lemon cornmeal cookies

cookies and milk are the ultimate comforting afternoon snack. these simple lemon shortbread style cookies have cornmeal in the dough for a lovely texture. my mom gave me this cookie cookbook for christmas and a recipe in it gave me the idea to add cornmeal. if you don't want to make 4 dozen cookies at once, the dough will keep for several days in the fridge or a few months in the freezer. we used a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter but if you use a bigger circle the recipe will yield fewer cookies. enjoy!

Lemon Cornmeal Cookies
makes 4 dozen

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup medium or fine ground cornmeal
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup confectioner's sugar
preheat oven to 400 degrees F. combine flour, cornmeal, ginger and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and yellow. add lemon zest and vanilla and mix. add eggs, one at a time, and mix until fully incorporated. add dry ingredients and mix until combined. roll dough into a ball, cut in two and wrap each ball in plastic wrap. chill for 30 minutes. roll out one ball at a time on a lightly floured surface until 1/4-inch thick. cut out circles with a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. bake for 12-14 minutes or until light golden brown. cool completely on a wire rack and dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.


it's five o'clock somewhere

as i'm sure you've heard, old school handcrafted cocktails with traditional ingredients are back in style. there's something so classy about the art of drink, respecting the cocktail and bringing it back to what it was. we're reminded of this tradition at places like this while sipping a dark & stormy and listing to jazz as the subway gently shakes your booth. the cooper's union cocktail has an old fashioned taste and is an elegant drink we discovered in an old issue of bon appetit - it comes from this restaurant in minneapolis. serve it in a beautiful champagne flute like this marc jacobs for waterford crystal coupe we got for our anniversary in october. happy friday and have a wonderful weekend!

Cooper's Union Cocktail
serves 1

1 oz pink grapefruit juice
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3 drops orange flower water
1 oz vodka
champagne or sparkling wine to top, chilled
in a mixing glass, stir all ingredients, except bubbly, together. pour into a champagne flute and top off with champagne.


around town

well, its been a busy week in our household, shooting, shooting, shooting and styling, styling, styling. but as we have learned to do very well, with all work will come play. living in nyc has been nothing short of amazing, and it gets better and better each day. there seems to be this never ending pulse of the art and food world that makes it exciting to get up each day and explore more. even these californians have fallen in love with the snow! today, instead of our food, here is a little of our recent fav's around the city.

- our obsession with mast brothers chocolate, above, might get us in pocketbook trouble, but it is worth ever penny. they were also wonderfully featured in the selby, check it out.

-we ate at northern spy the other day and had a great meal at a great price. from their drive to help local farmers and food purveyors to the fun decor, this is a must eat.

-recently our friends at big leo productions pointed us in the direction of new wonderful work produced by mason adams of blp, called voracity. an awesome ongoing essay exploring hunger, consumption, and beauty. the great team that put this together did a fantastic job, make sure to take a peek.

-also check out blp's blog, the den.

-we are looking forward to eating here soon. ohhhhhh meatballs...

-april bloomfield's the breslin really has lived up to all the hype for us. and i have to say the lamb burger might just be the best burger on the planet. i did say might.

-looking for a cheap drinking night in the city? hop under the brooklyn bridge to cowgirl seahorse for a $2 canned genessee cream or carling black label.

-and as usual, you should be checking out these amazing girls...jen, jen, molly and jen.

hope everyone had a great valentines day!



when you look at these images you don't think pudding, do you? well, maybe you do if you're british or have a friend from across the pond or are for some reason familiar with steamed puddings. sticky toffee pudding, spotted dick and even bread pudding are molded desserts different in texture than regular old chocolate or tapioca pudding. i grew up with a family tradition of eating cranberry steamed pudding for dessert every christmas eve and have always loved it! we recently saw a recipe for marmalade pudding in jamie oliver's gorgeous magazine and decided to adapt it so you don't have to measure everything in grams. the slightly bitter orange flavor would be delicious with a cup of coffee in the morning, a cup of tea around 3pm or in a puddle of creme anglaise for dessert. you can find molds at garage sales, thrift stores and even brand new here. definitely worth having one in the cupboard but if you don't have one yet, you can always steam it in a coffee can.

