Dr Smood: Smart Food for a Good Mood + Maca Pumpkin Couscous

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I just discovered an amazing new cafe and store in NYC called Dr Smood – have you seen it? If not, you need to go. Based out of Miami, Dr Smood is a health company that makes “Smart Food for a Good Mood” – and oh how you’re gonna love this place!


They make all their own juices, smoothies, organic products and delicious healthy food based on 6 moodsPower, Beauty, Immunity, Detox, Energy and Health, which you can choose based on your mood and feeling and what you want to gain from the experience.

I had the opportunity to visit the Flatiron location in NYC and had a delicious Organic Detox Juice #9made with ginger, lemon, lime, raw honey, echinacea, and cayenne. Then for lunch I tried their Butternut Squash Soup, Turkey and Avocado sandwich on their homemade Performance Bread before browsing the beautiful cafe and store of amazing products including organic tea, coffee, chocolate, health and beauty supplements and organic dried foods.

 

dr smood mushroom powder

Dr Smood’s Organic Superfood Powders

Dr Smood’s Organic Superfood Powders would make a wonderful gift for the health and wellness-obsessed foodies on your list. They’re full of health-boosting goodness and are easy to use (they can be easily mixed into smoothies or juices, on yogurt or cereal or added to energy balls and no-bake treats).

There are a total of 13 beautifully packaged superfood powders, including Raw Cacao Powder, Spirulina Powder and Red Maca Powder. Each powder comes with an information packet, including a recipe and serving suggestions, and can be purchased at one of the five Dr Smood cafés in NYC.

Dr Smood Red Maca Superfood Powder

Dr Smood Red Maca Powder is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body to adjust to stress. Maca is an excellent source of phytochemicals and protein and helps to regulate the endocrine system and hormones, boost libido and increases energy, stamina and endurance. Enjoy maca in homemade granola or add it to tea, juice, smoothies, oatmeal or cereal. (SRP: $21.95)

Dr Smood Spirulina Powder

Dr Smood Spirulina Powder contains over 60% complete protein—almost 3x as much as beef—and is one of the few good sources of plant-based B12. This algae can also boost your immunity and promote a healthy digestive tract. Use it to make a semi-raw soup with sweet potatoes and carrots, spirulina cacao clusters or add it to your favorite juice or smoothie. (SRP: $14.95)

Dr Smood Cacao powder

Dr Smood Raw Cacao Powder contains approximately 40x more antioxidants than blueberries, which help the body to resist and repair damage from free radicals; plus it’s a natural mood booster and can promote beautiful skin, nails and hair. Use it to make hot cacao with coconut cream and almond milk this season and you will never want the standard version of hot chocolate again! You can also add it to coffee, yogurt, fresh fruits or smoothies. (SRP: $10.95)

Red Maca Pumpkin Couscous with Shallots, Bacon + Crispy Sage

I picked up a jar of the Red Maca powder at the store and created a new recipe for Maca Pumpkin Couscous w/ Shallots and Bacon and Crispy Sage that turned out absolutely delicious! Maca powder is a great supplement to add to sweet recipes like juices and smoothies and organic raw desserts, or savory recipes like soups, sauces, gravies, or to sprinkle on roasted veggies.

Maca Pumpkin Couscous w/ Shallots and Bacon and Crispy Sage

Maca Pumpkin Couscous w/ Shallots and Bacon and Crispy Sage

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4.

Serving Size: 1 cup

A delicious and healthy way to incorporate Red Maca powder into a lovely fall savory dish. Roasted pumpkin, sautéed garlic and shallots and bacon tossed into a basil and herb couscous topped with crispy sage and pumpkin seeds.

Ingredients

  • 1 small sugar pumpkins, halved, seeds removed, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil, divided
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dr Smood Red Maca Superfood Powder
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
  • 1 package of Near East Basil and Herb couscous
  • 6-8 sage leaves
  • Roasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds, for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese, grated, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Drizzle each pumpkin half with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper, Red Maca powder and cayenne. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Roast in oven for 1 hour, until fork tender and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove skin from pumpkin, cut into 1-inch cubes and toss with maple syrup; set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook the couscous according to package directions and set aside.
  5. Cook bacon in oven on a large foil lined baking sheet for about 20 minutes until crispy and brown, drain and crumble; set aside.
  6. Heat another tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat; cook shallots and garlic for approximately 5 minutes until soft and golden (be careful not to burn!). Add sage leaves and sauté until crispy and browned.
  7. Add the cooked pumpkin, bacon, garlic, shallots to the couscous and toss together.
  8. Transfer to individual serving bowls, garnish with crispy sage, roasted pumpkin seeds and grated parmesan cheese.

