It’s very exciting to gather with friends and family again! A charcuterie platter is often my contribution to an event or party, and I take the assembly quite seriously. Often composed on a slate or wood board, it has to be a robust combination of cheeses, meats, dried and fresh fruit, nuts and of course crackers. I made these delicious, crunchy, speckled crackers to add to my board. They’re easy to make and can elevate your platter or just be a fun […]
This beautiful salad originated in the French city of Nice and is traditionally made with hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, Niçoise olives, and tuna or anchovies. You can be as creative with the ingredients as you like! I added sliced cucumbers and grilled artichokes. It takes a little time in the preparation of each item, but you can cook the green beans, potatoes and eggs ahead of time. It’s a great dish for a potluck dinner or feeding a crowd. I recommend […]
This lightly sweetened, fruity cake is made with extra-virgin olive oil instead of butter. Olive oil is a healthy substitute for butter. Although it is a source of fat, it contains healthy monounsaturated fats and is a good source of antioxidants. Baking with olive oil produces a lighter textured cake, provides moisture and helps enhance the flavor of the other ingredients. The juice and zest of the oranges help balance the intensity of the olive oil flavor. Serve this delicious […]
These wings are simple to prepare and bake quickly. The bite from the ginger combined with the sweetness of the honey makes a very tasty sauce. Ginger root is readily available in most markets and is known for its ability to ease nausea and improve digestion. The best way to prepare the root it is to cut off the smaller roots from the main piece and peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler or the side of a spoon. […]
Strawberry season is just within reach in Boston, spanning from late May through June. These bright red, succulent beauties are delicious straight out of the box. Another way to use perfectly ripe fruit is to macerate it or soak it in sugar, alcohol or a flavored liquid. Maceration changes the texture and creates juicy, sweet and aromatic fruit. These lightly sweetened strawberries which were soaked in a little sugar and fresh orange juice, can be served simply with a dollop […]
If you’re looking for an easy and delicious meal, this spicy tomato poached fish is perfect for you! We try to eat fish often and poaching is a healthy way to cook fish with firm white flesh. I used haddock fillets but cod, flounder, and halibut are good choices too. Poaching is a method of cooking using moist heat by submerging food in liquid and heating it at a low temperature. My poaching liquid is a combination of water and […]
These crusty, slightly sweet bagels are found all over the city of Jerusalem on street carts, sold by many of the cultures that make up this beautiful city. American style bagels require a brief boil in water before baking to retain their shape, but these bagels do not. The bagels will rise twice before baking and are generously coated with everything spice or just sesame seeds, if you wish. This recipe is from the Sababa cookbook, written by the talented […]
The delightful aroma of these freshly baked cookies still lingers in my kitchen. These cookies are crunchy, pack an awesome almond punch, and are both gluten and dairy free! These cookies are made with almonds and coconut flour, which is naturally gluten-free, high in fiber and mild in taste. Almond tea cookies are perfect when dunked into a hot cup of tea or coffee, and make a beautiful gift as well. Before baking, place the cookie dough in the refrigerator […]
Wedding soup actually means the “marriage” of meat and greens. There are so many wonderful versions of this soup, and feel free to vary it as you wish. I made a large batch of meatballs with a combination of pork and beef, and baked them in the oven, instead of the traditional step of simmering the meatballs in chicken broth. Delicious! Once the soup was done, I stored each soup component separately – the broth, meatballs and noodles in order […]
These brisk spring evenings have me craving a hearty chicken dish. Here is a recipe for perfectly browned, juicy chicken thighs in a delicious sauce prepared on the stove top. These pan seared chicken thighs are an easy meal for a weeknight. Braising is one of my favorite methods of cooking. A cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottom enameled pan are good choices. I used a large non-stick sauté pan and it worked well. Once the chicken is nicely browned, it’s time to […]
Spring is here, although some days still feel like winter! Lately, I’ve been thinking about tomatoes as I gaze out at my stark little garden. With that thought in mind, I made this bright roasted tomato caprese salad, and topped it with a nut-free arugula and basil pesto. I just tossed whole cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper, and fresh thyme sprigs and then roasted these little gems in the oven until they burst open. It’s funny that […]
Flavorful, crispy and only 5 ingredients, these coconut crisps are easy to make! Although they are gluten-free, you might not even notice. These beautiful thin crisps make a tasty treat alone, but could be dipped in chocolate or coated with your favorite nut butter. By the way, coconut is a great source of quick energy and good for your heart health. Once cooled store the crisps for a couple of weeks in an airtight container.
