Category: Fruit

Banana Nut Greek Yogurt Bowl

Bowls are all the rage right now, at least that’s what everyone’s calling them! They’ve got grain bowls, smoothie bowls, salad bowls and soup bowls. Of course these are foods that have gone into bowls before, but now instead of mixing stuff together, the food is neatly organized on a base of smoothie batter, grains, greens or broth. It’s prettier and we all love seeing so many different options on our plates, right?

I’m not a big fan of smoothies, and the idea of topping off a fruit soup with more fruit just doesn’t do it for me, but yogurt I can take. I love to start with a base of plain tangy Greek yogurt. I almost feel like I’m indulging in soft serve (if I dream a little, ok?) and topping it off with some of my favorite toppings makes it feel like a treat. And since muffins or pancakes or scones are not happening around here, I’ll take it!

OK I may have just said that I don’t like smoothies, but the truth is, there is one smoothie that I love and that’s what inspired this yogurt bowl. So if you are into smoothies, give it a try too!

Related Recipes:

banana, date, almond milk & honey smoothie
blueberry sweet potato granola salad with strawberry yogurt dressing
banana oat pancakes
strawberry banana yogurt parfait with homemade granola

Post a Comment

Honey Hasselback Baked Apples
with Brie & Pecan Streusel

I heart brie. I never thought I could be a semi-moldy-cheese kinda girl but here. I. am.

When Natural & Kosher Cheese asked me to go all Rosh-Hashanah-out on their brie, I was only too happy to oblige. I knew I had to do something with apple & honey, because besides being the symbol for a Sweet New Year, fruit and honey just go so well with brie! Case in point: these dried fruit brie bites. Mmm mmm good.

If moldy cheese and fruit sound gross to you, let me tell you this: I did a cheese demo a few months back, and I had a room full of people who thought the same. Many of them had never tried brie before, and they had no plans to. But after watching me make my brie en croute with homemade fig jam, they warmed up to the idea of melted gooey cheese smothered in sweet fruit. A few bites later they were all over it, stinky cheese and all!

If you’re still on the fence, let me assure you that when I say stinky cheese, I don’t mean bleu-cheese-style. I would NEVER go near that stuff! Brie has an edible white rind that, yes, does have mold in it, but it is oh so mild. You can always cut it off if you want to get to the gooey interior of the cheese minus the (slight) funk.

Now that we’ve (hopefully) got you passed the brie, can we please discuss the hasselbacking? Y’all know I’m kinda obsessed with hasselback anything. And after this hasselback salami, now you all are too! I promised myself I’d be hasselbacking lots of other foods, and after seeing this video on cookinglight, I was all over hasselbacking my apples! How gorgeous are they? Gosh, I have so many hasselback ideas up my chef sleeve, I can’t wait to share them with you!

Now if you want to skip the brie on these and just go pareve for a fantastic dessert, feel free to leave out the cheese and use margarine or coconut oil in place of the butter. Top it off with some ice cream and you’ve got yourself a golden dessert for your holiday meal! (Or, do yourself a favor and stick to the cheese, and serve this up for a special Rosh Hashanah breakfast!).

This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher Cheese. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or via their Blog

Related Recipes:

apple and honey tart
hasselback sweet potatoes with apples
dried fruit brie bites

Post a Comment

Honey Fig Roasted Salmon

Excuse me while I type while my mouth is full. [gulp]

I don’t usually eat the recipe I’m posting while I’m posting it, but I seriously can’t get enough of this salmon. Who knew figs and salmon would go so well together, right?

The truth is, I would eat figs over cardboard. They’re that good. And with Rosh Hashanah coming, I couldn’t think of a sweeter fruit to incorporate into my holiday meal. Fig season is short, and I want to make the most of it before it’s gone!

It’s hard to believe that summer is really coming to an end, and the High Holidays are almost upon us. I see it in the seasonal fruit that’s making it’s way into the stores (yay for honeycrisp apples!), I feel it while I shop around for school supplies, uniforms and Yom Tov clothes. And I even smell it in the air as the summer days turn to cool nights, and the scent of fall creeps in. It’s sad to see summer go, but the New Year brings with it a fresh start and new possibilities.

I feel about the The High Holidays, the same way I feel about the first day of school. It gives me butterflies. And even though I’m way past the school-era (thank G-d!!), I still get those butterflies when I take my kids to orientation on the first day. I never realized the benefits of marrying someone whose last name begins with an “A”, until my kids started school. Thankfully, I don’t have to sit there for hours until their name is called!

I may not be in school anymore, but the truth is, my name is still called, each year, on high. As we read in the prayer of “Unesanneh Tokef“, “All created beings pass before you, one-by-one, like a flock of sheep…You count, reckon, and are mindful of them, and you allocate the fixed portion for the needs of all your creatures”.

May we all be blessed, that as our names gets called by the ultimate principal, may we be inscribed for a SWEET (and figgy) New Year filled with healthy, happiness, peace and of course, good food!

