Stephanie Barlow

Stephanie is a home cook in NYC where she enjoys exploring the city's best food and re-creating meals in her tiny kitchen. Visit her vlog at City Cookin'
Recipe: Slow Cooker Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
I grew up eating my grandmother’s split pea soup, and it’s one of the first things I learned to cook when I moved away from home. For this version, I omitted one harder-to-find ingredient so I can make it without a trip to a specialty store! To me, split pea soup tastes like home. However, when I tried to replicate our family recipe on my own, I always had trouble finding a ham bone. My local grocery store just wouldn’t sell me ham hocks or a ham bone.
Jan 26, 2016
This Veggie-Packed Italian Soup Is So Satisfying
Ribollita is the Tuscan soup that will cure your winter blues.
Oct 1, 2015
Recipe: Cheesy Vegan Kale Chips
I tried to make kale chips a few years ago when a friend told me how much she swears by this simple, healthy snack. A bad oven and an impatient cook (guilty!) burned them just a little bit. And you know what? They were terrible! But after tasting some incredibly flavored dehydrated kale chips, I made it my mission to try again to make them successfully at home — but without a dehydrator. And this time, it worked! Here’s your ticket to healthy-style Doritos. Seriously.
May 28, 2015
5 Tips for Recreating Restaurant Recipes at Home
Living in New York City, I eat out at restaurants frequently. Sometimes, too frequently. While I love a night out at a fun restaurant, my waistline and wallet prefer I cook at home. But why not enjoy my favorite restaurant dishes at home? In 2014 I started a video blog dedicated to recreating many of my favorite restaurant meals at home, and I picked up a few techniques to make the process easier along the way.
Apr 11, 2015
Recipe: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Store-bought pizza dough, leftover chicken, BBQ sauce … check, check, check! This weeknight pizza couldn’t be easier. It’s savory, sweet, tangy, and it only takes 15 minutes of oven time. Who could ask for anything more? I definitely took some shortcuts with the ingredient list here to minimize cooking time on weeknights.
Mar 5, 2015
Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potato Wraps with Caramelized Onions and Pesto
Tender cubes of roasted sweet potatoes are totally irresistible on their own, but I’m going to show you a way to make them better than you’ve ever imagined. Partner them with rich and velvety caramelized onions, candy-sweet roasted tomatoes, plus a thick swipe of herby pesto and you’ve got an all-star make-ahead lunch that will make your coworkers jealous. I don’t have many wraps in my recipe book, as they tend to center around last resorts.
Feb 9, 2015
12 Ways to Use Up Candy Canes
They appear just once each year, but what to do when you’re stuck with more candy canes than you know what to do with? Rather than tossing these festive sweet treats, transform them into baked goods and even cocktails and use up every last (even broken) piece! Read on for some creative uses for your leftover candy canes this holiday season. Perfect for even the broken leftovers, crushed candy canes make tasty and cute garnishes for holiday treats.
Dec 28, 2014
15 Cooking Projects for Your Holiday Vacation
While our focus is usually centered around the fastest way to get dinner on the table, we think it’s luxurious to have a few hours to just cook. Lucky enough to have more than a few days off? Why not try several projects? We’ve rounded up 15 of our favorite projects for an afternoon or snowy weekend. Let’s get cooking! 1. Bake bread: Once a common task, few of us make bread daily (or even monthly!) these days.
Dec 26, 2014
5 Reasons Why I Run My Slow Cooker All Night (Not All Day)
When I first started using a slow cooker, I was delighted to prepare ingredients before I went to work so I could come home to a hot meal. Sometimes, however, there just isn’t time in my morning routine. Searing meat, cooking vegetables, and reducing liquids sometimes amounts to an hour of prep or more. Then I decided to start using my slow cooker the other way: overnight instead.
