Monthly Archives: December 2012

On The Job: Apple Crumble Tarts

First, I must apologize for the radio silence. Sometimes, you just need to take a little break, and I’ve been enjoying mine on the couch with a crossword puzzle. I’m on Martha’s Vineyard with my family. It’s the first time in possibly 10 or so years since we’ve been here in the off-season. All the Christmas lights are up in town, and if the fog was just slightly more intense and I couldn’t see the harbor, it would feel like a little ski village in the Alps. Before I left, I trudged through the last leg of holiday catering, which included my first goose. I wasn’t so sure at the time, but after spending Christmas with my friend Keith’s family and sampling not one, but two geese, I’ve concluded that I did a pretty decent job on the bird, even … Continue reading

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The Balanced Diet: Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Manchego and Pimenton

I don’t usually look forward to catering events, especially when they appear in a consecutive schmear of google green (busy) on my gcal. But I am positively pumped about tonight. I’m chef-ing for a marriage proposal! I didn’t realize that marriage proposal planners existed before I was contacted a few weeks ago to help do the food for one happy couple’s exciting night. I won’t go into any more detail, lest the bride-to-be read food blogs. But it’s been a lot of fun putting together an intimate 5-course tasting menu with the groom, and I can’t wait to play a small part in their special night. None of this has anything to do with Brussels Sprouts, but I thought I’d share. As for the dish at hand… I’ve made several versions of this salad over the past month. To be … Continue reading

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On the Job: Healthy French Onion Soup with Fennel and Gruyere Toasts

Healthy French Onion Soup | Easy French Onion Soup Recipe

I’ve been eating terribly this month. I know I’m not alone in this. Between all the holiday parties and running around like a crazy person, it seems all I have to do to make a new year, new you resolution is to cut my cheese intake down from 5 to 1 pound per week. One of my guilty pleasures as of lately is Friedman’s Lunch’s grilled cheese. They have amazing gluten-free baguette, and the sandwich is made with the outer crust on the inside and plenty of gooey gruyere, caramelized onions, and thick cut bacon oozing out the sides. With a cup of tomato soup, there’s nothing better. My resolutions might have to start mid-month, as I’m taking on a fun recipe development project for La Brea Bakery all about creative grilled cheeses. So you just might be seeing a … Continue reading

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Feeding Friends: Slow Cooker Chicken Cassoulet

Last February, my friend Sarah dreamed up a very fun and over-the-top idea for her birthday party. Naturally, my first reaction was jealousy. She wanted to have a 50-person sit down dinner party at her friend’s artist loft on the Bowery. She wanted to make all the food herself, and outsource the rentals and salad makings to me. I told her, from one crazy person to another, that making that much food by herself was not going to be a fun way to spend her birthday. Trust me, I know from many misguided years of experience. But she insisted it would be no big deal. She was only going to make one dish: cassoulet. Now, that might sound like a reasonable choice. But mind you, Sarah is a vegetarian. This means that not only would she be cooking for 50 … Continue reading

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On the Job: Crispy Polenta Bites with Ricotta and Truffle Honey

In an effort to help you channel my canapes sweatshop, I’m sharing a couple of my catering menu favorites. I make these little polenta bites so often, I’m frankly shocked that I’ve never shared the recipe here or on BGSK. They are a great option if you’re looking to make, say, 100 or so bites. You simply whip up a large batch of polenta, turn it out onto a greased sheet pan, let it cool overnight, then cut into rounds and bake away. Over the years, I’ve gone from cutting them into squares, to large 3-inch circles. But I’ve discovered, as with most finger food, that the smaller the bite, the more popular it becomes. Just a little taste of consumer food psychology, as evidenced by the thousands of women who spend $1 on a Baked By Melissa cupcake the … Continue reading

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Feeding Friends: African Peanut Stew with Shrimp and Butternut Squash

As anticipated, December has already decided to eat me for breakfast. Sadly, as a result of running around teaching, cooking, and canapes sweatshop working, I haven’t had as much time to dedicate to this site. But so it goes. I hope you’ll forgive me in the New Year for my lack of attention. The good news is, I’ve been creating new recipes left and right. So when the time finally comes for me to catch my breath, I’ll have plenty of treats for you. In the meantime, I hope you are swapping cookies, raising festive cocktails, and swallowing a lot of cheer. I’ve been making a vegetarian version of this African Peanut Stew for years and it’s always the dish I turn to in the winter months when I’m tired and in need of nourishment. Perhaps if you are in … Continue reading

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