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!
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.
Time: 25 minutes
Preheat oven to 425
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
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
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.
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.
Time: 25 minutes
2 cups kale
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
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
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.
A roasted boneless turkey breast with butter, salt and pepper
Gluten free stuffing from one of my favorite brands, Aleias
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
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
Time: 1 hour
Preheat oven to 375
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
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.
3 green apples, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in bowl and refrigerate.
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ stick butter
¼ cup oat milk
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.
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
Total time: 1 ½ hours
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
1 ½ cups crumbled goat cheese
½ cup grated pecorino romano cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
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