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 (3063)

Beaucoup Butter Blondies

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 (1438)

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 (2123)

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.

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THE Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I’ve been baking these cookies at least once a week for ten years (you know since I was 20). I originally found the recipe inside the Baker’s semisweet chocolate box (nuh-uh don’t start getting all chocolate snob on me, this supermarket brand works perfectly in this recipe) and have tweaked it over time. It’s a simple one bowl recipe with few ingredients that requires no electric or standing mixer, just your arm and a spatula. My son and I have been making these together since he was a toddler and this is how he learned to crack an egg.  My family loves them, they are perfect in my boy’s lunchbox, popular in a bake sale, a dinner party favorite, great on a road trip and in a get well care package, they make a perfect ice cream sandwich, they are unbelievable with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and berries, or dunked into some ice cold milk. These cookies are loved by young and old. Stoned or straight. They are the bomb. Period. Continue reading (2581)

Life is too short to chiffonade kale

My husband and I have a long standing love affair with Aspen. We got married there thirteen years ago (I was a surprise bride…yup, my husband planned a wedding unbeknownst to me….Yes, I was surprised….No, I didn’t wear a wedding gown, I wore a black suit….Yes, this will be a future blog post if I can somehow relate it back to food, or even if I can’t because it really is the best wedding story EVER), we have spent many summers in Aspen, we renewed our vows there three years ago and we are lucky to have many friends that live there. I have never skied Aspen. I repeat. Never. Skied. There. Why? I HATE skiing. Deeply. Passionately. Irreparably. But I LOVE going UP the mountain any time of year. WIth yak traks in the winter and trail running shoes in the summer. That I love. I also love Aspen’s restaurants, the shopping, the way it smells, the fact that my hair always looks awesome, its SOUL, the light, the clouds, the sky, the trails, the occasional Goldie and Kurt sighting and did I mention the food??  Continue reading (2039)

Hoisin Glazed Roast Chicken

My husband knows that when we go to a restaurant and if after studying the menu, putting it down, picking it up, putting it back down again, looking on the back, asking about the specials, asking a bunch of questions, and then asking the waiter to bring me a bunch of olives and orange slices from the bar….if after all that I order THE CHICKEN it’s because there is NOTHING else on the menu I want or can eat.  I cook chicken at home. All the time. If I wanted to eat chicken I’d stay home, I don’t want to eat it when a professional is making it for me. I like making those chefs earn their $1.50/hour wage…make me something I can’t make myself at home for heaven’s sake!!!!!

OK on to the chicken recipe now that I have a) revealed what a giant pain in the ass I can be b) that I am, in fact, married to a saint and c) you can correctly assume that we are big tippers.  Continue reading (4852)