Elizabeth Passarella's Recent Articles
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Alternative to Carrot: Banana Nut Birthday Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
We threw a birthday party for a friend on Friday, and we asked her what kind of cake she wanted. The answer: “A banana cake with cream cheese frosting.” Come again? We asked if she didn’t mean carrot. No, she wanted banana. And not banana bread, mind you. Birthday cake. Well, we found a great recipe from a funny source…Turns out Paula Deen, the high priestess of Southern decadence, served none other than a banana nut cake with cream cheese frosting as her wedding cake.
May 12, 2022
Edible Craft: Marshmallow Dreidels for HanukkahMartha Stewart Kids
Hanukkah starts at sundown on Friday, December 11th, so for those of you celebrating, the planning/cooking may have already begun. We think making these marshmallow dreidels would keep kids occupied even longer than playing with an actual dreidel. That is, until they eat them. Get the instructions below.The team at Martha Stewart must have a thing for marshmallow dreidels, because these aren’t the only ones the magazine has featured.
May 12, 2022
Have You Ever Priced a Home-Cooked Meal?
When you cook dinner you don’t pay a check. Or a delivery guy. And you probably didn’t go to the grocery store for those exact ingredients and those ingredients only. So it’s not the most logical thing to look at your plate and say, “This meal cost $12.” Occasionally, though, we’ll figure it out, and the number is always surprisingly small…The lowest we remember included pork chops (bought at Fairway) and was a little less than $3 per person.
May 12, 2022
On the Pros and Cons of Grill Pans
We credit Rachael Ray and other TV cooking hosts for the popularity of the stovetop grill pan. They can “grill” food on camera without having to move the entire production crew outside. Brilliant. But we’re apartment dwellers with no outdoor space, as we know many of you are, and let’s be honest. A pan with raised ridges does not a grill make.
May 12, 2022
Irresistible Clementine SherbetRecipe Review
We wrote about this recipe two years ago and just got around to making it (with a minor citrus swap-out) this week. We might not forgive ourselves for taking that long. If you like sherbet, heed our advice: This is one of the easiest and most addictive desserts we’ve made in a while.We’ve always been bigger fans of sherbet than sorbet. Sorbet is virtuous. Sherbet toes that fine line between, “I’m eating fruit for dessert! Go me,” and “Oooh, this is creamy.
May 12, 2022
Top Chef Chicago: Restaurant Wars!
Sometimes, in war, the mighty fall… We’re skipping right to the next page to discuss the winner and, more importantly, the surprising loser. Come! We have to say, we thought the judges would keep Dale based on the fact that his body of work over the course of the season was obviously stronger than Lisa’s. And maybe his bad attitude and inability to handle pressure maturely was his Achilles heel, but she’s no picnic in the kitchen, either.
May 12, 2022
Freezer Organization: Toss an Ice Tray or Two
Week #1 assignment in the Kitchen Cure is to clean out your fridge and pantry. That includes the freezer, and we’re considering one way to make more space: eliminating two of those ice trays above.We’re betting many of you who live in apartments use ice trays. Old refrigerators (or, as in our case, brand new ones that don’t back up to a water source) don’t have automatic ice makers, so ice trays it is.
May 12, 2022
Brunch Recipe: Eggs with Pork “Debris”
Meat “debris” is something we saw on menus when we lived in New Orleans. It is a Louisiana invention (we’re assuming), typically made from crusty slivers of meat that fall into the bottom of the pan while you’re cooking a beef or pork roast. For our version, inspired by a brunch item at the amazing Dante’s Kitchen in New Orleans, we put our debris over fried eggs. Where’d we get the meat?
May 12, 2022
More Colorful Cast Iron: Ikea’s Senior Line
We make a trek to Ikea only once or twice a year, so we don’t always catch the latest products in person as soon as they come out. The Senior line of enamel-coated cast iron isn’t brand new, but it’s an interesting addition to Ikea’s cookware. With all things Ikea, you tend to sacrifice some quality to get a good deal. But is this one?
