Le District brings a taste of French cuisine to Downtown NYC

Print Friendly

Le District NYC

There’s a new foodie destination in town, and it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. Welcome to NYC Le District, a massive gourmet French food playground that you’ll get absolutely lost in. It is similar in size and style to the well-known Italian marketplace, Eataly, boasting specialty food stations with fresh and prepared foods, two restaurants, a bar, as well as casual dining seating but with a modern, classy French vibe.

Located at Brookfield Place in Downtown Manhattan, this bustling gourmet food hall offers a bounty of French-inspired cuisine ranging from imported coffee and pastries, to fresh produce and handmade pasta and sauces. They also offer a vast array of other imported items including French-made condiments, gourmet salts, cheeses, specialty meats, fish, and charcuterie.

Owner Peter Poulakakos and his partners opened Le District in the Financial District, which has seen a revival with the opening of many new businesses, shops, and restaurants at a steady pace. The newly built September 11th Memorial and Museum has also attracted more tourists to the area, making this a prime spot to open a gourmet food market. They have created a French cultural dining experience with a community feel, similar to the small local markets you would find in France, except with specialty areas for customers to experience and explore all under one roof.


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Tarts in a Toasted Quinoa Crust

Print Friendly

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Quinoa Tarts

I love making savory tarts and pies, but unfortunately I don’t love the carbs and calories that come along with them. It’s also Summertime, and I’m trying to cook and eat lighter than usual…and the Fall season will come soon enough with all that yummy comfort food!

Quinoa Tart 1

I’ve been experimenting lately with alternatives to pasta and dough – things like zucchini, cauliflower, almond flour, and quinoa. Not only are they lighter, but also , gluten-free and less carbs than traditional flours and equally as satisfying and tasty!

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Quinoa Tarts

I found a recipe on Cooking Light for a savory Fall tart made in a toasted quinoa crust and decided to experiment a little with the crust, fillings and flavors. MISSION ON.

Toasted Quinoa

I love the flavor of the nutty toasted quinoa, which is done in the oven and gives a nice depth of flavor and crunch to the tart crust.

Toasted Quinoa Tart Shells

I mixed in some Bob’s Red Mill almond flour, corn starch, Parmesan cheese and an egg for binding the quinoa, then added a little garlic salt and olive oil to bring it all together for the crust. Then I pressed the quinoa mixture into four small tart pans and baked for about 10 minutes before filling them and baking again.

Mascarpone & Cheddar

While the tart crusts were baking, I made a savory filling with mascarpone and cheddar cheese and spooned in this delightful cheesy goodness on to the par-baked crusts.

Crispy Cooked Bacon

I also cooked up some crispy gorgeous bacon in the oven while the tarts were baking..(for about 20 minutes or so)..

Top with Crispy Bacon

then chopped it to pieces and layered it on top of the cheeses. HELLO PRETTIES. Come to me.

Blanched Cauliflower and Peas

Next I started filling the tarts with my blanched cauliflower and baby peas,

Veggie Tart fillings

more Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil,

Ready to bake the tarts again

popped them back in the oven..

Tarts Cooling

and baked these cuties for another 5-10 minutes and let them cool on a wire rack for a few…

Tarts cooling

the anticipation of these delicious things in my mouth is MOUNTING.

Cooked Quinoa Tarts

Once the tarts were cooled a bit, I garnished them with some fresh chopped basil, chives and freshly cracked black pepper and a few red pepper flakes. Mini Green Goddesses!

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Quinoa Tarts

And Oh Holy Delicious.

Veggie Bacon & Cheese Tarts in a Toasted Quinoa Crust

This is a great base recipe for any savory tart really – feel free to substitute different fillings for the tarts depending on the season..butternut squash and spinach in the Fallcorn, tomatoes and zucchini in the Summer… roasted carrotspotatoes and Gruyere in the Winter..asparagus and leeks in the Spring…oh, the ideas are endless!

Veggie Bacon & Cheese Tarts in a Toasted Quinoa Crust

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Tarts in a Toasted Quinoa Crust

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Makes four 4 5/7-inch tarts

Serving Size: 1 tart

This is a gluten-free tart recipe made with a toasted quinoa crust, filled with a savory filling of mascarpone and cheddar cheese, bacon, cauliflower, peas topped with Parmesan, and fresh basil and chives.


