How to cut an onion

Last Thursday, I had my orientation for culinary school. We learned knife skills on our first day and were given our tool kits that included a pastry brush, a knife, a peeler, a pizza cutter and so much more. The list of techniques I will learn is seven pages long, and I can’t wait!

Our first lesson was cutting vegetables and we learned how to cut an onion so all pieces are the same size which means each piece cooks uniformly. Check out the technique below!

Cardamom Carrots

Last night, I found myself in a pickle. I was making dinner and I only had carrots for a veggie. I’ve never really liked roasted carrots. I think the taste of cooked carrots is kinda icky. Still in the holiday mood, I reached for honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. It turns out, these four ingredients gave me a new love for roasted carrots.

Cardamom Carrots

Serves: 4

Time: 25 minutes

Preheat oven to 425

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Wash, peel and dry carrots
  • Cut the carrots lengthwise in half (unless you’re using baby carrots) and trim the stems
  • Lay carrots out on parchment paper
  • Heat honey, nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon in a small saucepan over low heat until mixture is slightly bubbling
  • Remove saucepan from heat
  • Use a pastry brush to coat the carrots in the honey mixture
  • Roast in the oven on the middle rack for 20 minutes or until golden brown

What To Do With 10 Pounds Of Celery

During the pandemic, I’ve been ordering my groceries from Whole Foods through Amazon. This week I decided to juice. On the Amazon app, a package of organic celery costs $2.99 and a package of regular celery costs 30 cents. I knew that if I washed the celery well, it wouldn’t matter that it wasn’t organic. So, I ordered 10 pounds of regular celery. But, what I didn’t realize is that celery doesn’t weigh that much and 10 pounds is actually a lot of celery. So, I discovered a tip to keep celery fresh: tin foil! Wrap the unwashed celery in tin foil and it will keep for 2 to 4 weeks in the fridge.

Super Green Celery Juice

Serves: 1

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 celery stalks
  • ½ a cucumber
  • ¼ ginger root
  • ½ lemon

Instructions:

  • Juice all ingredients
  • Enjoy!

Roasted Kale

I’m not the biggest fan of raw kale salads. I think raw kale is tough and can be hard to eat. However, I love roasted kale. When kale is roasted, it turns into a delicate, savory and comforting side dish for any night of the week. The best part? It’s so easy to make. I use pink Himalayan salt because I recently learned it helps to balance hormones.

Roasted Kale

Serves: 2-4

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups kale
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Rinse kale and dry completely
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Distribute the kale on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt
  • Toss kale around on the baking sheet
  • Put in the oven on the middle rack for 20 minutes or until the kale is crisp and slightly brown
  • Enjoy!

Thanksgiving For Two

This Thanksgiving I stayed in Boston and celebrated a micro-Thanksgiving. I gathered inspiration for a pared down menu from Ina Garten and The New York Times; however, I found a lot of the recipes had so many ingredients and would require so much more work than my family recipes. After some thinking, I came up with a menu that was both easy to prepare ahead and delicious.

The menu:

  • A roasted boneless turkey breast with butter, salt and pepper
  • Gluten free stuffing from one of my favorite brands, Aleias
  • Oatmilk mashed potatoes
  • Roasted sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts
  • Cranberry jello with raspberries and pomegranates
  • Pumpkin pie (I was inspired by Darcy Miller)

Cranberry Jello

Serves: 2-4 (double recipe for a full size jello mold)

Time: 15 minutes + 12 hours in the fridge

Materials:

  • A jello mold (I used this one from Amazon and it was a breeze to remove the jello from the silicone mold)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup raspberries

Instructions:

  • Combine sugar, water and cranberries in a pan over high heat and stir until cranberries pop (about 15 minutes)
  • Cool and pour evenly into mold
  • Cover mold with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to set
  • After the jello has set, place a plate over the top and flip the mold
  • Ease jello out of the mold
  • Sprinkle the sides and top with fresh raspberries and pomegranate seeds

A Charcuterie Board Without A Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie boards are really having a moment. It seems like everyone is making charcuterie boards and posting them on Instagram. I wanted to try the trend, but I didn’t have a pretty board to arrange all the bites. So, I pulled out a sheet pan and covered it with a layer of parchment and voila! I had a perfect canvas for all the delicacies I found at Eataly.

Here are some tips and tricks to create the best charcuterie board:

  • Cut up hard cheeses into small, one bite pieces
  • Position the cheeses first on the board
  • Fill in open space with some sprigs of rosemary or any other fresh herbs
  • Fill two to three small bowls with olives, jam or nuts (measuring cups can be used instead of bowls)
  • Fold up the meats into fourths and curve them around round cheeses or bowls
  • Cover a round cheese in a pie crust and bake until golden

A Half Birthday Sacher Torte

Why not celebrate a half birthday? A sacher torte is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialities. More importantly, it’s a delicious, somehow dense and light chocolate cake.

