The Consortium for Making Yogurt Dangerously Delicious
Yes, it’s an actual consortium. I started it as an excuse to convince myself that anything that I put greek yogurt on is immediately transformed into food that is healthy and restorative. I’m about to test my theory on a gyro platter with extra french fries.
This recipe is for days when tzatziki is far too great a challenge for you. Not that tzatziki is all that hard to make, but when I have even less in the fridge than I need for that, I turn to this shallot yogurt. Worst case scenario, I’ll used dried mint and *cringe* dried parsley to make it happen and never look back. If you DO have fresh mint and parsley, though, this one is beyond a delight, providing refreshing coolness to whatever you deign to serve with it. Continue reading Shallot Yogurt Dip
Cooler Than a Fucking…Well, You Know
This salad is too cool for school – it just stares you down like it’s the reason that your life is spectacular and you should adore it as such. The recipe is wicked simple – just a little chopping and a light vinaigrette of olive oil and lemon juice to hold it all together. It’s versatility, though, is the selling point – meaning that you can serve it with any and all things grilled or top it with feta or mix in some orzo and BAM BOOM, you’ve got yourself a new dish and a new recipe to save for the treasure trove. Don’t thank me – thank the Olive Tree Cafe for the inspiration. They hooked me on the stuff and I had to craft a similar recipe for myself. Continue reading Israeli Cucumber Salad
Sexy Ass Spinach…For Lovers Only
I know that this is one of those recipes that you think of from 90s potlucks and progressive dinners. Pop it in a bread bowl and you are completely with the era. But I still go back to this recipe for the winning combination of flavors and the lack of pre-processed ingredients used to make it. This is no TGIF Frozen Spinach Dip in the freezer aisle of the grocery store. This one is for lovers only. Shallots and garlic flavor the creamy dip and bring out the sweetness of the spinach and artichokes. Best of all, the ingredient list is simple enough that you probably have most of the ingredients on hand already. So if you need a calorie splurge to go with a little junk TV, this’ll do the trick. Bravo, here I come… Continue reading Spinach Artichoke Dip
I never cared much for cranberry sauce until I tried out my grandmother’s suggestion to make a recipe with fresh cranberries. Aside from the brightness of flavors and use of a whole orange for zest, the star of the show was the crystalized ginger. I was an instant convert.
Many years later, upon reading through Amanda Hesser’s NYT Cookbook, I came across a chutney recipe that seemed to contain all of my favorite fall flavors. I decided to tweak it a bit and again make crystalized ginger the star of the show. The result was a lush, bright sauce that served the perfect stand-in for that canned cranberry nonsense. Continue reading Ginger Cranberry Chutney
Although this is barely a recipe, it can be construed as a damn good feast all by its lonesome. String beans honestly don’t need a whole lot of dressing up in order to be brilliant, and this recipe is the perfect proof of that. Garlic, butter and olive oil form a dressing for the tender crisp beans, showcasing their sweetness. Why mess with perfection?
If you like a little bit of added texture, feel free to toss in a smattering of slivered almonds. Or add dried cherries or cranberries for tartness. Whatever you choose to do, make it your own and don’t expend a lot of effort. The green beans are the stars of the show here. Continue reading Sauteed String Beans with Garlic
I’ve never loved candied yams with their cloyingly sweet topper of marshmallow goo. Given all of the glory on the Thanksgiving table, I’ve always felt that they sullied the experience. My husband would adamantly disagree, of course, given that the marshmallow travesty happens to be his favorite item at Thanksgiving. What to do other than craft him a recipe that might convince him that the candied yam business isn’t the be all end all of sweet potato majesty. Continue reading Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Grand Marnier Pecan Crumble
This recipe is the kind of trouble that you want to get into. It takes the comfort that is a warm bowl of fluffy mashed potatoes, keeps the butter and cream quotient high, but then flings it into the stratosphere or mischief with the addition of white truffle oil. Oh man, is this where it’s at.
For those that don’t keep a bottle of white truffle oil handy, go out and get some. You know that I am a fan of recipes to wow the unexpected dinner guest, and truffle oil is like a trusty friend that is there to turn a soup, canapé or side dish into something exotic and glorious. You don’t need a whole lot of the stuff to go a long way, and a few drops bring this earthy richness to a dish that is complex and worth savoring. Case in point with this dish – mashed potatoes go from being the foundation for pools of gravy to a star in their own right. And you have to admit, mashed potatoes have deserved a little glory all along, haven’t they? Continue reading Truffled Mashed Potatoes
I’ve always been partial to blondies, but these bars are just ridiculous. Adding buttery macadamia nuts and sweet toffee chips to the batter is luxe and a half. Top the whole thing off with salty coconut and I am in dream land. These little babies are sweet, sticky goodness with the most minimal amount of effort. You may want to bake two batches, because they go super fast. And then have me over to lift the extra bars off your hands. Continue reading Toffee Macadamia Nut Bars
I first fell in love with this cole slaw after eating at California Pizza Kitchen – trying their chicken potstickers for the first time, I noticed that they came accompanied by an interesting looking cole slaw studded with scallions. One taste and I was hooked – the combination of sesame oil and peanut butter was a palate zinger. I had to learn to make it myself.
This recipe couldn’t be simpler – whisk a few ingredients together and toss with the cabbage and then let the tangle of goodness ruminate on its future awesomeness. Not that cole slaw can think, but if it could, I imagine that’s what it’d be doing. Thinking about how cool it is. Continue reading Asian Cole Slaw
For all the folks out there claiming that vegetarian and vegan food has to be boring, falafel is a giant nanny-nanny-boo-boo in their direction. These delicately spiced fritters made of chickpeas are toothsome and filling, leaving even the most dedicated meat eaters feeling as if they’ve got all that they need in front of them.
The name of this recipe came from my sister who demanded that I make a sandwich called a “Mother Stuffer.” In that she is a vegetarian (and most of the time a raw vegan at that), I had to make a concoction that proved that, much like her, veggies are non-stop fun. This pita is no exception – half the fun of falafel is assembling your pita yourself with your favorite toppings, so feel free to use any combination of pickles, peppers and hot sauce that you’d like. Food is ALWAYS more fun when you can make it your own. Continue reading Mother Stuffin’ Falafel Pita with Spicy Tahini Dressing