A Boston-Based Lifestyle Blog
Tag Archives: recipes
I volunteered to make a pasta salad for a friend’s Memorial Day BBQ and decided to dig for inspiration to mix up my stand-by recipe. I found an old Martha Stewart antipasti pasta salad recipe and gave it my own spin with a few different ingredients. It wasn’t an exact science — I tossed radiatore pasta with balsamic vinegarette and lots of salt and pepper. Then I folded in a handful of chopped tomatoes, capers, provolone cubes, a jar of green olives, diced salami, finely minced red onions and lots of torn fresh basil leaves and chopped chives. It was a hit and will likely be the new ‘stand-by’ pasta salad for BBQs this summer!
Earlier this week I mustered up some bravery and went outside to our tiny little apartment-sized grill and started to clean off the heavy wear it took over the winter. It wasn’t fun, but the result was that delicious smokey smell of the first barbecue of the season. And then poof! just like that, it’s Memorial Day weekend and my summer is packed with invites to friends and family’s backyard BBQs — I can’t wait. I always love to bring a dish along with me and decided it was time to spice up some of the staples in my repertoire. Taking some inspiration from an amazing restaurant in my neighborhood, Sarma, I used flavors from a potato dish I had tasted there over the winter and create a Greek-inspired potato salad. Tzatziki, dill, red onions, and slivers of shitake mushrooms give this side dish a really bold flavor (I can’t stop eating it!). Full recipe below.
- 3 lbs of baby yellow potatoes
- 1/2 cup of thinly sliced shitake mushrooms
- 1/4 cup of tzatziki sauce
- 1/4 cup of sour cream
- 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
- 2-3 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp of finely minced red onion
- 3/4 tbsp of fresh dill
- 3 tbsp of minced chives
- Boil a pot of water and cook the washed baby yellow potatoes until just soft to touch (test them by pressing down on them with a fork — if they start to mush just slightly, they’re ready!). Drain and set aside to cool.
- While the potatoes are cooking, saute 1/2 cup of thinly sliced shitake mushrooms with a tiny bit of oil in a pan for 3-5 minutes, set aside on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil and let them cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine tzatziki sauce, sour cream, mayonnaise and vinegar.
- Next, fold in the potatoes, mushrooms, red onion, dill and chives to combine and coat.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Alright friends, I’m in a winter-cooking slump and I’m calling out for help. I’ve been through my Pinterest boards, my favorite cookbooks, and even that pile of torn-out recipes I keep in a binder in my kitchen. Sure, I’ve found some ideas for dinner parties or a leisurely Sunday afternoon of slow-roasting something decadent — but I’m looking for weeknight recipes that I can make in 30-40 minutes after work (oh and somewhat healthy would be great too, since I’ve been eating like I’m already storing up for calories for next winter). So — can you help me? Would love your ideas! Leave them in the comments!
As I’m sitting at home on this icy-cold snow day, I could not think of a better time to be sharing this recipe — a rich and hearty soup, chock-full of vegetables and a warm, flavorful broth. I’m still kind of baby when it comes to eating a lot of vegetables — it’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that pasta and chocolate and cheese are SO much tastier. So I’ve been attempting to sneak them into dishes (and let’s be honest — covering them with cheese does help — this recipe has both!). Sausage and white beans make the soup filling enough to have it as a dinner, the roasted garlic gives it tons of flavor, and the secret ingredient gives the broth a little extra oomph: a parmesan rind that breaks down partially as it simmers. Full recipe below:
- 2 Bulbs of Garlic
- Olive Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 1 Large Shallot
- 1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage (casing removed)
- 5 oz Bag of Fresh Spinach
- 2 cans of White Beans
- 2 cups of Carrots (diced)
- 4 cups of Chicken Stock
- Parmesan Cheese Rind
- Slice the top of each bulb of garlic off and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the bulbs in foil and place in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the garlic cloves become soft and caramelized. Remove cloves from bulb once cooled.