Dec 1, 2014
The Fastest Way to Make Uniform Apple Slices for Apple Pie
When you’re baking apples into pies and tarts, cutting them into uniform slices means they’ll cook evenly and best of all, just look gorgeous and perfect. Using a knife to do the work, especially when faced with the pounds of apples that are needed to go in a deep-dish pie, can be a tedious task when you’re trying to make the slices as even as possible. Time to pull out a gadget that might be gathering dust in the back of the kitchen drawer!
Nov 7, 2014
Did You Accidentally Pick 20 Pounds of Apples at the Farm? Let Us Help You With That.
Finally this year I remembered to go apple picking before the frost hit! I remember looking at the somewhat small bags the orchard provided and thinking that I should pick enough to fill two or three bags, because one wouldn’t be enough. Well, it’s been two weeks and we still have apples to spare. Are you in a similar state? Overloaded by apples brought on by over-eager pickers? Read on for tips on what to do with your apple bounty this fall!
Oct 29, 2014
How To Make Halloween Pumpkin Cookies
While there’s no shortage of Halloween recipes floating around these days, in order to make the cut in my household, I aim for delicious first and cute second. These pumpkin sandwich cookies hit all the delicious marks — they’re made with both real pumpkin and pumpkin spice, they’re perfectly soft, and they sandwich quite nicely with chocolate frosting. And could they be any cuter? Cutting out jack-o’-lantern faces makes these bake-sale-adorable, for sure.
Oct 29, 2014
Don’t Make the Mistakes I Made When Roasting a Pumpkin
Last year, after admiring two of our uncarved pumpkins as Halloween came and passed, I tried something I’d been wanting to do for a long time. I’d seen many Pinterest posts and articles promising how much better homemade pumpkin puree could be than the good old canned variety, and I thought, “Why not?” One fall afternoon (and it took ALL afternoon, let me remind myself), I took on the task of cutting open, de-seeding, peeling, roasting and pureeing my own pumpkins.
Oct 22, 2014
This Family Found a Genius Way to Preserve Their Mom’s Recipes
It’s something we tend to think of too late: “Remember how amazing Grandma’s lace cookies were? It’s too bad we never asked her for the recipe.” And if your grandma was like mine, even a recipe wouldn’t have helped much as she tended to use it as a guideline, following some steps and ingredients, but adding her own intuitive touches.
Oct 14, 2014
5 Recipes I Learned in College and Still Use Today
Ah, college cooking. It brings to mind such sophisticated fare as Rice Krispie treats (eaten straight out of the bowl, of course), thick dining hall chili, boxed brownie mixes and the like. For me, college was when I really figured out that I liked to cook, so my memories actually include somewhat sophisticated foods like homemade pita bread, baba ghanoush, gnocchi, and risotto. I found a few favorite recipes along the way that I still use today — read on to find out which ones!
Oct 1, 2014
5 Tips for Finding a Vacation Cooking Class
Ah, vacation. No deadlines, no responsibilities. And the perfect time to cook! While sometimes it’s great to take a break from my kitchen, one of my favorite parts of traveling is experiencing food and cooking somewhere new. There’s no better time to learn a new cuisine. Read on for my favorite tips to find the best cooking classes to take while traveling. The more you search beforehand, the better prepared you’ll be.
Jul 30, 2014
6 Tasty Dinners Featuring a Pint of Cherry Tomatoes
Ever find yourself with a pint of cherry tomatoes that are about to pass their peak? From grilling to roasting to blending, never fear, there couldn’t be more ways to rescue those sweet little tomatoes from waste, and you can just sub them into any recipe that calls for regular tomatoes. We’ve compiled six of our favorite ways to feature cherry tomatoes for dinner tonight. 1.
Jul 16, 2014
Zipzicles Help You Make Popsicles in a Pinch (Even In a Tiny Kitchen)
Item: Zipzicles Price: $2.99 for 12 on Amazon Overall Impression: Great alternative to popsicle molds; perfect for parties, kids, and one-off freezing herbs and leftover smoothies. I’ve owned popsicle molds on at least two separate occasions. I used them once or twice and they gradually made their way to the back of my cupboard, only to be rediscovered again on my next apartment move.
