Boulud Sud

About a week ago, I went to one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. If it takes second place, it is only to Locanda la Pieve in Semproniano, Italy, where we delighted in a 4 course meal. But that’s Italy. It’s a whole different category. Before I get too sidetracked with tales of raspberry semifredo (did I mention the stuffed zucchini blossoms?), I need to refocus.

This place was Boulud Sud, Daniel Boulud’s restaurant near Lincoln Center, specializing in innovative Mediterranean cuisine.

To start, they handed us a basket of garlic and cheese bread with a small dish of olive oil, pepper and a slice of garlic. The bread was deliciously tender and soft, melting in your mouth, with a delightfully crispy crust that was made by the flavorful cheese.

For a drink, I ordered a Shirley Temple that had just the perfect amount of cherry syrup and just the right about of soda to make a sweet but refreshing drink.

The first appetizer we ordered were fried artichokes, that came with a Nipatella Aioli. Nipatella is a flavorful herb from Europe and complimented the artichokes perfectly. The artichokes were hot and crispy, wonderfully juicy and tender on the inside and crisp on the outside. Next, my sister and I split the tuna tartare. Taking a bite was like eating silk. It was such good quality fish that it melted on your tongue, the freshness almost overwhelming. It was served atop a green sauce with herbs and a crispy slice of bread with smooth, flavorful olive tapenade.


Artichoke with nipatella aioli


Tuna tartare

There was a lentil soup with lamb sausage that had a creamy broth and tender lentils, served with a cheese cracker that was perfect for dipping. We had a delicious dish of succulent roasted mushrooms and potatoes. It was topped off by a poached egg, the golden inside leaking out over the vegetables appealingly.


There were long homemade potato chips sprinkled with za’atar and served with a creamy caviar dip. Those were an example of elevated classic fare that is served at Boulud Sud.

For my main dish, I ordered steak. The steak was perfectly cooked, tender and pink but not raw, with a crisp sear on the outside. The meat was simple– sprinkled with salt and pepper to allow the other flavors on the plate shine through– an excellent choice. The steak rested atop a light balsamic sauce. This was outlined by a thin line of porcini puree, the distinct mushroom flavor worked well with the meaty steak. There was a little roasted mushroom and onion on the edge resting in puree… the mushroom was a tad cold. However, this was made up for by the sweet potato dish in the middle. There were paper-thin layers of sweet potato layered like phillo dough with a sprinkling of cheese, crisped and it tasted heavenly. Next to it was a roulade of raddichio, seperatable with a knife and crunchy and flavorful.

My dad ordered a whole grilled fish with lemon and herbs that was shiny inside. It was served atop rice that was long and light with pistachio.


My sister got a delicious roasted salmon filet, rare and pink. It was served with a beautiful surrounding of baby beets and microgreens. A waiter then poured a sweet blood orange sauce around the fish– it was perhaps the most beautiful dish of the night.


We had a ravioli, the dough light and thin, stuffed with creamed white truffle. It sounds too rich, but it was surprisingly light and flavorful, perfectly complemented by a light sage sauce.

Dessert, however, is where the restaurant is most famous and where I experienced possibly the best dessert I ever had.

We first had a caramel lava cake, with melting caramel inside the moist cake, topped with chopped walnuts, thin apple carpaccio and a light whipped cream, surrounded by salted caramel.


Now, though, I will move on to the best thing of the night, a mind blowing dessert that rocked my world. It is not rich, nor chocolatey, nor fattening. Its base is grapefruit, but you will see soon how very special it is.

A bowl is brought to you. The bowl is filled with ice chips and preserved rose petals, creating a flowery aroma. In the bowl is a hollowed out frozen grapefruit, with no fruit inside remaining. Inside this grapefruit “bowl” is an incredibly refreshing and smooth grapefruit sorbet. There is also pieces of fresh grapefruit, and a crunch made of halvah, the Israeli sesame candy. Then, there are light cubes of rose flavored Turkish Delight, flowery and light gelatin candies that taste fairy like and heavenly.

Then, there is a crunchy brulee shell, closing off the delicacies. Atop this sugar top is a fluffy, cotton-candy like spun halvah concoction. The sorbet is smooth and refreshing, and the grapefruit is fresh and chilled.

