What a blast in The Bender Kitchen today with Ryan Kristafer & Teresa Dufour making my #1 viewed YouTube cooking show, “BEST BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP EVER!”, at 83,000 views and climbing! It was a special day there because Teresa is back after her 4 month maternity leave.
Not only was it fun on the set at WTNH, Channel 8 in The Bender Kitchen but Billy Blanks for Tae Bo was in the house also. Of course, I had to take a couple fun action shots.
The improtant thing I wanted to get across to everyone today on CT Style while showing you how to make “Big Game” food for next weekend is to make ahead! The Guacamole, Hummus and Drunk Blondie Bars with Bourbon Caramel Sauce can all be made one day ahead of the Super Bowl LII. This way you can relax and enjoy being with your friends and still get the well deserved praise of master chef!
Here are those make ahead ideas for Big Game eats next weekend and remember to get your wings and chicken tenderloins early because all the super markets run out by mid week! Have fun and enjoy! 🙂
CT Style Holiday Show with Ryan & Sarah Making Bolognese!
Holidays are for bringing family and friends together and making special dishes! On the CT Style Holiday Show this past Friday I show you guys an all time favorite of mine for bolognese. If you missed the live show you can watch it on Christmas day when WTNH Channel 8 airs the taped version or click on the link above.
I am truly grateful to have such a wonderful platform as CT Style to try and insire all of you in the kitchen and share my recipes. Having such creative and enthusiastic anchors at WTNH Channel 8 right by my side make it all that much better! On Friday, I wanted to show my appreciation by making Ryan Kristafer and Sarah Cody an extra special holiday treat by serving my light as a feather homemade gnocchi with the bolognese.
This bolognese sauce is like no other that I have ever had. Over the years I have worked hard to perfect this recipe matching a dish I used to have in Urbino, Italy, where I spent a couple of semesters abroad in college. Now all you have to do is follow my recipe and savour over the most amazing and unique bolognese sauce you’ll ever have.
I want to thank The Traveling Epicurean followers for supporting this culinary journey of mine in my efforts to inspire all of you in the kitchen. There’s something about igniting a passion that brings people together with good food and good company building memories that last a life time. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Blessed 2018 New Year!
Good Morning Connecticut with Laura & Jocelyn Making Pesto
Today I had the pleasure of cooking on the “Good Morning Connecticut” show with Laura Hutchinson and Jocelyn Maminta. Showing them just how easy it was to make my gourmet pesto was exciting because it’s hard to believe something that tastes so delicious can be done in mere minutes.
Making a batch of homemade pesto goes so much further then you think. First of all, it can be frozen easily for future dishes. Second, one batch can make numerous dishes. For example, it’s enough pesto for a pasta dish and a pesto butter log. The pesto butter log is really nice because you can cut off slices from the frozen log any time you need them topping grilled steaks, chicken breasts, or even pork chops oozing the melting basil, garlic and cheese all over creating a whole new level of yum!
The ease of being able to use a food processor to make my homemade gourmet pesto is a wonderful thing! The pesto tastes the same and you still put all the love into it using good ingredients. You can play with this recipe also when it comes to amounts like adding a little more Parmesan if it’s too thin or drizzling in a tad more olive oil if it’s too thick. Making pesto is a very forgiving process…. just trust yourself and be sure to taste as you go along to see if you need to add a sprinkle more of salt and or pepper.
Take the basil leaves off of the stems and place them into the food processor with the pressed garlic.
Begin to pulse while drizzling in all of the olive oil thru the top opening of the food processor.
Once you finish adding the oil you may need to stop and scrape the sides with a spatula if you see large pieces of basil leaves.
Pulse once more, then add the parmesan.
Pulse a couple more times to blend, taste and add salt and pepper and tabasco if you want a little kick to it.
Pulse once more to combine.
The pesto is ready to use.
Serve on PASTA and sautéed or grilled shrimp, fish, chicken, pork or steak!…mmm!
If you want to save the pesto put it into a plastic container and drizzle about 1 Tbsp of olive oil right on top, lay a piece of Saran wrap right on top of the new layer of olive oil so there isn’t any air touching (This will keep the basil from oxidizing and turning brown).
At this point you can either keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or put it into the freezer.
When you are ready to use the frozen pesto take it out the night before and let it thaw in the refrigerator.
CT Style with Ryan Kristafer & Sarah Cody Getting Ready for Thanksgiving!
It was a special day on CT Style with Ryan Kristafer and Sarah Cody sharing one of my favorite childhood dishes in memory of my Grandma Reilly. I never did get her recipe for her Creamed Onions or pies but she was the inspiration behind my recipe that I have been making for over 20 years now. Cooking in The Bender KItchen, hanging out with Ryan and Sarah was the perfect way to start my Thanksgiving holiday this year!
Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that can truly drive you crazy if you don’t do any planning because there are just too many side dishes to make. Needless to say, a little planning goes a long way!
