprinkle a little lemon juice on the nectarines before they start to brown (You can use a Vitamin C tablet crushed up if you have that on hand) I did not have almond extract and used vanilla extract instead. The result was still pretty yummy. I forgot to cover the pie edges with aluminium foil so the crust is a bit brown but I figured we were going for delicious and not necessarily looks.

Peanut Butter Cookies

My Mom's birthday was October 8 and I am always grappling with what should I get her. She is your mom, so you want to give her something special and something that makes her feel appreciated for all the things she does for you. However; when you get to a certain age, everything has been done. Flowers, perfume, clothes, and even a mixed MOM CD have already been done. So I was thinking and thinking, until it finally hit me. The way you show someone you love them is to cook for them. So I decided to make these cookies for her and send them home in a care package. Again, I got this recipe from but did not follow the recipe exactly. You can probably see a pattern forming here. I use the recipe as a loose guide to cooking, improvising as I go.


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
40 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2.) Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
3.)Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well.
4.) Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.
5.) Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

These cookies turned out really well but do not make 40 cookies like the recipe says. I made 24 cookies with this batter. I made the following deviations from the recipe: chunky peanut butter instead of creamy (Life needs a little crunch, right?) and 2 TBL of heavy cream instead of milk (I had heavy cream on hand from the pie I made earlier and the "correct substitution" for milk is 1 part heavy cream 1 part water but whatever they are COOKIES!). I also, did not have little baby muffin tins (umm who does?) so I just rolled little cookie dough balls and put them on a cookie sheet. I did everything the same except I baked them for 7 min, stick in a PB cup into the cookie and then bake again for 1 minute to melt the cup a little. But if you like peanut butter cookies and peanut butter cups, these cookies are for you. Very Yummy.

Minor anecdote: My oven started to smoke halfway though my cooking process, filling my entire apartment. The cookies did not burn, sooooo I am unsure if my oven can handle lots of cooking in one night or maybe something spilled and was burning. So that is a mystery.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Crystal Renn

I know that this blog is about food. But I think that it can definitely cover some of the issues indirectly related to food. I really love this woman. I think it is absolutely wonderful that she is accepting her body for what it is and makes no apologies. I think she is beautiful and helps me promote body acceptance in my own life. I will never be a size 2. I physically do not have the frame for it. I was born with hips and believe it or not, they are one of the favorite parts of my body. I believe in eating healthy and still living life. I can not count every calorie or I would drive myself crazy! Could you imagine every time you make cookies not being able to sneak those little bits of cookie dough? That is the best part of making cookies. Crystal has a great message and is truly a woman that has it all.

The Incredible Edible Egg

I have started this new program of eating in my life. I went to Amsterdam over Labor Day weekend and realized how much more American ate. When Americans go out to eat we pick an item from the menu and in 30 minutes this heaping pile of food comes your way. I, being the food lover I am, was ecstatic and would eat until I became so full that I was uncomfortable. When I ordered in Amsterdam, 1/3 of the portion would come out on a plate. I realized that this is actually the portion I should be eating. I was full when I was done but not uncomfortably full. When I came back to NYC I pledged to try and control my portions more. I find this especially difficult because I have such little self-control. When there is something delicious in front of me, I just can not help but keep putting more in my mouth. This new found trying to eat better was also induced by pictures being posted on facebook by a friend of mine from a beach vacation we took this Summer. I was in shock and realized that I have to get my eating under control. If you think this means I will only be posting "healthy" things on this blog, you would be mistaken my friend. I will just bring those yummy treats in to work so they won't be sitting around my apartment yelling EAT ME!

Anyway, about this egg post. I am trying to eat things that are good for you in little portions throughout the day. Therefore, I will have this feeling of being full and can cook yummy things for dinner and not feel too guilty. For breakfast, I have a banana and a cup of coffee. Then for my mid-morning snack I will have 2 hard boiled eggs. Lunch is an apple and a can of diet coke, followed by a Oats and Honey bar at mid-afternoon. Then something delish for dinner. Needless to say, it took me a little bit to get a perfect hard boiled egg. (I said this blog was going to be at retarded dog pace) Sometimes they were runny on the inside and other times they had the green ring from being overcooked. (FYI: this is due to the manifestation of the iron and sulfur compounds in the egg. It does not affect the egg's taste but harms the quality of the protein)

Here is the foolproof plan for hard boiling an egg. Put eggs in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water. Put the saucepan on med-high heat until the water starts to boil. Then remove from heat and cover for 20 minutes. Chill until ready to eat.

The Food and Wine Festival

So me and BP II went to the Food and Wine Festival this Saturday. We had tickets to see Rocco DiSpirito at 10:30. Truth be told, I am not a morning person. My alarm goes off at 8:30 and BPII tries to wake me by nicely nudging. I yell and grunt at him to leave me alone. 30 minutes later, I finally get moving and start getting ready. We leave my apartment on the Upper East Side at 9:30 and as we pass the Bodega on the corner I plant me feet like a child and can not possibly go on without eating 2 eggs with cheese on a roll.

BPII: I don't think we have time
ME: But I am hungry
BPII: I don't think we have time
Me: Fine, I'll pay for a cab
BPII: I don't think we have time

We finish breakfast and get into a cab (10:00). At 10:27 I am officially freaking out. Why is this cab taking so long? I could have taken the subway and made better time! There is an accident on 14th between 5th and 6th. Why did we not go across town 65th? OMG they are not going to let us in because we are late. 10:31 I am yelling at people to get out of the way. No matter the only one who can hear me are the cab driver and BPII. Anxiety is building. 10:35 cab drops us off and I am running to The Comix and 14th and 9th ave. Did I forget to mention that is is raining and I am wearing a white shirt and black bra? Finally, arrive wet and miserable 10:38. They let us in and we are seated. Rocco is going around asking people what they do and where they are from. Bla Bla. He is promoting his new cookbook about cooking your favorite foods in a healthier way. The onion rings he made look amazing. I start thinking about buying the cookbook. Also, the man is a huge flirt. He is good looking and knows it but in a likable goofy way. Then he starts talking about Penne ala Vodka and how it is a myth the dish needs Vodka. I start to think about Vodka and how bad I want a drink right now. Yes, I am aware that it is 11:00, don't judge. Honestly, all he did was make pasta, heat up some marinara sauce and add some Greek yogurt to make the sauce pink. I did not taste it but I started to reconsider this cookbook choice. Also, the girl who went up to taste it proclaimed her love for Rocco on stage before tasting so I am considering her opinion compromised. At 11:30 the show is over and we get apples and healthy treats on the way out. I am calm but still thinking about that drink.

The First Post

This blog is about loving food and learning to cook with the learning curve of Meghan's (from Rock of Love II for those non-reality whores) retarded dog, Lily. I really enjoy cooking and entertaining but due to my clumsy natural disposition DISASTER usually follows. I try and stay positive and vow to do better next time, although I have been known to cry over a dish gone wrong. I will be posting about my daily cooking, following recipes and sometimes just winging it. My boyfriend, Big Papa II (BPII), is the true risk taker because he eats everything I put in front of him. Therefore, I will include his "constructive criticism" as well.