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Thanksgiving + Nutella bread pudding with dates

Thanksgiving + Nutella bread pudding with dates

November 27, 2010 |  Category:   baked goods + desserts family holidays recipes

We aren’t one of those Nutella worshippers who make sure that a jar of the stuff is around the house at all times in case of a chocolate or dessert craving emergency, yet this is what Mark brought home from the grocery store Thanksgiving eve to make bread pudding with. Can’t even remember the last time we bought a jar of Nutella – must have been before the girls’ time which make it at least 7 years ago if not more. But yes, it was good and there was barely any leftover dessert. The pumpkin pie – one of the 90 that Mark baked Wednesday for the restaurant – didn’t fare too well with its journey from Central Park to… CONTINUE READING

watermelon radishes, candied walnuts, and the best salad ever

watermelon radishes, candied walnuts, and the best salad ever

October 26, 2010 |  Category:   recipes seasonal

I finally made a visit last weekend to a friend’s restaurant. It’s in Bushwick, a neighborhood as close to the middle of nowhere as you’ll find in Brooklyn. They serve some delicious seasonally inspired food that definitely makes it worth the trip. One of the appetizers I tried was paired with a watermelon radish salad that inspired me to make a nice salad for dinner the next night. Too often salads in our house consist of merely lettuce, cherry tomatoes, dressing and croutons. Making a truly special salad requires a little more effort and adding these candied walnuts are always just the thing. The nuts are tossed in a hot sugar syrup infused with spices, then baked in the oven… CONTINUE READING

bread and onion stuffed zucchini flowers

bread and onion stuffed zucchini flowers

August 9, 2010 |  Category:   cooking recipes seasonal

I went on quite the shopping spree last week at the Union Square Greenmarket. Among the goodies I picked up were these nice zucchini flowers and a loaf of fresh ciabatta bread. Stuffed zucchini flowers are one of our family’s favorite summertime treats, but the dilemma, as always, is what to stuff them with. This time I chose the ciabatta bread, dicing up the crispy ends of the loaf and cooking it with onions and herbs. The mixture ended up resembling, well, stuffing, like the kind you put in a turkey, only without the heavy flavor of sage. This filling worked surprisingly well and would also work well with other things added (cheese, seafood, etc…). Just get the zucchini flowers… CONTINUE READING

nectarine and blueberry cobbler

nectarine and blueberry cobbler

July 21, 2010 |  Category:   baked goods + desserts recipes

Summer fruits are finally in full season now and that opens up so many dessert options.  But still, what to make?  I love pie, but don’t actually enjoy making it all the time.  And I also love a fruit crisp with a nice streusel topping, but I prefer that in the fall.  Shortcakes can be good, but too often the biscuit is too clunky and heavy.  What about a cobbler?  You know, that often neglected dessert that bring to mind the unrecognizable mush in one corner of a TV dinner?  I’ll be honest, I have never made one before precisely for that reason.  But when you think about what it is – a fruit mixture topped with biscuit dough –… CONTINUE READING

individual sour cherry pies

individual sour cherry pies

July 8, 2010 |  Category:   baked goods + desserts recipes

Hard to believe, but I bought my first sour cherries ever from the farmer’s market last week.  There are two main reasons I haven’t bought them before.  First, their season is very short so the chances of finding them are slim.  And second, they are very fragile and do not keep for more than a few days so you need to have time to use them if you don’t want to waste your money (and they can be expensive).  I bought these cherries without any clear plan on what to make, but decided on a pie when I got home.  I soon realized I didn’t have nearly enough for a full size pie, so I made a few mini-pies in… CONTINUE READING

fresh strawberry cream pie

fresh strawberry cream pie

June 3, 2010 |  Category:   baked goods + desserts recipes

I’m very happy that we didn’t miss the pick-your-own strawberry season this year and I’m equally as happy that I actually had time to make something with them.  The kids were sold on the idea of a strawberry pie while we were still picking the berries, but I realized that I had never made one. I ended up improvising this recipe right down to the pie pan – my glass pie pan broke months ago so I was forced to use a springform pan.  The fresh, whole, uncooked strawberries are bound together inside a graham cracker crust with a mixture of sugar, gelatin and strawberry puree.  The strawberries looked a little rough after I filled the pie so I covered… CONTINUE READING

