January 01, 2020


Cardamom Apple Cake


 Cardamom Apple Cake from Athena Calderone's Cook Beautiful.



1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp ground cardamom

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp kosher salt

2 large eggs at room temp

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 TBL cognac, rum or bourbon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup well shaken buttermilk, room temp

3 med honeycrisp apples

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing pan

1 TBL turbinado or granlated sugar

confectioners sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350. Nestle a piece of parchment paper into an 8 or 9" cast iron pan and grease it with butter.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom, baking powder and salt. In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Whisk in the granulated sugar, cognac, and vanilla extract. Pour in the buttermilk and whisk to combine.

Peel, halve and core 2 1/2 of the apples, then cut them into 1/2" thick cubes. Reserve the remaining half apple, unpeeled, and cut it into 1/4" slices for the top.

Add half the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined, then gently fold in half the melted butter. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and melted butter. Gently fold in the cubed apples, reserving the slices. Transfer the batter to the pan, and arrange the apple slices in a circular pattern on top of the batter. Sprinkle with the sugar.  Bake until the cake turns a deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Transfer the skillet to a cooling rack and let it sit for 5 minutes. The cake may be served warm or at room temp , directly from the skillet, whichever you choose, make sure to dust it with confectioner's sugar before serving.



December 26, 2019


Lemon Polenta Cake

1 3/4 sticks of butter
3 lemons juiced and zested
2 cups Almond meal ground
3/4 cups polenta/cornmeal
4 eggs
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup Sugar

1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Oven at 350
Butter and sugar together
Add eggs
Mix dry ingredients in
Then add lemon zest as the last step

I also let the batter sit for about 20-30 mins before putting in the oven. I think it helps the hard polenta soak up the liquids/fat before the baking begins and makes it an overall softer cake. Also seems to let the lemon zest oils get into the batter more.

After baking-
Make a syrup with the lemon juice from the 3 lemons and powdered sugar in a pan, so just melt the sugar for a few moments until liquid- stays liquidy

Pour this syrup over the top of the hot cake when it comes out and let cool. This brightens things up.

You can make this in a round breakaway pan or a ceramic dish.

check it with a toothpick to see when it’s done about 40 minutes

October 05, 2019


Guacamole with pomegranate seeds

We could eat tacos every day and never get sick of them. This is a recipe for my favorite guacamole to go on those tacos. Or dip into with your favorite chips!

Guacamole with pomegranate seeds and pepitas
  1. 3 ripe Hass avocados
  2. 1 TBL chopped cilantro
  3. Zest and juice of 1 lime
  4. 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  5. 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  6. 1 tablespoon pepitas
  7. 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  8. fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  1. In a bowl, mash the avocado with a fork until it is nearly at your desired consistency. Stir in the cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  2. Fold in the pomegranate seeds and sprinkle with pepitas. Serve immediately.
September 28, 2019


Artichoke and Parmesan Soup

As much as I love scraping the meat off artichoke leaves with our teeth (it makes me feel very primal), it’s the heart of the artichoke that I really love. 

This perfect for Fall soup, with its intensely earthy artichoke flavor, makes the most of artichokes. It's also a great way to use leftover Parmesan rind: Just toss it into the soup while it simmers, then discards it before pureeing.


    • 1/2 lemon
    • 4 Big Heart or globe artichokes (1 pound each)
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 4 large shallots, halved
    • 3 large garlic cloves, halved
    • Salt
    • 1 cup dry white wine
    • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
    • One 4-ounce Parmesan rind, plus 1/2 cup of shavings, for garnish
    • 12 thyme sprigs and 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, tied in cheesecloth
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup pure olive oil

How to Make It

Step 1    

Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze the lemon half into it. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off the outer leaves. Using a sharp knife, trim the stem and base of the artichoke and cut off the top two-thirds of the leaves. With a spoon or melon baller, scrape out the furry choke. Rub the artichoke heart all over with the lemon half and add back to the water. Repeat with the remaining 3 artichokes. Cut 3 of the artichoke hearts into 1-inch pieces and return them to the water.

Step 2    

In a large saucepan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil until shimmering. Drain the artichoke pieces and pat dry. Add them to the saucepan along with the potatoes, shallots and garlic; season with salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned and barely tender, about 20 minutes. Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock, Parmesan rind and thyme bundle and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Discard the thyme bundle and Parmesan rind.

Step 3    

Working in batches, puree the soup until smooth. Return it to the saucepan. Add the heavy cream and season with salt. Keep the soup warm.

Step 4    

Drain the whole artichoke heart and pat thoroughly dry. Thinly slice the heart on a mandoline. In a medium skillet, heat the pure olive oil until shimmering. Add the sliced artichoke heart and fry over high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried artichoke slices to paper towels to drain; sprinkle lightly with salt.

Step 5    

Ladle the soup into bowls. Mound some Parmesan shavings in the center, top with the fried artichokes and serve.


September 21, 2019


radish and avocado salad


Both bright from lime juice and buttery from diced avocado, this super qick and easy salad nicely balances any menu with spicy, smoky, braised or slow-roasted flavors.


    • 20 radishes, thinly sliced
    • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
    • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    • Flaky sea salt
    • 3 ripe Hass avocados—peeled, pitted and sliced
    • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves

How to Make It

In a medium bowl, combine the radishes with the onion, jalapeño, lime juice and the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt. Arrange the avocados on a platter, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Spoon the radish salad on top, strew with the cilantro and basil and serve as soon as possible.


The ingredients can all be prepped up to 4 hours ahead, but toss the radish mixture with the lime juice and olive oil and then assemble the salad just before serving or the radishes will get soggy.