Serves: 6 – 8

Time: 2 hours

Preheat oven to 275

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup butter
  • 6 ½ ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 10 egg whites, stiffly beaten
  • 1 cup GF flour
  • 1 XL milk chocolate hershey bar
  • ½ cup apricot preserves

Instructions:

  • Separate egg yolk and egg whites
  • Beat 10 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside
  • Beat softened butter and add in sugar and melted semi-sweet chocolate
  • Add in the 8 eggs yolks one at a time
  • Sift 1 cup GF flour into the butter mixture
  • Fold the egg whites into the butter mixture until combined
  • Pour into a greased round cake pan and fill halfway
  • Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  • Let the cake cool
  • Warm up the apricot preserves
  • Slice the cake lengthwise in half and spread the apricot preserves
  • Put the cake back together
  • Melt the hershey bar
  • Drizzle the hershey bar over the top of the cake and let it drizzle down the sides
  • Let chocolate harden and then serve

GF (Mostly DF) Spaghetti And Meatballs

This recipe is so easy to make. Seriously, it takes 15 minutes tops to put together.

GF (Mostly DF) Spaghetti And Meatballs

Serves: 4

Time: 1-2 hours (mostly just simmering on the stove)

Preheat oven to 400

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 5 cups tomato juice
  • 3 tablespoons parsley
  • ½ green pepper, diced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 2 tablespoons GF flour

Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef (or ground meat of your choice)
  • 1 cup GF bread crumbs
  • ½ cup pecorino romano, grated
  • ½ cup oat milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • ½ onion, diced

Instructions:

  • Combine all sauce ingredients in a pot over low heat and let simmer for 1 – 2 hours
  • Combine all meatball ingredients in a plastic bag and mix until combined
  • Form small meatballs on a baking sheet and distribute diced onion over the meatballs
  • Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until slightly crispy
  • Scoop meatballs and onion into sauce
  • Cover the pot and simmer on low until sauce thickens (don’t be afraid to taste test!)
  • Enjoy

An Election Apple Pie

I made this apple pie to celebrate the election. I modified Ina Garten’s pie crust a little bit. I used cold Tito’s vodka instead of water to make the crust more flaky. Then, I diced the apples into small cubes to ensure they cooked evenly and drizzled an easy four ingredient caramel sauce over the top. I got the cookie cutters from Amazon and used a springform pan.

Election Apple Pie

Serves: 6

Time: 1 hour

Preheat oven to 375

Pie Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 sticks very cold unsalted butter
  • 3 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ⅓  cup very cold butter
  • About ½ cup Tito’s vodka

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients besides the vodka in a food processor. 
  • Slowly pour in the vodka. 
  • Once combined, pour onto a clean countertop and form two balls. 
  • Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.

Filling

Ingredients:

  • 3 green apples, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in bowl and refrigerate.

Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ stick butter
  • ¼ cup oat milk

Instructions:

  • Combine brown sugar, vanilla extract and butter in a pan and bring to a simmer. Add in oat milk stirring constantly until combined. Turn off heat.

Bringing it all together:

  • Roll out the first ball of dough on parchment paper. Rolling the dough out on parchment paper makes it easier to transfer to the pie dish. 
  • Flip the parchment paper and gently settle the crust into the pan.
  • Pour in the apple mixture and distribute evenly.
  • Pour the sauce over the apple mixture.
  • Roll out the second ball of dough on parchment paper.
  • Cut thin strips of dough with a knife and form the weaving on top (aim for three to four strips of dough in each direction).
  • With the extra dough, use cookie cutters to cut out the rest of the shapes.
  • Take a scissors and gently trim away any excess dough on the edge of the pie pan.
  • Once the design is arranged, crack an egg in a bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Take a pastry brush and brush the egg mixture over all of the dough.
  • Sprinkle granulated sugar on top of the dough.
  • Put in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

A GF Tomato Tart Inspired By Bon Appetit

I was reading Bon Appetit this summer when I came across this beautiful recipe for a tomato tart. Unfortunately, it wasn’t gluten free or cow’s milk free. I remade the recipe with foods that agree with my body. For the crust, I used Simple Mills almond flour crackers and for the cheese I used plain goat cheese and pecorino romano cheese instead of parmesan. I left out the garlic and the shallots as well.

A GF Tomato Tart Inspired By Bon Appetit

Serves: 4

Total time: 1 ½ hours

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 heirloom tomatoes (try to get a variety of colors)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 package almond flour crackers
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 475
  • Slice tomatoes and arrange on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper
  • Roast tomatoes for 30 minutes, let cool and reduce oven temperature to 375
  • Pulse crackers in the food processor. Add both eggs and 6 tablespoons melted butter.
  • Press the crust into a 9 inch springform pan
  • Bake crust for 8-10 minutes and take out of the oven
  • Mix both cheese, the mayonnaise and the chopped thyme in a bowl
  • Spread ¼ of the cheese mixture on the bottom of the crust
  • Take turns layering the roasted tomatoes and the cheese until you reach the top. Make sure the last layer is tomatoes
  • Pour the remaining melted butter over the top
  • Bake for 60 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling