With Easter shortly behind us and the weather getting warmer, our minds are brimming with excitement at all the new seasonal food possibilities. Fresh fruits, vegetables and, oh, ice cream.
Whilst ice cream can be a bit daunting to make at home, self-taught cook Ryan McBride Mellinger, a line chef and general all-rounder at Mulberry Street hotspot Balaboosta, is here to shatter the myth and share with us her fool-hardy recipe for an ice cream and brittle duo that is sweet, warming, and refreshing all at the same time.
The best cure for the iciest of winter days is curling up by the fireplace with a glass of gluhwein and a heaping portion of baked mac 'n cheese. Here's a recipe for the latter from one of Chicago's cheese experts, Executive Chef Leonard Hollander of Marion Street Cheese Market. Chef Hollander was just awarded a Bib Gourmand award from the Michelin Guide, recognizing the bistro as an excellent option for diners on a budget.
Bloody mary concentrate makers, Stu Waters and Rudi Schmidt, share a Christmas twist on this traditional brunch cocktail.
- 2 oz stu's…this is Bloody Mary Concentrate
- 6 oz tomato juice
- 3 strips of preferably hickory smoked bacon
- 1 full sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1 oz aquavit (a Scandinavian spirit)
To be served over ice in a pint glass – garnish with rosemary sprig because it looks like a pine tree!
Marisa Churchill, contestant on Top Chef, is all about nutrition. In her cookbook, Sweet & Skinny ($24), she has a plethora of sweet treats that won't leave you with a stomachache. So nix those sugary Halloween candies and whip up a batch of these scrumptious PB&J Cookies instead!
PB&J Cookies - Makes 16 cookies
Per cookie: 130 calories, 6 grams of fat
Avocado is a creamy, heart-healthy choice for salads, sandwiches and the ever-popular Mexican dip guacamole – but have you ever thought about having this luscious green fruit for dessert? Avocado’s natural smooth texture and mild taste makes it a perfect match for your meal’s final course. From smoothies to pudding and more, this fruit can be used to create uber-tasty and protein-packed concoctions for dessert or a sweet afternoon snack any time of year.
I screamed so loud I could barely hear myself think! The Festival of Souls Demon Mansion Haunted House is sure to leave you just as terrified and in a daze as you tremble from room to room. Located in the Village at Gulfstream Park and running until Halloween night, the seasonal attraction features a 17 room, 8,000 sq ft labyrinth with several themed areas that include hell's kitchen, an exploding bathroom, the howling woman, and the spider room, among others. In addtion to the Haunted Manson, Gulfstream Park is offering something totally unique to Halloween attractions in South Florida this year. The zombie safari paintball hayride promises to be so realistically terrifying that one will feel convinced that the zombie apocolypse is upon us, and we must prepare for the invasion! Guests will take a trailer safari trip through 50,000 sq ft of "ruins" made to look like the aftermath of a post-apocalyptic city and shoot ultraviolet paintballs at the impending zombie ambush.
For the largest minority in the United States, October is a month in which to celebrate Hispanic and Latino culture and the contributions that Hispanics and Latinos have made to this country. Perhaps our greatest gift to American culture is that sazón that we have injected into the national palate. Many Americans have become enamored with Latin American dishes and ingredients, and it makes many Latinos and Hispanics proud to see people from other cultures serving our traditional dishes at restaurants and out of food trucks. In addition to being Hispanic Heritage Month, October is also the time of year when the temperature drops, leading chefs and home cooks to think about warming comfort foods, and nothing says comfort food to a hungry Latino like a plate of arroz con pollo.
Ahh, short ribs. So undervalued. They are literally one of the cheapest cuts of beef...and although they take a long time to make...they are actually pretty simple. Just leave them alone for hours and hours and you get amazing-ness!
Serves Approx 2-4
-1 whole wheat (or whole grain) baguette
-1 cut of short ribs (approx. 1.3 pounds)
-1 can peeled tomatoes
-2-3 cups red wine (old!)
-1 bushel of fresh basil
-6 cloves garlic (chopped)
-ground black pepper
-crushed red pepper
Before some recipes I like to give you all a heads up, you need 4 hours!!! True Story.
Take your can of tomatoes, and pop in blender (if they are whole), and toss into a pot along with your garlic, crushed red pepper, and half the bushel of basil (haphazardly tear the leaves before tossing in).
Rub salt and pepper all over the short ribs and place in the pot. Now take your bottle red wine and literally pour in until the short ribs are covered. Yep, it's a lot of wine don't feel weird that you just tossed in half a bottle. Now pop the pot in your fridge because you're going to want to let in marinate for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes has gone by, place your pot on a burner and put it on medium heat. After about 20 minutes (checking, A LOT) your pot should be pretty hot so reduce to a simmer...and leave it there for 3 hours stirring maybe once an hour. YES, 3 HOURS.
After 3 hours, take your cut of meat out of the pot and shred onto a plate throwing away any fat that falls off...toss the shredded meat back into your sauce still at a simmer.
Now cut your bread into nice sandwich size pieces, scoop out your short ribs onto your bread and liberally put fresh basil on there.
NOW GO AHEAD AND TRY THE BEST SANDWICH YOU HAVE EVER MADE!!
I am a big salad girl. The thing about salads though, is that you need to constantly switch the themes and flavors to keep them interesting. This is a super simple version of the always delicious Chinese Chicken Salad. If you have something in the house, add it! Throw those carrots in, trade red cabbage for green cabbage and so on! It will still taste delicious and honestly I improvise all the time with whatever I have in the house. (It's how this recipe came about!).
Serves approx. 4
-3 heads of romaine (chopped)
-1 medium red cabbage (chopped)
-1 large red onion (chopped)
-2 large cucumber (chopped)
-1 box rice crackers
-1 pound chicken fillets
-ground black pepper
-crushed red pepper
Start by pre-heating your oven to 350 while marinating your chicken in soy sauce and sesame oil.
Chop the romaine, red cabbage, onion, cucumber and place in a large bowl.
Now take out your chicken that's been marinating, coat it with a little peanut butter add some salt & pepper, wrap in tin foil and put in the oven for approx 15 minutes (varies with the size of the fillets though so definitely use your judgement!).
While your chicken is in the oven...we're going to make the dressing.
In a little bowl mix about 1/4 cup sesame oil with 1/8 cup of soy sauce and 1/8 cup peanut butter with salt and pepper and crushed red pepper.
Now toss your salad mix with that amazing dressing. Take the chicken out of the oven, chop into bite size pieces. Add the salad, crushed rice crackers, placing the chicken on top.
Squeeze a little lime on top..and get ready to eat!
(You can go ahead and thank me while you're bikini shopping this weekend.)