I’d like to think that this holiday isn’t just about the food, but the truth is, it is so much a part of it. We celebrate Rosh Hashanah through an assortment of symbolic foods, including the head of a fish and sweet, sticky honey. This recipe uses a whole side of salmon, but you can feel free to cook the fish head along with it, for a beautiful presentation. I love how festive and elegant this is, not to mention sweet! It is sure to be a show stopper on your holiday table.

Related Recipes:

teriyaki salmon
honey mustard salmon
honey roasted figs
holiday salad with figs and honey

Post a Comment

Sous-Vide Honey Lavender Chicken
with Apricot Salsa

Ah, sous-vide, the intimidating, yet popular, modernist cooking technique. What is it, and how do you do it? What are the benefits of sous vide cooking and is it safe? Read on.

I’m a strong believer in keeping with the times, especially in your field of work. As a food blogger-turned-chef, I can’t help but notice that SousVide is everywhere. From home cooks to professional chefs, everyone is doing it! I was having some serious sous-vide fomo when the folks over at Sous Vide Supreme sent me their SousVide Supreme Promo Pack to try, complete with a water oven, vacuum sealer, pouches and their easy sous vide cookbook. I was apprehensive, to say the least. In fact, the machine sat unopened for a couple of weeks until I finally mustered up the courage to get started. Why was I so intimidated by a water bath machine? Read on.

Sous vide, which means, “under vacuum” is a method of cooking in which food is vacuum sealed in plastic bags and then cooked in a temperature-controlled water bath. Once your food reaches your desired temperature, it can be held at that temperature for hours, so you can put up a steak in the morning, and come home to a perfectly cooked medium-rare piece of meat (as opposed to a crockpot, which would turn the steak into a pot roast). Being able to cook food to an exact temperature is a chef’s dream, but cooking it at a low temperature where bacteria are prone to breed, is also a nightmare.

One of the most important things you learn in culinary school is food safety. When I attended the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts back in 2013, I opted to take a food safety and sanitation course, where I learned all the guidelines for safe food handling. I am now certified by the National Restaurant Association as well as the NYC Dept. of Health as having trained in food safety. The course, and the following exam, were not easy. I had to memorize all sorts of bacteria, corresponding illnesses, different degrees and temperatures at which bacteria grows, etc. I’m proud to say that I passed with flying colors (having gotten only 1 question wrong), but I also took plenty of neuroses home with me! Having trained in food safety, I have become so careful about the way that I handle food, and also a bit neurotic about the way people around me do too. When you realize that foodborne illness can literally lead to death, it becomes a serious threat!

Why am I sharing all this? Well…one of the key elements of food safety is TCS: temperature control for safety. To keep food safe from bacteria, you need to keep your food at a safe temperature. The danger zone, where food is prone to bacteria growth, is 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Often, when cooking sous-vide, food is cooked at these low temperatures for long periods of time. Red flag anyone?! Well, it turns out, that after researching this I learned about the logarithmic decay curve. Food safety is a function of both temperature and time. This means, that pasteurization can happen at a lower temperature, it will just take longer. You probably know that it’s recommended for chicken to be cooked to 165 degrees, and that’s because, at that temperature, chicken is sterilized instantly, but pasteurization actually begins at 126.5 degrees. So you can actually cook chicken safely at 140 degrees, it will just take longer to pasteurize (about 45 minutes or so). This is why it’s important to follow the recommended minimum cooking times for food from the manufacturer of your sous-vide machine.

OK, so now that we can agree that sous-vide food won’t kill you, lets discuss the PROS & CONS!

Some of the benefits of sous-vide cooking include:

You can cook your food to the perfect desired temperature.
Say you want perfectly medium steak, you cook it at 135 for 1-4 hours and you get perfectly. medium. steak.

Your food is cooked evenly.
You know how when you grill or broil a steak, or even a burger, the outside is slightly overdone, while the inside is just how you like it? Well with sous-vide, it’s all exactly how you like it, through and through.

You get a larger yield.
You know how when you braise an expensive roast, you open the pot and wonder where half of the roast has gone? The meat shrinks during cooking and you’re left with half of it’s original size. When cooking sous-vide, shrinkage is greatly reduced, so you get more for your money.

You can set it and forget it. 
Unlike a slowcooker, sous-vide cooking allows you to put up your dinner in the morning without it being reduced to mush by the time you get home. Imagine putting up some eggs, running to the bakery for fresh bread, picking up some coffee and then coming home to perfectly runny eggs an hour later. {Insert egg emoji here}

It enhances flavors.
Vacuum sealing the food seals in flavors, so when you make things like honey lavendar chicken, you can actually taste the honey and the lavender!

It does wonders for veggies.
One of my favorite ways to cook vegetables is via blanching. Blanching locks in the bright color of the veggies and keeps them perfectly tender-crisp. You get the same with sous-vide, minus the ice water bath.

What I didn’t like about the sous vide process:

It takes forever to heat up.
Getting the water bath to reach your desired temperature takes a ridiculously long amount of time. It helps to start with hot water, which greatly reduces the preheating time.