Notes

You can also substitute roasted butternut squash or any other hearty veggies like eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms and bell peppers. Omit the bacon and cheese to make it vegetarian and dairy free.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/11/16/drsmood-smartfood-for-a-goodmood/

Here’s another fun easy recipe you can make when you have a sweet tooth:

Maca, Coconut and Cashew Granola (gluten-free, vegan)

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped
1 cup coconut flakes
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon Dr Smood Red Maca Superfood Powder
pinch Himalayan fine grain sea salt

Preheat your oven to 300° F. Line a medium-sized baking sheet with parchment. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Spread all ingredients in an even layer on a pan. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Allow to fully cool on the pan. Granola will firm and turn crunchy once cooled. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

Check out the gallery below to see more photos of their amazing store and food and products I discovered!

To find a Dr Smood cafe and retail store near you, please visit their website at http://drsmood.com

Dr Smood Facebook Page

Dr Smood Instagram Page

Wild Rice + Turkey Bowl with Cranberries and Oranges

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Wild Rice Turkey Bowl with Cranberries and Oranges

This is another favorite recipe I developed for my client Seven Barrels using their Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar to make a lovely sweet and tart dressing, perfect for salads around the holidays. I wanted to make a recipe that incorporates Thanksgiving leftovers and create something light and easy after such a big, rich, and heavy meal.

Wild Rice + Turkey Bowl with Cranberries and Oranges


This Wild Rice + Turkey Bowl with Cranberries and Oranges salad bowl has leftover cooked turkey, wild rice, romaine, fresh oranges and zest, crunchy celery, red onion, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts, drizzled in a gorgeous lemon and raspberry vinaigrette dressing with a touch of cinnamon and cumin and tarragon.

Wild Rice + Turkey Bowl w/ Cranberries and Oranges

Feel free to experiment too with the bowl ingredients – you can substitute any other healthy whole grain like quinoa or farro or brown rice, and you could also try using cooked chicken in place of the turkey and try dried tart cherries and pistachios in place of the cranberries and walnuts. Any way you make it..I promise it will be delicious!!!

Wild Rice + Turkey Bowl with Cranberries and Oranges

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

This is a great recipe for using leftover Thanksgiving turkey - a healthy delicious bowl salad with wild rice, romaine, orange, celery, red onion and dried cranberries and toasted walnuts, drizzled in a gorgeous lemon and raspberry vinaigrette dressing with spices and tarragon.

Ingredients

  • Turkey
  • 2 cups roasted turkey (light and/or dark meat – large slices or shredded)
  • Vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons Seven Barrels Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Seven Barrels Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon minced orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Bowl
  • 3 cups wild rice, cooked
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest, minced
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 6 cups romaine hearts, sliced
  • ¾ cup fresh orange segments, halved
  • ¾ cup celery, sliced
  • ½ cup red onion, sliced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Prep the cooked turkey breast by shredding the meat into bite sized pieces or slicing it into large pieces for the salad.
  2. For the vinaigrette, whisk together orange juice, Seven Barrels Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar, Seven Barrels Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, tarragon, grated garlic, 1 teaspoon orange zest, cumin, pepper, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. For the bowl, combine cooked wild rice with 1 teaspoon orange zest. Toast chopped walnuts in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until lightly golden brown, set aside.
  4. Divide cooked turkey, rice, romaine, orange segments, celery, red onion and dried cranberries among four serving bowls; drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with toasted walnuts.

Notes

You can also substitute dried tart cherries, and cooked chicken breast for the cranberries and turkey. Try experimenting with other grains too - quinoa, farro, or brown rice in place of wild rice.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/11/10/wild-rice-turkey-bowl-with-cranberries-and-oranges/

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Holiday Sausage, Mushroom and Cheese Turnovers

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hey guys..the holidays are rapidly approaching and we all know what that means…parties, parties and more parties…full of friends and family sharing delicious food and drinks together. It’s the best time of the year!

