What is your first memory of eating a cinnamon roll? Was it in your grandmother’s kitchen, still warm from the oven? Was it a convenience store version – a bit tough and sticky, but satisfying to those cinnamon sugar urges? Or perhaps it was at the mall food court of the 1990’s, where the seductive aroma could be detected wafting around the promenade? For me it’s the first one above - my Mum’s kitchen made my rolls, and they were pretty good. At the same time, being a member of the Gen X/Oregon-Trail era, Cinnabon rolls are what I remember best. Puffy, ultra sweet, and with frosting that hurts my teeth just thinking about it. To my teenage self, they were heaven!
Sunday, March 10, 2019
Monday, February 25, 2019
Well, we’re finally filling up the extra fridge & deep freezer that we keep in the basement. Usually the only time we are at “full capacity” is before a big holiday dinner or party. That’s when the house becomes (almost) literally stuffed to the rafters with dishes and covered plates. Nowadays, my three hungry, growing boys are driving me to stock up on extra supplies - even after filling up the larder, I still have to make two trips to the market each week to restock!
Friday, February 15, 2019
It’s been a while….
I’d love to say that I was off travelling the world, or publishing a bestselling cookbook (oh, how I wish that was true for real!), all these months. My children have grown bigger, some seasons have come and gone, and the only bits & pieces that I’ve shared of my kitchen adventures have been through the blog’s Instagram account.
Saturday, February 3, 2018
Like many people, I like the flavors found in Thai curry: the spice of chili peppers, the sweetness of coconut milk, the sourness of fish sauce, and the fragrance of lemongrass and galangal. My husband, however, is on a whole other level; if he had full control over our dinner menu, we would probably eat exclusively Southeast Asian cuisine at home. This is the man who, when living on his own as a student, chose his apartment based on its proximity to not one, but FOUR Thai restaurants, to match his frequent cravings for tom yum!
Our first date was at a Thai restaurant in Boston. Our first six months of dating were studded with stops for Pad Thai and Summer Rolls, spicy noodle soups and coconut-milk curries, until one day I had to put my foot down; I was Thai-ed out! Luckily, my protest didn’t last long, and my husband has been able to bring these delicious flavors back to the table.
Fast forward to today, and while we still place orders at our local Thai restaurant, we have become more adventurous in cooking at home with these ingredients. This dish - Seared Tuna with Thai Red Curry, is one of our best. Inspired by the delicious curries we enjoyed in our younger days, beautiful rare tuna sits on top of a flavorful kefir lime & coconut red curry sauce, complimented by a crispy rice noodle cake and a bright, fresh, green salad. Sweet, sour, and balanced by the vinegary dressing, this dish looks intimidating, but came together in twenty minutes. The flavors knocked our socks off, and just maybe, converted me a bit more to the Thai side.
Friday, January 5, 2018
As the icy winds of winter rage on, my yearly temptation to curl up and hibernate becomes more and more compelling. I am a ‘cozy sweater and wool socks by the fire’ sort of girl, and always have been. Even in the (now long-departed) professional ballet days, you could always find me double-layered in fleecy warm sweats with a soft scarf wrapped around my neck. I would even bring my own cozy blanket to the theater to fight off drafts while waiting between rehearsals. To sum up - I take being comfortable very seriously!
Even now I still layer up in my favorite cashmere sweater and find the perfect spot in front of the fireplace; somewhere between ‘really warm’ and ‘almost too hot’! I know that I am not alone in my quest for coziness: The Danish have a wonderful term for everything pleasant and snug - “Hygge”, which roughly translates to “wellbeing”. Think warm socks, good food & drink, and plush surroundings by a cozy fire. Smart people, those Danes.
This dish is all of that “Hygge” wrapped up in a crunchy, sweet, warm apple & pear hug. Even before you taste the first spoonful, the air is perfumed with cinnamon, and the smell of fruit melting into a buttered pan. This Apple Pear Cobbler is how I keep the snow and cold away!
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
As a New Englander, I always feel that certain flavors are deeply etched in our collective memory. When I think back to classic food memories, in Boston, the Cape, or in the Berkshires, there are a few that pop (mouthwateringly) into my mind. Things like fried seafood and lobster rolls from a beachside clam shack, a hot fudge sundae on an oppressive summer day, fresh blueberries (by the handful), and the first bite of an orchard apple freshly plucked from a tree.
Since the holiday season is here, and cocktails are being served, I wanted to capture some of the flavors of the land. I combined brandy and fresh lemon juice with a sweet and beautifully caramel-colored locally pressed apple cider. I sweetened the whole mix with a special spiced sugar simple syrup featuring cinnamon, green cardamom pods, and vanilla. Taking it to the next level, a splash Campari rounds out this delicious drink. It tastes like walking through an orchard at the height of the fall; warm flavors, rich scents, and a smooth finish.