May 12, 2022
Easy Cake Decorating: 4 Ideas for a Pretty Party Dessert
Consider this cake decorating for dummies—foolproof ways to make a layer cake look super impressive without a lot of fancy tools. Two even use store-bought candy.One of these designs requires a piping bag of sorts, although we’re sure a Ziploc would work. And number 3? Malted milk balls! How mod and futuristic does that look? And you could be as sloppy as you wanted with the frosting underneath.
May 12, 2022
Store Review: Macy’s Cellar
We’ll admit, a trip to Macy’s in Herald Square in New York during the holiday season is not something we’d wish on our worst enemy. It’s madness down there. However… Macy’s Cellar is a one-stop shop for housewares if you need to kill a lot of birds with one errand. And, as a salesperson once told us, “Stuff here is always on sale.
May 12, 2022
Quick Reminder: Cook Bacon Low and Slow
With the arrival of summer tomatoes, we’ve been eating a lot of BLTs. We spread our bacon slices out in a very large pan and cook them on the stovetop, and we were reminded last night that it pays to turn the heat down…When we’re hungry and in a hurry, we’re always tempted to crank up the flame and sizzle the bacon fast and furious. But inevitably, we burn it.
May 12, 2022
Recipe: Grilled Peaches with Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Cream
Have all of you apartment dwellers been waiting for a new Grilling Month recipe that can be made indoors, on a grill pan? You have? Well, here you go. We made these peaches on a charcoal grill at a friend’s house AND on our own grill pan once we got home. The recipe worked just as well indoors. Get the details, with the decadent whipped cream, below… We kept the grilling part as simple as possible — just a smidge of olive oil on the surface to keep the peach from sticking.
May 12, 2022
Glorious Grits by Susan McEwen McIntoshBook Reviews 2009
If you think grits are, indeed, glorious, then this is a book for you. But even if you’re not sold, hear us out. This book veers way off the breakfast path, with recipes for savory polenta main dishes (very popular right now), desserts (grits pecan pie, anyone?) and a bunch of things to do with plain old cornmeal. We’re loving one super easy cornmeal-jam cookie right now.
May 12, 2022
How to Separate an Egg
We just read a tip at Saveur’s website and learned something new. No, not about separating an egg in your hands, although that’s a good one, too. There’s something else…Saveur claims eggs will separate more easily when they are cold, not room temperature. We occasionally do have trouble getting that last bit of white film away from the yolk.
May 12, 2022
Recipe Review: Indian Spiced Carrot Soup with Ginger
We had a bunch of carrots to use this week and were craving something Indian-inspired. It being Escapes Month and all, this soup from Bon Appétit sounded like the perfect recipe to celebrate far-flung locations and exotic flavors. Read on for our full review…The process of making this carrot soup is pretty much identical to our own technique for how to make soup from almost anything — sauté carrots and onions with some spices, pour in chicken broth, simmer, then purée.
May 12, 2022
Tastes Like Summer: The Perfect Tomato Sandwich
Oh, we’ve been waiting for this for a while…Tomatoes finally showed up in our CSA this week, and we got straight to eating them. First it was a no-cook tomato sauce for dinner. Today, tomato sandwiches for lunch.This is how we make ours. Nothing fancy — no bacon or lettuce or even toasted bread. Just plain, white bread, lots of mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. The tomato juice runs out with the mayonnaise, leaving milky, pink drips on the plate… Heaven.
May 12, 2022
Recipes Gone Wrong: What To Do with Inedible Dishes?
It doesn’t look so bad, does it? Well, trust us. It was. A little cooking by feel experiment went horribly wrong last night…We had some eggplant, olives, lemons and tahini in the fridge, so we thought we’d make an impromptu baba ghanoush-ish spread to put on some Ak Mak crackers we had in the cabinet.The problem was, we didn’t have time or energy to roast the eggplant, which is a basic requirement for baba ghanoush.
