How To Make Authentic Guacamole

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My first experience with guacamole was the one in The Barefoot Contessa book, a flavorful guacamole that has the requisite avocados, red onion and lemon juice, but departs from the norm with fresh garlic and a few hits of Tabasco. Up until last weekend, if I were sent to the store to shop for guacamole ingredients, I probably would’ve stuck to The Barefoot Contessa formula. But then my friend Mark entered the picture.

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How To Soften Brown Sugar Without a Microwave

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We’ve all been there. It’s 9 o’clock at night, dinner is over, and suddenly you and your loved ones are craving cookies. All eyes turn to you and you stand up–ready to do the dirty deed–and as you march into the kitchen, confident that you can churn out cookies lickety split, you grab a box of brown sugar only to discover…

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How To Make A Good Cup of Coffee

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This weekend on Facebook, my friend Molly wrote that she was “constitutionally incapable of making a decent cup of coffee.”

I related to this because, for the past few years, I had the same problem. The lowest moment came when, upon grinding my own beans, I overdid it, clogged my coffee maker and a black sand volcano erupted all over my countertop, ruining the machine and my self-confidence too. But now I make a great cup of coffee and my secret has more to do with ignoring, not following, the Good Coffee-Making Rules.

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How To Make A Caesar Salad

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I make Caesar salads all the time and whenever I do, I forget to take pictures. Maybe it’s because it’s such a loosey-goosey process–how much garlic, how much anchovy, how much Parmesan & lemon is all a matter of taste–but, still, my Caesar salad is very good (as evidenced by this post). So, instead of waiting for the next opportunity to take pictures, I thought I would illustrate the process for you with a program I just downloaded called Paintbrush. Prepare to be amazed by my illustrious illustrating skills!

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How To Roast Red Peppers

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As autumn conquers summer, and I stroll through the Union Square Farmer’s Market, I start to panic and worry about all the fruits and vegetables I didn’t buy during those precious few warm-weather months. Which explains why, during one Saturday saunter, I came home with four giant red peppers.

I didn’t really have a red pepper agenda, but after watching this red pepper video on Food52 I decided I wanted to roast them. Then marinate them. And who knew that from that simple act I’d get three more dishes: a sandwich, a salad, and a gussied-up mac & cheese?

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How To Roast a Leg of Lamb

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“Pete’s Dragon” is a movie I hadn’t seen since childhood. I remember being terrified of Shelly Winters, covered in all that mud, and bored by the Helen Reddy boyfriend-lost-at-sea subplot. But when my friend Chris Dufault stated recently that “Pete’s Dragon” is one of his favorite movies, I felt a sudden need to see it again. And so we made a “Pete’s Dragon night”: Chris would bring the DVD and his boyfriend Jonathan and I’d cook something appropriate that’d complement the viewing experience. What would that be? Why leg of dra…I mean lamb, of course!

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How To Make Your Own Matzoh

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Moses had the burning bush which talked to him and told him to free the Jews from slavery and to lead them out of Egypt; I had a burning piece of matzoh. My burning piece of matzoh didn’t talk to me or tell me to do anything, but it did fill my apartment with so much smoke I had to open all of the windows during a rainstorm. If I were superstitious, I might wonder if this burning matzoh was punishment for my non-seder at Five Guys Burgers the night before where, instead of dipping bitter herbs into salted water, I dipped French fries into ketchup. Regardless, this was my first attempt at making matzoh and it all happened because of a mysterious package that arrived earlier in the day.

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