Summer is peeking through

blistered shishito peppers on

Little by little Summer is starting to appear in our lives. Stone fruits are starting to appear in markets and brighten our lives. These little shishito peppers appeared on the shelves the other day and I got really excited.

blistered shishito peppers on

lined up

Last year in NYC, these Asian peppers were popping up on menus all across town. The peppers aren’t spicy, they’re slightly sweet on their own. When tossed with a little salt and lemon juice they’re a perfect little appetizer with a cold drink or as a snack or side dish for summer!



blistered shishito peppers
makes 1-2 servings

printer-friendly version

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 container shishito peppers
juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Heat a skillet over medum heat. Add the oil and peppers to the skillet and toss to coat. Allow the peppers to cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing them to blister but not burn. Remove from heat and toss with lemon juice and sea salt. Serve warm.

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jammin’ again

onion jam

Jam is one of those “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” foods. I mean really. You throw a bunch of fruit, or in this case, onions, into a pot, add a little of this a little of that and you cook until you get a delicious end result.

all in

This onion jam is sweet and savory and a perfect condiment for your summer grilling. You can also melt some cheese on bread and top it with this jam and call it a fancy hors d’oeuvre or a grown up grilled cheese. The possibilities are endless.


onion jam
printer-friendly recipe
adapted from Marc Matsumoto

1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 large red onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon salt.

Heat the oil in a non-stick saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the remaining ingredients and gently stir to combine, making sure that the bay leaf and cinnamon stick are tucked under the onions. Place a lid over the pan and cook until the onions are very soft (30 minutes). Remove the lid and turn up the heat to medium. Reduce the jam, stirring constantly and allowing the liquid the evaporate and the onions to further caramelize.

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thank goodness for a good mistake

garlicky green beans on

I’ve never had a problem eating my green vegetables. Honestly, I never really had a choice. Growing up the term “clean plate club” was used to nicely enforce the fact that we were expected to eat everything we were given or else we weren’t getting up from the table until everyone else was done. So yeah…those veggies were not a choice.

glass bowls

Lucky for me, I like veggies. After all, something has to balance out all the cupcakes, right? These green beans have been my favorite for forever. My mom would notoriously walk away from the pan, get distracted, and burn a few. And that was the best mistake because something about those slightly “over-browned” green beans made them work fighting for. My brothers and I would sneak them out of the serving dish one by one until we were found out reprimanded.


Also delicious was the crunchy garlic, which we nabbed out of the cooled pan after dinner. They key to the garlic is that it’s browned, not burned, and therefore crispy without being overly bitter.

I use the microwave to steam the green beans before adding them to the pan, but you can definitely use a steamer basket or blanch them beforehand instead. The whole point is to just partially cook them otherwise the garlic may burn while they’re taking longer to cook.

don't let it burn

garlicky green beans
makes 4 servings

printer-friendly version

1 pound fresh green beans, ends snipped
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the green beans in a microwave-safe bowl with a few tablespoons water and cook for five minutes. Drain water from the bowl and set aside. Heat a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and swirl the pan to coat. Add the garlic and saute one minute until slightly softened. Add the green beans and toss to coat in the garlic and olive oil. Turn the heat up to medium and let the green beans cook, undisturbed, for 3-4 minutes. Toss again and let cook for another 3-4 minutes. Adjust the heat if the garlic starts to get too dark. Remove from the heat, add the salt and pepper and toss to incorporate. Serve immediately.

Posted in meatless monday, side dish, side dishes, vegan, vegetarian | Tagged , , | 3 Comments


Churro muffins on

Don’t judge: I ate two of these immediately after coating them in cinnamon and sugar. Two.

Churro muffins on

I grew up not knowing what a churro was. And by “grew up” I mean that I had no idea what they were until I was 28 years old. That’s 28 years that I missed out. I didn’t eat my first one until I was 29 and walking through a street fair. It’s a shame really. These long, thin, fried dough sticks are rolled in cinnamon and sugar and are the things that dreams are made of. Haven’t had one? You should. Go. Find a churro right now.

