I’m so excited to announce that I will be the guest chef for a Fall Cooking Workshop with Allegra Pomilio in Andros, Greece this September 12-16, 2018. Join us for four days of cooking, relaxing and celebrating late summer/early fall at the absolutely stunning, Mèlisses.
We’ve planned 4 days of cooking lessons, excursions, and lots of wonderful food. Our host Allegra will take you to visit local producers, little villages across the island, introduce you to one of the most beautiful and secret beaches of Andros, and spoil you with freshly cooked meals - some of which we will cook together in a picturesque old beach house. It’s the time of wild figs, warm sunny mornings spent on the beach, discovering Greek hamlets and late evening sunset aperitifs by the pool.
Allegra Pomilio our culinary host has been working in the field for many years. Her photography and visual art background studies combined with her passion for food found perfect balance in her blog: www.allegrapomilio.com. She assisted and spent time in Mimi Thorisson’s kitchen, in the heart of the French countryside. She spent two years honing her skills, studying at the Alain Ducasse Academy, as well as attending many prestigious Italian chef’s classes. Greece is her second home and Mèlisses is her continuous source of inspiration, where she pays particular attention to the presentation of the dishes and to the “art de la table”.
There are a few different styles of rooms available at a few different price points and registration is open now! Click through to learn more about this beautiful place, our workshop, and to reserve your spot. Allegra can answer all of your questions about the house. See you in Greece!
Don't you love the way rhubarb ripple sounds? Vegan ice cream is a tricky beast. A lot of them rely on coconut milk and oil, which makes every flavor taste, well, like coconut. Except, there is a Van Leeuwen ice cream near my apartment and their vegan flavors never taste too coconutty – unless they are meant to. So I did a little (very little) sleuthing to figure out their secret. Turns out they have a cookbook and their secret is a combination of cashews for chew and cocoa butter and coconut for richness. The combination is not entirely neutral in flavor, you can still taste the individual componenets if you think about it, but the texture is amazingly smooth and rich. I decided to play up the cocoa butter (white chocolate!) flavor in this recipe which pairs beautifully with rhubarb and makes a delightfully springy plant based treat.
There are a couple of spots left in my Fall Paris Workshop with Olaiya Land! We and I had such a long waitlist for our Paris workshop this Spring (thank you!) that we added another workshop this September 20-24. The format will be pretty much the same as the Spring version - think lots of pastry, delicious wine and cheese, market visits, prop shopping, and some solid photo, styling, and editing lessons in the city of light. This trip is for anyone looking to build their photography and styling skills (all levels welcome) and enjoy lots of beautiful food in one of the most amazing cities in the world. I am so excited to explore Paris in the fall, I am dreaming of the markets already!
The key to the texture of this ice cream is to make sure the mixture is completely smooth and emulsified at every step so don't skip on the blending steps. Also, the ice cream base is wonderful on its own or with a bit of chopped chocolate folded in.
Roasted Rhubarb Compote
1/2 (225g) pound thin rhubarb stalks
1/2 cup (50g) granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
Vegan White Chocolate Ice Cream
1/2 cup (75g) raw, unsalted cashews
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100g) cocoa butter
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups full fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
For the compote
Heat oven to 375ºF.
Slice the rhubarb into 2-3 inch lengths. Toss it in a baking dish with the sugar, and lemon juice. Roast until soft and juicy. Blend until smooth. Cool completely before using in the ice cream. It should be thick and jammy, if it seems liquidy cook it on the stovetop for a few minutes over medium heat to reduce.
For the ice cream
Cover the cashews with water and let soak overnight. Drain and rinse the cashews then add them to a blender with 1/2 cup water. Puree until completely smooth.
Combine the sugar with 1/4 cup water and cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat then whisk in the cocoa butter, coconut oil and salt until melted and smooth.