Sausage Mushroom Cheese Turnovers


I recently did some recipe development and a photo shoot for one of my clients, Seven Barrels, maker of premium infused Italian olive oils and vinegars with delicious flavors from natural ingredients. For the holidays I created a series of recipes featuring their Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar and Meyer Lemon Olive Oil – a delicious, sweet and tart flavor pairing that’s perfect for the holidays.

Sausage Mushroom Cheese Turnovers

I decided to make some party food because we all like parties and appetizers / small bites are the way to go to keep them fun and social! My recipe for Sausage and Mushroom and Cheese Turnovers is an absolute flavor bomb and they’re super easy to make!

Sausage Mushroom Cheese Turnovers

They’re stuffed with sweet Italian sausage, ricotta cheese, green onions, mushrooms, cranberries and mozzarella all wrapped up in buttery flaky baked puff pastry topped with sesame seeds. They’re the perfect crunchy, savory, cheesy bite in your mouth, with a hint of sweet and tart from the cranberries, lemon olive oil and raspberry vinegar for dipping.

Sausage Mushroom Cheese Turnovers

You’re definitely gonna want to make these for all your holiday parties..trust me, they won’t last long 😉

Sausage, Mushroom and Cheese Turnovers

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Makes 18 (4-inch) turnovers.

Serving Size: 1 turnover

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Seven Barrels Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
  • ½ pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • ½ cup green onion, sliced (about 4 scallions)
  • ½ cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or tart cherries
  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs, beaten, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Seven Barrels Raspberry Balsamic vinegar, plus extra for dipping
  • Dash of Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 package (17.25 ounce) frozen puff pastry, thawed (2 sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Coarse sea salt, for garnish
  • Chopped rosemary, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of Seven Barrels Lemon Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook for about 5 minutes until it starts to brown, crumbling while cooking to separate the meat. Add the green onions and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes until the veggies are soft and meat is cooked through. Drain the fat and excess liquid, set cooked mixture aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked sausage mixture with dried cranberries or tart cherries, ricotta, mozzarella cheese, 1 beaten egg and 1 tablespoon Seven Barrels Raspberry Balsamic vinegar to make the filling. Season with a dash of Italian seasoning, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. On lightly floured surface, roll one sheet of puff pastry into a large 12-inch square. Cut pastry sheet into 9 (4-inch) squares and brush edges with egg wash.
  5. Place 1 rounded teaspoon filling on each square; fold to make a triangle; seal with fingers or fork. Place the triangles on parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a large rectangular baking sheet and brush egg wash over the top of the turnovers, pierce 3 slits on top of each one, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, repeat steps above with the remaining sheet of puff pastry and sausage, mushroom and cheese filling to make 9 additional turnovers. Bake again at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle sea salt and chopped rosemary (or thyme) on top of the turnovers for garnish. Serve immediately with Seven Barrels Raspberry Balsamic vinegar for dipping.

Notes

You can also substitute spicy Italian sausage or ground beef for the sweet Italian sausage. To make a thicker dipping sauce (Balsamic Glaze), heat the vinegar in a saucepan over medium high heat until it reduces by half, drizzle over turnovers or serve as a dipping sauce on the side.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/11/09/holiday-sausage-mushroom-and-cheese-turnovers/

Kung Pao Beef w/ Cauliflower Rice (Sugar + Gluten Free)

Kung Pao Beef
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Kung Pao Beef w/ Cauliflower Rice

I recently was approached by Steviva to compete in the Sweetin It-Up Blogger Recipe Challenge and decided to make a sugar free, gluten free Kung Pao Beef with Cauliflower Rice. I love Asian food, but oftentimes it has many hidden sugars in the sauce, so I thought it would be cool to make this savory dish for the challenge.

Steviva Recipe Ingredients


Steviva has a wide range of stevia-based products and I chose to use Nectevia and Erysweet for my recipe to replace the normal sugar in the sauce. Erysweet is a pure, non-GMO erythritol that is naturally derived and can be substituted cup-for-cup for sugar in recipes. Nectevia is an organic blue agave nectar infused with premium 100% pure stevia extract – and has only 1/4 the calories, carbs and sugars of regular agave, or table sugar with a warm honey flavor.

