Monthly Archives: November 2012

Feeding Friends: Roasted Cauliflower and Fennel Salad with Endive and Radicchio

When my mom is away and my dad is working long hours, the apartment tends to delve into a sad state of bachelordom. I know, because I’ve dropped by on occasion to pick up this or that from my childhood bedroom, and whenever I’m home, mom or no mom, I always open the fridge to see if there are any interesting nibbles to be had. But when mom is away, there are no homemade nibbles, or really anything that you would want to nibble on. In early October, mom was away, so I decided to come uptown and have a Sunday night dinner with dad. I arrived early and the apartment situation was worse than ever. The bed was unmade, blinds still in blackout mode. There were days of newspapers strewn across the dining room table. The sink was overflowing … Continue reading

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On the Job: Mini Shrimp & Mango Cups

I hope you all had as restful a Thanksgiving weekend as I did down on the farm. I can’t remember the last time I slept so much and cuddled with so many animals. And it’s a good thing I did, because now begins the inevitable cooking and socializing marathon that is the holiday party season. As a caterer, this means I must get my finger food guns a-blazing and transform my studio apartment into a canape sweatshop until January, when no one wants to hire me anymore and I can spend the month wasting all my hard-earned cash on massages and therapy. Luckily, I’ve had plenty of catered cocktail parties this year to prepare me for go-time. I always try to put a mix of old standby’s and new favorites on my menus to keep things interesting for myself and … Continue reading

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The Balanced Diet: Five Spice Roasted Winter Squash Soup

I’m traveling today by air for the first time ever on Thanksgiving, which is ordinarily something you couldn’t pay me my weight in French fries to do. But my friend Kate has promised me horses to ride and puppies to cuddle, so I couldn’t be more excited for the excursion down south. It will also be my first time not cooking with my mom for the holiday. Hopefully, I can take a break from barn chores to help Kate’s mom out in the kitchen, though back in the day I used muck a mean stall, and I wouldn’t want to deprive their clan of those under-utilized skillz. If we ever had fewer than 30 people at our table on Thanksgiving, I would most definitely make soup part of the menu, and this one, with five spices and luscious winter squash, … Continue reading

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On the Job: Spaghetti and Meatballs a Piperade

The family that I cook for each week has been diligently following me on Chef Race. This is very sweet, and also strange, since we’ve never actually met in person. They know me purely through my emails, my food, and now, my TV persona. But it’s given me an excuse to cook my way through the episodes with them. A few weeks ago, after episode 6, they asked me for baked beans with Uncle Sammy’s BBQ Sauce. And this past week, after my fateful exit, they asked me to make them the Kale Salad and Spaghetti & Meatballs a Piperade from my elimination challenge meal. It was kind of cathartic remaking these dishes from memory and being reminded that they did, indeed, turn out delicious. Perhaps one day I’ll get back on the horse and give that lemon budino another … Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Cornbread

PrintGluten-Free Cornbread Ingredients1 cup white rice flour 3/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal 2 tablespoons sugar 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 2 beaten extra-large eggs 1 cup milk 5 tablespoons butter, dividedInstructionsPreheat the oven to 400 degrees F and stick a large (13-inch) cast iron skillet on a rack in the middle. Mix the rice flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Melt four tablespoons of butter and allow to cool. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and melted butter. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Remove the skillet from the oven and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Swirl until it coats the pan. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Serve … Continue reading

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Feeding Friends: Cornbread and Wild Rice Stuffing with Hazelnuts and Cranberries

The extended Lapine clan takes holidays very seriously. And every year, at each occasion, it becomes more and more difficult to fit everyone in one room, even if getting everyone there is no problem at all. My Aunt Jen and Uncle Mark (still known to the kids as Uncle Porky) recently added an addition onto their living room in order to accommodate the growing number of children at Passover and the high holidays. Thanksgiving is the one holiday that my branch of the family takes on, and my mother has been running the show with an iron spatula for the last decade. The event used to require winterizing the screen porch in our old house in Westchester so one long table could be assembled there. One eventful year included the water going off a few hours before people arrived. You … Continue reading

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Shape: 9 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

My friends over at asked me to put together a slideshow of my favorite vegan Thanksgiving recipes. Check out the dishes here, and combine them however you like for a bountiful meatless holiday meal.

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On the Job: Whole Roasted Trout with Lemon and Thyme

This weekend was a whirlwind of 27th birthday celebrations. On Friday, I had dinner with my parents at Prune, where they gave me an actual wishbone to wish upon, in addition to a very delicious and gluten-y chocolate walnut tart. Afterwards, I met some friends at a bar on the Lower East Side. We did the classic New York City birthday run around earlier that evening when we discovered the venue we had initially chosen would be hosting a boarding school rivalry night. Since making out with a preppy 22-year-old was not on my wish list, we decided to do a last minute relocation. Jonah Hill showed up at bar number two, so I can now cross doing the sloppy swish with him off my birthday bucket list. Saturday I went down to Phili to visit my old roomie Caitlyn … Continue reading

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Feeding Friends: Root Vegetable and Black Bean Chili

Last night I made my teary exit from Chef Race. But luckily, there were more important things going on in the world, and though I had to stay up til 2am to get the good news, America did not make me cry twice! I couldn’t be prouder of our country, and I truly believe, as the president said, that the best for America is still to come. I spent so much time this summer running around states I’d never been to and meeting so many generous, kind people. I know it sounds cheesy giving this much credit to a reality TV show, but if there’s one thing I am most grateful for, it’s that filming Chef Race allowed me to feel much more in touch with the heartland of my country and the people who live there (even if they … Continue reading

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