This year in lieu of going to a large party, we invited a small group of friends to our house for New Year’s Eve. I wanted to create a menu that was elegant enough for a holiday, but simple to put together. I used the Barefoot Contessa approach and took a lot of help from… Continue reading Impromptu New Year’s Eve Party
After a month of holiday-related gluttony, I feel the urge to pare down. If you know my mother, you’re aware I am genetically predisposed to this way of thinking. The idea of starting fresh in the New Year isn’t a new one, but my take on it is a little different this year. Lately, I’ve been telling myself to let… Continue reading Paring Down
Chicago is one of my favorite places. I interned there in college and quickly fell in love with the city. Since my internship, I’ve returned twice, once as a newly engaged couple and most recently with my husband this fall. Although I’d lived there before, I spent a lot of time researching where we should eat and… Continue reading Places: Chicago
Every year, I play elf. I spend an entire weekend baking treats and then, package the results in simple boxes tied with pretty ribbon.The formula of baked items is always tweaked, and this year was no exception. Instead of adding candies, I decided to cook in my comfort zone. I prepared only cookies. Candies stress me… Continue reading Christmas Cookies
Salad dressings are shockingly simple to make, and the homemade version tastes so much better than the bottled variety. Follow this simple formula to make a variety of dressings: Dijon mustard, vinegar/acid and extra virgin olive oil. I like mine with a little bit of minced shallot, but it’s completely optional. Here’s how to make your own easy dressing.
Growing up I didn’t like whipped cream – wouldn’t touch the stuff. My parents would order desserts with it, so they could “share” part of my meal. My parents are very crafty people. I held on to my dislike of whipped cream until I was in college when I was introduced to the real thing. The chef at… Continue reading Whip It
I like to drink wine, but admittedly, know little about it. Generally, when choosing a wine, I rely heavily on the scorecards often posted at liquor scores. I knew that high numbers correlated to better wine, but didn’t really know what exactly the ranges meant. Below is a guide to how Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale works: 95-100… Continue reading Wine Ratings
I love potatoes. Mashed, roasted, or au gratin, I haven’t met a potato I didn’t like. This is one of my favorite methods for making potatoes during the week. It’s not so much a recipe as a potato roadmap. Swap the garlic pepper for Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning. Both are delicious. Sprinkling them with cheese is… Continue reading Easy-Peasy Roasted Potatoes
Some of my favorite things to make are items that sound fancy, but are very easy to put together. A balsamic reduction falls into that category. To make one for yourself, just put balsamic vinegar in a pot and boil it. That’s it. Really.