The rose candies are surprisingly delicious, melting in your mouth with sweet floral taste. The surprising combination of sesame and grapefruit works perfectly, the nuttiness rounding out the sour taste of grapefruit.

It is an unexpected, incredible dessert that you could eat a million times over.

I highly recommend Boulud Sud for its perfect food, impeccable service and beautiful modern atmosphere.

Boulud Sud


Address: 20 W 64th St.

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Service: Excellent and formal


Atmosphere: gorgeous, modern dining room with moderate noise and an open kitchen.

Recommended: Tuna tartare, fried artichokes, mushrooms and onions with poached egg, lentil soup, grilled or salt baked whole fish, steak, salmon with blood orange, white truffle ravioli, caramel molton lava cake, grapefruit givre.

Reservations Necessary


Oreo Cake


I have a massive problem with cakes in that unless I try super super super hard, they typically are dry.

Yeah, it’s a problem.

So, every year when I am tasked with making a cake for my little cousin’s birthday, I want to make it really good. Typically, I lean towards naturally moist cakes like banana.

But this year, I was brave! My cousin’s third birthday was on the 12th (yes, he has the same birthday as Lincoln). He is obsessed with Oreo ice cream… so why not make an Oreo cake?

This cake is one of the easiest things I’ve made.


The batter takes 10 minutes, bakes for 20 minutes and then you decorate for what, 10 minutes?


So I am telling you now that if the weather where you are is like mine (as in -17º), you should get your butt to the kitchen and make this cake.

close up

PS I decided to give PHHHOTO a try, so you’ll see some of those:cake



Oreo Cake

Serves about 10

adapted from SeriousEats


for the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (good quality, if possible)
  • 1 cup + 1/4 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup + 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup + 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla

for the cream: (if you want a bunch of extra and a generous amount on the cake, double it, as I did)

  • 50 Oreos
  • 4 1/2 cups cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Make cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of 2 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and lightly coat the inside with non-stick pan spray.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into large bowl; set aside. Don’t worry if it is not totally combined.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until smooth. Pour batter into the pans and bake until cakes are just firm and toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs, 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan to completely cool on wire rack, about 1 hour.
  6. While cake bakes, carefully cut 6 Oreo cookies in half (I find a heavy and large knife with no serrated edge to be best); set aside.
  7. Chop remaining cookies into 1/4-inch pieces; set aside.
  8. To Assemble Cake: make the Oreo whipped cream in 2 batches. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whip attachment, whip 2 cups cream (or 4 if you doubled) on medium-high speed to soft peak, spoon into large bowl and refrigerate. In same mixer bowl, whip remaining 2 1/2 (other 4 if doubling) cups cream, sugar, and vanilla to soft peak. Fold into already whipped cream.
  9. Place about 1 cup whipped cream in bowl and refrigerate until ready to decorate cake. Fold chopped Oreos into remaining whipped cream. Place bottom layer on serving plate. Spread about 1/3 of Oreo whipped cream onto cake. Top with second cake layer and use remaining Oreo whipped cream to frost top and sides of cake. Chill in refrigerator for about 2 hours to allow cookies to soften.

    Place reserved whipped cream in pastry bag fitted with star tip (re-whisk if necessary). Pipe 12 whipped cream rosettes around perimeter of cake and garnish with reserved Oreo cookie halves. Serve. Enjoy!

    Hope you enjoyed!

    We have some warm drinks coming up (shout out to Mr. McCollum)!

    Keep Cooking 😉


Nutella Pecan Pie

IMG_0102 (1)

I feel like pies are kind of forgotten about between Thanksgiving and Memorial Day.

After Thanksgiving, the “real” pie holiday, people just assume that everyone is sick of pies (I’m not sick of pies) and so they are lost in the holiday season, which I think is very unjust.

Very, very unjust. As you may know, I am a fan of fruit pies, but what fruit does winter bring? Citrus brought in from far away. And I don’t know about you, but citrus custard pies don’t seem very wintry cozy.

So nut and other pies are the best we can do. And pecan pie happens to be one of my favorites. The best kind of pecan pie has a super crackly crust and a smooth and creamy filling. It has notes of maple and spice warms your throat.

IMG_0101 (1)

At least, that’s what MY perfect pie tastes like.

