Elizabeth Passarella's Recent Articles
Page 6
Try This! Put a Cup of Mayonnaise in Your Next Chocolate Cake
We’ve been on a chocolate cake bender around here. Last week Leela shared her decadent Double Chocolate Sour Cream Birthday Cake, and now we’re talking about another intense chocolate cake from Serious Eats that we made last week. It’s also to die for—thanks to 1 1/4 cups of, yep, mayonnaise. Has anyone ever tried a mayonnaise chocolate cake?
Jan 17, 2012
Better Egg Salad: Add an Avocado, Use Less Mayonnaise
Did any of your parents try to dye eggs green when you were little as a nod to Green Eggs and Ham? The results were always gross. These green eggs, however, we’ll take any day—a simple egg salad with mashed avocado mixed in. Turns out it’s healthier than the original, too. You use half the mayonnaise.
Jan 12, 2012
Oyster Stuffing: Is it Worth All the Shucking?
We’ve never had oyster stuffing. Have you? Whoa, it’s a lot of work if you’re talking about shucking dozens of fresh oysters to chop and bake with your bread cubes. But the payoff (we hear) is that the bread soaks up the oyster liquor, and you get a richness that’s beyond what sausage or a little chicken broth can offer. As for the origins of oyster stuffing… it’s complicated.
Nov 22, 2011
Pears! 7 Common Types and How to Use Them
If you’re browsing your local farmer’s market, you’ll probably see more than seven types of pears. You may even discover a totally new (and vaguely unpronounceable) variety that becomes your favorite. But for now, let’s talk basics. What’s the difference between a Bartlett and a Bosc? And which one should you pick up for your afternoon snack? These seven types of pears are what we see most often at the grocery store.
Oct 20, 2011
Pretty for a Party: Fall Salad Served in Apple Bowls
Want a sweet little presentation for a simple autumn salad? Get out your melon baller.We saw these beautiful salads served in apple shells over at Yummy Mummy. It sounds pretty easy—slice off the top of the apple and scoop out the flesh with an ice cream scoop or a melon baller, leaving a thick edge.The salad inside is so colorful and lush, a mix of avocado, blue cheese, apple, and pomegranate seeds.
Oct 18, 2011
Write on Your Tablecloth! Butcher Paper Table Runners
All you need are the crayons. This is a cheap and rustic way to dress up your table—just lay out some butcher or craft paper, and write your guests’ names as place cards. You could also write the night’s menu or identify dishes on the table, if it’s a buffet. See an example of that, below. It’s a look you see at so many great neighborhood bistros, for good reason.
May 10, 2011
Cake Frosting Tip: Leave the Sides Naked!
The hardest part of making a pretty layer cake is usually frosting around the sides—filling in gaps, spreading at an awkward angle, working fast enough so that the icing doesn’t slide onto the countertop… But if you want to keep the process stress-free, try leaving the sides un-frosted. It can be just as pretty.This technique works great if you have a fluffy filling, maybe one dotted with fruit or nuts.
Apr 26, 2011
10 Ways to Eat a Potato (and Just a Potato) for Dinner
Bacon-Cheddar Twice-Baked Potatoes It’s going to involve a little more than butter and sour cream. But making a baked (or sweet) potato a meal is an easy, satisfying way to solve dinner. We don’t do it nearly often enough. How To Bake a Potato in the Oven We were inspired by Faith’s 400-calorie lunches; one involved a sweet potato topped with yogurt and bacon.
Apr 20, 2011
Survey: Do You Eat Dessert with Lunch?
For some of you, dessert may not even be a daily thing, much less a twice-a-day habit. But for others (including a few of us), a meal isn’t complete without a little taste of sweet. We think the hankering for something sweet is a biological thing; at the very least, it’s ingrained in us early in life. Every once in a while, fruit will do the trick for us. But more often than not, we need a cookie or a piece of chocolate. The problem is stopping at one.
Apr 12, 2011
Serves One! Eggplant Flatbread on No-Knead Pizza DoughCookbook Recipe from Serve Yourself by Joe Yonan
The Washington PostThe recipes in this book are pared down in size but not in flavor or technique. There’s an entire chapter on tacos (Joe is from Texas), beautiful soups and stews, and small-scale desserts, like Coconut French Toast with Bananas Foster. This pizza is one we’d make in a heartbeat; it has spicy homemade hummus and pan-fried chickpeas on top. And, of course, a dough in the now-classic method.
