And in Non-Thanksgiving News:
Some people just make you feel like everything in going to be ok when you cook. Jenn Segal gives that confidence and her wildly popular blog, Once Upon a Chef, is proof that her recipes work and make lives a little bit easier.
So with the release of her new book, we thought we would bring Jenn into the kitchen to get a sample of one of her recipes. This grilled cheese is the perfect blend: it is easy enough that anyone can tackle it but with enough difference to make it really feel like something special. I have found myself going back to it over and over since we shot the video.
Sometimes one recipe leads to another. In testing out last week's bhel puri recipe I started to imagine another place where that sweet, salty and crunchy combo can balance out: a steak. Why not add a bit of sweetness and tartness with some tamarind? And instead of rice puffs why not just let rice krispies do the trick and add a bit of crunch to the otherwise heaviness of a steak?
This recipe has only four ingredients but they work some serious magic. Tamarind adds the perfect compliment to brighten up everyone's favorite meat and the drizzle of crunch on top makes it irresistible.
I was a little skeptical at the idea of cheese in my smoothie. And why wouldn't I bet? At first glance it kind of sounds like a joke.
But then Tia Keenan suggested it and suddenly I was intrigued. You might know Tia from her Wall Street Journal column or her awesome first book The Art of the Cheese Plate. But now she is out with a new addition to the Short Stack Editions all about chevre. And in it she recreates the classic Orange Julius but with a cheesy twist.
And here's the thing: if yogurt makes such a great base for a smoothie why not add a bit of chevre? It gives protein, a little bit of tang, and a firming texture to the drink. Once I tried it I was a believer.
So if you want to give it a whirl and shake up your morning smoothie, watch the video below or follow the recipe!
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.
Lately it seems everyone I talk to has a mild obsession with Sicily. The Southern Italian island for years was passed over in favor of more glamorous places like Amalfi, Rome and Lake Como. But something interesting happened in the last decade or so: the casual, less polished nature of Sicily has become more interesting to travelers as the world has become more globalized and every city starts to feel like it has the same 30 stores. I was excited this year to finally get a chance to see this unique part of the country.
So like any set of recommendations, this one comes from too-short a time and not possibly having all the information. But I can tell you what I liked from my trip and what are the safe bets that I enjoyed.
While Palermo and its environs are definitely on my list, for this trip we focused on the Eastern portion of Sicily. You can certainly drive around the entire island but if you only have a week or so I would try and stick to one general area, otherwise you'll be in a car the entire time. You can rent a house or stay in a hotel - there are great options for both. We did a hotel in Taormina and then we were in a house the rest of the time.