Elizabeth Passarella's Recent Articles
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Do It Now! Throwing Away Our 4-Year-Old Spices
See these artfully arranged spices from Dean & Deluca? Aren’t they pretty? They were a wedding gift. From 2005. In the spirit of our February Jumpstart Project, we’re vowing to deal with these…OK, we don’t really use these spices. The test tube-like bottles are especially annoying, and we think this set was created more for eye candy than for actual cooking (there are solid pebbles of Fenugreek in there).
May 3, 2019
Tip: Use Yogurt for a Creamy Soup
Those are the ingredients for Sara Kate’s Fridge-Clearing Avocado Soup. Maybe not the most seasonal group of ingredients in the middle of February, but it exhibits a very good (and healthy) idea for making creamy, silky soup. The finished product is below… You may only think of yogurt as a garnish, something to plop on top of a soup or stew and slowly stir in as you eat. And it does make a good garnish (we’ve done that here and here).
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
Gallery: Cookware Stands for Storing Pots and Pans
Over the weekend we showed you Brooke’s Vintage Collections, a beautiful slideshow of ten things Brooke loves in her cute blue and white kitchen. One of them was her cookware stand, an item that was completely new to us. It’s a freestanding alternative to a pot rack that hangs on your wall or ceiling; it has a relatively small footprint and solves the problem of limited cabinet space.
May 3, 2019
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.
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
Warm Breakfast: Who Still Eats Cream of Wheat?
Somewhere along the road to adulthood, Cream of Wheat got pushed aside for steel-cut oatmeal, tricked-out granola, or other fancy things in a bowl. But there are times (like a snowy morning in March) when a bowl of soft, sweet mush is really all we want.Cream of Wheat is essentially a bowl of flour. Appetizing, right? It was created in 1893 at a flour mill in North Dakota, when one of the millers made a breakfast porridge from some of the coarsely crushed wheat.
May 3, 2019
Good Product: Undershelf Baskets to Fit Any Cabinet
Oh, if only our kitchen cabinets had just four bowls and a few hand towels in them… The reality is that we’ve got piles of things in our cupboards and always need new ways to be more organized. These undershelf baskets are a dream. Want to know how we use ours?We have a big stack of plastic take-out containers that we clean and reuse like Tupperware, and the lids are always stacked precariously on top of the bottoms.
May 3, 2019
Portobello Mushrooms: The Steak of the Vegetarian World?
We’ve all heard it a hundred times. “Portobello mushrooms- they’re thick and meaty, just like a steak.” Well, no, actually. They aren’t steak. But they do have a texture and flavor that fits in nicely with sandwiches. And they can be marinated and grilled without falling apart (which can sometimes be tricky with tofu).We’ve rounded up a few recipes that sub in portobellos where there might normally be meat.
May 3, 2019
Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed Beef: What’s the Difference, and Why Does It Matter?
If you are a meat eater, then you may have wrestled with this question (or at least wondered about the wording) before. What’s the deal with grass-fed beef? It’s a subject we’ve written about it briefly before, including a one-minute tip on how to cook it, but we think it’s worth revisiting. Because buying grass-fed beef makes a big difference in the quality of the meat you’re getting and the impact you’re making on the environment.
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: Stuffed Peppadews with Salami & Parmesan
I know what you’re probably thinking: “Who has sweet peppadew peppers just hanging around the kitchen?” Point taken. But these little guys (sometimes also called “sweet piquante peppers”) are on every olive bar we see. They are crunchy and sweet with a tiny bit of heat, and they come already hollowed out — in other words, ready to stuff and absolutely perfect for a quick appetizer or simple snack.
May 3, 2019
Simple Solution: A New Kitchen Towel Hook
Last week, Faith asked where you hang your kitchen towels. The answers ranged from “over the edge of the sink” to “on the oven handle,” typical places I’ve hung my towels, too. But inspired by the post—and a fancy hook I hadn’t found a use for yet—I hung a hook the other day. Seems like a pretty small thing, right? Let me tell you, it has made a huge difference.I used to hang my dish towels over the oven handle.