Besides that, Nutella is a food I will never, ever be tired of eating. No matter if it is in crepes, waffles or anything else. I once had an incredible slice of Nutella pecan pie at my favorite bakery.

How I did it was that I baked the crust, then spread it with Nutella and rebaked it with the filling.

I highly recommend this.

Nutella Pecan Pie

makes one pie


for the crust:

  • 1 1/8 cups (about 5oz) flour, plus more for work space
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 8 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • About 3 tbsp ice water

for the filling:

  • 2 cups shelled pecans
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 6 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Nutella


  1. FOR THE CRUST: Preheat oven to 425ºF. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse a couple times to combine. And butter and turn on machine, process until blended and looking like cornmeal, about 10 seconds or so.
  2. Place mixture in a bowl and drizzle the ice water over it. Use a rubber spatula to mix together slowly into a ball. If it seems dry, add a bit more water. Make the mixture into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, flatten to a disk, and freeze for 10 minutes (or place in fridge for 30 min).
  3. Sprinkle a generous amount of flour on a smooth surface, being sure to spread evenly. Roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Lay over a pie pan and trim with kitchen scissors. Flute the crust if you like. Add a layer of aluminum foil and place pie weights or dry beans in the foil.
  4. Bake the crust for 12 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 and bake for 10-15 more minutes until golden. Remove and cool. Remove foil and spread a thick layer of Nutella in crust.
  5. MAKE THE FILLING:  Roast pecans in oven with pie crust for about 5 minutes. Chop half of them, leave the rest intact.
  6. Beat the eggs well until foamy. Beat in the sugars, salt and butter. Warm the mixture in a saucepan while the crust is baking over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Do this until it is hot to the touch. DO NOT BOIL. Stir in vanilla and pecans.
  7. Place parbaked pie on baking sheet. Pour in the filling into the hot crust and bake 30 to 40 minutes, until it is moist, but top is crispy.
  8. Slice and serve warm.

Please enjoy. As always,

Keep cooking 😉



I Feel Like Cooking: PBB Breakfast Panini


Do you ever have those moments where you just feel like cooking? Sometimes you just randomly want to cook… you want to get creative, you want to dress up a snack or most likely, you’re hungry for something good. And though cooking is fun, ingredients are expensive, equipment is scarce and time is, well, not always on our sides. So really, when you just want to cook, there aren’t many options.

Fortunately, I feel the same way, and due to my aggressive obsessive procrastinating focused personality, I am starting a new line of posts on this very blog: I FEEL LIKE COOKING. Like I said, I’m very to-the-point.

This recipe uses ingredients you most likely (or should) have at home, and takes not-very-long. If you have a panini press, by all means, use it, but pressing it down in a pan or just toasting it in a toaster oven will work as well. (There are many reasons to buy a panini maker, but don’t buy one just for this recipe.)

I figured that, since we are short on time if you REALLY need this post, I would make the intro short. And so here are the reasons to make this ‘wich:

  1. It takes about maximum 7 minutes (not counting panini-press heat up time)
  2. You probably have the ingredients (bananas? cinnamon? bread? butter?)
  3. The bananas get caramelized by the butter and cinnamon and it’s like OH MY GOSH.
  4. What could go wrong with bananas, cinnamon and butter? (except if it involves a blender– NO SMOOTHIES)

Banana PB and Cinnamon Breakfast Panini

Serves 1


  • 1 english muffin, halved lengthwise (preferred), or two small slices bread
  • Peanut Butter
  • 1 banana, sliced.
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter


  1. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a small bowl in the microwave.
  2. Spread a bit of butter (not the bit you just melted) on one slice of bread, then sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon. Put a few banana slices on top, then sprinkle with more cinnamon. Spread butter on the other side.
  3. Brush a panini press or pan with the melted butter, then brush the top of the bread. Press with the panini press, or using another pan. You could also just toast the sandwich (in this case, omit the butter on the pan, keep the butter on top.)
  4. Cut in half and enjoy.

