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The Best Peanut-Sesame Noodles The World Has Ever Tasted

November 16, 2016

In these trying times, one searches for comfort everywhere. Do we eat our feelings? Maybe.

These peanut-sesame noodles are super nourishing, slightly impressive and just all-around delicious. I thought a peanut sauce would be way harder, but this recipe is stupid-easy. Technically, you could make the peanut sauce in a blender, just whip it up. Yet, for some reason, I like to heat it on the stove and whisk until it gets super thick. Also, you have many options-you can serve cold, garnish with cilantro (definitely do this), add a squirt of lime (do this also), sprinkle with sesame seeds (yep, you guessed it- do this too.) Could also add scallions, but sometimes I find these too overbearing taste- wise.

I’ve only made this with spaghetti because that seems to be what we always have on hand in the house, but really any noodle variation would work-this sauce is super peanuty so could cover a piece of cardboard and make it nutty delicious (you get the idea.)

The Best Peanut-Sesame Noodles The World Has Ever Tasted

You Will Need:

  • Whatever noodle of choice (spaghetti or linguine works or you could do a rice noodle.)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • red chili flakes to taste
  • Optional garnish options that aren’t really optional because you should use them all-handful of cilantro, sprinkle of sesame seeds and a squirt of lime.

Boil your noodle of choice and drain, set aside.

In a pan over medium-low heat or in blender combine all ingredients; add water last. Blend or whisk until smooth. Toss noodles with peanut sauce until they are completely 100% coated. Can chill to serve cold or eat warm. I like to garnish with a squirt of lime, a handful of cilantro and sprinkle with sesame seeds and you should really follow my lead here.

fnm_060113-cold-peanut-sesame-noodles-recipe_s4x3-jpg-rend-sni12col-landscape

Dinner Party

Heavenly Buttery Made With No Butter Scrambled Eggs

October 21, 2016
I did not take this photo, but yours should look nice and yellow like this!

I did not take this photo, but yours should look nice and yellow like this!

I am sort of the Queen of Scrambled Eggs. It sounds like an odd title to give oneself, but once you’ve tried my scrambled eggs you too will want to anoint me into the Kitchen Kingdom.

These eggs are both buttery, creamy and cheesy whilst containing absolutely no butter, cream or cheese. Of course you can add any of the above to make these even more decadent, but honestly these stand out and are quite rich all on their own.

It seems like an odd recipe to share, since there isn’t too much of a recipe. More like me whispering a secret into your ear so you too can know the mystery behind the best Buttery Made With No Butter Scrambled Eggs.

Best Buttery Made With No Butter Scrambled Eggs

You Will Need:

  • 1 dozen good quality eggs. I can not stress the importance of this. If you don’t use organic-free range, your eggs just simply are not going to taste as good.
  • Some sort of non-stick spray situation for your frying pan.
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (this is optional-you can also oddly add water to eggs which makes them fluffy-but I prefer whole milk for the richness.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

*This recipe is for three people and we all like to eat a lot of eggs, so feel free to adjust your egg amount accordingly.

Spray your non-stick pan with whatever non-stick spray situation you have handy. Turn on stove heat to just low, like the lowest it will go on the thermometer (above a simmer but lowest heat.) On my ghetto stove in my apartment this would be a “2”; otherwise our house smells like gas and I fear for our lives.

In a bowl crack seven eggs. Don’t ask me why I use seven for three people, but I do. You can adjust this for how many eggs you like to consume and how many mouths you have to feed.

Add milk to eggs, I like to add about 1/3 cup whole milk for seven eggs. THIS IS NOT NECESSARY, but I feel like it does add a creamy-richness. Whisk those babies like you’ve never whisked before or at least until you have a nice frothy-light-yellow egg batter to work with. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper and pour into your just barely-heated frying pan.

Now here comes the bit arduous laborious part. You must stand and stir and pull away from the edges for about twenty minutes. People are going to come into the kitchen and want to distract you. Your arm is going to get tired and you are going to get bored. You will want to turn those sloth-slow eggs up to medium and get the job done! Yet, fight this urge. Use all will power you’ve ever had. This is truly the key to getting creamy eggs. The higher the heat the dryer the eggs. Keep em low and sadly very. very slow. Normally it takes about twenty minutes depending on how “wet” or “well-cooked” you like your scrambled eggs.

Serve and let people salt and taste them to their liking. Now be called King or Queen of Scrambled Eggs. God Save the Queen!

I did not take this photo either, but is supposed to motivate you to wanna make.

I did not take this photo either, but is supposed to motivate you to want to make.

Dinner Party

PERFECTLY CREAMY AND EASY BUTTERSCOTCH PUDDING

September 27, 2016
I did not take this photo and my portions are much larger but should entice you to make.

I did not take this photo and my portions are much larger but should entice you to make.

I love pudding. Puddings of all kinds; tapioca, pistachio, caramel, you name it, I’ll eat it. I’m not sure what it is about the gooey stuff, but I find some odd comfort in it. My Mom makes me tapioca all the time. It’s a household staple. Yet, some I feel can be strangely intimidating. When I was looking up recipes I was reading things like “temperate the egg.” I’m not sure what kind of intermediate chef knows how to do this, but I do not. However, this recipe is so easy and, seriously, such a crowd pleaser. It’s a no fail recipe that you really can’t mess up. I’ve doubled it to great success. Served it warm with milk and chilled with strawberries. It’s quite sweet with a creaminess of the added butter. Dare I venture to say it’s one of the best butterscotch puddings I’ve ever had?

I feel like butterscotch is the perfect fall flavor, both in color as well as name. Try it, you’ll be a star and comforted as well as exalted by all who try.

Perfectly Creamy and Easy Butterscotch Pudding Recipe

You Will Need:

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups milk (you can go fat-free if you are one of those but I like whole for the creaminess and use organic for f*cks sake people.)
  • 2 egg yolks (lightly beaten and again organic.)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (this is very important so use good quality-I LOVE KATE’S BUTTER more than life itself-so try it if you can find it.)
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract depending on how sweetly vanilla you like.

Recipe:

In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and cornstarch. Then add milk and egg yolks; stir until smooth. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Once boiling stir for 1-2 minutes longer or until thickened. A lot of the time when I’ve made this during this step you can get some lumps, fear not. Simply whisk those bad boys out, no problemo.  Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. From here you can serve warm (my Mom and I like to eat ours rather hot because we are monsters and can not wait.) Or you can chill in fridge like a normal person. Again, if you want to double this recipe because you might be like me and enjoy eating proper spaghetti-bowl-sized-portions of pudding, this seriously doubles perfectly well. Simply best butterscotch pudding ever.

EAT ME!

EAT ME!

Dinner Party

Best Potato Chips In the World-North Fork Potato Chips

August 26, 2016

6586840_orig
Some people are connoisseurs of fine wine. Some love artisanal chocolate from the far-flung regions of the rain forest, diving into all the different varieties of cacao. Many it seems are bonkers for truffles, hunting them out like crazed women at the Manolo Blahnik sample sale. I myself, am a true connoisseur of the regal potato chip. Now you might be thinking, is she seriously going to dedicate an entire blog post to potato chips? Why, yes, yes I am, kind reader.
I love chips. The salt, the crunch, the pucker your tongue gets if you get true blue salt & vinegar. Oh how I love salt & vinegar chips. I’m having a love affair with them right now. I’ve tried all of them. Don’t even start with referencing some outlandish chip company recommendation, because I guarantee I have indeed sampled them. But, let me tell you there is one brand that stands tall above all kettle and the like. Drum role please…I give you The North Fork Potato Chip.
There is something about their chips and, of course, specifically, no doubt I am referencing the salt n’ vinegar variety. They are almost sweet? Like perhaps they are using apple cider vinegar? Yet, I get no detection of taste of apple cider. They remind me of way back when in the 80s my parents would covet these chips from Hawaii that I believe were called Maui Wowie chips or something of that ilk. Super salty and crispy but with a hint of sweetness. That’s what North Fork chips taste like to me. I literally can’t make it home from the car without opening the bag. The company themselves have a great story of local farmers turning a new chapter with their crop. I love buying local, and you can too-they have an easy website to order what you want.

