After a week at The Ranch in Malibu I returned inspired to try and stick to a “vegan until dinner time” diet as well as eating a plant based diet one full day a week. My husband and son do not embrace my new found enthusiasm so the dinner I make on my vegan day needs to satisfy them as well….or maybe I should tell them to shove their opinions where the sun don’t shine considering that I’m the boss of the kitchen. But, OK fine, I’ll play nice. Here’s a wonderful Mexican flavored vegan dinner that requires very little time to prepare:
Black Bean Burrito Casserole (adapted from Gourmet Magazine, 1990) Continue reading → (258)
It’s been ten months since my last blog post. Forgive me reader (singular on purpose…Hi Mommy!) for I have just finished a massive one year renovation of my home, and was simultaneously training to climb Kilimanjaro (summited August 10th! Can you we say hell yeah!). But I am back in my home, Kili behind me and reenergized to share some of my favorite recipes with you.
Let’s talk granola bars. The store bought ones deserve all the bad rap they get. They really do. They are loaded with sugar, contain barely any fiber, have negligible protein and let’s face it are so antiquated since the advent of the ubiquitous protein/energy bar. But here’s the deal, if made by you they can really pack a nutritional punch because you get to choose what you want in them. The basic formula is: Continue reading → (987)
In Italian restaurants I am always tempted by those bowls full of stick to your ribs Pasta Bolognese that I see being delivered to tables around me. I don’t eat red meat often, well maybe never, so I played around with some classic Bolognese recipes and over time came up with my version of it using ground turkey instead of beef. It’s quick, easy, yields a lot and freezes beautifully. Continue reading → (1644)
If your family is anything like mine, when you roast a whole chicken, everyone eats the breasts, drumsticks and thighs but you’re always left with this unappealing carcass of wings and skin. Nope, I’m not going to tell you to ‘simply make chicken stock’ out of the leftovers because mine is not that kind of blog. You know, that blog that is so smug it makes you feel like a failure in the kitchen if you use (gasp) store bought broth.
My advice is simple: don’t roast a whole chicken and save yourself both the messy hassle of carving it and a lot of cooking time.
Serves 4 (three in my household)
Preheat oven to 400
4 bone in, skin on organic chicken breasts (they really are more tender and moist)
Juice of one lemon, remove pits
3 tbs EVOO or basil infused olive oil or lemon infused olive oil
3 chopped or crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp dijon mustard (if you have it on hand. If not, disregard)
Herbs de provence, salt and pepper to taste
In the bottom of a roasting pan whisk together all of the ingredients and coat both sides of the chicken well. Leave the skin on, it gives the chicken so much more flavor and you can remove it before eating if you’re watching your cholesterol.
Roast until juices run clear when you pierce the breast. 35-45 minutes.
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 → (2115)
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 → (1189)
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 → (954)
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 → (1317)