Food, Fun, NYC, recipe, Sweets

Cranberry Scones

Cranberry Studded Scones


I pulled the recipe from my favorite Skinnytaste, but I omitted the lemon and spread homemade pumpkin butter on the baked scones.  Mine clocked in at 240 calories each (I had no clue how to cut into 10 equal parts so I made 8 slices) as opposed to the 490 calorie bombs at Starbucks.  I found these the best the first day as they lose the crisp sugared crust when stored in airtight containers.

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp chilled butter (must be cold) cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup dried sweet cranberries (I used orange flavored)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender, or you could use 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in cranberries or cherries. Add buttermilk mixture, stirring just until moist. (dough will be sticky)
  4. Place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly four times with floured hands. Form dough into an 8-inch circle onto baking sheet, about 3/4″ thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 8 wedges (do not cut all the way through). Sprinkle 2T sugar over dough.
  5. Bake until golden, about 18-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Serve warm or room temperature.


Dining, Food, Fun, NYC, recipe, savory, Uncategorized

Stovetop Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken in a pot

Since I live in one of the smallest functioning kitchens in the country, I decided to conquer something seemingly impossible.  A roast chicken.  I relied on my large Sur La Table stock pot to do all the cooking.  Instead of searing then finishing in the oven, I simply seared and continued to cook on the stovetop on very low heat.


  • 1 3lb whole chicken
  • olive oil
  • Spice Mix
  • 1t salt
  • 1/2t pepper
  • 1/4t paprika
  • 1/4t thyme
  • 1/4t oregano
  • Chicken Cavity Filling
  • 10 Sprigs of parsley
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 7 cloves of garlic (one head)
  • Vegetables and aromatics 2C
  • Diced assortment of root vegetables ex. onions, leeks, carrots, parsnips, celery etc


Make sure chicken is thoroughly clean and patted dry. Stuff the body cavity with the lemon, parsley, and garlic. Combine salt, pepper, herbs, and paprika in a small bowl. Sprinkle it onto the chicken and rub into the skin with your fingers. Drizzle the olive oil on top and gently rub to coat the chicken.

In a 5-quart dutch oven, heat the oil.  Add the whole chicken (any side down). Brown that side of the chicken for 5 minutes. Flip over and brown the other side for 5 minutes. Repeat until all sides are brown. You may need to stand the chicken up in order to do this– use tongs and/or get someone to help you.

After all sides are brown, throw in the diced vegetables to the pot. Turn down the burner to low and cover the dutch oven with its lid. Let it cook for 40-45 minutes for a 3lb chicken. Check to see that the juices run clear when you slice the meat and that the dark meat near the bone is cooked through.

When done, turn off the burner and remove the chicken from the pot. Let it rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board. Tent the chicken with foil.

Slice and serve immediately with the veggies from the pot. Leftovers can be shredded and refrigerated to use later in chicken salad, chicken noodle soup, stir fry, etc. The bones can be used to make chicken stock.

Food, Fun, Holiday, NYC, recipe, Sweets

St. Paddy’s Day #2 Flag Muffins

Most people have heard of zucchini bread and carrot cake, but what about spinach muffins?  I found this recipe on a blog and thought it would be a great treat for St. Patricks Day to make green muffins WITHOUT any food coloring.  Unfortunately I did not have a blender with the ability to liquify the spinach, but they tasted amazing.  I was able to weigh my ingredients since bananas vary in size and I adapted the recipe using frozen instead of fresh spinach.  I used almond milk as my milk choice, all whole wheat flour, and reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup as it was already sweet enough for my liking.  I folded in walnut pieces as well for a bit of extra crunch and flavor.  I also liked that I could taste the batter as there were no eggs.


  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour (8.5oz)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 lb bag frozen spinach (6oz squeezed of water)
  • ½ cup mashed banana about 2 (7.5oz)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

I adapted this recipe from


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a blender, place oil, milk, and spinach. Blend on high for about 30 seconds or until completely puréed. Add banana and vanilla; blend on low just to mix.
  4. Pour puréed mixture into dry mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until completely combined.
  5. Fill muffin cups about ⅔ full and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Now I had fun with this photo opp creating a cupcake honoring the Irish flag topping it off with whipped cream and a shaved carrot.  These are DECEPTIVELY good… but I am hoping to make them again using the proper blender for vanity sake.IMG_4563

Holiday, NYC, savory, Uncategorized

St. Paddy’s Day #1 Cabbage Duo

I have taken a few weeks off, but no worries I have a lot of fun to come.  Stay tunes tomorrow for a fun St. Paddy’s Day recipe.  It is that time of year again where I see cabbage at the local grocery store and decide to buy one with no plans of what to do with it.  

Ahhhh the small but mighty head of cabbage.  Once cut, it grows into a forrest of greens that is useful for large batches of multiple recipes.  In this case I decided to go with a chicken cabbage soup and a traditional creamy cole slaw.  The cole slaw was actually adapted from the recipe on the back featuring pretty basic ingredients.  I added a kick of Sriracha (about a tbsp) and used half greek yogurt and half mayo in the dressing, both which I highly recommend.