Kung Pao Beef w/ Cauliflower Rice

Kung Pao is made with chicken or beef marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine, which is then sautéed in a wok on high heat with crunchy bell peppers, water chestnuts, garlic, ginger, green onions and hot chilies.

Kung Pao Beef w/ Cauliflower Rice

I made a sweet and spicy sauce made with more soy sauce, rice wine, Chinese black vinegar, chicken broth, Erysweet and Nectevia in the pan with the cooked meat and veggies and tossed in some spicy peanuts, which was thickened into a luscious sweet/spicy/savory pot of yum. To serve, I topped the dish with fresh cilantro and more crunchy peanuts along with some yellow cauliflower rice sautéed with soy sauce and sesame oil and some fresh cilantro tossed in to keep it gluten free.  Absolutely delicious without all the sugar and carbs!

Kung Pao Beef w/ Cauliflower Rice (Sugar + Gluten Free)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Serving Size: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • MARINADE:
  • 1 3/4 pounds boneless beef sirloin
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • KUNG PAO:
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4-6 dried red chilies
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger, grated (or ginger paste)
  • 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 3 scallions, sliced on the bias, 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 can water chestnuts, sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic)
  • 2 tablespoons Nectevia Original
  • 2 teaspoons Erysweet
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup roasted spicy peanuts
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Cauliflower rice sautéed with soy sauce, sesame oil and cilantro

Instructions

  1. MARINADE:
  2. Trim the fat from the steak all over and cut into 1-inch cubes. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and mix in the beef. Stir together to coat well, and place covered in the fridge for at least an hour to overnight.
  3. KUNG PAO:
  4. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large sauce pan over medium heat, add chilies and cook for a minute until they begin to brown. Add garlic, ginger and cook for another minute. Turn heat up to high and add scallions, peppers, water chestnuts and chile flakes; saute for about 5 minutes until they begin to get soft and lightly browned. Add steak (remove from marinade and discard excess) and cook for about 3 minutes or so until beef begins to brown. Add soy sauce, rice wine, Chinese vinegar, Erysweet, Nectevia and chicken broth. Mix in the cornstarch, stirring well, to thicken the sauce. Toss in the roasted peanuts and serve over cauliflower rice with chopped cilantro, additional peanuts if desired.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/10/31/kung-pao-beef-w-cauliflower-rice-sugar-gluten-free/

Kung Pao Beef w/ Cauliflower Rice

Hope you enjoy making this recipe – please let me know what you think if you made it in the comments below! And feel free to share this post on social media tagging #theartfulgourmet and #steviva with a link back to the original post on this blog.

For more info on Steviva products, check them out online and social media:

Website: https://www.steviva.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steviva

Twitter: https://twitter.com/steviva

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stevivabrands/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/stevivabrands/

Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post by Steviva Brands and I received products to create recipes and photos for this post. All opinions, images, and text are my own. 

Cocktails for National Whiskey Sour Day!

Crown Royal Whiskey Sour
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Crown Royal Whiskey Sour

National Whiskey Sour Day is finally here, (August 25th) and I’m celebrating one of my favorite cocktails by sharing a few delicious and easy recipes courtesy of Crown Royal, George Dickel and Bulleit.

whiskey sour


Over a century ago, the Whiskey Sour originated as one of the simplest cocktails, with variations of whiskey, lemon juice, and sweetened with sugar. The mix lost attention after the prohibition era, but it resurged with the heightened interest in craft cocktails. Thanks to whiskey’s newfound status and the use of fresh ingredients, the Whiskey Sour has made a strong comeback.

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye_bottle shot

Because sours have a higher ratio of alcohol to mix than your typical cocktail, the “unofficial” holiday appeals to the summer beverage interests of men and women alike.

Bulleit Bourbon

To celebrate the revival of the classic Whiskey Sour, honor the holiday by sipping one of the recipes below – a traditional recipe using George Dickel No. 12, and two modern recipes with a twist using Bulleit Bourbon and Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye.

George Dickel No 12 Whiskey

WHISKEY SOUR RECIPES

George Dickel Whiskey Sour

George Dickel Whiskey Sour

1.3 oz. George Dickel No.12 Whiskey

1.5 oz. lemon juice

0.75 oz. simple syrup

Shake and strain ingredients into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge or cherry.