- Dice onion and shallot and add to a large dutch oven or stock pot with a drizzle of olive oil. As they begin to soften, add sausage and begin to brown, breaking up into smaller pieces as it cooks.
- Once sausage is browned, add spinach to the mixture and mix in to wilt.
- Add white beans, carrots, roasted garlic, chicken stock and parmesan rind to the pot and bring to a slow-boil for 10 minutes.
- Reduce soup and simmer for an hour; remove what remains of the parmesan rind.
- Serve hot with fresh grated parmesan cheese and a side of crusty bread — enjoy!
My pre-work routine often looks a little something like a tornado rolling in on my apartment — I am really not a morning person. Breakfast is usually the last thing on my mind as I’m pulling on my shoe with one hand and putting on mascara with the other, so most days I’ve gotten into the habit of picking up a quick bite at the coffee shop near my office. It’s quick and easy, but it’s also expensive and not that healthy — why are bad habits the easiest ones to adopt? So in an effort to make a breakfast that’s easy for me to grab at home as I’m running out the door I experimented with making my own homemade granola. It’s silly I haven’t done it earlier — it’s just about the simplest thing to make! Full recipe below:
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tbsp Real Maple Syrup
- 1/4 cup of Honey
- 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar
- 4 tbsp of Melted Butter
- 3 tbsp of Vegetable Oil
- 4 cup of Oats
- 3/4 cup of Chopped Almonts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine vanilla extract, syrup, honey, brown sugar, better and oil in a bowl.
- Pour the mixture over oats and combine until fully coated. Fold in almonds.
- Spread the granola evenly across a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, tossing the granola mid-way through.
Come football play-off season the pressure is really on for me. I’m not talking about being nervous or worked up about the actual games, I’m talking about intensely brainstorming game-day snack ideas. While everyone else is preparing their picks for the big game, I’m busy concocting up ideas for what I plan to stuff my face with. And good news: I have a buttery, carb-y, pepperoni-stuffed plan, my friends! When I hit a mental block thinking about what to bring to a football viewing party last weekend my husband offered me some sage advice. He said: ‘you usually do well by taking something big and tasty and turning it into a bite sized snack’ – of course! So I shrunk down my favorite flavors in pizzas and garlic breads into a super easy Pepperoni-Stuffed Garlic Knot bite. The full recipe is below for all of your Superbowl Party planning needs!
- Store-bought pizza dough
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 Tbsp of butter
- 1/4 cup of parsley leaves
- 8-10 cloves of garlic
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Pull or cut 1″ round pieces of pizza dough and use your fingers to roll into a 1 to 2″ disc. Top the disc with a piece of pepperoni and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.
- Roll the sides of the dough over the pepperoni and cheese filling and pinch the dough closed to seal it inside. Roll dough around in between your hands to round the shape and ensure the dough is fully sealed. Repeat until all of the dough is used up and arrange the dough balls into a pie dish.
- In a food processor, combine butter, parsley and garlic. Spread the garlic herb butter over the dough, making sure that the mixture is evenly dispersed.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the garlic knots just begin to turn gold brown. Serve with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.
There are few things I adore more than styling up a pretty table for a gathering — so I jumped at the chance to borrow vintage jadeite and milk glass pieces from the new Pop and Circumstance rentals collection and pull together a festive New Year’s Brunch. Jadeite was probably one of the first vintage items that I started to collect when tagging along with my mom and aunt to estate sales and flea markets. I’m drawn to the rich cool colors and all of the variety in how the material was used for kitchenwares. This collection has grown to include quite the comparable set of milk glass as well, and Becky — the owner of Pop and Circumstance— and I have bonded over our mutual love for the pieces. I used a few pieces from my collection as inspiration and Becky filled in the rest with vintage linen napkins, milk glass tumblers that were used to hold flatware, and even a nesting set of jadeite bowls for me to mix up my mini-pancakes in. These tiny pancakes were the focal point of the brunch — mini-stacks topped with berries make for an easy grab off the buffet table when guests are mingling (and isn’t everything cuter when we make it bite-sized?).
