Recipes for a Cure
This saucy dish is part of a collection of recipes written to benefit the National MS Society. In 2008, my sister Lexi (then 21 years old) was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. We formed a team of friends and family called MS is BS (Mind Strong is Body Strong), and each year we raise thousands of dollars for MS research. This recipe was written in tribute to a generous donation towards my $1500 fundraising minimum for the 2013 Capital Challenge Walk, a two-day 50K walk through Maryland, Virginia and DC. Learn more about team MS is BS on our website at http://msisbs.org
Shrooms and Dinosaurs. For Real.
In crafting this recipe, I was reminded of the fact that the reason I love to cook is because it is one of the few tasks that allows me to both obsess over ingredients and elevate them at the same time. The creation of this recipe started with a memory – I was in Italy for the summer on a study abroad (aka. the photography boondoggle in Europe) with my good friend Lauren. There were easily a hundred of us living in Orvieto, all crammed into the same little hotel, each with our favorite spots in the town that we had claimed as our own. Lauren was in love with this one haunt for lunch, and not only did she try to eat there just about every day, but she informed me over a bottle (or two) of white wine that she tended to always order the same thing – the simply dressed green salad and tagliatelle with fresh porcini mushrooms. I loved the town already, but that lunch made me weep with joy at how lucky we were to be there. Continue reading Wild Mushroom Cannelloni with Kale Pesto and Bechamel
Recipe for the Daring Kitchen
Our May 2012 Daring Cooks’ hostess was Fabi of fabsfood
. Fabi challenged us to make Boeuf Bourguignon, a classic French stew originating from the Burgundy region of France.
Like Julia, But Dirtier
Boeuf Bourguignon, particularly Julia Child’s definitive recipe, reads like poetry to me. The ingredients and process seem more a love song to an art form well-worth filing in the category of works that make my heart ache in that oh-so-good kinda way. So when it was announced by our lovely hostess Fabi that this month’s Daring Kitchen was to make Julia’s boeuf, you’d expect me to be swooning. Except I wasn’t, and all because of one little detail. I’m in Phoenix. And it’s already fucking incendiary. Continue reading Boeuf Bourguignon Crepes
Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
The March 2012 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Carol, aka Poisonive – and she challenged us all to learn the art of braising! Carol focused on Michael Ruhlman’s technique and shared with us some of his expertise from his book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”.
Love is a Thistly Warrior
Good things come to those who wait, and this month’s Daring Kitchen was proof of that fact. When I think of my two favorite braised dishes, I crave fork-tender beef short ribs with crimini mushrooms that have greedily sucked up all of the surrounding juices, and braised chicken thighs with shallots, tarragon and cream. Both are stunning and ever-so-yummy, but are wintry treats perfect for curling up to replete with the roaring fire and snifter of cognac. I wanted something appropriately light and savory for the warming weather here in Arizona, and our host of the month had a perfect suggestion.
On Carol’s list of recommended recipes, she listed Michael Chiarello (swoon!) and his Lemon Braised Artichokes. I thought that it was simple and gorgeous and would pair perfectly with a pan of chicken piccata. Turns out that the two were a match made in heaven, and I was treated to bites that sparkled with lemon, briny capers and tender chicken. You’ve gotta love it when a good plan comes together! Continue reading Chicken Piccata with Braised Artichokes
Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.
From the fragrant sauce of orange peel, ginger and cinnamon sticks, this beef stew screams holiday delight like no other. Typically, when I’m prepping for a Daring Kitchen Challenge where I don’t get to choose the exact recipe that I follow for the challenge, I have a bit of a notion as to how it’ll turn out. From all the time spent in the kitchen, I can usually gauge how well or poorly I’ll be able to execute the dish, and what the resulting taste profile will be like. Let me tell you – this stew knocked my friggin’ socks off. I went into it thinking, “Beef stew with sweet potatoes…this’ll be warm and comforting and simply homey.” Boy, was I wrong – in addition to all of those things, this stew was heady with spices and full of complex flavors. Almost floral at times. And the rooibos tea forms a stock that is spicy and rich and glorious. I immediately made a mental note to save this recipe for friends and loved ones, because it embodied all I love about my favorite dishes. It personified the melding of seemingly ordinary ingredients into something novel and special – a dish worth savoring for just a little bit longer. Continue reading Rooibos Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes
Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
When I first learned about The Daring Kitchen, I was excited to join a group that would provide me with monthly culinary inspiration. This month’s assignment (and my very first with TDK) was created by Steph from Stephfood
, our Daring Cooks’ July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with! Steph also encouraged us to make noodles that celebrated our culinary heritage. See Full Gnocchi Feast Menu
Authentic-tasting gnocchi are a tall order, but inspired by the charm and panache of the Franks (Falcinelli and Castronovo) of Frankie’s Sputino in Brooklyn, everyone is an expert Italian chef. Although this recipe was a part of my goal to make four gnocchi dishes for The Daring Kitchen, the preparation of the dish proved hardly a challenge. And not because the fickle gnocchi gods* were smiling at me that day, but rather that this recipe must be the master recipe for the most perfect gnocchi. In the amount of time that it took me to boil a pot of water and futz around with a marinara sauce, I had a dough that was pliant, smooth and gorgeous. A little effortless rolling and cutting resulted in photo-ready dumplings. And a quick trip into a jacuzzi of water yielded gnocchi that tasted of heaven. Where were the Franks grandmas so that I could kiss them on both cheeks and throw my hands up in the air? Continue reading Potato Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
I’m not sure how my sister Lexi and I came up with this punch recipe, but it’s just ridiculously good. Despite the strong alcohol trifecta in play with this one, it tastes just like a smooth, delicious caramel apple. Plus, the Goldschlager, usually the troublemaker at the party, plays nice here with the perfect flavor of cinnamon. A little Martinelli’s on top for sparkle and a good quality fresh apple cider for body and you are in business.
We serve this cold, but you can absolutely have it warm as well – just make sure to add the alcohol after you’ve warmed the cider. This recipe also doubles and triples well into a punch for a bunch, so don’t be afraid to break it out at your next Halloween or Christmas party.
Caramel Apple Punch
1 1/2 oz. Butterscotch Schnapps
1 oz. Goldschlager
1 oz. Sour Apple Pucker
Fill a highball glass with ice and add the Apple Pucker, Goldschlager and Schnapps in that order. Fill the glass just about up to the top with apple cider and then top with a splash of the sparkling cider. Garnish with a slender apple wedge.
To make as a punch, combine 1 part Goldschlager, 1 part Sour Apple Pucker and 2 parts Butterscotch Schnapps. Add 4 parts fresh apple cider and 1 part sparkling cider on top right before serving. Serve in a punch bowl with thin slices of apple rings and the ice on the side.