Thanksgiving.jpg

LET'S START with dessert:

 Classic Pumpkin Pie 

Classic Pumpkin Pie 

 Dorie Greenspan's Cookie Tips

Dorie Greenspan's Cookie Tips

 Get Inspired: Black Forest Cake

Get Inspired: Black Forest Cake

Beginning the meal: Cocktails, Appetizers and Sides


It's Turkey Time

New
How to Make Better Turkey
Turkey Leftover Ideas
Fried Turkey Done Safely
Chef's Turkey Tips
Bacon-wrapped Turkey
How to Brine Turkey

And in Non-Thanksgiving News:

Food: 

New
How to Make Falafel

We go to 100 Acres to learn the secrets to making falafel. With a recipe that includes fresh chickpeas and a lot of herbs, you'll be making falafels at home in no time.

Make Mezze Your Appetizer Plan

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.

Drinks:

New
Can We Call This the Perfect Party Cocktail?

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. 

Hear Me Out on Adding Cheese to Your Smoothie

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!

Interviews: 

New
Make Mezze Your Appetizer Plan

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.

Bring It! on the Today Show

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. 

We wanted two pastas perfect for summer entertaining so we did the Red Wine Pasta and the Pesto Vinaigrette Pasta

Travel:

New
Make Mezze Your Appetizer Plan

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.

Start Planning Your Sicilian Trip Pronto

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. 


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