Do you have one of those recipes in your back pocket that works for just about any occasion? Mine is so simple it’s almost embarrassing: Rice Krispy Treats! It’s the one thing that I always get asked to make for friends’ parties. For a recent holiday party I decided to add a fresh twist to my classic recipe and make a Neapolitan version with classic flavor layers of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream. It takes just a simple modification of the traditional Rice Krispy Treat recipe, full instructions below:
Following the traditional instructions to make Rice Krispy Treats, prepare the ingredients and press a layer of the classic flavor into a lightly greased baking pan. Work quickly to add the next layer so they don’t cool too much — the strawberry layer is exactly the same recipe as the classic Rice Kripy Treat, but when you’re melting the butter and marshmallows together you want to add in 4 drops of pink food coloring and 1 tsp of strawberry extract (you can usually find these near the vanilla extract in the baking aisle!). Press the strawberry mixture directly on top of the classic layer. Next, make the chocolate layer with the same classic recipe, but mix in Cocoa Krispies in lieu of Rice Krispies. Then, pour the Cocoa mixture on top of the Strawberry layer and cover with a large piece of parchment paper. Use a rolling-pin to roll over the parchment paper and press the layers down. Set them aside and let cool completely to solidify. When you’re ready to serve them, flip the baking dish upside down with the parchment paper on the table, slowly lift the dish up and reveal the compressed layers. All that’s left to do is to cut them up into squares with a serrated knife, and try not to eat them all in one sitting!
This weekend I was in major need of some comfort after a long string of holiday parties and maybe a few too many glasses of champagne (shh!). My usual go-to comfort food is a bowl of pasta, but I decided to mix it up this time and try a savory chicken dish with a creamy sun-dried tomato sauce, lots of sautéed mushrooms and shallots, and a little crispy bacon and goat cheese just to amp up the richness. Full recipe below if you’re in need of comfort food too!
- 3-4 large chicken breasts
- 2 large Portobello mushroom caps
- 2 small shallots
- 2-3 slices of thick cut bacon
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil (reserve oil)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup of light cream
- 1 tbsp of goat cheese
- 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan, plus extra for garnishing
- 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Heat a large cast iron skillet on high and drizzle with olive oil.
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and brown in the hot pan on both sides.
- While the chicken is browning, roughly chop mushrooms, shallots, bacon and sun-dried tomatoes; mince garlic.
- Remove chicken from pan when cooked through, add 1/2 tbsp of the sun-dried tomato oils and 1 tbsp of butter to the pan, then toss mushrooms, shallots, bacon, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and sauté mixture. (Scrape the pan to loosen any browned bits from the pan).
- Lower heat to medium and stir in 3/4 cup of light cream, 1 tbsp of goat cheese, and 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese; stir continously to break down the cheese and incorporate the tomatoes flavors with the cream.
- Add the chicken back to the pan while the sauce cooks and thickens.
- Remove from heat, garnish with fresh parmesan cheese and torn tarragon leaves.
- Try serving over pasta or a bed of spinach.
From the time that I first heard about Farm and Fable’s Cookbook Book Club, I was sold — what is better than hanging out with a group of friends and chatting about cookbooks? Oh right, eating the recipes from them! I finally was able to join one of the meet-ups this weekend and it was a ton of fun. This month the book was Huckleberry, the new cookbook from the famed Santa Monica bakery. While I love cooking, I’m actually not the most skilled baker (sticking to proportions and instructions can be tough for me, I always want to add more butter, oops!), so I ended up picking one of the more savory recipes from the book, a tomato goat cheese cobbler. It was really tasty, and so were the 10 other recipes that book club attendees made. My favorite? The chocolate banana bread bundt cake — holy yum. I loved getting to hear their experiences with the recipes and even got a few new tips and tricks to use next time!