  • Toasted Quinoa Tart Crust:
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup almond meal flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • Tart Filling:
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup baby green peas, frozen
  • 4-5 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, Jack, or Gouda)
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced chives, for garnish


  1. Make the Toasted Quinoa Tart Crusts:
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. Place quinoa on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden brown; cool.
  4. Place half of quinoa in a food processor; pulse 30 seconds.
  5. Transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining toasted quinoa, almond meal, cornstarch, and salt to bowl; stir to combine.
  6. Add oil and egg; stir until mixture is crumbly but holds together when pressed.
  7. Press into bottom and up sides of four 4 5/7-inch removable-bottom fluted tart pans coated with cooking spray.
  8. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden, but not completely cooked (you will put them back in the oven later after you fill them with the veggies, bacon and cheese.)
  9. Prep the Tart fillings:
  10. While the tart crusts are baking, chop the cauliflower into small florets and measure out the baby peas.
  11. Blanch the veggies in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes, then drain and rinse them in very cold water or shock them in an ice bath, set aside.
  12. Cook the bacon and drain, chop into small chunks, set aside.
  13. Measure out the mascarpone, Cheddar and Parmesan cheese, and chop basil and chives, set aside.
  14. Fill the Tart Crusts:
  15. Spread the mascarpone cheese evenly in bottom of each tart crust.
  16. Top each tart with shredded cheese, then crumbled bacon.
  17. Arrange cauliflower and peas evenly over cheese and bacon mixture on the tarts and drizzle with some olive oil, Parmesan cheese and black pepper.
  18. Bake tarts for another 5-7 minutes in the oven.
  19. Remove tarts from the pans; cool completely on a wire rack.
  20. Garnish with fresh chopped basil and chives, serve warm.


Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, Nov 2014.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes

Other Tart Recipes you might enjoy:

Savory Harvest Fall Tart

Quinoa Tart with Zucchini & Sundried Tomato Dressing

Gluten-Free Tomato Tart

Gluten-Free Spinach and Onion Tart

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

Food Styling & Food Photography: New Client Work

Print Friendly


I’ve been crazy busy this Spring and Summer so far with new food styling and food photography client projects which is a great thing, but doesn’t leave me as much time for my blog as I’d like! Here are some new client shoots I’ve done over the past few months :)

Tavern on Jane Food and Restaurant Shoot  – NYC

Food photography for Tavern on Jane’s new website and marketing materials.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Baum-Essex Private Label Product Packaging Shoot – NYC

Food styling and photography for private label product packaging and advertising.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Country Crock Food Shoot – NYC

Food styling and photography for internal marketing materials and brand identity guides.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cloverleaf Tavern Food Shoot – NJ

Food photography for website and marketing materials and advertising.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Kikkoman TV Segment on OK Television – NYC

Food styling for Father’s Day and July 4 TV segment with Kikkoman’s Head Chef Helen.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yura Bakery and Catering Food Photo Shoot – NYC

Food photography for website and internal marketing materials.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Stay tuned for more new work and client projects – I’ll keep posting from time to time :)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

Cooking with Color 4 Kids TV Summer Edition + Recipes from Spring Show

Print Friendly



My #CookingwithColor4Kids TV Show Summer Edition is LIVE and what a fun show we have for you…Thanks to all the amazing kids and parents who were on the show and for cooking and sharing all your awesome Summer recipes with us!


Lily McGee & Jennifer Hess McGee made us some fresh and healthy Summer Jar Salads

Maxwell Leduc from Canada talks about his favorite Summer dishes to make and how he cooks gluten-free

Ava Llorca makes us fresh Strawberry Shortcake from scratch – her favorite Summer dish

Deborah Berg from Israel makes us a delicious Beet Salad fresh from her garden

Jacob and Cooper Nixon from Charlotte NC make Strawberry Shortcakes and Caprese Salads with fresh fruits and veggies from their Dad Jeff Nixon‘s garden

Jonathan and Nichelle Pace talk about how they make homemade Pancakes and BBQ Chicken

LIVE on our YouTube Channel at – https://youtu.be/MDVf1k-3Eng


Also airs on Brooklyn Public Network television tomorrow Sat July 18 at 11:30 am EST in Brooklyn on:
Cablevision channel 67
Time Warner channel 34
RCN channel 82
AND in all 5 boroughs of #NYC on Verizon channel 42

VIEW ONLINE LIVE at BCAT TV Network Channel 1 Sat July 18 at 11:30 am – http://bricartsmedia.org/community-media/watch-brooklyn-public-network


AND…if you missed our Spring Show from May – you can also watch it online at https://youtu.be/YYVsNgMpZig

I made some fresh and healthy Caprese Salad Skewers, Straw and Hay Pasta with Peas & Pancetta in a light creamy Parmesan Sauce and a delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Eton Mess for dessert! I also had a Guest Chef from our video crew make a big batch of Mediterranean Tabbouleh for us on the show..so good!

