Roasted Figs With Caramel Sauce

What do you do when you have (what feels like) millions of figs on your tree? You eat as many as you can, obviously. And then you give a couple bunches away. And then you eat some more. But when you get sick of eating them raw, you have to think of other stuff to do with them. In the past, we made jam (yum!), but we wanted to do something different now. Like roasting them. And then we looked through How Easy Is That? and saw that Ina has a recipe for roasted figs with caramel sauce! We LOVE caramel. So of course we had to try this recipe out, and aren’t we glad that we did! Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Cherry Muffins

Sour cherries and chocolate are an amazing combination. And muffins are a great freezer-friendly breakfast or snack. So when I bought an extra bag of dried sour cherries, I just knew I had combine them with chocolate. And I did! These muffins are great, and I made them a little healthier by using whole wheat pastry flour and cottage cheese in the batter, instead of all white flour and sour cream.

The tartness of the cherries combined with the sweet chocolate and batter is perfect. You may think you want to cut down on the sugar in the recipe, and I was thinking about it, too, but the cherries are super sour, so I was pretty sure we needed the sweetness to counteract the tart cherries. Maybe I’ll try to make these even healthier with raw sugar, agave, or even honey next time. Continue reading

Old-Fashioned Banana Cake

The problem with making desserts for Shabbat is that we can’t take pictures of the final project…I mean, you can see the cake and how it looked right out of the oven, but you can’t see it sliced and on a plate, which is too bad because this cake was pretty. Okay, the pan is a little bit messy, but at least my counter is clean! Oh, and the other problem is that you have to make the desserts pareve. Which means no cream cheese frosting! Those who dare to eat pareve whipped topping dolloped some on top of their cake. I ate it plain and it was amazing just the way it was. Continue reading

Pecan and Almond Squares

Shavuot is here! You know what that means? You guessed it – DAIRY DESSERTS! Delicious buttery crusts and caramels. Cheesecake. Ice cream. Yup, desserts just taste better on shavuot. This year, Mommy Foodie’s birthday is the second day of the holiday. Aside from making her an awesome cake, I made her these nut bars. My mom loves nuts, so I know she’ll really enjoy these for dessert! A dairy dessert with shortbread crust and a caramely nutty topping – how can you go wrong?

Ina really knows how to write a decadent recipe! This recipe for pecan squares has more than a pound of butter in it – enough said. These “pecan squares” are really a shortbread crust with caramel and pecans on top. Kinda like a pecan pie, just in bite size portions. How bad can that be? Well, after reading through hundreds of reviews on the food network site, I realized that many people did not really like the crust. And there were a lot of complaints about burnt sugar on the bottom of ovens. Even though I have a self-cleaning oven, I was not about to let that happen. So I halved the recipe, to make sure it really would fit on a half sheet pan. A lot of people said they just made them in 9×13 Pyrexes, but I wanted that flat look all over, plus I wanted very thin bars – once you see how much sugar and butter are in these, you’ll know why. Continue reading

Mustard Chicken Salad

If you’re making meat for Shabbat lunch and want an easy and light dish, look no further than this mustard chicken salad. Yeah, I know, people will probably go crazier over the chulent you made, but this dish is simple, refreshing, and did I mention simple? You can serve it on top of a bed of romaine, like I did, or arugula, like Ina did. Or you can shred the chicken and cut the veggies a bit smaller and serve this in sandwiches, my favorite way to eat chicken salad. No matter how you do it, it’s a great Shabbat lunch. Continue reading

Herbed Salmon

I’ve been trying to incorporate more fish into my kitchen, and this fish is a good way to start. It’s easy, comes together super-quickly and it’s tasty; just what you’d expect from Ina Garten!

Continue reading

Engagement Chicken

AKA Jeffrey’s Roast Chicken.

