Menu 38 – Spring, At Last!!

Are we ALL singing Etta James by now, “At Last”??!?! Spring finally decided to show up and warm us from what was an endless winter season. I mean come on – opening day required beer, hot dogs, hats gloves and blankets. Enough is enough!

So…At Last.

There is a wonderful tree in front of my house that we watch bloom every year around this time. It’s like watching change in motion as the tree buds and grows leaves. The other night at dinner the kids and I watched a marvelous bird enjoying the breeze and the sun. I tried to replicate the bird here – so proud and happy.

Time to celebrate Spring with a dinner. Start with a Sparkling Paloma which is citrusy, so a nice “goodbye!” to winter when citrus is at its best and a refreshing way to ring in the new season. Next a biting bruschetta with radishes. I love radishes and these offer crisp radishes with capers all on top of crusty bread. You cannot go wrong – and they’re pretty. For the main it’s a slight hodge podge with grilled lamb chops – always so good – and a bright Lemon Spinach Orzotto. And to finish, have (almost summer) strawberries in this lovely compote, that you serve with orange almond shortbread.

Now THAT is how you ring in Spring. Enjoy it while it lasts!!


Menu 38 - 4 21 2016

Tips and Notes
The cocktail:

Radishes my friend:

Grill some lamb chops. Very little seasoning. Salt pepper…

What is orzotto? Glad you asked:

Save room for dessert…


Menu 26 – Airplane Food

“Yay! Airplane food for dinner!” said no one ever. More like “I am running late and oh no there is McDonald’s but I don’t want that…guess I will buy in flight hummus and chips for $20.00”

Going on a trip? Don’t leave yourself in an airplane food lurch. Pack your own. You’re already packing clothes, it’s not that hard to pack yourself something good to eat on that plane. You’ll have to plan a little in advance (and cook) but how hard is that? And the leftovers you leave in the fridge for your family will make them miss you that much more.

There’s an amazing little shop near me called BKLYN Larder. If you’re in the neighborhood, go there and take your food winnings to Prospect Park for a lovely picnic. They have the World’s Best Travel Sandwich…Ham & Gruyere with Spicy Pickles. It’s life changing (so good, so durable, and so crave worthy). We’re going to make our own version for our fictional airplane ride.

Taking food on a plane is tricky – shouldn’t be smelly. There’s a chance the gruyere and aioli here might be a tad strong, but you’re not using much of it, so take the chance. It’s not like you’re taking egg salad on the plane (total travel foul).

What’s our menu? Treat yourself right and start with spiced nuts. You can buy them or make a batch yourself. They keep nicely and are a good way to pretend you’re in First Class. Bring some sliced cucumbers and add them to your iced water and you’ll feel downright spa-like. Next, the perfect sandwich. A little garlic aioli…not too much, a toasted hard roll, a few slices of shaved gruyere and the best ham you can find (sliced thin) and this is critical – a few slices of McClure’s spicy pickles. A good grain salad is a nice accompaniment – try Farro with Swiss Chard and Radicchio (grab a fork at a behind security deli). And to finish, bake yourself a batch of oatmeal cookies and take one (or two) on the trip. Have a nice flight!

Menu 26 - 1 21 2016

Tips and Notes

Buy some spiced nuts or make these:

Remember to take some sliced cucumber. It makes your water that much better.

The Sandwich: Inspired by BKLYN Larder: get the best ham you can find and have it thinly sliced. A hard roll – nothing mushy. A baguette would do. Good gruyere, also sliced thinly. Slice the roll, spread with a little aioli on one side (recipe here) and a little butter on the other side; layer your ham, then gruyere and a few thin slices of these pickles. Top on, press, wrap.

Farro with Swiss Chard and Radicchio:

Basic Awesome Oatmeal Cookies

Menu 21 – Get Those HOLIDAY Cards Done!

Getting holiday cards is great. Preparing holiday cards is dreadful. All of the signing and stuffing and addressing. It’s self-inflicted pain – we could outsource most of that to a nifty service but my husband (god bless him) likes to add a personal note to the cards. Fine. Since it’s a pain, let’s try to make a night of it. Enlist the kids. Invite another family over with their dreaded box of cards and have a festive meal. Reward yourself with treats. Everybody wins.

Start with Negronis and an Italian meat board. Everyone likes to pick at things like this. Then serve Chick Pea – Pasta Soup which, because you’re a great planner, you made ahead of time. Last, enjoy the biscotti you also made the day before.

I know what you’re thinking…you’re thinking this is a bad idea…eat soup while I stuff cards? Sounds dumb. Absolutely NOT dumb – just break up the timing – stuff cards/drinks and apps/address cards/enjoy the soup/lick cards/have dessert! See? It works. And it’s far better than licking 200 envelopes by yourself while listening to the news and eating Pad Thai out of a box. Trust me.

Menu 21 - 12 11 2015

Tips and Notes

I want to be able to smell THIS SOUP.

Never made biscotti? Not hard. Very rewarding. Try these.