Margarita Cheesecake

August 13, 2012

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Last week the fiancé and I were tasked with cooking dinner for one night at our family shore house in beautiful Ocean City, New Jersey. Before I even thought about what I’d make for the main dish (post coming soon…), I thought long and hard about what to bake for dessert – my favorite course of any meal. With the abundant sunshine and beachside location, I thought a Margarita Cheesecake would be perfect for this occasion and hoped our family would enjoy it. You start out with a recipe for a traditional, creamy cheesecake with a graham cracker crust as a base and then add tequila, triple sec and lime in true margarita style. The cheesecake is finished with a thin layer of tangy sour cream topping. It’s light, refreshing and a fantastic variation on a timeless favorite. By the end of the night, the whole cheesecake was devoured… except for the piece I hid for myself 😉 Read More…

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Blueberry Peach Crumble

August 3, 2012

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This comforting recipe for Blueberry Peach Crumble needs little introduction. Cobblers come in all sorts of varieties, but one of my favorite fruit combinations is blueberry and peach. The fruity filling consists of the usual components, sugar and cornstarch, along with a delicious twist – lemon juice, freshly grated lemon zest, cinnamon and almond extract. The combination is heavenly. To top it off I made a traditional crumble of brown sugar, butter, four and salt. It’s easy to make and a guaranteed hit. Once baked it will be crumbly on top and oozing with warm fruit on the bottom. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of freshly whipped cream. It’s the perfect end to your summer meals. Read More…

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Heavenly Cheese Danish

July 31, 2012

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The ultimate crowd-pleaser, my recipe for Heavenly Cheese Danish is an easy treat to be enjoyed for breakfast, dessert or any time of day. This recipe uses refrigerated crescent rolls in place of puff pastry, making the preparation easy and quick. The filling is a creamy and sweet cream cheese mixture, with a hint of fresh lemon juice and vanilla extract. Once out of the oven, golden and crispy on top and drizzled with glaze, you will be amazed at the finished danish that truly tastes better than a bakery. The texture is very light and has far more creamy filling than any pre-packaged danish you’d find in the stores. Make this ASAP for your family and friends – I guarantee you’ll be making your second one shortly after! 😉 Read More…

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Vegetarian Moussaka

July 27, 2012

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When my fiancé and I visited the magical island of Santorini about this time last summer, one of our most memorable meals on the island was at Nectar & Ambrosia Restaurant, where we enjoyed a rich Greek Moussaka. A traditional Greek Moussaka is made by layering eggplant with a spiced meat filling and topping it with a creamy, baked béchamel sauce. It is a rich and satisfying dish usually reserved for special Sunday night meals or celebration dinners. Our meal and experience at Nectar & Ambrosia, an exclusive spot with only 14 tables on the terrace and 8 tables inside,was an experience we will not soon forget.  Read More…

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Post image for Chili Lime Sweet Potato Salad

A little healthier than traditional potato salad and a lot more flavorful, Chili Lime Sweet Potato Salad is an easy and fun side. You start out by roasting sweet potatoes in the oven until crisp and then toss them with a homemade dressing made of garlic, onion, fresh lime juice, cumin, chili powder and cilantro. When the warm sweet potatoes are tossed with the dressing, they become beautifully coated and all of the flavor absorbs into the potatoes. It’s a colorful and fresh dish (with a kick!) that I highly recommend adding to your summer cooking repertoire.  Read More…

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For a great side or light lunch, try my healthy and refreshing Summer Tomato Cucumber Salad. This fresh and cool salad is made with sweet cherry tomatoes, crunchy cucumber and thinly sliced red onions and topped with crumbled feta, basil and a light red wine vinaigrette. Serve alone with crusty bread or alongside your favorite meal. Enjoy!  Read More…

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Zucchini Chive Fritters

July 20, 2012

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In the summer, there is always plenty of zucchini around, so what better way to make the most of it then cook up some Zucchini Chive Fritters. These sautéed veggie cakes are made with freshly grated zucchini, herbs, Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, and flour, and then finished with lemon slices, chopped fresh chives and more Greek yogurt for a tangy topping.  The fritters make for a wonderful side dish or a light dinner accompanied by a Greek salad (recipe coming soon…). A perfect excuse to head on over to your farmer’s market this weekend… Read More…

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Post image for Orange Date Oat Bran Muffins

I had some extra dried dates around (see Pan-Latin Picadillo), so I decided to put them to good use by creating a healthy oat bran muffin recipe that features this delicious dried fruit. I love dates for a special reason. They remind me of my unforgettable trip to Istanbul last summer, where bazaars overflowed with hundreds of plump dried figs, apricots and dates around every corner of the city. For this recipe, I used oat bran and whole wheat flour as a base and Greek yogurt and applesauce as a substitute for oil. The finishing touch is the addition of freshly grated orange rind and, of course, chopped dried dates for a Middle Eastern-inspired health muffin.  Read More…

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Pan-Latin Picadillo

July 18, 2012

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It’s time to spice up your dinner routine and I’ve got the perfect recipe to turn up the heat. It’s a traditional Latin American dish called, “Picadillo.” Although there are many variations of Picadillo depending on the country the recipe is coming from, in general it is comprised of ground meat and a mix of local vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and onions. To accompany the Picadillo, I wanted to prepare tostones – fried plantains – but in order to make them a little more healthy, I decided to bake them instead of fry. Once baked, they came out crispy and full of flavor. I highly recommended this method. Once everything was prepared and smells of fresh and fiery Latin American flavors filled the kitchen, I served the delicious blend of ground pork and veal over crispy baked plantains, or tostones, and a homemade smooth salsa, bursting with fragrant cilantro, tomatoes, onions and jalapeño.

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NYC: Brunch at Calliope

July 17, 2012

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It was time for sunday brunch and this week my fiancé and I decided to forgo the usual mad rush to Peels, Five Points or Café Cluny and try out a chic new neigborhood bistro from Waverly Inn alum Eric Korsh and his wife, Ginevra Iverson, formerly of Prune, called Calliope. This impressive pedigree seriously got our hopes up – and it sure did deliver.

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