My Freezer Loves Summer
Well, maybe I do, and just pretend that the freezer does as well. I had a basil overload last week, so whipped up a couple batches of Basil Pesto Base, popped it in ice cube trays and then into the freezer. Now I'm set to taste summer all year long!
Slow Down and Enjoy the Cheese
My slow cooker is never far from reach. And either is cheese! I mix up a huge batch of this "cheese and macaroni" set the thing on low, and continue on with my life. Then friends come over and tell me I am a Goddess of All Things Dairy and Carb. I tend to agree!
For the Love of Tomatoes
Yep. It is a fact...I have a tattoo of my first love on my left calf. The Mighty Tomato! Good thing I have our monogram on my arm, or the Bunny might get jealous... This super delicious, end of summer treat makes quick work of my delicious little tomatoes. Pour some white wine, get a crispy salad ready, and you are all set for any meal of the day!
I love a good bowl of Tomato Soup, especially when it is STILL snowing here in Chicago on April 27! This soup tastes like a classic Buttery Babe recipe full of my favorite cream and butter, but it has a secret! Veggies and beans add are adding their luxe touch!
Oooey and Gooey
Corn, Pickled Jalapenos, Mayo, Cream Cheese and Shredded Cheese! Let me pop this in the oven and then look like a Princess of Game Day Treats! Or a really stressed out Buttery Babe who might need to eat her emotions...whatever! Just make it and enjoy!
Exotic yet Accessible
Moroccan Grilled Cheese
Tasty bites of warm Naan or Pita Bread, topped with a delightful blend of Gooey Fresh Mozzarella, Salty Crumbled Feta and Fresh Mint? Count me in! Perfect before the Big Game, as a side to that healthy Lentil Soup you made in the IP or as a finishing touch that magnificent Mezze Board!
What's up, Doc?
I'm not quite believing the random stories about how this dish got its name. Here is what I do believe. Make a lovely cheese sauce. Eat it on toast. Here, we have cute toast cups, because, why not? I make this recipe with a dark beer - it is great with a lager, or even just milk. Camera Girl prefers the PG version, and so do some of our friends. Versatile, cheesy, buttery, crunchy, yum. Makes it! You will be so happy.
My Cake has a First Name
The Yum Yum Coffee Cake
Yes. A first name. And a title. The.Yum.Yum.Coffee.Cake. We lovingly refer to it as "The YumYum." You can refer to it as "Get it my mouth!" Sour cream, butter, brown sugar and walnuts make it tasty. Cinnamon and vanilla make it fantastic. Show off some skill and bake yourself The YumYum
The Magic Freezer
We love to entertain. Some of us even remember to say when we have guests coming! My freezer has to be well stocked for all of those ooops moments. I can easily pull out the artichoke hearts and puff pastry and whip this up frozen to serve in less than an hour. And when I'm really smart, I freeze half the recipe so I just need to bake off the ready assembled artichoke braid.
All in the House
Pantry Pumpkin Pasta
Autumn is in the air. That means it is pumpkin season! Okay, okay, my birthday is Halloween, so I always I am ready to break out a pumpkin. But, really, kids, this pasta is awesome. All of the ingredients are on hand in my house, so they should be in yours as well. The sauce cooks in the same amount of time that the pasta boils. It's full of pumpkin goodness, vitamins, calcium, and butter. So, you know, perfect.
The Buttery Babe Pie Crust
An essential recipes. Perfect for chicken pot pie, fall galette, quiche or anything else you want to fill it with. Get your hands and your food processor dirty and then show off your mad pie skills.
Full of Produce, so it Must be Healthy
A galette is a rustic pie. This one uses some of my favorite fall flavors - sweet potato and apple. Go raid the farmers market then spend a little time drinking hot cider and making this galette. You won't be disappointed.
I bake a lot of bread. Sometimes there is leftover bread, so I pull it out of the freezer and use it in new recipes. Since it is mid-September, I have been starting to plan out our Saturday Thanksgiving extravaganza. I am totally bored with all of the variations on American stuffing - this year we will be having Viennese Napkin Dumplings!
Crunch on That!
Comfort foods are often a little soft or single textured. This granola can change that right up. Jazz up your pumpkin soup, morning granola or hearty salad with these crunchy grain clusters! Chock full of oats, quinoa, millet and seeds, savory granola will punch you in the taste buds and keep you full and happy.
