Exploring Cardoons

The day before my CSA pick up we get an email from the farm listing the selections of the week. This is my third year getting a farm share from Hilltop Hanover Farm and I am always happy to report that every year they try a couple of new heirloom vegetables, which is so darn…

Farmer’s Market Charoset

Spring is here, finally. Easter and Passover are around the corner and the weather is trying ever so much to warm up.  It’s actually pleasant to walk around a farmers market without the cold wind pushing you along.   This week on my stroll through the Union Square Green Market the first table that caught my…

Revisiting Irish Soda Bread

It seems my food writing has taken a back seat to cooking these days.  There never seems to be enough hours in the week to get it all done.  Busy is always better, so I am not complaining!  This week I decided to play around with a couple of Irish soda bread recipes.  As with…

What’s For Dinner?

Coming off an eight day stretch one would think my creative juices would be completely juiced out. But this is the first week of the month and I want to continue this series called “What’s For Dinner?” The idea, as I mentioned previously, is to hopefully inspire you to make a quick and delicious dinner,…

Not Your Mother’s Lima Bean Soup

This morning a very serious, and somewhat threatening, message came through on the local Patch page: Wind Chill Watch, Temperatures will drop dangerously fast in Westchester. That ominous headline highlights probably the worst part of the year for me. The month of February: cold, dreary and lifeless. The world around me is in black and…

Looking for Color in January

We’ve reached that dreary part of the year that is my least favorite of all. All of the festive holiday decorations are put away, and mid-January is upon us. From about this point until the end of February the world seems to be in black and white. Nothing is colorful. It’s just a cold bluish…

A Little Departure From the Norm ….

What an amazing rollercoaster two months I’ve had. Probably the busiest in my seven years doing Bella Cucina Maria. Not only juggling my regular private work, but catering and part time cooking for the Canadian Permanent Mission. Honestly, as tired and wiped out as I am on December 16th  – with at least seven more…

Winter Squash Salad

Sometimes I find that I need a little inspiration. That sounds amusing to say, and even more amusing to write. Yet, every now and then I just need a little nudge. That is exactly what happened this weekend. Coming off a very intense week of cooking and catering I opened my lap top and just…

Late Season Tomatoes

Last Thursday was the end of my CSA. I still have a few treks up to Hilltop Hanover Farm left before the end of 2015, but it was bittersweet choosing my last share. Its been 20 glorious weeks of amazing vegetables. As I sit here writing I think I might have made it up for almost…

Winter Squash Tutorial: Delicate Delicata Squash

Winter squash is here for the duration. Stunning autumn colors piled high in huge containers everywhere. There are so many to choose from. I thought it would be fun to explore a few of my favorite varieties. In my Seasonal Chef column I’ve done a couple of fun recipes using delicata squash. One of my favorites…