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Marmalade-Bourbon Cheesecake Tart

23 Nov

Here’s a perfect Thanksgiving dessert–easy, yet unexpected, but familiar enough that it will fit right in with any menu. I admit that I’m usually not the biggest fan of cheesecake. I mean it’s fine, but I’d rather have just cheese, or just cake–not necessarily a combination of the two! This tart works well even for me, though. There’s a thick chocolate-cookie crust with only a thin layer of rich, not-too-sweet cheesecake filling. The glaze on top is made from prepared orange marmalade and a nice dose of bourbon, which is reminiscent of an Old Fashioned, but much, much subtler. In fact, if you serve drinks after your Thanksgiving meal, a little glass of neat bourbon or an Old Fashioned would be perfect with this. Sure to impress! Did I mention it’s super easy, too? Read on for the recipe: Continue reading

Milk-Chocolate Pudding Pie with Pretzel Crust

19 Nov


Yes, those are pretzels on top of that pie–and the crust is made from crushed pretzels, too! The filling is milk-chocolate pudding, which is super-luscious and easy to make. Salty and sweet–well, you know how good that combo is….

Recipe: Milk-Chocolate Pretzel Pie

Just a note–be sure not to let the pretzel pieces sit on top of your pie for too long. They’ll get soggy. Also, please use high-quality milk chocolate, not chocolate chips or Hershey’s bars!

I developed this recipe for iVillage.com

Zucchini-Cantaloupe Salad with Feta and Mint

21 Jul

Here’s a simple and sophisticated salad that takes just a few minutes to make–just perfect for a ridiculously hot summer day like this one. It was quite nice as is, though I could see experimenting with some shaved red onion, pine nuts, or olives. The only caveat is that you really need a mandoline or Japanese slicer to cut the squash and melon. It would be pretty hard with just a knife–though in a pinch, try a vegetable peeler. Make this one right before you serve it–it doesn’t benefit from sitting around.

Zucchini-Cantaloupe Salad with Feta and Mint
Serves 4

Juice of 1/2 lemon
About  1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Pinch sugar
Pinch coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium zucchini, end trimmed
1/4 small cantaloupe, seeded and peeled
A few ounces of good-quality sheep’s milk feta
Thinly sliced mint, for garnish

  1. To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, zest, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk in a few tablespoons of olive oil; set aside.
  2. Using a mandoline or Japanese slicer, carefully slice the zucchini and melon lengthwise into a mixing bowl. Add the vinaigrette and gently toss to coat; toss in the mint. Transfer salad to a serving dish and top with feta and more black pepper and mint. Serve immediately.

Sour Cherry-Blackberry Slab Pie

4 Jul

Slab pie–genius! Huge, rectangular, and neat enough to be eaten out of hand. I made this for a neighbor’s Fourth of July potluck, and it was a hit. Surprisingly easy, too–the hardest part is rolling out the crust. I wish I’d remembered to take a decent photo of the finished pie–this iPhone pic will have to do…

This is not my invention, but one of Martha Stewart’s signatures. There are a few slab pies on their site. I pretty much followed this basic recipe in terms of ingredients, and followed the cooking instructions and did the cutouts on the top crust like in this one. But there are a few extra instructions to keep in mind:

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Chocolate-Chip Cupcakes

8 Nov

What do you serve a bunch of toddlers? Today was my son’s second birthday, so I made these chocolate-chip cupcakes for his class. The cake recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. Nice and light, it uses cake flour and whipped egg whites and is reminiscent of white cake mix, except much tastier. I needed a foolproof frosting that I could make the night before, so I chose cream cheese. Before school, I re-whipped the frosting and studded it with mini chocolate chips before piping piles on top of the cupcakes. (I used mini chips in the frosting so I could pipe it and also because I figured regular chips could pose a choking hazard.) They finished cupcakes were so cute and everyone loved them. Click through for the recipes…

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