Too Many Tomatoes
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Tomatoes are one of my favorite fruits. I love them so much that there is one permanently placed on my left calf. In the garden, I grow at least three varities each summer. Since the garden is my happy place and tomatoes are my happy fruit, you can understand when I say that there are a lot! This recipe is how I keep summer going all year long.
Custardy Fruity Happiness
I like a dessert that I can mess around with and it still tastes good. I really like a dessert that has minimal ingredients. And I really, really, like a dessert that is so chock full of fruit I can serve it for breakfast and not feel even a tiny bit guilty. Let me introduce you to your new favorite dessert...Clafoutis!
Heaven "Scent" Cake
Semolina Cake with Orange and Anise
This cake is a sunny yellow, super moist and smells like a fancy after-dinner beverage. It has no eggs and transforms to dairy-free easily. Brighten up your dessert game with Semolina Cake! So yummy, I couldn't even get a photo before my family devoured it!
Of Course I Have an Apple Tree, or Three
Sometimes you have a lot of apples. Like when the trees are super excited about fall, or you went on an apple-picking date, or it's after Rosh Hashanah and you are so over it, or you went overboard at Costco! This is a great way to use up the fruit. The pears add a gentle sweetness, the lemon a little zing. Pour it over ice cream, dollop over yogurt, or go super old school and have it with a classic PBJ sandwich.
I Ain't no Challah Back Girl! Oh Wait, I Totally am.
My Favorite Challah
It's that time of year, kids. When I go through a twenty pound sack of flour in about a week. And a few flats of eggs. And several bottles of honey. It's Challah Time! Here is my favorite, along with some step by step pictures for fancy round loaves. Challah is great no matter how poorly you braid it. And if you are me, it's pretty poorly. 🙁
Roots on Roots
The darling of root vegetables (ok, not a potato, but I love them!) teamed up with a hit of sharp horseradish. Tame the whole thing out with a dollop of cream cheese and a flurry of chives. Festive, comforting and pretty. Kinda like me. Except for that comforting part; I'm a little bitter.
I Win the Toast Game
Semolina Sourdough Bread
Avocado Toast. Tomato Toast. Poached Egg Toast. Buttered Toast. All the Toasts need to start with a good bread. This one is our current favorite. Perfect straight from the oven, freezes nicely and toasts like a dream.
Cake for Summer Lovin'
Coconut Lime Crunch Cake
I like a Pina Colada. And Dancing in the Rain. But this cake is better than both - combined! Buttery and a tiny bit tart. The crunchy-chewy coconut crust adds intrigue while the zip of lime adds interest. Its like a late night flirtation...in cake form!
Love is a Cookie
French Almond Macaron
When I lived in Upstate New York and would come visit Chicago, my best friend would always make sure that I had enough Macaron in my bags to last until the next trip home. When The Bunny and I were dating, he would surprise me with little boxes of perfectly plump Macaron. These cookies are how love is expressed...at least to the Buttery Babe!
Crunch, Crunch, Crunch
Thai Turnip Slaw
I love rich, fatty, glorious creamy foods. I love pastries oozing butter. I love foie gras. I love mashed potato that is equal parts heavy cream and spud. But sometimes, even I, the Buttery Babe, need to eat a few veggies. And when I do, I like them to be super crunchy so that I know I ate them! A fex extra chews is good for the tone of my jaw muscles, right?
This Thai inspired slaw is super flavorful with garlic, mint, basil and chili. It has turnips and carrots for crunch and vitamins. No mayo, so it is a great carry-along to a picnic, BBQ or a not-sad desk lunch.
Alien Veggies for Dinner
Yes, I make a lot of things in my skillet. I think by now you understand that I have a thing with pancakes. But this one has a sexy name. Rosti! And is completely made out of vegetables. So there. Super healthy! Ok, there is a smidge of butter in there...
Summer in a Bite
Vegan Summer Rolls
I always pack my lunch for work. That way I know I will like it and it will have some type of nutritional value. These Summer Rolls have protein, veggies and fresh herbs. Plenty of flavor and texture to make my miniature break see like a quick getaway to Southeast Asia. Perfect cold or room temperature, vegan and gluten free. Could you really ask for anything more in a recipe without butter?
All Day Pancakes
Savory Dutch Baby
Pancakes are really the perfect food. Top with butter, fill with veggies, add some eggs. Make them spicy, crunchy, plain or surprising. Here is an excellent pancake to eat for any meal, or cut it in wedges for a fun appetizer. Cheesy, chive-y batter, roasted seasonal asparagus and a festive whipped cream garnish. Get the cocktails ready...this one is ready in less than half an hour!
Something from Nothing
Bits and Pieces Lasagna
Sometimes there are a bunch of random things in the house that need to get eaten but they just don't make sense together. There isn't enough of anything for it to be a meal, but combined, they can be a wonderful hearty treat. The common thing that can bring all socially awkward refrigerator stragglers together? Noodles, of course!
Exotic Snacking at its Best
Vietnamese Rice Crepes
Crunchy, veggies, carbs, protein and spicy! Yes, this has them all! Plus it is vegan and gluten free. My adaptation of the classic Vietnamese Rice Crepe is quick to throw together, is to riff on and delicious to boot. Fill your kitchen with the smells of a night market and your belly with the best of snacks. Open a cold beer and enjoy it all with friends!
Emotional Eating to the Rescue
Sweet Noodle Kugel
This recipe is designed to bring comfort to those who have lost a loved one. Full of butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, noodles and two types of sugar, there is nothing here that won't make you feel better. Our "Shiva Kugel" can be served at a fancy brunch, too. The Bunny asks for it whenever he thinks that he can get away with it. Here's the thing...don't mess with it! Real butter, full fat dairy, all the sugar.
Hot Melty Cheese Love
Baked Brie in a Bread Bowl
Sometimes something is so good, you need to stop everything and just be a part of it. This Brie is one of those things. 3 ingredients melded together so deliciously that all you can do is eat and smile and eat and smile. It is warm, gooey, cheesy, jammy and crunchy...all at once!
I Feel Pretty, oh so Pretty!
Hazelnut Meringue Cake
Cake is a glorious creation. It's yummy, pretty, and way too easy to consume vast quantities of. This cake is a little annoying to make, but lovely. It has no oil, no dairy, and is gluten free - perfect for the occasions when you have a bunch of people all on different diets. Also, the recipe makes two layers! You can serve as is, or put a little whipped cream and berries in the middle. I serve it with a Rose All Day Compote and some Prosecco!
A Kugel is a Square is a Casserole!
A recipe my mom, Gidge, taught me to make as a little girl. When I started to bring college friends home for the holidays I needed to explain what kugels were, so I brought out my favorite childhood term for kugel - squares! I explained that all traditional Jewish foods are square or round. Kugels are square; Matza Balls and Latkes are round! A handful of staples and 1 hour are all you need to make a holiday ready veggie.
Gimme the Cookie and Nobody gets Hurt!
Passover Mandel Bread
Cookies are a girl's best friend. Ok, so are diamonds, bubbly wine, and...oh wait...actual friends! Anywho, back to the cookies. These are delicious almond scented nut cookies, based on an old family recipe. Be traditional and say "mandelbrot" or be trendy and say "biscotti!" Either way, make the cookies, share the cookies, eat the cookies.
I miss the Spring!
Broiled Feta with Spring Salad
I love the spring. I love to work in my garden, drinking rose, thinking about all of the delicious veggies and fun parties that we will be having in the summer. Spring is foreplay, and it is magical. So is this super easy feta dish. Eat it. Pretend you are warm, tan, famous, and entertaining somebody who is very attentive.
Can't Pronounce It, So Just Eat It!
Japanese Cabbage Pancakes
Okonomiyaki have become kind of an obsession lately. We eat a lot of green vegetables - cabbage, kale, chard, collards, and I am always looking for a new way to cook them. Over the summer I made so many variation of these pancakes that I thought The Bunny would rebel. But he powered through. Now we have a perfected version. It whips together quickly, can be bulked up with any goodies lurking in your kitchen and will make you look like a bad ass if you can pronounce the name of this yummy treat!
Whap Goes the Chestnut!
I got lost in Tuscany trying to go to the Torture Museum, so ended up spending a lovely day in Sienna. As I was staring off into the vista, a chestnut fell from a tree and hit me on the head. A tiny accident that created a life long love of the smoky, buttery morsels of delight known as Chestnuts. This pasta is easy to make, pairs beautifully with mushrooms or just butter and cheese, or can be used to make luscious ravioli. Chestnuts...not just for roasting anymore!