Jul 10, 2014
My Single Favorite Use for Powdered Peanut Butter
When I first heard about powdered peanut butter, I thought I could transform my favorite cookies, noodle dishes, and even sandwiches into low-fat, super-healthy versions of the originals. I bought a jar online, followed the directions to mix the powder with water and tasted it. That’s when I closed the jar and hid it in the back of my cupboard. It wasn’t that bad, but I had trouble finding a use that wouldn’t make me miss real peanut butter.
May 29, 2014
6 Tips That (Mostly) Cured My Fear of Cooking Rice
It all started in the hectic moments before a dinner party. I was serving sushi with amazing fresh fish ready to be rolled with rice and doused with soy sauce. I’d painstakingly followed every single cooking instruction on the sushi rice package, including washing the rice no fewer than 10 times and soaking it for 30 minutes. I slowly lifted the lid and tasted a few grains. Crunchy. Not a good sign.
May 15, 2014
5 Ways to Use Spent Vanilla Beans
Cooking with real vanilla beans is a beautiful thing; I love the flecks of vanilla flavor and scraping the concentrated vanilla seeds out of the fragrant beans. But after paying up for the real things, the last thing I want to do is throw away the scraped-out pod. Good news — there are plenty of uses for these spent beans, which still contain tons of great vanilla flavor. Vanilla sugar – Stash spent vanilla beans in a canister of sugar to give it a subtle vanilla flavor.
May 5, 2014
5 Ways to Use Zested Lemons
We use a lot of lemons around my kitchen and I always hate tossing the still-packed with pulp halves. They’re a great source for zest, but what else? Read on for ideas on how to put them to good use. Clean cutting boards naturally – Those spent lemon halves are ideal for disinfecting cutting boards. They’ll still yield some juice and will work with coarse salt to gently scrub away stubborn stains.
Apr 28, 2014
7 Recipes That Can Be Made Faster (and Better) in the Toaster Oven
I read recently that the toaster oven, that old-fashioned behemoth of an appliance long replaced by the microwave, is making a comeback. Well, in my kitchen it never left! To be honest, though, I’m enjoying a renaissance of toaster oven use in the kitchen, and it is all my fiance’s doing. Once I realized the ease of having a mini oven heat up in no time, I couldn’t imagine getting rid of it. Here are six ways to put the toaster oven to use beyond, you know, making toast.
Apr 16, 2014
6 Ways to Eat a Hard-Boiled Egg for Lunch
In our quest to find inexpensive, portable lunch ideas, it’s easy to overlook the original portable food: hard boiled eggs! They cook up in just about no time, come in their own carrying case, and go well with a multitude of flavors. Read on for ideas on how to eat them for lunch.
Apr 14, 2014
The Dishes I Never Order Out Because They’re Better at Home
Do you ever order a dish at a restaurant only to discover that you could (and do) make it better at home? There are a few dishes on my list and I’ve come to the point where I shy away from ordering them. Whether I’m just attached to the way I make them, or they’re typically not the star dish at a restaurant, it’s just better that I make them myself. Do you feel this way too?
Apr 11, 2014
How a Lemon Juicer Changed My Life
Living in NYC with limited kitchen (and everywhere else) space, I’ve always opted towards multi-use kitchen tools over one trick ponies. If I couldn’t use it at least several different ways, forget it. Sure, some tasks were a little more tedious, but my cupboards retained their ability to close firmly and I didn’t have to store anything kitchen-related under my bed. That is, until I made one groundbreaking purchase. I bought a salad spinner.
Apr 7, 2014
6 Quick, Easy Ways to Turn Chicken Broth into Dinner
Six more reasons to add a box of chicken broth to your grocery list.
Mar 18, 2014
Do You Ever Eat Dinner In Courses?
