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'
Roasted Sweet Potato Wraps with Caramelized Onions and Pesto
I don't think I've ever been this excited about lunch. Ever.
Jul 18, 2023
No Utensils: Tips on Appetizer-Ready Portions Without Toothpicks
Want to serve your favorite salad as an appetizer but don’t want people walking around balancing a fork and knife? Or scanning the room for a place to stash a used toothpick? Almost any food can be transformed to appetizer-ready individual portions with a few tricks.Here are a few edible vehicles for serving appetizers. Your food will look more sophisticated and you’ll reduce the waste generated by paper cups and toothpicks (hold off on eliminating napkins, however!).
May 12, 2022
Pickling Primer: How To Get Started!
Pickling involves little more than marinating vegetables over time. How much time depends on the method. And for new picklers, the best way to try it out is through refrigerator pickling. You don’t need a garden’s worth of vegetables or canning equipment – just pick a vegetable (or several), add spices and brine, and into the fridge it goes. Best eaten within a week or two, this method is your answer for quick and fresh pickled fare. 1.
May 12, 2022
Dinner Parties for Beginners: Potluck Tips
1. Set a theme. Hosting a Harry Potter dinner may not inspire your not-so-foodie friend to step up the hummus she’s picking up from the store, but others may surprise you with homemade Butter Beer or by sporting a pair of HP-inspired glasses. A loose theme kind of breaks the ice in advance and makes it all more fun (it is a party, after all!) And a theme can also help pairing dishes. 2. Have guests commit to a course.
May 12, 2022
This Veggie-Packed Italian Soup Is So Satisfying
Ribollita is the Tuscan soup that will cure your winter blues.
Feb 3, 2020
Weeknight Meal Recipe: Mediterranean Chicken Stew with Cinnamon Couscous
This recipe is my go-to meal for nights when I want to cook but I don’t want it to take all night. Filled with flavor, you’d never think that cooking time is only 20 minutes. And it has another key time-saving secret! That’s right: rotisserie chicken! Picking up a freshly roasted chicken and pulling the meat off the bones results in chicken that tastes like it’s been stewing all day. And you usually can even do this without a knife.
Feb 3, 2020
Recipe: Quick Salmon & Couscous with Cilantro Vinaigrette
This dish will officially cure you of boring weeknight chicken blues. Not only does the recipe come together incredibly quickly (like, 15 minutes!), but it’s something I’d order in a restaurant, and at a fraction of the price. The vinaigrette adds a fresh, bright flavor to otherwise bland couscous and scallions provide a satisfying green crunch to buttery smooth salmon. This recipe is the result of a mostly lazy attempt on my part to incorporate more fish into my diet.
Jan 29, 2020
Summer Entertaining Recipe: Turkey Pesto Meatballs with Homemade Tomato Sauce
Here’s why you need to serve meatballs in the summer: they come together quickly, reheat in a flash, and make the perfect potluck dish. These meatballs are lighter than the traditional beef variety and burst with a kick of pesto flavor and Parmesan. Served with an incredibly easy homemade tomato sauce and individual toothpicks, they’ll be your entertaining staple year round.When hosting a big crowd, I tend to bulk up on the number of dishes to serve for appetizers.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Graham Cracker Crusted and Pistachio Flecked Cheese Torte
This old fashioned version of a cheesecake has been a staple in my family for as long as I’ve been alive. The filling is less sweet than most cheesecakes, but the sugared graham cracker crust makes up for it. However, when I finally looked my old family recipe up in a cookbook, I was surprised at what I found.The first time I attempted my grandmother’s infamous cheese torte, I was astonished her recipe card actually yielded an edible product.
Jan 21, 2020
5-Ingredient Soup Recipe: Turkey Avgolemono Soup
Do you have leftover turkey stock in the freezer? Maybe from Thanksgiving? This version of the classic Greek avgolemono soup made with turkey is the ultimate comfort food — creamy, full of tender rice and shredded turkey, and with the perfect lemony bite. And it only takes five ingredients. I imagine you have most of them in your fridge or pantry right now.
Nov 20, 2019
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.