farm life

farm life

I am telling you if you are having a party or are just a chip head like moi you seriously need to check them out. Plus, you have the good conscience to know you are supporting local farmers and not Lay’s who definitely don’t need your money. And unlike Lay’s (yes I’m chip shaming here) these actually taste like potatoes! Yes, this is an entire write-up on chips, but if you are like me those that love them take them as seriously as the aforementioned truffle-head wine sipping-yuppies. North Fork Potato Chips, best in all the land, I guarantee it.

chipsinabowel

North Fork Chip Link

Dinner Party

World’s Best Bran Muffins

August 17, 2016

as if I took this, but you get the idea

as if I took this, but you get the idea


Bran muffins. They tend to be the sad little orphan of baked goods. Sitting in the corner while everyone goes for the cake-like blueberry. Bran muffins can be sort of hard, dare I say mealy at times? I think they get a bad wrap as a “healthy” muffin that sacrifices taste for fiber. Yet, that is because you’ve never really had a GREAT bran muffin….that is, until now.
This recipe is adapted from the OG of baking, Martha. The dates give it a sweetness, and the orange rind a freshness so normally lacking. These are super easy, if you follow the instructions and one of the most important things I think when baking muffins is to never over blend. With cake batter I feel like you work those lumps til they disappear; yet, here you just want everything barely blended.
These will make your house smell like heaven. They are fantastic straight out of the oven with a little butter melting in, or cooled down with a sharp cheddar. No matter how you make them, they are truly delicious and will wipe away any pre-conceived notions you might have about bran muffins.

World’s Best Bran Muffins Recipe
You Will Need:
• 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
• 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 ½ cups wheat bran
• ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 ½ cups sour cream
• ¼ cup molasses
• 1 ½ cups chopped dates
• 1-2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
• 2 ripe bananas smushed to a pulp (I added this and is totally optional.)

Recipe:
Preheat oven to 375. Butter or grease a 12-cup muffin tin (though I always end up making around 14-so if you have a couple extra grease those too.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and bran; set to the side.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a regular beater if you don’t have an electric mixer) beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high until it’s nice and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until they are blended in. Add the sour cream and molasses and beat on LOW UNTIL JUST BLENDED (remember we talked about this?!!?)
Fold in reserved flour mixture, then dates, then banana if you are using. Just barely mix do not OVER STIR HERE! Divide evenly in muffin tins. Bake about 22-25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Enjoy your first ever mouth-watering bran muffin.

Dinner Party

Guilt-Free Decadent Pizza For Summer

July 10, 2016

 

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You might ask yourself, why would I want to make cauliflower crust pizza? And I might answer, because-summer.

I had trepidations about this recipe myself. I’m not Chef Adam (shout out to RHONY), nor am I some crazy macrobiotic or gluten-free person who’s used to things tasting like cardboard. I like things to taste good, better than good if I can help it. But, frankly with everyone running around in their daisy dukes, and me just sitting here on the couch, I knew I had to find something that satisfied while not making me feel any fatter than I already do. Honestly, this recipe is surprisingly easy and seriously delicious. I felt like I had eaten a super gluttonous meal. My brain wanted to go into guilt mode and start hating myself for binge eating pizza while all other girls of NY were at Soul Cycle. But then I reminded myself, dude, you just ate vegetables. What a glorious thing that is, I’ll tell you.

