New Beginnings

PA barnHello, loyal readers! I’m back from a long summer break with some big news to share: we’ve moved to Pennsylvania. New job, keeping the family together, blah blah. Fine. Let’s get to the tragic part of this story. My lovingly designed, light-filled kitchen with its 9’x5’ marble-topped island and rocket-powered 8-burner range. . .

(Photo credit Katrina Mojzsez)

Subee’s Kitchen – Before (Photo credit Katrina Mojzsez)

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The Best Black Bean Salsa

Best black bean salad

Well – at least I think it’s the best. Love yourself, love your salsa. This salad/salsa/dip/side is in heavy rotation in our house from Cinco de Mayo to the end of tomato season.  If using as a salsa/dip, we like Tostitos Scoops for obvious “scoopability” reasons.

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The Best (and Easiest) Way to Cook Green Beans

green beans

My daughter Leah has been known to consume about a pound of haricots verts in a single sitting.  Coincidentally (or not), she also looks like one of those skinny French beans.

 

Ma fille, Leah

Ma fille, Leah

“Proper” technique for cooking green beans (regular or haricots verts) is to blanch them in boiling water for about 2 minutes, then drain, rinse and cool in an ice bath (to stop the cooking). Then, you sauté the barely-cooked beans in butter and/or oil until just tender. This is not a bad method – especially if you want to blanch the beans a day ahead of time– but I have found that the extra steps (and dishes) are not necessary.  Especially if you cook beans a lot – which we do.

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Edamame, Corn & Farro Salad

edamame, corn and farro salad

The lazy days of summer are upon us – which for me means lots of time lounging at the pool with the kids, and lots of time thinking about how not to cook dinner. Chopping and tossing? Sure. Roasting or sautéing? Not if I can help it! This is the time of year when Meal Salads really shine – especially no-wilt ones which will keep in the fridge for several days’ worth of snacking.  Colorful and potluck-perfect, this Edamame, Corn & Farro combination is my new favorite Meal Salad.  Continue reading

Blue Cheese & Bacon Dates with Green Olive Tapenade

Bacon Blue Cheese Dates

Are you as excited as I am about watching TV this Sunday? The suspense, the egos, the drama – man, I love those commercials!

Another reason to get excited about this Sunday? An excuse to eat nothing but snacks and appetizers all day long. Sometimes I wish every meal could be comprised of nothing but appetizers. (And aren’t the hors d’oeuvres always the best part of a wedding or any catered event? Why is that?)

If you’re looking for a super-simple, super-delicious appetizer for Sunday, or for any day, try these 3-ingredient Blue Cheese and Bacon Dates (with Green Olive Tapenade, but that adds a few more ingredients). Not a fan of dates? I bet that’s because you’ve never tried them stuffed with blue cheese and snuggled in bacon, baked until the three ingredients meld into one crisp, salty-sweet, mind-blowing bite. (Did that all just sound like a commercial?) Continue reading

Bouley Birthday

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In our family, the birthday person gets to pick what he/she wants to do for his/her birthday dinner. Sometimes a favorite home-cooked meal is requested, and other times (often times) the wish is for a trip to Benihana.

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For my birthday dinner last week, I was deliberating between Shanghai Jazz and Smashburger when my friend Susan presented another option: a multi-course tasting menu at Michelin-starred chef David Bouley’s Tribeca test kitchen, complete with wine pairings and hands-on instruction. Hmmm.

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Skinny Cream of Broccoli Soup with Aged Cheddar

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Everyone in our house grooves on crispy roasted broccoli, so it’s in heavy rotation on the dinner menu playlist.

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However, no one but me will eat the stems or stalks. I’m not really sure why this is, but I’d guess it’s because the florets get so much crispier than the stalks. Whatever the reason, I end up with pounds and pounds of broccoli stalks that I can’t bring myself to throw out. (We had to stop putting food in our backyard compost pile because the rats and raccoons thought they’d stumbled upon a 24/7 gastropub.)

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So now, whenever I make roasted broccoli, I chop up the underappreciated stems and store them in a gallon-size ziplock bag in the fridge. (They’ll keep for weeks.) When the bag’s full, it’s time to make Cream of Broccoli soup.

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Kale, Cabbage and Quinoa Salad

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Wait – keep reading! If the idea of a kale and quinoa salad sounds less than appealing, I should also mention the crunchy toasted almonds and tangy-sweet balsamic dressing. And, that this delicious fiber-fest is also vegan, gluten-free, low-calorie, nutrient-rich, and filling. FILLING! Now do I have your attention?

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