December 9th, 2013
These Mediterranean Deviled Eggs are a staple at every one of my parties, and will most certainly be served at this year’s holiday soiree! Inspired by my first visit many years ago to Oleana restaurant in Boston, these deviled eggs are a humble homage to Chef Anna Sortun. She served my first fine dining experience of eastern Mediterranean food, and I have never forgotten it—especially her deviled eggs with tuna and black olives.
In all of the years that I’ve been making these Mediterranean Deviled Eggs, I’ve never looked to see if Chef Sortun has published the official Oleana recipe. I’m loath to replicate her version and would much rather eagerly hold out to get the real deal at Oleana. I want Chef Sortun’s food to forever occupy that untouchable place in my memory for first food experiences that changed me.
But I also want good deviled eggs. Which is why I developed this recipes. Again, an homage to, not a replica of, the deviled eggs at Oleana.
December 6th, 2013
Peppermint, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread: the flavors of this season (as proven by entering any Starbucks across the nation). For me, though, this time of year also means citrus. The convergence of the holiday season and citrus season is a boon for those of us who love giving edible gifts. And I’m not talking about big gift crates of oranges.
Meyer lemons, one of my favorite citrus fruits of all time, are about to hit a peak. Slightly sweeter and less acidic than standard lemons (thanks to the influence of mandarin genes), Meyer lemons are perfect for using in sweet treats.
Lemon curd is one of my favorite things to make with them around this time of year since it goes so perfectly sandwiched between holiday cookies. And—holiday bonus!—curd can be canned in very small batches in just a few easy steps. Can you say best edible gift ever?
December 4th, 2013
Tis the season for roast chicken! Cozy and low-maintenance, you can take your time to fancy it up or literally throw it in the oven for an easy dinner that will likely last more than one meal. Hooray for that.
I used to always, 100% of the time roast chicken the way that my Greek grandmother did. I don’t have a special technique to share, I just followed her lead: clean the chicken, pat it dry, throw it in a pan and rub it down with salt, pepper, dried oregano, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice. Lots of fresh lemon juice.
One of the first times I diverted from yiayia’s old school method, I made this Herb-Butter Roasted Chicken. I’d spent the day at the Stone Barns Center, a non-profit agricultural center and farm outside of bustling New York City and came home with bags full of garlic and butter, veggies and herbs, and even a chicken. Determined to make a meal using all of—and only—my Stone Barns goodies, I decided to make a roast chicken and big salad.
The salad was easy. But the chicken, well, lemons and olive oil aren’t indigenous to New York state. I’d have to change my ways and, thus, my Herb-Rubbed Chicken came to be.
December 2nd, 2013
During our Thanksgiving travels, we were lucky enough to fit in a 24-hour stay in Chicago. We attempted a trip to Shedd Aquarium but, alas, the line was too long to brave, even for my intrepid New York family. So, instead, we took a long walk along Lake Michigan (It’s as big as an ocean!!) and ate. A lot.
Our food adventure started with a Chicago-style dog.
Now—cue laughing at Stacie—I haven’t had a mystery hot dog in at least two years. I don’t eat dogs much but, when I do, I nosh on the organic, local, humane, artisanal variety. Yup, hot dogs for assholes. What can I say? I live in Brooklyn and spend a lot of time in the Hudson River Valley. It’s easy to avoid mass produced hot dogs, which I’m inclined to do.
But I haven’t completely lost my edge folks: I ate a hot dog out of a cart! I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I stood in the cold, Chicago wind whipping around me and my family, madly looking for a place to get the Chicago version of the asshole hot dog—because I did. I would have found the spot, too, had it not been for the big hungry boy.
“There’s a food cart right there. It says Chicago-style hot dogs!”
Damn his burgeoning reading skills.
I was promptly overruled and, before I could quote Portlandia, 4 dogs were ordered, 3 Chicago-style and 1, of course, plain.
November 26th, 2013
This Thursday isn’t just any Thanksgiving. Oh no, friends. This Thursday marks the one and only Thanksgivukkah of our lives, and the lives of many generations to come. This occurrence—the first time that the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving in 125 years—is pretty major. Like won’t happen again for 70,000 years major. Like best holiday of all time major. Like time to make Pumpkin Apple Fritters major.
