Elizabeth Passarella's Recent Articles
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You-Won’t-Believe-They’re-Whole-Wheat Blueberry Muffins
These muffins from Gourmet are made with whole wheat pastry flour, which as we know from this post has a low protein content. That means you get a healthier muffin with a slightly richer flavor without the dense texture that you might think of when it comes to whole wheat. And there’s one other fantastic thing about this recipe…We love that the batter makes exactly one dozen (full-size) muffins.
May 2, 2019
Pros and Cons of the Fisher & Paykel Dish Drawers Product Reviews
We’ve been seeing more and more of these dish drawers in small kitchens. Ours came with our apartment, which had recently been renovated, and now that we’ve been using them for more than a year, we have a few opinions. Read on and let us know your thoughts on these space-saving appliances. Until now, the only review of this type of Fisher & Paykel dishwasher was a quick video over on Apartment Therapy (you can see it here).
May 2, 2019
Martha Stewart’s Sleek New York City Kitchen
Would you expect a Martha Stewart kitchen to look this industrial? We don’t think this is a new kitchen (in fact, given the slight graininess of the photos and, OK, the overalls, it might be pretty old) but it’s the first time we’ve seen it. See another shot below…This is a complete departure from the kitchens we’ve seen in her Turkey Hill and Bedford houses.
May 2, 2019
Born in the Fall? 8 Birthday Cakes Inspired by the Season
We’ve got a family member celebrating a birthday this weekend, and it’s been a while since we’ve broken out all three cake pans and embarked on a proper, layered birthday cake. The turn of the seasons has us wanting something particularly Fall-ish—beyond white cake, fluffy frosting, even dark chocolate. Here are eight harvest-inspired ideas.When we think of Fall, we think of apples, spices, nuts, dried berries, and warm, buttery flavors.
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
50 Kitchen Ideas from Ina GartenHouse Beautiful
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy) OK, 50 is a liiiittle bit of an overstatement, considering many of the “ideas” are product placements from the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year that was on display in Rockefeller Center. However, it was a replica of Ina Garten’s actual East Hampton kitchen, and she does have some good ideas we could steal.One of them—adding a lamp to our kitchen decor—is something we’ve talked about before.
May 2, 2019
Gourmet Munching: 5 Spicy, Sweet, and Simple Nuts
We usually talk about batches of nuts around the holidays. They make good gifts, and they’re perfect for setting in bowls around the house during a party. But why not snack on them year-round? They’re so easy to make, and they give you a go-to appetizer you can pull out for guests on a moment’s notice.These recipes range from herbal to fiery to sugary.
May 2, 2019
Survey: Side-by-Side or Top-Bottom Fridge and Freezer?
Both styles are pretty common in rental apartments as well as freshly renovated kitchens. Which do you prefer? We can debate the pros and cons below.For some reason, we always start thinking about our fridge/freezer configuration as Fall and the holidays approach. We consider all of the soups, batches of cookies, and pies and how much room we have for everything.Neither design is perfect. With a side-by-side model, you have a narrower space, and certain dishes never fit. The pro?
May 2, 2019
Orange Juice: Morning Necessity or Empty Calories?
Orange juice was always part of breakfast when we were kids (drink it before you brush your teeth, always), but as we’ve gotten older, we’ve stopped buying it. With more than 100 calories in 8 ounces—and we often pour more than that—it seems like a sweet indulgence instead of a healthy drink.After reading this post, we now know that even cartons that say “squeezed from fresh oranges” are heavily processed.
May 2, 2019
Help Me Recreate a Creamed Corn Polenta
Q: My wife and I had dinner at Morel’s near the L.A. Farmers Market, and they had an amazingly delicious creamed corn polenta.I’d like to make some at home, but I’m new to polenta and need help finding a recipe. Any ideas?Sent by PatrickEditor: Patrick, we’ve got polenta and grits on the brain after our review of Glorious Grits yesterday and our review of Marcella Hazan’s polenta earlier today, so we’re happy to help.
May 2, 2019
Look! Slim, Modern Spice Rack Inside a Cabinet Door
Whether or not you’re involved in an organizational overhaul as part of our Fall Kitchen Cure, you might find some inspiration in this simple, clean spice rack from Anna at Door Sixteen. She elevated some basic IKEA bottles with Martha Stewart labels and spaced the racks so she could still close the cabinet door.
