Hearts of Palm Fries with lemon and jalapeño

Hearts of Palm Fries

Hearts of Palm Fries

 The old dip-and-fry.  It’s like the bait-and switch but much less tricky and much more delicious.  

I’ll dip and fry just about anything.  Onion rings, dipped and fried.  Raised donut dough, fried and dipped (preferably in sugar).  

This week Hearts of palm meet the fryer.  They’re tender and lightly pickled, made warm and crispy and spicy.  Have you ever had Heart of palm?  They come in a can, they’re slightly salty and soft… like canned artichoke hearts, but completely different.  They make very fine salads and fried bites… and that’s why we’re here.  

I also want you to know that I have Mardi Gras King Cake on my mind… I just have to get all of these salty fry things off my mind first.  King Cake is in our future.  

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Quick and Dirty Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls

Quick and Dirty Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls

Quick and Dirty Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls

How can I do the least amount of work, but still get the most amount of cinnamon rolls into my mouth?  Super valid question.

How long would it take to go through airport security and stand in line at the Terminal C Cinnamon?  Is that time shorter than the time it would take to make yeasted dough, roll it, fill it, slice it, rise it, and bake it?  

How can I go from zero to cinnamon roll in one hour flat?  

Here’s how!  Ready.  Set.  You know…. 

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Burnt Orange Salty Caramel Sauce

Burnt Orange Caramel Sauce

Burnt Orange Caramel Sauce

What are you supposed to do with a no good, very bad toothache? 

Warm salt water rinse?  An emergency visit to the dentist?  Eighty seven bottles of over-the-counter pain killers?  Bourbon?  Marathon viewing of old Seinfeld episodes?  

I’ve been trying to figure this out all week.  So far I’ve found the most solace in a pint of smooth vanilla ice cream and this sweet Burnt Orange Caramel Sauce (and an exciting appointment with my new New Orleans dentist).  

Cool story, right?  Hopefully you can treat yourself to a sweet caramel sundae without the pain.  

(Oh!  If you’re thinking that the reason I have a toothache is because I eat too much dang caramel… No.  Not listening.)   

Burnt Orange Caramel Sauce

These oranges were gifted from Martine Chaisson.  Glory be! 

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Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

As I move through the days, the months, the year, the seasons, I’ve noticed that my body always tells me what I need.  These days it’s all citrus juices and earth flavors.  Don’t get me wrong, I generally move through my days filling my body with coffee and sugar in various forms, paying very little attention to the little voice inside me crying for baby carrots.  

These days my cravings have been undeniable.  I want big bowl of warm goodness that make me feel like I have my feet on the ground.  This earthy and salty risotto is undeniably grounding, comforting, warm, and otherwise perfect.

This is the first time I’ve made risotto on the stovetop.  I’ll walk you through my technique and mild panic.  

If the stirring is more than you can handle (no judgement, I get it), you can try this Baked Lemon Risotto.  One stir and some quality oven time.  A dream, really! 

And!  For sweeter Arborio rice indulgences:  Maple Ginger Rice Pudding.  In other words, I’m not leaving my house again until I need to go stock up on more rice.  Until then, I’ll have the Do Not Disturb sign on my door. Thaaaanks! 

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All-The-Blueberries Buttermilk Waffles

Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles

Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles

I was trying to do a thing. A thing with waffles, cinnamon, sugar, and a blow torch.
The blow torch (perhaps not surprisingly) is where things went wrong.

I was trying to make a waffle brûlée. I thought that sprinkling toasty waffles with granulated sugar, and taking a torn to them would create that irresistible sugar snap-crack when brûlée meets fork. You know?

Turns out… taking a blow torch to a waffles creates REALLY BURNT WAFFLES. Like… the most burnt. Like… someone needs to take my baker’s card away. I’m benched.

Not all things work, but you have to try.

To hide my shame and my sins: blueberries. Fresh, juicy, forgiving, and un-torched.

