Elizabeth Passarella's Recent Articles
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Barritts Ginger Beer for Those Dark and Stormy Cocktails
We loved Nora’s post earlier today about the Dark and Stormy, largely because we’ve been drinking these quite a bit this summer.We lucked out and found the authentic ingredients — Gosling’s rum and Barritts ginger beer — conveniently stocked together in our local liquor store. But just in case some of you are thinking about Dark and Stormies for the first time this weekend, here’s a photo of that retro Barritts can you’ll be looking for.
May 3, 2019
Thinking Beyond Tomatoes: Alternative Bruschettas
We originally thought we’d post something this afternoon about traditional bruschetta — a simple, colorful way to showcase summer tomatoes. But that’s an easy one. Chopped tomatoes, maybe a bit of basil and onion, piled on crusty bread slices that have been toasted with olive oil and rubbed with garlic.
May 3, 2019
Recipe: Penne with Acorn Squash and Pancetta
This started out as a way to use up some squash that had been sitting around for a while, and it turned into one of the best dishes I’ve made in a long time — easy, full of flavor, and great warmed up the next day. When I thought of making this a hearty main dish, pancetta seemed like a natural partner for roasted squash. There’s a salty-sweet thing going on, and the textures (chewy pancetta; soft, tender squash; perfectly al dente pasta) were well-balanced.
May 3, 2019
Storing Staples: Are Your Salt and Pepper Out in the Open?
While we’re talking about leaving things out on the counter, here’s another ingredient that sits on ours: Kosher salt and pepper in little dishes next to the stovetop. This is one of the first things we did when we started cooking regularly- a tip we learned from watching the Food Network many years ago…We tend to use up these little amounts quickly enough that they don’t get dirty or stale.
May 3, 2019
Recipe: Butternut Squash and Parmesan Dip
Really, this could easily be a side dish as well as a dip. It’s a simple preparation of twice-baked butternut squash — roasted until it’s buttery soft and scoopable, then blended with milk and plenty of nutty Parmesan and baked with a cheesy crust on top. In fact, we’ve served it both ways. The first time we made it, we ate it as a dip with pita chips and friends. Later that night we warmed up the leftovers, alongside some roasted vegetables, for a late-working husband.
May 3, 2019
Look! Wallpaper in the Kitchen
There are times when a clean, simple, all-white kitchen looks like the perfect sanctuary to spend time cooking in. Then, we see a kitchen like this—with wallpaper that doesn’t just add color, like a paint job, but texture and fun. What do you think? See more photos, below…When we see wallpaper in kitchens, we most often see it as a backsplash, used instead of tile.
May 3, 2019
Quick Meals for Pre-Thanksgiving Eating
Between planning your Thanksgiving meal, grocery shopping, brining, and making dishes ahead of time, actual eating—as in dinner, tonight—gets lost in the shuffle. At least it does for us (we had sushi delivered last night). So, if you want something easy that won’t take too much time away from your Thanksgiving preparations, we have some ideas… Thinking about all the turkey, stuffing, and pie we’ll be having in a few days makes us crave healthy food right now.
May 3, 2019
Recipe: Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Fontina
This recipe was inspired by a similar salad at Caffe Falai, a little skinny restaurant downtown in Soho. When we ate it, we knew it was a great healthy, hearty dish that would be perfect for lunch or dinner. We couldn’t believe how easy (and, to be honest, better) our at-home version turned out. Oh, and those grape tomatoes? They were grown in Connecticut. Who knew? The Caffe Falai version had zucchini and eggplant in it, plus slices of melted fontina cheese on top.
May 3, 2019
Ingredient Spotlight: Israeli Couscous
Last week, when we had a hard time finding farro for our Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables, we briefly thought we’d give up the hunt and go with Israeli couscous instead. It has a similar shape and chewiness of a grain like farro, but, like regular couscous, it’s a pasta. Read on for why we love it and what we do with it…Faith has written about her love of Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend, which has Israeli couscous in it.
