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Walnut Cups – gorgeous holiday cookie alternative (who doesn’t love a cream cheese crust?)

13 Dec

This reblog is my very favorite holiday cookie recipe…so elegant, so rich and delicious! And not hard at all!

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2012-12-16 09.19.14I absolutely cannot believe that I have never posted this recipe!

Yes this much butter, this much cream cheese. Get your jaw off the floor and get cooking! Yes this much butter, this much cream cheese. Get your jaw off the floor and get cooking!

For the last I don’t know how many years — since my neighbor Teresa brought some over for us one holiday season and was kind enough to give me the recipe — Marianne and family and I (and now Leandro) have included this recipe in our Christmas cookie baking extravaganza although  think last year we did Walnut Toffee Triangles instead. When we went to do the cups this year, I went straight to my own blog and was horrified (or perhaps I should say gobsmacked, simply because I can) to find I had never shared this with you!

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Coquito: Puerto Rican Egg Nog (this one without eggs!)

12 Dec

’tis la temporada navideña! A few people have been asking for this one lately…here it is!!!

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In Puerto Rico, as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey is scraped off the plates, our collective thoughts turn to what we are going to eat for Christmas. But we are not just talking about Christmas Eve or Christmas day, oh no.We’re talking about every day for the next two months.

Recipes written by by late, great-aunt Titi Amida for my mother. Recipes written by by late, great-aunt Titi Amida for my mother.

Christmas lasts from the day after Thanksgiving well into January, with the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings Day on January 6th, followed by octavas(the eight days after Three Kings Day) which are then followed by octavitas, which last for another eight days. And since we’re practically into February by then, you might as well keep celebrating until Valentine’s Day on the 14th….We have to do it this way, to give everyone who wants to have a Christmas party the opportunity. Twelve days of Christmas…

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2014 Thanksgiving Easy Recipe Round-Up

27 Nov

It’s that time again….here is a reblog of a Thanksgiving recipe round-up….I’ll be making several of these today! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! xoxox

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I will probably post a few more Thanksgiving recipes in the next few days, but here is a start – some of our time-honored favorites that are not hard to do, but really celebrate the season. If you want to keep it simple and bountiful, take a look at these suggestions as you make your shopping list and measure how much time and energy you will really have to devote to pyrotechnics.

We are all about being thankful this year, since we’ve beat back cancer and are making it through the economic slowdown and all…so quietly and leisurely is how we are taking it!

Butternut Squash Bisque and bonus pumpkin seed pepitas

Butternut Squash Bisque Butternut Squash Bisque

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts!Brussels Sprouts!

Green Beans– bring the sweetness to the fore

These were from our garden!These were from our garden!

Brine that Bird! (especially if you are getting a farm-fresh, free-range turkey)

bathed in the glow of a Home Depot bucket bathed in the glow…

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Chick Pea, Sausage and Winter Squash/Calabaza Stew

5 Nov

As a chilly weekend approaches, consider this warming soup (you can substitute different pumpkins or squashes and different sausages too!)

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Soup and stew season is upon us!

Funnily enough, I was working on a story on Indian food for Edible Long Island when I spotted my kind of calabaza in the pumpkin section of Patel Brothers (a nationwide chain of Indian/South Asian groceries stores) in Hicksville, and made sure to buy a big hunk on the way out after my interview with the manager.

Calabaza Calabaza

I say “funnily”, not just because I found Caribbean calabaza in an Indian shop — which in and of itself has some sort of sardonic Christopher Columbus karma about it — but that because of immigration patterns, i can no longer find the Puerto Rican variety in Latin groceries where it belongs. All the Puerto Ricans have married out or moved out and been replaced by Central Americans who use kabochas or some other varieties which are not quite right for me!

(For more on…

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Lentil Soup/Sopa de Lentejas (with vegetarian/vegan option); Snuggly, Spicy Winter Soup

2 Nov

NOTE TO READERS ON REBLOG: this is a staple recipe in my house that deserves to be reposted! Make this on a blustery Sunday and eat hearty and healthy all week!

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If you do not have a bag of dried lentils in your larder at all times, you’ve got some explaining to do. These little cuties are about $.80 a pound, keep for a year, are full of good stuff for you and don’t need to be pre-soaked. They are fast, convenient, filling and ever so tasty. How could you not?