Hope you enjoyed this delicious post. AND AS ALWAYS,

-Keep cooking 😉

A Modern Local Farm: Fairview Farm at Mecox

When our Stone Age ancestors graced the land at the beginning of time, hunting and gathering was their main way of getting food. The nomadic tribes would travel around by season, looking for food. But in the end, this got tiring. In winter, food was scarce and often, tribes would battle for food. Things weren’t looking good. Until one unknown woman made a revolutionary discovery. Farming. That, if you plant the seed of a crop, new ones will grow. And it was a heck of a discovery. Fast forward a few million years, and farming is still our main way of getting food. Whether it’s farming sprawling aces of industrial corn, growing organic lettuce for Whole Foods, or whether it’s growing fresh and wholesome food from a family farm, farming gives us what we need. Milk. Eggs. Cheese. Meat. Fruit. Vegetables. Wheat. Beans. Corn. What we want (because it tastes good) and need for survival. And not to mention, fresh food makes GOOD meals, and a better cooking experience.


So, you’re probably wondering where I am going with this. Ever since I was a little baby (maybe 1 or 2?) there is a place I have been going to that has always made me happy. It’s called Fairview Farm. Fairview Farm, located in Bridgehampton, NY, where my family often heads for in summer, is a family farm. It is a community down there. Run by a family, Harry, Barbara, Nathan and Meredith, Fairview Farm is as close as you can get to the small farms of the past that supplied everyone with everything. In the summer, fresh veggies and fruits and baked goods make everyone happy, and their fall festivities are always fun. So here, dive into some memories, reviews and stories from Fairview Farm at Mecox. I hope you enjoy.

The Location and the Vibe:

If you go to Fairview Farm for long enough, they begin to recognize you there. Even if they don’t know your name, they will ask how it’s going, what’s up, what’s new. They will say, here try this new donut to the little ones, and they will help you choose what you need. And if you are a newcomer, they welcome you with open arms. It is located in a gorgeous location. In summer, the sun shines and a gentle breeze blows through the fields. It is hot, but not scorching, as the farm sits near Mecox Pond. In the Autumn, it is chilly and crisp, but there is a fresh feeling all the time. And no matter what the weather, it is always sunny inside the pretty little farmstand, decorated with wooden cutouts of pies and vegetables. Once, we arrived and Harry offered to take us for a ride on the tractor. He drove us around the farm and we gasped at the cornfields and turkeys and chickens and when we got to the trailer where they bake everything, he handed us each a fresh cookie. Welcome to Fairview Farm.


Harry helps a customer ring up their delights

Pies and Cookies and the Sort

The first thing you should know is that a few years ago, the New York Times just happened to call Fairview’s pies some of the best they’d ever had. Which is saying a lot. And it is true. But for those of us who are (*cough cough*) not the New York Times, Fairview’s pies earn a tippity top spot. As in. Best. Pies. Ever. Harry’s daughter Meredith makes the pies, and oh does she make them well. In the summer, classics like blueberry grace the case of boxed pies at the counter. The sweet little jammy pockets of berry hold their shape and spread their juice, and leak out the edges. The crusts are flaky and buttery and incredible and the crumble on top is delightfully crispy. They also feature medleys like Peach Raspberry, where slices of warm peach mingle with the tangy raspberry filling, making the summer flavor explode in your mouth. And around Thanksgiving, never miss the pumpkin, a creamy and spicy classic, or the pecan, which crunches delightfully and leaves the sweetness clinging to your tongue. The cookies are excellent, too. Bagged and wrapped in green twine, the chocolate chip variety is chewy and cakey and crispy at once, and sometimes you can be lucky and get ’em warm. The gingersnaps are very gingery in a very good way, soft and moist and molassesy. The donuts are to die for. He makes warm apple cider varieties, and pumpkin and banana when you are lucky. Harry makes my favorite challah on earth, soft inside and crispy on top and dotted with satisfying flakes of sea salt. And his bread isn’t half bad either. You can order quiches and other tarts custom, and they can make it for you to stop by and pick up. No matter the season, a good slice of pie will fill you up. In fact, now that I think about it, I have a peach Fairview pie in my freezer from this summer. No joke. Hold on. I need a pie break.