Mar 29, 2011
Nylon vs. Stainless Steel Kitchen Tools: Which Is Better?
If you’re like us, you have a mix of both (plus a wooden spoon or twostocking a kitchenOur bottom line advice: No one needs a full set of either nylon or stainless steel cooking tools. We’re not big fans of sets of anything (pots and pans, knives—buy those individually), but those already-stocked crocks of utensils are overkill. Here are our opinions on plastic vs. metal.
Mar 22, 2011
Sweet Pink Treat: Quick Pomegranate Sherbet
Ever since we discovered this delicious sherbet recipe, we’ve been on a sherbet kick. A big one. Lemon, orange, tangerine, and now pomegranate—just in time for Valentine’s Day, should you want something festive and pink. And we have a simple substitution that makes this recipe even easier, if that’s possible.The original recipe, from The New York Times, calls for freshly squeezed tangerine (or any fruit) juice.
Feb 10, 2011
Simple Tip: Let Your Casseroles Rest
A casserole is a great low-maintenance, hands-off dish to make for a dinner party; you can finish the side or salad while it’s cooking and still have time to sip a cocktail with your friends. But when you’re thinking about the timing of the meal, add on at least 10 minutes for the casserole to sit when it comes out of the oven. It’s just like resting meat.This is especially important for casseroles that have a decent amount of liquid or gooey cheese in them.
Jan 25, 2011
Recipe: Cream of Celery Soup with Bacon
Celery is one of those things that can languish in the back of our fridge for a long time. It’s hard to use an entire bunch. We chopped three or four stalks into our Thanksgiving stuffing, and this is what we did with the rest… Celery soup isn’t too complicated (the general idea goes something like this). And celery itself isn’t all that flavorful.
Jan 6, 2011
Squash-Baked Mac and Cheese with Amaretti CookiesRecipe Review
Yep, you read it right. This mac n cheese has a crumbly, sweet, cookie topping—and it makes the dish (it’s so good). But before you scroll straight to the recipe, read our notes. Because whoa, there is one major mistake in there.We got this recipe from Martha Stewart—a consistently foolproof source—but it is originally by chef Todd English.
Dec 9, 2010
Popcorn Balls! 4 Gooey, Crunchy, Festive FlavorsCHOW
We could go a lot of places with ball puns (Jingle Balls, anyone?)—all of them tricky. So let’s just say this: Popcorn is cheap, fun, and hard not to like, especially when you make it into these cocoa, curry, and eggnog-flavored clusters. Yes, eggnog.We are no strangers to flavored popcorn, with our Peanut Butter Popcorn, Maple-Butter Spiced Popcorn, and Smoke Monster Popcorn (from the Lost finale).
Dec 2, 2010
Feeding a Crowd? Trays for Eating on Your Lap
Growing up, we had these lightweight woven trays that we used at family gatherings when there wasn’t enough room for everyone at the table (a big stack of them sat on top of the refrigerator). With Thanksgiving approaching, we went looking for them. Turns out, they’re hard to find! But we found something similar, plus a few more good options.Some of these are more expensive than others; ideally, if you’re handing them out to a big group, you want something inexpensive.
Nov 5, 2010
New Love: Cinnamon Toast Butter from Ronnybrook
Not to dismiss the innovation of Ronnybrook FarmsMmm. We first spotted it at Whole Foods but ended up buying it at the farmers’ market, straight from the Ronnybrook vendor. And we’ve been eating it every morning for the past week, spread on raisin bread and toasted.Here’s what happens when you run this stuff under the broiler (or the toaster oven): The butter melts, and the cinnamon and sugar that are mixed in get bubbly and slightly crispy on top. Delicious.
Oct 26, 2010
Look! A Vertical Pear Salad
Well, this is one way to make salad more exciting. How charming, right? And they’re really easy. You just need to remember to do one important thing.We saw this salad at The Novice Chef blog, where Jessica explains how to cut out the core and reassemble the pear (each slice ends up looking like a doughnut), so that you can eat the salad without having to maneuver around seeds.The key is to brush the pear slices with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Oct 21, 2010
Recipe: Squash, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Pasta with Basil
This recipe was inspired by one of our favorite vegetable gratins—a combination of summer ingredients that you should eat now, before Fall arrives and you switch to pastas like this. (P.S. We’ve also made this dish without the bacon, and it’s just as good.)This pasta is a cinch to put together. But you can make it even easier by caramelizing the onion and cooking the bacon ahead of time.
Sep 10, 2010
Computers in the Kitchen: 5 Well-Designed Home Offices
Unless you have a separate room in your house designated as the office, the kitchen can be a good place for one. We’re increasingly bringing our computers and iPads into the kitchen anyway. And several of these work stations could easily convert to extra counter space if you’re having a party or need to roll out some sugar cookies.We love the look of a built-in office with plenty of storage and overhead cabinets.
Aug 27, 2010
Look! Deep-Fried Donut Peaches (aka Donut Peach Donuts)
Really, it was only a matter of time before someone took the adorable, UFO-shaped donut peach and turned it into an actual donut. Or doughnut, depending on how you spell it (it is back to school week, so maybe we should get that straight).These deep-fried peaches are from Cathy at Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn. She makes lunch there every day and writes about it on her blog, Lunch at Sixpoint.Of course, given the setting, she used a beer batter.
Aug 24, 2010
No Pints? The Best Container for Storing Ice Cream
Some of us looked long and hard to find the perfect pint containersThe tip came from Serious Eats—it was #8 on a list of 10 tips for making homemade ice cream. Apparently, storing ice cream in shallow containers helps it keep its creamy consistency longer.• Read the list at Serious Eats.I actually store my ice cream in shallow containers.
Aug 10, 2010
Naked Peaches! How to Boil and Peel Them in a FlashSmitten Kitchen
We love naked fruit around here. We’ve discussed naked lemons at length, and now we’re talking naked peaches. Oh, the indecency. But this method of skinning peaches from Smitten Kitchen is too easy. You’ll get to the cobbler (or the crumble) with less work.We’re a little embarrassed that we’ve never done this with peaches. We’re always pitting, slicing, peeling. Pitting, slicing, peeling.
Jul 22, 2010
Gooey and Caramelized: Strawberry Tarte Tatin
When we find fresh strawberries at the market, we tend to envision them being eaten in their simplest form– sliced into something like this, preferably, or maybe macerated with a bit of sugar. But this changed our mind. A bright, glossy, caramelized layer of strawberries baked with a puff pastry crust. Yum.This beautiful treat comes from Anita Chu at the blog Dessert First, and the recipe is adapted from Donna Hay.
Jun 15, 2010
Three-Ingredient Dessert: How to Make a Fool
Do you have a little bit of whipping cream dying a slow death in your fridge? (Maybe the perfect amount to whip in a french press?) A fool is one of the quickest, easiest, and most awesomely named desserts we know. If you’ve got some whipping cream, you really only need two more things.Sugar and fruit! That’s it.Now, the recipe pictured above (and linked below) calls for more than three ingredients, illustrating the fact that your fool can get fancy, if you fancy fancy fools.
Jun 10, 2010
Vodka Watermelon! How to Fill a Fruit with Booze Sweet Paul
So, you’re at a picnic, and you bring out what looks like an average watermelonboozy popsiclesThis tip comes from Sweet Paul (who has a beautiful online magazine), and he makes it look ridiculously easy. Cut a hole in the watermelon, stick in a funnel, fill with vodka, let it sit for a couple of days in the fridge.Even better, he uses lime-infused vodka. Yum. • Get the full instructions at Sweet Paul Has anyone ever done this? Does it work? What does it taste like?
Jun 3, 2010
Flaky, Buttery Phyllo Pie with Ricotta and Pesto Recipe Review
This savory pie from Country Living was one of the options we highlighted in a recent quiche roundup. And since we had a lot of phyllo dough left over from making these, we decided to try it. The entire thing is so easy to put together, and it’s absolutely delicious. Plus, the phyllo re-crisps really well for leftovers.
May 18, 2010
Recipe: Asparagus Spears Wrapped in Prosciutto & Phyllo
We’ve had asparagus spears wrapped in prosciutto as an appetizer more times than we can count. They’re good (and easy), but we think these are better. We added a flaky layer of phyllo dough for texture; plus, you don’t have to pre-cook the asparagus.We did have one issue with our phyllo dough, though, which we’d love your comments on. Even though we studied this post on how to work with it, we’re not experts.