HealthCorps Kids

Also check out the video also on our Spring show of the HealthCorps kids from a high school in the Lower East Side, NYC cooking Fish Tacos for Cinco de Mayo – so many healthy and fresh things going on over there!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cooking with Color 4 Kids was also just featured in Lodging Magazine this month – read the article online here!

Below are my #recipes from the Spring show..hope you enjoy and Happy Summer!

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad Skewers

1 container of cherry tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh basil
1 container fresh mozzarella balls
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar or 1 cup for glace
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Assemble tomatoes, rolled basil leaves and mozzarella balls on medium-sized toothpicks or small wooden skewers.

Drizzle with olive oil, 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.

To make balsamic glace (a thicker cooked down version of balsamic vinegar), add one cup of balsamic vinegar to a sauce pan over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes until it reduces to a syrupy consistency. Dip a spoon into the vinegar to check for thickness. As it cools the syrup will also thicken.

Drizzle balsamic glace evenly over the caprese skewers and serve immediately.

Makes 12 skewers.

Straw and Hay Pasta

Straw and Hay Pasta 


Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 scallions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup frozen baby peas, defrosted
4 ounces (1/2 cup) diced pancetta
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/2 pound dry egg fettucine or linguine
1/2 pound dry spinach fettucine or linguine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Trim the scallions and slice into thin strips and then crosswise about 3 inches long. Add the scallions to the pan and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes until wilted.

Add the diced pancetta, and cook for about 5 minutes or so until it gets crispy and browned.

Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the sauce to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the heavy cream and continue to simmer another 2-3 minutes.

Stir the pasta into the salted boiling water and let return to a boil, then cook for 9 minutes until al dente (slightly firm and chewy).

Remove the cooked pasta from the water with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce in the skillet, stirring to coat. Cook over high heat until liquid reduces to a creamy sauce.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Garnish with black pepper and freshly chopped parsley, if desired.

Serves 6.

Strawberry Rhubarb Eton Mess

Strawberry Rhubarb Eton Mess


2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
1 cup chopped rhubarb
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar or honey
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest

Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the Meringues:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Whisk the eggs with a mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium high and slowly add the sugar, one spoonful at a time. Continue beating until sugar is completely incorporated and the stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the vinegar, cornstarch and vanilla with a spatula.

Spoon the meringue into twelve large dollops on the baking sheet.

Bake for 90 minutes or until the surface of the meringues are dull and they feel dry to the touch. Let the meringues cool for at least an hour or overnight.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote:
Preheat a sauce pan over medium high heat, and add the rhubarb, strawberries, OJ, sugar and orange or lemon zest.

Bring to a boil and stir occasionally, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until the fruit is soft and starts to fall apart.

Set aside and let cool to room temperature (or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator if making ahead for up to 1 week).

Whipped Cream: (can also use store-bought if you prefer to not make your own)
In a large mixing bowl, whip together the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla with a whisk until soft peaks form.

Assemble the Eton Mess:
Crumble meringues into a large mixing bowl.

Top with spoonfuls of whipped cream and strawberry rhubarb compote in layers and fold until just barely combined.

Divide evenly between six dessert bowls or glasses and serve immediately.

Serves 6.