Produce and other Healthy Things

Outside the farmstand are large wooden crates full of produce, sheltered from the sun beneath white tents. Plump eggplant, colorful peppers, kale, lettuce, gorgeous tomatoes, avocados, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, gourds, onions, potatoes, corn of all the colors, and more overflow from the tables, and inside the farmstand, berries fill up green paper cartons, as do mushrooms, zucchini blossoms and more. In the fridge, sweet green tea and black currant juice (like grape, but with a tangy aftertaste) fill up bottles. Homemade Fresh Mozzarella and burrata sit in containers, and homemade guacamole from their fresh veggies lies in the racks. A cozy whiteboard in the back over the counter is covered in smiley faces and a list of in season delicacies. The produce is fresh and refreshing, too. You can taste the earth a bit, and you can feel the difference between that and a carton of Driscoll’s berries (nothin’ wrong with Driscoll’s, I’m just saying…) If you buy fresh food, you will feel better. It is simple. The simplicity of the local produce from Harry’s is amazing because you know where it came from. In fact, you might have seen it growing in a field a month earlier. That’s what makes the difference.


I’m going to start with Autumn. In the Fall, Fairview overflows with ripe pumpkins and pies and it’s a whole new ball game. Across the road is the Milk Pail, where you-pick apples dot the trees, and you can pick up a few. But after that, head back to Harry’s, and that’s the real treat. I have so many memories of running through the dry grassy area, my tiny hand clutching the dollar bill that my dad gave to me, the wind blowing my hair, and the crispness of fall and brightly hued leaves surrounding me. The dollar is for the corn cannon, a Fairview contraption. You pay a buck, and you get three chances. They hand you a piece of dry corn to stick in the cannon, and then you aim at a target, and shoot. And if you win? FREE PUMPKIN TIME! 🙂 Over by the stand, they pop popcorn in an old movie style machine, and someone mans the ribbon fries, made with a machine where you place a potato in a hole and push it through a grater-like thing, adding up to ribbons of sweet and white potatoes, fried to a crisp and topped with salt and pepper, or good old fashioned Heinz. A cardboard sign advertises “FRANKFURTERS: HEBREW NATIONAL” over the wooden shack, and someone inside dishes out pumpkin pie by the slice, creamy and spice filled. The corn table, for little tykes is filled with unpopped popcorn, shimmery and smooth, that they use instead of sand. A ginormous pyramid of pumpkins is piled on straw bales in the center of it all, next to the makeshift farmstand. The main attraction, though, is the corn maze, affectionately dubbed the Fairview Corn MAiZE. You head in to the inviting white tent where Harry waits at a desk, and you choose a category. The way the MAiZE works is that you pick a category of trivia (the categories go from Girl Scouts to Teambuilding to History to Baseball) and head into phase 1. As you move through the maze, you encounter small signposts with trivia questions and a list of answers [i.e.: Who was the 44th president of the US? a. Barack Obama (turn right) b. Ronald Reagan (turn left) c. George W. Bush (straight forward)] There are lookout spots along the way allowing you to check out the maze from an aerial view– an awesome sight complete with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and breezy salty air. But never fear, you will get out eventually and it is immensely fun in the process.

In summer, the air is warm and breezy, because FFAM is right near the beach. You can arrive early in Spring to coo over the tiny newborn piglets writhing around in the mud (so cute!), or check out a cow milking session. On hot days, the stand is crowded with people seeking Key Lime Pie, and you can stop by for a free Edible East End magazine, where Fairview was featured a few years ago. I often bike or jog with my mom or friends down the little carless lane past Fairview that leads to a little bay beach looking out on Sagg Pond, and a frigid carton of currant juice is a refreshing prize. When I was much younger, my favorite thing in the world was to stop by Fairview on a car ride or on a bike trip (at that point I was still riding in the mini seat on the back of my dad’s bike) to grab a honey stick, a plastic stick filled with sweet honey. These gems rest in the back of the store on a little shelf. The flavors range a lot, from almond to regular to root beer to vanilla to cinnamon to pink lemonade (I know, right!). The sun shines crisply, and you can watch the fresh donuts draining on paper towels before being bagged and sold, and ribbon fries galore are available. Often, you can catch Harry smiling behind the counter, dishing out Meredith’s pies, Nathan’s fresh honey or his own challah (don’t forget to buy a “Harry’s Challah” T-shirt). The atmosphere is electric, and you can feel the warm summer energy simmering through the tomatoes and potatoes and zucchini blossoms. It feels free, like summer will never end (unfortunately, it did because here I am, procrastinating while I should have been studying for my math unit exam).

The Animals

They are adorable. You can pass the horses wandering in the pasture on the way down the lane, and when I was younger, if we got there at the right time, I loved watching them milk the cows. The pigs are so cute and you can see the brand new piglets in spring. The chickens are cute, too, and the rooster crows above it all. There are sheep, and more and you can almost forget you are just 98.7 miles from the city.


This has been a long Long LONG post, but I hope it has taught you to treasure the small farms you have around you. The world is filled with industrial organic businesses and sprawling pesticide filled cornfields. But the food from these farms tastes better, and we feel better eating it. Not just because it is healthy– it has soul and heart that makes you happy. You can taste the corn cannon, and the crisp fall days, and laughs in the corn maze, and summer heat, and bike rides and oceans and spring piglets. You can taste Fairview Farm.


The Farm’s Own Website

The Farm’s Facebook Page

The Washington Post Raves About Fairview’s Produce

Hampton’s Magazine Writes Up Fairview’s Phenomenal Corn

The New York Times Deems Fairview’s Some of the Best Pie in the Area

The New York Times Writes About Fairview’s Farmstand Opening (Circa 2001)

The New York Times Talks About Summer Fashion and Hampton Experience Cred while Using Fairview’s Shirts as an Example

Thanks for reading! ALSO: Thanks to WordPress for these incredible new picture design formats– super cool (all photos from this post taken by yours truly this August).

And, as always


Next up: Nutella Pecan Pie (swoon)

Norma Paninis


One of my favorite types of pasta is Pasta alla Norma, a traditional Sicilian dish. Typically made with Rigatoni, heavily garlicked roasted eggplant is tossed with tomato sauce and long twirls of ricotta salata, a harder, feta-like version of ricotta. Sounds delicious? It is. And you should try making it. But, again, this is not the point. The point is that my mother had made a whole container of roasted eggplant at the beginning of the week for sandwiches, omelets and such. I was hungry today, and I needed something rich, good and Italian. I found some of the eggplant and– hey! Why not make a pasta alla Norma panini, minus the pasta, plus some good bread.

gonnabrushthatoilontothebread ohholy

I rubbed garlic and oil over some sourdough I had on hand, spread some tomato sauce and the eggplant on one slice and thin slices of mozzarella on another.


For this sandwich, a panini press/George Forman is awesome, but not necessary. It will be just as incredible on a smoking hot pan pressed down with something heavy– a skillet, a pot, a pan, a brick– whatever you’ve got.

tongsong whoopsycheesy

You’ll want the bread crispy, so that if you flick it with your nail, it makes a sound. And the cheese should be VERY melted– not semi-hard. If it is rolling out of the sides, even better. (*cough cough* see picture)


In the end, I’ve won for now in the pasta into sandwich experiment. Let’s try it again soon.

Norma Paninis

Serves 1, but feel free to double, triple or sextuple this recipe


  • 2 slices good bread… Sourdough is amazing, but Baguette, Ciabatta or any of that type would be great, too. Even a good pullman would work. KEEP IN MIND: If you use a thinner bread like Baguette, make sure you cut your mozz a bit smaller. You may need to fold your eggplant, as well.
  • Tomato sauce. I am very partial to Dave’s Heirloom Tomato sauce, and slightly impartial to the oregano heavy marinara, but use your favorite.
  • Roasted Eggplant- use this recipe, but cut them into discs– You will need about 3 or 4 slices BUT please make the whole batch. It is good to have on hand for other ‘wiches, salads, eggs, pasta and such.
  • Fresh Mozzarella (the good kind. and please NOT SHREDDED.)
  • Olive Oil, salt, pepper and about 1 clove garlic (garlic is optional)


  1. Brush your bread with olive oil using a pastry brush. If you don’t have one, drizzle with a spoon, but make sure you get a bunch on there. Peel the garlic and rub the bread generously with it. You will taste it. Grind a little salt and pepper on here.
  2. Using a spoon, spread some of the tomato sauce on one slice. Not too much, because it shouldn’t be overstuffed, but there should be a good amount. Place eggplant slices atop the sauce.
  3. Slice your mozzarella thinly and add a generous amount to the other slice.
  4. Brush some oil onto a panini press or George Foreman grill, getting it sizzling hot OR heat oil in a pan. Put the sandwich on the press/pan and press down. If using a pan, apply pressure with something heavy. Cast iron skillets are good. The bread should be CRISPY and hard if you tap it, and the cheese should be fully melted, if not leaking out of the sides.
  5. ENJOY!