May 12, 2022
How To Flavor a Cake with Jam Syrup
If you’ve got a few spoonfuls of jam in your refrigerator, you can turn a plain yellow or chocolate cake into something special without altering the recipe one bit. We added a hint of raspberry flavor to a basic chocolate cake, above, just by mixing some jam with a little hot water.
May 12, 2022
Where to Grill or Barbecue in New York City Parks
As we told you yesterday, July is Grilling Month here at the Kitchn. And we realize that we may have lost many of you with that sentence — all of you who lack any outdoor space, even for a tiny charcoal grill.Well, many of us editors are in the same position. But we are also surrounded by beautiful public parks in this city. The trick is knowing where you can grill in them.
May 12, 2022
March Madness Recipe: Healthier Hot Wings
OK, everybody… Please note that the title says healthIER. We’re not promising low-fat, cholesterol-free chicken wings here. But some of us are big basketball fans (of the Tar Heels, specifically) and, for better or worse, enjoy a few bar food specialties over Final Four weekend. Click below for our lightened-up (organic!) hot wings with blue cheese dip.We admit that fried chicken is not exactly the dish one should start messing with in an attempt to cut calories.
May 12, 2022
Look! Apple Chart in Union Square
In addition to all the Indian corn, we saw this on our trip to the Greenmarket. It’s a cute guide to all the different types of apples sold at the market, with details on how each tastes and what it’s best used for.
May 11, 2022
Huge Chocolate Chip Cookie Baked in a Cast-Iron Skillet Recipe Review
Remember those chocolate chip cookie cakes you used to buy at the mall? It’s like that, only better. Crispy on the edges, soft in the middle, and so quick, we may never make individual scoop-and-drop cookiesHere’s how we ended up with our giant cookie: We wanted a hot, straight-from-the-oven cookie for dessert the other night and had all the ingredients on hand. But something about scooping balls of dough made us tired.
May 11, 2022
Tips for Freezing Holiday (or Any Day) Cookies
Cookies are one of the easiest things to get a jump on when it comes to planning for the holidays. And most recipes freeze beautifully. So if you have the space, and you’ve already got our recommended tools for easy baking, why not start? We’ve got some tips for freezing those homemade treats.You have two very obvious options when it comes to freezing cookies: before baking or after.
May 11, 2022
Elizabeth’s Pepper Mill: Peugeot Paris
This is the first pepper mill I’ve ever owned. For years I avoided buying one because the nice ones—well-made, comfortable to hold, easy to crank—can be relatively pricey. Finally I gave in and purchased this while shopping at Whisk in Brooklyn. Granted, I have no comparison, but this classic model from Peugeot has been excellent.I love the traditional look of this pepper mill.
May 11, 2022
The IKEA Kitchen: HEAT Cork Trivets
Faith has been highlighting some of the great IKEA findsThey’re cheap, naturally, but we have a couple of other reasons why they’re a favorite in our house…In our experience, most trivets are made of metal. Some have little metal feet on the bottom, which means that this thing designed to protect our table from hot pots ends up clanging around and possibly scratching the table.
May 11, 2022
Word of Mouth: Affogato
affogato: n. An Italian, coffee-based dessert consisting of vanilla gelato (or ice creamThis is a really quick summer dessert (made better by a fancy name). Get some elaborate and boozy versions, below…Of course, hot espresso and cold ice cream doesn’t seem like a good combination. You might end up with more of a float or possibly a soup. We’d let the coffee or espresso cool slightly before pouring it over the ice cream.
May 11, 2022
In Season: Daikon
Daikon are large, white Asian radishes used primarily in Japanese cooking. We’ve been getting them in our CSA lately, and we’ve got a tip on what to do with them…We frequently read that daikon have a milder taste than traditional, small red radishes, but we have to disagree. Ours have been particularly peppery and feisty.