Mediterranean Tabbouleh


1/2 cup fine bulgur
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup boiling hot water
2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Stir together bulgur and 1 tablespoon oil in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over the bulgur, then cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand 15 minutes. Drain in a fine mesh colander, pressing on bulgur to remove any excess liquid.
Transfer bulgur to a bowl and toss with all the ingredients, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, until combined well.
This dish can be served as a side salad or main dish, along with an assortment of grilled meats, pita bread and falafel with hummus.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Download the recipes below as a PDF:





#cookingwithcolor #cookingwithkids #kristenhess #theartfulgourmet #artfulgourmet #ediningnews #bric #foodtv #springrecipes #summerrecipes


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

Top 10 {Things I Love} Summer 2015

Print Friendly


My Top 10 {Things I Love} list is back for Summer with some fun and interesting things/places/foods/drinks that I’m currently crushing on – they aren’t necessarily ordered in terms of my favorite – but are all worthy of a shoutout in my opinion… Happy Summer everyone :)

Herriot Grace Cake Pedestal

1. Herriot Grace 

Herriot Grace is a father and daughter-run company from Canada who makes a gorgeous variety of hand carved and handmade wooden objects: spoons, bowls, pedestals, candy dishes, serving boards, rolling pins, plates and mortar and pestle sets. Each one is uniquely made from salvaged chemical-free wood and they’ve also introduced a select line of exclusive porcelain dishware. The ceramic pieces are cast in small runs, and boast the rustic, tactile beauty for which their brand is known.


Cooking Class Cookbook

2. Cooking Class Cookbook

Of course being an advocate of fun, healthy cooking for kids myself as the host of Cooking with Color 4 Kids TV Show in NYC, I was impressed by this new cookbook by Deanna F. Cook. I love the visuals and step by step instructions and fun inventive ideas to make cooking for fun for kids!

It also teaches basic cooking techniques in kid-friendly language and offers recipes for making dozens of favorite foods from scratch, including French toast, granola, pancakes, sandwiches, smoothies, muffins, biscuits, applesauce, fruit leather, goldfish crackers, tortilla chips, Buffalo chicken fingers, pizza, sushi California rolls, pudding, and more. The recipes use fresh, healthy ingredients and feature imaginative presentations that kids will love to prepare (and devour), such as egg mice, fruit flowers, mini-meatballs, mashed potato clouds, and carrot coins. Includes fun stickers and other activities, and is super cute and fun for anyone with kids who love to cook or want to learn how to cook.

Get a copy on Amazon

Fig & Olive Oysters

3. Fig and Olive Restaurant NYC

My friend recently came for a visit from LA and wanted to try out some great food in the city while she was here. So of course, being the foodie tour guide extraordinaire that I am, had to find some cool new place to take her to. I found a place called Fig and Olive which I am absolutely in love with…the food and service were both amazing and I am definitely going back for more! They have an olive oil tasting served at the table you when you first arrive in all different flavors from different regions.

They specialize in Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and have tons of great choices on the menu including a Crostini Bar where you can choose from all different varieties to accompany your figs, cheese, olives and other small bites. We ordered the Lobster Bisque and fresh raw oysters for  starters, then had the Lobster Risotto and Seafood Paella for our main. Everything was beautifully displayed and tasted amazing. A must visit if you love Mediterranean food and are visiting in NYC..and they also have locations in LA, Newport Beach and Chicago.


Coney Island Cheesecake

4. Coney Island Confetti Cheesecake

All I can say is – how fun is this? It’s a super cute confetti cheesecake I found on How Sweet It Is blog that was originally created by Rosie of Sweetapolita.

This gorgeous creation is colorful and sweet and made out of cheesecake, sprinkles, ice cream cones and nuts…just like a fun Summer day at the beach hanging at the amusement park.

Get the recipe: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2015/05/coney-island-cheesecake/


5. Viniq Shimmering Liqueur

When Summer arrives, I love to experiment with fun, fresh and new cocktail recipes. I received a sample of Viniq, which is a gorgeous  shimmering liqueur (yes, it shimmers when you shake the bottle)! A fusion of Premium Vodka, Moscato, and Natural Fruit Flavors, it’s refreshing and perfect for a cocktail out on the patio. I mixed the Ruby flavor with some Pomegranate Sangria Seltzer, a dash of fresh lemon juice and topped off the concotion with some fresh raspberries. Totally delicious and a great addition of sparkle for my 4th of July celebration. Comes in 2 flavors and lots of great recipe ideas on their website. Delicious!


Lemoncello Restaurant

6. Lemoncello, Rochester NY

Everyone loves Italian food right? Well at least I do – it’s definitely one of my favorite foods to cook and eat on the planet. There’s an awesome spot in Upstate NY (East Rochester) called Lemoncello which is easy on the eyes as well as on the palate. Try the Veal French, a lightly egg battered fillet of veal (4 to be exact), with a gorgeous silky lemon butter wine sauce over linguine. Another specialty is their Lemoncello Veal (or Chicken) which is another light pasta dish served with sauteed veal, olives, artichokes, spinach and pasta in a lemon cream sauce. TO DIE FOR.

