Month: September 2013

Summer Recap

I know it’s been months since my last blog post, but between graduation and moving to New York City, I’ve had quite the summer. But yes, I’m back at Every Day with Rachael Ray, assisting with all online content and social media, and I’m finally settled in enough to have free time to blog. Well, here’s what I (and my stomach) have been up to:

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and Momofuku Cereal Milk Ice Cream

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and Magnum’s DIY Ice Cream Bar Stand at Bryant Park

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  • I ventured to Smorgasburg and tried some awesome pizza from Pizza Moto

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  • I went to the Vendy Awards and had some more awesome food truck treats

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Pictured: Carpe Donut‘s Apple Cider Donut, Odd Fellows’ PB&J and Cornbread Ice Creams and Bon Chovies Fried Anchovies

…. and many many more

  • I’ve gotten into the serious habit of packing my breakfast and lunch, including these fabulous recipes:

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Curry Egg Salad in Endive

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Check ’em out, and maybe you’ll be inspired to start packing your lunch again too! Got any other good lunch ideas? Let me know! Can’t wait to continue regularly maintaining my blog!

Soup Season Already?

It’s barely fall but I’m already in the mood for everything autumn: Pumpkin Spice Lattes, knit sweaters, leather boots and, most importantly, fall ingredients and soup! I bought a few extra peppers last week at the grocery store and felt inspired to make my first-ever roasted red peppers, which would then be converted into soup. The recipe is very simple, but the flavors are devine. Add some chicken or quinoa and make it a meal, or serve it on the side of a salad or light dinner. Fall, I’m ready for ya!

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INGREDIENTS (makes 4 servings)

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

3 red peppers

2 tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp. smokey paprika

dash of cayenne pepper

3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

salt and pepper

greek yogurt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat broiler. Cut each pepper in half and remove the seeds and stem. Place each half, skin side up, on a foil-lined cookie sheet and brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Broil peppers until the outsides are completely charred, 15-20 minutes. Once charred, place the peppers in a plastic bag and seal for about 20 minutes. The steam will help the skins come off more easily. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sautee until soft and translucent. Add the cayenne and paprika and stir for a minute. Add the stock and lower the heat. Once cooled, remove the skins of the peppers and tear them into strips. Put them in a blender or food processor and pulse a few times. Add the stock mixture and puree until the soup is smooth. If the soup is too spicy, add a dollop or two of greek yogurt and blend again. Return soup to the saucepan and heat to your desired temperature. Garnish with a dollop of greek yogurt, sour cream, olives, olive oil, etc.

Revisiting Egg Salad

I am proud to admit that I have formed the healthy habit of packing my lunch for work. I began experimenting with delicious recipes last summer that I could bring to work and not have lunch envy of my co-workers who tend to buy theirs.  Last year, I realized the amazing substitution secret of Greek yogurt for mayonnaise, and I’ve stuck to that substitution ever since. I used it in egg salad last year, and tried out a different recipe this year, which I know I’ll make again and again (it’s so addicting).

I also discovered the power of endive leaves- the perfect dipping utensil with a slightly bitter bite and crisp crunch. No need for chips! So the next time you’re in the mood for something creamy, spicy, crunchy and all-around satisfying to bring to lunch, try my Curry Egg Salad with Endive.

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INGREDIENTS (makes 1 serving)

2 hard boiled eggs, slightly mashed

¼ cup chopped granny smith apple

½ head endive leaves

⅛ cup greek yogurt

2 tbs. dijon mustard

1 tbp. white wine or white balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. curry powder

1 ½ tbsp. chopped cilantro

salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS


In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, mustard, vinegar, curry powder, salt and pepper. Make sure it tastes to your liking before adding eggs. Mix vigorously to combine. Fold in apples and cilantro. Just before eating, spoon enough egg salad to fill each endive leaf.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!

You may have heard by now, but Chia seeds aren’t just for growing pets anymore. In fact, they’re a great source of fiber, and a terrific thickening agent in place of flour or corn starch. I, however, have maximized the benefits of these little seeds by making chia pudding: a mixture of chia seeds and milk (and other flavors) that becomes thick, creamy and the perfect satisfying breakfast. I’ve only stuck to a basic Chia Pudding recipe so far, but I’m planning on experimenting with different flavor additions and toppings, as the seasons change.

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INGREDIENTS (makes 1 serving)

2 tbsp. chia seeds

⅔ cup almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer)

¼ tsp. vanilla extract

3-5 drops liquid Stevia or honey

dash of cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake. Refrigerate at least two hours or over night. Shake once more before opening. Top with fruit or honey.

I can’t wait to add seasonal mix-ins like pumpkin puree and seeds, apples, cocoa powder and- eventually- peppermint extract! What flavors would you like to see in Chia Pudding?

Bluth’s Frozen Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

In honor of the season four airing of Arrested Development, I wanted to create a dish that would truly honor and please any Arrested fan. Bluth’s banana stand has been an iconic part of the series since episode one. But I must admit, watching the Bluth family members chow down on those jailhouse ice cream sandwiches gets to my cravings just as much as the bananas. So I decided to create a recipe that would combine the two. Behold: a chocolate dipped banana ice cream sandwich. Once you’ve breezed through season four, this dessert will really fill the Arrested void in your life. And even if you’re not a fan of the show, there’s no reason why you, too, can’t enjoy some homemade ice cream sandwiched between two crunchy graham crackers coated in rich chocolate.

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INGREDIENTS (makes 8)

4 very ripe bananas

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

½ cup honey

1 vanilla bean, scraped

1 cup plus 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, separated

8 graham crackers

9 ounces semisweet chocolate

DIRECTIONS

Place bananas in the freezer overnight. Remove bananas from freezer and allow to thaw for 1 hour. Peel bananas and place in a food processor with the lemon juice. Process for 10-15 seconds. Add honey and vanilla bean seeds and turn the processor on. Slowly pour in 1 cup of the heavy cream and process until smooth. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

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Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to your maker’s instructions. Line a baking dish with tin foil or wax paper and place half the graham crackers on the bottom. Once the mixture is thick but still soft, scoop 1 ice cream scoop’s worth onto the bottom half of the graham crackers. Top each sandwich with the other half and freeze the sandwiches for 3 to 6 hours, until the ice cream is firm.

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Before you take the sandwiches out of the freezer, stir the chocolate and 5 tablespoons heavy cream in a medium bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water until smooth. Cool the mixture until lukewarm. Remove the sandwiches from the freezer and cut in half, at the perforated lines. Working with 1 sandwich at a time, dip half of the sandwich into the melted chocolate. Allow excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.

Place all sandwiches on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and return to the freezer. Freeze until chocolate sets and freezes, about an hour. Wrap each sandwich individually in foil and keep frozen until ready to serve. Enjoy!

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