German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake

If there was ever going to be a time for speaking in extremes, then that time is now.

This is the best German Chocolate Cake you will ever have … in your lifetime … on this planet … ever.

And it’s no surprise that my mom Noni tuned me in to this recipe. For as long as I can remember she has been the master of the mixmaster. We’re talking about a woman who drove the carpool to high school field hockey games while serving up hot apple turnovers à la mode at red lights.

She tweaked a classic recipe to transform basic chocolate cake into undeniably the moistest, richest, most amazing boxed cake mix-turned-homemade confection ever. A made-from-scratch coconut and toasted pecan filling layered between four tiers of espresso-enhanced chocolate goodness is simply an out of this world bonus.

It’s the perfect birthday cake. It’s the perfect dinner party cake. It’s the perfect anytime cake. It’s the best German Chocolate Cake (ever).

Balsamic Onion Marmalade

In La Jolla, California, it was the Cassius Clay at The Sandwich Club. In Evanston, Illinois, it was the Pesto Chicken at Rollin’ to Go. It seems that I’ve come to associate an “it” sandwich with every city I’ve ever lived in. And New York is no different.

There’s pastrami on rye at Katz’s, or Le Croque Monsieur at Bistro Bagatelle. But at the absolute top of my star sandwich list is the roasted turkey sandwich at Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft. Piled atop a toasted ciabatta roll are thick slices of warmed turkey breast, sliced avocado, crispy bacon, aioli, and the final touch that makes this sandwich the ultimate New York City ‘wich—balsamic onion marmalade.

Babbo’s Black Spaghetti

Babbo Black Spaghetti

I once called Mario Batali’s Babbo Ristorante 27 times in a single day for a reservation. The busy tone and I became good friends.

I have eaten at the famed Greenwich Village eatery on several occasions in the past. But it’s the type of place I can’t seem to get enough of.

All you have is a 5 o’clock reservation on a Tuesday? Sure, I’ll take it.

For the 364 days a year when I can’t score a seat at New York City’s hippest Italian eatery, I live vicariously through the restaurant’s menu by cooking one of their signature dishes — Black Spaghetti. Start with a homemade jalapeño pesto and squid ink spaghetti, sauté fresh garlic in olive oil, add rock shrimp and spicy sopressata, give it all a toss, and let your friends come flocking.

A Fresh Look

Welcome to the brand new Just a Taste! As you tour around the new site, you’ll notice it’s the exact same content, but with a fresh look. In addition to being faster and easier to navigate, the new site has a few specific enhancements:

  • Recipe Archive: You can now view the entire menu of Just a Taste content sorted by categories and archived into reader-friendly pages in the Recipe Archive. Pick your category, shop through a single page of photos for what looks best, then click on the image to get the recipe.
  • Print Function: Every recipe now has a print icon in the top right corner. Click on it and get redirected to a printer-friendly version of the recipe, then scroll to the bottom and hit “print.”
  • Featured Recipes: The recipe box in the top right corner displays rotating featured images, which I specially select based on what’s seasonal, what’s trending and what are some of my all-time favorite recipes and posts.

Thanks so much for checking out the brand new Just a Taste, and a huge thank you to Purr Design, the genius team that made the re-design happen. Stay tuned for many more recipes and posts to come. Happy cooking!

Ricotta and Honey Butter Bites

Move over, Garlic Knots, I’ve found a new favorite use for pizza dough. And it’s as far as you can get from the shape of a slice.

I’ve bundled teaspoons of creamy ricotta inside balls of pizza dough that are then brushed with melted honey butter and baked until golden. And while I used store-bought whole wheat dough, you can also opt to make your own with my recipe for The Ultimate Pizza Dough. But regardless of what dough you use, be prepared for a sweet and savory treat, as these pull-apart bundles aren’t your average pepperoni pizza bites.

Looking to take your snack to all new homemade heights?

Grab 8 cups whole milk and 2 cups buttermilk and then fire up the flames for easy, cheesy homemade ricotta.