May 3, 2019
Best Spring Flowers for the Kitchen
Right now, it’s raining outside that dirty kitchen window of ours. Even more reason to have a vase of flowers on the counter. Daisies are inexpensive and humble, but clustered together, they look pretty posh. And white, yellow, and green seem to be the colors we gravitate towards when we’re buying flowers for the kitchen. Want more picks?This isn’t a new topic for us here at the Kitchn. We’ve given you little nudges before, telling you to go out and buy (or pick!
May 3, 2019
How To Make Easter Egg Cakes
When we were growing up, my sister and I always got Easter egg cakes on Easter. They came from a bakery and had our names across the tops in delicate icing script. I insisted on chocolate frosting, which meant mine was always a very un-Easter-like dark brown, while hers was pink or yellow. But that egg cake was The Thing in our house. Now, I see them at New York City bakeries for an unforgivable amount of money.
May 3, 2019
Southern Dilemma: Homemade Rolls or Sister Schubert’s?
We are going to try to keep our cool here. But the sight of that plastic-wrapped aluminum tin of yeast rolls to the left just about sends us over the edge. We can’t buy them in New York (although we have—more than once—carried them, frozen, on a plane from Tennessee).Sister Schubert’s rolls have cult status in the Deep South. Every Southerner we know had a grandmother who made these rolls from scratch, pinched over like two swollen lips, covered in butter, browned on top.
May 3, 2019
What is Bulgarian Buttermilk?
Yesterday, we went shopping for buttermilk for a cake recipe and found two choices: low-fat or Bulgarian. Bulgarian?We tend to shy away from low-fat ingredients when baking, so we bought the Bulgarian. But then we remembered that buttermilk is, in its natural state, low-fat. (It’s the thin liquid left over after you churn butter from cream.) Maybe the Bulgarian is a manufactured “whole milk” version? Had we made a huge mistake?
May 3, 2019
Monday Morning Detox: What Do You Eat or Drink After a Gluttonous Weekend?
We had a weekend full of fried food, mindless snacking, and a road trip stop at Waffle House. We know you’ve been there, too, waking up on Monday morning with a craving for salad (for breakfast). How do you make a fresh start? We’re not interested in a fast, necessarily, or an extreme juice diet, but we’re game for some ideas…The most obvious for us would be to cut out meat for the day, eat simple vegetables and fruits, and drink plenty of water.
May 3, 2019
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.
May 3, 2019
Gooey, Chewy Graham Cracker Bars
The Los Angeles Times, where we found this recipe, writes that “each bar is like a perfect miniature pecan pie baked over a wonderfully crumbly graham cracker crust.” The ingredients list is short and the technique looks simple. Sign us up.We’re always looking for good dessert bars. They are less labor-intensive than cookies, travel more easily, and are great for kids or potlucks or cocktail parties.
May 2, 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
What’s So Special About Tupelo Honey?
Other the fact that it’s a great Van Morrison song… a lot. We recently read an article about Tupelo honey that opened our eyes to what a rare, seasonal, and utterly unique thing it is. For example, did you know that Tupelo honey is the only honey that will not crystallize? And the because of the specific ratio of different sugars, it’s the only honey diabetics can eat?
May 2, 2019
Mint Juleps for Kentucky Derby Day
Mint juleps have their moment in the sun come Saturday, when people who don’t normally muddle sugar and mint with bourbon will be doing just that (and looking for silver julep cups) in honor of the Kentucky Derby. This recipe from Gourmet actually simplifies the process…We’ve read many different methods for making a mint julep.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Basic Sweet & Tangy BBQ Sauce
We moved on from bottled salad dressing in my house to our own homemade versions years ago, but for some reason, BBQ sauce still came from the store. And there’s no reason for that when it’s so easy to make it from scratch. Here’s the sweet, tangy, smoky sauce I’ve worked on and tweaked over the past few months. I’m finally happy enough with it to make it worth sharing! I’m partial to sweet BBQ sauce, so this has plenty of brown sugar and molasses in it.