On CT Style I wanted to show you some of the dishes that are total time savers for this Thanksgiving. My Icebox-rolls dough can be made 4 days ahead, shape and rolling out the rolls, dredging in green onions the day before. These icebox dinner rolls are then ready to pop into the oven when your guests arrive giving your house a warm and fuzzy feeling with aromas of homemade baked bread!
The yummy Best Brussel Sprouts Ever are drizzled with olive oil, chopped garlic and roast for only 25 minutes on 350º without any flipping or fussing. These can be made the night before because the sprouts keep their bright green color and crispness when re-heated the next day!
My Perfect Pie Crust in 5 Minutes is to die for and can be made 1 month ahead, put into the freezer and thawed in the frig 2 days before you need it! Roll out the pie dough the night before Thanksgiving and then bake your delectable Chocolate Pecan Pie the night before and violà! Not to mention, the Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe is a melt in your mouth gourmet recipe …it may just be the hit of your holiday!
Finally, there was talk of a Creamed Onion competition recently at Page Hardware in Guilford with owner Andrew Page when we were discussing future cooking demos at Page in the new year! So there just may be a “Creamed Onions” competition coming as well! Page has quite the array of high tech steam ovens, stoves and so much more…it’s almost difficult to pay attention to conversation surrounded by all the beautiflul stainless steel! You really have to check them out. I will keep you all posted on The Traveling Epicurean Cooking Demos and the “competition” in their amazing kitchens at Page in January of 2018!
I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Let me know how your recipes turned out and about any new ones that you tried! xxoo
Every time there’s a get together in my neighborhood the first thing that comes to mind, “I hope Linda brings her baked beans!” That’s how good these baked beans are! My friend and neighbor, Linda, graciously offered up her recipe so that I may share it with all of you. Linda titles the recipe “Sue’s Baked Beans” because she got the recipe from her sister Sue who got the recipe from their mom! No matter what the title it’s one great family recipe.
Just the thought of bacon, sauteéd onions and creamy beans and you’ve got my attention. These are a few of the ingredients that go into this Best Baked Beans recipe. Other key ingredients are brown sugar, honey mustard, garlic granules, and to balance out the whole dish apple cider vinegar, of course.
It’s really fairly simple especially since the recipe calls for canned beans. Shhhh …no one has to know that, lol! These beans, in my opinion, taste like they are made from scratch. Our time is very valuable and if you can make baked beans that taste like this you’re one step ahead of the game. These best beaked beans are creamy, flavorful, and a wonderful balance between sweet and tangy making a great addition to grilled fish, chicken, pulled pork or sausages. These will become your go to baked bean recipe once you taste them!
CT Style With Ryan & Sarah Making German Pancakes!
I had a blast today on CT Stlye with Ryan Kristafer and Sarah Cody making German Pancakes. It was so nice to meet Sarah and with Ryan’s fun sense of humor I thought it would be a good idea to bring some Halloween props to the set today. Being so involved in what I was cooking I almost forgot I had these props on the shelf behind me. Leave it to Ryan to see the plastic bloody hand and the laughs carried on!
Fall is such an incredibly exciting season. The aroma’s of the season are enticing for sure. People begin to get into a nesting faze and the baking begins. I love having family and guests over for the holidays and these German Pancakes have always been a big hit. I was turned on to German pancakes some 20 years ago by my Vermont friends and have been making them ever since.
My son loves to eat the German pancakes with maple syrup where as my daughter likes them with butter. I on the other hand like them with jam, berries and maple syrup. That’s why I show you how to make a quick strawberry jam.
This quick jam is so simple, it’s worry free. You make the strawberry jam in 15 minutes while the German pancake is in the oven baking. You need to skim off the white foam that accumulates around the edges of the pan while the strawberries simmer otherwise the jam will be cloudy. While warm this jam makes a wonderfu sauce and as it cools it thickens into a lovely jam. This recipe only makes one small jar, just enough, and must be kept in the refrigerator. It stays good for a couple of weeks, perfect for your breakfast toast.
Hope you have as much fun watching the cooking segment of CT Style as I did being there! xo
CT Style with Ryan & Kat Making Mediterranean Chicken Kabobs!
I’m always thrilled to be back on CT Style and that’s where I was this past Friday with Ryan Kristafer & Kat Cosley sharing one of my favorite recipes, Mediterranean Chicken Kabobs made with Greek yogurt. This recipe originated from a show I taped at a beach house right here in Madison two years ago with my friend Maria. It’s delicious on the grill outside and I show on easy it is to grill indoors using my “Lodge” reversible cast iron grill-pan.
I had a wonderful time in The Bender Kitchen meeting Kat Cosley, and as always, with Ryan Kristafer’s quick wit sense of humor he takes it up a notch! Having two little ones of her own Kat totally gets the convenience of being able to make different versions of these flavorful Mediterranean meals which can be made ahead for a busy family,
The Mediterranean Yogurt Chicken Kabobs are one of my all time favorites because it’s such a simple process and just so good for you! Marinate, skewer and BBQ…thats it! This recipe oringially came from Epicurious but as I always do, I tweaked it a bit when it was given to me adding in Spanish smoked paprika, a mild, sweet yet smokey spice thats gives a wonderful addition to the recipe.