May 14, 2010
Salty and Sweet: Grilled Cheese on Raisin Bread
Yeah, we know. It’s hard to see the raisins. Looks like a plain old grilled cheese. But trust us, they’re there. And they made our cobbled-together lunch a smidge more delicious.It helps that our raisin bread was raisin challah bread, too. It’s sweeter in general than regular bread, so it made a nice foil to our sharp cheddar cheeseRaisin bread isn’t something that’s normally on our radar.
May 13, 2010
Cheery Tomatoes with Jalapeño-Pimiento Cheese Cookbook Recipe
We sometimes forget about pimiento cheese, that Southern lunch staple of cheddar, mayonnaise, and pimientos that is much more than the sum of its parts. Well, cookbook author Denise Gee (whose book Southern Cocktails is another favorite) reminded us how good it can be with these summery, bite-sized appetizers.These cheery cherry tomatoes are part of her new book, Porch Parties, which is all about entertaining outdoors.
May 6, 2010
Print and Hang! Menus from the New York Public Library
The New York Public Library has a breathtakingly vast digital archive. You can browse botanicals, photographs, historic apartment floorplans, and (our favorite) old menus. It’s addictive! And here’s the best part: You can order prints, framed or unframed, or print them out yourself for free. We can so see a row of these whimsical menus in a kitchen.Most of the menus are from hotels and cruise lines and date back to the early-to-mid 1900s.
Mar 19, 2010
Lighter Treat Recipe: Frozen Banana, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Milkshake
You may have heard about one-ingredient ice cream, one of our all-time most popular recipes here at The Kitchn. It’s a marvelous trick of a treat, made from frozen bananas that have been whipped furiously into a smooth, dreamy dessert. And yes, it tastes (and scoops) just like soft-serve ice cream.
Mar 18, 2010
How to Level Your Stove Top So Your Pots Don’t Rattle
For two years, we listened to the clank-clank of our pots and pans rocking on the stovetop grates as we stirred. We thought it was something we had to live with- an ever-so-slightly off-kilter stove that made it impossible for pots to sit flat and still. Guess what? There’s a way to fix it. So easy it’s embarrassing, really.A very handy family member spent five minutes at our stovetop and declared he could solve the problem. Turns out some stoves have feet that are like big screws.
Mar 11, 2010
A Fast Way to Bake Cookies: Use a Waffle IronFine Cooking
We don’t have a waffle iron. It’s one of those small appliances that’s only good for one thing, and we don’t eat that one thing often enough to warrant owning one.But if we could use it to make cookies? Maybe we’d reconsider.We saw this tip at Fine Cooking and were immediately intrigued. Crispy, chewy, thick oatmeal chocolate chip cookies baked in 90 seconds, just like a waffle. What do you think?
Nov 5, 2009
Frugal Tip: Reuse Your Leftover, Store-Bought Pickle Brine
Several weeks ago, we bought some Rick’s Picks Kool Gherks. They were delicious, but they didn’t last long. And when we’d finished them, we realized we had a beautiful, flavorful brine full of peppercorns and herbs and garlic cloves that we hated to throw out. Especially since we spent about $8 or so on the jar.
Oct 29, 2009
Easy Appetizer: Stuffed Figs with Honey-Balsamic Syrup
I can’t take credit for this one. My dad made these figs. But I will certainly make them soon, because they were so delicious and so easy. And in case you’re thinking, “Ah, figs, cheese, nuts… been there, done that,” let me tell you, the syrup makes all the difference.There’s really not much to this dish. Mix some goat cheese with toasted, chopped walnuts and stuff the mixture into ripe figs. Then drizzle with the syrup.
Oct 14, 2009
Minestrone Soup, Full of Leafy Greens Recipe Review
We’re not sure we’ve ever had two minestrones that tasted the same—which makes sense, because minestrone is really meant to be a hodgepodge. This Italian vegetable soup usually has tomatoes, white beans, and greens, but recipes vary wildly. This one is a keeper. Hearty, rich, and packed with huge bunches (three kinds!) of greens.There is one big caveat, something we didn’t read carefully before starting on dinner last night.
Oct 1, 2009
Why This Is Our Favorite Lettuce
What is it? Bibb, Boston, Butter… It goes by many names. And it’s slightly more expensive than your average romaine. But we have good reasons for why we love it, so read on… Boston and Bibb lettuces are two varieties of a larger category of butterhead lettuces, according to the Food Lover’s Companion. All butterhead lettuces are extremely tender, with smooth, loosely-coiled leaves.