Marmalade Pudding
serves 8-10

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup marmalade
3 eggs
in a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. in a small saucepan, heat butter and marmalade until butter is melted. pour over dry ingredients and whisk to mix well. whisk in the eggs and stir until combined. pour into a greased pudding mold and cover tightly with a piece of greased foil. place in a large pot, slightly raised from the bottom if possible, and fill pot with boiling water about halfway up the side of the mold, being careful not to spill into the mold. bring to a boil over medium heat, cover and steam for about 2 hours. the water will need to be refilled a bit as the pudding cooks. test the pudding with a cake tester and turn out onto a dish. slice and serve warm or at room temperature. enjoy!



we were just watching a repeat of everyday italian on the food network and it happened to be an episode from the season i worked on. giada was making zeppole, which is essentially an italian doughnut hole, and it reminded me of how delicious little fried balls of dough tossed in cinnamon sugar and dipped in chocolate taste. so while it was snowing outside all day today, we stayed inside and made these! the recipe is adapted from this cookbook which has lots of great recipes. yes it's a little indulgent and no we don't fry things every day but today it was a special treat!

serves 4-6

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar plus 1/2 cup for coating
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 tbs orange zest
vegetable oil for frying
1 tsp cinnamon
in a medium saucepan, combine butter, sugar, salt and 1/2 cup water. bring to a boil over medium heat. take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour. return to low heat and cook, stirring vigorously until the mixture forms a ball. transfer the dough to a medium bowl and using an electric mixer, beat in eggs one at a time. add orange zest and set aside. in a small bowl, combine cinnamon with remaining 1/2 cup sugar and set aside.
pour enough oil into a frying pan to reach a depth of 2-inches. heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
using a small ice cream scoop, carefully drop small tablespoons of dough into the hot oil. fry several at a time but be careful not to crowd the pan. turn zeppole with a wooden skewer to evenly brown both sides and cook until golden and puffed, about 5 minutes. roll cooked zeppole in cinnamon sugar and serve immediately plain or with melted chocolate for dipping. enjoy!


morning muffins

well, it looks like baking has been a bit of an obsession lately in our house. i guess the warmth of the oven and the smell of fresh baked goods in the morning can be a little addictive. we love berries, and blueberries seemed a fit for these light tasty little treats. these muffins are filled with streusel for a melt in your mouth fluffiness. recently we have been taking the gourmet coffee tour of the city at home, trying to find a favorite, although i think they all taste so good i don't think we will ever pick just one. we have gone through bags of stumptown, counter culture, and now ninth street espresso. between the aromas coming from the oven and the coffee pot, our house smells like morning all through the day.

Blueberry Muffins
makes 1 dozen

for streusel:
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/8 cup oats
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs unsalted butter, melted
for muffins:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 tbs butter, melted
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 small lemon
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 12 cup muffin tin. in a small bowl, combine streusel ingredients and set aside. in a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder salt and sugar. in a medium bowl, combine eggs, sour cream, milk, cooled butter, vanilla and lemon zest. pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. fold in blueberries until evenly distributed. fill each cup halfway full, then top with 1/2 tbs of streusel and cover with remaining batter filling each cup to the top. bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. enjoy!


my first cookbook

i was lucky enough to grow up in a home that loved food and had a mom and grandmas who were wonderful cooks and shared that love with me. apparently they were shaping my future, although i don't think any of them knew what food styling was at the time. one of the first recipes i remember making was from a kid's cookbook called My First Cookbook for cinnamon raisin bread. it was fun to see how yeast made the dough rise, i loved kneading with my little hands and then eating the beautifully swirled bread warm out of the oven with a little butter was a perfect end to the lesson. i'm sure there are much more interesting cinnamon swirl bread recipes out there but this one is such a wonderful memory and when i made it again recently, i realized that it's actually really good - the loaf didn't last long in our house!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread
makes 2 loaves

2 cups milk
1 pkg active dry yeast
5-6 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
heat milk over medium heat until it steams and tiny bubbles come to the edge. cool 10 minutes. place yeast, 5 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and combine. add 2 tbs of butter and milk and stir until a stiff dough is formed. knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour. punch air out of dough, cover and let rise 30 minutes. grease 2 loaf tins and 1 tbs of butter. combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. roll out dough into a thin rectangle. spread 4 tbs butter over dough and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and raisins, if using. tightly roll the dough, starting from one long edge and cut the dough in half. place each half in a loaf tin, seam side down. cover and let rise for 30 minutes. preheat oven to 350 degrees F. spread remaining butter on the tops of the loaves and bake 35 minutes or until lightly golden and hollow sounding when tapped with your knuckle. cool on a wire rack & enjoy!