What does the holiday’s rarity have to do with it being the best holiday of all time. Well, honestly, nothing. What really makes Thanksgivukkah special is that it has borne the most epic holiday food mashup ever. I’ve never seen so many gloriously decadent recipes as I have for Thanksgivukkah. Seriously: check out this round up of Thanksgivukkah recipes that I posted on Cool Mom Picks.
Can you stand it?!
And, to top it all off, I came up with a Thanksgivukkah recipe of my own. (I couldn’t help myself!)
These Pumpkin Apple Fritters bring together the Thanksgiving flavor of pumpkin and Chanukkah feel of fried sufganiyot, traditional holiday donuts, but are way easier to make than either pie or donuts.
November 25th, 2013
Here’s a truth: browned butter makes food sparkly good. Turns ordinary into especially delicious. Gives shocking depth of flavor. It’s a magic elixir, and what better time to whip out your magic than on Thanksgiving.
This simple side dish manages to feel luxurious enough for your holiday table, but also comes together effortlessly enough to serve on any night of the week. No matter when you eat this, you’ll find the warm spice of ginger and sweet, nutty flavor of roasted squash intoxicating. A comfort that will last all winter long.
November 22nd, 2013
The countdown is on, and this weekend is your chance to get Thanksgiving preparations in order… with a little help from One Hungry Mama, of course! Check out my Thanksgiving plan-ahead tips and curated Thanksgiving recipes for an easy, happy, delicious Thanksgiving meal.
November 20th, 2013
Babies don’t come with a handbook, but motherhood certainly comes will a million competing ideas of how to “do it right,” especially when it comes to feeding. My “Family Cooking School” series is about helping you master a few basics across my 4 P’s of family cooking—planning, pantry, prepping, and parenting—so that you can become the happy, confident family cook that I know you can be.
Today’s technique is cooking en papillote, a French cooking method that involves baking ingredients in a parchment paper (or aluminum foil) “package.”
Cooking en papillote sounds super fancy, I know, but it turns out to be one of those rare restaurant techniques that is easy to replicate at home. Not only is it simple, but it’s also healthy, low mess, and relatively quick. It’s pretty much a genius family cooking technique, as long as you know how to do it right.
November 19th, 2013
While home sick last week, my little hungry boy and I decided to work on a fun holiday morning breakfast recipe for you. It was a true collaboration. You know from Oliver’s Strawberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins that he’s the one with an affinity for white chocolate chips, and I wanted to go with cranberries for a holiday feel. Thinking that I meant dried cranberries, he nixed the idea. He wasn’t in the mood for dried cranberries, but changed his mind when I showed him the fresh ones. I’m pretty sure that his change of heart was because he thought they were cherries. I corrected him, but he didn’t budge and, hey, whatever works.
However we got there, the combination of sweet, creamy white chocolate and bursting tart cranberries is lovely and fit for a holiday breakfast, for sure.
November 15th, 2013
Read on to learn how you can enter to win $200 towards anything—anything!—on Minted.com. That’s right mamas, holiday cards: done!
I never thought I’d be that parent who sent out cute holiday cards with pics of my family, but lo and behold. The problem isn’t that I’m a mom who has to show everyone how cute her boys are (oh, no, not me!). The problem is Minted. They make it way too easy to personalize a chic holiday card that makes your family look totally fab. I mean, just look at the the holiday card I ordered from them last year (above)!
I can’t stand how much I love it, so imagine how unbelievably psyched I was to get the chance to offer you FREE personalized holiday cards—or whatever else you want to order—from Minted this year!
November 14th, 2013
The holiday pressure is on, but I’m determined to make more room for fun this year.
It’s not that I haven’t wanted to have fun other years. It’s just that I’ve had a hard time letting go. Determined to “do it all”—I’ll be more organized this year; I’ll start a few weeks earlier—I’ve missed out on a lot of the joy of one of my favorite times of the year.
To make room for fun, I’m pushing some of my normally high ranked priorities down the list. Maybe you think you know what comes next. Family dinners, meal planning, nutritionally balanced plates: they can all move to the side during this busy time. Right?