Jeff's Redneck Sour

Jeff’s Redneck Sour

1.25 oz. Bulleit Rye

1 oz. fresh lemon sour

0.5 oz. fresh grapefruit juice

2 dashes grapefruit bitters

Shake and strain ingredients into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a grapefruit half wheel.

Click here for Bulleit Rye Traditional Whiskey Sour recipe

The Harvest Sour

The Harvest Sour

1 oz. Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

.5 oz. Crown Royal Regal Apple Flavored

.5 oz. lemon juice

.5 oz. simple syrup

1 Dash Pimento Bitters

1 Egg White

Grated Nutmeg (optional)

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Grate nutmeg for garnish (optional).

—————–

More about Bulleit Bourbon: 

Distilled in Kentucky from the highest quality ingredients, this new variant is a barrel strength version of Bulleit Bourbon with the same high-rye mash bill – roughly 2/3 corn and 1/3 rye. In April, Bulleit Barrel Strength received a Gold Medal from the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, continuing Bulleit’s history of sharing award-winning whiskeys.

More about Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye:

With more than 75 years of experience producing quality Canadian Whiskey, Crown Royal introduces its first-ever blended rye whiskey, Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye. Crafted from 90% rye whiskey, the new blended whiskey from Crown Royal is produced at the brand’s distillery in Gimli, Manitoba, where the distinctive Northern winters create the perfect conditions for a deliciously flavorful, extraordinarily smooth whiskey.

More about George Dickel No. 12:

A 90 proof Dickel whiskey that uses older whiskies to create deeper, more assertive flavors and an incredibly smooth finish. The taste is refined with hints of vanilla and a dry crisp finish– a result of their charcoal mellowing process. Concentrated flavors of rich oak and subtle vanilla lead to a long finish with hints of maple, butter and smoke. It’s a whiskey with enormous depth, range and personality – considered by many to be the gold standard of Tennessee Whiskey.

{Things I Love} :: Summer 2016

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My {Things I Love} list is back for Summer 2016 with some fun and interesting objets de desir, places, people, books, recipes, photography, food and drinks that I’m currently crushing on – not necessarily ordered in terms of my favorite – but are all worthy of a huge shoutout for their awesomeness in my opinion…until next time, Happy End of Summer, and Bon Appetit!

fresh fish cookbook

Fresh Fish Cookbook


Jennifer Trainer Thompson‘s new cookbook has gorgeous photography, amazing seafood recipes and great stories of her living along the New England coast, all the while demystifying how to cook fish simply and deliciously. You’ll find recipes for soups and chowders, shellfish, fish entrees, side dishes, desserts and beachy cocktails for your next Summer seaside feast.

Jennifer is the author of over 20 books, a self-professed hot sauce maker and chicken chaser, and author of the blog Jump Up and Kiss Me, where you can find more of her food stories and recipes.

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https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Fish-Fearless-Grilling-Shucking/dp/1612123376

coconut rose petal ice cream

Coconut and Rose Petal Ice Cream w/ Cardamom Crumble

Not only is this a beautiful Summer dessert, it’s vegan, made with coconut milk and vanilla, fresh rose petals and a cardamom and oats crumble topping.  A dream come true.

Linda Lomelinos of Call Me Cupcake Blog

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Ken & Cook NYC

It’s currently #NYCRestaurantWeek, and we all know what that means. Bingeing on some of the most delicious food and drinks in NYC, without guilt of course, at $42 per person for dinner and $29 per person for lunch including appetizers, entree and dessert. I recently visited Ken and Cook with a friend for dinner the other night and I had a glorious feast of Ahi Poke Tuna, Seafood Ceviche, Filet Mignon with Basil Pesto Mashed Potatoes with a Chocolate Lava Cake w/ Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Tiramisu for dessert. With unlimited Prosecco on the house, at that. The atmosphere was lovely, the staff super attentive and gracious. In a great location in SoHo on Kenmore Street at the best table in the house. Must try – 100% delicious!

http://www.kenandcook.com

nora luther

Nora Luther Food Photography

Being a food stylist and photographer myself, of course I’m obsessed with all things food photography. I discovered Art Director Nora Luther’s food photos from another food blog I visit frequently and was blown away by her photos of food literally flying in the air.  So creative and very cool way to present food in a unique way.

