Feb 142013
Parmesan Crackers

Parmesan Crackers

Now these are super simple but look like they are a lot more work. We had another couple over for dinner last night and their reaction was “forget writing a blog, start selling these!” I thought that was funny. As Valentines Day was approaching, I used cookie cutters to shape the parmesan into hearts. If you don’t want to go through that , you could easily just eye the amount and make little mounds of parmesan.

Preheat 400

Using shaved or grated Parmesan, place a mound of parmesan inside cookie cutter and make sure evenly distributed on a silpat inside a baking sheet. (See picture below) Sprinkle with a little pepper and bake until golden brown. Let cool before releasing them from the cookie cutter.

Cookie Cutters and Parmesan Cracker

Cookie Cutters and Parmesan





Oct 132010

I recently went to a cocktail party where the hostess had served roasted figs in balsamic vinegar and honey. They were delicious.  The presentation looked so warm and welcoming. She paired it with roasted almonds and blue cheese with slices of bread. The flavors were amazing. This was something that was a simple to prepare and wonderful to serve to a large or small group as the weather is starting to turn colder.

Figs 1

Figs 2

1o Figs – cut in half and take the stems off

6 Tablespoons of Balsamic  Vinegar

2 Tablespoons of Honey

2 Tablespoons of Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

2 Teaspoons Olive Oil

Pre Heat Oven at 350

On a jelly role sheet (a cookie sheet with sides) or baking dish place cut figs. In a saucepan heat 3 tablespoons of Vinegar, Honey, Sugar Cinnamon, and Olive Oil and cook until simmering. Evenly cover the figs with the sauce and place in oven for 30 minutes then take out every 10 minutes and brush with vinegar. Take out when figs are nice and tender! Ready to serve.

Things that are paired well with Figs: Almonds, Anise, Blue Cheese, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Goat’s Cheese, Hard Cheese, Hazelnut, Mint, Orange, Prosciutto, Raspberry, Soft Cheese, Vanilla, and Walnut.

 Posted by at 9:02 pm
Feb 032010


I can remember the first time I had a Croque Monsieur vividly. I was 8 years old, had just moved to Tokyo with my family, and come back from school orientation and while waiting for my mother in lobby seating area my father ordered one for us. He was so excited to see it on the menu. I think to this day it is still the best croque monsieur; I have ever had. Recently, in the past year I have been on the quest to find one that compares. I have found one that competes but thought I would indulge and try it on my own.  I have seen them cut up small and served as hors d’ oeuvres. Which I think is an awesome idea.

What makes this different from just a ham and cheese sandwich? The Bechamel Sauce.  I never would have thought to put a sauce in a sandwich, but oh how it makes it delicious!

Pre Heat 350 degrees

Croque Monsieur

4 slices of Sandwich Bread

4 ounces of Slice Ham

1 1/4 Cup of Grated Gruyere Cheese

1/4 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Tablespoons of Butter

1 Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard (optional)

5 to 6 Tablespoons of Bechamel Sauce (See Below)

Lightly and evenly butter on both sides of bread and toast both sides in saute pan over low heat until just golden brown. If you decide to use Dijon Mustard spread one side of each toasted slice with mustard. Evenly place the ham slices and about ½ cup Gruyere cheese on two of the bread slices. Top each with one of remaining bread slices, mustard-side down. Spread bechamel sauce to cover the top of each sandwich including the crust. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining Gruyere cheese and Parmesan Cheese. Place on a pan and bake for  5 minutes, then place under broiler until cheese is bubbling and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

Bechamel Sauce

1 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoons flour

½ cups warmed milk a plus 1 Tablespoon

Salt and ground pepper to taste

1/4 Cup of Grated Gruyere Cheese

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, about 2 minutes, do not let it turn brown. Add the hot milk, continue to stir, the sauce will thicken and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the Gruyere Cheese.

Jul 092009


This past holiday weekend I went home with some friends.  Since having people over to my tiny apartment is really not an option, I thought I would take advantage of space at home and I do enjoy cooking with my mom.  One of my friends who came had just finished business school, now I know she worked very hard but I also know she become enriched from her travels. Her suggestion was that we grill some rum soaked Pineapple for the BBQ.  That this is what she had done every/one night on one of her vacations in school. While it was served as a snack at this bbq – it also serves as a great topping for burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches.  What we also found out that some people liked the burned wedges since some of our slices were not perfectly cut. This was a brilliant idea and a huge success they were loved by all!

1 Whole Pineapple (with skin removed and sliced ½ inch thick)

1 Cup of Dark Rum

¾ Cup of Brown Sugar

Fresh Ginger Zest about 3 Teaspoons

½ Cup of Water to dissolve the sugar in

Combine all ingredients into Pyrex dish and let pineapple marinate for at least 1 hour. Grill pineapple on each side for 1 minute.

Other ideas for flavoring: Honey, Lemon, Lime, Cinnamon, Ground Cloves, and Vanilla.

Jun 112009




I was in South Carolina last week and when I was on the highway, I saw baskets of peaches on a truck. I was tickled pink about this sighting because I had totally forgotten I was in peach territory. Of course now I was on the lookout for where I could buy my own basket of peaches. Alas right before heading back to the airport I found a farmers markets and literally got a basket of peaches and took them back with me to NYC.

Now what to do with my peaches! I didn’t want to make a cobbler had done that last week with some strawberries and rhubarb. Salsa is what came to mind. I was also told that grilled peaches were great…but I didn’t have access to a grill.