Heart of Goat!
Goat Cheese Tempura
Crunchy, creamy, salty, sweet, and just a bit naughty. Whip up a quick batter and be ready for a cocktail worthy appetizer in just a few flicks of the whisk! Top these tempura globes with a few of my favorite things...honey and freshly cracked black pepper! Make these now, and make my pepper mill proud!
Crunch, Crunch, Crunch!
Crunchy Cheese Fritters
This recipe seems to hit all the right notes, without even trying! Mix some ricotta with some Parmesan, hid a melty cheese nugget in the middle. Bread and fry to golden brown and delicious (GBD for short) Consume vast amounts while drinking sparkling wine and gossiping with your friends. Yep, just about perfect....I want some right now!
Melty Cheese, Be Mine!
Mexico City Quesadillas
I am always craving crunchy and cheesy. Preferably in the same bite. Add a little heat, now I am in love! I first had these quesadillas standing on a street corner in Mexico City and I have never been the same. Crunchy edges, gooey center, and the fun of a project. Change the filling up to make them yours. Big, tiny, or in-between, Mexico City Quesadillas are always a hit!
Basta Pasta! (Said No One, Ever!)
I love butter. And I love carbs. So naturally, I love buttered noodles. But they can take a turn to the fancy side when you make the pasta by hand. It's not hard, you don't need expensive toys or obscure ingredients. Just a counter and a rolling pin. Or an empty wine bottle if you don't have the rolling pin. And we ALL have empty wine bottles!
Something to Taco 'Bout!
Hand Pressed Corn Tortillas
Sometimes the simplest things bring the most pleasure. Mixing some masa harina, water and salt to form a dough. Roll it out and 2 minutes later - literally - you are shoving hot, fresh tortillas in your mouth. Make me a Margarita and start grilling the skirt steak, Bunny, 'cause Taco Tuesday just go a whole lot better!
Must Have Carbs!
OMG Sour Cream Scones
Well, we conquered the Lemon Curd. And while some do advocate for eating it with a spoon, out of the bowl, in the glowing light of the fridge, I like something a bit more civilized. Join me for a scone, won't you? I promise good gossip, a spot of tea, and a glass of bubbles!
Fancy Lemons for My Fancy Man
Meyer Lemon Curd
I'm a happy girl. I cook all day, hang out with my Lagotto Romagnolo puppy, and have an awesome husband. But there are still a few things that make me even happier! Bubbly wine, sparkly diamonds, and High Tea! The Bunny is so smart that he proposed at high tea - all my favorite things at once! Lemon Curd is essential for tea, and life, really. Tart, sweet and buttery. Yum! Try this one with Meyer lemons and whole eggs.
BUTTERnut Makes it Better!
Butternut Squash Phyllo Cigars
Tender roasted squash, caramelized onions, salty feta, a touch of honey...I could keep listing all the reasons that this appetizer is delicious, but then I would just be reading a recipe! Crank up the oven, pour a glass of wine, and get yourself into a phyllo-frenzy!
Paolo il Gnoccho
You know that the Buttery Babe has a thing for International Dumplings! The Bunny loves his potato dumplings...and he loves mushrooms...and he loves cream...so - Potato Gnocchi with Mushroom Cream Sauce. I know the way to my man's heart is thru his tummy. These are not so complicated and just as good with a drizzle of melted butter if you don't make the sauce.
Almost as Good as Bert's...
My grandmother was always generous with sharing her recipes. But there was something not quite right with each one. I've spent years perfecting the ratios to my father's favorite cookies. One day, maybe. Until then, enjoy the butter cookies. They should be served with percolated coffee or Scotch for the most authentic flavor.
It's Healthy...There's Fruit in the Middle!
Leftover cranberry sauce from earlier? Or half a jar of apricot preserves lurking in the fridge? Layer that luscious fruit goo between buttery, nutty, oaty dough. It's practically a super food. In a warm, crunchy square. And it goes well with coffee, tea, toddys or egg nog. Perfect for just about any occasion and questionable good for you - turn that oven on, baby!
I want LATKES!!!
Savory Potato Pancakes
Better hit the gym early, 'cause you are not moving after consuming all of these delightful potato pancakes. Bring on the applesauce and sour cream. You might serve them as a side to roast chicken, but I say that the bird is the side when latkes are on the plate!