blackberry crostata

Blackberry Chocolate Italian Tart with Coffee Creme Fraiche

OK. I absolutely love fruit tarts in the Summer. But blackberries and chocolate in a whole grain coconut flour crust? Topped with coffee infused creme fraiche? And what a gorgeous presentation at that, by Valentina of Hortus food blog. yes, please. 

pereg flours

Pereg Gourmet Alternative Flours

We all know that gluten-free is all the rage, and Pereg Gourmet just launched a new line of alternative flours this year to give consumers more cooking and baking options for gluten-free diets. They have 6 new varieties including Almond flour, Banana flour, Buckwheat flour, Chickpea flour, Coconut flour and Farro flour. All are gluten free except for the Farro, and are 100% natural, non-dairy and certified kosher. I was fortunate enough to get some samples myself, so it’s time to experiment with some fun recipes for Fall – hmmm, I’m thinking pizza, tarts and pies, homemade pasta..let’s see what I can come up with – stay tuned!

fried chicken gravy poutine

Fried Chicken and Gravy Poutine

O.M.G. – 5 words: fried chicken. gravy. fries. cheese curds. BACON. #yum

http://realfoodbydad.com/fried-chicken-and-gravy-poutine/

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The Capital Grille #GenerousPour Summer Promo

My friends and I visited The Capital Grille the other night on 42nd St in NYC to take advantage of NY Restaurant Week (yes, once again!) and to partake in their #GenerousPour Summer promo. For only $28, were able to taste a variety of 3 whites and 3 reds, handpicked by The Capital Grille to accompany our dinner menu. We had the Clam Chowder (super good!), Dry Aged NY Strip and Grilled Shrimp, Beef Tournados, and Pan-Seared Salmon (all amazing!) with Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes (to. die. for.) and an amazing Creme Brûlée (my favorite!!) for dessert.

My favorite wines were the Provenance Sauvignon Blanc from Napa CA, and the Beaulieu Vineyards Tapestry Cabernet (a bordeaux blend), also from Napa. We managed to stay for a few hours with full bellies and lots of generously poured vino and escaped for less than $100 each, including tip. Now that’s a delicious steal.

http://www.thecapitalgrille.com/events/the-generous-pour-wine-tasting

peach burrata salad

Peach Burrata Salad

This fresh summer salad is the perfect recipe for a light lunch or side dish for dinner. The saltiness of the prosciutto with the subtle heat of the red onion and the creaminess of the burrata is a seriously magical combination. And it’s stunning to look at too, is it not? I’m thinking a side of sparkling rose would just top it off beautifully.

http://www.designlovefest.com/2016/08/peach-and-burrata-salad/

french country cooking cookbook

French Country Cooking Cookbook

Another lovely cookbook from one of my favorite food bloggers, Mimi Thorisson of Manger. Filled with gorgeous as ever French styling and recipes and photos that will make your mouth water and wish you too were living in the countryside of France. Available Oct 25, and for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online…can’t wait to get my hands on it!

lobster tails

Lobster Tails with Mojo de Ajo & Grilled Corn Salsa

I love anything grilled, and this recipe absolutely screams Summer. Grilled lobster tails with garlic, chipotle, cilantro and lime marinade and a side of grilled corn salsa with more spicy flavors like jalapeño, onions, and basil. Sounds divine. Must make tonight.

http://www.upcloseandtasty.com/blog/2014/july/lobster-tails-with-grilled-corn-salsa

caprese mac and cheese

4 Cheese Caprese Mac and Cheese

O.M.G. Pasta. Heirloom tomatoes and basil. All baked into a bubbly pot with 4 melty cheeses – cheddar, havarti, mozzarella and brie. Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest does it again. Gorgeous and delicious as always.

 

Cheesy Baked Pasta w/ Sausage & Summer Veggies

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Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Ah, it’s almost the end of Summer and I keep thinking, where has it gone? Along with Summer comes lots of fresh veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms and yellow squash that I just can’t get enough of!

Colavita


I recently received a lovely care package from my client Colavita, who sent me some delicious pasta, sauces, olive oils and vinegars to sample, which inspired me to make this Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies. 

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

It’s a tasty and healthy twist on traditional Baked Ziti, using Colavita Fusilli pasta with sweet Italian sausage and lots of colorful summer veggies like zucchini, squash, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and garlic. I sautéed everything in Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil with a splash of Colavita Chardonnay White Balsamic vinegar for some extra sweet and tangy flavor.