May 2, 2019
Do You Always Need Something Green on Your Plate?
This restaurant shot, which we’re guessing is at a classic Southern joint, proves our point. Wouldn’t that plate look funny if, instead of collard greens, there was a scoop of corn? Or butternut squash? We think every dinner plate looks better with a pop of green somewhere.Of course, we don’t always succeed. We eat plenty of dinners comprised of brown, white, and orange food—especially this time of year, when we can’t get enough Fall squash.
May 2, 2019
Thanksgiving Sides: 5 Alternatives to Cranberry Relish
This was a tough one, because, frankly, we’re not sure we’d give up our favorite cranberry relish recipe. But if you want something fruity, tart, and sweet that’s not made of cranberries, we’ve got some ideas. A couple close to the original, a couple that are way off the map. The recipe above has something special in it. Can you guess?• 1. Cranberry, Quince, and Pearl Onion Compote with Cloves and Coriander Seeds, from Jane Spice. Quince!
May 2, 2019
Easy Thanksgiving Dessert: Sweet Potato Tart TatinDam Good Sweet by David Guas & Raquel Pelzel
We were flipping through Dam Good Sweet, a new cookbook about New Orleans-style desserts, and stopped dead in our tracks when we saw this. So gorgeous! And a perfect alternative to pie for Thanksgiving. Get the recipe and read more about the cookbook (including some delicious peanut butter brownies we made last night) below.Title & Publisher: Dam Good Sweet by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel, published by Taunton Press.• Buy the book, $16.50 at Amazon.
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
Crusty Bites: 10 Appetizers Served on Toast
Toast some slices of baguette in the oven, slap on a spread, and call it a night. We love any appetizer we can serve on toast rounds (crostini, if we’re getting fancy). They’re easy for guests to pick up and eat in one or two bites, and you can really make them out of anything—tapenade, thin slices of meat, cheese and a drizzle of honey, you name it. Here are 10 options that would be great for a holiday party.Again, let us reiterate: You can make crostini out of anything.
May 2, 2019
Breakfast Bubbly: 5 Alternatives to the Classic Mimosa
The mimosa is just about the most virtuous cocktail we know; nothing nefarious about orange juice and the dainty effervescence of champagne. But as far as pre-noon brunch drinks go, it’s not the most inventive. Enter these five adaptations that up the danger a bit.There are dozens and dozens of champagne cocktails out there, but these maintain the delicate nature of a mimosa. You don’t want something too bitter or too heavy in the morning. We like something sweet, fruity, and soft.
May 2, 2019
Inexpensive (and Impressive!) Main Dishes for Parties
We are all about entertaining on a budget. Dinner parties should never be sacrificed because of the economy or lack of ability to buy chateaubriand. You can feed a lot of people without spending a fortune, and we’ve got five dishes that prove it. Just so you know, you’ll probably need a big pot.There are a few myths about throwing a party on the cheap. One is that you should have a bunch of appetizers- a roving, heavy hors d’oeuvres type of affair instead of a sit-down dinner.
May 2, 2019
The Easiest Raspberry Tarts You’ll Ever Make
This recipe started out on a splattered, stained note card in my grandmother’s kitchen, and it has made its way into a lovely cookbook that’s very personal to me (more on that below). The filling could not be easier to make. You can use it several different ways, but I think these two-bite tartlets would be perfect for Mother’s Day or a little girl’s baby shower.So, here’s the story on the cookbook.
May 2, 2019
All-Time Favorite: 9 Scrumptious Chocolate Chip Cookies
Whether you make the ones on the back of the Nestle bag or have a secret family recipe (which, let’s face it, may have come from the back of the Nestle bag), we bet you have a chocolate chip cookie you love. These nine cover the classic, the trendy, and a few that are outside the box.We love a very basic chocolate chip cookie—full of chips, but with enough batter to keep it from being too rich or sweet, and slightly underdone in the center.
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
Mirrored Cabinets: Check Your Hair While You Cook!
Mirrors are a great way to reflect light and make a room feel bigger and more open. But in a kitchen? Are mirrored cabinets the new, airy alternative to glass-front cabinets? Our opinion: Eh. We love the idea of a mirror in a kitchen, but we’d steer more towards a big, antique one to hang on the wall. We imagine these being hard to keep clean, too.However, we could see this idea working in a limited capacity- say, in a small section of cabinets over a bar area.