Chef Silvana Formoso is from Sicily which is reflected in their awesome menu. You can find a variety of salads, gourmet pizza, and delicious appetizers like Artichoke French, Calamari Fritti, Beef Carpaccio and Sauteed Greens and Beans. There’s plenty of amazing main dishes on the menu to choose from too – Cioppino, New Zealand Rack of Lamb, Pork Osso Buco, Stuffed Eggplant, Chicken Marsala and Milanese, Grilled Rib-Eye, Homemade Lasagna, Ravioli and Manicotti, Risotto and more. They even have BYOB on Tuesdays with no corkage fee, and you can enjoy the Summer weather on their outdoor patio and live music in the Summer. The decor is quaint and cozy, and the service is impeccable. They have a great wine list and all their bread is shipped in from Toronto and fresh baked in house every day so it’s still warm and crispy when it gets to your table! Owner Massimo Albano even gave us a shot of Limoncello for dessert on the house. Love this place and will definitely be back for more next time I’m in town! #delicioso


nature charm bracelet

7. Keith Lewis Studio

I recently went down to State College PA for a huge Summer Arts Festival at Penn State with some friends. It’s an annual show with amazing art, food, music and all the gorgeous jewelry, pottery, handcrafted gadgets and accessories a girl could want. One artist that stood out to me was Keith Lewis – he makes gorgeous handcrafted jewelry out of pearls and metal and precious stones that will make your eyes water out of pure lust.


Flying Tiger camera bag

8. Flying Tiger Copenhagen

I recently discovered this groovy store a few weeks ago when I was strolling around the Flatiron District in NYC. I’m not sure exactly how to describe it but it reminds me of a cross between Target, IKEA, a boutique home / gadget store and flea market all in one space. They have all kinds of stuff for your office, home, kitchen, games, kids toys, party supplies, travel supplies and a million and one cool as can be highly designed, inexpensive gadgets. There’s only one store in NYC but you can always catch a flight to Copenhagen or Iceland or Japan if you feel the urge. If not, check out their cool stuff online. Unique, savvy and super fun.



crisco coconut oil

9. Crisco Organic Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is all the rage these days, because it’s great for cooking in high temperatures, it’s a good fat and has a gorgeous flavor. There’s a new kid in town from Crisco and I had the opportunity to sample some of their new organic coconut oil. It’s perfect for frying and roasting veggies, meats, and can even be used in baked goods.

Check out some of their recipes and videos online to get some creative ideas on how to use it and cook with it!



10. Redpack Tomatoes

Redpack is one of the top tomato producers on the market and I had the opportunity to sample some of their Petite Diced Tomatoes with Garlic & Olive Oil and their regular Diced Tomatoes. Because they are fresh picked and canned immediately, the flavor is always fresh and juicy and the tomatoes are pre-cut right in the can, making them convenient to use in all of my recipes.

Redpack Tomatoes

They also offer canned Whole Peeled Tomatoes, Crushed Tomatoes and Redpack Tomato Sauce which are great for making all kinds of dishes like salads, sauces, pasta dishes, tacos, casseroles and more.

Redpack is one of many premium quality brands under the Red Gold Umbrella, which opened its doors in 1942. Today they produce over 100 different styles and flavors of tomato products in 20 different sizes and containers.

Check out all their product varieties online and get some great recipe ideas there too while you’re at it!



facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

A Birthday Pie for Dad: Lemon Icebox Pie w/ Raspberry-Blueberry Topping

Print Friendly


I just got back from a lovely 2 week vacation in Upstate New York (Rochester) visiting family and friends, which I normally do in the Summer. Not only is it the 4th of July holiday, but my Sister’s and Dad’s birthdays and a time to celebrate Summer!

Dads Birthday Pie

I decided to make my Dad a pie for his birthday because I know he loves them..he usually loves Lemon Meringue Pie but I thought I’d surprise him with a lovely Lemon Icebox Pie with a Blueberry-Raspberry Filling in a Graham Cracker crust.