The key to this recipe is to really drain the cooked cauliflower. I read this everywhere as I was researching. I literally put mine in a sand pile on a dishtowel and wrapped it up and squeezed. A lot of water comes out and this is key to giving your crust any crunch at all. The second thing that’s super important is to seriously season the cauliflower mixture. I added quite a bit of oregano, basil, onion powder, as well as Italian seasoning. Taste it people, if the cauliflower tastes bland before you bake it, it will taste bland after too. But, honestly, I can not rave enough about how guilt-free yet decadent this is. I also baked mine on the bbq because my oven seems to be having its time of the month, and is being moody. It worked great on the bbq just on a pizza pan with parchment. I think this is a more malleable recipe then one would expect. Ok, I’m going to stop waxing on and share the recipe with you, so you can try it at home.

Summer Guilt-Free Pizza Recipe:

You Will Need:

  • 1 Head of Cauliflower (if you can find local or organic do it-also warning, cooked cauliflower smells a little funky, but don’t let that deter you from all the calories you’ll be saving.)
  • A little more than ½ cup of shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp of grated gruyere cheese
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tablespoon dried basil
  • ¼ tsp Italian seasoning
  • ¼ ricotta cheese (this isn’t entirely necessary but I had some in the house so threw it in.)
  • 2 eggs, beaten (again find local or organic if you can.)
  • Whatever you want for the toppings of your pizza. I will say because the cauliflower is a little bland I’d kick it up a notch with toppings. We did tomato sauce, mozzarella (the leftovers from what we used for the crust), olives, capers (I have a thing for salty), sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese.  But, use whatever tickles your fancy for the pizza topping, just as if you were making your regular pizza.

Recipe:

Preheat oven or bbq, whatever cooking vehicle you want to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and I would consider also spraying with some non-stick spray too, as ours stuck a bit. Wash your cauliflower head then break it up and grate it. We used our beloved Cuisinart to shred ours. You want it to be kind of the consistency of rice. Steam the cauliflower and let cool. You want it to be pretty cool because when you go to drain the excess water out, a lot of hot water will come out if it hasn’t cooled yet (I learned the hard way-ouch.) Drain the excess water of cauliflower by placing in a dish towel and wringing it. THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT STEP DO NOT FORGET. Then mix cauliflower-rice-like-tidbits with your seasonings, cheese, salt and eggs. Taste that mixture, see if it tastes at all yum. If it does then go ahead and transfer to your baking sheet and spread into a circle like a pizza crust. Try to make it all the same level, I even made mock little crusts with a spoon. Bake for about twenty minutes, or until golden.

Bring in your guilt-free crust and top with whatever mouth-watering-typical-pizza- toppings you like. Bake for another ten minutes. Let cool for five and serve. Enjoy with no mean voices in your head making you feel guilty about eating pizza in the summer, or ever for that matter. Yum for your tum and no remorse after you’ve been seemingly indulgent. Win win, you’re welcome.

This is my pizza, I actually remembered to take the photo.  It was yummy-salty, sweet and seemingly indulgent.  Try it, make it, bake it, and thank me later.

This is my pizza, I actually remembered to take the photo. It was yummy-salty, sweet and seemingly indulgent. Try it, make it, bake it, and thank me later.

Dinner Party

World’s Best and Easiest Iced Tea

June 21, 2016
I didn't take this photo, I'm not that organized, but this is what it looks like; if not better.

I didn’t take this photo, I’m not that organized, but this is what it looks like; maybe even better in person.

It’s getting hot in NY. Properly sticky, can’t get quite enough oxygen kind of heat. In this weather I need much more than water. I need something that quenches and satisfies. The other day I saw a wee rugrat walking down the street with a Slurpee in hand and I nearly mugged the child. Yes, you read that correctly.

I yearn for more than NY tap, and finding the perfect-refreshing beverage is not so easy. Too many times things are so sweet I can’t take it. Or, if you reside in Manhattan, a freshly squeezed lemonade can run you upwards of six dollars and is mainly filled with ice. There is a small part of me that feels guilty swigging down two sips worth of lemon water and paying more than five dollars for something that doesn’t even have alcohol in it. So this all lead me to decide to make my own iced tea. How hard can it be? For some recipes, harder than one would think. Simple syrup, pureeing lemon… Come on people, in this heat I’m in a constant state of coma. I want things simple and fast. Luckily, all of my prayers, and yours too, have been answered by the British gods that are Ahmad Tea.

