There’s no better time than Memorial Day weekend to break out the grill and cook up some tasty BBQ to celebrate the beginning of Summer! I had the opportunity to create some recipes with Stoli Vodka for the holiday and decided to make Grilled Honey Orange Chicken Skewers with a Cucumber Orange Cilantro Salsa – a savory and light dish with tons of flavor and a hit of refreshment from the...
I love Spring. There’s nothing better than a dose of gorgeous sunshine, cherry blossoms in bloom, and the tempting promises of Summer on the way. It’s the perfect time of year to throw open the windows, do some Spring cleaning and celebrate new beginnings. I also love the bountiful selection of fresh seasonal herbs and vegetables that come along with it.
Asparagus is in its prime now, so I wanted to...
On a recent trip up to Rochester, I had the pleasure of discovering a lovely little Italian place called the Mona Lisa Café. My mother and I stopped in there on a whim one afternoon for a cappuccino, but after entering the café and seeing all the delicious pastries and gelato and enticing smells of amazing food, we decided to stay for lunch instead.
We sat at a table by a large window and enjoyed a...
If you haven’t tried Moroccan Harissa before, listen up. It’s a lovely pepper sauce blend made with chili peppers, bell peppers, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt. That’s it. And it’s totally delicious.
Harissa is a staple of Tunisian and Moroccan cuisine, and it is the central condiment in kitchens in North Africa used as a spread, a dip or drizzled on top of nearly...
Tuscan Fields, provider of organic, Italian farro, is offering a scholarship to this spring’s Eat Write Retreat food bloggers conference in Philadelphia. They sent some of their delicious samples to me to create a farro recipe for a chance to win a scholarship to the conference this year!
If farro is new to you, you’ll love discovering this ancient grain made of 100% organic semi-pearled farro. It...
1. Sun Noodle Ramen Lab, Teterboro, NJ
I recently went on a cool roadtrip with some friends over to Teterboro, NJ to go on a private Factory Tour and Tasting event at Sun Noodle’s Ramen Lab, led by Kenshiro Uki and George Kao, owners and managers of the 6,000 square foot ramen noodle factory. I met Kenshiro and team at the NY International Foodservice and Restaurant Show a few weeks ago in the...
This is an amazing dish that is popular in my hometown in Upstate Rochester, NY. The Italian-American immigrants first introduced this dish in NYC and then migrated Upstate. The recipe stems from the French Veal Francaise or Chicken Francaise dish, which uses lightly-floured thin veal or chicken cutlets, which are then coated with a parsley-parmesan cheese-egg mixture and sauteed until golden brown. The...
New Food Trends Experience and Pride of New York State food exhibits were the stars of the 2013 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of NY, promoting food trends and local food and beverage producers
On a recent visit to BeyondSushi, a Japanese Vegan Sushi restaurant in the East Village in NYC, I had the opportunity to meet the Founder and Chef (and Hell’s Kitchen Finalist!) Guy Vaknin, to discuss his innovative and artful approach to traditional Sushi. Chef Guy came up with the idea for his vegan Sushi concept while he was the Executive Chef of Esprit Events, a Catering company in New York. Focusing on Kosher, healthy vegan and vegetarian food, they opened a Vegan Sushi station, and the idea grew from there when Chef Guy saw the potential and demand for healthy vegan food in the New York market. Two years later, BeyondSushi (The Green Roll) was born.
The Sushi is not only artfully crafted and colorful, but super healthy,fresh and totally vegan, while keeping the Asian flavors true to traditional Sushi by using natural ingredients such as sliced nori, red, black and six-grain rice, toasted sesame, chili flakes, and gourmet imported sea salts to punch up and balance the flavors and textures of their Sushi.
Rice Bed Salad
They have a variety of delicious and creative sushi rolls, sushi pieces, as well as Vegan wraps and salads, and they make all of their own custom sauces such as Carrot Ginger, Sweet Soy Mirin, Shiitake Teriyaki, White Miso, and more, using grapeseed oil and all natural, dairy free ingredients.