Lemon Blueberry Pie1

The pie is made in a buttery graham cracker crust and has a light and luscious creamy lemon filling made with eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest that is mixed with condensed milk, buttermilk and whipped egg yolks. It’s topped with a homemade Blueberry-Raspberry Filling made with fresh berries, sugar and lemon zest and cooked into a yummy warm syrupy topping, along with some fluffy whipped cream to top it off.

It’s really easy to make and has a creamy tangy flavor that is balanced by the sweet berry topping a crunchy graham crust. Delicious! Here’s how to make it in a few easy steps:

Bake Pie Crust

Prepare the crust by mixing crushed graham crackers with melted butter, sugar and salt and pressing into a 9 inch pie pan. Bake at 325 for about 10 minutes until lightly browned, set aside to cool on wire rack.

Zest Lemons

Next make your lemon icebox pie filling by zesting some lemons,

Lemon Pie Filling

and whisking the lemon zest and lemon juice with the condensed milk.

Whip Egg Buttermilk Filling

Next you will beat your egg yolks for about 5 minutes until ribbons form, and gradually whisk in condensed milk mixture and buttermilk, and pour into prepared graham crust.

Pie Cooling

Bake the pie for about 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees F, and let cool completely on a wire rack for about an hour.

Cook Berry Filling

While the pie is cooling, make your fresh berry filling by adding 2 cups of fresh berries (I used raspberries and blueberries, but you can use any berries you wish) to a medium saucepan along with some lemon zest, sugar and water. Cook the berry mixture on medium-low for about 10 minutes until the berries breakdown and a syrupy texture forms.

Berry Filling

Let the berry filling cool completely and keep cool in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Lemon Blueberry Pie 3

Let the pie freeze for about 4-6 hours (make sure to spray some plastic wrap and cover well first). Once ready to eat, just top pie with mixed berries and whipped cream and let the party begin!

A Birthday Pie for Dad: Lemon Icebox Pie w/ Raspberry-Blueberry Topping

Total Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 8

A luscious and light lemony pie in a graham cracker crust with macerated raspberries and blueberries topped with whipped cream.


  • Graham Cracker Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Lemon Icebox Pie Filling:
  • 1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • Raspberry-Blueberry Topping:
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Dash of vanilla extract


  1. Prepare Pie Crust:
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  3. Pour graham cracker crumbs in a large mixing bowl and add sugar, salt and melted butter.
  4. Mix well and press into the bottom of a greased 9-inch pie pan.
  5. Bake crust for 8 to 10 minutes and let cool completely on a wire rack. (Can also freeze for up to an hour while preparing pie filling and topping).
  6. Prepare Lemon Icebox Pie Filling:
  7. Whisk together lemon zest, juice and condensed milk in a mixing bowl, set aside.
  8. In another large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with a mixer on high speed, until ribbons form and they become pale (for about 5 minutes).
  9. Whisk in condensed milk and lemon mixture slowly and gradually until thoroughly combined, then whisk in buttermilk.
  10. Pour mixture into cooled graham cracker crust and bake at 325 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes until filling is set.
  11. Let pie cool on a wire rack for an hour, then cover with a greased saran wrap and freeze at least 4 hours.
  12. Prepare Raspberry-Blueberry Topping:
  13. Place all the berries and rest of ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  14. Once berries come to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until berry mixture thickens (stirring often).
  15. Let berry topping cool completely and store in the fridge (covered) until ready to use.
  16. Top the pie with berry topping and whipped cream.


You can substitute any berries you like for the pie topping, and also use cracker crumbs, vanilla wafers or gingersnaps in place of the graham crackers for the crust.

Recipe adapted from Lisa Donovan, Southern Living Magazine - June 2015

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes

Dad's Birthday Pie

We also had a great lunch for Dad’s birthday at Phillip’s European before we had this pie for dessert. Fun delicious day! :)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

Food Styling & Photography: #DineintheDarkNYC Event @CitizenM!

Print Friendly

Dine in the Dark Experience - CitizenM + The Artful Gourmet

I recently hosted a super fun Dine in the Dark Event at CitizenM hotel in Times Square NYC. They invited me to host the event by presenting some delicious nibbles and foodie creations to serve to a great group of food bloggers to do a blind tasting.

Food Blogger doing blind tasting

The idea was to pair flavors and tastes that the bloggers had to experience and guess, which were all revealed at the end of the dining experience by me.

Dine in the Dark Experience

I made 7 different small bites for the bloggers to do the tasting of: Blue Cheese, Apple and Walnut Salad in Endive, Manchego & Fig Jam Tarts, Sesame Sriracha Chicken Bites, Prosciutto, Melon & Feta Mini Skewers, Strawberry-Watermelon Coconut Rum Shooters, Smoked Salmon with Chive Sour Cream & Dill on Cucumber Rounds, and Tart Cherry Pistachio Honey Energy Balls.

CitizenM rooftop CloudBar

CitizenM is a lovely modern hotel in the heart of Times Square, who let us have the space to do my event. They provided us afterwards with cocktails and more nibbles up on their rooftop CloudBar, where I gave a food styling and photography discussion and Q&A with the bloggers.

Food Styling + Photography Q&A - The Artful Gourmet

Everyone had a fantastic time and got the opportunity to learn some of my tips and tricks on food styling and food photography and how to break into the business. The group got to sample some tasty food, sip some delicious cocktails and meet new blogger friends from the city. All and all we had amazing views and it was a fun, lively evening for all.

CitizenM NYC Rooftop CloudBar

Thanks to CitizenM for being such a lovely and accommodating venue! And thanks to all the bloggers* that came and made the event a smashing success! *see list at end of post

Dine in the Dark NYC - The Artful Gourmet

Happy Summer and Cheers to all! Enjoy some photos from the event below and I’ll post my recipes soon – stay tuned! :)

All the Food Bloggers — thanks for coming and making the #DineintheDarkNYC event at #CitizenMnyc a fun time for all :)










facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

Shrimp & Veggie Pasta Salad with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

Print Friendly

Seashell Shrimp Salad

One of my favorite recipes to make for a summer BBQ or outdoor party is  Shrimp and Veggie Pasta Salad with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette. It has a light, lemony herb dressing with fresh basil, parsley, dill and tarragon, along with a touch Dijon mustard, Champagne vinegar, olive oil and fresh lemon.

I love using big seashell pasta and adding plenty of fresh veggies including cucumbers, celery, roasted red peppers, grilled corn and scallions for crunch, and adding fresh sautéed shrimp, which you can also grill if you prefer. It goes perfectly with grilled chicken, burgers, skewers and fresh fruit like watermelon, pineapple and mango.


First cook your seashell pasta, drain and set aside. Then you can either grill the shrimp or sauté it for a few minutes in a large sauce pan with some fresh lemon, herbs, seasonings and olive oil and let cool while you prep the other ingredients.


Season and grill the corn, shave off the kernels and add to the salad with the rest of the veggies (celery, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, green onions). Feel free to sub whatever fresh veggies you like to the salad to make it colorful and healthy!


Make the Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette by whisking together some extra virgin olive oil, Champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, fresh lemon, salt and pepper and chopped fresh herbs.

Salad Ingredients

Pour over the pasta, veggies and shrimp in a large mixing bowl and fold together. I like to put the salad in the fridge and let the flavors meld together  – you can really taste the fresh herbs and zingy lemon when you let it sit together for a bit.

shrimp veggie pasta salad

So easy, so light and refreshing and perfect for a backyard BBQ or beach party.

Shrimp & Veggie Pasta Salad with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup


  • 1 pound of pasta (medium-large shells or rotini)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound small shrimp, peeled, cleaned and deveined, tails removed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • Sea salt, to taste (for shrimp and salad dressing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs, roughly chopped (tarragon, basil, parsley)
  • 2 fresh sweet corn cobs or 1 cup frozen
  • 1 cup English cucumber, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced
  • 2 lemon wedges, squeezed for garnish


