December 30th, 2014
Have you tried St. Germain? The elderflower liquer has become a favorite of mine and, though too much can be cloying, used sparingly, St. Germain adds a delicate, floral sweetness that’s perfect for the holidays. Who am I kidding: it’s perfect for any day, but given that it pairs especially well with champagne and dry white wine, it’s a great choice for New Year’s Eve.
I’ve added St. Germain to everything from margaritas to scotch. Because of it’s sweet flavor, it easily swaps into a huge variety of drinks for sugar or honey. But my favorite way to enjoy St. Germain is the simplest: added to champagne. The basic recipe is easy—1 1/2 parts St. Germain topped with our favorite champagne (or prosecco)—but you should really go by taste. Then garnish with whatever you have around: I like using pomegranate seeds or a pretty lemon peel twist.
December 29th, 2014
If you’re a cookbook junkie like me, you probably grew your collection in a big way this year. With so many great new reads, from Prune to A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus, it’s hard to choose a favorite. That said, I can tell you which new releases you should have. Yes, you, family cook. These are my picks for the best cookbooks for families 2104.
If you’re wondering what I mean when I say best cookbooks for families, let me break it down:
December 23rd, 2014
You know the date? I don’t mean to stress you out. Of course you know the date—it was a stupid question. Christmas is in just days and it’s okay that you haven’t finished your holiday shopping. You’re not a bad person, you’re just a busy person. And maybe a little disorganized. Hey, none of us can do everything.
Said me to myself.
If you’re in the same boat, I have a lovely, easy gift idea that totally works at the last minute: DIY Vanilla Extract. It comes together in 5 and all you have to do is hit the store for cheap vodka, vanilla beans, and a pretty bottle (Target, Walmart, your local craft store, or even a hardware store where you can get mason jars will do). Nice ribbon and tags will go a long way, too.
December 15th, 2014
I’m obsessed with this recipe. Strawberry Jam. No cooking. No major wait time. No gelatin. Just berries, honey, lemon juice, and chia seeds. This is the kind of genius that The Grain-Free Family Table cookbook by Carrie Vitt offers readers.
I’ve been following Carrie and her blog Deliciously Organic for a while now. Her tasty cooking and commitment to unprocessed eating captured me from the first moment that I found Deliciously Organic. Pure eating isn’t just a lifestyle choice for Carrie, it’s truly a healthy choice. Her story is a powerful example of the healing power of food and her recipes will help you eat healthily and happily—and, of course, deliciously—no matter what your diet.
December 12th, 2014
I’ve been hard at work at Cool Mom Picks rounding up food and kitchen gifts for everyone and every holiday. From edible Hanukkah gifts, to indispensable kitchen gadgets, to food gifts that will make any child swoon (hello, personal ice cream maker), I’ve got what your foodies, picky eaters, and family cooks want this holiday season. And maybe something for you, too.
December 11th, 2014
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Gail Simmons, my favorite foodie mama (who’s a Brooklynite, too, now, thank you very much). If you don’t know, Gail is a culinary expert and judge on BRAVO’s Emmy-wining series Top Chef, as well as the head critic on Top Chef Masters. As if that wasn’t enough, she is also a special projects director at Food & Wine, and the author of Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater. She’s a mom, wicked smart, and a killer cook, which, all together, makes her a hero. If you don’t believe me, try her recipe for this gorgeous Shaved Vegetable Salad with Quick-Pickled Radishes.
December 8th, 2014
It may seem crazy to talk about smoothies given all of the cocktails and appetizers, pies and cookie dough flying around this time of year but, you know, I’m a little crazy. And—to be frank—I’m hoping not to gain 1,000 pounds this holiday season. (It can happen.) With so much decadent intake this month, I’m trying to keep it light and healthy at home whenever possible, and this Apple Pie Smoothie is my new jam. It’s super healthy, filling, and has all the great taste of the season. It’s the next best thing to pie. Well, it hits the spot big time—close enough.
November 25th, 2014
This bold holiday salad recipe is brought to you with the support of my video sponsor, Earthbound Farm Organic whose greens earn salad a real-deal spot at your holiday table.
When I first began creating a holiday recipe for Earthbound Farm Organic, I started playing with their fresh and frozen fruits. Pie, dessert, sauce, cocktails: they seemed the obvious direction—until it dawned on me that salads are sadly overlooked at the holiday table.
With so many rich Thanksgiving foods, salad can be a welcome respite. At the same time, it can’t be a lame obligatory bowl of greens. Only something fresh, bold, hearty and healthful fits the bill, which is why this Cumin Lime Roasted Carrot Salad is my all time favorite holiday salad.
November 24th, 2014
You know what my problem is? I want every meal during the entire holiday weekend to be delicious. All of the food doesn’t have to be complicated or take tons of time, but I feel like every meal should feel like a treat. It’s a little overkill, I know, but that’s why I’m so into holiday breakfast recipes. Proof:
This year I took a page from Martha Stewart where I got the idea for this Pumpkin Yogurt Breakfast Parfait. It’s even easier than all of the recipes above, including the make ahead recipes since it preps in 5 minutes flat. It’s also a totally delicious way to get in the turkey day mood. If you like this breakfast parfait as much as we do, I bet it will become a go-to quick school day breakfast. It’s honestly as easy as pouring a bowl of cereal and so much better for you. It makes a killer snack, as well.
November 20th, 2014
Turkey day is next week and that means… cakes and pie!
That’s right, I’m not ready to talk turkey. I’d much rather help make sure that your pies and baked goods are in order. Because if your Thanksgiving meal ends happy, it will be remembered as a happy meal.
I’m dropping gems here, people.
November 18th, 2014
As the cold sets in—and, oh, how it has set in here in Brooklyn—I start cranking the oven and experimenting with recipes for roasts like my Apple Butter-Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin and this Red Pepper Roasted Chicken. There’s really nothing better or easier than throwing a handful of ingredients and good cut of meat in the oven and taking out a delicious, hearty dinner.