10.05.2017

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My latest recipe for Spicy Cauliflower-Red Lentil Burgers is up on Food52. Here is a little sneak peek…

The Veggie Burger That Turns into 3 Different Meals

Making weeknight dinners on a tight schedule is my thing (see: my book), and I never stop searching for simple, adaptable, satisfying zingers that lift me up at the end of the day. My favorite recipes are both familiar and surprising, highly adaptable, and have pieces that can be made ahead of time, leaving us with slightly re-jiggered leftovers for tomorrow’s lunchboxes and dinner.

These vegetable burgers fulfill all of my weeknight dinner criteria. To prove it to you, I’ve outlined ways you can adapt this recipe to satisfy your tastes (or what you have in the cabinet), ways to prepare pieces of it beforehand (nothing better than getting a head start), and ideas of how to transform leftover burgers into a second (and equally exciting) meal.

Click here for the full story and recipe. All photographs by Elizabeth Cecil.

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07.19.2017

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I swear we haven’t eaten inside our house in almost a week. I am constantly carting smoothies, bowls of yogurt, sandwiches, and platters of fruit outside to gobble down on the porch or in the yard. We’ve spread blankets, set up beach chairs, and gathered around picnic tables to chow down. Sometimes it’s just us and sometimes we’re surrounded by friends. It’s true that summer food just tastes better out in the fresh air, I’m sure of it. The best type of food to eat outside, in my opinion, is one-pot dishes that are good warm or at room temperature. Things that travel well, don’t need anything more than a serving spoon, and require only one trip from the kitchen to the grass.

Here, I’m sharing my favorite summer picnic crowd please – Tomato & Basil Strata. This dish is perfect for brunch, a picnic lunch (served with a big green salad and fresh berries), or a beach dinner (served with grilled steak and corn on the cob). You can assemble it ahead of time and bake it off whenever you have a free moment or a cool kitchen. The classic combination of tomatoes, basil, and rich Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese (similar to cheddar – nutty and somewhat sweet hard cheese) is a summer entertaining home run.

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Tomato-Basil Strata

Serves 8 to 10

 1 yellow onion cut into thin ribbons

 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

8 cups cubed French or Italian bread cut into 1-inch chunks

 6 ounces coarsely grated Kerrygold® Dubliner Cheese (2 cups)

 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, roughly torn

 8 large eggs

 2 3/4 cups milk

 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

 1 teaspoon salt

 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

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Cook the onion in the butter over medium-high heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for another 7 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and starting to caramelize. Now build the strata in layers. Butter a 3-quart gratin dish or other ceramic baking dish. Start with the bread – spread 1/2 of the cubes in the bottom of the dish, top with 1/2 of the vegetables mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat the layering with remaining bread, vegetables, cheese, and top with torn basil.

Next, whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl and pour it evenly over the strata. Cover with foil and chill the strata for at least 8 hours or up to a day.

Before baking, let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake strata, uncovered, in the middle of the oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, about 35 to 45 minutes. Let it stand 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe is sponsored by Kerrygold® USA and Martha Stewart Living.

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02.14.2017

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To celebrate Valentine’s Day I made my loves a lemon tart while watching Beyonce’s grammy performance over and over and over again. Now I’m tearing up looking at these amazing pictures my pal Becca snapped of me and the boys in the fall. I love you Waldman boys – so very very much.

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Lemon Tart from My Kitchen Year

makes 1 9-inch tart

1/2 cup cashews (or unsalted almonds or hazelnuts)

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

3/4 cup flour

Salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

5 large eggs, separated

4 large lemons

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

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Begin by making a tart shell. Toast the cashews then grind them in a food processor with the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and a pinch of salt. Add in 4 tablespoons of butter and pulse until it is the size of peas. Stir in the olive oil and 1 egg yolk.

Form the dough into a disk, put it between two pieces of plastic wrap, and roll it out to an 11-inch round. Press dough gently into a 9-inch tart shell with a removable bottom, and chill for half an hour. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes and allow to cool on a rack.

To make the filling, grate the zest from 1 lemon. Squeeze all 4 lemons and mix the juice with the zest. Put the lemon mixture into a heavy-bottomed pot and whisk in the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in 2 eggs plus 2 additional yolks.

Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium high. Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to boil, then keep whisking for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth and thick.

Remove from the heat, add 6 tablespoons of butter (cut into pieces), and whisk the mixture until the butter has vanished. Spread into the tart shell and allow to cool. Put the tart in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

I sliced a few kumquats for the top and served slices with whipped cream.

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11.14.2016

 

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In the November issue of Bon Appetite, Anna Jones shares a few “healthy-ish holiday survival” recipes. If you’re not familiar with Anna Jones this is what the magazine has to say about her: “The former food stylist to Jamie Oliver, Jones has a refreshing food sensibility that we can’t get enough of. Her recipes are practical yet creative, and they’re packed with feel-good ingredients that make the finished dishes more-not less-delicious. And guess what? They’re all vegetarian.”

Anna suggests making this Skillet Phyllo Pie with Butternut Squash, Kale & Goat Cheese for dinner on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. That’s some good advice although we enjoyed it very much as a Sunday dinner last weekend. The recipe is highly adaptable. Try it with Swiss chard or spinach in place of kale. Any squash or root vegetable will work in place of the butternut.

