I hate to sound old enough to say I've enjoyed following someone's career, but apparently today I'm going to. I have loved watching whatever Eden Grinshpan does next. She is a barrel of laughs and a breath of fresh air wherever she goes. I first interviewed her when she had a show on Cooking Channel. She has since moved on host Top Chef Canada and now she has opened her first restaurant, Dez. It combines all of her Israeli, Middle Eastern and other travel experiences into one spirited and flavorful fast casual spot.
And since I can't possibly pick a favorite I decided instead to pick her brain about mezzes. It's an all-encompassing word but it can help outline one of the best appetizer plans possible.
I started my career as a Page at NBC - yes, if you've seen 30 Rock it's just like Kenneth the Page, but with a little bit more real work involved! So I was so thrilled to get to have a little bit of a homecoming and share two of the recipes from Bring It! on The Today Show this week.
I love cocktails but I am not usually a big fan of cocktail books. I don't want to buy 3 new liquers and a set of bitters just to make one drink. So I can't tell you how happy I was to see Maggie Hoffman's The One Bottle Cocktail. The entire premise eliminates your fear of cocktails in that it centers on the idea of only one spirit. Every drink is complex, fresh, interesting and only requires purchasing a single bottle of booze. Add onto that that Maggie is delightful - and that she shines through the pages - and you have an essential book on your hands.
I was so glad that on a recent trip to NYC Maggie decided to stop by the test kitchen and make a cocktail. This one is particularly awesome because in making it you also get a side of salsa. It's perfect for brunch, parties or just snacking at home with your very own bottle of vodka.
I love a good hack, and apple sandwiches are kind of my new current favorite. If you use tart apples instead of bread you create a whole new category with texture and a fun factor that is hard to beat.
Recently Siri Daly stopped by to talk about her new book, Siriously Delicious. The wife of famed tv host Carson Daly uses her book and blog to showcase her easy recipes that help her keep her busy family on the go. Siri is one of those people who tries to make life easier and I loved the fun outlook in the book. But these apple sandwiches with nut butter and granola have made me a convert.
Gaby Dalkin seems to live on of those breezy California lives that makes me question all my life choices for living in New York. Her sunny blog, What's Gaby Cooking, has really delectable recipes and now she is out with a new book based on the style her readers have grown to love.
I loved getting to bring a little bit of that California feel into my new test kitchen. I am going to be doing a lot more videos from the kitchen which will allow for a lot more cookbook authors from out of town to share recipes - and I'm doing in a series I'm calling The Easiest Recipe. The Easiest Recipe will take what I think is the simplest recipe from the book and we make it in real-time right in the kitchen. For Gaby's book we picked the citrus marinated olives. These might be the most addictive snack - be careful if you make them for a party because you might just eat them all on their own.
So watch the video, check out Gaby's new book and you can make the recipe below if you feel inspired!
For those of you who follow along with my instagram (hi!), you might know that I am at the tail end of a kitchen renovation. It's super exciting since I will now have a space to film that is totally set up for it - an awesome new stage for this little show.
But of course the larger issue with a new kitchen is figuring out the set up. And even those who have been in a kitchen for a long time can sometimes need to make our life more efficient. There is a little dance we do every time we cook, moving from spot to spot as we go from prep to cooking to cleanup. Anyone who can make that easier is a godsend.
Enter Melissa Coleman, author of the blog The Faux Martha and the new book The Minimalist Kitchen. I love her style and her easy bright personality. The book is full of incredible recipes but also a lot of tips and tricks for paring down the clutter and getting organized. So there was no more fitting first guest in the kitchen. You'll have to excuse the lighting (better lights coming soon) and ignore the fact that there were no cabinets above us (ha! careful framing) but the advice is about as top notch as it gets.
I know it might seem like Bring It! is the only cookbook out this spring (ha) but I just had to sit down and chat with one of my favorite chefs, James Briscione, about his new book The Flavor Matrix. It delves into the science of what makes certain flavors work together - and a lot of what he discovered in his research will surprise you.