June 19, 2015

Food52 Community Pick

Well, this makes my day. My favorite food site in the world, Food52, picked one of my recipes as a "Community Favorite". I'm thrilled because I love this site and the wonderful people who put it together. It's a true cooking community, stylishly presented, without the ragtag look and annoying ads and pop-up videos of some other sites. The articles and recipes are smart, inventive, real and fun. Yes, I'm a fan.

And just look at that great photo of my recipe, Puttanesca Panzanella!

June 18, 2015

Coca-Cola Ice Cream Pops

I love original Coke. Full sugar, high octane, red and white label iconic Coca-Cola. Sparkling bubbles in a tall glass filled with ice cubes wrenched from a tray, it was the beverage that adults got to drink whenever they wanted and my dad would sip with his big bowl of popcorn on the weekend in front of some sport on TV or burrowed into a book. Us kids got it on special occasions—usually holidays and it was nirvana.

Now that I'm an adult and have a self-inflicted rule about not drinking my calories (except wine, beer, gin and the occasional tequila because there are no food equivalents of these staples), the closest I get is the diet, caffeine-free variety. 

But if you FREEZE a beverage then it becomes a food and fits fine in my rulebook. That's what I've done here—mixed Coke with high quality vanilla ice cream and froze it on a stick. Simple and pops with the flavor of creamy Coke. 

I threw in a totally unnecessary layer of peanut fudge in these bars that I think detracts from the great flavor of cola and ice cream. My attempt to mimic Buster Bars from DQ.  If you want to go that route, find the fudge recipe here, decrease the chocolate by 1/2 cup and bump up the quantity of peanuts and salt. You need to wait for each layer to firm up before you add the next, so it's a lot fussier, but it's good fudge. 

Coca-Cola Ice Cream Pops

Makes four 9 ounce pops

8 ounces original Coco-Cola (Mexican style with sugar instead of corn syrup if you can get it)
2 cups premium vanilla ice cream (I like Breyer's)
4 nine-ounce paper cups (or smaller size and you'll get more)
4 wooden sticks

Pour Coke into a bowl or blender pitcher and let it go flat. Processing will speed this along. 

Set ice cream out to soften a bit, then add to Coke. Blend to combine. Pour into cups (paper are easiest as you can just peel them open) and cover tops with plastic wrap. Set in freezer for a half hour then put in sticks. Freeze for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. 

June 7, 2015

Salmon with Cilantro Sauce and Cauliflower "Rice"

Grilled Salmon with Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce and Cauliflower "Rice"

I don't know what other people's experience is caring for someone with cancer but mine has been a surprise. I think I expected Mike to be pensive while the two of us have misty-eyed meaningful discussions. But our actual conversations have been kind of one-sided with Mike being, frankly, crabby, demanding and not necessarily um...linear in his thinking.

May 15, 2015

Raw Beet Salad

Raw Beet and Quinoa Salad

I don't know how it happens but sometimes a little extra sneaks up on me. OK, that's a lie. I know how it happens. Pretzel bread, raspberry pie, creamy curried pasta and my enjoyment of them have left me with a bit more around my waist. Not a big deal in the whole scheme of my life these days, but an irritation when my pants are tight and the zipper won't stay up because my stomach is fighting for a little more room. So I increase my running and consumption of things like this, a raw beet salad.

May 12, 2015

See you later, toast.

My husband Mike has cancer. Nasty MF @#$%&! esophageal cancer. Are you clear on what the initials MF stand for? Not My Favorite. Not Mon Frere. The other one. The one that feels so good to say. So appropriate. It deserves it for doing it's nasty work inside his body before announcing itself via a little fatigue, pain and weight loss. Clever bastard.

April 29, 2015

Puttanesca Panzanella—AKA Croutons with a Little Salad

Homemade croutons

Puttanesca Panzanella

Have you ever made fresh croutons? Big, fat, crispy, soft croutons fried in olive oil and made from the good bread you have to make an extra stop for? If not, this is my plug. Do it. Just do it (unless you're gluten-intolerant in which case I have made delicious croutons from cornbread too. If you're paleo, I can't help you. My ancestors are french and I'm sure they were eating something bread-like in their knuckle dragging days....maybe with flour from seeds they ground in their teeth in disgust over the visiting cave people's hideous taste in loincloths). 

April 15, 2015

Mustard greens and other discoveries

Re. mustard greens—I don't like them. This was hard for me to admit since I usually love bitter greens (arugula, dandelion) but these beauties are too strong and mustardy. I tried them raw. I tried them sauteed Asian-style then I gave up. I want to like this health-packed food. Anyone have ideas?

April 8, 2015

Pasta with Cauliflower, Ricotta and Spiced Oil

I found the bones of this recipe in a People magazine, one I felt lucky to get my grubby paws on in a doctor's waiting room. I've been spending more time in various medical offices around town —a story for another post. But I will say that most of these places have the saddest assortment of reading materials. They should stock the most outrageous celebrity rags and travel magazines to help people get their minds off whatever worry sent them there in the first place. 

April 1, 2015

Spring on the salad!

This weekend I'll attend Passover dinner on Saturday and Easter brunch on Sunday. My family is Catholic so Passover is relatively new for us, a gift, if you will, from my mother's Bronx born and raised Jewish husband, Marty. He loves a good opera and a good sandwich (quite possibly in equal measure), celebrates Christmas with us enthusiastically (especially the tree) and makes handmade wooden toys for all the grandkids. He is without Midwestern reserve and often blurts out what's on his mind. Scared us a little at first until we got a gander at his heart—which is huge and hangs off his sleeve for all to see. So on Saturday we'll all put on the little pita bread hats and take turns reading from worn booklets reciting passages from the Torah that Marty explains to us, eat the matzo, the bitter herbs and all the rest. The kids groan when I tell them we're going to Passover dinner at Grandma and Papoo's but it always ends up being a good time with plenty of laughter and tasty food. We're always glad we went.

March 13, 2015

Roasted Pepper Crostini and a Rant

I've been blogging for a few years now and it's an impulse I can't fully explain. My stock answer is that blogging is a creative outlet, which is true. Taking pictures, writing and cooking are relaxing and an opportunity for expression. Connecting with others in the food blogging community has been nice too and there are many compelling blogs with creative food and photos and narratives written by people who have thought-provoking, informative or funny things to say.

March 8, 2015


Here are my latest duds. Or at least the ones I took pictures of...

Crispy Meat Accessories in honor of fashion week—not a bad idea just not enough of an idea. Good snacking though and the dogs were appreciative. 

February 17, 2015

Grapefruit Cookies

Grapefruit Cookies

Grapefruit Cookies
My kids have always been crazy about those sugar cookies at Target. You know the ones. They're big, soft, thickly iced with bright colored frosting and have a list of ingredients as long as the Apple Agreement I reflexively hit "Agree" to but have never read. They contain sugar, flour, margarine and all kinds of artificial flavorings and colorings. Yuck. I mean, yum! Yum! They're good. I get it. But maybe I can make something just as good, better or at least a respectable stand-in that includes ingredients I could find at any natural food store or co-op. 
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