Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Grilled Broccolini

What, two posts in two days, what is going on here? No I didn't get laid off, I just found myself with a weekend at home and extra time to cook. The weather this weekend was perfect, bright, sunny, not too hot, not humid, perfect outdoor weather, perfect grilling weather. 

Lately I've seen a lot of articles about how "you can grill anything, even eggs and macaroni and cheese" - I'm not that adventurous, but I did want to try something new and this little bundle of baby broccoli was the perfect thing because it was so so so so so good.

First I blanched the broccolini in boiling water for 30 seconds and then immediately submerged it them in an ice bath to halt the cooking. I think tossed with olive oil and salt and pepper. That's it, then we threw them in a grill basket and put them on the grill until they were slightly charred. So really, you have no excuse, get on this shit.

Rating = So Damn Good

Monday, June 02, 2014

Old Thymer Cocktail. Let's Kick Off This Summer

Every day, (every day) in the winter I get up in the dark around 4:45, snake out of bed, put on running clothes, lace up my sneakers and go downstairs to our basement and pump out miles upon miles on my treadmill. The darkness and bitter cold of the winter makes it impossible for me to run outside for months on end. So I run, inside, my treadmill positioned so I have perfect view of one of our old televisions. As you can image, when you run for at least an hour a day you blow through a tremendous amount of bad programming. I've watched every Real World/Road Rules Challenge there has been in the past four years. Catfish, you bet, I've seen every one of those lame ass stories about people who fall in love with a person on line, whom they have never met, and proceed to send them thousands of dollars for their cancer treatments. KLG and Hoda on the Today Show, sure I've watched them pound gallons of wine, during, Boozeday Tuesday, Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, you get the point - I watch a tremendous amount of bad tv.

On one day when I had exhausted most of the show on demand I came across a cocktail show. I hate to admit it, but it was hosted by Sandra Lee and it did NOT suck. It was actually a good show, with creative cocktails. One episode she made a cocktail called the Old Thymer. It sounded so good that I went upstairs to alert Chris that "we will be making a new drink tonight - on your way home from work grab an orange." This was all I told him, if he knew it came from Sandra Lee he would have immediately hated the drink.

It takes a tad bit of advanced planning, to ensure that you have the simple syrup and the rosemary sugar, but this is a minimal amount of effort and these can both be made in a few minutes, although the sugar gets better and better the more it sits.

Here it is, you're new summer cocktail. CHEERS!

The Old Thymer

1/2 ounce simple syrup
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 lemon wedges
1 orange wedge
3/4 ounces bourbon, such as Bulleit (I used Gentleman's Jack)
3/4 ounces sweet vermout
Ice, for chilling and serving

Combine the simple syrup, thyme, lemon and orange in a cocktail shaker, muddle together. Add the bourbon, vermouth and ice. Shake and strain into a lowball glass filled with ice.

Rosemary Sugar
Finely chop a sprig of fresh rosemary leaves (make sure they are not wet) and add to 1/4 cup granulated sugar (you can use cane sugar as well, it might even be better). Let sit long enough for the sugar to take on some of the rosemary essence.

Cut an orange slice in half and dip into the rosemary sugar to coat both sides and the rind. Float on the top of the glass.

Rating = So Damn Good

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Housemade Ricotta

I was in Chicago a few months ago and got to stop at one of my favorite restaurants in the City for wine and apps; Quartino - my best friend and I noshed on Dates Wrapped in Pancetta, Bruschette and the housemade Goats Milk Ricotta which was out of this world, served with olive oil and grilled rustic bread.We couldn't get enough, we raved, we liked our fingers, we asked for more.

Ever since then I have been craving the ricotta and bread combination (great for your waistline let me tell you, not). So, for mother's day, as part of the spread I made my very own ricotta, but I used regular whole milk and heavy cream. The Whole Foods by my house does sell goats milk, so perhaps my next turn at this I'll use that.

For the recipe I turned to a website that I used to cook from a lot, Smitten Kitchen and used her recipe, utilizing the 3.5 cups of milk and the .5 cups of cream - here is a link.

What I loved about making this was all the "oooh, that must have been intense" or "oh, wow, that must have been difficult" remarks that I got from the mothers when I mentioned the ricotta was homemade. I just nodded my head and said "yes, very very hard, slaved over it - don't know if I'll do it again."


This is so easy to make you have absolutely no reason to not make your own. Seriously. Get on that shit!

Rating = Damn Good

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lentils and Dates

For the past 6 years I have created a Mother's Day lunch for my Mom and Mother-In-Law, sometimes aunts come, sometimes sisters come too. I enjoy this day so much. This year I did it twice on Saturday with my mom and nana and sister, and on Sunday with my mother in law and aunt. The full menu was 

Rose wine
Homemade Ricotta (sweet Jesus was this amazing and sooooo easy to prepare) with Tuscan Bread and Olive Oil
Raw Kale Salad
Grilled Lemon Marinaded Swordfish 
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lentils and Pine Nuts

When I tell you that I could live off of the Cauliflower Salad for the rest of my life and not complain ever about variety I am not kidding. I loved it. Everyone loved it. It had everything, the roasted cauliflower, the sweetness from the dates, the bite from the red onion, the texture of the lentils and the great nutty flavor of the tahini dressing with the almonds. Sooo damn good. I wish I had a picture, but I shoveled it into my face so Goddamn fast that I didn't have time to whip out my iphone and snap a pic. Sorry. My Bad.