The “dump” soup was a result of an impulse buy of cabbage in honor of St. Patrick’s Day so I used ingredients I had at home.  First searing carrots and celery in a pot, then adding the a few cloves of garlic.  Then I added a can of crushed tomatoes and chicken stock I made a few weeks prior from the bones of a roast chicken.  At that time I added the cabbage and let simmer about 15 minutes before adding the chicken which I poached in the liquid until cooked through before pulling into smaller pieces.  As I recall the only other addition was salt and pepper.

Food, Fun, NYC, recipe, Sweets

Lemon Puppy Chow

What was in last weeks mystery box?

Mystery Box

Mystery Box

I like wikipedia’s description best “Puppy chow, also typically known as muddy buddiesmonkey munch, or reindeer food, is the name for a homemade snack made in the United States”  It is crunchy and sweet and quite honestly hard to stop eating.  Nowadays it is not a homemade snack as you can purchase the pre-made mix but it is so simple and quite honestly only semi-homemade to begin with.  I decided to make a lemony version of the treat using white chocolate and lemon juice in place of chocolate chips and peanut butter.  I did not make up this recipe, but thought it was worth sharing as it was something I have never heard of or tried before last week. I also think it is a great treat looking forward to spring.


  • cups Corn Chex™ cereal
  • 1 1/4cups white vanilla baking chips
  • 1/4cup butter
  • 4teaspoons grated lemon peel (or 1tsp lemon extract)
  • 2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2cups powdered sugar


  1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
  2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chips, butter, lemon peel and juice uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
  3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; gently shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Store in airtight container.


Completed Dish
Dining, Food, NYC, recipe, savory, Uncategorized

Lemony Chicken Piccata

Since I had extra capers in the fridge a great way to use them up is making chicken piccata.  This dish is super flavorful with the addition the the acidity in the lemons and white wine, but the flour is the key to avoiding tough overcooked chicken.  The recipe is adapted from Skinnytaste.

Todays post includes a mystery box…  There is only one hint here.  There is also lemon in this recipe.

Mystery Box

Mystery Box

Lemon Chicken Piccata

  • 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 (2-inch) strips lemon zest
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Spread 1/4 cup flour in a shallow dish. Pound each chicken breast half into thin cutlets (for 4 cutlets total). Dry cutlets with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Dredge one side of each cutlet in flour, shaking off excess.


Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, lay 2 cutlets, floured side down, in the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip cutlets over and continue to cook until no longer pink, about 1 more minute. Transfer cutlets to a plate and tent loosely with foil. Repeat with remaining 1 Tablespoon oil and 2 cutlets.

Add capers and garlic to the skillet. Return to medium heat and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon flour until incorporated. Whisk in broth, wine and lemon zest strips, scraping any browned bits for additional flavor. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened slightly and reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 10 to 15 minutes.  I also sautéed the lemon slices in this step.

Return cutlets into the sauce, simmering until heated through and spooning sauce over chicken, about 30 seconds. Transfer chicken to serving plates. Off heat, remove lemon zest and whisk lemon juice and butter into sauce.

Serve to individual plates and spoon sauce over the chicken.  I served mine with a simple side of green lentils with celery, carrots, mushrooms and onions.

Food, NYC, recipe, Sweets

Lavender Lemon Bars

I love lemon bars, but they are anything but healthy.  I decided to make a lightened up version based off Gina’s Honey Lemon Bar recipe from her Skinnytaste blog.  I wanted to incorporate my culinary lavender as I knew it would pair well with the lemon and shine through this simple dessert without messing up the consistency or bake.  The only downside was the use of so many lemons!

Honey Lemon Bars *adapted from Skinnytaste

For the crust:

  • 6 tbsp white whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 6 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into bits and chilled
  • 1 tbsp fat free Greek yogurt

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp white whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar, for dusting on top


Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Prepare an 8-inch square pan by lightly spraying the inside of the pan with baking spray before lining it with 2 long sheets of aluminum foil folded to fit inside and placed perpendicular to each other in the pan.  This is so you can get the bars out after they are cooked, so don’t skip this step.

Simmer honey with 1T of culinary lavender for 30 minutes before straining solids.

Cut the sheets long enough to hang over the sides to use as handles to lift out the baked lemon bars before cutting into squares.  Spray the inside of the foil lined pan with baking spray.

For the crust: In a food processor combine the flours, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, baking powder and salt and process until well combined.  Add the butter and yogurt to the flour mixture at once and pulse at least a dozen times before turning out into the prepared pan and pressing into an even layer.

Bake until evenly browned about 20-22 minutes.  Cool the crust on a metal rack for at least 15 – 20 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Prepare the filling by whisking together the eggs, honey, lemon zest, flour and the salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and pour over the cooled crust.  Bake until filling is set, about 22 minutes.  Cool completely before lifting the bars out of the pan with the foil.  Cut into 9 squares and dust with confectioners sugar. *Note be prepared for the sugar to “disappear” if refrigerated overnight.  Do not dust until bars are cooled and are ready to be served.