We also made a tray of her Seedy Oat Crackers or “the guiltless cracker” which can be made ahead of the holiday craziness (they’ll keep for up to ten days). Seedy Oat Crackers are gluten-free, and have very little fat. Packed with nutrient-dense seeds and oats, these special crackers leave you feeling satisfied.

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Skillet Phyllo Pie with Butternut Squash, Kale & Goat Cheese from Bon Appetite November 2016

Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing

2 medium red onions, finely chopped

1/2 small butternut squash (about 1 lb.) peeled, cut into 3/4″ pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 bunch Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, thinly sliced crosswise

2 large eggs, beaten to blend

3 ounces Parmesan, grated

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

8 ounces frozen phyllo pastry, thawed

4 ounces fresh goat cheese or feta, crumbled

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Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400 F. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 6-8 minutes. Add squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, 8-10 minutes. Mix in thyme and red pepper flakes and transfer to a medium bowl; let cool. Wipe out and reserve skillet.

Add kale, eggs, Parmesan, and lemon zest to squash mixture and gently mix to combine; season with salt and pepper. Layer phyllo sheets inside reserved skillet. Spoon kale-and-squash mixture into phyllo and dot top with goat cheese. Brush edges of phyllo lightly with oil and fold over filling, overlapping slightly, leaving center exposed.

Cook pie over medium heat until bottom of pastry is just golden (carefully lift up on side with a heatproof rubber spatula so that you can take a peek), about 3 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake pie until kale is wilted and tender and phyllo is golden brown and crispy, 20-25 minutes. Let pie cool in skillet at least 15 minutes before slicing into wedges.

Do Ahead: Pie can be baked 6 hours ahead. Let cool; store uncovered at room temperature.

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Seedy Oat Crackers “the guiltless cracker” from Bon Appetite November 2016

Makes 8 servings

1 cup old-fashioned oats

3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/3 cup sesame seeds

3 tablespoons chia seeds

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

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Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, poppy seeds, and salt in a large bowl to combine. In a separate bowl, stir oil, maple syrup, and 3/4 cup room-temperature water together. Pour over oat mixture; toss until soaked. Let sit 10 minutes to allow mixture to thicken. From into a ball. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, press another sheet of parchment on top, and roll out to 1/8″ thick (the shape doesn’t matter). Remove top layer of parchment. Bake cracker until golden brown around the edges, 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn over cracker; remove parchment. Bake cracker on same sheet until firm and the other side is golden brown around the edges, 15-20 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet, then break into pieces.

10.03.2016

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Gray turned 3!!! on September 22nd and we celebrated with a box of Grape-Nut and Chocolate Chip Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies on the playground and this over-the-top decadent Chocolate Pudding Pie after dinner. As birthdays always make me nostalgic, I thought it would be fun to take a little walk down birthday cake memory lane. Here we go…

Gray comes home with Apple Crisp.

Gray turns 1 with Spiced Applesauce Cake.

Gray turns 2 with undocumented ice cream sundaes because life was like this.

Dylan turns 1 with a classic birthday cake in Providence then we move here.

Dylan turns 2 with Strawberry Layer Cake.

Dylan turns 3 with Full Moon Chocolate Cake.

Dylan turns 4 with Chocolate Cake.

Dylan turns 5 with an undocumented mint chocolate chip / brownie ice cream cake decorated with dragons the same week as Frozen Summer Treats.

Dylan turns 6 with another undocumented mint chocolate chip / brownie ice cream cake shaped into a lightning bolt the same week as Peach Frozen Yogurt.

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Chocolate Pudding Pie adapted from an old Gourmet Magazine

makes 1 pie

Crust:

1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (from about 10 crackers)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 pinches sea salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pudding Filling:

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60% cacao), finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chilled heavy cream

Bittersweet chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)

Make crust: Heat oven to 350°F. Combine graham crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and stir until mixed. Add butter and stir until crumbs are evenly coated. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a standard 9-inch pie dish. Bake the crust until lightly browned, about 9 to 10 minutes. Set on cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, you can even transfer it to the freezer to get it started on the chilling process.

Make pudding filling: Whisk together cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, two minutes (mixture will thicken). Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth.

Pour filling into cooled shell and chill, its surface covered with wax paper (if you want to prevent a skin from forming), until cold, at least two hours.

Just before serving, beat cream with remaining two tablespoons sugar until it just holds soft peaks. Spoon onto pie and garnish with bittersweet chocolate shavings, if you’re feeling fancy.

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Grape-Nut and Chocolate Chip Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies slightly adapted from Food52 Baking

Makes 24 to 48 cookies, depending on the size

 

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons rolled oats

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup wheat germ

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup raisins

1 cup toasted nuts, preferably pecans or walnuts, chopped

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup Grape-Nuts cereal

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut

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Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars until very pale and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. In another bowl, mix together the rolled oats, flours, wheat germ, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, cereal, and coconut. Add this dry mixture to the butter and egg mixture and stir until combined.

For smaller cookies, drop the dough with a tablespoon, allowing 2-inches between each. For larger cookies, use an ice cream scoop or 1/4-cup measure to portion the dough and allow for 3-inches between each one.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies, until firm and golden brown at the edges. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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