Archives for May 2014

Fresh Start: Kale Lemonade

kale lemonade

Ah, the weekend!  It can be a quiet time to kick up your heels and relax or two-day party extravaganza.   Both are fun, but the last thing you want to do is wake up Monday morning feeling sluggish and puffy from overindulging in food and drinks.

This amazing recipe for Kale Lemonade is an tasty and easy way to fight bloat and re-energize the body.  Each ingredient is a detoxing powerhouse in it’s own right.  Pairing them together helps to ignite your digestive juices and will flush the

All you need is a juicer, a large glass and the following five ingredients:

Kale: Full of antioxidants, iron and vitamins A, C, E and K, kale is a super vegetable that helps to lower cholesterol and boost your immune system.  Kale is also high in fiber and sulfur, which helps to cleanse the liver of impurities.

Lemon: Even though this citrus fruit tastes acidic, lemons are actually alkalizing and help to restore the body’s natural pH levels.  Rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, they are anti-bacterial and help to fight off infections.  Lemons are also a wonderful stimulant for the liver and work to dissolve uric acid and other poisons that can build up in bile.

Honey:  Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, this golden nectar is a sweet treat with powerful benefits for your body.  Bees add an enzyme when making honey that creates hydrogen peroxide.  This is know to kill bacteria and fight infections.  Honey also has a low hypoglycemic levels, which unlike other sweeteners, helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

Ginger: This potent root has been used in Chinese medicine for over 2000 years.  Ginger is a powerful painkiller and well known in China for its anti-inflammatory properties.  It helps to aid in digestion and inhibits fatty deposits in your arteries.  Chock full of chromium, magnesium and zinc, it also helps to improve blood flow and has been known to help clear sinuses.

Apple: We all have heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and for good reason!  High in soluble fiber and vitamin C, apples are often overlooked as a super-food because they are readily available in the market.  But they have been proven to help fight cataracts, repair oxidation damage during normal cell activity, lower cholesterol and even help to whiten teeth.

A couple of tips:

  • There is no need to peel the ginger.  If there are any dark spots just cut them off, otherwise rinse and you are ready to go.  Be careful not to go overboard or use too much!  Ginger has a very strong flavor and can overwhelm the senses if you are not used to it.  If the ginger taste is too strong, add a little bit of water at the end to help dilute the flavor.
  • When preparing the lemon, don’t worry about separating or taking the seeds out.  Just peel the outer skin and put through the juicer whole.
  • The first time you make this, I recommend picking a sweet apple, like Gala or Pink Lady.  Kale, lemon and ginger are all strong flavors and this will help tone down their bite.

Recipe adapted from Joyful Belly

Fresh Start Detox: Kale Lemonade

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 1


  • 1 lb kale, washed with stems trimmed
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger
  • 1 medium apple, cut and cored
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  1. Put kale, ginger, apple and lemon (in that order) through juicer.
  2. Add honey to juice.
  3. Stir and enjoy.

Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob

corn cooked 4

There is nothing that compares to grilled corn on the cob.  It is one of my all-time favorite summer treats and a must have at any barbecue.  Cooking over an open flame seals the juicy sweetness into the kernels making them burst open with each bite.

But sometimes things don’t go as planned.  You have everything ready and the sky suddenly opens up and starts to pour. Or you prep the grill and the charcoal doesn’t take leaving you without a flame. Or you forget to pre-soak the the ears and you run out of time to serve with the rest of your meal. Regardless of the reason, when you have a hankering for grilled corn on the cob, they are all bummers!

This recipe is my answer to when things don’t go as planned.  You apply the same basic principles as if you were cooking on the grill- steaming the corn in the husk and then lightly browning the kernels with an open flame. The result is perfect oven roasted corn on the cob that rivals any grilled corn out there.  I love it because you can make it any time you like- even in a blizzard!

