The approaching fall means apple season is here! With so many varieties its almost hard to choose what to bake with. I used Braeburn and Gala apples. Honeycrisp, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious are good choices as well. This free-form tart comes together easily by hand or in a food processor. The dough is simple to work with and creates a beautiful rustic tart with a flaky crust and tender filling. Many bakers coat the crust with an egg wash, […]
Late summer into early fall is the start of fresh fig season. You can find figs at your local farmer’s market or at your supermarket. Figs don’t ripen after they’re picked, so buy them at the peak of ripeness when they are soft, round and about to burst. With smooth skin, and sweet, juicy flesh, fresh figs are the perfect healthy snack. Figs are high in calcium, magnesium, and fiber. I halved the figs and baked each with a piece […]
There is a small Boston neighborhood shop named Fastachi that sells the best assortment of nuts, roasting them in small batches and by hand. A favorite of mine is the lightly salted, roasted pecans. I don’t usually prefer nuts in my baked goods but when I saw this recipe in a newsletter by recipe developer Susan Spungen, I knew I had to make them. I used my beautiful roasted pecans alongside bittersweet chocolate chunks for these delicious cookies. I swirled […]
Classic Japanese yakitori chicken is skewered on bamboo sticks and grilled over a fire. Hesitating to fire up the grill because it’s been so hot and humid this summer, I baked these easy and delicious chicken skewers in the oven at a high temperature instead. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs, but boneless breasts work too. There is an added step of boiling down the sauce to the point that it coats the back of a spoon, this intensifies the […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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!
If you’re looking for a healthy way to enjoy potato chips, making your own sweet potato chips is fun and simple. These very thin slices of sweet potato, crisp up and get golden brown in a low temperature oven. Using a mandolin, a very sharp flat slicing tool, is a way to get uniform thin slices that cook evenly. Please use the safety guard provided, a cut-resistant glove or a kitchen towel between your hand and the potato and keep […]
Making homemade pretzels is a fun winter’s day project that is simpler than it appears. These pretzels, recently featured in an issue of Eating Well magazine are made with extra-virgin olive oil and light rye flour for a healthier pretzel. The light rye flour adds a subtle malt, or pleasant but slight sour flavor and creates a denser pretzel then just using only all-purpose flour. These pretzels call for instant dry yeast instead of using active dry yeast. The smaller instant […]
I had the privilege of meeting Dorie Greenspan, baker extraordinaire and cookbook author. She has published many beautiful cookbooks, but Dorie’s Cookies is a wonderful gift for any baker. At a recent book signing event, the discussion about her food journey was heartfelt, warm and funny. Listening to her speak about making cookies, reminded me how much I enjoy baking during the holidays. Sables are French butter cookies and they’re a perfect holiday gift or treat. The smooth, deep minty […]
Decadent and easy, you will never know these divine double chocolate donuts are grain free. All you’ll need is a standard donut pan to make this fun and easy dessert (or breakfast treat)! Coconut flour is a very good alternative flour in gluten-free baking. It has the ability to absorb liquid and provides a perfect substitute for all-purpose flour in many gluten-free baked goods. Often the challenge in gluten-free baking is finding the correct proportion and balance of ingredients to […]
Calling all coconut lovers! Coconut is a great source of immediate energy, helps reduce inflammation in the body and is a heart healthy fat. These macaroons are a satisfying, gluten free, healthy snack. There are a few ways to make macaroons. This recipe is a two step process, but it guarantees a delicious cookie. The exterior of the cookies will be golden and crisp, and the interior will be soft and moist. Let’s Do Organic Unsweetened Coconut Flakes is the […]