Lentil Soup has got to be the best comfort food ever. It is rich and hearty and slurpy and — this version at least – just a bit spicy. You can use whatever scraps you’ve got around. You can give it a Middle Eastern flavor or Italian flair by varying the spices. Use a different type of sausage – like kielbasa – and some sage or rosemary for a more Eastern European style. Use no sausage at all and a dash of liquid aminos or veggie steak sauce and some…

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RECIPE: David Rosengarten’s Linguine with White Clam Sauce – Edible East End

2 Sep


I just posted this recipe on Edible East End’s blog…and thought you might like to see it. It is the best linguine with white clam sauce I have ever tried and it was made for me and the Edible team as we shot a story for the winter issue!

In the Kitchen with David Rosengarten

RECIPE: David Rosengarten’s Linguine with White Clam Sauce – Edible East End.

I sooooo shouldn’t be eating this but….

26 Aug

Yes, I really did send my seven-year-old son to bed with a banana, saying he’d eaten quite enough for one day and he couldn’t possibly still be hungry and then turned around and snacked on not one but both of these decidedly not-healthy items. I like to think that inconsistency is part of my charm.

I could try to excuse myself by saying how long it has taken me to eat the whole tub, but I won't bother.

I could try to excuse myself by saying how long it has taken me to eat the whole tub, but I won’t bother.


Oh the horror. Oh the secret guilty pleasure of a handful of salty crunch.

Oh the horror. Oh the secret guilty pleasure of a handful of salty greasy crunch.

‘Nuff said. Back later in the week with something I can be more proud of.


Natalia’s Refrigerator Pickles (prep in 30 minutes, eat in 24 hours)

9 Aug

Note to readers on REBLOG: Since I will be making these today with my friends Lori and John, I thought it was worth a reblog! Easy and delicious…will go well well with some local craft beer at a family and neighbor BBQ reunion this coming week!

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Refrigerator pickles are kind of like entry-level preserving for those of us who aspire to be like Martha Stewart, but don’t have the time, patience or domestic staff.

I started making them last year with a bumper crop of CSA pickles and zucchini and had so much fun, instant gratification and praise that I have kept going. I actually entered them in the Long Island Fair last fall, but the jar cracked and put me out of the running (wardrobe malfunction of the foodista variety). I will try again next year (so don’t even think about trying to enter this recipe on your own!).

These are a really popular item at BBQs and nice hostess gifts for wherever you are going to have dinner. By all means play around with the ingredients; I think turmeric is crucial, but leave it out for a more pure dill flavor.

And really, they…

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Grilled Lemon-Herb Pattypan Squash (no paring or peeling!)

4 Jul

Pattypans are turning up at CSA pick-up now. Here’s what to do with them…(with links to other recipes)

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At this time of year, everyone wants to know what to do with pattypan squash — sometimes called sunburst squash – the one that really does look a bit like a squashed mini-pumpkin, or a hat for a Scottish maiden. So first off, let me say DON”T PEEL IT. You can cook it with the rind on and you can eat the whole thing.

Pattypans and zucchini together! Not much difference when they are sliced.... Pattypans and zucchini together! Not much difference when they are sliced….

Pattypan squash can be treated pretty much the same as zucchini or any other soft-skinned summer squash. Usually I roast it/stuff it, but this week we decided to grill it along with some other vegetables. Honestly I don’t think anyone at our celebrate-the-neighborhood BBQ realized they weren’t the regular yellow squash. And when I went to snack on them at the end of the long night of festivities, there were none left…

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Hurray for Sissy Drinks! (Two refreshing wine cocktails)

29 Jun

The summer is here. Here’s how to have wine on a summer Sunday without messing up your Monday!

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This summer has been too damn hot and (in my part of the world) humid for normal alcohol consumption. On a normal day, I am not a sipper. I am a gulper. Of water, of tea — hot or cold –, and wine, my beverage of choice. Add the hazy, hot, and humid factors and you would think that I was a camel, sucking up everything wet the oasis has to offer.

But that kind of hurry can’t be applied to alcohol. I would keel over and instead of being relaxing or fun, the scene would just get ugly. So in the summer, especially in this summer, I have resorted to what I like to call sissy drinks. Low alcohol, lots of non-alcoholic liquids added, over lots of ice.

You may laugh, you may make unfavorable references to the era of Bartles & James, wine coolers and the like, but…

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