Flycakes Fancy Fruit Salad Syrup

Picture this: You’re at a dinner party and the hostess places a fruit salad on the table, or you’ve brought one to a friend’s house as your healthy contribution to the night and all of a sudden you hear a sound. What is that? It kind of sounds like a stifled yawn. I’ll tell you what it is, it’s the sound of eyes rolling at the thought of another boring-ho-hum-who-really-wants-fruit-for-dessert-but-I-have-to-pretend-to-like-it fruit salad.

The recipe I am about to share elevates the usually completely average dessert to a whole other level and it really couldn’t be easier. It’s basically a tricked out (dare I say sexy) simple syrup that works gorgeously on mixed berries, melon, sliced oranges, grapefruit, pineapple chunks, even kiwi. So you know the peeled and prepared fresh fruit you buy at Whole Foods? Pick any of them, put them in a pretty bowl and pour this concoction over the fruit. Done. Continue reading (1718)

Quick Spicy Pineapple Salsa

Want to spice up you sex life? I mean dinner. Make this quick spicy pineapple salsa and serve it along side your simply grilled/broiled/roasted chicken/fish/fish tacos/pork. It’s so easy, can be made a day in advance and requires nothing other than a chopping board and a knife. I buy the cubed pineapple from Whole Foods. Yes, you heard me. It’s a huge timesaver but do not use canned!

This summer when you’re sitting outside grilling, you’ll think of me.  Continue reading (2897)

Vegan (but you wouldn’t know it) Banana Bread

As I’ve mentioned before, I am not a vegan but I seem to attract people who are to some degree or another. Many of my friends are devoted vegans, others just until dinner, or on mondays, or until they travel to Argentina, or vegan because that’s how they justify their french fry consumption, in other words vaguely vegan….Vague-An. Regardless of how flexible my friends are in their commitment to eliminate all animal products from their diets, I still really enjoy having a recipe in my arsenal that I can offer them when they come over or when I’m invited to their homes.

This banana bread is vegan but you wouldn’t know it. It’s so easy to make, it’s moist, chocolatey, and even the non-vegans in the group will love it. It’s free of animal products but contains (are you sitting down?) WHITE all purpose flour because whole wheat, gluten free, and sawdust flour really alter the magical texture of this recipe. Also, just how annoyingly healthy do you want to be? The secret to this banana bread’s texture: coconut oil. Oh and the (vegan) chocolate chips don’t hurt one bit.  Continue reading (1943)

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 (2493)