May 11, 2022
Classic Breakfast: Cottage Cheese with Peaches
We, along with many other kids, we’re sure, used to eat a lot of canned pears with cottage cheese on top. It was one of those dishes you saw in cafeteria lines, which demeans its genius, really—sweet, tart, and creamy all in one bowl. We still have an occasional weakness for canned pears, but this morning we elevated things a bit with some fresh summer peaches.
May 11, 2022
Good Product: Immersion Blender with Whisk
As we gear up for some summery cocktails, we start thinking about blending things — margaritas, daiquiris, milkshakes with homemade ice cream…Problem is, this is our blender: A hand-held immersion blender that might not attack those chunky ice cubes as well as a regular blender. However, it is one of our favorite appliances. Let’s talk about the pros and cons…Pros: This baby can whirl a pot of simmering vegetables into a silky smooth soup in about three minutes flat.
May 11, 2022
Serving Others: Do You Cook for Your Neighbors?
We’re not talking about taking a meal to a new mom or a sick friend—both wonderful in their own right. We’re going a little deeper. Do you notice the elderly man who lives alone in your building? Or the person at work who’s been caring for her sick mom? It’s the time of year when we all think about helping—feeding—those less fortunate, but we’re usually serving strangers. We might need to serve those closer to home, too.
May 11, 2022
One Big Kitchen Tool We Have… But Never Use
Which common kitchen utensil do you think it is? We actually have two (maybe three) of this space-hogging tool, and as we thought about de-cluttering this week, we realized we never, ever use it. We bet you have at least one in your utensil holder, too…There are even two of them in the picture above.It’s a ladle. And we’re pretty sure almost all of you have one. Ladles are a mainstay in any utensil set, and they seem like such a no-brainer. You make soup? You need a ladle.
May 11, 2022
The Coolest, Simplest Can Opener We’ve Seen
Does anyone own this kitchen gadget? It’s a can opener from Rösle, and it’s not new, but we recently used it at a friend’s house and loved it (as much as one can love a can opener). In fact, it’s so streamlined and nifty that we stared for 15 minutes, sure it was a can opener but with no idea how to use it.
May 11, 2022
Solo Eating: Tips on Cooking for One
Eating alone can be an immensely pleasurable, gratifying thing. We wouldn’t want to do it every night, although many do, but once in a while it’s nice to eat what we want and enjoy it without conversation. What to fix, though, is a different matter. Not many recipes are created for a single serving…It’s sometimes hard for us even to cook for two, since so many recipes serve four or six.
May 11, 2022
Little Luxury: Sterling Silver Tomato Server
After Sara Kate’s post on the crazy All-Clad Tomato Slicer and in light of Faith’s upcoming wedding, we thought we’d share one of our favorite wedding gifts…I have quite a collection of sterling silver flatware and serving pieces, most of which were gifts when I got married. This was one I looked at with bewilderment when I first opened it, but the shape and the intricate, curly-cue holes clued me in — tomatoes.
May 11, 2022
Cheap-O: Under-$10 Dinners We’d Like to TryRachael Ray Magazine
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy) We all know Rachael Ray appeals to the masses with recipes prized for speed and ease. But she’s also all about keeping costs down, and we appreciate that. With these two recipes (which both feed four people), we think you could buy organic ingredients and still come in well under the $10 mark.We realize Rachael Ray is a polarizing figure, and many of her recipes rely too heavily on poultry seasoning, ground beef, and shredded cheese. But you know what?
May 11, 2022
Summer Recipe: Quick, Cool Cucumber Sauce for Sandwiches & Salads
This is not tzatziki. We know it looks like tzatziki. And before you ask, “How many cucumber-yogurt sauces does one really need, anyway?” Let us explain the difference… When I was growing up, my grandmother used to serve sliced tomatoes from her garden topped with a creamy cucumber dressing. It was white, lumpy with fresh cucumbers, and full of mayonnaise, I’m sure. This is my attempt at recreating that dressing (without eating spoonfuls of mayonnaise).