September 16, 2019


Kale Strata


Kale! Always beautiful and abundant in my garden and my go to for party salads. It holds up really well and even gets better as it sits and absorbs all the flavors and ingredients surrounding it..

Kale has become one of the trendiest ingredients and certainly the most hyped vegetable at the farrmer's market. But that isn't the reason I think you should eat it. I'm also into kale because it’s healthy—rich in vitamins K, C, A and B6—and it's delicious in all kinds of recipes. To celebrate kale season (it's at its peak in October, but is available all fall and beginning of winter) here is one of my favorite recipes, super easy, great for brunch or dinner, and quite the crowd pleaser!



May 07, 2019


Sumac Roasted Carrots with Tahini Sauce

These sumac roasted carrots with tahini sauce are the perfect side dish. The lemony sumac dusting on the carrots, the crunch of the pomegranate seeds and pistachios, all pairs beautifully with the creamy tahini sauce.


  • 1bunch Carrots
  • 2tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1tablespoon Sumac
  • 2Garlic cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2cup Tahini Paste
  • 1/4 - 1/2cups Water
  • 1Lemon (juice)
  • 1/4cup Pomegranate Seeds
  • 1/4cup Chopped Postachios


    1. Preheat oven to 400 F
    2. Trim the tops of the carrots, leaving some at the top for aesthetics. Peel and wash carrots very well.
    3. Toss the olive oil and sumac with the carrots.
    4. Roast for 20-25 minutes until crisp tender.
    5. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, salt, and water until smooth and creamy. Mix in the minced garlic. Stir and adjust lemon juice and salt to taste.
    6. When the carrots are ready, remove them from the oven and transfer to a serving plate. Drizzle tahini sauce over them and garnish with pistachios, pomegranate seeds, and parsley.
    7. Serve warm or room temperature
May 05, 2019


Charred Corn and Avocado Salad with Lime, and Tomato

Corn salad to me is a statement of summer in a bowl – the corn stays crisp but has a nice smoked char. The salad comes together in a snap once the grilling is done – and is an excellent balance of crispy sweet and creamy nutty. Turning to basil and mint rather is a perfect, yet unexpected herbal compliment. 


  • 8 ears of corn
  • teaspoons olive oil
  • pinches kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 avocado, halved
  • cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 small jicama cut into small pieces
  • lime zest, 2tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • teaspoon cayenne or Aleppo pepper, to taste
  • 3 TBL extra virgin olive oil
  • handful fresh basil, mint leaves and dill, roughly torn
  • 1 TBL cotija cheese


  1. Preheat your grill
  2. Shuck your corn and remove the silks.
  3. Grill the corn for 5-8 minutes, checking and turning a few times, or until charred in spots. You're looking for some noticeable char, but be mindful to not overcook. In the process of grilling, you may hear a few corn kernels popping -- a good indication that they’re done. Remove from grill
  4. Grill avocado halves for 2-3 minutes, cut into small chunks
  5. cut corn from cobs and put into a large salad bowl, add jicama, cherry tomatos, mint, basil and dill.
  6. To make lime vinaigrette: whisk together lime juice, honey, and cayenne, and then slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Season to taste.
  7. drizzle in the lime vinaigrette, a few teaspoons at a time. You may not need the full amount. Toss and taste for seasoning. Carefully fold in the grilled avocado chunks. add salt and pepper to taste, lime zest over the top, sprinkle cotija cheese over the entire salad
  8. Serve with lime wedges.
May 02, 2019


Minty Snap Pea and Radish Salad

This time of year I find myself tossing fresh herbs into practically everything I make. Whether it’s basil, mint, cilantro or dill, it finds its way into my meals. That’s where this snap pea salad comes in. It embraces the abundance of fresh mint and dill and packs it into a salad that’s equal parts bright and refreshing. Added to the mix are radishes for peppery crunch and lemon zest to make it even more exciting to dig into.

Minty Snap Pea Salad

serves 6 to 8 as a side dish


  • pound 

    sugar snap peas, tough strings removed

  • tablespoons 

    olive oil

  • tablespoons 

    freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • teaspoon 

    whole-grain or regular Dijon mustard

  • teaspoon 

    minced shallot

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • lemon zest from 1 lemon 
  • small bunch 

    radishes, thinly sliced 

  • tablespoons 

    finely chopped fresh mint leaves

  • tablespoons 

    torn fresh dill


  1. Fill a large bowl with water and ice; set aside.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the snap peas and cook until just tender yet still crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer them to the ice water. Meanwhile, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, mustard, and shallot in a large bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

  3. Drain the snap peas. Add the snap peas, radishes, mint and dill to the dressing and toss evenly to coat. Zest lemon over top of salad, sprinkle of salt and pepper and toss a few more fresh herbs to finish.

April 29, 2019


Kale Salad with roasted sweet potatoes

This salad is ideal for making ahead for company (or tomorrow's lunch). The sweet potatoes can easily be traded out with the seasons for things like fresh apricots or squash.


  • 2 medium unpeeled, cubed sweet potato
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1bunch kale (preferably lacinato or dinosaur kale), ribs removed and finely sliced, about 2 1/2 cups
  • 1/4cup almonds, cut roughly in half
  • 1/4cup feta
  • 1 apple (I prefer envy) cut into small pieces
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Directions
    1. Heat oven to 425° F. Toss sweet potato cubes in just enough olive oil to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet (lined with parchment for easier cleanup), leaving space between the cubes. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, about 40 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 10-15 minutes. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the same oven until they start to smell nutty, tossing once, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
    2. In your bowl, toss the kale with the almonds, feta, sweet potatoes and apples. Season to taste with lemon juice and olive oil (approximately 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    3. Divide salad between two plates or eat straight from the bowl!