2014-09-02 21.14.38

2014-09-02 21.24.14


This is a dish my Mom used to make all the time growing up. It was one of the very first things I ever learned to make. It requires only a few ingredients; Garlic, olive oil, cheese, some parsley, cracked pepper. Thats basically it. Im all about those dishes that you can pull together with things you always have in the fridge. I have some construction happening in my place and its been difficult to cook anything lately. Recipes like these are crucial for uncomplicated, quick dinners. The only thing thats necessary to this recipe is saving some of the pasta water from the pot before you strain the cooked pasta. The starch in the water helps the minimal sauce come together and stick to the pasta.

Kosher salt
1/2 pound dried spaghetti
3 TBSP good olive oil
8 large garlic cloves,  some cut into thin slivers and some minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (or a few TBSP)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pinch of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Set aside 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch saute pan or a large, shallow pot. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edges-don’t overcook it! Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a third.

Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss. Off the heat, add the parsley and Parmesan and toss well. Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side.

Adapted from this recipe



2014-09-02 17.20.05


Elote. Mexican Street Corn. If you’ve never tried this, you’re missing everything good in life. A good friend put me onto this at Cafe Habana in NYC and I’ve been hooked ever since. Its super simple to make. Luckily I live in an area with a huge south american population, so its not hard for me to find Cotija cheese. If you can’t get Cotija, You could also use Queso Fresco, or Feta although the flavor would be a bit different.


-4 Ears of fresh corn on the cob, cleaned and shucked

-a few tbsp of mayo

-1/4 – 1/2 cup of cotija cheese, crumbled

-one lime quartered

-a pinch of cayenne pepper

Clean and shuck the ears of corn. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat. If using a grill pan cover the corn with a lid to steam it a bit. Grill corn until blackened and blistering on all sides. (if grilling indoors, once its cooked through, you can also hold the corn over the open flame with metal tongs, to speed up the blackening process) remove grilled corn from heat. Spread a thin layer of mayo over the corn. Roll in cotija cheese and then sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Squeeze lime over the corn and serve immediately.



I have a love hate relationship with fried eggs. For a while I’ve been more of an omelette, fritatta, or scramble person. But theres just something about the simplicity of a simple fried egg with some cracked pepper over a piece of toast. Chopped herbs add a bit of freshness. Fry this the spanish way, with a bit of olive oil and a cast iron skillet and you’ll take this dish to new places.


1-2 Eggs

1-2 pieces of great bread, toasted

a few tbsp of olive oil

cracked pepper

a tsp of fresh herbs, i used chives

Heat about 1/4 inch of olive oil in a very small, heavy skillet. I used cast iron. Heat over medium-high heat until very hot; it should just be beginning to smoke. Crack an egg into a cup or mug. When the oil is hot enough, carefully slip the egg into the oil and immediately turn the heat down to medium-low. Spoon the hot oil over the egg as it cooks. Cook for no more than a minute and a half then take the pan off the heat and remove the egg with a slotted spoon. Top with cracked pepper and chives. Serve with a piece of great bread, toasted.






Cilantro Lime Rice. A simple way to make your rice slightly less boring. Well, and a total Chipotle rip-off.. It just makes sense with black beans, red beans, any beans. You could pair this with indian or thai food just as easily.


1 cup long-grain white rice

Coarse salt

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove

In a medium saucepan bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil on high heat. Add rice and 1/4 tsp salt. Cover and reduce to a low simmer. Cook until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 16-18 minutes.

Meanwhile in a blender combine cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic and 2tbsp water, blend until smooth. Stir into cooked rice and fluff with fork.






Homemade breadcrumbs. SO much better than the dusty store bought breadcrumbs I’ve used my whole life. My recent kale salad obsession prompted me to make these, so easy and so amazing. A good way to use old bread or dinner rolls. I would add these to salads, pasta, or use them to bread chicken, eggplant, fish, etc. Store them in a mason jar and they will keep for a month or so.


-4 slices white or whole wheat sandwich bread or 3-4 dinner rolls (any day old bread you have in the house will work)

Tear bread slices into small pieces. Process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form.

To make toasted breadcrumbs, spread the fresh crumbs in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 350° oven, stirring occasionally, until browned and dry, then transfer hot breadcrumbs to a large bowl.

 Stored in an airtight container, they’ll keep for 1 month.
Customize with: lemon zest, chopped fresh herbs, crushed red pepper flakes, dried herbs, grated Parmesan, powdered or minced garlic.





VIBES: RAEKWON “Knowledge God

A recent late-night-kale-salad-roomservice-order from Public Restaurant in the Roosevelt Hotel motivated me to seek this recipe. It’s really one of the best Kale salads I’ve ever had. The homemade breadcrumbs give it texture and cheese/cranberries/pine nuts/viniagrette balance the bitterness of the kale. I found this recipe on
101 cookbooks and just added cranberries and pine nuts. Perfecto!


-1 bunch Tuscan kale (for ex: black or lacinato) sliced into thin ribbons

-2 thin slices country bread, or two handfuls good, homemade coarse breadcrumbs

-1/2 garlic clove

-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch

-1/4 cup (or small handful) grated pecorino cheese, plus adiitional for garnish

-Handful of dried cranberries

-Handful of raw pine nuts

-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish

-Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon (scant 1/4 cup or ~50ml)

-1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim the bottom few inches off the kale stems and discard. Slice the kale into 3/4-inch ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl.