For me, well balanced family dinners are particularly important during this time when so much of the food we’ll be eating out is so, well, unbalanced. And meal planning? There is no way that I can put well balanced meals on the table, especially during busy times, without being disciplined about meal planning. Even if that means scrawling ideas on a piece of paper that I keep tucked under a wad of knotted, unwashed hair. My meal plan keeps me sane.
So, yea, some priorities get temporarily demoted, but others get reconfigured. They take a new, more flexible shape that helps me fit in other, very important and highly time sensitive to-dos like holiday shopping, baking cookies for Santa, and playing hooky from after school classes to sip hot cocoa and hit a train show (or two).
Reshaping my approach to dinner means planning around the absolute simplest, fastest meals in my repertoire. It also means cooking a whole lot of one thing and getting comfortable with leftovers. This Tuna Puttanesca? Twice in three days. Good thing it’s so delicious!
November 12th, 2013
Think pie dough is hard to make? Think again! This super simple recipe makes flaky, delicious pie dough—that can easily be made ahead for the holidays—in basically 3 steps. Make a double or triple batch in 20 minutes and pack your freezer with ready-to-go dough that will cut your holiday baking time in half.
The holiday cooking season has begun! Well, at least for all of the planners in the house.
Not a planner? Guess what: you are now.
I’m about to show you how to make holiday baking a whole lot easier with my easy-to-make-ahead flaky pie dough.
November 11th, 2013
An easy salad for a long weekend.
Thinly slice a ripe persimmon. Use a mandoline if you have one.
Layer the slices on a plate between wispy slivers of manchego cheese.
Chop salted, roasted almonds and scatter them over the top.
Sprinkle the whole plate with salt and drizzle with good olive oil.
If you’re fancy, splash with vincotto.
Share with the kids—open their world to the glory that is fruit and cheese!—and eat it all if they don’t like it. All the better for you.
November 8th, 2013
When I was much younger and just discovering my love of cooking, I stayed away from anything purposely healthy. If an expertly cooked dish called only for healthy ingredients and a light touch, all the better, but I loathed the idea of healthy being the point. People who loved food the way that I loved food embraced butter, oil, cream and cheese and knew how and when to use these ingredients. And if it meant using them in abundance, so be it. The afraid would miss out, but not me.
I told you: I was young.
As you can imagine, with this attitude, Cooking Light magazine held very little interest for me. Until a dear friend—who loves food—encouraged me to reconsider. She assured me that some of the recipes did, in fact, call for butter, cheese, and all of the good stuff that I refused to strike from my repertoire. And some did not. Either way, the recipes were about achieving great flavor using rich ingredients strategically. I was intrigued. And then rapt.
One of my first forays into the Cooking Light archive brought me to a recipe for Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash and Bacon that sounded too good to pass up. It called for bacon. It called for pasta. It called for cheese! It was all in there, thoughtfully considered. I tried it and became an instant devotee.
November 6th, 2013
Babies don’t come with a handbook, but motherhood certainly comes will a million competing ideas of how to “do it right,” especially when it comes to feeding. The good news is that you’re doing way better than you think, even if you think you’re doing an awesome job (because you are!). The even better news is that being a great family cook is simpler than you think, you just need to learn the ropes.
My “Family Cooking School” series is about helping you master a few basics across my 4′s P’s of family cooking—planning, pantry, prepping, and parenting—so that you can move from pre-baby cooking (or non-cooking!) to family cooking.
One of the most important family cooking skills is knowing how to make a good dressing. I know what you’re thinking: who needs dressing when my kid barely eats salad? The food nerd in me wants you know that your child can learn to love salad. By 7 or so (even earlier), lots of kids have reconciled with the leafy greens that freaked them out as toddlers, but exposure is key. That means you have to serve salad.
That aside, a good vinaigrette is so much more than salad dressing. It can dress pasta and grains, give flavor to steamed or roasted veggies, be mixed in with mayo to make a yummy sandwich spread, be used to to baste meats, served as a dipping sauce, and so much more.
A good dressing is worth its weight in gold. Now, how to make it.
The process is simple: