My Jen
Hot Chocolate
Pesto Capellini
Carrot Pappardelle
Finger Limes
Modern BLT


Blueberry Pancakes

Gluten-free blueberry pancakes, accompanied with a cheese omelette and (of course) bacon.

1/2 C brown rice flour
1 Tbs tapioca starch
1 Tbs potato starch
2/3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp agave
1/8 tsp fine-ground sea salt
1 egg
2 Tbs butter, melted
2/3 C soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 pint blueberries
Scant oil
* for regular pancakes, use 2/3 C all-purpose flour instead of the first 3 items

Melt the butter in a small ramekin until just melted. Whisk the egg in a bowl, then add the remaining ingredients except the oil and blend well.

On a hot griddle or in a skillet, put a scant amount of oil so the surface is just covered. Drop 2 Tbs of mix. Allow to cook on one side until edges are starting to dry around. Flip carefully and cook for another minute. Remove and stack. Serve with syrup or warm agave.

Images by MadeForJen


Homemade Hot Chocolate

Cold winter night outside? Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate! This is real, homemade hot chocolate - surprisingly easy to make.

1½ C milk (or soy milk)
1½ tsp dark cocoa powder (70% or higher)
2 oz dark chocolate (70% or higher)
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs sugar

Over medium-low heat, warm half of the milk until near boiling, then add the cocoa powder and using a whisk, beat the mixture until blended. Then add the chocolate, vanilla and sugar. Lower the heat and add the remaining milk. With a spatula, stir and scrape the sides to keep from scorching until hot. Pour into 2 cups.

We like to top them with foamed soy milk but whipped cream or marshmallows work great too. Sprinkle some chopped chocolate on top.


Review: ABV

So neither Jen nor I really drink wine so it would be unlikely to find us in a wine bar but this little joint on in the Carnegie Hill area of the Upper East Side is worth the visit.

We managed to visit the place twice - once for late dinner and once for Sunday brunch. And both times, it was fantastic.

Beet salad with frisee and goat cheese
Very refreshing - the goat cheese is lighter than usual - almost like mascarpone, and the dressing is the right balance of sweet and acidic.

Gnocchi with butternut squash and morels
All I could say was "wow!" The mushrooms were fried until crisp so they had a texture and flavor something like bacon. The greens provided a bit of bitterness to balance the richness.

Breakfast Torta
Eggs, slab bacon, potatoes and avocado in crusty bread with rosemary fries.
Served as a sandwich it looks very unassuming but you will love it - rich, drippy egg yolks, diced fried potatoes and smoky bacon.

Eggs benedict (with a hash brown center)
Yum. What's a brunch without eggs benedict?

Images by MadeForJen (sorry for the graininess - they were shot in low light with an iPhone)

1504 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10029


After Thanksgiving

I decided to skip posting on Thanksgiving this year. Seeing that this is a cooking/food blog, one would think that I would've grabbed the low hanging fruit and posted about all the goodies at the family dinner but actually this year we were fortunate to be able to just spend time together and with family and instead, Jen's mom made a fantastic meal.

So now the weekend is over and we're back to normal daily life. It was nice to just spend some time not working for once. But alas, the food returns... posts coming shortly.

Image by MadeForJen


Cool Foods: Delicious Extras

I wish I could say I made all these but they are actually from a couple of artisanal makers - the chutney and pickles are from Divine Brine and the tapenades from Liveo.

Cherry-Apple Chutney
Pair it with granola and Greek yogurt

Half Dill Pickles
Perfect the way they are out of the jar or sliced on top of crackers

Hot Bread & Butter Pickle Chips
Great with grilled cheese or on as a rough chopped relish

Crusty breads or mixed in cream cheese as a sandwich.

Images by Gilt Taste


Angel Hair with Pesto

Angel Hair Pasta with Spinach Pesto

Not much to it...basic angel hair pasta tossed in a spinach-based pesto with some crostini.  A little late afternoon snack.

Angel Hair Pasta with Spinach Pesto

Images by MadeForJen


Omelette, Chorizo and Guacamole

One of my favorite breakfasts - cheese omelette, chorizo and guacamole.

Omelette has cheddar, chives and some bits of chorizo.

A recipe for guacamole can be found here.

Chorizo & Cheese Omelette Recipe

2 large eggs
1/2 C chopped cheddar or jack cheese
1/3 C chopped, slightly fried chorizo
1 Tb chopped chives

Beat the eggs well then add the remaining ingredients. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, reduce to medium and add 1 Tb oil and spread evenly. Pour omelette mixture in and allow to cook on one side, then flip the whole mess over and do the other. I prefer to serve it roughly piled but if you like it more clean, fold the omelette as it comes out of the pan.

Images by MadeForJen


Beautiful Design Packaging: Eggs

Just like good presentation (and good food photography for that matter) makes the food "taste" better (the eyes precede the tastebuds), packaging can also play an huge role in your choices.

This creative design was actually a school project by a Hungarian designer Otília Andrea Erdélyi and I think is one of the most beautiful and well-thought out package designs ever. It was posted earlier this year but I never had a chance to incorporate it into my posts.

Protective, microwavable, and eco-friendly all in one, as well as stackable.

Personally it just makes cooking even better to open the fridge and find something like this rather than the bland egg cartons that haven't changed as long as I can remember.

Images by Otília Andrea Erdélyi
Original post from Design Milk


Carrot Pappardelle

Carrot pappardelle

For vegetable lovers - a gluten-free alternative to pasta. This "pappardelle" is actually long, shaved strips of carrot that was steamed until just soft, then lightly sauteed in sun-dried tomato oil with a dash of coarse-grain grey sea salt.

Carrot pappardelle

The "noodles" are sitting on a bed of purple asparagus that was lightly coated with olive oil then pan-grilled with a few grains of sea salt for 2 minutes. Purple asparagus is sweeter and less fibrous than green or white versions, though the green will come out when cooked.

Images by MadeForJen


Helping Hands, Helping Hunger

Last week, NYC and the surrounding areas were smacked hard by Hurricane Sandy. We were so fortunate to have little more than some wind and rain, but it's heartbreaking how badly some were devastated and how even tons of preparedness could not have prevented the fallout.

The effects of the storm will be here for some time. While most have gotten back to their lives, there are still thousands who were displaced and left cold, unsheltered and hungry. Quite a few people from our church got together as part of its charitable ministry group Liberty City and went to the Lower East Side's Hernandez House where residents had no water or heat or electricity, and helped to distribute food and help carry water up the stairs for elderly residents.

And when our neighborhood, like many, held a drive to collect essentials and Jen jumped into action (one of the things I love most about her).

There are so many people in need today. If you have a little extra, and can, help out. A little heart goes a long way.

The storm sidelined cooking this week - hoping things will return to normal shortly :)

Image by MadeForJen