In other news: I haven’t messed with eeevery waffle I’ve made. I’m actually pretty waffle proficient. I just got cocky.

See:

•  Cheddar Buttermilk Waffle BLTs.

•  Mashed Potato Cheddar and Chive Waffles.  

•  Whole Grain Waffles with millet, poppy, and sunflower.  

•  Vanilla Bean Sweet Potato Waffles.  

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Lazy Mary’s Citrus Tart

Lazy Mary's Citrus Tart

Lazy Mary's Citrus Tart

 If I find the word ‘lazy’ in the title of a recipe, it’s just… I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief.  Finally, a recipe that couples my deep love for pie with my deep appreciation for sitting on my porch, sipping drinks, and talking trash.  You mean I can have both homemade pie and lazy trash-talking all in one sweet situation!?  

Well… yes, and also NO.  You can have your pie (tart), but like any good pie, you’re going to have to work for it. 

Yea.  We can talk about it.  I’m going to make us. 

calamondin tre

First, let’s talk about citrus! 

The original recipe for this lazy / not-so-lazy tart calls for a Meyer Lemon.  A whole Meyer Lemon.  Peel, pith, insides.  The whole shebang.  

Meyer Lemons are all well and good, and you should totally use a big juicy one for this recipe.  I happen to live inside this mess of citrus in The French Quarter and wanted to find a way to incorporate this crazy citrus into my tart.  

Lazy Mary's Citrus Tart

These are calamondins!  New fruit from my new city.  Tiny, very tart, thin-skinned, lightly seeded citrus fruits.  I halved these, scooped out the sneaky seeds, and added them  to a blender for the pie filling. 

It’s time. 

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Whole Roasted Onions

whole roasted onions

  whole roasted onions

Here’s how this is going to go down, my friends:  whole roasted sweet yellow onions, roasted with olive oil and butter, roasted with rosemary, roasted whole, roasted to sweet submission.  

It’s cold.  I mean… really cold.  Here’s our chance to crank up the oven, throw these onions inside and lean against the oven door as they transform from sharp and bite-y to soft and sweet.  

Oh wait… you might be one of those people who think they don’t like onions.   I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.  You exclusively like whole roasted onions.  

Now let’s carry on. 

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Winter Cocktail Hour: Grapefruit Margaritas and Vanilla Sugar Daiquiris

Vanilla-Sugar Lime Daiquiris

Vanilla-Sugar Lime Daiquiris

I‘m going to play in the sun.  Obnoxious considering I don’t live in an extra-chilly, snow-covered Winterland.  There’s no real room to complain about a New Orleans January.  Still though… I’m going to go get some real-life tropical sun because I’m absolutely positive that the answer to what troubles me in is the ocean, in the sun, and inside a small coupe glass along with lime and rum.  

Grapefruit Margaritas with a hint of Cucumber

You should totally join me in the sun… or at least in spirit and in cocktail.  

You’ll need lots of lime, all of the pink grapefruits, Patron Tequila and Pyrat Rum.  You won’t need the sunscreen.  I’m going to hog all of that.  Can you even buy sunscreen in January.  Stupid question.  Cheers to us, sunshine or snow. 

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Magic Mineral Broth

Magic Mineral Broth

Magic Mineral Broth

You know what we’re into these days? You know what the latest food trend is? Not cupcakes. Not red velvet this and that. Not macarons. We’re not even talking about single origin coffee beans or biodynamic wine. We’re talking about broth. Bone, mineral, and vegetable broth.  Yes.  Broth. It’s delicious.  

Homemade broth is never just about broth.  It’s a whole kitchen experience.  I make my broths over time.  The scrappy bones of a roasted chicken are frozen for a week.  Carrot stems and onion skins and ends are stored in a container in the refrigerator for a good while.  Limp celery is put to good use and potatoes just beginning to sprout are given a home. Have you read The Everlasting Meal?  This broth is very much in that spirit.  