Chefs at Work
They take a variety of colorful, seasonal ingredients and combine them into gorgeous works of art – and the best part is, they really do taste like traditional sushi, but are pure Vegan. Crunch ‘n Munch, Pickle Me, La Fiesta, Green Machine and Mighty Mushroom are just a few of their catchy roll names – all made with tasty, healthy vegetables, rice and seasonings. They also do a custom roll of the month, which Chef Guy creates based on whatever he feels like dreaming up that day, using local produce from vendors at the Union Square Farmers Market.
Vegan Baked Goods
Their Pastry Chef, Tiffany Louie, has created a new line of Vegan pastries and baked goods available in the store – Parsnip Cakes with Orange Almond Creme, Seed and Dried Fruit Almond Bars, and Carrot Bars are a few of their sweet healthy treats. Their juices are squeezed fresh each day and made in house.
Nutty Buddy Vegan Wrap
I sampled the Nutty Buddy wrap, made with Buckwheat noodles, crushed peanuts, cilantro, jalapeno, peanut butter, avocado, sesame oil, carrots, baked tofu and romaine – a delicious combination and explosion of Asian flavors!
Vegan Sushi Rolls
For a sushi sampling, I devoured the Spicy Mang Roll, made with Black Rice, Avocado, Mango, Cucumber and spicy veggies with a delicious Toasted Cayenne sauce. I also had the Pickle Me, made with Six Grain rice, Gobo, Carrot, Pickled Daikon and Avocado with a Carrot Ginger Sauce. YUM!
Their space is casual, cozy and inviting, and in a great location on 14th Street near Union Square. Their prices are reasonable too, ranging from $5.00 to $8.50 for Rice Paper Wraps and Salads to $6.50 for an 8-piece roll, or $7.50 to $13 for a combination plate of rolls. They also do custom catering for private events, weddings and parties with a variety of sushi rolls, salads and wrap platters.
Beyond Sushi Sign
They’ve been written up by Oprah and the NY Times and have plans to open up a second location in the near future, so stay tuned for more. There definitely isn’t any other restaurant around like it, so kudos to Chef Guy for pioneering this healthy, delicious concept. With Vegan Sushi this good – who needs the fish?!
There’s a great new place in Nolita I recently went to – Ken and Cook, a contemporary American cafe and restaurant founded by Jean Georges alumni Artan Gjoni and Executive Chef Richard Diamonte. It has an energetic, lively atmosphere with a buzz in the air – with a gorgeous interior of tin ceilings, brass and wood paneling, vintage leather seating, candlelight, lively music and conversation. The scene was a nice mix of young hipster/artsy types, couples, and the ‘after work’ downtown New York crowd.
They have a great Raw Bar with super fresh seafood including Clams, Oysters, Lobster and Shrimp – (Oysters Rockefeller is one of their signature dishes!) They also have a variety of Chartucerie such as Chorizo, Tuscan Salami, Spicy Sopressata and a cheese sampling menu of a variety of cheeses from Italy, Spain and France.
They serve brunch, lunch and dinner with a really nice selection of fresh salads and appetizers, pastas and entrees: Beef Tartare, Linguine with Clams, Steamed Mussels, Short Rib, Lobster, Salmon, Monkfish, Burgers, Cote de Boeuf, Black Bass are some of their popular dishes. If you’re in the mood for lighter fare, you can always sample some of their delicious sides (brussel sprouts, mac & cheese, polenta, fries, etc.) with a glass of wine and fresh seafood from the raw bar.
For starters, I was served a lovely Italian red wine with a Grilled Squid Salad marinated in lime, chile and mint, mixed with sweet caramelized shallots and shaved fingerling potatoes over Mâché in a tangy yogurt dressing with herbs and hint of vinegar – so delicious I could have stopped there. But wait, there’s more!
I followed with a bowl of their Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup, which they served over toasted pumpkin seeds and dollops of creme fraiche, which was garnished with smoked paprika and sage – silky, creamy, nutty, delicious!
My main dish was a delicious bowl of Veal Ragu over Homemade Pappardelle with Radicchio and Tomato topped with breadcrumbs. This literally melted in my mouth! Tangy with salty shaved Parmesan cheese. Fresh Homemade pasta. Perfect with a sip of that velvety red wine.