orange madelines

orange madelines

March 18, 2010 |  Category:   recipes

The life of a small business owner leaves very little room for anything else, especially one like myself who is the only employee. Sometimes I feel like a one man cookie factory and that the creativity of cooking has disappeared. I would like nothing more than to have just a few hours each week where I can work on new recipes and ideas, so I suppose that it’s fortunate that I continue to be the pastry consultant at the Central Park Boathouse where I can do just that. Never mind that the ideas I’m working on are for the restaurant and not for my business, but it is a creative outlet nonetheless. On the plus side, I get to bring… CONTINUE READING

cranberry walnut muffins

cranberry walnut muffins

February 17, 2010 |  Category:   recipes

Another holiday has come and gone. This year’s Valentine’s day really sneaked up on me. I had a busy week before our shipping day, Mia’s birthday, and all of a sudden I was over my head in cookies and cardboard boxes again. But everything made it out just fine – it always does, somehow. Through it all I actually had one or two days that I did not see the kids at all. To make it up to them I promised them a special Valentine’s breakfast, which ended up being these fresh baked muffins with lots of bacon. The sprinkling of coarse sugar on the top gives them a nice crunch. Cranberry Walnut Muffins (makes 10 muffins) 1-1/3 cups sugar… CONTINUE READING

caramelized onion tart

caramelized onion tart

February 4, 2010 |  Category:   recipes

Sometimes you just need a recipe just so you can eat caramelized onions. Caramelized Onion Tart (serves 4-6) 2 large onions, peeled and thickly sliced 2 Tablespoons butter 1/2 cup butter 1-1/2 cups flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup ice cold water Sliced fresh or sun-dried tomatoes Crumbled Goat Cheese Fresh Oregano Leaves Extra Virgin Olive Oil Coarse Sea Salt First, caramelize the onions. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onions and cook on medium-low heat for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. They should become a golden caramel color. If you find they are cooking slowly you can increase the heat for a few minutes so they start to brown a little, then… CONTINUE READING

orange cauliflower with garlic and lemon

orange cauliflower with garlic and lemon

January 24, 2010 |  Category:   cooking recipes seasonal

We have a small farmer’s market across the street from our house that, until this year, ended in December. This winter, however, they have teamed up with the Can Factory Market so that we in the neighborhood can have our fresh veggies and pickles year-round. Mia, Claudine and I ventured over on an especially cold Sunday to check it out. I was actually a bit surprised by the selection. Lots of fresh herbs, good apples, and this beautiful orange cauliflower. Orange cauliflower is a bit sweeter than the standard white variety, which makes it perfect for roasting or sautéing. Make sure to get it nice and caramelized for the best flavor. We ate it with foccacia, roasted beets and salsify… CONTINUE READING

herb focaccia

herb focaccia

January 13, 2010 |  Category:   recipes

I have been making focaccia almost as long as I have lived in New York. My first job was at an Italian restaurant (which has since been closed, torn down and made into a parking garage) by Lincoln Center. I knew next to nothing about the restaurant business and I probably even had some delusions about making it somehow in the music business, so I spent my first few weeks there just picking herbs and slicing shoestring potatoes. Eventually they trusted me with some real work – salad dressings, veal meatballs, etc… When an opening appeared in their pastry department I quickly took it and I learned to make ice creams and sorbets, biscotti, pannacotta, and focaccia. Their pastry chef… CONTINUE READING

quince upside-down cake

quince upside-down cake

November 28, 2009 |  Category:   baked goods + desserts holidays recipes

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. It really is my favorite holiday since it is the most food-centric of them all. Still, I have not yet cooked a real Thanksgiving meal myself in many years and this year was no different. I felt I needed to make some kind of a contribution in the kitchen so I made my pumpkin pie and also some braised red cabbage and roasted mushrooms. A few days ago I saw these absolutely perfect quince at a farmer’s market. For those of you who don’t know, quince is my favorite Fall fruit which is saying a lot as Fall also brings persimmons, pomegranates and kumquats. The only downside to them is that they need just… CONTINUE READING

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