If using the bread, toast it until golden brown on both sides and dry throughout. Tear into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until the mixture forms coarse crumbs, or crumbs to your liking.

Using a mortar and pestle or a knife, pound or mince the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves).. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with the bread crumbs, pine nuts, cranberries additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.






2014-08-13 18.11.11

2014-08-13 18.12.08


This cake is not playing. You will make this cake, then it will take all your willpower to not eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner. Im not talking from experience or anything, were just speculating. Make this cake for your friends, family, or someone you love. They will thank you.


1 cup butter softened to room temperature

2 3/4 cups white sugar divided

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups all purpose flour

1tsp baking soda

1tsp salt

2 cups sour cream or greek yogurt (i used 2% greek yogurt)

2 Tbsp ground cinnamon


In a large bowl, cream butter and 2 cups sugar until light fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add alternately with sour cream, beating just enough after each addition to keep batter smooth.

Spoon a third of batter into a greased 10-in. tube or bundt pan. Combine cinnamon, nuts and remaining sugar; sprinkle a third over batter in pan. Repeat layers two more times. Bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.



2014-08-09 19.48.42

2014-08-09 19.50.22


This is a super thin oatmeal cookie. The recipe only uses brown sugar, so it manages to stay chewy. I sort of went ham in the process of baking these cookies and after a few trays of regular cookies, I basically added everything in my pantry. Butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, walnuts, shredded coconut and white chocolate chips to be exact.. Smh. I ended up with something similar to Momofuku Milk Bar’s Compost cookie. No one who had these cookies was complaining though. (Insert Smiley Emoji Here)

BROWN SUGAR OATMEAL COOKIES (from the pioneer woman’s recipe.)

1 cup Salted Butter, Softened

2 cups Packed Dark Brown Sugar

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

2 whole Eggs

1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

3 cups Old Fashioned Oats

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup raisins


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand mixer) beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each one.

Mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium sized bowl. Add it into the creamed mixture in 2 to 3 batches, mixing it until just combined. Mix in the oats until just combined.

Use your preferred size cookie scoop (or a regular spoon) to drop portions of dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, spacing them a couple inches apart. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until dark and chewy. If you’d like a crispier cookie, just cook a little longer!

Let them cool slight on the pan after removing from the oven, then transfer the cookies onto a plate for serving.

* Note: Add 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts to the flour mixture for crunch. Do like me and add chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, shredded coconut, and white chocolate chips and its a party.




This salad makes so much sense. It takes literally 5 minutes to put together. Your friends will be impressed. Ive been daydreaming about Morocco, Turkey, India and Greece lately, so these recipes are a manifestation of that. Wear a silk caftan while you’re making this and shuffle around the kitchen listening to Eddie Money. You’ll be in a good space.

1/4 of a large seedless watermelon (about 4-5 cups), cut into 1 inch cubes

juice from 1 lime

1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped

3/4 cup feta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/4 very thinly sliced purple onion

freshly ground black pepper


In a large bowl, combine onion and lime juice. Let it sit for a few minutes then add watermelon. Gently fold in the feta, sprinkle with mint, and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.





VIBES: Little Dragon “Pretty Girls”

Tzatziki is so easy. Who knew. Naan is a bit more involved, and Im not sure if my version is better than my favorite indian takeout spots. But I had fun making this recipe. For me its all about the process. Take it a step further, add grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato and onion and and make a gyro.

HOMEMADE NAAN  (for step by step instructions with pictures head over to Half Baked Harvest)

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup hot water (but not boiling, just hot tap water)

3/4 teaspoonactive dry yeast

3/4 cup warm milk

1 cup greek yogurt

melted butter, ghee or olive oil for brushing

fresh cilantro, garlic or other herbs for topping

In a medium size bowl, or 4 cup glass measuring cup, dissolve the sugar in the warm water (about 105 degree F). Add the dry yeast to the warm water and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to froth and rise.

Add the flour, baking soda and baking powder to a large mixing bowl.

When the yeast is foamy and smells like bread add the warm milk and yogurt. Pour the wet ingredients right into the middle of the dry and begin mixing the wet with dry using a wooden spatula. When the dough is about to come together, use your hands to finish mixing. As soon as it comes together, stop kneading. It should be sticky, but should form a ball and be soft. Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place 1 hour or if not using right away overnight in the fridge.

When ready to cook divide the dough into 8 equal balls and using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into an oval shape. It should be about 6-8 inches long and about 1/4-inch thick, but no thinner. Repeat this method with the rest of the dough.

Warm a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (you want a hot pan). Brush both sides of the naan with melted butter and if desired sprinkle on any spices you like such as cumin and garlic. Place the naan on the hot skillet, cover with a lid and bake for 1 minute, until you see bubbles starting to form. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side, until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Brush with a bit more butter if desired, then sprinkle with a little kosher salt, fresh cilantro (I used cilantro) or other herbs. Place the naan in a tea towel-lined dish. Repeat with the rest of the naans and serve. These are best eaten fresh, but will keep in a ziplock bag for a few days or in the freezer.


2 cups homemade yogurt or Greek yogurt
2 medium cucumbers, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely miced
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl and chill for an hour in the refrigerator. Easy!