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
Where’s All the Stuff? Almost Naked Kitchen Walls
This goes beyond open storage. We’re talking completely cabinet-less walls here, with room for art instead of canned goods. What do you think? Modern and clean or too un-kitchen-like?Of course, you need enough storage elsewhere to keep your walls this bare. There need to be a lot of bottom cabinets or a butler’s pantry, for heaven’s sake. We’re guessing not many of our Small, Cool contestants have the luxury of leaving their walls naked.
May 2, 2019
Countertop Quiz! Can You Tell What These are Made Of?
At first glance, we thought it was soapstone or maybe polished black granite, but it’s actually closer to butcher block.These countertops are made from mahogany that’s been stained and sealed. We’ve actually never seen this before! Wood countertops? Of course. But dark ones? Not so much.The color gives a nice, crisp contrast to the white cabinets but still feels warm, which is just right for this Florida beach house that’s filled with lots of wallpaper and cottage charm.
May 2, 2019
Fish and Shrimp on the Grill: 8 Quick Recipes for Summer
Fish is a perfect food for hot-weather cooking. It’s light, it pairs well with fresh vegetables and fruits, and it takes so little time to cook that you barely have a chance to start sweating while standing over the grill. Here are eight recipes that look especially interesting to us right now.Before you start, it might be helpful to read grilling expert Diane Morgan’s tips about how to grill fish.Here are the recipes we’re bookmarking for the summer:• 1.
May 2, 2019
Banana Bites! A Good Way to Clean Out Your Pantry
You could make these because they look delicious (and easy). Or, you could follow the advice of Kate from Framed and make these because it’s a great way to use up all the little, rolled-up, rubber band-ed bags of nuts, cookie crumbs, and chips you have lying around.Reason #3: Bananas and chocolate! An irresistible combination.This is a super simple recipe: slice bananas, dip in chocolate, roll in toppings, freeze.
May 2, 2019
French or American? Guess the Country of These Kitchens
Have you had an afternoon snack? Ready for a quiz? We were browsing some French kitchens this morning, sighing over the airy, casual, neutral quality we love about so many of them. But many Americans have adopted this look—and, of course, there are modern kitchens in France. Can you tell which country these kitchens are in?Some of the fixtures and appliances give it away. Maybe even the styling or lighting of the photographs (American magazines tend to have a specific look).
May 2, 2019
Old Wood Tables in the Middle of the Kitchen
This kitchen and the one below came from international design magazines, but we see this in plenty of American kitchens: chunky wood tables just a foot or two away from the sink, stove, and countertop. How do you feel about dining in the middle of the kitchen?Of course, I dine in my living room; such is the case when you live in an apartment where rooms serve several functions. But I am not a fan of the dining table right in the kitchen.
May 2, 2019
What Is this Vintage Kitchen Gadget?
It’s more than a gadget, really. It’s a piece of furniture that takes up an entire wall. Any ideas? Manually operated tea kettle? Magical bubblegum maker?It’s an antique Danish coffee grinder. Coffee grinder cabinet, actually. We’re not sure if the grinder still works or it’s just a decorative piece of furniture, but this Boston homeowner went to great lengths to use it in her kitchen.
May 2, 2019
Before & After: Elizabeth’s $500 Transformation
Yesterday we showed you a $1,527 kitchen renovation. Well, this lovely re-do was only $500. It goes to show how much of a difference a little paint can make. We were stunned by this. Are you ready?Elizabeth moved in to her husband Randy’s 1940s house in St. Louis a few years ago. Randy had renovated some of the other rooms, but kitchen was still dated and crummy. Together, they tore down tile and painted over a lot.Kitchen cabinets? Painted. Green floor? Painted (with such a chic pattern!
May 2, 2019
Lime and Sugar: Gin Gimlet Without the Rose’s
Traditional gimlets (read all about them here) are made with Rose’s, a sweetened, bottled lime juice that’s electric green. Our love for gimlets runs deep, but our patience for the syrupy, artificial flavor of Rose’s was wearing thin. We needed to have a fling with something new—a fresher, tangier, not-as-sweet gimlet. And this is definitely it.We’ve had plenty of gimlets at restaurants and bars.