For dessert I indulged in some of their hot, fresh homemade Beignets – flavored with a hint of lemon. Light and airy dough on the inside, with a crispy crust on the outside sprinkled with sugar. The best part was the side of warm blueberry and blackberry sauce with a hint of lavender for dipping. Too good for words!
Next time you’re looking for a fun place to eat downtown with delicious food and a buzzy atmosphere – this should be first on your list.
I love waking up in the morning to the smell of fresh brewed coffee and breakfast cooking in the kitchen. This is a delicious brunch casserole that’s perfect for the holidays and feeding a crowd. It’s filled with delicious sauteed ham, onions, baby bella mushrooms, garlic and dill, over a thin layer of torn whole grain bread (I use low carb bread and only 4-5 slices instead of a whole loaf of bread, and you can actually skip the bread all together if you want it to be more of a frittata), then topped with lots of gooey cheddar cheese. Bake the casserole until its light and puffy, let cool and then serve cut into squares with a green salad or fruit salad and whole grain toast. If you want to switch up the herbs, try Herbs de Provence or Fines Herbes instead. Experiment with different cheeses or meats if you like too (Brie, Monterey Jack, Bacon or Sausage), or spice it up with some red pepper flakes or a dash of Tabasco.What’s great is you can reheat it easily and have some yummy brunch/breakfast for a couple of days if you’re only cooking for a few people. Delish!
Mushroom, Ham and Cheese Strata: Best Brunch Casserole. EVER.
This is a super easy and quick brunch casserole that’s perfect for the holidays. It’s filled with delicious sauteed ham, onions, baby bellas, garlic and dill topped with lots of gooey cheddar cheese. Make it a meal with a green salad or fruit salad and whole grain toast.
Author: Kristen Hess
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4-5 slices of whole grain bread
½ onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped (or ½ teaspoon powder)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 cups of cubed ham
2 cups of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon dill
2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat a medium saute pan over medium heat.
Tear bread into medium size pieces and layer in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ greased casserole dish.
Whisk together eggs, milk and cream of mushroom soup in a large mixing bowl.
Saute onions, garlic, ham, mushrooms and dill until soft and tender about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Layer the ham, mushroom and onion mixture over the bread in casserole dish.
Top with egg mixture evenly.
Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top in an even layer.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until strata is puffy and cooked through.
Let cool for 5 minutes, cut into squares for serving.
Looking back on this past year, and all of the tragedies our country has endured with natural disasters and shootings and other acts of destruction – it makes me wish for people to remember what Christmas and the holidays are REALLY all about: joy, sharing, laughter, warmth, peace, giving and most of all LOVE for others. I sincerely wish all of you a holiday filled with these things – and a New Year filled with promise, prosperity and wonderfulness. Merry Christmas. xo
This is a recipe for my Mom’s Holiday Cutout cookies – a recipe that she got from my Grandmother that we still use today every year for the holidays. The cookies are crisp and thin with a delicious vanilla almond flavor in the cookie and the icing. They are the most popular and addicting cookies on our holiday table every year. Enjoy!
Author: Kristen Hess
Recipe type: Holiday, Baking, Sweets, Desserts
Serves: 50-60 cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water
3 cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ c. soft butter or margarine
⅛ teaspoon salt
3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
⅛ to ¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract.
Add 1 egg and water, and beat until light and fluffy.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt; blend into creamed mixture.
Divide dough in half; chill 1 hour.
On lightly floured surface, roll dough to ⅛” thickness.
Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees about 6-8 minutes.
Cool slightly; remove from pan and glaze with buttercream frosting and top with sprinkles and decorative toppings.
Let cookies chill and cool overnight, store in a container in layers of wax paper to prevent cookies from sticking.
Mix together all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Divide frosting into separate medium bowls, add food coloring of your choice.
It’s that time of year again – holiday parties filled with plenty of cocktails, socializing and finger food much to our heart’s desire to celebrate this sparkly season. I teamed up with a photographer friend of mine, Maike Paul, to do a Holiday Cocktail Party photo shoot and we had waayyyyy too much fun!