I recently took a trip to Italy and I couldn’t get enough of the delicious pasta, burrata, espresso, and the many other amazing classics of Italian cuisine. But while eating out, I noticed something. While I ordered an appetizer and maybe a pasta dish at dinner, the rest of my Italian friends always ordered more. As in three full courses, sometimes four. I looked like the odd American out by comparison.
Mar 17, 2014
3 Great iPhone Apps for Menu Planning
As much as I’d like to believe otherwise, I’m practically glued to my iPhone. I use it to schedule workouts, book restaurant reservations, and to check into my flights, so why not utilize it for meal planning as well? I don’t use a central method for organizing my recipes, so I had been skeptical of meal planning apps and thought I would need an organizational overhaul before signing up. However, I took the plunge on three apps I found to be easy to jump right into.
Mar 12, 2014
Recipe: Squash & Lemongrass Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Looking for a fresh option for lunch? This is an ideal fall and winter soup: creamy without being heavy (and without cream!), bright, and packing an unexpected and zesty lemongrass flavor. This is the recipe to have on hand when you feel like making soup, but actually want to be eating it 30 minutes later. It comes together incredibly quickly and combines rich squash with a crunchy garnish. The lemongrass flavor comes through bright and clear, with a little help from the ginger.
Mar 10, 2014
The Best Way to Keep Lemons Fresh for a Whole Month
Lemons are an ideal way to perk up early spring cuisine; from salads to fish and desserts, they are an easy flavor booster to keep on hand. However, I always end up planning a meal around my last lemon, only to find out it has become hard and yields as much juice as a potato. Then I discovered this simple tip for making sure you get every last drop out of your lemons. Lemons sealed in a plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator tend to keep fresh longer.
Feb 25, 2014
The Best Way to Make Big Batches of Smoothies Ahead of Time
A new convert to smoothies, I always wondered why Pinterest is full of images of individually packed smoothie ingredients — why not just make a big batch of smoothie and stash it in the fridge for meals throughout the week? Well, if you’ve tried this, you know why it doesn’t work. The smoothie separates and the fruit takes on a sort of funky flavor almost bad enough to turn you off smoothies all together. But you know what works? Freezing the smoothie!
Feb 18, 2014
Want the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich? Put a Lid On It!
I’ve long perfected my method for the perfect grilled cheese, but when I first started cooking, it always seemed to elude me. Either my sandwich was toasted on the outside with unmelted cheese inside, or the cheese was gooey but the outside burnt. That was until I figured out the old line cook trick: put a lid on it! If you’ve ever watched a line cook make a grilled cheese on a flat top, you’ve seen this method.
Feb 10, 2014
My Favorite Way to Cook With Gluten-Free Buckwheat: Crepes, Bliny, and Pancakes
Gluten-free cooking can often seem more complicated than it needs to be; for all the flour substitutes and conversions, there are infinite dishes that are by nature gluten-free. However, I can’t help but find it amusing when those naturally gluten-free items are suddenly celebrated as such, like a carton of eggs.
Feb 5, 2014
I Tried Blue Apron’s Meal Delivery Service and Here’s How It Went
Service: Blue Apron Price: $65.94 for three meals serving two people each Overall Impression: Great for busy weeknight meals and to shake up your cooking routine. There are some weeks I just don’t have the time to meal plan ahead of time. And then those weeks turn into days when I just don’t have the time to think about what to make for dinner. Enter: Blue Apron.
Feb 4, 2014
6 Fresh Topping Ideas for Yogurt
Tierd of plain yogurt? Try these fresh ideas to transform your daily breakfast or snack into something special. 1 Caramelized Figs: add fresh, caramelized figs topped with honey and crunchy pistachios. 2 Toasted Amaranth: try adding this toasted seed for a crunchy topping. 3 Peanut Butter, Honey, and Graham Crackers: swirl these into plain yogurt for a sweet after school treat. 4 Winter Citrus Compote: grapefruit and orange slices brighten even the coldest winter morning.
Jan 30, 2014