May 3, 2019
Recipe: Sour Cherry-Almond Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks
I think we can all agree there’s no way we could get through summer without ice cream. Or in my case, I couldn’t get through one week, let alone the three hottest months of the year. So, here’s a sweet treat to cool you down: a chocolate-cherry ice cream that’s tinted just the tiniest hint of pink. I’ve mentioned my love of chocolate and cherries together before, so it didn’t take a lot of imagination to come up with this recipe.
May 3, 2019
Pantry Organization: Storing Many Half-Empty Bags in One Large Container
Here’s the thing with storing rice and grains: We love the look of vintage glass jars or uniform plastic canisters, but we can’t fit more than a few in our narrow cabinets. Bags smush down more easily and take up less space, but once we open them and use some of the rice (or farro or quinoa), we’re left with a messy pile of rolled-up bags. We came up with a solution that took less than two minutes and made a huge difference. See the full before and after, below.
May 3, 2019
Make This: Gomashio, Japanese Sesame Salt
While reading the March issue of Martha Stewart Living, we came across a recipe for basic steamed edamame (familiar) sprinkled with gomashio (not so much). What is this crunchy condiment? We’ve also seen a container of it in this Kitchen Tour: Zachary and Family. But it’s easy to make your own.In fact, Faith posted a recipe a couple of years ago:• D.I.Y. Sesame SaltGomashio is simply toasted sesame seeds ground up with some coarse salt.
May 3, 2019
Hot or Not: Prescription Bottles as Spice Storage
Don’t call us crazy just yet. We just finished a prescription, and as we were about to toss the container, we realized it was the perfect size for fitting a big tablespoon inside. That’s not always the case with spice jars (unless you’re using something like these). A bunch of these orange bottles might look kind of cool lined up in a modern kitchen…There’s also the benefit of the bottles being tinted, which helps shield your spices from bright light.
May 3, 2019
Recipe: Chocolate Chip and Toffee Shortbread Cookies
I got this recipe from a friend of the family. Apparently, these little shortbread cookies were a huge hit in the teachers’ workroom at my friend’s elementary school. I figured that any humble cookie that can wow a bunch of teachers — who’ve likely eaten more cookies in their day than they can count — was worth trying. And you know what? Yup, totally worth it. These are great cookies for people who don’t like too-sweet cookies.
May 2, 2019
Look! Oil Cloth Liner In the Silverware Drawer
After reading this post over at Apartment Therapy, we ordered some oil cloth to line the drawers of an old chest in our bedroom. That project left us with quite a bit of extra cloth, so we decided to use some in our kitchen drawers, too…Emma already wrote about one kitchen use for oil cloth, DIY Oil Cloth Trays, inspired by the same AT post. It’s a great material for the kitchen, given its slick, laminate plastic surface that’s easy to wipe clean.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Spinach, White Bean, and Taleggio Pizza
Not so long ago I ate dinner at Co., the New York pizza place owned by Jim Lahey (he of the Sullivan Street Bakery and No-Knead Bread). There’s a pie on the menu called The Popeye that comes with a mountain of crispy, leafy spinach on top. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it in the weeks since that dinner, so what’s a pie-loving gal to do but make her own version at home?
May 2, 2019
Super-Fast, No-Cook Appetizers You Can Make After Work
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy) Raise your hand if you’ve been there: You’re at work all day, but you’re going to a party or picnic after work (perhaps something like the Symphony in the Park tonight in NYC) and you need to bring something small to munch on. You can’t run home to cook, but you don’t want to be the eighth person to show up with a block of cheese and a box of Carr’s.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Fresh Peach Frozen Yogurt
Frozen yogurt is not ice cream. (It’s not even a substitute, no matter what TCBY says.) It’s another dessert entirely, and when we stop comparing it to its richer cousin, we enjoy it way more. This one is just about the best I’ve ever made, and it’s so, so easy. The extremely sweet, extremely juicy peaches that had been ripening on my countertop may have helped out quite a bit with that “best I’ve ever made” announcement.