It’s where the fresh ingredients in our kitchen meet the more tired ingredients… in a pot, for our extreme health.  

Bone broths are a tale as told as time, but they’re totally having a moment.  It’s rejuvenating with the powers of magnesium, potassium, calcium, and collagen.  It’s fantastic start to a hearty and healthful soup and naturally (or oddly), New Yorkers are sipping the magic broth from coffee cups.    

 I’ve taken to simmering a pot every month and sipping the broth as tea or making soups.  The smell alone makes me feel like a soup genius and it’s a tremendous way to bring together the entire kitchen, scraps and all.  

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All The Citrus and Some Of The Greens Salad

All The Citrus and Some of the Greens Salad

All The Citrus and Some of the Greens Salad

I take my salads very seriously. Similarly, I take my omelettes, sandwiches and daiquiris with equal reverence. I need to know the person making me an omelette and I prefer that they have a big floppy chef hat on (bonus).  I need to shake the hand of the person making my sandwich before they put plastic gloves on and add extra black olives to my situation (thank you!).  I like to know the middle name of the person making me a daiquiri… a fact I usually learn after the third of fourth daiquiri.  All of this to say, I love when people make me food, and I really like to know who they are before I enjoy it.  

Salads, though.  I like to make my own salads.  There’s a delicate balance of fruit and green, cream and crunch and nuts.  Let’s try! 

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Grapefruit White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies

Grapefruit White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies

Grapefruit White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies

Well, hello. Hi. How are you? Glad tidings. Happy Holidays. I like your hair.

Are you doing all of the lovely winter things? Hot chocolate? Mittens? Ski caps? Snow men?

I’d like to bring you stories of frolicking snowball fights and ski lift passes, but I’m terrified of both flying ice balls and ski lifts. Instead I could tell you about this tremendous head cold and how I’m trying to drown it in ginger tea and cookies.

White Chocolate and grapefruit. Let’s stay on our toes and in the game!

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Eggnog Rice Pudding

Eggnog Rice Pudding

Eggnog Rice Pudding

My December food-brain (because that’s totally a thing) is in overdrive. By overdrive I mean that exactly all I want to consume is that which is creamy, gooey, warm, and satisfying. I’ll take a pot pie of any and every sort. I’ll take dumplings in everything. Can we put cream cheese in everything from now until next May? I thought so.

Rice pudding fits perfectly into these creamy, gooey, warm, satisfying December needs. It’s ultra/ultimate/extreme/everything ever. By adding eggnog, well… now I’ve gone and done it. Christmas game ovah.

Eggnog Rice Pudding

I’ve never been one to sit down and enjoy a nice tall glass of eggnog. It’s feels like sipping melted ice cream. BUT! Something about the rich texture and pale yellow hue still has me smitten. Adding eggnog to rice pudding, adds the luscious holiday flavor and skips the too-thick for sipping situation. See? We smart.

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Inside the Baker’s Kitchen: Ginger Molasses and Dark Chocolate Cookies

molasses cookies

Molasses Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello friends!  It’s time for our third and final installment of Inside the Baker’s Kitchen with KitchenAid!  I want to show you my very favorite kitchen appliance, and also make my favorite spicy, sweet molasses cookies. 

This 5 qt. KitchenAid® Stand Mixer  is where luxury meets necessity in my kitchen.  I use it for everything from cake batters to bread loaves.  It’s just a work-horse.  The hum of this stand mixer of is exactly familiar to me… and it usually means cookies are in my future.  KitchenAid now has beautiful ceramic bowls to use with the 5 qt. stand mixers.  They’re beautiful, durable, and feel so special in my baker’s kitchen.  Really the most special thing!  

Molasses Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy edges, soft and cakey centers.  Holiday spiced, dark chocolate studded, utterly perfect because they’re cookies.

Naturally they’re topped with just a touch of sea salt.  Sweet meets salty meets perfect all around.