May 2, 2019
Simple Appetizer: Bread with Butter and Truffle Salt
You may see truffle salt as superfluous indulgence in times like these—or maybe a ripoff, given the fact that some of the truffle taste is undoubtedly a manufactured chemical. But, as Dana mentioned in her post about truffle butter, a tiny smidge elevates the humblest of ingredients. And we think our little jar is actually an economical choice for dinner parties. Here’s why…This 3.5-ounce jar from Dean & Deluca sells for $28.
May 2, 2019
Afternoon Snack: Radishes with Cream Cheese and Chives
Radishes are one of our favorite bright spring vegetables. Last year, we almost overdosed on radishes with butter and sea salt (so good), so we started thinking of another option for snacking. The creaminess of butter goes so well with a crunchy, spicy radish. Why not cream cheese?We almost always have cream cheese on hand, making this a quick snack to pull together. But a soft, spreadable cheese like goat might be even better.
May 2, 2019
7 Quick Toppings That Turn Salad into Dinner
I like keeping a salad night my meal plan, but don’t want a dinner that will leave me hungry an hour later. There are plenty of main-dish salad recipes out there (we wrote about some of our favorites in this post), but often I want just a simple green salad — with one or two extra things to make it more hearty. Here are seven quick additions from the pantry that always do the trick.
May 2, 2019
Searching For: Homemade Ladyfingers
If you’ve ever eaten a pillowy, homemade ladyfinger from a bakery, you know that the ones that come pre-packaged in the cookie aisle are about as similar to the fresh ones as a dishtowel is to a cashmere sweater. No idea what we’re talking about? Keep reading…Ladyfingers are commonly referred to as small sponge cakes in the elongated shape of a (rather pudgy) finger. But really, we don’t think of them as sponge cakes at all.
May 2, 2019
Seasonal Treat: Strawberry Butter
Are you tired of our strawberry addiction yet? Well, they are about the only new, exciting thing at the markets in New York, so bear with us.Here’s one more indulgence to whip up for breakfast this weekend—a creamy, sweet, pink strawberry butter that tastes amazing on biscuits, muffins, scones, or a simple piece of toast.
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
What’s Your Go-To Cracker to Have on Hand?
We recently had a casual discussion with friends about the best house cracker—you know, the one you always buy for the cheese plate, always have around to snack on, etc. One person argued vehemently for Carr’s water crackers (or their cheaper Whole Foods equivalent). Another said Wheat Thins. Two people wanted those stone wheat crackers that come in the light blue box…We are pretty big fans of the water cracker.
May 2, 2019
What to Put on a Fresh Vegetable Sandwich
There are a lot of vegetable sandwich options out there. Most involve roasted vegetables, and those are just fine for another occasion. For this sandwich, though, we’re talking a salad on two slices of bread. It’s so refreshing and satisfyingly crunchy. If you fear it won’t be filling enough, add some cheese (a smear of cream cheese is good, too).And blame it on Subway, but two things we absolutely, positively have to have are banana peppers and dill pickles.
May 2, 2019
A Snow Cone-Like Cocktail from the 1950s Gourmet
Gourmet has been running favorite cocktails from the 1940s to today, and this one (from November 1959) caught our eye immediately. Big surprise, huh? It looks like a rainbow slushy. But don’t be fooled. This heavy-hitter is for adults only…The cocktail is called a madras, but it’s not the normal orange juice/cranberry/vodka drink we’re familiar with. This is a mix of EIGHT different liqueurs (eight!), and that’s not the only hitch.
May 2, 2019
Five Reasons to Keep a Chocolate Bar on Hand
Other than the fact that your favorite hunk of dark chocolate makes a perfectly delightful dessert all on its own, it can dress up other desserts or morph into something entirely new. We’ve got five good reasons to have one stashed in your pantry (or fridge), ready to go…A good chocolate bar is like the little black dress of desserts—versatile, classic, hard to resist, and almost always appropriate.