Apparently we’ve been on a chicken kick lately! But all of these recipes serve different purposes, and really, you can never have enough chicken recipes! Here’s our latest obsession from our favorite Ina Garten:

There aren’t many recipes that are this easy and yield so much flavor like this roast chicken. Ina definitely knows how to take simple ingredients and add that wow factor! This chicken was moist and juicy, with just the right amount of aromatics to make bring the flavor of this chicken to the next level. Next time you’re having company, impress them with this roasted chicken. You won’t be sorry. Continue reading

Company Pot Roast

I have seen this episode of Barefoot Contessa many many times. Ina makes this pot roast with some baked potatoes. It’s such an easy recipe, though you do need a whole bunch of ingredients to make it. I finally decided to try it, and it was definitely worth it! The pot roast is soft and flavorful, and the sauce is thick and delicious over rice or couscous. I dipped garlic bread in mine. yum! It’s also a pretty forgiving recipe, so if you don’t have some of the ingredients, don’t fret! Continue reading

Meatless Mondays: Vegetable Pot Pie

Another Ina meal. What can I say, she has such fabulous recipes that are perfect just the way they are, but also really easy to tweak. This one needed some tweaking. A vegetarian recipe using chicken stock? What’s the point! So I used store-bought vegetable stock…don’t worry, all this chopping and peeling let me make 3 quarts of my own vegetable stock for next time.

I also switched around the vegetables (but of course kept the butternut squash, because it’s my favorite. Can you tell?) and omitted some ingredients that I didn’t have – Pernod? No thanks. The fennel gives enough anise flavor for me. And while I know saffron gives a great color and flavor, I can’t bring myself to spend the money on it. Maybe if someone buys it for me I’ll try it next time.

Recently I’ve been craving chicken pot pie. I see recipes in cookbooks and on TV and think it just sounds so good. With this cold weather here, a big bowl of steaming veggies covered with flaky pie crust is just what we need for a 1-bowl dinner. It’s also a hearty way to make a Meatless Monday meal!

Vegetable pot pie, adapted from Ina Garten:

  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 recipe flaky pie or tart dough, or your favorite pie crust


1. Make sure all your vegetables are chopped to the same size.

2. Combine the butter and olive oil in a large pot and add onions and fennel. Saute over medium heat for ten minutes, until lightly browned.

3. While the onions are browning, bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil the potatoes for ten minutes and remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

4. Boil the butternut squash, carrots, and celery for five minutes. Drain and add to bowl.

5. Add flour and mix. Turn heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, until all the flour is absorbed. Mix occasionally.

6. Pour vegetable broth into pan and mix until thickens.

7. Add vegetables, including peas, into sauce.

8. Add parsley and mix.

9. Divide dough into six oven-proof bowls or two nine-inch pie plates.

10. Cut dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece flat. Wet edges of bowl, and place pie crust over the bowl.

11. Brush will egg wash, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

12. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour until the top is crispy and the vegetables are bubbly and hot. Let cool for about ten minutes, because it’s going to be very hot!

Meatless Mondays: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

I admit that I don’t love the cold weather. People take up so much more room on the subways with their puffy winter coats on! But with the cold weather comes some delicious winter treats, and one of those is butternut squash. They’ve been prominent in supermarkets ever since Sukkot, and I’ve made soup with them, roasted them, and added some the pot pie. But now it’s time to add another cold-weather favorite to the mix, apple cider. I love warm apple cider, especially from the farmer’s market near Columbia on Thursdays. Yes, I schedule my grad school classes around apple cider, who wouldn’t?

So welcome winter with a totally-fitting-for-a-main-dish-salad on this Meatless Monday!

Anyway, I couldn’t pass up on this salad recipe that calls for a salad with teeny little butternut squash chunks and a warm dressing made with apple cider. The dried cranberries can’t hurt either. Usually I don’t like walnuts. I never buy them, and I never add them to my brownies or baked goods, unless my mom is coming over. She thinks walnuts make any cookie or brownie infinitely better. They actually add a nice crunch to this salad, and an extra texture, which I like. This salad has crispy lettuce, soft butternut squash, chewy cranberries, and hard walnuts. What more can you ask for in a salad? Oh, a warm dressing, obviously.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette, adapted from Ina Garten:

For the dressing:

  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar, which I don’t have in my pantry – you can use red wine, too)
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots (I omitted these)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


1. Combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce to 1/4 cup, about 6-8 minutes.

2. Off the heat, add the olive oil, Dijon, salt, and pepper.

For the salad:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch dice (about 1 1/2 pounds, if you have a scale)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 4 ounces lettuce, I used mixed baby greens. Ina used baby arugula.
  • Some Parmesan cheese (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. On a half sheet pan, combine the butternut squash, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the squash becomes soft and begins to brown.

3. When the squash has been roasting for 15 minutes, add the dried cranberries to the sheet pan.

4. Place the lettuce in a large bowl and add the roasted squash and cranberries, and walnuts.

5. Spoon dressing over the top until just moistened. Toss well. Serve with a shaved Parmesan cheese.