Jun 8, 2019
How to Pop Popcorn on the Stove
Making fresh popcorn is one of those easy but magical acts in the eyes of those who have never tried it. Try this method and you’ll never buy microwave popcorn again. Use a heavy-bottomed pot deep enough to accommodate the popped corn (or it will blow the lid off!).Ingredients3 tablespoons peanut oil1/2 cup popcorn kernels EquipmentHeavy-bottomed pot with lid 1. Add the oil to a heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat.2. Add three kernels.3.
Jun 5, 2019
Trader Joe’s Pantry Essential: Red Pepper Spread
I am a die hard make-it-from-scratch cook for dinner parties. I’ll take the extra step to make even the most basic foods myself — hand-rolled tortillas, homemade caramel, pie crusts, and everything in between. Although these details make a difference to me, I’ve learned that cutting a few corners never breaks a party. Tip number one: Trader Joe’s red pepper spread.
May 2, 2019
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.
May 2, 2019
Cookie Molds: 5 Recipes
If you’ve never make cookies using molds, they produce the most beautiful and intricate results. They are the perfect holiday baking project. Try these recipes with your molds for a few delicious variations.Cookie molds generally are either carved in wood or cast in ceramic. The traditional German springerle cookies are made using intricate wooden molds, as are the Belgian speculaas. The recipes below include several twists, including one gluten-free, on the classic cookies. Happy baking!
May 2, 2019
How to Accommodate a Gluten-Free Dinner Guest: 5 Tips
So one of your dinner guests can’t eat gluten. How do you plan? Like cooking for any food preference, cooking for a gluten-free guest can seem overwhelming. Here are some tips to keep the evening flowing smoothly.1. Plan a gluten-free dinner – This might seem extreme just to accommodate one person, but if you’re expecting someone with a high sensitivity to gluten, even some residual flour on a plate can cause a reaction.
May 2, 2019
Easy Entertaining with Ice Cream: 9 Ways to Dress up a Scoop
What’s easier than serving ice cream for dessert at your next dinner party? A few tips can turn a boring scoop into a party worthy dessert. And no one will be the wiser that they only took you a few minutes to put together!
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Almond Buttermilk Cake with Cherries
There’s a secret to this simple, almost pound cake dessert: it freezes beautifully! Perfect for tucking in a lunchbox or pulling out of the freezer on a rainy day, slices of this cake thawed will rival their just baked counterparts. And it works with any juicy fruit or berry! This cake ends up having a dense, perfectly cake-y texture. The cherries release their juices and form an almost caramelized layer on top the not too sweet cake.
May 2, 2019
New Digital Gluten-Free Food Magazine: Easy Eats
Meet Easy Eats, a lovely new gluten-free digital magazine. We’re loving this new resource. The first issue debuts today and you’ll want to check it out for some great gluten-free cooking tips, recipes and products!More than just a slew of tips or things we already knew, Easy Eats makes gluten-free eating seem fun! We love the roundup of gluten-free Halloweeen candy and reviews of different types of gluten-free bread.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Classic Apple Pie with Tips from Magnolia Bakery
There’s hardly a time when a warm slice of apple pie doesn’t just hit the spot. While it’s best associated with cool fall days, apple pies are a standard in my kitchen year round. And when Magnolia Bakery offered to share classic pie tips, I had to check it out! Read on for step by step photos of constructing a fabulous apple pie. In Magnolia Bakery’s kitchen in their Upper West Side location in Manhattan, apple pies are created assembly line style. Really!
May 2, 2019
Green Juice: 5 Great Recipes to Try
What makes green juice, well, green? Adding kale, spinach, celery or parsley adds that green hue and a multitude of health benefits. Throw in a sweet element to keep the juice palatable, but going too sweet may result in crafting a dessert rather than a drinkable vitamin. Personally, I steer clear of adding parsley and celery (only because I don’t love the flavors) and focus on kale and cucumber along with an apple or ripe nectarine. Add chia seeds for a fun crunch and instant snack!
May 2, 2019
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.
May 2, 2019
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
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
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
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
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
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