May 2, 2019
Breakfast Recipe: Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Corn, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes
We’re in the wonderful stage of summer when sweet corn and perfectly ripe tomatoes are taking over the markets. There are so many ways to take advantage of this, but my favorite is breakfast. If you haven’t tried corn and eggs together yet, maybe this will entice you. This meal could be breakfast or dinner. In fact, I ate it for lunch, and it really does take just 10 minutes to make — could be less, depending on how thick your tomato slices are.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Pasta with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta
If you love Brussels sprouts and big bowls of pasta, this is the dish for you. This made-for-fall meal is simple enough to throw together any night of the week, yet fancy enough to totally impress friends when they come for dinner. Because we all know that these green-hued globes are better with bacon, we’re pairing wispy strands of Brussels sprouts with crispy cubes of pancetta.
May 2, 2019
Kitchens the Color of Ice Cream: With Recipes to Match
Do you see mint chocolate chip? Or pistachio? Don’t worry, we’re giving you ice cream recipes that correspond to each kitchen, so the mouth watering isn’t in vain.We are complete flip floppers when it comes to the color we love most for a kitchen. Sometimes we want to paint our cabinets dark navy; other times we’re all about bright and white. But if we based it on our favorite ice cream, we’d have a winner in a second (chocolate, thank you).
May 2, 2019
Look! Under-Sink Storage that Fits Around the Pipes
There could be a leprechaun and a pot of gold hiding underneath our kitchen sink, and we’d never know it, given all the things balanced precariously around the drain pipe under there. Which is why we love the idea of these adjustable shelves.The shelves slide back and forth, so you can click them into place around the pipe or garbage disposal, using as many or as few as you need.
May 2, 2019
What Would Your Ultimate Kitchen Invention Be?
Chances are with kitchen gadgets, if you can dream it up, someone has already invented it. (The folding refrigerator? Yeah, already done.)But maybe not. Put on your Willy Wonka hat for a second and tell us: What kitchen item would make your life easier? Or just more fun? It could be an appliance, a simple tool, an elaborate design element (rotating islands!), or an indestructible surface that doesn’t yet exist.Another rule of the game: money is no object. We’ll tell you ours below.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Banana Chunks
There is approximately one serving of this left in my freezer. I almost ate it for lunch. But if my husband came home and found out I finished it without saving him one last bite, there’d be issues. Ice cream capable of causing marital discord: worth checking out, no? Many of you who have taken a spin with the famous One-Ingredient Ice Cream have mentioned how good it is with peanut butter mixed in. Peanut butter and bananas are just a classic combination.
May 2, 2019
Lighter Italian: 8 Feel-Good Meals and Healthy Dinners
Many of us spent the holiday weekend pigging out (or, in our case, trying to avoid Cinnabon at the airport). And then we return to… Italian Week! Pasta! Parmesan! Pizza! Phew. Don’t worry; there are plenty of Italian dishes that emphasize fresh vegetables, fish, greens and, yes, even pasta that’s light and healthy. Here are eight that look good to us.This is a perfect time of year to cook in a Mediterranean style.
May 2, 2019
Party Snack Recipe: Sweet and Savory Roasted Cashews
You get two recipes for the price of one today! First we have cashews tossed with brown butter and sage, and then there are cocoa-dusted cashews for those of us with a sweet tooth. Neither recipe takes more than a few minutes to bring together, making this our new favorite snack for holiday get-togethers. We started out wanting to do something with sage and brown butter — two flavors we love this time of year that also love each other.
May 2, 2019
Grab a Mug: The Best Soups for Sipping
On certain bitter cold days, simply eating something warm isn’t enough. We need to hold it, breathe it in, be one with the food. We need meals served in mugs that we can hover over and wrap our chilly fingers around. Soup is perfect—but not just any soup. A sipping soup has specific qualities.For us, it needs to be relatively smooth.
May 2, 2019
Before & After: Opening Up a Galley KitchenHouse & Home
Many of you dream of taking a sledgehammer to one of your kitchen walls, opening the room up to the living or dining area. More light! Interaction with your family and dinner guests! (Personally, I’m the opposite; I actually built a wall to close off my kitchen.) But this kitchen definitely benefitted from the former frame of mind. The result?Definitely a light-filled, interact-your-heart-out kind of space.