Spring is finally here and the asparagus is in season, with its beautiful green stalks and familiar earthy fragrance. When purchasing these beauties, look for firm stalks and closed tips. Asparagus should be used within 2 days of purchase and can be stored with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel. You can peel the stalks for a sleek plated presentation, but it is not necessary. You’ll need to just snap one stalk at its breaking point and then […]
I thought it might be fun to put together a quick and easy crowd pleasing dish. All that is needed is a few pantry staples and any veggies you have on hand. The fact that this actually tastes like pizza came as a complete surprise. Spaghetti squash is a healthy, versatile vegetable. The flesh becomes beautiful noodle-like strands, that will take on whatever flavor you add to it. High in fiber and rich in nutrients, spaghetti squash is a tasty […]
I “virtually” attended a cookie baking extravaganza during the holidays with talented food stylist and recipe developer, Susan Spungen. Almost immediately after the class, I baked her cashew cookies and I haven’t stopped thinking about them since. It was time to make another batch and share the recipe. My all time favorite cookie is the sesame tahini cookie (see recipe in zesty archives), but these delicious cookies come in at a very close second. The combination of the cashew butter […]
Firing up your outdoor grill is not completely out of the question, as the temperature has been climbing and the snow melting! A stove-top grill pan works well too. The secrets to juicy tender steak is letting the meat come to room temperature for about 15-30 minutes before cooking, and using a meat thermometer to cook it to your desired temperature. Let the meat rest after cooking for about 5 minutes or so before slicing. The last tip is one I […]
It’s been a cold winter in Boston and this hearty vegetable soup just hits the spot. This can be a “clean out your refrigerator” soup, using whatever veggies you have on hand. In addition to onion, celery and garlic, I used a combination of sweet and regular potatoes, butternut squash, rainbow carrots and a large handful of greens. I added a bit of smoked paprika to my soup as it adds a delicious subtle smokiness. A generous splash of sherry […]
Naturally low in fat and nutrient dense, winter squash is a healthy substitute for the toast in the classic breakfast dish of egg-in-the-hole. There’s a beautiful assortment of squash available and you can use any variety of winter squash, although acorn is the best with its sweet and tender flesh. These squash are small and heavy when ripe, with a tough outer skin that’s eatable after cooking. I used the small sweet dumpling squash as I was drawn to its […]
The smell in my kitchen is absolutely intoxicating! February 14th is approaching and these brownies are the perfect sweet and chocolatey homemade gift. These heavenly squares are gluten-free, and the cornstarch-cocoa powder combination replaces the flour. The toasted chopped walnuts elevate these brownies, but the nuts are optional. I’ve added both cocoa nibs for extra crunch and a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt, which balances the sugar and intensifies the deep chocolate flavor. Happy Valentine’s Day!
These loaded baked potato rounds are an easy, fun sized, game day dish for the Super Bowl. The potatoes are sliced, baked until lightly browned and then topped with ingredients of your choice. They’re a healthier way to enjoy stuffed potatoes skins and are just as satisfying. I topped the sweet potato rounds with shredded mozzarella cheese and chopped scallions. The russet potatoes are topped with crispy bacon and a combination of cheddar cheeses. Enjoy!
Butternut squash is a great source of dietary fiber and potassium. Turmeric, known as a medicinal spice and a member of the ginger family, has powerful anti-inflammatory qualities. Sweet, hearty and nutritious, this soup is a bowl of complete goodness. There are many ways to make butternut squash soup, but the combination of vegetables, fruit and spices makes this soup one to be repeated. This soup is even better the next day!