noah’s citrusy crunchy kale salad

kale salad in serving bowlA few weeks ago we had dinner at our friends Noah and Marissa’s apartment and (for our first course) he made us this sensational salad. I know kale salad feels a little played out considering there’s one on every restaurant menu these days, but this one is different. This one is better. This one bursts with flavor and texture and sweetness so addicting that while I was eating it I asked for the recipe. (I usually wait til the next day / as part of a thank you note.) I then made it at home three times over the next two weeks. Twice I made it as a starter dish, and the third time I decided to go crazy and put a piece of mahi mahi on top (as seen below) and serve it as an entree. And now as I type this I’m dreaming up a way to make it again this week and still have it seem new and exciting.

While I do, there’s something else new and exciting… quasi-related to this meal: since having dinner at their apartment, Noah and Marissa had a beautiful baby daughter Eden Allie Coslov. She is the sweetest little lovebug who, while a bit young for this kale salad now, will one day be so lucky to eat all of their delicious cooking.

kale salad with mahi mahi

Noah’s Autumnal Citrusy Crunchy Kale Salad

SERVES FOUR

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 naval oranges, cut into chunks without skin
  • 1 big bunch of kale (8-10 cups, de-stemmed)
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 2 handfuls of pumpkin seeds, toasted (best in a small dry skillet for just a few minutes)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Soak sliced shallots in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes.
  2. Meantime combine syrup, olive oil, orange segments, salt and pepper in bottom of a big bowl. I squeezed a few of the orange segments to give some juice into the dressing.
  3. Toss kale in dressing/oranges until smooth and completely covered. I use my hands and massage the dressing in for best results.
  4. Add shallots and toasted pumpkin seeds and toss. Serve and enjoy!

A Recipe From Jamie Stelter | www.thetvdinner.com

chicken cacciatore a la food52

chicken cacciatore in dutch ovenI am so utterly tickled by how good my home smells right now… how delightful this bubbling pot of chicken, bacon, vegetables and spices looks…that I am left no choice but to post this recipe for you right now. I’m also waiting for B to get outta the shower and get ready to sit down and eat, but I’m not pointing any fingers… just pointing you to fantastic recipes — like this one on Food52! Try it, and you too can be as tickled as I am by this chicken cacciatore.

bubby’s roast beef

bubby's roast beef MAIN

bubby's roast beef on dining tableI’ve been thinking a lot about my Bubby and Zayda recently and sometimes when I do, I wear my Zayda’s shirt or my Bubby’s hand-knit sweater or necklace. Other times, I make food that reminds me of them. It makes me feel close to them, like they’re here or they know what’s going on in my life. Enter my Bubby’s roast beef / her signature dish. For years I had no idea that it was also called brisket or that roast beef could be served any other way besides in a big roaster with potatoes, carrots and a spicy tomato sauce gravy. Whenever she was serving it, or my mom would make it at home, we would all get so excited. The tenderness of the meat. The sweetness of the sauce. The comfort of potatoes. Best of all: how the house smelled… like love. That’s the power of grandparents. It’s magical, isn’t it?

Now that I’m eating some meat again for the first time in about 8 years, I decided to make Bubby’s roast beef for Rosh Hashanah. When it turned out even better than I had remembered, I invited friends over to break the fast after Yom Kippur and made it again. (No bagels for this girl; I don’t eat any grains.) Everyone loved it.

Not only is Bubby’s roast beef delicious and satisfying, it’s also crazy easy to make. Consider it for your next dinner party because once you throw everything into the roaster, you’re done! Imagine that, Host with the Most: not being stuck in the kitchen with your head in the oven while everyone else is enjoying cocktails. Bubby would never want you to miss a cocktail.

Bonus for when your guests arrive: the house will smell amazing… like love.

Bubby’s Roast Beef

SERVES FOUR-SIX

Ingredients

  • 3 pound brisket
  • 10 large carrots, grated and/or cut into oval slices
  • 1 packet of onion soup mix
  • 3 large baking potatoes, cut into big chunks
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce
  • salt, pepper and minced garlic, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grate carrots & put in bottom of roasting pan.
  3. Sprinkle 1/2 package of onion soup on top of carrots.
  4. Season both sides of meat with salt, pepper and garlic… then put in roasting pan on top of carrots.
  5. Sprinkle the other half of onion soup mix on top.
  6. Pour can of tomato sauce on top, then fill that can with water, and pour that on top.
  7. Put potato pieces around the brisket, then cover the dish with foil.
  8. Bake in the oven for 3 hours.
  9. Let cool a bit, then slice the meat against the grain. Serve with gravy from pan and enjoy!