Churro muffins on

I don’t like to fry things, though, mostly because it seems like a waste of oil and because I’m likely to burn myself. Also because it’s bad for you, but let’s face it, that’s never stopped me before. These muffins seemed like the perfect, inspired baked good to satisfy my churro needs, and they are.

Churro muffins on

They’re so good I ate two. Then I shared. Begrudgingly. So you should make your own.


churro muffins
makes 12 muffins

printer-friendly version

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon until well combined and any lumps have been removed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, and vanilla extract, then add the egg and whisk again. The batter will be runny. Fill the cups of a well-greased muffin tin 2/3 of the way and bake for 16-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from muffin tray. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and mix until will combined. When completely cooled, dip tops in butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.

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it’s a dilly

having fun with my mandoline

Need a light salad for your next potluck or grill dinner? Here’s a refreshing cucumber dill salad coming your way. It’s light on the vinegar, but has tons of flavor from the copious amounts of dill. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it gets. Enjoy!

cucumber dill salad

cucumber dill salad
printer-friendly recipe
adapted from Martha Stewart
serves: 4-6 (side dish)

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Toss in the cucumbers, red onions, and fresh dill. Cover and chill for at least 15 minutes.

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dukk, dukk, salmon

dukkah close up

Are you looking for a new way to prepare fish? We are fans of oven-baking fish to get that moist, flakey texture without much fuss. I like to have it topped with a layer of panko breadcrumbs or just seasoned with lemon pepper. But sometimes, I’m looking for something new.

a nut & spice blend

I found this container of Dukkah spice blend in my pantry, an impulse Trader Joe’s purchase, for sure. Dukkah is an Egyptian condiment made up of herbs, nuts, and spices. This version contains almonds, sesame, fennel, and anise seeds along with coriander and salt.

salmon + mayo + dukkah

I used a bit of my paleo mayo as glue before I crusted the salmon fillet with the dukkah spice blend. It made for a delicious nutty topping and was a great change of pace from our usual baked salmon.

dukkah-crusted salmon

dukkah-crusted salmon
printer-friendly recipe
serves: 2

Olive oil
2 salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon mayonaise
2 tablespoons dukkah spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small foil-lined pan with a light layer of olive oil. Salt and pepper the salmon filets and add to the pan. Smear half the mayo on top of each fillet and add the dukkah spice, pressing gently to coat. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the fish easily flakes with a fork.

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spring has sprung

rhubarb upside down cake on

Spring! It’s here! It’s finally here! And I couldn’t be more happy to see it. For those who live in other parts of the world, you might not realize how miserable and cold this past NY winter has been, but it was a rough one. Cold, grey, so very, very long.

all right there

cut on the bias

Spring isn’t just lovely because the weather gets warmer, though. It brings with it a whole new, wonderful crop of spring fruits, veggies, and roots to spur creativity in the kitchen. And who could resist some gorgeous red rhubarb?


Rhubarb is a little bitter by itself, which is why you often see it paired with seasonally sweet strawberries in recipes. This upside down cake creates a syrupy mixture to combat the rhubarb’s taste and bring out its sweetness. The cake itself is light and airy and makes a perfectly gooey springtime treat.

rhubarb skillet



rhubarb upside-down cake
from saveur
makes 8 servings

printer-friendly version

¾ pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1 ½” pieces
1 ½ cups sugar
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus 6 tbsp. cut into ½” cubes and chilled
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup vegetable shortening
⅓ cup milk
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup on the sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, the lemon juice, vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and cook until the rhubarb is tender, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining sugar, salt, flour and baking soda to remove any lumps. Add the cubed butter and the shortening to the bowl in dollops. Use your hands to combine everything until well-combined and the dough forms pea-size balls. Add the milk and eggs. Stir until a consistent, sticky dough forms. Add the dough to the skillet in dollops and use a spatula to gently spread to cover the rhubarb mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Place a large plate or platter over the skillet and flip to remove the cake. Let cool completely before serving.

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