May 11, 2022
Afternoon Snack: Yogurt Swirled with Peanut Butter, Honey, and Graham Crackers
Did you eat graham crackers with peanut butter when you were a kid? We did. (Of course, you won’t find peanut butter anywhere near a preschool these days…) Here’s a grown-up version of that snack that satisfies our sweet tooth but has a nice kick of tangy, unsweetened yogurt. This is a very filling snack; in fact, we’ve eaten it for breakfast and stayed full for hours. It’s got protein, calcium, and crunch — yum.
Jan 30, 2021
What Are Pie Weights? And When Should I Use Them?
Tips from The Kitchn
You probably have a suitable alternative in your pantry already!
Oct 25, 2020
Meals for the Family: The Supper Club by Susie Cover
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy) We are big believers in eating together as a family and feeding our children wholesome, not-dumbed-down food. But good intentions can easily get sidetracked when there’s a toddler underfoot or a picky six-year-old who will. not. touch. the. kale. Susie Cover has vast experience cooking meals that everyone (everyone!) will like, and this book offers more than 100 recipes that aim to please.
Sep 30, 2020
25 of Our Favorite Foods to Pack for the Beach
Don't forget the treats.
Jul 7, 2020
Everything You Need to Know to Get Rid of (and Prevent!) Pantry Bugs
Cleaning Tips from The Kitchn
Some grain beetles can crawl AND fly! Here's how to prevent them and get rid of them (in case you have them).
Jun 15, 2020
The Best Place to Buy Cedar Planks for Grilling
Our answer might surprise you!
Jun 8, 2020
A Simple Way to Soften Hard Brown Sugar in a Hurry
What do you do when you pull out the container of brown sugar and it’s a perfectly formed, rock-hard brick? This happened to me the other day, which sent me on the hunt for some effective solutions. Here’s one that worked in a matter of minutes. If you have time to spare, putting a slice of bread or some apple slices on top of the sugar, sealing it up, and letting it sit for a day are a couple hands-off ways to soften brown sugar.
May 1, 2020
Easy Dinner Recipe: Baked Fish, Spinach, and Tomatoes in Foil Packets
I often have very mediocre results when cooking fish (consider it my very own kitchen nemesis). But I was inspired by Faith’s review of Emeril’s Fish Provencal, which seemed foolproof in its simplicity. That recipe gets cooked on the grill, however, and I wanted something easy to pop in our oven. Inspiration, thy name is foil packets. This is really a template for any type of baked fish.
Feb 3, 2020
Recipe: Farfalle with Cauliflower and Toasted Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs usually lie like a lazy blanket on top of pasta or casseroles. For this quick dish, I toasted them up in flavored olive oil, tossed them with roasted cauliflower, and let them shine as a main ingredient. Cauliflower and breadcrumbs alone can be bland, so I added flavor by first roasting the cauliflower in the oven. Do be sure to take the time to cut the cauliflower into tiny, bite-sized florets.
Feb 3, 2020
Quick Dinner Recipe: Greek Pasta with Lamb, Zucchini, and Feta
Actual Greeks would probably take umbrage at our title here. We’re throwing some olives and feta in our pasta and calling it Greek? Well, sort of, yes. Have you ever made pasta with ground lamb? When I buy it, it’s almost always for meatballs. But I decided to throw it into some leftover macaroni (you could use any short, fat pasta), and it was delicious. Lamb is not that expensive, either, and adds a really nice richness.
Feb 3, 2020
Recipe: Greek Chicken Pasta with Olives and Feta
There’s more to this pasta dish than just chicken, olives, and feta. There are some artichoke hearts, fresh oregano, and a lemon vinaigrette — a whole mess of salty, tangy flavors. The idea for this recipe started with a leftover container of olives. I was imagining a pasta that mimicked a Greek salad, so we shopped for some feta cheese and a few fresh (pitted) olives to supplement the ones we had (which we had to pit — whew).
Feb 3, 2020