A Recipe From Jamie Stelter | www.thetvdinner.com

the prettiest rosiest homemade applesauce

brian eating applesauce

apples in potI love applesauce. Gimme a spoon and I’ll take down a jar of it in one sitting. Only problem is that the first ingredient listed on most store-bought kinds is high fructose corn syrup. Not even apples! High fructose corn syrup. Kinda sad, isn’t it? Sad and disturbing.

Instead of standing tall on my anti-sugar soapbox though, let’s discuss how to make a healthier version… one that barely needs sugar at all.

I bring you: the prettiest rosiest homemade applesauce that won’t give you diabetes. (Didn’t promise I’d stay off the anti-sugar soapbox.) This recipe is adapted from Elana Carlson at Food52, who uses cinnamon sticks and a lot more water. I don’t particularly care for cinnamon, so I just used a dash of it. Some apples, water, the sugar of your choice (I like organic palm sugar), and you’re ready to roll.

My mom-mom used to make her own applesauce with a foley, but that’s way too complicated and laborious. And unnecessary! Leave the skin on, as per Elana’s advice, and if you like your applesauce smooth, just pulse it through a Vitamix (or any kind of blender) after the apples are cooked down.

This is not your grandma’s (or sugary store-bought) applesauce. This is the new and improved applesauce. Your new favorite TV Dinner side (or, if you’re like me, midday pickmeup). Grab a spoon and dig in.

applesauce, pre-cut and cook

applesauce in jars with spoons

The Prettiest Rosiest Homemade Applesauce

MAKES 3-4 QUARTS

Ingredients

  • 15 apples (I used 11 of different red varieties, 4 pink-inside winesaps)
  • Water
  • Sugar, to taste (I used ~2 teaspoons of organic palm sugar)
  • Cinnamon, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut and core apples and dump in a big pot.
  2. Pour water in to cover about 1 inch of apples on the bottom.
  3. Turn on medium heat and cover. When water and apples start to bubble, lower the heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. When apples get to your desired softness, taste for sweetness. I only used a dash of cinnamon and a teeny bit of sugar. It is naturally very sweet.
  5. If you want it smooth and not chunky, put a few servings at a time through a Vitamix/blender.
  6. Put in jar or container to store in fridge or freezer!

Notes

This recipe is adapted from Elana Carlson at Food52 who says you do not have to skin the apples. The skin gives it more flavor and (better) texture.


A Recipe From Jamie Stelter | www.thetvdinner.com

hemsley hemsley beef ragu + courgetti

beef ragu and courgetti, with cookbookI eat fast. I know I shouldn’t. I should slow down, savor each bite, take a breath, enjoy the fruits of my labor. But I can’t help it. I scarf food down like it’s going to be taken away from me if I don’t finish within minutes. Brian, on the other hand, eats slow. So slow that after I’ve finished eating (and checked Twitter, instagram, my email…) I’ll joke that he must hate the food I’ve made. (He doesn’t; what he hates is me saying that.) I’ve said before that I equate how much (and how fast!) he finishes with how much he loves me. Which is why just minutes after I gobbled down this plate of beef ragu and courgetti… or as I like to call it, zucchini noodles bolognese… I was gobsmacked to see that Brian had also cleared his plate. I checked under the table, inside his crumbled up paper towel, even behind him on the couch, but he ate it. Every. Last. Bite.

(more…)

brian’s birthday at blue hill stone barns / best meal of our lives

Today is ma husband’s birthday. Happy birthday, Brian!

brian blowing out birthday candle at blue hill stone barns

But this past Sunday, because he makes me feel so special, so at home every single day… I wanted him to feel the same as we celebrated him turning 29. So special, so at home. So I took him to see his family at the farm!

beef cow at stone barns

Kidding! I did take him to a farm though. But not just any farm: Blue Hill Stone Barns, a magical place just 30 miles north of the city. If you haven’t been, you must add it to your list.

open farm field at stone barns

It’s a once in a lifetime experience. You can take a tour of the farm with their staff to see where your entire meal is coming from, or, if you’re lucky like me your husband will grab a map from the farm store and take you on a self-guided tour of all the vegetable gardens, chicken coops, and open pastures to see animals like this guy! (Thing I learned: sheep are much cuter than they are friendly.)

sheep at stone barns

You can even play on some of the farm equipment (and dream about your own future farm)! It’s always fun to get nice and sweaty and dirty before the fanciest dinner of your life.

