Infused Oils and Vinegars: Jelly Bellies of the Kitchen?

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 (2492)

Can’t Let Go of Summer Salad

New York City’s late summer weather is Colorado’s weather all summer long. Rarely above 80, low humidity, cooler at night, great hair weather and the blessed absence of summer city stink. Although I can smell fall in the air and have planned our apple picking day trip, I’m not yet ready to start making chili, soup or short ribs. I’m still craving light, refreshing, raw salads. I made this salad Sunday night for a casual get together with friends and I’ve been making some version of this simple salad for decades. I mean really simple. So simple, I’m almost embarrassed to call it a ‘recipe’.  Continue reading (1465)

Deep Dark Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Have you ever been invited to someone’s home and you offer to bring desert before finding out that among the guests there is:

a) a wheat allergy

b) a dairy allergy

c) a psychotic adversity to fat

d) a nut allergy

and oh it just happens to be Passover. Yes, I could bring a boring, self-righteous, no-one-really-wants fruit salad, but instead I have these in my arsenal. These are my go to cookies for just this occasion.

I shared this recipe with my friend Denise Cummings the owner of Pip’s Place a gluten free bakery in NYC because it is a celiac friendly cookie since the recipe has no flour. It is one of her best sellers and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it makes me a little proud to have contributed this cookie to her ever expanding gluten free empire.  Continue reading (1767)

Raw Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ salad because I’m feeling chubby

So, let me see a show of hands. How many of you are feeling a bit pickled from too much rosé (and/or mezcal), too many BBQ’s and the obligatory s’more, and overall just icky? Let’s face it summer vacation isn’t just for kids anymore and we’ve been pretending for the last ten weeks that eating ‘vacation food’ everyday is ok and that all of our self congratulatory consumption of farm stand produce somehow magically makes up for the all the overindulgence. Um. Nope.

“But I was in Italy/Ibiza/Hamptons/Greece/Hawaii/Vail” you might say….”I worked out/hiked/swam/ran/danced every day” you might protest…Well, I don’t know about you, but at my age (and this pisses me off more than I can express since I literally ran up MOUNTAINS this summer) it just doesn’t flipping matter. I always come home in September feeling chubby, bloated and highly motivated to do something about it. So, for the last three years I take the month of September off from booze; let’s call it “Sober September” and I really think about the food I consume.

The recipe I’m about to share with you kicks ass. It’s raw, nutritious, filling, textural, sweet and savory and yields a boat load so you only need to make it once a week. The food processor does 80% of the work for you, so preparation takes no time. Keep it in the fridge and reach for it every time you’re hungry.

Continue reading (1707)