  1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions (usually about 9-11 minutes for al dente). Drain, rinse under cool water and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Slice scallions and cook until soft about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; add one more tablespoon of oil then add shrimp, red pepper flakes, Old Bay seasoning and sea salt; sauté together stirring constantly until shrimp are opaque, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set pan aside to let shrimp mixture cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl add salt and pepper, vinegar, mustard, garlic, lemon juice and zest. Use the KitchenAid® 3-Speed Hand Blender with the whisk attachment to blend ingredients together and slowly pour in the olive oil in small amounts until the dressing is emulsified and mixed well. Chop the fresh herbs, mix into the Lemon-Herb dressing and set aside.
  4. Prepare the fresh corn by grilling it – add a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then char it over a medium-high grill for about 15 minutes. Shuck the cooked kernels off the cob and set aside in a separate mixing bowl. If using frozen sweet corn, simply boil in 1-2 tablespoons of water in a small pot over medium-high for 3-4 minutes, then drain and place into a bowl, set aside.
  5. Add the cucumbers and celery to the accompanying mixing bowl of the KitchenAid® 3-Speed Hand Blender, and pulse a few times until chopped into a small to medium dice. Chop each vegetable separately to avoid overfilling the blender bowl. Chop the roasted red pepper into medium diced pieces. Throw all the chopped veggies into a bowl and set aside.
  6. Pour the cooked pasta, shrimp and scallion mixture, corn and all the prepped veggies into a large mixing bowl and add the Lemon-Herb dressing. Gently mix all the ingredients together with a large spoon. Garnish pasta salad with additional chopped herbs, fresh lemon juice and additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator or cooler until ready to serve.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

Summer Veggie Frittata + Time to Relax.

Print Friendly

Summer Veggie Frittata

Summer is that time of year when we get to take some time off from our crazy busy lives, at least for a little while, to clear our heads, visit with friends and family, go to the beach, have a backyard cookout, or simply lie in a hammock and read a book or take a good, long nap.

Summer Veggie Frittata

It’s also a time when i tend to get a little lazy because it’s so hot outside. Or because I actually have some time on my hands to just, well do nothing. Or sleep in a little longer.

Summer Veggie Frittata 5

Because I’m constantly cooking as a profession, the last thing I feel like doing on vacation is well, cooking. Even though I get to stay at my parent’s house with a huge kitchen and backyard patio that actually has a grill and some room to move. And I always have all these big plans to make all this delicious food when I’m here but really just want to do – well, not much. You know – relax a little bit. :)

Summer Veggie Frittata 3

I decided to make something easy for breakfast today. And healthy. All in one big pan. A Summer Veggie Frittata that’s full of spinach and onions and fresh zucchini with some shredded cheese that’s lovely and light and just tasty and good all around. Yes, I threw in a tablespoon or two of cooked bacon because I just can’t help myself but if you’re a vegetarian feel free to leave it out.

Summer Veggie Frittata 4

I think I could get used to these lazy Summer vacation days. Don’t you agree?

Summer Veggie Frittata

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Serving Size: 1 wedge


  • 2 tablespoons light cream or half and half
  • 1 teaspoon dill seasoning
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1-2 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 package frozen spinach, defrosted and drained well (or 2 cups fresh spinach leaves)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Jack, Cheddar, Mozzarella)
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced


  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Meanwhile, combine cream, eggs, salt, pepper, cooked bacon and seasonings in a mixing bowl, whisking well.
  3. Heat a medium-large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add oil or butter to the pan and saute onions for a few minutes until soft and translucent.
  4. Add spinach and cook for a few more minutes until heated through (or wilted if using fresh spinach).
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until eggs are slightly set.
  6. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the top evenly.
  7. Top the frittata with the zucchini slices over the egg and cheese mixture.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and place in the oven.
  9. Broil for about 3-5 minutes until the top is lightly browned and cheese is melted.
  10. Remove from oven and cut into wedges.
  11. Serve with additional fresh veggies or a green salad.


You can also add a little extra protein by mixing in some cooked ham or sausage. Feel free to substitute the veggies by adding in summer squash, peppers, tomatoes, whatever you have on hand. Goes great with a green salad and a glass of white wine if you're in the mood!

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

How 3 NYC Restaurants are using Social Media creatively to break through the clutter

Print Friendly

Most restaurateurs are beginning to understand the power of social media and online marketing.

Running a print ad or spending money on television ads is expensive. Smart operators realize the importance of connecting with consumers and influencers, and how positive online engagement can affect their brand, business, foot traffic and reputation. Social media can be an effective communication tool to inform customers of daily specials, promotions, events, menus and more. But in a crowded online marketplace, how can you break through the clutter?

The three New York restaurant owners/marketers below give us real-world examples of what’s working for them, what tools they’re using, and successful campaign ideas they’ve implemented to increase online visibility and engagement.

Want to build customer loyalty and brand buzz? Here’s some inspiration.

Read my full story on Foodable: http://www.foodabletv.com/new-york-city/2015/6/23/how-3-nyc-restaurants-are-breaking-through-the-social-media-clutter#BYzSALiH8PWQbkbm.99

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather