Happy Thursday and Happy Holidays everyone! I have been working a lot recently but was able to catch a Holiday Happy Hour at the office. The theme of course-ugly Christmas Sweaters! Everyone had on their favorite overdone Christmas sweater and we had fun. They had shots of Peppermint Smirnoff and Godiva Chocolate Liquer with whipped cream. I didn’t try one but I heard they were good. They also had a charcuterie tray, chips and cookies too. If you are invited to one of these, there’s a few sweaters below that will make you the star of the party (below).
So happy New York city restaurant week! I recently stopped by Eataly in Flatiron and of course had to get some food. Unfortunately, a lot of my go-to restaurants in the city have permanently closed due to all the COVID problems. But, I think the city is ready for a comeback and with everything these restaurants had to go through during this pandemic, it’s great to show some support. So why not book your next lunch or dinner? You can check out which restaurants are participating in New York restaurant week here.
Hey everyone! I know you all are thinking about Thanksgiving next week. Well, I am planning to make the best baked macaroni and cheese for dinner. I hardly ever make it because I’m always dieting but for Thanksgiving, it’s a must. Now this is not my recipe, this is Chef Resha’s recipe. She has some great recipes but this macaroni and cheese recipe is banging!
2 cups shredded fontina cheese, plus a few pieces cut into cubes
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Butter a 9×13 or 8×11 baking dish and set to the side. You can use cooking spray instead.
Boil your pasta in water seasoned with plenty of salt (about a tablespoon) for about 4 to 5 minutes. You want it undercooked because it will continue cooking in the oven when you bake it. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the macaroni and quickly rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Let it sit and drain while you make the cheese sauce. You may not need the reserved pasta water, but it’s good to have just in case your cheese mixture gets a little too thick and gloopy.
In one heavy bottom pot or large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. When it starts to foam and bubble, add the flour and immediately whisk so that it forms a paste. Allow this to cook for about 1 minute to get the “raw” flour taste out, whisking frequently.
SLOWLY add 2 cups of the milk (or half & half) while whisking constantly to remove any large lumps. Continue to whisk until smooth and thick, about 20 seconds. Add the remaining 2½ cups of milk (or half & half) and continue to whisk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium-high to allow the mixture to simmer and thicken, about 5 minutes. Season the mixture while it thickens and taste as you go. If the sauce is yummy alone, just imagine how incredible it will be once you add the cheese.
Once your mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add in the parmigiano-reggiano, pecorino and gruyere cheese and remove from the heat. Taste it again, season if you need to.
Toss the cheese sauce with the pasta, and taste to season if need be. Don’t panic if there’s more sauce than pasta, you’re going to spoon it into the baking dish, so you’ll be able to control the cheese sauce/pasta ratio. As you’re layering, it’ll start to thicken up even more. On the flipside, if your mixture is too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water to the sauce coated pasta to thin it out. You want it smooth and creamy, but not incredibly soupy and watery.
Ladle a layer of the coated pasta into your prepared baking dish, then sprinkle a layer of the remaining cheeses and repeat until all of the pasta and cheese is used up — lasagna style. This is where you can “eyeball” your cheese portions. Use more or less, it’s totally up to you. Too much cheese can be a problem because it’ll make it too oily and clumpy, so don’t go too nuts with the cheese.
Run a spoon thru the entire mixture just to lightly mix in the cheese throughout the entire dish. Smooth the mixture with the back of a spoon just until its relatively even on top, and sprinkle a thin layer of seasoned bread crumbs on top for an amazing and tasty crunch, if you’d like. The breadcrumb crust also acts as a barrier to keep the cheese from drying out by helping to keep it moist. But again, you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.
Bake on the center rack of your oven for about 20 to 35 minutes or until the center is bubbly and the entire dish is golden brown.
Let it cool for about 10 minutes before you dive into it.
Enjoy, and make this again and again until you nail it
Hey there everyone! Just wanted to share a post today, I went by Le Macaron in Rosemary Square here in West Palm Beach, Florida. I just love supporting French businesses and thought I would try some of their macarons. These are the flavors I picked up: vanilla, lemon cream, strawberry key lime and passion fruit. They were quite tasty after having lunch. One of these days I will have to try making some. Sometimes you just have to indulge in your favorite sweets.
Anyway, check out more photos below. Have you had any macarons lately?
Good morning! I can’t believe it’s mid-June but Father’s Day is coming up and well, don’t forget about Dad! I’ve always been a daddy’s girl and I can’t wait to spend time with my father on Father’s Day. From playing with my dad’s belt (as pictured above) to attending my father’s non-profit Inner City Youth Golfers, Inc. (ICYG) events, I am still my father’s little girl. What are you planning to do for the holiday?