Add the sugar mixture, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds into the blender and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until cooled completely then churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers instructions. Spoon 1/3 of the ice cream mixture into a freezer safe container, dollop 2 tablespoons of the rhubarb compote over the top and swirl with a knife, repeat with more ice cream and rhubarb until you have used all of the ice cream. You will have some rhubarb compote left over. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
Please excuse the phone photography here. I baked this pistachio rosewater cake for fun (imagine that) but so many folks over on instagram were interested in the recipe so I am sharing it - along with a very exciting announcement!
Olaiya and I had such a long waitlist for our Paris workshop this Spring (thank you!) that we added another workshop this September 20-24. The format will be pretty much the same as the Spring version - think lots of pastry, delicious wine and cheese, market visits, prop shopping, and some solid photo, styling, and editing lessons in the city of light. This trip is for anyone looking to build their photography and styling skills (all levels welcome) and enjoy lots of beautiful food in one of the amazing cities in the world. I am so excited to explore Paris in the fall, I am dreaming of the markets already!
Now for the cake! This comes from Molly'sShortstack all about Yogurt. It is full of sweet and savory recipes using her (and my) favorite dairy product. I grew up eating yogurt as a mostly savory food, but it is awesome in all sorts of sweet preparations too - like cake. Molly uses Labneh, a very thick and tangy type of yogurt as frosting for this pleasantly rustic, but also kinda fancy pistachio cake. If you aren't a fan of rosewater, the cake would be just as good without it too.
This cake is so simple and tasty, and super beautiful too! I reduced the sugar in the cake and frosting by about 1/3 to suit my personal tastes, and added some strawberries on top because strawberries, pistachio, and rose are a natural paring. Did you know strawberries and roses are in the same botanical family?! The recipe below is as it is printed in the book and when I made it I used 1 cup of sugar in the cake and 2/3 cup sugar in the frosting.
1 1/2 cups roasted unsalted shelled pistachios
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons rosewater
1 1/2 cups labneh
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon rosewater
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch kosher salt
Make the cake: Preheat the oven 350º. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper, set aside. Place the pistachios in a food processor and pulse until they’re coarsely chopped. Scoop out 2 tablespoons and set them aside for the topping. Blend the remaining pistachios until they’re finely ground. add the flour, almond meal and salt and pulse a few times to combine.
In a stand mixer fixed with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each, then add the lemon zest, almond extract and rosewater. Add the dry mixture ad mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Bake the cake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (begin checking for doneness at 50 minutes). Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the labneh frosting: In a medium bowl, stir together the labneh, sugar, rosewater, vanilla, and salt until the mixture is smooth. Cover the top of the cooled cake with the frosting. Top with the reserved pistachios and a few sprinkles of dried rose petals.
I dusted off the ol film camera a few weeks ago and got to shooting film again. It's a nice change of pace for me, to take the time to shoot analog, to have take my film to the lab and wait to see what comes out. My camera is old and fussy, I've finally come to terms with the fact that the light meter is broken, but I am stubborn so I haven't taken it in to be repaired...I like the break from the immediacy of social media. I like that I can't (or just don't) take 20 frames of the same thing. My lab is also right next to Superiority Burger so it's a pretty good excuse to swing through for a veggie burger and Arnold Palmer.
Sure, there is some dust on the scans and the photos aren't perfect, but I love them anyway so I am posting them here along with a recipe for a super simple olive oil loaf cake that is the sort of cake that gets better with age. We enjoyed it over the course of about a week, thin slice by thin slice, and I think it really peaked in flavor on about day three. Feel free to sub lemon or lime for the grapefruit - Meyer lemon would, of course, be delicious and if you are feeling lazy, you don't really have to make the glaze. Although, I'm a sucker for citrus glaze so I'd never skip it. The candied grapefruit peel is very optional though.
There are only TWO spots left for my food and photography workshop in PARIS with Olaiya Land - who inspired this cake - We are going to have so much fun, eat so much delicious food, and learn so much about photography and editing. You will walk away from the workshop with a full heart and belly, and the skills to take your blog, social media accounts, or casual photography to the NEXT LEVEL. Please join us!
