Post image for Cheesy Quinoa & Mushroom Burgers

These Cheesy Quinoa & Mushroom Burgers have become a go-to meal for me. In fact, I have made them at least 4 times in the past month. They are so hearty and satisfying and with a little prep, make for a healthy, casual meal. Quinoa is known as a “superfood” in the health world because it is one of the few grains that is a complete protein, unlike wheat or rice.  Quinoa also packs in significant amounts of dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.

I like the fact that these veggie burgers feature quinoa, rather than just starchy beans like most veggie burgers usually do. The burgers are made with onion, mushrooms, cheese, pecans, an egg and a dash of soy sauce and sprinkling of herbs. The result is Read More…


Lima Restaurant, London

January 15, 2014

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This weekend my husband and I checked out Lima, a Michelin-starred Peruvian restaurant in Fitzrovia. I had high expectations for Latin American chef Virgilio Martinez’s London restaurant after reading some above average critic reviews and having a bit of trouble getting a primetime reservation (persistence on TopTable is key). We had an 8:30 p.m. friday night table and while I initially envisioned a dark, buzzy and lively scene, it was quiet and bright, and everything from the ambience to the service fell a little flat. All that aside, we were there to dine, so I was willing to forgive all of that if the food was extraordinary. Read More…


Post image for Roasted Chicken with Clementines & Rosemary

I was browsing through Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Jerusalem, and was inspired by a unique recipe for roasted chicken with clementines and Arak, an anise-based Lebanese spirit. I have been spotting leafy clementines at my local farmer’s market lately – it is peak season after all – so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to cook up a savory dish featuring this sweet and juicy fruit. I didn’t have some key ingredients in Ottolenghi’s recipe on hand (mainly the Arak and fennel), so I decided to get creative and create something a little different on my own, still of course featuring some lovely clementines.

I first marinated the chicken in olive oil, orange juice, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, and then tossed it with thin slices of fresh clementines, a generous sprinkling of fresh rosemary and a few pieces of onion. I then roasted it in the oven until cooked through and golden. The combination of zesty orange along with the caramelization from the brown sugar and the sweetness of the balsamic vinegar created a delicious, light and flavorful sauce. This recipe is so easy and perfect for a quick, throw-together meal. Serve it with a green vegetable and/or rice if you can spare the carbs. Enjoy!!! Read More…


Cherry Vanilla Popsicles

January 9, 2014

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My latest food obsession: popsicles. I got a Zoku Classic Pop Mold from my Mom this Christmas and I have been having a blast experimenting with different homemade popsicle recipes. It’s very easy to make popsicles into a healthy snack full of nutritious ingredients like fruit, Greek yogurt and a small amount of honey or agave nectar. Of course, you can go wild with “ice cream” style pops complete with half & half and melted semisweet chocolate, but since I am on my New Years health kick, I am sticking with the low-cal varieties for now.

One of my favorite combinations is cherry and vanilla. To make the pops, I Read More…

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Layered Vegetable Bake

January 7, 2014

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I hope everyone had a wonderful festive season and enjoyed a lot of delicious food with your loved ones! For those of you like myself who may have overindulged a little too much (see here), I am excited to introduce the first of several healthy recipes this month here on The Chic Brûlée. I refuse to sacrifice on taste, so all of my healthy recipes are not only low in calories and carbs, but delicious in their own right as well.

I recently picked up a copy of Honestly Healthy by Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson, a cookbook that follows the trendy alkaline diet, beloved by the likes of Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow (just sayin’). The diet discourages ‘very acid forming’ foods like starchy grains and vegetables (pasta, wheat, beans, etc.) as well as all dairy products, meat, and fish, because, in their opinion, these foods are bad for you. It also promises many health benefits and aims to reduce the amount of internal stress on the body. Although I am NOT following the diet in its entirety, I was excited to try out a few recipes in the book and add them to my healthy eating repertoire.

Last night I made a divine Layered Vegetable Bake. A sort of “lasagna,” Read More…


Posh Sausage Roll

December 23, 2013

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Last night I baked a posh take on a sausage roll and it was so scrumptious I couldn’t wait to share it with you all. I was watching chef Glynn Purnell cook up this much-loved savory pastry on a Christmas-themed cooking show hosted by chef Michel Roux, Jr., and I was so intrigued by what I saw that I went out and bought the ingredients to make it the very next day.

This roll is made posh by the addition of some delicious and unique filling ingredients not usually found in sausage rolls, such as toasted chopped pistachios, dried apricots and a festive pinch of ginger and nutmeg. Of course, it wouldn’t be a sausage roll without a meaty base, so plenty of streaky bacon, minced pork and sausage meat covers that nicely. To make life easier, you can use a store-bought puff pastry as well. Once baked, the pastry was golden and crispy and the filling had a rich flavor, accented nicely by the sweetness of the apricots and the subtle crunch of the pistachios.

I can picture this roll being enjoyed at Christmastime, when friends and family drop by the house and you need a delicious pick-up food to serve in the midst of all of the madness. My husband and I enjoyed it with a bottle of red wine and a light green salad. I will definitely be adding this Posh Sausage Roll to my Christmas cooking repertoire. Give it a try! 

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With Christmas fast approaching, I wanted to share some of my most popular recipes for holiday treats that I’ve baked here on The Chic Brûlée! Simply click on whichever picture you chose and it will bring you to the post page with a full recipe. Each one of these recipes is special to me (and tried and true favorites in my family) so I hope you will give one of them a try this year. Happy Baking!

Pfeffernüsse Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls Bourbon Balls Christmas Cookies with Royal Icing Pecan Pie Biscotti Butterballs Saltine Toffee


Chocolate Almond Biscotti

November 27, 2013

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I love biscotti. Although I am often tempted to pick up a few at my local bakery when I want something sweet, they are even more delicious when baked fresh at home and once you master the technique, they are easy and quick to bake. There is an almost endless variety of variations and flavors you can choose from, but per usual I am always drawn to anything chocolate. I have made biscotti before with much success (see my Pecan Pie Biscotti), so I didn’t hesitate to give a chocolate one a try. My husband and I cooked a steak dinner this past weekend, so I wanted to bake something light to have as dessert along with an espresso and this was the perfect choice. Most biscotti is made without butter or oil, so it is a healthier choice than Read More…

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Tom Aikens Restaurant, Chelsea

November 22, 2013

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Last weekend I checked out Tom Aikens restaurant on London’s Elystan Street in Chelsea. I heard good things about English chef Aikens and his Michelin-starred eatery so I was very excited to give it a try. The atmosphere was refreshingly informal yet undeniably classy, with wooden tables, minimalist decor and dim, candlelit lighting. It’s one of those ‘deformalized’ fine dining experiences that I would really like to see more of around the city.

The service was impeccable from the Read More…


Italian-Style Stuffed Peppers

November 20, 2013

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Here is my grandmother’s tried-and-true recipe for the best Italian-style stuffed peppers.  Although I have made a few modern variations on stuffed peppers recently (some unsuccessful, I must admit), I wanted to take it back and make the *real* stuffed peppers my family and I have enjoyed for years so I asked my grandmother for her recipe.

The peppers are stuffed with a tasty mixture of ground beef, pork and veal, along with onions, cooked rice, bread, Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and garlic. It’s full of traditional Italian flavors and almost tastes like a meatball. The cooked rice adds texture and heartiness, and the mixture of meats adds a ton more flavor and richness than if you only used ground beef. We have a special way of cooking it that doesn’t dry out the filling, but still allows the stuffed peppers to retain their shape. These stuffed peppers make for a lovely meal. Enjoy! Read More…