Osso Buco

November 18, 2013

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Last weekend we visited my family in America and I was delighted to help my mom and grandmother cook up a Milanese classic, veal Osso Buco. A traditional Osso Buco consists of thick-cut, bone-in veal shanks that are braised for several hours in a white wine, tomato and herb sauce, and finished with a piquant gremolata topping.

“Osso Buco” translates in Italian to “bone’s hole,” – you can see how this dish got its name once the veal is cooked up to perfection and all of the marrow has seeped from the bones, thus creating a rich, decadent sauce, and, yes, leaving a “bone’s hole” in the center of the shanks. Because the veal is slow-cooked in this sauce, the meat becomes tender and succulent and falls easily off the bone.

This is a timeless and classic Read More…

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Easy Pumpkin Rum Bread Pudding

November 14, 2013

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Halloween may be over, but pumpkin desserts are still in full swing. Here is a recipe for Pumpkin Rum Bread Pudding that is surprisingly easy to make and perfect to whip up as a fall desert. The great thing about this recipe is that you can use regular sliced whole wheat bread, something many of us often have on hand at home. The bread pudding comes out hearty and custardy, with plenty of spiciness from the cinnamon and nutmeg, and an extra kick courtesy of 1/4 cup of rum. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. Delicious! Read More…

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It can take several days, weeks, even years, to find the ultimate chocolate cookie recipe. The kind of cookies I wanted to find are of the shamelessly rich, not-too-sweet, dark chocolate variety. In my search, I came across a recipe from cookbook-author Dorie Greenspan for “Sablés Korova,” which were named after the Paris restaurant where famed pastry chef Pierre Hermé created them. Dorie dubbed her sablés “Word Peace Cookies,” because a friend of hers, upon tasting them, believed that if everyone in the world ate one of these cookies everyday there would be no more violence and only peace in the world. With an introduction like that I had to give these indulgent chocolate cookies a try immediately.

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Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts

November 6, 2013

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I have been on a bit of a doughnut kick lately (see my Frosted Chocolate Cake Doughnuts), so I decided to continue the fun and bake up a batch of baked pumpkin cake doughnuts. Since they are not deep fried, these doughnuts are (a little) healthier and have more of a cupcake-like texture rather than a traditional doughnut texture. The result is very moist and chewy due to the pumpkin in the batter, along with lots of spiciness from pumpkin pie spice and cloves. For this recipe, you’ll need Read More…

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Post image for Relais de l’Entrecôte Saint-Germain, Paris

At this classic Parisian brasserie, there is no menu and vegetarians are somewhat discouraged to attend. Relais de l’Entrecôte Saint-Germain is part of a group of  3 restaurants in Paris, all specializing in (exclusively) steak frites with their famous secret sauce. I was a bit weary of this place because it seemed gimmicky and appeared way too often in tourist books and cheesy “best of” guides. Since they do not take reservations, it is not uncommon to wait several hours for a table. Read More…

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La Gazzetta, Paris

October 17, 2013

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A Parisian friend of ours recommended we check out La Gazzetta, a bistro in the 12th near the March d’Aligre run by Swedish-born chef Petter Nilsson. La Gazzetta isn’t a traditional Parisian bistro per-se, but rather a hip eatery with an inventive Nordic-inspired menu featuring plenty of French influences. Nordic food is all the rage Read More…

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Beef Stew with Rosemary

October 17, 2013

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Here is a recipe I made recently for a hearty and filling homemade beef stew. The stew is made with good quality stewing steak and plenty of red wine and rosemary for depth and flavor. Instead of starchy potatoes, I used onions, carrots, parsnips and green peas to add texture and volume. Parsnips are root vegetables, closely resembling carrots, and are a great substitute for potatoes if you are watching your carbs. Choosing a good quality red wine is key – I used a nice Vredenhof Cabernet Sauvignon, which made the stew a lovely dark burgundy color. After simmering for 2 1/2 hours+, the meat was tender and soft, and all of the flavors melded together perfectly. It’s my favorite beef stew recipe and can’t be beat for a simple yet satisfying dinner served with crusty bread (or on its own!) on a cool autumn night. Read More…

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Blé Sucré, Paris

October 16, 2013

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Every time I visit Paris I try a new bakery or pastry shop and this time it was Blé Sucré, an acclaimed pâtisserie and boulangerie in the edgy 12th arrondissement. I heard Blé Sucré (which translates to “sweet wheat”) had some of the best madeleines in Paris (which essentially amounts to the best madeleines in the world) as well as many other sweet and savory brioche-based and pasty-dough-based creations. It’s a huge title to live up to, but the minute I walked into the charming little shop I could tell it was something special.

Rows and rows of golden butter croissants and crispy baguettes were lined up beside baked Kouign-amann, meticulously layered millefeuille, colorful macarons and mini Paris-Brest, not to mention Read More…

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Post image for Strawberry Vanilla Protein Shake

This recipe is so simple that I hesitated to even post it, but the result is SO delicious and healthy I couldn’t resist. It’s my new go-to 132 calorie healthy snack that satisfies my sweet tooth and packs in 20 grams of protein. All you need is Read More…

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Pollen Street Social

October 11, 2013

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They call it “deformalised fine dining” and it’s a concept I’d like to see more of in London. Led by elBulli trained British chef Jason Atherton, Pollen Street Social is a buzzy, Michelin-starred bistro with a hip vibe on an enviable Mayfair block. The interior is clean and contemporary with an ambience formal enough for fine dining, but casual enough for a boisterous weeknight meal. The service was impeccable from the start and rivaled the kind of treatment we’ve received at Read More…

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