May 2, 2019
Before & After: A Small Boston Kitchen Goes BigDwell
At first we couldn’t quite get behind the zig-zaggy, dropped ceiling in this space. But once we realized its purpose (and saw the cramped, dark room before) we were on board. This is not a huge kitchen, and the owners made it feel open and expansive. Go take a look.See the before? So confusing! What’s with the floating wall and the hulking refrigerator blocking the entrance? The owners (he designed the space) clearly needed to remove some walls and cabinets and open up the room.
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
A Martha Stewart Staffer’s Colorful, Very Organized Kitchen
With a color-coordinated, Roy G. Biv-ishly arranged dish display like this one, we’re not even sure we needed to say her name. This kitchen belongs to the magazine’s design director, and the rest of the space is just as immaculate and charming.This was featured in a 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Living, but we’d never seen it until we found it on the website.
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
What’s the Deal with Whole Grain White Rice?
We love rice of all kinds, and we try to cook brown rice more often, since it’s—sigh—better for us.Truth is, we prefer the fluffier texture of white rice, especially with stir fries or in soups. So we’re intrigued by Uncle Ben’s new Whole Grain White Rice. And yet, we’re confused.If white rice is white rice because the bran and germ are removed, then how is this stuff considered whole grain? Anyone know the science behind this new product?
May 2, 2019
From the Spice Cupboard: Wasabi Powder
For us, wasabi powder is one of those ingredients we bought for a specific recipe and then thought, “Huh. Ok, now what?” It’s a pretty product to have on the shelf, with its pale, lemony-lime green color, but we rarely use it. That’s a shame, really, because it adds a sharp heat that is great in a lot of dishes.Wasabi powder is the dried form of Japanese horseradish that is commonly seen as a paste on the side of your sushi plate.
May 2, 2019
Make-Ahead Dish for Entertaining: 10 Vegetable Gratins
We are obsessed with gratins. They are so satisfying and simple to make, and they might be one of the most perfect dishes for entertaining—easy to assemble ahead of time and adaptable to any season. Do you know the basic template? You hardly need a recipe (although we rounded up a few goodies).Here’s the easiest formula for a gratin:• Slice a starchy vegetable—potato, sweet potato, winter squash—very thinly (a mandoline is helpful).
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
A Cabin-Inspired Kitchen with Ina Garten’s CountertopsHouse Beautiful
This kitchen may look like an old space that’s been restored, but it’s actually brand new—and there are a lot of smart little details we love (starting with those countertops).The counters are Petit Granite, a Belgian limestone with little fossils in it that, apparently, Ina Garten uses in her kitchens. As the homeowner says, “If it’s good enough for Ina, it’s good enough for me.
May 2, 2019
Give the Gift of Dough: 9 Sweet and Savory Icebox Cookies
We love a good icebox cookie—dough we can make well in advance and slice off when we’re ready. Of course you can bake these cookies to give as gifts, but we think it would be fun to wrap up a log of dough, too. It’s quirky, and it doesn’t go stale. We’ve got sweet options as well as a few cheesy, savory ones for a twist.One caveat: You need to drive fast if you’re delivering a bunch of these at once—or bring a cooler.
May 2, 2019
10 Things that Will Make Your House Smell Amazing
Are we the only ones who pause outside of a Subway because the baking bread smells so good? They’re no fools; they know that a delicious scent can pull you in. Same goes for our kitchens. Certain foods—both sweet and savory—give of those comforting, familiar aromas that make us pause, breathe deeply, and sigh. Here are 10 we love.TOP ROW:• 1. A sweet, too-buttery treat.
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
Almond Milk: What Does it Really Taste Like?
Those of us who are not vegan or lactose intolerant rarely have reason to search for alternative milk, and if we do, we probably stop at soy. But almond milk is also pretty widely available—Whole Foods markets its own brand by the gallon. If you’ve never had it, here’s a (completely subjective) verdict from a non vegan. My opinion? Almond milk tastes like the milk at the bottom of your cereal bowl after eating Grape Nuts. Specific, I know.
May 2, 2019
Vegan Ice Cream: 9 Tempting Dairy-Free Scoops
Ice cream. Kind of hard to take the cream out, huh? But vegan ice cream recipes—and not just sorbets—are out there, made with everything from silken tofu to coconut milk. We found a goldmine of a source, too.You’ll notice that the first five recipes are all from Hannah at Bittersweet Blog. As we searched vegan websites, we had a hard time finding ice cream recipes; it must be difficult to get good results.
May 2, 2019