me on a tractor, stone barns

And I mean fancy. There are no menus, just a 20-course tasting feast made from whatever’s been harvested from their fields. You can get the official wine pairing to go along with it, or you can opt for a la carte drinks as we did, which I highly recommend. See this rose champagne cocktail? The flowers were edible!

dooryard rose champagne cocktail at blue hill stone barns

Speaking of edible flowers, here were some that we had for one of our courses… served alongside some kind of cola made from a plant. (Don’t ask / this was during my second cocktail, and I’m not much of a drinker.)

edible flowers and smut cola at blue hill stone barns

For another course we had all different kinds of beans foraged from the garden, some delicious piece of dried meat served atop a glass of what tasted like the best apple juice I’ve ever had, salted cucumbers with fresh yogurt, and a canteloupe/cheese plate that made me drool. Literally, drool coming out of my mouth. What I really loved though was the waiter dropping off a bag of forks, knives and spoons and saying, “Use whatever silverware you like.” We ate with our hands.

beans cheese meat course at blue hill stone barns

We noticed during the meal that each table got taken outside by the waiter for a little while. Brian’s reporter curiosity kicked into high gear and he made me try and ask the woman two tables down from us what happened out there. “We saw the composting.” The composting? We thought, based on our cocktail-induced mathematics of when other tables were whisked away, that we were getting the shaft and wouldn’t be taken outside. But alas! Just as we were giving up hope, we were escorted to this little slice of heaven: our own private farm table to enjoy one last course before dessert. (Doesn’t he look sexy in this setting? We really need our own farm.)

brian in outdoor farmhouse at blue hill stone barns

Every detail at this place — from the soft bathroom towels, to how they catered every course of mine to my grain-free needs — was perfectly executed. It’s a seamlessly orchestrated experience, like none other. To wit: this adorable nook inside the private farmhouse room. So cute, right?!

outside corner : shelving

And finally, here it was! Brian’s favorite course (besides dessert, of course): the goat.

goat main course at blue hill stone barns

Before we left we hit up the farm store for some eggs, a souvenir tote bag (of course, cause I need another tote bag), and some fresh vegetables from their farmer’s market. Ya have to bring a little Stone Barns home with you! And I’m so glad we did, cause the next day I sauteed these shishito peppers with some olive oil, garlic and sea salt… and it almost felt like we were back at the farm. Almost.

shishito peppers from stone barns

But let’s not forget why we came. One more time, altogether now: happy birthday, Brian! It was the best meal for the best husband. I am the luckiest girl in the world. I love you.
brian blowing out birthday candle at blue hill stone barns

One Part Podcast / Jessica Murnane’s One Part Plant

OPP Podcast Image 2I had so much fun talking to Jessica Murnane earlier this week for her One Part Podcast. You may remember when I was featured on her site One Part Plant as a “Babe in Plantland”; since then, she’s created an e-cookbook all about cookies and started this delightful (and super successful!) podcast.

We talked food / arthritis / love / so much more — so I’ll hope you’ll check it out. Jessica’s doing really great and really important work / spreading the good word about eating good food and living the good life, so it was an honor to be a part of it.

More recipes coming in September… til then, happy Labor Day weekend!

grain-free, dairy-free ice cream sandwiches

final paleo ice cream sandwichesAt overnight camp when I was a kid I had a chipwich almost every single night of those 8-week summers. Man, I loved my chipwiches.

This right here is basically the adult version of that… minus the grain and the dairy. Lest you think it’s minus all the flavor, too, both my husband and best friend tried them — both of whom love their carby sweet treats — and loved ‘em. What’s not to love about cookies and ice cream though, in any form?

So before summer’s over, get in on this recipe.

me holding final paleo ice cream sandwich

Grain-free, Dairy-free Ice Cream Sandwiches

MAKES 15-20 COOKIES

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips (or any dairy-free brand)
  • 1 pint of your favorite dairy-free ice cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another small bowl mix eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract together.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix together until combined.
  5. Melt coconut oil, pour into batter, and continue to blend until combined.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips. (The batter will be very wet.)
  7. On a parchment lined baking sheet, drop balls of cookie dough about a tablespoon in size. They will expand when you bake, more than you think.
  8. Flatten cookie balls with back of a spoon — flatter is better for ice cream sandwich-making. If you want, leave some fluffy for straight cookie-eating.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Let cool outside the oven, then put them in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.
  11. Scoop ice cream onto half the cookies, topping them with the other halves. Push down and freeze them for another 10-15 minutes… then enjoy!

Notes

These will keep in the freezer, inside tupperware, for about a week.


A Recipe From Jamie Stelter | www.thetvdinner.com