The Spicy Butter Sauce recipe below makes enough for 6 ears of corn.  If you have any leftover sauce, let it solidify and store it in the fridge for up to two weeks.  Reheat by adding it to a saucepan and slowly melting over a low flame, stirring often.

corn revised step one

corn prep 2

Corn in the oven

corn out of oven 2

step 3

corn sauce

step 4

Sweet and tangy with just the right amount of crispy kernels!  They are ready to serve straight from the broiler.
Corn cooked 3

Bon Appetit! 


Fresh Pineapple Sundae

Pineapple sundae

Forget the canned stuff!  There is nothing that compares to the sweet and tangy flavor of a freshly cut pineapple.  This simple and easy to make Fresh Pineapple Sundae is like a tropical pie à la mode.  The unexpected juiciness of the broiled pineapple coupled with warmth of the fruit creates the perfect balance to the smooth flavors of the vanilla ice cream.  Each bite will have you begging for more!  

Don’t let picking a pineapple intimidate you!  This must be made using fresh pineapple to get the full flavor experience.  Here are some helpful hints for buying and preparing:



– A ripe pineapple has a hint of yellow and smells fruity.
– Stay away from pineapples that are brown or discolored.
-The fruit should feel soft, but not spongy.
– Check to make sure there is no mold on the bottom.
-Once the fruit passing the visual inspection, pull on the center leaf in the crown.  If the leaf pulls out easily, the fruit is ripe!


– Start with a sharp knife and a cutting board.
– Chop off the leafy crown and the bottom inch of the fruit.
– Stand on one end and slice off the skin in a downward motion.
– For any little “eyes”, the brown prickly holes that may remain, use a small paring knife to cut out and discard.

To make rings, turn fruit on it’s side and slice into 7 even sections.  Use an apple corer or a small knife to cut around the hard core located in the center.  Transfer slices to a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.

Preheat your broiler and place your oven rack on the top shelf (about 4-6″ from the flame).   Slide the baking sheet into the oven and broil for 7 mins on each side.

pineapple 1Keep an eye on the slices to make sure that the heat is being evenly distributed.  You want to make sure that all the pieces brown at the same rate.

pineapple3Transfer each slice to an individual dessert plate and top with one scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Fresh Pineapple Sundae

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Fresh Pineapple Sundae


  • 1 Ripe Pineapple, approx 6" tall (not including leafy crown)
  • Vanilla Ice Cream


  1. Set broiler to high.
  2. Cut off leafy crown and bottom inch of fruit.
  3. Place pineapple on cut end and using a sharp knife, slice off outer skin in a downwards motion. Remove any additional "eyes", the brown prickly, with a paring knife.
  4. Once skin is removed, set on side and slice into 7 even slices. Core each slice, using an apple corer or knife.
  5. Place all slices on an baking sheet that has been covered in aluminum foil.
  6. Broil for 7 minutes on each side, keeping an eye on the pineapple to make sure they brown evenly.
  7. Serve each slice with one scoop of vanilla ice cream.

 One last note:  Do NOT use parchment paper in the broiler.  I learned the hard way that it will go up in flames if you are not careful!

Blackberry Steel-Cut Oats

blackberry steel cut oats mainFinding ways to eat nutritious and healthy breakfasts during the week is one of my biggest challenges.  The last thing I want worry about as I am dashing to get to work is “what I am going to eat”. Working in New York City I am surrounded by a never-ending array of coffee carts, delis, restaurants, and cafes that make picking up breakfast on the go a cinch. During the three and a half block walk from the train to my office I counted 21 (!!!) places to stop for breakfast (not including the handful of options at the train station)!  If I don’t have a plan in place it is very tempting to be lazy, but the last thing I need to eat every morning is a bagel!

When I know that I am going to have a particularly busy week at work, I like to prepare my Blackberry Steel-Cut Oats on Sunday night.  I pack individual servings into mason jars, then grab one from the fridge and heat when I get to work.  It takes all the thinking out of my morning routine and gives me a nutritious start to my day!