For more Baker’s Kitchen inspiration:  Sweet and Savory Buttermilk Biscuits and Creamy Spiced Squash Soup with Parmesan Thyme Popovers.

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Mushroom Kale Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Mushroom and Kale Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Mushroom and Kale Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Bloggers can be pretty predictable.  Since it’s December, you can count on most of us writing about tinsel and cookie swaps, peppermint coated this, mulled wine that… all the pine, all the Santa hats, all the sugar spice and nice.

Come January we’ll all be talking about salads and smoothies.  I don’t think we’re allowed to talk about fudge in January.  I think that’s actually against the law.

I have to shake loose from the holidays for a moment.  I mean… can we just sit at the kitchen counter and eat quesadillas for a while and not think about Winter cookies and holiday shopping?  That would be cool.

Let’s do that.

Ps.  The fact that these Mushroom and Kale Quesadillas are topped with sriracha makes them aaalllmost Christmas themed.  See how these holidays sneak in to stay?  Dang.

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Winter Citrus Booster with ginger and sweet potato

Winter Citrus Booster with ginger and sweet potato

Winter Citrus Booster with ginger and sweet potato

Cold season?  Nope.  Not going to do it.  Flu season?  Get right outta here with all that.  Sniffles?  Congestion?  The general drags?  Nobody has time for all that.

To keep the sickness bugs at bay as the days frost over and chill, I’m shoving every whole and healthy bit of produce I have into my juicer.  This version is heavy on the big, bright citrus of Winter, and spiked with spicy fresh ginger.

There’s no way a cold is getting me down.  #knockonwood

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Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Cheddar Beer Sauce

Roasted Cauliflower with Cheddar Beer Sauce

Roasted Cauliflower with Cheddar Beer Sauce

My mom had a few predictable and necessary things she’d have to repeat ad-nauseam to my sister and me at our family dinner table night after night.  There was the inevitable ‘sit still and someone please say grace’ followed by something like ‘do NOT kick your sister under the table’ or ‘stop staring at your sister when you know it bothers her and eat your fish sticks, thank you’.

My favorite/least favorite was ‘eat your vegetables, they’ll make you beautiful’.  The vegetables she was referring to were usually barely steamed broccoli or cauliflower served nearly raw (and yes, full of nutrients… which is entirely unimpressive to an eight year old).  If the (basically raw) vegetables weren’t eaten within three minutes of leaving the steamer they devolved into sometime entirely inedible to a child that wanted nothing more than a Happy Meal for dinner.  Eat your vegetables.  They’ll make you beautiful.  Eat them.  Eat them.  No seriously.  Eat them.

We ate them.

What my mom didn’t have in mind is that I’d grow up to simmer my dinner vegetables in butter and olive oil and serve them in a homemade Cheddar Beer Sauce.  I mean… Eat your vegetables!  (roasted and toasted and awesome!) They’ll make you beautiful.  (and so will the cheese sauce?)  Oh man.  Thanks mom / Sorry mom.

Roasted Cauliflower with Cheddar Beer Sauce

Here’s how this happens.  Here’s what you’ll need:  a big head of cauliflower, a big pot to boil it in, butter, olive oil, lemon, and spice.

For the cheese sauce, all good things which include: milk, butter, beer, mustard, and Worcestershire.

Let’s!

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Butter Walnut Cookies

Butter Walnut Cookies

Butter Walnut Cookies

Cookies for the sake of cookies, for the sake of December, for the sake of Christmas, and just so we can stand at the kitchen counter and count how many of these warm, nutty, powdered sugar bites we can shove into our mouths.

The answer is 3.5.  That’s how many cookies fit in a mouth.  Be careful.

I’m thinking about upcoming holiday parties, possible cookie swap situations, and general winter cookie desires.  These buttery walnut bites totally fit the bill.  Tender, crumbly, two-bites, powdered sugar clouds.

Butter Walnut Cookies

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Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

I don’t know whether I should rip into some yo mama jokes, flip a table, or pull the fire alarm, or just stop and shove aaaalll of the fudge into my face.