Hope you loved the recipe!

I have some great new posts coming up so stay tuned!

And as always,

Keep cooking 😉

S’mores Pie (!)

smorespie googoo

So. I had this idea a few months ago. I considered it a brilliant beyond brilliant idea- why not put chocolate cream pie in graham cracker crust and then put toasted marshmallows on top? S’mores pie! Turns out, a few other people already had that idea. Well, whatever. I thought of it first. And so I hared it with my dad, who being my dad, drooled at the thought of anything involving marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers, pie and FOOD in the same sentence. And so it was his birthday pie. Birthday pies are a big thing in my world, because why did cakes get the birthday prize? Pies are just as good. In fact, pies might be (dare I say) sometimes better… so when do pies get their birthday justice? Apparently when I make them. A few years ago I did pies right justice by having a black bottom oat pie from Four and Twenty Blackbirds (yes please) and everyone enjoyed it, needless to say. Who doesn’t like pie? Um, no one that I should know.

So back to the story, I knew I HAD to make my dad this “original” pie, which I still say is original because I DIDN’T KNOW IT EXISTED WHEN I CAME UP WITH THE IDEA. So there. Ha. Ha. And plus, it still sounded like heaven, sooo…

Then I decided that is was too much sugar and discarded the idea. Just kidding. Why would I do that?!

puddingPuddingPUDDING graham crust

It required quite a bit off willpower making pudding and about (no joke) 1 1/2 hours of doing this (don’t be scared off by this!!!)


Of stirring chocolate pudding over the stove. But heck, was it worth it. If you have a blowtorch (and if so, lucky you), PLEASE torch the souls out of those marshmallows on top. But for those of us who (sigh) lack a blowtorch, the broiler on HI for 3 minutes will sure get you that gooey crispy yumminess. Enjoy (really).

S’Mores Pie:

serves about 6-8

pudding recipe adapted a lot from Smitten Kitchen


for the graham crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups (155 grams) finely ground graham cracker crumbs (from about 10-15 crackers, I found) FOR MORE INFO ON GETTING THOSE GRAHAMS GROUND: check out this post.
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 7 tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (not too cool!)

for the chocolate pudding filling:

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60% cacao), finely chopped OR milk chocolate if you want to go the traditional s’mores route
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

and of course:

  • Mini Marshmallows, or big ones will do (I’m a Jet-Puffed purist, but any fancy kind would be great too)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Mix graham crumbs with the sugar and salt, and slowly pour in the melted butter, stirring to make a pasty type thing.
  2. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a standard 9-inch pie dish. Fingertips or measuring cups work great for this. Bake crust until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. If it starts to get too brown before it is solid, tent with foil.
  3. Let crust cool. Meanwhile: whisk the cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder and salt in the bottom of a heavy saucepan (2 or 3 quart is best). Slowly whisk in the whole milk (do not use skim or fat-free. Do not. This dessert is already not exactly diet friendly, so just use the whole milk.) Bring to a boil over medium/high heat, whisking constantly until there a re a ton of bubbles (you’ll know). This may take a little while, but be patient. It’s ok to leave it unattended but not for more then 7 minutes. I also increased the heat a lot at times. Stir if a skin forms.
  4. Boil for about 3 minutes until thickened a lot. Take off heat and stir in chocolate and vanilla until smooth. If it is too thick, add a splash of milk. I also stirred with a hand mixer because it got a little lumpy.
  5. Pour the pudding into the crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until cold. You can put wax paper on top to keep skin from forming. You can also put it in the freezer, but keep an eye on it. Right before you want to serve it, preheat the broiler to High. Top the pie with a lot of marshmallows, spread out, so you can’t see the filling anymore.
  6. Put the pie in the oven under the broiler (directly) and leave it there for about 3 minutes until the marshmallows are sufficiently toasted and gooey. Alternatively, if you have a kitchen blowtorch, use that the torch the marshmallows to perfection.
  7. Enjoy. Do not worry if the crust sort of falls apart. It happens. And also don’t be worried if the pie sort of turns into pudding once served. It will still be fantastic.

Hope you enjoyed this little post. I’ll be back soon…

As always: Keep Cooking 😉

(and comment about what you cook)