We chose five of our favorite cocktails to concoct, style, shoot (and drink, of course), along with a few nibbles to compliment. So here’s the lineup: Whiskey Sour with Stuffed Mushrooms, Classic Martini with Spiced Mixed Nuts, Mulled Wine with Cheese and Crackers, Pisco Sour, and a luscious White Russian for dessert. I know you’ll love all of these recipes for your next holiday cocktail party as much as we did. And Happy Holidays to all of you - CHEERS!
1 small lemon wedge
Turbinado sugar, for rimming glass
1/4 cup bourbon, preferably Maker’s Mark
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon granulated sugar, preferably organic
1 cup ice cubes
Rub the lemon wedge around the rim of a 12-ounce rocks glass. Place turbinado sugar in a shallow dish. Dip the rim of the glass in the sugar to coat; set aside.
In a large cocktail shaker, combine bourbon, orange juice, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and ice. Cover, and shake vigorously until all ingredients are well combined and cold. Pour into prepared glass, and garnish with orange slice.
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 teaspoon red chile pepper flakes
Fresh ground black pepper
3-4 tablespoons EVOO
16 large white mushrooms, stemmed
White Truffle Oil (a few sprays or 1-2 tablespoons for brushing)
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped fine
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Stem the mushrooms and chop the stems into fine pieces, set aside. In a mixing bowl, blend together bread crumbs, cheese, chopped mushroom stems, garlic, parsley, chile flakes, garlic salt and pepper with EVOO. Adjust olive oil amount to your liking until filling is soft and blended well.
Stuff mushroom caps (cavity side up) with the filling (generously) on a greased baking sheet. Spray or brush truffle oil on outer mushroom caps.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until mushrooms are golden brown. Garnish with fresh mint.
Makes 16 servings.
Classic Dry Martini
1 2/3 oz Gin
1/3 oz Dry Vermouth
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with twist of lemon peel or olives.
Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup cashews
3/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Dash Louisiana-style hot sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine the salt and spices; set aside. In a large heavy skillet, melt butter. Add cashews, pecans and cashews; cook over medium heat until nuts are lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with spice mixture. Add the brown sugar, water, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until sugar is melted.
Place nuts on a large baking sheet lined with foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes until nuts are golden brown. Remove from oven and let nuts cool before serving. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 2 cups.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.
Mulled Red Wine with Brown Sugar
Mulled Red Wine with Brown Sugar
Two bottles of fruity red wine (Zinfandel or Merlot)
Zest strips from one orange
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
Put the peppercorns, fennel seeds and cinnamon in a large tea ball or wrap them in cheesecloth and secure them with kitchen string. In a large saucepan, combine aromatics with the wine, bay leaves and orange zest.
Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered for 30 minutes. Remove the aromatics and orange zest strips. Stir in the sugar until dissolved.
Serve warm in glasses or mugs with a variety of cheeses and crackers and spiced nuts.
Recipe from Food and Wine Cocktails.
2 oz Pisco
1 oz Lemon or Lime Juice
1-2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1/4 oz Sugar
1/2 Egg White
Shake all ingredients except bitters with ice. Strain into champagne flutes.
Dash with bitters and drag with a toothpick to make design.
2 oz Vodka
1 oz Kahlua
Half and Half Cream
Pour coffee liqueur and vodka into ice-filled old fashioned glass and fill with milk or cream.
Alternatively you can shake it all up in a cocktail mixer and strain over ice.
Garnish with coffee beans or cocoa powder.
The initiative has created hundreds of new jobs and has become a national model for expanding access to healthy foods.
NYC Green Cart Initiative’s Fresh Food Pack
The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund has partnered with the James Beard Foundation to publish the Fresh Food Pack series, including bilingual recipe cards, produce storage tips, and a fun facts and informationabout food for kids. The goal of the recipe cards, which feature produce available from NYC Green Carts, is to provide people living in underserved communities with the tools they need to buy, cook and eat healthier meals.
Kristen Hess is a NYC-based food stylist and photographer, writer.
Her professional background is in advertising, design and creative direction, marketing and social media for many well-known food and beverage brands.
She is passionate about food and travel, art and design, photography, theatre and film and all things creative.
Food Styling & Photography Portfolio: http://www.kristenhess.com
lower east side
russ & daughters
st. marks place
moishe's bake shop
Grand Central Market
Grand Central Station
Two Boots Pizz