Marinated Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

flank steak chimichurri close-up

With most of our weeknights this spring consumed with soccer practices, lacrosse practices, Girls on the Run practices, piano lessons and tennis clinics, the question of “What’s for dinner?” becomes all the more pressing. I won’t lie to you – we resort to the blue box mac-n-cheese and frozen pizza plenty of nights. I also make “pizza panini” on a regular basis – panini-maker grilled sandwiches with panella bread and grated mozzarella, cut into wedges and served with marinara sauce for dipping. (Hey – that would make a good blog post! Stay tuned.)

Another regular in our quick-dinner rotation is this red wine, garlic and soy-marinated flank steak. It’s best if you can marinate in the morning, or even the night before, but broiling the steak is quicker than cooking a DiGiorno’s rising crust pizza. Continue reading

Fideyos (Comfort Noodles)

Fidellos

Living thousands of miles away from family is hard. I can’t just pop over to Mom’s with a basket of fresh-baked scones on Mother’s Day, grab a quick latte with my little sister, or be there to support aunts, uncles and cousins in times of need.

What I can do to feel connected to family is cook foods that remind me of home – of childhood memories, family traditions and happy times. The perfect comfort food candidate? Fideyos, or toasted angel hair pasta cooked in chicken broth. My grandma Margaret used to make this ages-old Sephardic noodle recipe for us when I was little, and it was always one of my favorite dishes. (Meant to be a side dish, but for me it was the meal.)

Grandpa Joe and Grandma Margaret

Grandpa Joe and Grandma Margaret

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Time for Fiesta!

¡Hola! In honor of Cinco de Mayo tomorrow, I’m reposting links to some of my favorite Mexican recipes. While the outnumbered Mexican army’s defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 is certainly worth celebrating (unless you’re French, I suppose), any sunny day is good for a Mexican food fiesta. I also included a recipe for my cheater margaritas. They’re not the traditional recipe, but they’re easy to make by the pitcher. (Careful: they’re easy to drink by the pitcher as well!)

Black Bean and Corn Salsa Best black bean salad

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Bacon, Potato and Leek Frittata

 

frittata

Breakfast, lunch or dinner is served! I tossed around some other names for this dish: Leftovers Pie, Crustless Quiche, Make-Ahead Magic for Overnight Guests, Zap-n-Go Anytime Meal Slices. Some of these are better than others, but they all would work. Frittata sounded a little fancier – worthy of the leeks I used in it this time, but it’s not a traditional frittata. It’s also not as heavy as a cream-laden quiche, but I think you get the idea. I’ve made similar versions without the leeks – just a lone, leftover baked potato and some bits from the Christmas ham. That was good too! But leeks work really well here and bring a much-needed glimmer of spring to the table. Continue reading

Pumped Up Cheddar Olive Balls

Spicy cheddar olive balls

Don’t let your Game Day appetizers fall flat! These spicy, cheesy olive balls are pumped full of flavor and go great with beer or cocktails. This retro recipe is all over the internet (and in several of my cookbooks), though usually it calls for paprika instead of cayenne pepper. Boring! Also, all of the recipes I looked at failed to mention the key step of drying the olives before wrapping in the cheese dough. If your olives are wet, your dough will get slimy and sticky. You do not want sticky balls! Continue reading

Better-than-Baked-Brie Bites

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There’s a lot to love about a good baked brie – golden puff pastry wrapped around a wheel of creamy cheese and a secret sweet surprise (jam, brown sugar, nuts, etc.), where the cheese and jam meld together and ooze out of the flaky crust when you first cut into it. That’s Baked Brie’s brief moment of glory, though, so you’d better eat fast. When the cheese cools, the once-elegant pastry/cheese package turns into a congealed blob, with soggy dough that contributes little more than calories. Your party guests deserve better!  Continue reading

Kitchen Essential: Pre-cut Parchment Sheets

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I love pre-cut parchment sheets so much, and use them so often, I though they deserved their own post. These 12″x16″ sheets fit perfectly on half-sheet baking pans (another kitchen essential) – no more wrestling with parchment rolls that never quite fit right. They make cleanup a snap as well. Continue reading

Festive Peppermint Patties

Festive Peppermint Patties

My Ivy-educated, strawberry-blonde sister-in-law Cele has a dry wit and too many talents to itemize, though right up at the top of the list would have to be baking (which she’d deny) and her signature Christmas Cookie Platter. Such precision! Every cookie is perfectly uniform, as if each dough ball were weighed and measured before being shaping into a crescent or whatever. And for me, the stars of Cele’s famous Platter (and the first to disappear) are her quarter-sized, chocolate-dunked peppermint patties. Continue reading