2 Peaches (diced into small cubes)

½ Green Bell Pepper (diced into small cubes)

½ Red Onion (diced into small cubes)

2-3 Tablespoons of  Chopped Cilantro

Juice from two Limes

Jalapeño Pepper (that depends on the level of spice you would like…I got a little too aggressive when I made this Salsa!)

Mix all of the ingredients together and ready to serve. What I loved were all the colors together, I thought it looked so fresh and absolutely beautiful.

Apr 292009



Yes, it has been a while since I have writtenI have been thinking and cooking but just not writing. Well, with these two entries (Maple Blueberry Muffins/ Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes) I am back. Although, the season is a little early for tomatoes this past weekend’s heat and my burn definitely made me think it was summer time. It is always nice to find things that can be made in advance and be able to bring a full meal together. Recently, I was cooking dinner and I wanted to try my hand at slow roasting tomatoes knowing that they could cook all day while I was cleaning my apartment and reading the paper. This was something that was easy to prepare in the morning and by the afternoon my apartment was smelling like I had been slaving away in the kitchen all day.

Oven temperature 225

Garlic (finely Chopped)
Basil (Chopped)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Cut tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet. (I lined it with foil for easy cleaning.) Evenly distributed the thyme, basil, and garlic over the tomatoes. Drizzle with oil and top off with salt and pepper.
Now you can run out the door for the day and return to a fragrant home with a delicious side!

Feb 112009


Tomatoes and Mozzarella

A friend of mine taught me this when I was visiting her. I thought it was a great little bit size appetizer perfect for a cocktail party. Thank you Becca.

Option A
Cherry Tomatoes
Mini Mozzarella Balls

Option B
Cherry Tomatoes
Olive Oil

Option A
Take each tomato and cut a sliver off of the bottom, so that is can stand up straight. Cut the top off of each tomato and hollow out the seeds. Sprinkle hollowed tomatoes with a little salt and let stand for 15 minutes, and then drain tomatoes. Drip a little pesto into the bottom of each tomato and then stuff with a piece of Mozzarella and top with another drizzle of pesto.

Option B
Instead of pesto wrap each piece of mozzarella with a piece of basil and stuff mozzarella into the tomato and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Nov 202008

I grew up having potatoes at practically every single dinner, although always in some new form. There really are infinite possibilities. As I have recently broken out my down coat, hat, and gloves I feel it is time for some soup.

4 Leeks (about 2 pounds sliced and cleaned VERY WELL)
1/2 Cup of sliced Shallots
3 Tablespoons of butter
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
3 Celery Stalks, chopped
5 Garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds of potatoes (Russet or Yukon gold peeled and cut into cubes)
5 Cups of Vegetable broth
1 Cup of Dry White Wine
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Chopped Sage
3 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled

In a large pot over medium heat add olive oil and butter followed by leeks and shallots and cook until slightly tender 5- 10 minutes. Once tender add celery, garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. (Be careful not to brown the onions too much or your soup will have muddy color. I only speak from experience!) Finally add the potatoes, wine, broth, salt, and pepper and let simmer for about 25 minutes until potatoes are soft.

Let the soup cool before placing in blender and blend soup. Heat creamed soup before serving and add chopped sage. Optional- the soup can be topped off with bacon crumbs.

May 292008

Chilled Cucumber Soup

Recently, I was cooking dinner for a few friends and told that it had to be as close to calorie-less as possible. They had a bet going on at work and the final weigh in was this week. So I made two summer soups gazpacho and cucumber soup. We decided this would actually be great also as a dipping sauce. I would then just add a little less broth if you decide to use it that way.

2 Peeled and Seeded Diced Cucumbers
1/3 Cup chopped scallions
1 Tablespoon of Butter
1 Cup of Vegetable Broth
1 Cup of Yogurt
1 glove of garlic chopped
¼ Cup of Fresh Dill
1 to ½ Tablespoon of Lemon Juice
½ Cup Chopped Pecans
Salt and Pepper

In a bowl place the cucumbers and 1 teaspoon of salt and let stand for thirty minutes and then drain water from the bowl.
In a saucepan lightly sauté butter and scallions with salt and pepper for two minutes.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl except pecans and refrigerate for about 4 hours. In a blender blend together all ingredients and ready to serve. Top with some fresh dill. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as lemon juice and dill if you want a little more flavor.


Now, I served this with a lime and cucumber water. Just slices of lime and cucumber and refrigerated it in the water for about 4 hours.

 Posted by at 6:39 pm
Jan 292008

The Super Bowl is quickly approaching. Last year I made my superbowl bundt cake and this year it is wings. But I think, I will still break out the stadium Bundt pan again this year.
Now these wings aren’t your traditional hot and spicy but I think a good alternative.

2 Pounds of Wings
1 Cup of Soy Sauce
Juice of 2 limes
2 Teaspoons of Lime Zest
3 Garlic CLoves Chopped
1 Tablespoon of Ginger Zest
1/4 Cup of Chopped Cilantro
3/4 Cup of Honey
2 Tablespoons of Butter
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

In a bowl or a large zip lock bag, place the wings, soy sauce, lime zest, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and chopped cilantro. Make sure well coated and placed covered or zipped in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours but definitely longer is time permits. In a frying pan heat oil and butter, once butter has melted add the honey and wings (remove the wings from marinade and at this point you can salt and pepper them). Let the wings cook for about five minutes on each side.

 Posted by at 9:15 pm