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

I used their Colavita Tomato Basil sauce mixed in to the pasta and veggies along with fresh oregano and basil. AND it has three (3!!) cheeses: ricotta, parmesan/asiago and mozzarella to make it super creamy and cheesy – all baked into a big pot of bubbly goodness.

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Look. At. This. Cheesy Baked Pasta Goodness. YUM.

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

It’s the perfect dish for a quick and healthy weeknight dinner – and is great served with a green salad and some crusty Italian bread (dipped in Colavita olive oil and vinegar of course!) Enjoy!
Tip! Lately I came across this website www.vacuumsealerresearch.com and found foodsaver reviews with many good tips so I decided to try vacuum sealer. I really like it.

Cheesy Baked Pasta w/ Sausage and Summer Veggies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6-8

This is a tasty and healthy twist on traditional Baked Ziti, using Colavita Rotini pasta with Italian Sausage and lots of colorful summer veggies like zucchini, squash, mushrooms, onions and garlic! It also features Colavita Tomato Basil sauce mixed with three cheeses: ricotta, parmesan/asiago and mozzarella to make it super creamy and cheesy baked into a big pot of bubbly goodness. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner served with a green salad and crusty Italian bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Colavita Fusilli pasta, uncooked
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, ground
  • 2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Colavita Chardonnay White Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-16 ounce jar Colavita Tomato Basil sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan/Asiago cheese, grated
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (add more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (add more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions (about 9 minutes for al dente), drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Cook sausage until no longer pink, drain fat and set aside.
  4. Add additional tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and add squash, zucchini, mushrooms and bell pepper. Saute for 5-7 minutes until soft. Add minced garlic and balsamic vinegar and cook for another minute or two. Add the cooked sausage back into the pan.
  5. Stir in the tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1/2 cup of Parmesan/Asiago cheese and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
  6. Meanwhile, add the ricotta cheese to a mixing bowl and stir in beaten egg, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  7. Place the cooked pasta in a large pot and add the sausage-veggie-tomato sauce mixture, stirring well. Fold in the ricotta-egg-herbs mixture until thoroughly combined.
  8. Spoon the pasta mixture into an 8x8 square glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan/Asiago cheese evenly over the top.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browned.
  10. Let cool for a few minutes, serve hot with a green salad and crusty Italian bread.

Notes

You can also substitute Colavita penne, shells, farfalle or ziti for the fusilli pasta.

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Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Colavita has a great line of Italian gourmet food, olive oils, vinegars, pastas,  condiments and other specialty foods, which makes them one of my favorite brands for quality Italian cooking.

Check out their Facebook page, Twitter page, Pinterest and Instagram pages for more great recipes and cooking ideas!

Note: I received complimentary products from Colavita but was not compensated for this post. All photos, copy, recipes and opinions are my own. Please do not share, distribute or use any content without my permission.

Peach Raspberry Melba No-Bake Cheesecake

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Peach Raspberry Melba No-Bake Cheesecake

Summertime is finally here, and it’s my favorite time of year. I love cooking for parties and potlucks, but in the summertime it’s definitely no fun to be stuck in a hot kitchen! Therefore, I’ve decided to make a Peach Raspberry Melba No-Bake Cheesecake. It’s super delicious, easy to make, and requires no hot oven whatsoever, especially with the help of all my amazing KitchenAid® appliances.

KitchenAid 14-cup food processor


I prepared my graham cracker crust in my KitchenAid 14-Cup Food Processor which crushes and mixes them into crumbs in seconds!

KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer

Next I made my cheesecake filling in my amazing Artisan Stand Mixer which is the best way to beat cream cheese and sugar together into a light and fluffy and delicious no-bake filling, so make sure you get the VonShef 1260W Black Food Stand Mixer to bake all your delicious treats!

KitchenAid Springform pan

I love my new Springform pan that I used to make the cheesecake in,

KitchenAid electric kettle

and I got a super cool electric kettle that I used to poach the peaches with.

Poached Peaches

You’re going to love this chilled creamy cheesecake with vanilla poached peaches and a homemade raspberry sauce. It’s so refreshing and is simply the perfect dessert for the summertime months! This is such an easy dessert recipe that requires no hot oven, and I’m so excited for you to try this recipe for yourself. Get as creative as you want with the no-bake cheesecake base and toppings, and just have fun with it!

