May 1, 2013

per serving


– 1 piece sliced Rustic Bread
– 3-4 Tbsp Ricotta Cheese (if you’re feeling adventurous, make your own!)
– 4-5 pieces Sliced Pineapple
– 1/2 Red Pepper, seeds removed, chopped small
– 2 Tbsp Green Onion, chopped
– 1-2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt & Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to broil. Cut bread in half on a diagonal and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle bread with olive oil on both sides, sprinkle with salt. Broil in the oven until bread becomes crispy, a few minutes (flip on either side). Remove from oven. On a stovetop grill, grill the pineapple on each flat side until there are grill marks. Remove from heat and allow to cool until they’re cool enough to handle. Chop into small pieces. In a bowl, combine pineapple, red pepper and green onion. Sprinkle with salt and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Spread ricotta on each slice of bread. Spoon the desired amount of salsa on each piece and salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

September 12, 2012


– 5 Mission Figs
– 1/3 cup Ricotta
– 1 Meyer LemonSea Salt
– French Baguette
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the stems off of the figs and slice in half lengthwise. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, tossing to coat. Roast in oven for 5-10 minutes or until the sugars start to caramelize. Remove from oven and set aside. Slice 5 1/2 slices from french bread and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven until crunchy and starting to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. To assemble, spread each crostini with a generous amount of ricotta and spread two fig halves onto each one. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Using a microplane, zest the lemon over the crostini.

August 2, 2012

I intended to go running after work… made this instead. Stomach: 1 point, Health: 0 points.


– Puff Pastry
– 2 Red Plums
– 1 cup Ricotta
– 1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme
– 1 Tbsp Honey
– Sea salt to taste
– 1 Egg
– 1 Tbsp Water


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Follow defrosting instructions on puff pastry box. Once you’re able to unfold it, lay it out and cut two 4×4 squares (or circles! or hearts!) Place on a greased or parchment-line baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Brush the tops of each of the squares with the egg wash. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until puffy and browned. Remove from oven and set aside. In a bowl, mix together ricotta and thyme. Season with salt. Cut plums into wedges. Take each puffed pastry and pull the top off so that there’s two halves. Scoop ricotta mixture into bottom half and layer with red plum. Place the top half back on and drizzle with honey before serving.

June 7, 2012

Whole Wheat Spaghetti in a Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette with Spring Peas, Asparagus, Ricotta & Mint2 servings dry Whole Wheat Spaghetti1 1/2 cup Spring Peas in pods1/4 pound fresh Asparagus1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese1/4 cup of fresh Mint, chopped2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus more for pasta)1 Lemon1 clove Garlic Salt & Pepper
Bring a large pot of water to boil with a tablespoon of olive oil and a couple pinches of salt. Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. Prepare an ice bath (ice in a bowl of water). Chop asparagus and spring peas. Once large pot of water is boiling, add pasta. Cook until al dente and drain. In the medium sized pot, add asparagus and peas. Cook for about 1 minute, then drain and add to ice bath to cool. Add to a bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup olive oil and the juice and zest of one lemon with garlic. Salt to taste. In a saute pan, toss pasta with lemon vinaigrette and vegetables to coat. Salt and pepper to taste and bring to warm temperature. Remove from heat and plate in bowls. Top with a few spoonfuls of ricotta, a generous amount of mint and fresh pepper. Toss together as you eat.
This past weekend, I attended one of my best friend’s bachelorette party in Greenport, Long Island. We stayed at the amazing Silver Sands Motel (I can’t express how I adore their bright yellow outdated kitchen, 70’s carpet, buckets of snacks), then went to a few wineries around the area the next morning. It was a beautiful day and we tried so many delicious wines (and some so-so ones). If you’re ever looking for a little jaunt in the New York area, it can’t be beat. I recommend a sober, patient driver who does not care if everyone in the car sings loudly to 90’s music the entire afternoon (thanks Mads!) 

June 26, 2010

Look at these strawberries I picked up today! 

Since I was up early for a ill-conceived McCarren run this morning, I figured I might as well make breakfast when I got home.  I’ve made stuffed french toast in the past, most recently for last year’s Pre-Easter Brunch Dinner Party (what??) Usually I use cream cheese and jam, but I thought I’d experiment a bit this time.  I had some leftover mint I’ve been needing to use, and with the discovery of some lovely strawberries, I came up with the following.  Slaving over a hot stove in the summer is my specialty. 