This fudge makes me feel aggressive.  Like I should beat my chest with pride.  Like I should… maybe I should stop talking.

The thing is… I feel like I made candy.  I’m pretty sure I made candy. Yup, I definitely made candy.  This fudge is the real deal.  No microwave.  No sweetened condensed milk.  We’re using  a real pot, a real candy thermometer, real cream, and we’re twerking sugar and chocolate into fudge.

Why would be so excited about doing something the hard way? Well… I think it’s important to know how to do things the old-school way before learning the quick tricks.  You know… like long division in mathematics.   (Do people do long division anymore?  That was always a special kind of torture.) Maybe long division isn’t the right analogy.  Fudge is way better than long division.

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

Here’s what we’re going to need:  granulated sugar and brown sugar, melted butter, corn syrup, half-and-half, salt, vanilla extract, dark chocolate, and just because:  marshmallows, peppermint candy, and pretzels.  Turnt up.

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Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad

Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad

Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad

Forgive me, belly.  I’ve done you wrong.  I mean… I’ve done you so so so right, but wrong wrong wrong.

I’ve done you with too much macaroni and cheese.  I’ve done you with ALL of the gumbo in New Orleans, the smothered greens, the doughnuts, the doughnuts again… I’m sorry.  It was delicious so you’re welcome… and I’m sorry.

You deserve a break.  Enjoy this salad.  It’s just about time to start making fudge.  Hold on tight.

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Apple Buttermilk Beignets and New Orleans Originals

jtb x nydj

Buttermilk Apple Beignets (1)

I‘m really excited to spend my first holiday here in New Orleans.  There’s a chill and a palpable spirit in the air.

New Orleans is such a unique place, it’s only natural that I would want to dive all the way into the holiday spirit here.  I’m hitting the streets to put together a casual holiday gathering with my friends at NYDJ.  In order to make it feel as special as New Orleans, I’m stopping in at some of favorite local shops:  LoomedNOLA for sweet and cozy gifts, Keife & Co for amazing wine, and St. James Cheese Company to make the perfect cheese plate.

No New Orleans gathering at my house would be complete without freshly-fried beignets.  They’re best enjoyed from scratch with your friends gathered around a heaping plate of fresh fried dough and powdered sugar.

I hope you find loads of holiday inspiration here!  Add a little New Orleans spirit to your holiday!

zNola Originals

Loomed Nola is my favorite textile store in New Orleans.  They sell lovely Turkish cotton kitchen towels, scarves, and blankets.  It’s the perfect place to shop for a thoughtful hostess gift or a comfy treat for your best girlfriend.

Keife & Co. is my go-to spot for wine in New Orleans!  Not only is it stocked with really unique bottles, the brothers that own the shop are more than willing to find the perfect bottle of bubbly for your holiday party without totally breaking the bank.  No pretension, just great wine and bubbles!

One of my favorite stops in New Orleans is St. James Cheese Company.  Step inside and the staff will dazzle you with cheese knowledge and let you sample your way through your cheese purchase.  Putting together a cheese plate can feel rather daunting but St. James makes it easy… and it’s always fun to eat all the cheeses before you buy them!

jtb x nydj (3)

I set out into the streets of New Orleans sporting my favorite pair of NYDJ jeans.  Super flattering, fitted, slimming, and real.  They’re perfect for jaunting around town in style and hoping in the kitchen to get down with some beignets.  My style also has to be functional.  I want to feel pretty, stylish, and I definitely need plenty of room to fry up and eat my fair share of New Orleans treats.

This holiday I’ve paired up with NYDJ to bring you flattering comfort, radiant style, and a big bundle of holiday inspiration and confidence.  Let’s look great, eat well, and entertain in easy style!  Here are all the recipes you need to do it!

nydj + jtb holiday party originals

jtb+nydj holiday recipes:  for cocktail, salad, and gifting inspiration!

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