May 2, 2019
Spotted: Yellow Baby Carrots
We saw a bag of these the other day at Westside Market and did a double-take. Are we missing something? Are you eating yellow carrots?We’ve seen yellow and purple carrots, mostly at the farmers’ market, and of course there are orange and yellow bell peppers and orange and purple cauliflower. Vegetables come in all kinds of colors that aren’t always the mainstream shade we see in the grocery store.But we’ve never seen yellow carrots so uniformly packaged and mass produced.
May 2, 2019
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.
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
Roundup: Boozy Granitas
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy) Granita is one of the easier summer treats to make—most call for just three or four ingredients, and you need only a fork and a little time to turn it into sweet little shards you can scoop into a glass. If you’ve never made it, go read Emma’s tutorial right here: Weekend Project: Make Granita. Then consider making an adults-only version with one of the boozy recipes below.
May 2, 2019
Recipe Roundup: Stuffed 8-Ball Zucchini
On Friday we showed you some squatty, round, “8-ball” zucchini we saw at the farmers’ market. The sign read, “Good for stuffing,” lo and behold, there are lots of good recipes to prove it. We’ll be going back form some 8-balls this week…We love stuffing peppers, which lend themselves so well to the process, being virtually hollow to begin with. But we’ll stuff any vegetable: artichokes, tomatoes, squash, eggplant.
May 2, 2019
Tip: Put Basil in Your Green Salads
We think of adding basil to a salad when we’re making a caprese salad. But it’s delicious chopped up with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and whatever else you’ve got—a little zing that elevates a basic salad to something special…We don’t have a basil plant growing in or near our house, so we buy big bunches of basil from the market. They’re hard to use up before the leaves start to wilt and turn brown.
May 2, 2019
A Look at the Food Styling Behind Julie & Julia The New York Times 7.29.09
More Julie & Julia! We know, we’ve written about this movie more than once, and it hasn’t even come out yet. But the Times has an interesting article about something that may play a bigger role than Meryl Streep: The Food.For this movie, the eggs, whipped cream, de-boned ducks, and lamb stews are of the utmost importance. The Dover Sole that Julia ate for her first meal in France needed to look and sizzle like Dover Sole.
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
Decidedly Un-White: 14 Warm Wood Kitchens
When we watch home design shows (i.e. House Hunters), we’re always struck by how many people say, “Oooh, I love the dark wood kitchen cabinets.” Usually, they’re cherry, and frankly, we’d take bright and white over cherry any day. But these wood kitchens we love—proof that wood can be modern, clean, and warm (but still cool).TOP ROW:• 1. Cool angles and vintage green tiles, from Living, Etc. • 2. Rustic, light-colored island, from Elle Decor.
May 2, 2019
Summer Recipe: Peach & Ginger Hand Pies
If there’s anything better than homemade pie, it’s a petite and crusty hand pie that you can claim as your own and nibble at leisure. And if there’s anything better than a hand pie, it’s one that’s filled with jammy summer peaches and just a touch of spicy ginger. Don’t you think? These hand pies are just the thing to take to summer picnics or even slip into a lunch box as a special treat.
May 2, 2019
Classic Design: A Gallery of Subway Tiles in the Kitchen
Subway tiles are a common element in bathrooms, but we love the way they look in a kitchen. There’s something about the shape and brick-like pattern that makes them look more modern than square tiles, but they’re still classic and clean. We’ve rounded up lots of crisp white, plus colors from blue to chocolate brown. Go take a look…Subway tiles look industrial to us, like they belong in a factory or a huge, pre-war kitchen in the back of an Italian restaurant.
May 2, 2019
Afternoon Snack: Why Not a Deviled Egg?
They’re a picnic/family reunion/potluck staple, but we’ve been eating just one or two deviled eggs as a quick snack lately. Hard-boiled eggs are so nutritious and easy, and devil-ing them takes no time at all…We boil one or two eggs, let them cool, and then slice them and carefully scoop out the yolk (a 1/2-teaspoon measuring spoon works great for this, if you don’t have a teaspoon small enough).
May 2, 2019