Oats mason

Steel-cut oats are made from the inner portion of the oat kernel, called the groat. Unlike oatmeal flakes, which are rolled out flat, steel-cut oats are chopped into small chunks of grain (about the size of a sesame seed). Because they are less refined than oatmeal, they take longer to cook and have a chewy texture. Packed with soluble fiber, which helps to reduce cholesterol and regulate blood sugar, and 5 grams of protein per serving, steel-cut oats are a great way to start the day.  They last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator once cooked and don’t get mushy like regular oatmeal.

The blackberries add the perfect touch of spring to this hearty little meal.  Full of antioxidants and Vitamin C, the blackberries’ tart and sweet flavors compliment the nuttiness of the grain.  You do not want to add the berries when you add the oats or the whole thing will turn soggy!  Instead, by cooking the blackberries for a just a few minutes at the end,you will maximize the flavor of fruit and add a pop of color.  The berries will break up while stirring but don’t let this concern you, you will still have pockets of juicy berries to tickle your taste buds!  I add a teaspoon of maple syrup to amp up the sweetness and balance out any tartness the berries might have.

Quick Tip:  Because the oats sit in the refrigerator overnight, the grain does not need to soak up all the water in the pan before you remove from the heat.  Make sure to stir into the oats before transferring to mason jars.  The grain will absorb any excess water overnight and be perfect when you are ready to serve.  If you are using fresh berries, stir in after the oats are taken off the heat.

Fresh Start: Blackberry Steel-Cut Oats

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2

Serving Size: Approx. 1 cup

Fresh Start: Blackberry Steel-Cut Oats


  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup frozen blackberries
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup


  1. Bring water and salt to a boil.
  2. Add oats and return to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins.
  3. Stir in blackberries and maple syrup. Let simmer for an additional 5 mins.
  4. Remove from heat and divide evenly into mason jars.
  5. Place jars in refrigerator overnight.
  6. When ready to serve, heat in the microwave until warm and serve.

Bon appetit!

Go Nuts for the Cronut!

titleWhat do you get when you cross the flaky layers of a croissant with an over the top flavors and the design of a doughnut?  A little piece of heaven on Earth ~ The Cronut!

Dubbed the “Willy Wonka of NYC” by the New York Post, Dominique Ansel has cemented his place in culinary history as the creator of the Cronut.  Introduced in May 2013, cynical New Yorkers, food critics, and wide-eyed tourists rub shoulders every morning as they line up to taste his signature creation.

Often imitated, yet never quite duplicated, the Cronut has three distinct features.  First is the pastry itself.  While from the outside it looks like your typical doughnut, Ansel has perfected the art of layering the dough (much like a croissant) before deep-frying in grapeseed oil.  The result?  A plump and airy pastry perfect for infusing with flavors.

Next up, you have the sugar and glaze.  Again, this is similar to a doughnut, but don’t let it fool you!  Ansel spent 2 months and worked on over 10 recipes to get the Cronut just right. It has the perfect blend of traditional (sugar) and pioneering tastes (glaze) that keeps patrons coming back for more.  

Finally, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, you bite into your Cronut and there is rich-flavored filling!  That perfectly plump and airy pastry that I described before is just made to be filled with rich creamy flavors that will wake up your taste buds and have them begging for more.

The Passion Fruit Caramelia Cronut

The Passion Fruit Caramelia Cronut

The bakery offers one featured flavor per month. Each recipe has been perfected and the tastes blend seamlessly (one bite and you will be planning your next trip!)  Some of the featured flavors from last year are Rose Vanilla, Lemon Maple, and Fig Mascarpone.