May 2, 2019
Would You Put an Antique or Oriental Rug in Your Kitchen?
When we posted this kitchen, there was quite a bit of discussion about having a formal, antique rug in the kitchen. Would it get ruined from batter mishaps? Could it be cleaned as easily as a washable rug? Is it weird to have something so old in a modern space? We think they’re a yes—and have seven inspiring examples.
May 2, 2019
No Pantry? 8 Tips for Keeping Counters Clutter-Free
Many of us who live in apartments or small houses are pantry-less, which means all of those bags of rice and cans of tomatoes must find a home somewhere. We don’t mind leaving small appliances on the counter, but boxes of crackers or canisters of baby munchies are another story. Here’s how we stash it all in limited cabinet space.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Pasta with Cauliflower, Sausage & Breadcrumbs
This is a straightforward pasta — my favorite kind — with mostly basic pantry ingredients and a couple of things to wow it up. The breadcrumbs (poor man’s Parmesan!) might seem trivial, but don’t skip them; they add a wonderful, crunchy texture. So grab your can opener — this pasta is dead-simple and it will feed a crowd! I served this twice for dinner for two people and had it once for lunch.
May 2, 2019
Black Lacquer & Wood: Is This an Odd Combo?Lonny
There’s something about the handles on these kitchen cabinets that makes us think “1970s cabin in the Adirondacks.” But then paired with the sexy black lacquer, they start to seem fresh. We’re torn. Is this look cool? Or weird? (p.s. We’re not torn about the breakfast nook, which is 100 percent fabulous. Take a look, below.)Gorgeous, right?
May 2, 2019
Start Your Day with Peanut Butter: 10 Breakfast Ideas
We’re big fans of peanut butter around here. We’ve debated texture vs. taste, coveted the perfect peanut butter jar, and even introduced peanut butter-stuffed jalapeños. Peanut butter is ideal for breakfast—filling and packed with protein. And there are a lot of ways to use it. Peanut butter pancakes, anyone?TOP ROW: • 1. Yogurt Swirled with Peanut Butter, Honey, and Graham Crackers• 2. Peanut Butter Ginger Muffins• 3.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Sausage Pizza with Crispy Kale Chips
I love making pizza dough, and it’s not nearly as hard as you think. But lately I’ve been using store-bought dough, and to be honest, it’s pretty hard to beat. In fact, this pizza is so good (and green! Look at all that kale!) that I haven’t ordered a pie in two months. And I live in New York, people. Store-bought dough qualifies this pizza as a six-ingredient recipe, although you’d only need eight to make your own dough from scratch.
May 2, 2019
Before & After: A Small-Scale Makeover in Rosemary GreenUrban Grace Interiors
We are always curious to see how interior designers decorate and design their own houses, and these days, we’re getting to see more of them (thanks, Internet!). Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors has a traditional style that feels young and fresh. And she recently upgraded her (refreshingly modest) kitchen without spending a fortune. That cool, grey-green paint color? Actually named Rosemary.Let’s start with the antique table-as-breakfast bar.
May 2, 2019
Look! A Kitchen Island Made from a DresserLittle Green Notebook
It’s not a big surprise that I’m drawn to this picture. There’s the antique rug that I like (but is big point of debate among this crowd), and the navy-and-marble combination of that island reminds me of this kitchen, which I covet. And just wait until you see how Jenny of Little Green Notebook created that island. It is flat-out genius.
May 2, 2019
Tips for Making Better Smoothies in the Dead of Winter
The main ingredients in a decent smoothie—strawberries, blueberries, peaches—are a little hard to come by (or cost a fortune) this time of year. And so far, we’ve yet to see a winning recipe made with apples. Of course, there’s always frozen fruit, but we’ve got some other creative tips for making fresh, creamy smoothies in the bleak months ahead.• Bananas, bananas, bananas.