My love for this brand and their quality ingredients is no secret. I’ve cooed over their Earl Grey here before (Ahmad Perfect Cup of Tea Link.)  Yet, who would have thought the Brits knew how to do iced tea as well? No longer reserved for the South, our friends across the pond have delivered like a butler to his Queen.

Ahmad’s Strawberry and Kiwi green tea is seriously the best thing out of England since the Beckham’s hit L.A. Green tea, you read? Why yes, not only is this utterly cooling and invigorating, it will give you that kick and metabolism boost with the green tea.

We keep ours in a pitcher in the fridge, and a large one doesn’t last the day. It is hard to believe this isn’t sweetened, and to everyone we’ve served it to, it is with disbelief when they hear, “no sugar added.” The kiwi isn’t offensive just a light hum of sweetness offset by the juicy-summery flavor of strawberry. Seriously, this is fantastic iced, and a two-year old with a Slushee could make it.

Keep it in the fridge all summer long for hot days languishing on the porch, or drink throughout the day to stay hydrated while keeping your taste buds contented.

World’s Best and Easiest Iced Tea Recipe

You Will Need:

  • 1 large pitcher which is heat proof to steep this magic brew.
  • Ahmad Strawberry and Kiwi flavored green tea (link to purchase below.)
  • Filtered Water
  • Ice
  • A porch to drink it on.

Boil enough water to fill your pitcher. Depending how large your pitcher is, throw in a couple tea bags at your discretion, (we usually go for three.) Steep until you can really smell the fruity aroma of strawberry and kiwi. Place in fridge to chill. Serve over ice like your Paula Deen on a hot a day. Enjoy y’all.54881-01243

Ahmad Tea Link To Purchase

Dinner Party

World’s Most Refreshing Smoothie

May 25, 2016

Apple-Cider-Smoothie-2

The temperature today in NYC is supposed to hit ninety degrees. That means upper-lip sweat, bums sticking to chairs and general heat discomfort. Gone are the days where I long for a hearty bowl of warm pasta, now are the days of me chasing the ice cream truck down the street (true story and I may or may not have been wearing a bathrobe).

What your body, palette and general being craves in the summer heat are delicacies to cool. Aside from my childish desire for popsicles, I love a refreshing drink – both the alcoholic and virgin varieties. This smoothie is far and away the most refreshing thing you will drink this sun-stroked-sticky season.

I’m not even a huge fan of apple cider, or apple juice for that matter. Yet, with the addition of lemon and the froth that the apples and ice combo provide, this smoothie is nothing short of a cool-invigorating- thirst-quencher.

My sister picked up the recipe somewhere in her travels, and calling it a recipe is a bit of a stretch. Anyone could make this, and everyone will love. You’ll be making these once-a-day I tell you, and your heat-induced delirious self will thank me. You are ever so welcome.

World’s Most Refreshing Smoothie

You Will Need:

  • Apple Cider (if you can get the organic kind all the better)
  • 1 lemon (again if you can go organic do)
  • 1 banana (see above)
  • Cinnamon for the top

Recipe, or really blending instructions:

Fill your blender with quite a bit of ice, I’d say at least a cups worth. Then fill with apple cider all the way to about one inch away from the top. Add banana and two or three tablespoons of lemon depending on how citrus-crazed you are. Blend that baby. If you have a “whip” setting on your blender, then whip it, whip it good. Pour into a glass and sprinkle with a light shake of cinnamon. Sip, refresh, recharge and revive. You’re welcome. Happy Summer.

applecidersmoothie

*From now on, I’m going to start linking some of my recipes with the health benefits of their ingredients.  As if you need more convincing to make this delicious smoothie, but when you read the insane amount of health benefits of cinnamon you will be even more inclined.  Here is a super insightful article about the 30 serious well-being benefits of cinnamon-take a look and get sprinkling!