Say goodbye to pan-gravy.
With sous-vide, you get the benefits of poaching (extremely tender proteins), but you lose out on the delicious flavor compounds that develop when searing and roasting. For this reason, some chefs recommend searing your meat or chicken before cooking sous-vide, to enhance the flavor. Alternatively, you may also finish your cooked food with a quick sear (as I did with this recipe) for crispy texture, added color and flavor.

Temperatures can fluctuate.
If sous-vide is about temperature control, I’d imagine that it should be able to do just that – control the temperature. I was surprised to see fluctuations in the temperature, however minor, during cooking. One reader suggested putting a layer of bubble wrap over the water bath to prevent evaporative cooling.

Some foods float in the bath.
Sous-vide machines are often called immersion circulators because it circulates and heats the water bath around the food. They key is that the food is immersed in the water bath, and that is how it cooks. However, certain foods, especially vegetables, float to the top, not allowing them to cook properly. One solution, is to use the rack that’s included in the machine, to hold the food in place under the bath, or, a chef once recommended vacuum sealing some butter knives and using them as a tool to weigh down the food.

Flavors can be too pronounced.
The fact that vacuum sealing enhances flavors is a definite pro, but it can also have less than favorable results. Certain ingredients don’t work well when their flavor is magnified, such as bay leaf, or alcohol, which can give food a drunken flavor. Even the lavender I used in this recipe is pronounced, but at just 1/2 tsp, I found the flavor to be pleasant.

It’s potentially unsafe.
As mentioned above, cooking food in the temperature danger zone (40-140 degrees) provides a environment for pathogens to grow rapidly. If you’re not careful about cooking times (as specified by the product manufacturer), your food can become contaminated. In addition, if your food is not properly vacuum sealed, or your food becomes contaminated during prep, cooking sous-vide poses an additional threat. It’s also important to mention that you must use vacuum bags that have been designed specifically for sous-vide use as some plastics can leach out chemicals into the food.

Want to learn more about how to cook sous vide chicken? I found THIS GUIDE extremely helpful! Their egg and meat guides are a must-read too!

Want to try sous-vide at home and don’t have a sous-vide machine? Learn about the stovetop method using Ziploc bags here!

Do you have any sous vide tips, tricks or recipes to share? Post them in the comments below!

This post was sponsored by Sous Vide Supreme. All opinions are my own. 

Post a Comment

Turkey Meatballs with
Red Wine Cranberry Marinara

Ah the classic childhood favorite, meatballs! We all love them, but we get so bored of them, don’t we? I’m always trying to reinvent the classic meatball, whether it’s quick and easy lazy beef meatballsmelt-in-your-mouth veal meatballs, or even baked chicken meatballs, there’s something for everyone. One thing I hadn’t tackled yet is turkey meatballs.

Now when KOL Foods sends you 100% pasture raised ground turkey, you can’t just make any meatball. You gotta be good to your meat (or in this case, poultry) and make sure it doesn’t dry out! And that my friends, can only be done with REAL bread. Yes, real, organic, GMO-free poultry deserves only the best, so mass-produced dry breadcrumbs just doesn’t cut it. Soaking the bread in almond milk creates a wet binder to keep the turkey super moist. Say goodbye to the dry, bland turkey balls of your past because KOL turkey is about to change your meatball horrors forever!

Now the perfect, moist turkey ball can’t just swim in boring old marinara either. I had to up the ante on that too, starting with a Casa Del Cielo Cabernet reduction from You can’t go wrong with cabernet now can you? The red wine reduction gives the marinara a great depth of flavor, and the addition of cranberry sauce just brings everything together for a thick and rich sauce.

It’s not every day that I spike my marinara with cabernet, but KOL is hosting a special Rosh Hashanah Cooking with Wine contest, and I created this recipe in it’s honor! They’ve got a whole roundup of recipes featuring different wines from, so head on over to the contest page to check them out! You can also enter their GIVEAWAY to win $150 gift certificates to KOL Foods and! Click here to enter!

Can you believe someone is already having a Rosh Hashanah giveaway? Are the high holidays really just around the corner?! {Insert Meltdown}… Bring on the kosher wine ‘cuz I’m going to need a few glasses!

Speaking of the holidays and wine, I’ve got plenty of boozy recipes on the blog, like this mulled wine cranberry sauce, cherries in red wine syrup, and my very first blog post ever (!!) chicken with port wine cherry sauce. This honey roasted za’atar chicken with red wine and dried fruit is my favorite Rosh Hashanah dish, and these Moscato poached apricots make the most of the summer fruit before they go out of season.

Whether you’re cooking with wine this holiday or not, we can all use a glass or two (or three), especially with the month-long cookfest that’s coming up soon, so lets raise a glass…L’chaim!

This post is sponsored by KOL Foods & All opinions are my own. 

Related Recipes:

melt-in-your-mouth veal meatballs
2-ingredient lazy meatballs
baked chicken meatballs

Post a Comment