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Everyone loves the traditional NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Cookie recipe. Sure. But do we really have to stick so closely to it? If we add a few things, will the NTHCCCC* come down on us like a ton of bricks? There is really only one way to find out. Read the rest of this entry »


If you are like me (and I think you probably are),  your tomatoes haven’t been very good this year.  In fact they probably haven’t ripened at all, and here you are at the beginning of October with a bunch of green tomatoes to dispose of and a distinct lack of options.

I have always been vaguely disdainful of the whole fried green tomatoes idea. Anything tastes good when you coat it in eggs and breadcrumbs and fry it 1/2 an inch of oil.  That does not impress anyone. This will. Read the rest of this entry »

Did you know that, according to the Southern Rockland Co. Center for Wheatberry Studies, 99.99% of all Americans are not getting their recommended daily allowance of wheatberries? And according to the Wheatberry Institute at the State University of New York at Pulldata Myasse, just one serving of wheatberries a day can lead to higher levels of energy, youthful high-spiritedness and increased sexytude? Not to mention their effect on bowel regularity. So, as part of my work for the National Association for the Advancement of Wheatberry Consumption, I am dedicating the following blog post to the delicious fruit of the wheat tree, the wheatberry.

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We’ve all been there, ladies. It’s cocktail hour — really, really cocktail hour — and and the shaker is already full of ice and vodka and some sick m*****f***** has gone and drunk all the cranberry juice, and you realize the only thing  for it is to rip open a juice box and get creative. This is one of those moments.

The Apricosmo

4 shots vodka or tequila
2 shots Cointreau or Triple Sec
2 shots apricot nectar
1 shot lime juice
Maraschino cherries

Fill a shaker with ice and add all liquid ingredients. Shake well. Strain into martini glass, with two maraschino cherries. Enjoy.

Marinated Grilled Eggplant

Grill eggplant. Add balsamic vinaigrette. Save $9.00.

Not very long ago, while cleaning out my refrigerator, I noticed that some damn fool had bought  a bag of carrots when clearly we already had enough carrots for our purposes. Coincidentally, I  also noticed that I had developed quite the taste for pickled carrot products, most notably that sweet carrot and diakon pickle that sometimes comes with grilled salmon I order from Republic on a Saturday at work, but also the spicy Giardiniera pickles that I had paid $9.00 for a tub of at my local farmers market during a moment of temporary insanity. In fact, I soon came to the realization that I was developing quite the expensive pickled carrot habit, and considering the embarrassment of carrots on display in my crisper, I was going to have to bite the bullet and learn how to pickle.

“TO THE INTERNET!”  I thought, as that is what I think whenever I need to obtain any knowledge on pretty much any subject (what did we do back in the olden days?) and Googled me up a handful of carrot pickling recipes. Rather than follow any of these recipes, like a sensible person might do, I decided instead to just get a general gist of various ways one might pickle a carrot and then just wing it. Read the rest of this entry »

Or, “Everything tastes better with flowers”


I think all of us are familiar with the old adage “When life gives you rotting bananas, make banana bread” and no one lives by that principle as much as I do, but life has been dealing me more rotting bananas than usual lately, and eventually one does grow tired of the traditional banana-nut loaf. So with the knowledge that there were bananas quickly aging in my fruit bowl yesterday, I grabbed a bag of sweetened coconut flakes at the supermarket, figuring “bananas…coconut…Epicurious has gotta have something.”

And of course it did. I chose this recipe for its simplicity, and for the many helpful reader tips for variations upon the theme. My adaptation was to use less sugar, add some lime juice and zest and some ground cardamom.

Banana coconut muffins with lime and cardamom
(see — it already sounds more sophisticated)


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (3/4 cup)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Juice and zest of one lime
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin cups with liners.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, lime juice and zest, cardamom and 1/2 cup coconut in a large bowl until combined well, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened.

Divide batter among lined muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup coconut. Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer muffins to a rack and cool slightly.

The verdict? A tasty little muffin if not much to look at. Moist and crispy at the edges. Still, in my opinion, too sweet, you might want to cut down on the sugar even more, especially as the sweetened coconut is really sweet. I will definitely make this again, trying other variations. I see chopped nuts, dried fruits and different spices in its future..


“Christmas! Coleslaw!” Emo Phillips used to say, back the in the eighties, when comedy was dominated by awkward, high-voiced man-children in ill-fitting suits, back before sullen teenagers with too much eyeliner and a cutting habit  hijacked the word “emo” for their own nefarious purposes and ruined it for the older generation, much like their spiritual brethren, the homosexuals, did with the word “gay” decades earlier.


Emo Phillips

Emo Phillips

Emo Phillips has faded into obscurity since the heady days of Punky Brewster, the California Raisins and zany secretary of state Alexander “I’m in charge!” Haig, but thankfully coleslaw is as popular as ever. But like so many other things in the United States, supermarket coleslaw is a) disgusting and b) way too sugary,  so I find it much more satisfying to make my own. In fact, if you bring this coleslaw to your next barbecue, you’ll be more popular than Pee Wee Herman in a biker bar. Now that I think of it, you might want to bring some tequila as well.

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Everyone who has ever been in a deli in a major American city has probably come across a yogurt parfait.  The first time I had one, I was honestly surprised at how delicious it was, and had a sudden pang of fear. The kind of fear that comes with ordering what you thought was an innocent cup of coffee and finding out in it actually has 400 calories and 17 grams of fat, or ordering the Green Salad with Chicken Strips at McDonalds and finding out you might as well have ordered the Quarter Pounder with Cheese. This was too creamy, too sweet and gooey to be good for you. It was dripping with honey and what appeared to be crushed Graham crackers. I had a very uneasy feeling that I may have been eating cheesecake for breakfast. Read the rest of this entry »


This drink  is based on an agua fresca recipe in an article from the New York Times. I’d link, but I have changed it quite a bit. I’m sure Google will help you out if you really need to find the original. Read the rest of this entry »

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