The sides that go with the kabobs, the homemade tzatziki, hummus and green goddess sauce can be a great compliment to grilled steaks, pork or veal chops, scallops or any fish! These flavors really brighten up any dish.
You can click on the links above to get to the recipe pages on my website that go with this live cooking segement on CT Style and they are also offered on the CT Style website as well.
No better way to start out my week then on “CT Style” In The Bender Kitchen with Teresa Dufour and News 8’s newsest ancor Scott McDonnell! It was a fun meeting Scott and having him there in the kitchen too and Teresa’s aura goes without saying…radiant! Summer is still in full swing so oysters were on my mind and here on CT Style I show you how to make my Oysters in Pernod Sauce with Fresh Spinach.
I created this recipe 16 years ago to match a yummy dish I had in New Orleans back in 2001. I have a knack for matching recipes in my test kitchen and that’s what I had done here. The flavors in this dish are a play on the traditional Oysters Rockefeller although with my recipe you don’t have to worry about shucking oysters. I buy my oysters already shucked, flash frozen in their own juices, at my local fish store.
On CT Style I actually used 1 whole quart of flash frozen oysters which contains about 24 oysters. I didn’t quite double the recipe but used 1 1/2 of the amount on the ingredient list. This is a very simple recipe and you will feel like a certified saucier once you taste the outcome.
As for the Pernod, this star-anise liquer is a whopping 40% alcohol although it mellows out quite a bit after simmering for 40 minutes. You’ll end up with a unique and really lovely flavor that’s going to wow you!
One of my favorite things when out a menu for a dinner party is how each dish balances out with the other. To compilment my oysters in Pernod sauce in Pernod Sauce on the CT Style set today I put together a platter of fresh watermelon wedges topped with a very good quality balsamic and feta cheese, sliced peppermint leaves and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. My neighbors have been inspiring me with their watermenlon dishes this summer hence the reasoning behind this combo and what a flavor explosion it is!
The Traveling Epicurean recently presented Oysters in Pernod Sauce with Fresh Spinach at a sold out Merrior-Terrior Event at the Madison Wine Exchange where I served up samplings made with fresh shucked oyters. Joe Dolce, Sommelier at The Madison Exchange teamed up with Joe Dimaggio from “Save the Sound” to hold this event. It also featured special guest and owner of Thimble Island Shellfish Company Life Long Waterman & Oyster Farmer, Jonathan Waters, who supplied the scrumptious freshly shucked oysters. Jonathan Water also talked about the remarkable story of the oyster and its history.
The oysters on the half shell served at this Merrior-Terrior event were each paired to a particular wine, spirit or beer that best complements their individual style. The pairings and commentary was presented by Court of Masters Certified Sommelier, Joe Dolce. It was tons of fun! You should look on the Madison Wine Exchanges website for up and coming events!
CT Style in The Bender Kitchen with Summertime Recipes!
Back on CT Style in The Bender Kitchen with Ryan Kristafer and Teresa Dufour this past Thursday morning! I feel so fortunate to be working with such a wonderful group of people at WTNH Channel 8 who make it so fun to share The Traveling Epicurean recipes with all of you.
My goal for this segment was to show you a couple of creative and really delicious ideas for all your summertime produce. Panzanella and Berries in Dreamy Cream came to mind.
One of the wonderful things about making these dishes is the abundance and variety you have to choose from at the farmers markets in the summer. The incredible flavors in this Panzanella recipe go without saying. All the aroma’s from the fresh herbs, basil, parsley, thyme & oregano to the fresh vegetables like the heirloom tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers, red onions really get you salavating. The creaminess from the fresh mozzarella and the crunchy from the homemade croutons balance it all out.
As for the Berries in Dreamy Cream, you can whip this one up in a matter of minutes as well. I’ve been making this sauce for over 20 years and always get the same delightful response from guests after their first bite. You would never think that melting Fluff and cream cheese together could make such a delectable sauce on fresh berries. It’s a sensation you have to treat your self to and then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
This energy boosting, super nutty seed bread topped with chic pea guacamole has both healthy fats and deliciousness…what more could you ask for!
It’s amazing how a hearty, healthy, homemade bread made from ground seeds can be this easy to make! The combination that April offers in her recipe by topping this moist bread with a creamy chic pea guacamole is a win win for me. The textures of the the two really compliment each other.
You really need to check out April’s beautiful website sweetsimpledelicious.com where she offers delicious, healthy recipes along with her wellness programs enrollment availabilty! It was so much fun taping this show with April. With our similar tastes and aspirations I know we’ll be working together to bring you more shows featuring healthy, scrumptious dishes!