April 24, 2013
It wouldn’t be Cinco de Mayo season without a shout-out to good ol’ guacamole. Chunky, smooth, spicy, tangy—I don’t discriminate when it comes time to guac out. And while I’m all for a classic guacamole recipe, I’ve discovered a fruity mix-in that adds a burst of flavor and color to the creamy dip. Enter pomegranate seeds … and their notoriously difficult extraction from the pith that binds them.
I figure you can go one of two ways when it comes to seeding pomegranates:
- (Wo)man up and dissect the intricate fruit yourself, risking staining your fingers, counters, clothing and anything/anyone else that comes within a 7-foot radius of your bold endeavor.
- Buy the pre-packaged seeds that have already been extracted by a kind, patient and nimble-fingered individual.
Now I’m not going to share which category I fall under, but it’s not Category #1. Past experiences have taught me that the “under water pomegranate extraction method” (read: seeds sink, pith floats) proves most fruitful and least messy. However, based solely on my admittance that I carry one said Tide To Go pen at all times may indicate that no method is mess-proof enough, and thus worth the red-stained risk.
Feel free to add your go-to methods for extracting pomegranate seeds in the comments section below! And for all those looking for other takes on traditional guacamole, don’t miss fan favorites Guacamole Bruschetta and Quinoa Guacamole Salad.
April 17, 2013
My dad has always loved Rocky Road ice cream. One of my most vibrant memories as a child was fishing out the “gross” almonds and “icky” marshmallows so that I could enjoy the chocolate ice cream sans a crunchy or fluffy interruption.
Twenty years later, I’m baking brownies and finding any excuse to work marshmallows and salted almonds into a dessert that needs little more than a napkin and an ice-cold glass of milk. The setup on this one is simple: Homemade brownies are baked and then topped with chocolate chips, salted almonds and mini marshmallows before going back into the oven for a burst of heat that makes the ‘mallows melt into the fudgy base below.
I have enough experience in the world of brownies to know that nuts can be a total turnoff to some. But have no fear. Skip them in the topping, or take your pick of the brownie lineup below. There’s a little something for everyone…
And finally, no foray into brownies would be complete without a shout-out to the Edges Only brownie pan, which, contrary to my level of obsession and constant hawking, I did not invent nor do I own stock in. But a girl (with brownie batter on her chin and marshmallow on her camera lens) can certainly dream…
April 10, 2013
Strata, casserole, breakfast pudding—no matter what you call it, this Overnight Egg and Breakfast Sausage Strata is about to revolutionize the way you brunch.
Just imagine waking up, popping this prepared dish from the fridge into the oven and then kicking back with a cup of coffee. And by “cup of coffee,” I mean “Espresso Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookie.” All that’s left to do is count down the minutes while layers of crusty bread soaked in eggy custard melt together with shredded cheddar, tender asparagus and breakfast sausage crumbles.
Looking to spice up your morning? Swap in chorizo for breakfast sausage to add a smoky kick to every cheesy bite.
April 3, 2013
Cinco de Mayo may still be a month away, but that’s not stopping me from sharing a few of my go-to Mexican recipes, from The Ultimate Chipotle Pork Nachos to Easy Homemade Churros with Chocolate Sauce, and now, a lighter take on a childhood favorite, taquitos!
Growing up in San Diego, taquitos (a.k.a. flautas) made many an appearance on our family dinner table. And while I’m all for the classic deep-fried variety (of onion rings and arancini and ravioli and…) , I’ve lightened the caloric load with this healthy, baked take on traditional taquitos.
Store-bought rotisserie chicken is shredded and tossed with sautéed onions and spices before being mixed with cheddar cheese and rolled into corn tortillas. A quick bake in the oven yields an extra-crispy taquito that’s ready and waiting for a dive into chunky homemade guacamole and fresh salsa. All that’s missing is a Strawberry Margarita Popsicle for dessert!
March 27, 2013
Greetings from the Gulf of Oman! I’m currently on vacation in beautiful Zighy Bay, a remote fishing village on the Musandam Peninsula on the northern tip of Oman. After a 13-hour flight and a 2-hour drive, I met up with my family for the start of our adventures abroad.
The trip is a chance to experience the culture and cuisine of Oman and nearby Dubai. And I’ve been drawing inspiration from so many of the ingredients and dishes I’ve enjoyed so far, from traditional Arabic flatbreads and spicy curries to chicken shawarma and creamy hummus.
While I’m currently 6,829 miles away from my New York City kitchen, no distance was going to keep me from sharing this quick and easy recipe for classic banana pudding. The creamy pudding is layered with sliced bananas, crunchy Nilla Wafers and homemade salted caramel sauce, which adds the perfect savory twist to this southern-inspired sweet.
This crowd-friendly dessert can be prepared in a large serving dish or portioned out into smaller glass containers for eye-catching individual servings topped off with a pinch of large-flake sea salt. Slice up those bananas and stay tuned for much more to come from my culinary adventures overseas!