Lemon Ricotta Stuffed French Toast with Strawberry Mint Sauce
Lemon Ricotta Stuffing1/2 container of skim ricotta (or you can make your own!)1 1/2 lemons (juice and zest!)Mix ricotta, zest and juice of lemon. Strawberry Mint Sauce2 cups of strawberries1/3 cup powdered sugar1/4 mint, choppedChop up strawberries and pulse in food processor or blender.  Add sugar and mint and pulse until smooth.French Toast1 loaf good bread, sliced thick4 eggs1 tbls vanilla1/2 cup milkbutter for panWhisk eggs, vanilla and milk together in a container (make sure it’s big enough to fit the bread!)Take a slice of bread and spread lemon ricotta on one side.  Make a sandwich!  In a pan, melt butter.  Dip stuffed bread in the egg mixture until well coated.  Add to pan and cook until brown.  Flip! Remove from heat and top with several spoonfuls of strawberry mint sauce.
Make sure you’re prepare to be ridiculously full after eating this.  The ricotta is a bit rich, but balances well with the fresh strawberry and mint. 
Today is going to be a busy day.  I’m headed over to Berry Park to watch the World Cup, and then to the park for a picnic prepared by Bergur, who generously offered to make lunch for everyone.  I hear he’s an amazing cook, so I’m looking forward to it.  Then tonight, I’m headed over to check out the Creators Project at Milk Studios.  Whew!

June 12, 2010

The other day I was telling a friend about my food guilt complex.  Let me explain: If I take shortcuts (i.e. using canned vegetables) I feel like a horrible person.  Okay, not a horrible person, but a lazy cook.  I like the idea of everything being made from scratch, even if it takes longer.  Today I bought frozen peas for a soup I’m making tomorrow and had to tell myself that it was alright that I was not sitting and shelling fresh ones by hand.  Perhaps it’s time I move to a farm… or become one of those Brooklyn crazies that keep chickens in the backyard for the fresh eggs (at least that’s why I think they have them.) 
I digress.
For tomorrow’s Sunday night dinner,  I am doing a summery pasta that includes ricotta cheese, so I figured why not make it from scratch!  I’ve never made cheese before, so it was a bit of an adventure (adventure in cheesecloth.)  This experience also convinced me that I may be the messiest cook that has ever existed.  My kitchen is a disaster. 
I used the simplest recipe I could find.  Two ingredients!  Three if you add salt.
Homemade Ricotta (via 101cookbooks)(Two things: I didn’t buy the right amounts of milk and buttermilk, so I did a quart of milk, 1/2 quart of buttermilk.  Also, I added salt.)
1 gallon good-quality whole milk 1 quart good-quality buttermilk

Combine both milks into a large nonreactive saucepan over medium high heat, preferably a thick-bottomed pan if you have one. You will need to stir occasionally, scraping the pan bottom, to avoid scorching. Once the milk is hot, stop stirring. You will start to see curds rise and come to the surface. Run a spoon or spatula along the bottom of the pan occasionally to free up any stuck curds.
While the milk is heating, select a sieve or colander with a wide surface area. This will help your curds cook more quickly. Line the colander with a large piece of cheesecloth that has been folded numerous times – until you have about 5 or six layers. Place the lined colander over a large bowl or sink.
When the mixture reaches about 175F degrees, you will see the curds and whey seperate. The curds are the clumpy white mass. Now, remove the pan from heat, and gently begin to ladle curds into the prepared sieve. Pull up on the sides of the cheesecloth to drain off any extra liquid, but resist pressing on the curds. Gather the edges of the cloth, tie or fasten them into a knot and allow them to drain for another 15 minutes minimum. Move to an airtight container and refrigerate if you aren’t going to use it immediately. Try to use or eat it within a few days, it really is best that way.
Makes about 4 cups.
I’m not sure that making cheese is my forte, but I’m glad I gave it a go.  I will make sure my dinner guests know all of the work that went into it so that they lavish me with praise. 
I’m off to watch The Room on Bjorn’s rooftop, fresh hummus and truffled popcorn in hand…  But that’s another post all together.