World class food stylist and author Susan Spungen and I are teaming up for another workshop in the Hamptons this JUNE all about STRAWBERRIES! It will be open for registration next week. Make sure you are signed up for my newsletter (over in the sidebar) to get early access to registration.
Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake
Makes one 9x5x3 or 10x4x3-inch loaf
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 3/4 cups (225g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (175ml) fruity olive oil
1/4 cup (55g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon finely grated grapefruit zest
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (240ml) whole-milk kefir or buttermilk, at room temperature
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350ºF butter and flour a 9x5x3 or 10x4x3 inch baking pan.
Combine the sugar, and zest and rub the zest into the sugar until well combined and fragrant. Add the olive oil, eggs, and melted butter and whisk. Add the buttermilk or kefir. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine. You want it to be well mixed, don't go crazy, a few small lumps of flour are ok.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tap it gently on the counter to release any air bubbles, and bake until the cake is puffed and golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan to cool completely.
When the cake is cool, make the glaze. Whisk the confectioners sugar with grapefruit juice, adding a bit at a time until the glaze is thick but pourable. Pour the glaze over the top and garnish with candied grapefruit peel if desired. Let the glaze set for a few minutes before slicing.
Preserved lemons (or limes!) in salt is one of my favorite canning projects because it is EASY. All you need is some fruit, kosher salt, and a clean jar - well, some time too if you count that as an ingredient. I was the lucky recipient of a box of Rangpur limes - one of my favorite esoteric citrus fruits - from Shae who I bonded with years ago over our love of fruit and preserving. So, long story short I preserved a couple of jars of them in salt which I will use in savory (and sweet!) dishes all year long. I just love their sour funky flavor and their gorgeous color!
It's a beautiful process and I teamed up with Pete again who made this incredible video (including the music that I just LOVE). I hope you like it, and I always say this, but more to come!
Preserved Lemons or Limes
Making preserved lemons is one of my favorite winter canning projects and is one of the easiest too. It is really more a formula than a specific recipe so feel free to scale these amounts up or down depending on how much use you think you’ll get out of them. Meyer lemons are wonderful preserved because of their thin skin and small amount of white pith, but regular lemons are great too.
1 quart sized canning jar and lid or 2 pint jars
8-10 organic lemons, well scrubbed
Slice off the stem end and bottom of each lemon (only if they have big nubs). Stand the lemons up and, cut an “X” into each lemon, stopping about 1/2-inch from the bottom so all four quarters are still connected at the base. Hold each lemon open with your fingertips and sprinkle salt on the inside and outside of each one.
Cover the bottom of the jar with a thin layer of salt and place each lemon in the jar, pressing to release the juices. Fill the jar with the lemons, leaving about 1-inch of headspace. If the lemons are not completely submerged in juice, top the jar off with additional lemon juice until they are covered. Sprinkle salt on the top of the jar, screw on the lid and give the whole thing a shake.
Let the jar sit at room temperature for three days, turning the jar each day to distribute the salt and juices. After three days, store the jar in the refrigerator, making sure to turn it every couple of days. The lemons are ready when their rinds are very soft, about 3 weeks. To cook with the lemons, remove them from the jar and rinse with cool water. Remove and discard the pulp and seeds and chop the rind. They’ll keep in the fridge, submerged in juice, for one year.
I am not a stuff person by any means. I have no problem letting things go, I don’t worry when dishes break or clothes get stained, but I do have a prized cookbook that I would be very sad to see anything happen to - The Last Course by Claudia Fleming. Every time I think I have a new and original idea, it turns out Claudia Fleming already had it – pre 2001. It’s truly a shame that the book is out of print, copies sell for hundreds of dollars on Amazon and ebay. Every pastry chef I know treasures their copy. The Last Course is also the book that made me fall in love with pineapple of all things. Caramelized with pink peppercorns, bay and vanilla and served with vanilla ice cream – pineapple is a magical thing.