Well-being Secrets Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Dinner Party

Cafe Gitane’s Avocado Toast

March 17, 2016

I wanted to post something green for St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, I’m that kind of person. This is a green seen everywhere in my hometown of Nolita, NYC. Every corner from Butcher’s Daughter to Egg Shop, hipsters and tourists alike are mowing this dish back like the once lauded New York staple, the hot dog.

Gone are the days of Gray’s Papaya and today is the time of the avocado toast. Sometimes served with an egg, shredded radish, all sorts of variations. Yet, my favorite is from the original, Cafe Gitane. A tiny-unassuming Moroccan restaurant on Mott Street. The first time I had it here, I knew I would no longer be able to have it anywhere else. I’m not sure if it’s Moroccan magic, or what, but the toast is so warm, and the avocado seeps into its toasted crevices and nocks and crannies. This seems like an odd recipe to post, because there really isn’t much to it. My key thoughts are, good quality whole grain bread, a great avocado and some wonderful olive oil to drizzle on top.

Cafe Gitane’s Avocado Toast

You Will Need:

  • 1 avocado perfectly ripe and roughly mashed
  • 1 slice of excellent toasted multigrain bread
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • (drizzle of olive oil for the top-this is optional)

Recipe:

This recipe could be made by children, or even a very smart k9 given the right training, it is really that easy. Take the bread and toast quite a bit. At Gitane they toast until it’s almost dark, but you could do golden as well. Squeeze ¼ of 1 half of the lemon onto the bread. Next mix the mashed avocado, the remaining lemon and the salt and pepper and make sure you cover every last inch of that bread, from corner to corner. To finish sprinkle with chili flakes on top (depending on how much heat you like). To finish, I like to drizzle a tiny hint of excellent quality olive oil and, of course, salt and pepper.

Review12

Dinner Party, Insider's Guide NYC

Breakfast of Champions-Orwasher’s Spelt Bread

March 2, 2016

 

breadI feel like carbs, and bread in general, are words and foods not uttered much around these parts. I told an Upper East Side looking girl the other day that I had eaten toast and she looked at me as if I told her I’d buttered a kitten for breakfast. Bread. Bread is pretty much blasphemous in NYC. Atkins, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Fasts, Juice Cleanses, we’ve heard it all. Yet, like everything in life, I like to go against the grain. And in this case, I mean quite literally. Orwasher’s Bread, specifically, their Spelt Bread, is unlike any other bread I’ve tried. I’ve written about it on here before, because, quite honestly, this loaf is of mythically, maybe even biblical proportions. Quite literally, this is the best bread I have ever had, and it makes me feel healthy, not bloated, and utterly satisfied.

Orwasher’s Bakery is a “veteran old-school bakery” on the Upper East Side. Undoubtedly, not ventured upon by the aforementioned-Uptown-bread naysayer from the party. I’ve never actually been to their bakery, but have had the privilege of having their Spelt Bread conveniently delivered to my door by the geniuses of Fresh Direct. It comes frozen, and contains quinoa, raisin, whole wheat and sunflower seeds. Spelt itself is a medieval grain, high in protein and low on the gluten and Glycemic Index. I’m not sure what is with this literal slice of heaven, toasted, with its warm inside and crusty-sunflower-coated outside; it is simultaneously moist on the inside with a satisfying crunch on the outside. I like to toast mine to a warmth, though not all the way hardened toast. Slather it with whipped cream cheese, and eat it in about two bites. It satisfies like a cinnamon raisin bagel in the flavor category. Yet, unlike bagels, it doesn’t make you feel bloated, just full; in a healthy way. Honestly, I know it may seem peculiar to blog about bread, especially to the carb-free-fanaticals of Manhattan, but this bread is seriously delicious, and healthy. Order some from Fresh Direct, or go to the bakery itself, and try this wondrous loaf of heaven.

Orwashers Link