Melon, Apple & Pear Chutney

Making chutney may not be on your bucket list, but if you taste this version, you will want to make it.  

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Apple Cake With Raisins, Pecans & Spices

Bake this awesome apple cake for the High Holidays and it will guarantee your reputation as a great baker for the entire year. P.S. You don't need to be Jewish to enjoy it!

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Perfecting Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs steaming.jpg

I am about to make an embarrassing confession. You’ve probably all heard the idiom, “She can’t even boil an egg.”  It is not a compliment. It refers to someone who is a really lousy cook.   I’ve never understood it because I am a good cook who has never been able to properly boil an egg.  Oh I can boil one all right, I just can’t get the damn peel off without tearing off half the white. It is obvious that whoever made up that saying knew nothing about cooking.

I have tried every conceivable way to boil an egg to get them to easily peel.  I’ve started them in cold water, in boiling water, cooking them off the heat, on the heat.  You name it. I’ve tried it. I’ve even left them in the fridge for weeks because I’d heard  that old eggs peel easier.  That helped a little, but for the small amount of success, it didn’t pay off.  The only constant was that I always took them off the heat and put them into a bowl filled with ice water.

It looks like I’m not the only one with this problem, because in the last 2 months three national food magazines have articles on how to boil eggs so the peel slips right off.  Cooks Illustrated even has a report card on Eggs Peelability.  Mine fit in the Mangled category. Mangled describes the eggs as well as my frustrated brain.

I tried this new, simple technique and am so excited that I can’t stop boiling eggs. Old ones, new ones, they all peel the same. I have 24 in the fridge right now. If you can relate to my egg peeling miseries, here’s a discovery that will have you boiling eggs everyday until the sheer joy becomes common place.  It’s simple.  Instead of boiling the eggs in water, steam them.

  • Choose a saucepan in which the eggs will fit in a single layer. Fill with 1-inch of water. Bring water to a boil.
  • Add a steamer basket and arrange eggs in it in a single layer.
  • Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 13 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a bowl filled with cold water and 3 hands full of ice cubes.  Leave eggs for 15 minutes and then drain. They can be used immediately or refrigerated.

If you don’t have a steamer basket, you don't need to run out and buy one. You can boil the eggs in 1-inch of water and they will still peel perfectly.  You don’t even need to peel the eggs right away. They will peel just as easily after being refrigerated for several days.

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Mini Coconut Popovers with Chutney

GET INSTANT SUCCESS WITH THESE BITE-SIZE APPETIZERS

These new, lactose-free popovers can be baked large to serve in place of bread or in mini muffin tins for appetizers. They each have their own personality, just like our kids. 

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Whole Wheat Muffins with Yogurt & Banana

It's great to make your own muffins, because you know what's in them. In this case only wholesome ingredients and very few calories--160 each to be exact. 

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Mexican Eggs In Purgatory

This Mexican take on Italian Eggs in Purgatory is  a deliciously hellish way to start the day.  How deep you want to delve into purgatory is completely up to you. 

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White Chocolate Berry Roulade

This started out to be strawberry shortcake. But I never do what's expected.  I like raspberries in my shortcakes because their tartness adds a layer of flavor to dulcet strawberries. Whipped cream is great, but wait until you taste it with white chocolate mixed in. 

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Grilled Skirt (Flat Iron, Flank, Flap or Hanger) Steak With Balsamic & Rosemary

Marinating an inexpensive tough cut of beef–easy. Cooking to the right temperature and carving without mutilating are the real secrets to tender, juicy steaks. The right marinade helps, too. 

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Spring Greens with Roasted Asparagus, Fennel & Strawberries with Tahini Vinaigrette

This salad is delish, but it's the tahini vinaigrette that is amazing. It is so good that it makes a great dip for veggies, too. This dressing will change the way you think about salads. Guaranteed. 

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Hummus with Lima Butter Beans & Cumin

Trendy hummus can be made in a rainbow of flavors from beet to spinach. I keep mine simple by substituting buttery limas for the garbanzos, which makes it wonderfully creamy. 

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Roasted Cauliflower Crumbles with Panko & Gruyere

"Wow! Risotto!" my vegetarian daughter, Caryn, exclaimed when I set a bowl of finely chopped and roasted cauliflower on the table. "Not exactly," I explained, "unless you want to call this roasted cauliflower risotto."

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Set It & Forget It Meringue Torte with Fresh Raspberry Sauce

Here is a terrific spring dessert to top off your Passover Seder or Easter feast. It is so light and airy that if it isn't topped with a luscious raspberry sauce, it might float right off the plate. 

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Spinach with Garlic, Currants & Pine Nuts

You won't want to pass up this simple spinach recipe that I guarantee will turn over a new leaf in your spinach cooking repertoire. It has revolutionized cooking plain spinach for me–and you can even make it for crowd. 

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Fudgy Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

Crispy, fudgy, salty-sweet, these simple cookies may look ordinary, but wait until you taste them. They are like a potato chip. It's hard to eat just one.

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Beef Stew with Côtes du Rhône & Balsamic

I have a few tricks up my sleeve to make the most stellar stew imaginable. The first one you will thank me for. 

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Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Zucchini and Spice Cheese

How many roles can one mushroom play? How about an excellent hors d'oeuvre, first course, vegetable side dish or vegetarian entree?  Vegetables don't get more versatile than this. 

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Cinnamon-Scented Rice Pilaf with Apricots & Raisins

A stick of cinnamon, crushed cardamom pods and whole peppercorns add terrific flavor to this golden pilaf. Instead of adding them directly to the rice, tie them up in a piece of cheesecloth, so you can easily remove them once they've added their terrific seasonings to the dish. 

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Mexican Chicken Soup

Although the D word isn't part of my New Year's vocabulary, this zesty soup is light enough to qualify for one. It is super fast and aside from a poblano chili pepper, you probably have the other ingredients in your fridge or pantry.  

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Blushing Champagne Punch with Citrus Ice Ring

You don't need to buy an expensive champagne to make this refreshingly light and effervescent punch.

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Persimmon, Beet & Arugula Salad with Hazelnut (or Walnut) Vinaigrette

When I served it at a dinner party recently, not a leaf of arugula was left on a plate. It looks great  arranged on individual plates or on a large platter for a buffet.

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