God, its been a long time since I wrote those words....So Damn Good.

I miss writing. What's my excuse? Life, man - my 30's what a blur. Chris turned 39 yesterday. When did that happen. When did we become middle age. When did I start looking so terrible in a downward dog. Ladies a bit o' advice here. Never wear shorts to yoga once you pass 35 years old. It Aint Pretty.

I'm heading to Nantucket this weekend for Chris' Birthday. We are going to the Nantucket Wine Festival so that should be fun. I'll let you know how it is and all the great wine and food we ingest while we are there.

Maybe my 30's went by too fast because I was drinking too much wine and eating too much food and in some sort of wine and food coma. Its totally possible.

Here is a link to the recipe.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Jamaica, Fat Americans, Potato Gnocchi with Mushroom Sauce

God, I suck suck suck at posting and this picture does not do this meal justice. I’ve actually been keeping a mental log of all the things I need to post about. I can’t figure it out – am I busier now than I was a few years ago, do I not have as much to say? That can’t be it, I’m always spouting my mouth off. I don’t know what it is.

Here is what I do know. Jamaica is full of fat white people. Chris and I just got back from a quick trip to Jamaica. We had never been and didn’t know what to expect. It was great. We splurged a little and had a concierge room which means that among other things we had a stocked bar with rum, gin, vodka, whiskey and red wine – and a fridge stocked with sparkling wine, white wine, soda, juice red stripe, etc. So, if you think that I didn’t wake up every morning and rehydrate after my morning run with a crisp and refreshing mimosa – you’d be wrong. Chris on the other hand waited until the respectable hour of 10:00 to order his first drink, which was always a mudslide. I think he was trying to convince himself it was a brown just slightly unhealthy smoothie. It’s a milkshake Chris, with alcohol in it.

So, back to my original thought, Jamaica is full of fat white people. Wait, drunk, fat, white people. 

Every year we go to the Caribbean and every year I fret for months about what I am going to look like in a bathing suit, and then I get to the beach and think – I am the skinniest bitch on this beach. Have these people been here a month or more eating this all inclusive food – does no one else worry about what they look like in a two piece? Apparently not.  When will I learn?

And another thing, it doesn’t take a fucking rocket scientist to figure out how to put on sunblock. Why do I see so many people with the patchwork sunburn look? I actually saw a guy whose entire chest area was bright red said for a smeared hand print across his right boob. Seriously, how does that happen? You put the lotion in your hand felt yourself up for a fraction of a second and thought – “good enough!” Or maybe he was like me, but instead of a mimosa at 9:00 am he went straight for the whiskey and figured he wasn’t going to feel any pain on the entire vacation anyways so who gives a fuck.

I don’ know, I don’t know.

What I do know is that this recipe rocked!

Here is where I got it.

Rating: Damn Good

Monday, January 06, 2014

When does the magic die & White Bean Escarole Soup

Chris and I have been married for 9 years, this past Christmas was our 12 Christmas together. Every year Chris has always put an immense amount of thought into my Christmas gifts - really thoughtful gifts that show how much he knows me and thinks about me. 

This year Chris gave me a dish towel (yes, just one, not even a pair), a knife (with sharpener) and a set of enormous soup bowls that look like they are a perfect size for the Mad Hatters dinner. This my friends is the year the magic died. He might as well have given me a chalkboard with "Get Yer Bitch Ass Back In The Kitchen" scribbled across it.

I won't go on about what I got him. Wait, yes I will. I had portraits taken of the dog and had them framed. See below.

A new outfit from Banana Republic, an $80 bottle of single malt scotch, new dress socks, timberland iphone gloves, stocking stuffers, etc etc, the list goes on.

So, all I have to say is my birthday is in two months - start buying shit now!

Hey - its fucking cold outside, let's have a soup party!
I made a bunch of soup this weekend, for all I care Chris can eat soup until my birthday. I'm kidding. Not.

No, but really, its cold out, and there is nothing better than holding a nice warm bowl of soup on a cold night. The soup in the forefront is the WW Zero Point Asian Soup which I have blogged about in the past. The one in the back is a nice White Bean and Escarole Soup (low fat). Chris and I are heading to Jamaica in a few weeks, so we are both on the bikini diet for a few weeks and nothing helps with filling you up like soup. 

The recipe is from cooking light.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion 
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth (I used 4 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (I used dried)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained 
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs (I used dried)
  • 1 (1 1/2-ounce) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
  • 8 cups chopped escarole (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup chopped carrot 
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons shaved fresh Parmesan cheese


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds. Add vegetable broth and the next 5 ingredients (through cheese rind); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and carrot; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until carrot is tender. Stir in red pepper, salt, black pepper, and vinegar. Remove and discard rind; sprinkle soup with shaved cheese.

 Rating = Damn Good