Raspberry Sauce

You could substitute blackberries or blueberries for the sauce, switch up your cream cheese flavors (I used half regular and half peach flavored cream cheese for the filling), add some spices or chocolate powder to your graham cracker crust (or try Oreos, vanilla wafers or chocolate grahams!) or try poaching some other stone fruit such as nectarines or plums..the possibilities are endless!

Peach Raspberry Melba No-Bake Cheesecake

And when you have all these amazing KitchenAid tools to help you make it, it makes the cooking easier and more fun! Be sure to share your take on this Peach Raspberry Melba No-Bake Cheesecake recipe with us on Instagram using #MadeWithKitchenAid for a chance to be featured.

Peach Raspberry Melba No-Bake Cheesecake

CLICK HERE FOR STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS AND MY RECIPE ON THE KITCHENTHUSIAST BLOG!

Almond Shortbread Cookies w/ Blood Orange Glaze

Almond Shortbread Cookies w/ Blood Orange Glaze
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Almond Shortbread Cookies

So February is here and so is National Almond Day! I absolutely love almonds – not only are they packed with tons of vitamins, minerals and fiber, but they also taste amazing! I love toasting almonds for salad toppings, making almond crust for chicken or fish, and best of all baking them into lovely, nutty, scrumptious desserts…especially cookies..mmmmm.

KitchenAid Countertop Oven


I recently got a new KitchenAid® 12″ Convection Digital Countertop Oven, and I am absolutely in love with it! Not only is it a toaster oven, but it’s also a fully functioning convection oven with nine different pre-programmed functions, including Pizza, Bagel, Cookie, Asado Roast and Keep Warm. It has a large capacity with enough room to roast a chicken or make a 12″ pizza, and of course enough space to bake a large batch of cookies. I LOVE THIS THING!

Blood Orange Glazed Almond Shortbread Cookies

Since we are in the dead of winter and in the spirit of National Almond Day, I thought a big batch of cookies was in order. I made some delicious Almond Shortbread Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze. They’re super buttery and crisp with a sweet, tart and refreshing hint of blood orange – perfect for a chilly day with a cup of tea. And they’re really easy to make too..check out the link below for my recipe on the Kitchenthusiast food blog and enjoy!!!

CLICK HERE TO GET THE RECIPE AND STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOS ON THE KITCHENAID BLOG

Red Beef Curry with Zucchini Noodles

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Red Beef Curry

The New Year has arrived, and it’s time to start anew. I like to kick bad habits and start new resolutions, such as exercising more, dropping a few pounds, cleaning house, and of course eating healthier and lighter. I recommend to read some Vacuum Sealer Reviews, I got a vacuum thanks to them so now I’ll be pretty entertained.

Zucchini Noodles Action


I recently got the new KitchenAid® Spiralizer Attachment to go along with my KitchenAid® Stand Mixer and am so excited to experiment with it to make some healthier low-carb meals! It comes with five different blades for peeling, coring and slicing and is perfect for fresh fruits and vegetables. I love pasta and rice, but spiralized veggies are such a great substitute when I want to lighten up my recipes.

Prepped Ingredients

Because we are in the middle of winter, I thought a delicious comfort food dish with a healthy twist would be perfect. I made an amazing Red Beef Curry with Zucchini Noodles, with stewed beef, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and green beans in a lovely curry sauce made with coconut milk, red curry paste, fresh lime juice, fish sauce, a little beef broth and a dash of Sriracha.

Red Beef Curry

Super delicious and easy to make!

Cutlery and Veggies

I also got an amazing new Professional Series 3.5″ Paring Knife that came with my larger set, perfect for chopping my onions and garlic. and Thai chilies and basil, which I used for garnish. The larger Chef’s knife was great for cutting up the large chunks of beef which he learn how to do with a blog post about knife on the internet, and sweet potatoes with it’s sturdier grip and large super sharp blade.

Red Beef Curry

This is such a great Winter comfort food dish to make and it’s so easy with all the right tools! You’ll definitely want to make this Red Beef Curry for dinner – tonight!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RECIPE AND STEP BY STEP VISUALS ON THE KITCHENTHUSIAST BLOG!

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