Salmon with Mustard & Rosemary
Make your dining room the best date night spot in town! The Bunny and I love this easy salmon that we can throw together in 20 minutes. A quick mayo-mustard-herb sauce keeps it moist and hazelnuts bring the crunch.
Nuhh-key! Gnochi! Cutie! Even if you can't pronounce these ricotta dumplings of delight you can eat them! And you can whip up a batch in a flash. Grab your ricotta, pour a glass of Champagne and impress yourself with your mad skills! Don't forget the luxurious butter sauce.
The Gnudi Know-How
Want a quick and healthy dinner or starter? Get to know the Gnudi! These little dumplings are chock full of greens and ricotta cheese. A few minutes in simmering water, a splash of tomato sauce and you are golden. Plus, they have a cute name.
Rosh Hashanah Rundown
The Honey Cake
Tale as old as time. Girl meets boy, girl gets family recipe, recipe is wrong. MUST FIX RECIPE! My 2nd year making this cake was perhaps the most entertaining, and the most Emily and The Bunny ever. I had made the cake, let it cool, and put it in the cake dome on the counter. I then went to work. When I came home at midnight, I freaked out because The Bunny had cut a huge wedge of honey cake as a snack, and it was being served in 2 days for holiday dessert. The Bunny was in a world of trouble. When I served the cake, everybody is chewing, and chewing, and chewing, looking around and not knowing what to do. The cake was so dry and horrible. "Bunny, why didn't you tell me the cake was nasty?!?" The Bunny's calm response: "Would I have been in more or less trouble?"
So here it is...it may not work for you. The recipe has been adjusted so that it usually comes out nice, but Honey Cake is a fickle thing.
And Some Whiskey Sauce to go with...
Dill Feta Breakfast Pastry
I don't like sweet breakfast. But I do like pastry. And cheese. And herbs. These are great for breakfast, or make them smaller and serve as an appetizer. I won't tell you how to live your life.
Big Girl, You are Beautiful!
My darling mother taught me to shove a pound of margarine in the "tush" pour on a bottle of Italian dressing, wrap the pan tightly with foil and walk away. The turkey would braise in its own little sauna. This is an updated, less greasy, less chemically version.
My dad always carves the turkey, even when we are guests at other people's homes. He was very mad when I declared that I could carve my own. The best part of the holiday when I was little was standing to his right as he carved away, being fed tiny morsels of turkey and getting to pick at the carcass while he put the slices on the tray.
Romance on the Patio
A small miracle occurred; The Bunny woke up before me and took Kreplach the Puppy on a walk. I woke up to the delightful smell of French Press coffee, puppy kisses, and Buddy Guy playing downstairs. No, my favorite Blues man was not actually playing in the kitchen, but his voice is impeccable even through our speakers. I put myself together, let The Bunny pour me a boozy coffee, and set breakfast to cook while we drank coffee on the porch and contemplated if we wanted straight Champagne or to add orange juice and pretend that a Mimosa was a healthy beverage.
Creamy Polenta is Summer Heaven
You might have noticed a theme...I love polenta! Overheard at a restaurant in Bologna, years ago, "Try the polenta...It's in season!" I laugh every time that I say that sentence in my head, which is at least once a week. Polenta is always in season, as it is a dried grain. However, my tomato salad with fresh herbs, the corn kernels, and the luxurious burrata cheese make it a Summer must eat. The recipe is below, and the how-to video is on the video page. Everything tastes better when you cook along to my soothing voice!
A Brisket is Born
I love brisket. Braised in ketchup, beer and onion soup mix ala Gidge. Pickled, smoked and steamed to pastrami perfection for Friendsgiving. Cubed up as stew meat. Ground into hamburgers. All delicious. I am a big girl. I am a brave girl. I will conquer the smoked brisket. 12 hours in my Big Green Egg, 12 tasty adult beverages. Add sides, pickles, friends. And my father telling The Bunny that I had had enough. Yes, cut off in my own garden.
Eggplant for The Bunny
My husband, aka The Bunny, is particularly fond of Eggplant Parmesan. Not the authentic versions that we ate all over Italy, not the modern versions that I have tried on molecular kicks, but true old school red sauce Americanized Eggplant Parmesan. And it is his lucky summer...my eggplant shrubs are producing in overdrive. Here's how to make my man very, very happy.