Aug 18, 2009
Gorgeous! Ina Garten’s Spinach and Cheddar SouffléHouse Beautiful
If you want an impressive side dish (that really isn’t as hard as it looks), we think this is the one…Many people, including us on occasion, are intimidated by soufflés. There’s the fear of them falling flat instead of puffing majestically over the top of the dish.In reality, the only slightly tricky thing is whipping and then folding in the egg whites. The only other important step is to not open the oven while it’s cooking. (You can do that.
Jul 31, 2009
How to Kill a Lobster (Humanely)Fine Cooking
The squeamish and the vegetarian can look away… But we actually found this video from Fine Cooking really interesting and helpful. Get a link below.It’s funny that we were inclined to click on the link. We never cook lobster, but part of the reason is fear: Fear of handling live things with big claws, fear of them suffering while boiling to death, etc.And this video isn’t promising a painless or hands-off death. As the title suggests, you’re killing here.
Jul 6, 2009
Kitchen Color Inspiration: Apricot and Aqua
When we brought these apricots home from the farmers’ market on Saturday, the first thing we thought, seeing them on the counter, was, “What pretty colors for decorating the kitchen…”In fact, it reminds us of another color combination that we’ve frequently thought of as being great for a kitchen: the terracotta-orange clay courts of the French Open with the turquoise backdrop of the fences around them (sorry, we’re big tennis fans).
Jul 6, 2009
Recipe: Frozen Nectarine-Yogurt Pie
In the summer, we want fast, easy, and, if it’s hot out, cold desserts. This is one of the simplest out there—even quicker if you use a prepared pie crust. Just fresh, ripe fruit, yogurt, some whipped cream, and a little stay in the freezer…The entire pie has only three tablespoons of sugar, so most of the sweetness comes from the fruit. You could of course use any ripe fruit—strawberries and peaches would both be good.
Jun 30, 2009
Quick Dessert Recipe: Poached Whole Plums with Brown Sugar Syrup
After writing about this cherry recipe from The Atlantic yesterday, we decided to try the leave-the-pits-in method with another fruit: plums. It was so easy and fast, and we love the way the whole, pudgy plum looks nestled in a bowl with some ice cream. Get the recipe, below…We followed a similar technique as in the cherry recipe, stewing our fruit in a mixture of water and sugar. But because we used so little liquid, we really could call this steaming rather than poaching.
Jun 23, 2009
Tip: Boil Your Vegetables with Your Pasta
Last night we made a very simple, quick dinner—spaghetti, broccoli, and tomato sauce—and it was even easier because we put everything that needed to boil in the same big pot. It takes a little finesse with the timing, but it streamlines the process and eliminates another dirty pan. Boiling your vegetables with your pasta isn’t going to give you layers of different flavors and textures, like adding roasted vegetables would.
Jun 23, 2009
Wait! You Don’t Have to Pit Those CherriesThe Atlantic
We get pretty wide-eyed at the cherries that are showing up in the market. We think of all the things we could make with them… and then we remember that we’d have to pit them. And we don’t own a pitter. Well, cookbook author Sally Schneider over at The Atlantic‘s food channel cooked whole cherries into a sweet, saucy dessert—pits, leaves, and all.
Jun 22, 2009
Look! Crazy Spaghetti Hot Dogs
We’ll give you a virtual high five if you can figure out how these were made. They’re part of a group of insane hot dogs we just found over at Woman’s Day…Did you figure it out?To make these spaghetti hot dogs, you stick raw spaghetti through chunks of hot dog and then boil the whole thing until the noodles are soft. Some of you may find this weirdly off-putting, but we actually think it’s kind of hilarious. And kids would love it.
Jun 19, 2009
Lunch at Work: How Do You Keep Your Sandwiches from Getting Soggy?
The other day we took this sandwich to work, only to bite into a very soggy piece of bread come lunchtime. We made a few crucial mistakes—ones we remedied the next day. Here are our tips… We don’t make sandwiches for lunch that often, so when we put mayonnaise on one slice of bread, topped it with juicy tomatoes and the rest of the vegetables, then smushed our sandwich into a container and let it sit for four hours, we weren’t really thinking of the consequences.
Jun 15, 2009