Greetings from sunny Florida! Due to the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been spending a lot of time at the house and truly enjoying our backyard. My great grandmother (who I never knew) planted several mango trees (in addition to avocado and orange) in the backyard and they have grown to be huge. They also have been bearing a LOT of mangoes in recent years and well, I am mango-d out. We have more mangoes that I know what to do with. So, I’ve been giving some to family and friends and soon I plan on making a few dishes with these mangoes.
I came across The Great Mango Book by Allen Susser and it has plenty of fabulous savory and sweet mango recipes. I’ve tried the shrimp and mango curry recipe, mango cobbler and mango daiquiri recipes. And they have all come out great! So I definitely recommend this book if you have some mangoes. I especially like the mango daiquiri recipe and wanted to share it with you. Check it out below and enjoy mango season!
1 scoop crushed ice
1/4 large ripe mango, peeled, cut from the pit and diced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed juice of key lime, or persian lime
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1/2 cup dark rum
Blend all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve in daiquiri glasses.
So in accordance with my pledge to be “veggie-forward” last year I have adopted a few vegetarian recipes that I’ve made over and over again. One of them is sweet potato pierogis in a sage brown butter sauce. They are so good!
Now, I have to admit, it is a bit time consuming because you are making your own dough and sweet potato filling but since we’re all at home might as well give it a try. I’ve made these several times and they are really filling and tasty too. The recipe is from Food & Wine’s online magazine.
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Filling and Finishing
1 pound sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
8 sage leaves, sliced
Additional kosher or sea salt, to taste
In a bowl, mix together the flour, sour cream, egg, olive oil and salt until the ingredients bind together. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple minutes, or until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot and fill with cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and then simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain the sweet potatoes and mash. Allow to cool.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out 12-15 rounds. Brush the edges of each round lightly with water, then place 1 tablespoon of filling on one side of the rounds. Fold the dough over, making half moon shapes, pressing out the air. Press and crimp the edges to seal the pierogi.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the pierogi for 3-5 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pierogi to the skillet with the butter and sear each side for about 1 minute or until golden. Remove from the pan.
Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Allow the butter to foam, then settle down. Add the sage leaves and continue to cook until the butter just begins to brown and develop a toasty, nutty aroma. Season with salt.
Good morning! I had a taste for a lox bagel with cream cheese, red onions and capers. I got into them while living in Manhattan and found this cute bagel spot Makeb’s bagelsdowntown. They have all kinds of bagels as you can see, you definitely won’t be disappointed by their selection. One of these days I have to try a different kind than just regular or whole wheat. Anyway, I’m up virtually attending Milan Fashion Week and am excited about the shows today. What’s been your favorite so far?
This week I stopped by Moon Thai in Royal Palm Beach for a late lunch and was in complete awe of their decor. I just loved the golden figures along with the painting. I want to say she’s a geisha overlooking the restaurant. I just thought it was gorgeous, don’t you think?
I also really enjoyed the food. Had soft-shell crab sushi with conch on top as well as a few appetizers from their dim sum menu. This is a spot that I will definitely be going back to.
So I definitely gained some weight over the holidays and am trying to get it off now (like everybody else). So I decided to have a very vegetable-forwarddiet for a while. Notice I said vegetable-forward, not vegetarian. 🙂 Yea, I don’t think I could go all the way vegetarian or vegan but I have made vegetable dishes as the main dish for a few weeks. Have to share a recipe that I absolutely adore! You have to be a mushroom and spinach fan though. I find the more vegetables you eat, the more of a taste for them that you will have.
It’s actually from this great food site called saltandlavender.com which unfortunately is not a vegetarian recipe site but pretty good nonetheless. I had to actually go to an Italian market to grab the potato gnocchi but other than that, the ingredients are pretty easy to find. Check out the recipe below and definitely let me know if you make it!
Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Gnocchi
Creamy and delicious vegetarian mushroom and spinach gnocchi with a creamy parmesan and white wine sauce.
Add the olive oil to a skillet on medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It’s ok if it becomes lightly browned.
Add the mushrooms, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.
Stir in the Dijon mustard and white wine. Let it bubble for a minute or so.
Add the cream and gnocchi. Wait until it starts to bubble again, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 3 minutes.
Stir in the spinach, cover the pan again, and cook for 3 minutes.
Stir in the parmesan and season with salt & pepper. Give it a taste; gnocchi should be soft. If not, continue to cook for another few minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately with more parmesan cheese grated over top if desired.
This makes 4 reasonably sized portions. If you’re feeding extra hungry people, I recommend serving this with a salad, garlic bread, and/or something else.