Finally…Spring is here!!! I sat down last night to plan out our Easter dinner menu– to say that I’m looking forward to it would be an understatement! I’m a fan of filling my holiday tables with a few traditional family recipes and a few new dishes as well. The two recipes I’m most looking forward to making are my Pickled Asparagus and my Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon. I was smacking my lips while writing out my grocery shopping list! Both recipes are perfect for this time of year and would be a lovely addition to any Easter table. I’m planning to pick up a honey glazed ham from our neighborhood butcher so that I can really focus on making extra tasty sides. I’m also looking forward to the leftover ham sandwiches  and egg salad sandwiches we’ll have next week.

 

What are you planning on making? Do you look forward to the sides just as much as the main dish?

Pickled Asparagus recipe here.

 

 

Deviled Eggs with candied bacon recipe here.

 

 


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Every year my husband Robby requests the very same birthday cake. It’s the recipe that his mom made for him year after year and if I do say so myself…it’s pretty darn good. In fact, it’s a family favorite! My favorite element is the chocolate whipped cream that it’s topped with. My mother-in-law actually received this recipe years ago while she and her husband were in college! While it’s not a “from scratch” recipe, which is usually my approach, this recipe is easy and accessible and can be thrown together so quickly. The result is light and spongy cake with pudding layers throughout and a dreamy whipped cream layer on top to seal the deal. We always chill it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving it and my go to for decorating is fresh raspberries and chocolate shavings.

 

Do you have any family recipes that you make for the same occasion each year? I find myself looking forward to certain events and holidays that have certain recipes attached to them. Happy belated birthday to my husband Robby! Grab the recipe below.

 

Yield: 10 servings

 

INGREDIENTS
1 chocolate box cake mix (my favorite is Duncan Hines)
Filing:
6 oz. box instant chocolate pudding
2 ¼ cups cold milk
Whipped Cream Topping:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons of prepared chocolate pudding filling from above

 

 

DIRECTIONS

Bake cake according to box directions in (2) 9 inch cake pans.

 

While cake bakes, make filling. In a large mixing bowl combine instant chocolate pudding and cold milk. It will be less milk than instructed, but you want the pudding extra thick. Reserve 3 tablespoons for topping.

 

Using a mixer, whip heavy cream in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Mix in vanilla, sugar, and 3 tablespoons of prepared chocolate pudding until combined. Chill until ready to decorate.

 

After the cakes have cooled, cut each cake horizontally, for four layers. Spread the pudding between the 3 layers, but not on the top of the cake.

 

Frost the top and sides of the cake with the whipped cream topping and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours before serving.

 

Top with Raspberries and slivered almonds or chocolate shavings.


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I know everyone is singing the same sad song, but I’ve had it with this winter business! I can never remember longing for spring so much in my life. So instead of thinking about the wool socks and boots I put on this morning, I’m going to think about these ice cream sundaes instead. These sundaes are quick and simple and oh so tasty. Basically, if you have bananas on hand, you can have banana soft serve in no time at all.

 

Come on spring! We’re all rooting for you to get here sooner rather than later!


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Urban Farming

Mar 05, 2014

 

Well I sure didn’t and was blown away when I went on a hunt for different urban farms in New York City. The biggest surprise was finding the Riverpark farm in midtown Manhattan. It comes out of nowhere and the entire farm is built out of milk crates. They are stacked two deep and everything from tomatoes to peppers to cinnamon basil is grown there. The coolest thing is that the produce that is grown on the farm is then used in Tom Colicchio’s restaurant on the property. Having a meal where the produce has been grown on the same property as the restaurant is unheard of in Manhattan.

 

Today’s episode features this amazing urban farm and I go foraging for incredible ingredients to take back to the kitchen and make a few delicious dishes. The recipe I recently made on the Today Show is featured on this episode along with a delicious green goddess dressing and a fiery red pepper jelly. Don’t miss it!

 

The recipes in this episode are listed below.

 

 

Green Goddess Dressing

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Lemon-Scented Crispy Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Baby Carrots

 

 

Sauteed Mustard Greens with Pancetta
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Red Pepper Jelly
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I love the essentials – but what I love even more, is mixing ingredients up while keeping the essentials in place. My episode airing on Food Network today is all about steak, and more specifically cooking it at home. The different methods and techniques that can be used along with a couple of great sides for steak. This recipe came together so nicely and it was all because of the inventive use of grapes. Who would have thought grapes and steak go together?! Well, I’m here to tell you that the pairing is divine when served alongside this salad with blue cheese and a tangy sherry vinaigrette.

 

This recipe is a perfect example of a dish that’s super simple to prepare, but will most likely be something you’ve never had before! This keeps cooking exciting and hopefully gives you the confidence to experiment on your own with recipes. Enjoy! We will definitely be making this for dinner this week.

 

 

 

Yield: 4-6

 

INGREDIENTS

STEAK:
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 medium shallot, grated
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
2 pounds flank steak

 
VINAIGRETTE:
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

 
SALAD:
2 small bunches champagne grapes, broken into clusters, about 1 pound
1/2 pound bitter greens mix (radicchio, arugula, romaine, watercress, endive)
3/4 cups crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped

 

DIRECTIONS

For the steak: In a small bowl, mix together the Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, garlic and shallots. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup vegetable oil until emulsified. Place the steak in a plastic zip-top bag. Pour the marinade over the steak and seal the bag. Marinate for at least 1 hour at room temperature or refrigerate overnight. Allow the steak to come to room temperature before cooking.

 

When ready to cook, preheat the broiler and set the oven rack at the highest point, as close to the flame as it can get and still fit the steak below. Fit a wire rack onto a baking sheet.

 

Place the marinated steak on the prepared baking sheet (or a broiler pan), sprinkle with salt and pepper and place it under the broiler. Cook for 3 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 10 minutes. Slice thin strips of steak against the grain.

 

For the vinaigrette: While the steak is resting, in a small mixing bowl, make the vinaigrette. Combine the vinegar, shallots, mustard and garlic and whisk in the oil. Season with salt and pepper

 

For the salad: Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat. Place the grape bunches on the grill to char, just until blistered, 3 to 4 minutes.

 

In a large bowl, add the greens and lightly dress the salad with the vinaigrette. Toss to combine.

 

For serving, pile the salad onto a plate and top with crumbled blue cheese and toasted pecans. Surround the salad with the sliced steak and grilled grapes

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To print this recipe and read reviews, click here.


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