I have been dreaming of a pineapple upside down cake with those amazing flavors and getting Erin McDowell’s Fearless Baker was just the inspiration I needed to actually do it. I riffed on her upside down cake recipe a bit here, ok I riffed a lot. Her version includes graham flour (yum!) and is topped with tomato jam (hello!), but I did take her general proportions and the addition of crème fraiche in the batter (yum again!). I don’t think she will mind.
2 cups sliced pineapple (fresh or canned – you do you)
1 cup (220g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (110g) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/3 cups (320g) crème fraîche
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Heat oven to 350° F.
Melt the butter and brown sugar together in a 10-inch (or deep 9-inch) cast iron skillet set over medium heat. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and combined. Add the rum, peppercorns, vanilla bean, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt.
Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the pineapple and cook for a few minutes turning the pineapple over in the sauce occasionally until the pineapple begins to soften and release its juices. Off of the heat, use a slotted spoon to remove the pineapple from the pan into a separate bowl or plate, then carefully remove the pink peppercorns from the sauce – I know this is fussy, but you gotta do it unless you want to pick peppercorns out of your teeth. Add the pineapple back to the pan in an even layer - if you have extra pineapple (lucky) just eat it :) Set the pan on a baking sheet, and brush the sides of the pan with a bit of butter.
To make the cake, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and crème fraiche and mix to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Fold the flour into the wet ingredients then pour the batter over the fruit and spread into an even layer.
Bake the cake on the baking sheet until a toothpick inserted inserted into the cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then run a spatula around the outside of the cake and invert the cake onto a cooling rack. Cool completely and remove the bay leaf and vanilla bean pod before slicing and serving.
It's no surprise that everything from Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s new book Sweet is craveworthy, but I am obsessed with these stamped gingerbread. I have made them at least 5 times this holiday season, and I’ll probably make them again if I get the chance. They are perfect Christmas cookies - beautiful, tasty, easy to make in large quantities, and they taste great after a few days at room temperature.
I do add a bit more spice than is called for in the recipe (which is reflected below) because I like a little extra cardamom and allspice in my gingerbread. I also add a pinch of salt to the glaze because I think it helps the buttery flavor pop. t's safe to say that these are going in the permanent Christmas cookie rotation.
A note about cookie stamps: The one I use is hand carved and pretty similar to the ones available here. Happy Baking!
lightly adapted from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh
Soft Gingerbread Cookies
6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90g) dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (100g) blackstrap molasses
1 large egg yolk
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (235g) all purpose flour
1 tablespoon dutch process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Rum Butter Glaze
2/3 cup (80g) confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and warm
1 tablespoon dark rum (or lemon juice)
1 teaspoon warm water
Place the butter, sugar and molasses in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg yolk.
Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the dry ingredients to the butter and molasses. Once the mix comes together, tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently.
Roll out the dough so it’s about 1/4-inch thick (no need to chill it first, but the dough can be wrapped in cling film and kept in the fridge for up to two days before baking). Preheat oven 325F. Line two baking trays with baking parchment and set aside.
Dip the cookie stamps in a small bowl of flour, shake off any excess and then press them firmly into the dough, one at a time, to create a deep imprint. Using a round biscuit cutter that is slightly larger than the pattern, cut out the pieces of imprinted gingerbread.
Transfer the cookies to the lined baking trays about 1-inch apart. Re-roll the dough and continue to stamp and cut until all the dough is used up. Bake for 9-10 mins, rotating the trays halfway through, until firm to the touch. They will continue to firm as they cool.
Prepare the glaze while the biscuits are in the oven, as it needs to be brushed on while they are still warm. Sift the icing sugar and cinnamon into a bowl. Add the melted butter, rum (or lemon juice) and water and mix with a spoon until smooth. The glaze will thicken slightly if it sits around, so stir through a little more warm water if you need to – it should be the consistency of runny honey.
Remove the biscuits from the oven, leave to rest for 5 mins, then brush or dab the glaze all over with a pastry brush. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Biscuits will keep for up to five days in an airtight container.