May 2, 2019
The Most Over-the-Top Coffee Maker in the World
Keurig, Schmeurig. Apparently what you really needed to buy that coffee lover on your holiday list was one of these Royal Coffee Makers. Once only available to European aristocracy (who, clearly, have ample countertop space to store them), these elaborate, whooshing specialty brewers are now available to commoners. Want to guess how much they cost?The classic copper model, shown above, is only (drumroll…) $595.
May 2, 2019
Pasta for Picky Eaters: 8 Recipes Kids Can Easily Pick Apart
There is a middle ground between, “My kids eat the exact same meals we do! Pâté for all!” and “Plain pasta with butter, please.” We have found that pasta dishes like the ones listed below—with chunks of healthy, delicious ingredients that can also be separated out, if necessary—are most successful in our house. Everyone eats, and we aren’t cooking two meals.Some kids will pick out the green vegetables or beans and just eat the pasta.
May 2, 2019
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.
Dec 9, 2015
Recipe: Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Grapes, Hazelnuts, and Parmesan
I love stuffing chicken breasts. I’ve given you my recipe for roasted chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese and fresh garlic, one of my favorites, and I consider this one a fall-inspired version. The technique is easy, with a big wow payoff, and I love the combination of a simple, buttery skin with a complex filling. The sweet, salty, nutty mess that spreads out over your plate as you eat is pure perfection.
Sep 30, 2015
5 Tips to Make Your Chopped Salad Even Better
What is it about a chopped salad that’s irresistible? If there’s one on a restaurant menu, I’ll almost always order it — either for the fact that I can scoop up perfectly proportioned bites with every ingredient represented or that they’re so pleasingly organized. As for what makes a good one, I have a few ideas. This isn’t one of those salads you can just pile some greens, veggies, and your favorite toppings on a plate and dive in.
Jul 30, 2015
Italian Chicken Salad Sandwiches
It's all wrapped up in an easy Dijon vinaigrette.
Jul 28, 2015
Recipe: Squash and Onions with Brown Sugar
This is, hands down, my favorite way to eat yellow summer squash. And I realize this might be due to a nostalgic predilection for Southern-style vegetables (i.e., cooked until they “surrender”), but trust me: As far as savory-sweet combinations go, this is one of the best. Sautéeing squash and onions in some butter and brown sugar brings out the natural sweetness of both vegetables. There are times for keeping squash bright and slightly crisp, but this is not one of them.
Jun 24, 2015
Recipe: Wild Rice and Mixed Greens Salad
It’s nice to have a few salad recipes that can serve as main dishes, and the rice in this one makes it especially filling. A big forkful of tender leaves with little piles of rice, sweet dates, and crunchy nuts made the perfect combination of flavors and textures. This was a tough recipe to name. I thought about calling it my “wild rice, chickpea, date, cashew, celery, and mixed green salad,” but decided that something simpler might be best!
Jun 9, 2015
Recipe: Fried Eggs & Collard Greens over Polenta
Breakfast doesn’t get much better than this. I’m talking about tangles of tender collards cooked with bacon (and yes, oh yes, bacon fat), sharing a plate with soft polenta and a perfectly fried egg. If you can wait a whole 10 seconds before breaking that yolk and making a total mess of the plate, you have far more willpower than me.
Apr 9, 2015
Recipe: Pork Tenderloin and Onion Jam Sandwiches
The weather in New York City isn’t very spring-like just yet. But here and there we’ve had one or two warm, sunny days that have been getting me excited for picnic season in Central Park. If you’ve got good weather and are planning a meal outside, may I recommend my favorite sandwich? We love any pork sandwich, whether it’s slow-cooked pork shoulder or a roasted pork tenderloin.
Apr 8, 2015
Recipe: Quick Strawberry Trifles
Remember these Easter egg cakes I made last week? Well, I had a container full of pound cake scraps sitting in the freezer that I didn’t want to waste, and cake pops were too laborious for a weeknight. Enter a few frozen strawberries that had been sitting around for a while, and my new favorite weeknight dessert was born. Trifles are like the garbage disposal of desserts (tasty analogy, huh?) — you can throw just about anything in them.
Mar 31, 2015