I love to cook. A lot. I also spend a great deal of time thinking about food, talking about food and opining about food. I also have severe voyeuristic food tendencies mixed with a touch of recipe hoarding. This blog is my attempt to share recipes I make all the time, the ones I will make tonight, those my family loves the most, the ones I will attempt some day, the ones that caught my eye for some reason, and some that are just well…pretty to look at. The common denominator among all the recipes that catch my eye is simplicity. Life is too busy to overcomplicate our approach to food and eating. Also, this blog is a love letter to my family and friends who understand that my baking and cooking is a profound expression of love. It was the language spoken to me by my Argentine Abuela and it is still the language spoken by my mother.
“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”
― Laurie Colwin
As much as I love cooking, I am here to tell you that there are certain products I will NEVER make from scratch and will shamelessly continue to buy from a store because let’s face it, they are just so good. Spending hours in the kitchen replicating the original gives you bragging rights yes, but it also inspires people to want to punch your smug face and it will NOT taste better than the original. So, peanut butter, mayonnaise, sriracha (sorry GP), Oreos, Ritz, Mallomars, Graham Crackers, flour tortillas, are perfect the way they are. Move on people.
But if there’s one product that with just a teensy bit of effort can be improved tremendously it is TOMATO SAUCE. Now, listen readers and listen carefully. If you are having one crazy military operation kind of day and jarred tomato sauce is all you’ve got, then by all means heat that sucker up, boil some pasta and call it dinner. It certainly beats the drive thru at McDonalds or KFC. This is a no judgment zone. Continue reading →
I have a dear friend who is naturally good at everything. She casually decides to pick up a sport, say golf for example and a month later is hitting that ball like she’s been doing it her whole life. She trains for her first marathon and has a magnificent race finishing way under 4 hours. So when she invited us over to her house for dinner I wasn’t one bit surprised when she served an unbelievably flavorlful sesame citrus halibut and poured me an intoxicating cocktail : The Shanny Fanny. Why the name? Because you will be flat on your ass after a just couple of these babies.
Oh and did I forget to mention that she’s 5′ 10″, has thick brown hair like Jacqueline Smith, legs as long as my whole body, can dance like a pro, is fiercely loyal, imitates people like a stand up comic and would die of embarrassment knowing that I am unabashedly singing her praises?
I know, could she be any more flipping enviable? I’m a secure woman otherwise I might just hate her a little bit. This is my love letter to you Shannon! Continue reading →
To feel comfortable in the kitchen it really helps to have one or two basic recipes committed to memory. It just builds confidence. When you can make a quick marinade with just a few ingredients, one that pairs perfectly with fish*, poultry, pork and flank steak and also works on the grill, under the broiler or in the oven, you will feel like a rock star.
It’s marathon Sunday here in NYC and I am sitting at my kitchen counter, staring at my computer asking myself how I can pay tribute to and honor the unbelievable and awe inspiring physical feat that is the ING New York City Marathon. I’ve cheered my friends on, gotten choked up at the sea of warriors refusing to give up, sent out all the congratulatory texts and emails, and have high fived runners walking home wrapped in their orange blankets. But what more can I do? Bake some kick ass brownies of course because that’s just what I do. Those who can’t run (this year) bake!
These brownies are easy, quick, require few ingredients, and elicit loud and wildly inappropriate moans from all who indulge. And to all of you who ran 26.2 flipping miles today…. INDULGE THE CRAP OUT OF YOURSELVES
Here we are with October virtually behind us and only now will day time temperatures dip below 60. Yeah, yeah, yeah everyone around me loves it and I just feel like I’m being cheated out of that perfectly crisp New York weather. It’s just not natural to go apple picking in shorts people! Fall weather to me means new boots, outdoor running, good hair, and turkey chili. This is a recipe I can comfortably claim as a Flycakes original. I’ve tweaked and adjusted it over the years and honestly I barely even measure the ingredients anymore. It’s simple, healthy, delicious, makes your apartment smell like a spice market and yields so much you can freeze the leftovers for a night when you don’t feel like cooking.
I rarely make red meat at home since a) I don’t eat it b) my husband watches his diet like a girl (no offense honey) c) burgers and steaks are so much better on an outdoor grill and d) steak dinners just masochistically taste amazing when the markup is 500 percent and you’re being served by cranky waiters in ugly suits. So, I buy enough organic chicken to feed an army at Costco and within two weeks it’s gone. Yes, this is another flipping chicken recipe. But it’s delicious, so so easy (have I lied to you about that yet?), and perfect for a fall night when you don’t feel like cooking but feel like a shitty wife and mother if you don’t.
I’ve been debating since I started this blog if I should share this recipe. Why? Because it’s the type of ‘Good-Housekeeping-Sandra-Lee-semi-home-made” recipe that I hesitate to admit I love. Let’s face it no one REALLY reads this blog (yet?) and other than my family and friends (that I generously bribe), no one really gives a rat’s ass what I have to say. I’ve got nothing to lose so here goes. Continue reading →
NO, you haven’t mistakenly stumbled upon someone else’s blog. Yes, I am still passionately in love with butter and eggs and I am far from vegan. But, perhaps I am vaguely vegan: a vague-an. I rarely eat meat these days, but the Argentine in me suspects I haven’t given up steak for the rest of my life. I can go days living on vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts but then find myself craving fish or chicken. When I bake I’m usually very stubborn about avoiding substitutes for the butter, eggs, dairy because since sweets should only account for a small fraction of your daily caloric intake why not make it really count. And, sorry folks but something made with dates and almond milk just isn’t going to scratch my itch. Until now…. Continue reading →
I was ten in 1976. That was the year Jelly Belly introduced Very Cherry, Lemon, Cream Soda, Tangerine, Green Apple, Root Beer, Licorice and Grape. Blueberry soon followed so President Reagan could serve red, white and blue jelly bellies in the White House. I was always fascinated by their sparkly, perfectly shaped, multi colored beauty and the fact that (when fat free was all the rage) you could actually convince yourself you were making a virtuous choice by eating them.
But, what made me fall head over heels in love with this confection was the Jelly Belly Recipes. The fact that combining flavors could create a taste experience in your mouth that made you feel part creative genius, part mad scientist, part chef and part Willy Wonka was a childhood revelation. Their combinations ranged from the obvious: two bubblegums + two cinnamon = cinnamon gum, to the most creative: one french vanilla + two coconut +buttered popcorn + two toasted marshmallow = tres leches cake!!! OK people, you know the good old folks at Jelly Belly Candy Co hire a bunch of professional stoners to come up with these flavor combos. Why didn’t I work there after grad school instead of Wall Street? Continue reading →
Some recipes fall squarely and unapologetically in the ‘indulge’ category and without fail those recipes are the ones most often requested. We just can’t fight the fact that butter tastes so flipping good. Sometime there is just no substitute. Bow your head. Accept. Move on.
This recipe for Chocolate Chip Blondies is one of those recipes. And you won’t be surprised to hear that it’s adapted from an Ina Garten’s recipe. I adore that woman and I love that she loves butter and her husband Jeffrey almost equally. Continue reading →