I am so thrilled to announce that Olaiya Land and I are getting the band back together for a photography and styling workshop in PARIS May 23-27, 2018! If you don't already know her, Olaiya is a Seattle-based cook and photographer. She draws on her experience cooking in professional kitchens and years spent living abroad to create visual stories for her food and travel blog, Milly’s Kitchen. She also teaches cooking classes, hosts a series of pop-up dinners and leads food and photography retreats designed to help people bring more creativity and inspiration into their lives. Her Paris workshops and pop-up dinners always sell out quickly, and I am so excited to revisit Paris under her expert guidance!
We’ve planned four glorious days of cooking, shooting, and styling in a light-filled, absolutely stunning flat. We’ll visit local markets, boulangeries and cafes as we stroll the streets capturing the light Paris is famous for and tasting the city's best chocolate, coffee, pastries, cheeses and natural wines. And of course we'll gather around the table to share meals both in our beautiful workshop apartment and out and about in Paris.
The workshop is open to food and photography lovers of all abilities, and we will provide tons of hands-on learning experiences as well as opportunities to explore and relax. We have taken care of all of the arrangements for you so you can focus on learning and absorbing all Paris has to offer. All you need to do is show up with your camera and comfy shoes, ready to learn and be inspired. This workshop is limited to 8 participants,
Registration opens at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST today! Click through this link to learn all of the deets and sign up! See you in Paris!
A few weeks ago Susan Spungen and I gathered a small group of ladies from all over the country for our first Hamptons Workshop and Retreat. We picked apples in the rain, feasted on delicious seasonal meals including spritz hour and a delicious pizza dinner at Amber Waves Farm (run by a group of badass ladies), picked fresh veggies at Quail Hill Farm, watched Susan demo her famous Tarte Tatin, ate a Flemish Beauty pear galette with marzipan halva in a paella pan (so great for a group!), made pies to take home, and lots more.
A big thank you to our sponsors Vermont Creamery for providing all of the delicious butter and cheese that made our lunches and pies amazing, Williams Sonoma for the aprons and pie tools everyone used to make pies, Millie Lottie for gorgeous tote bags that everyone used to transport their pies home (so smart!), Woo Garden for delicious jams, and Rachel from Seed and Mill who attended the workshop and brought delicious tahini and halva to share with all of us!
It was such a great time and we can’t wait to do it all again in the Spring. Make sure to sign up for my newsletter over in the sidebar for early access to the next workshop!
I'm so excited to announce that this October 14-15, Susan Spungen and I are hosting a two-day Pie Baking Masterclass and Retreat in East Hampton!
We will gather at Susan’s light-filled home in Long Island during one of the most beautiful times of year to bake, harvest, share farm fresh meals, and most importantly demystify homemade pie crust so you can impress all of your friends and family this holiday season and hone those skills you’ve always longed to master.
All skill levels are welcome. This will be a perfect opportunity to enjoy fall on Eastern Long Island and polish your skills so you feel confident in your holiday pie baking and pie crust skills.
Baking Lessons - We will each demonstrate our favorite pie crust techniques both by hand and using a food processor, and show you how we use them in sweet and savory treats all season long. We’ll cover the basics, like proper rolling technique, how to use a French rolling pin, how to keep your dough at the right temperature, how to pick up dough to transfer it, and so much more! We’ll show you blind baking techniques, decorative pie crusts, and traditional lattice topped pies. Then we will let you loose in the kitchen to bake your own pie or galette to take home. You will receive one-on-one instruction from each of us.
Farm Visits - Fall in the Northeast is a beautiful and abundant time in the orchards and fields. We will visit a local pick-your-own apple orchard for perfect baking apples, have dinner at Amber Waves, and stop by Quail Hill Farm for greens and herbs to make into savory galettes.
Fresh Seasonal Meals - We will gather together around the table for one breakfast, two lunches, apertivo hour, one dinner, and snacks along the way all made from fresh local ingredients.
Photography and Styling - While this isn’t a photography workshop specifically, we will all want to share our creations so we’ll spend a bit of time photographing our beautiful work to share on social media and chatting with Julie Resnick of @thefeedfeed, who will join us for a meal.