Here are a couple of things you need to know before heading over:

    • The Dominique Ansel Bakery is located at 189 Spring Street, in the Soho neighborhood of New York City. They open at 8am Monday- Saturday and 9am on Sundays.  
    • Even though Cronuts have been on the market for a while, you still need to line up. That’s right- be prepared to earn your place in Cronut- tasting history! 
    • Since there is only one option per month, I recommend checking the bakery website for the featured flavor before going.  We had the Passion Fruit Caramelia Cronut during out visit and I am still dreaming about it!
    • Get there early!  According to the bakery’s website, they are currently making about 350 Cronuts per day.  There is also a two Cronuts per person limit. If they sell out, you will be out of luck….
    • …BUT the bakery also has a full menu of delicious pastries, sandwiches, soups and other treats.  You do not need to line up if you are ordering something other than Cronuts!
    • The staff is amazing and really helpful.  There was someone outside with us the whole time we were lined up, telling us what to expect and our answering questions.  They even brought out a coffee cart half an hour hour before opening to help keep us going.
    • Enjoy your Cronut right away! They have a very short shelf life and will go soggy if you try to store in the fridge or leave it out too long.
    • You can also pre-order a 6-pack of Cronuts or place a large order (over 50) for a special occasion.  These are also done on a first come-first serve basis, so for more details click here and here.



Another pastry to try is the DKA

While all these things can sound overwhelming, I found the whole experience really fun and enjoyable. My sister and nephew were visiting from California and it seemed like a great excuse to finally check out the bakery.  I don’t think they appreciated my enthusiasm when I woke them up at 6 a.m. to line up by 7, but it was more than worth the trip.

People watching while we stood in line was a highlight for me.  We were joined by at least 75 other foodies while in line including a camera crew from Taiwan doing a news report and interviewing people.  We also spent 20 minutes watching 2 friends try to parallel park their car (Mr. Bean style).  There were lots of laughs all around!

In all, we spent about 2 and a half hours waiting, purchasing and enjoying our Crounuts (we were part of the first group to be let into the bakery, so I am sure that helped).  There is a large seating area out back where we were able to sit and enjoy our pastries and coffee.

cronut box list

So if you are in NYC and looking for something fun to check out, I highly recommend the trip down.  If you only do it once, you can at least say you have been there and done that.  Check out more photos from our visit below!

The Basics: Almond Milk

Almond Milk Title

 “…nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should.” ~ Julia Child, My Life in France

Almond Milk is a simple and delicious non-dairy alternative to regular milk. Packed with protein, Vitamin E, potassium and calcium, almonds are known to help lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks.   Adding almond milk to your morning smoothie or cereal is a great way to reap the benefits from the tiny nut.

While store-bought almond milk is great if you are in a pinch, homemade almond milk is super easy to make.  It also doesn’t contain any of the preservatives and chemicals that help to prolong shelf life!

To make 4 cups of almond milk, you will need a blender, large bowl, a fine-mesh strainer and:

  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 4 cups of filtered water (plus water for soaking)
  • Cheesecloth
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (optional)

To start, soak almonds in a bowl full of water overnight (approx 12 hours).  Make sure that the almonds are covered by at least 1″ of water.  If you are impatient (like me), and need your drink in a hurry, you can also cover with boiling water and let almonds sit for 1-2 hours.  Strain and rinse the almonds.

Next, place almonds in blender and add 4 cups of filtered water.  Blend on high for 1 minute.

Almond Milk- Step 2

You will now have a mixture that is frothy and white with little pieces of nuts floating around.  To separate the small chunks, and create a smooth finish for your milk, line your fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth.  I like to double it up so that none of the tiniest pieces flow through.  Pour the mixture through the cheesecloth/strainer combo and into a large bowl. 

Almond Milk pour

Gently squeeze the cheesecloth to make sure that all the liquid is removed.  You will now have a bowl full of creamy almond milk and a handful of fine pulp (which you can discard or save for other recipes).


I find that homemade almond milk has an amazing flavor on it’s own.  But if you want to add some extra sweetness, put the fresh milk back to the blender (rinse it out first to remove any leftover nuts pieces) and add 3 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey.  Blend for 30 seconds.  Transfer to a jar and place in fridge.

Make sure that your jar is airtight and seals properly.  I find that a mason jar is best but use what you have available.  The almond milk will last 3-5 days in the fridge.  You will notice some separation when the liquid sits in the fridge but to not despair.  Just shake before serving and enjoy!