Recipes

five healthy, 3-ingredient salad dressings

06.19.17

(hi! quick note! i developed these recipes for shape magazine. so you can find them on shape.com, too!)

we’ve all been there: we eat a glorious, healthy-looking salad for dinner, and expect the universe to reward us for our efforts by turning us into wonder woman. is that reeeeally so much to ask?

but as we’re crawling into bed just two hours later, we feel a little less like wonder woman…and a little more like wonder woman’s sidekick, etta candy, who is remembered among comic book fans for her, um, love of candy (and her shouts of “for the love of chocolate!”)

SIGH.

why is it that even on some of our healthiest, most salad-filled, no-cheat days, we wind up feeling like we just ate a triple-tiered ice cream cone with the works? the culprit, ladies, is usually the dressing, which is loaded up with sugar and other sweeteners. 

and even when you *are* for real channeling wonder woman in every which way, you’re probably more likely to grab a store-bought salad dressing for convenience’s sake.

HEALTHY DRESSING RECIPES TO THE RESCUE!!!!!!!!!!

the following recipes are not only sugar-free; they also only require 3 ingredients each (and sometimes that third ingredient is water. if you don’t have water around, then we need to sit down and have a talk, because, what the actual heck).

for the record, etta candy is a pretty awesome character. but you’re not sidekick material, my friend. you. are. a. SUPERHERO. now go make a salad. Read More

Recipes

dark chocolate watermelon popsicles

06.19.17

(quick note! this is a recipe i developed for shape magazine. you can find it over on shape.com, too!)

it’s summaaaa!!! and i am LOVING IT. it’s watermelon season. the good news about everyone’s favorite picnic staple is that it’s mostly water—somewhere around 92 percent of it, actually. but it’s (somehow!) still packed with a few good-for-you nutrients like vitamin a and vitamin c. it even has a tiny bit of potassium, too.

here’s one way that’ll allow you to get your watermelon fix and some healthy dark choc, too. these pops would make a stunning addition to any al fresco dinner party, or you can just eat ’em after work as a guilt-free snack. they’d probably also be a hit with kids, who’d be just as happy toting these around as they are toting around those refined-sugar-filled supermarket versions.

also, the chocolate drizzle is super easy to make. the addition of coconut oil turns what would be plain-old chocolate sauce into something like the “magic shell” syrup you might remember from your childhood. when it hits the frozen exterior of the popsicle, it hardens really, really quickly. woot!

video coming soon. in the meantime, you can find the recipe below or over at shape.com! and here’s a link to the popsicle mold i used, in case you should have any desire to purchase it. (it’s great!)

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Recipes

strawberry-cauliflower smoothie bowl

06.19.17
(quick note! this is one of the first recipes i’ve developed for shape magazine. so many thanks to the team at shape for the opportunity to contribute healthy recipes!)

ok. i know what you’re thinking. cauliflower? in a smoothie bowl?! really? 

i know this because a) i had a similar initial reaction when i first saw these veggie smoothies floating around on instagram, and b) my sister nearly had a heart attack when i told her i’d be making a video about these guys.

but you’ve got to admit that as far as veggies go, cauliflower is a pretty non-offensive one. it’s white, it’s relatively bland, and when you whip it up in a smoothie, you can barely taste it. actually, I’d go so far as to say you can’t taste it at all. besides, the whole fruit smoothie craze has been pretty much maxed out at this point, and i have a feeling veggie-based smoothies are the next food trend frontier. since it may not be long before your go-to drink spot is doling these out by the dozen (and your friends are subsequently instagramming them like their lives depend on it), you might as well get a headstart at home.

right? right.

plus, as unappetizing as a cauliflower smoothie might sound at first, when you really think about it, the idea of a veggie smoothie really isn’t that out-there. you probably already order kale smoothies on the reg, don’t you? and occasionally add in some avocado (okay, avocado is technically a fruit, but you get the idea)? you’ve taken the baby steps; now, take a full leap.

if you’re still not convinced, the good news is that this particular recipe does involve some fruit, and there’s even a little bit of sweetener in the form of honey. yay! 

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bachelorette welcome bag ideas!

06.15.17

i made these fun welcome bags for my sister’s bachelorette weekend and had to share. you can find all the details and shopping links below! (or you can just watch me wax incoherent in the video above. either/or.) of course, if you’re making these yourself, feel free to get creative and add/remove whatever so that it fits the feel of your party weekend. xx

  • the bag! i can’t say enough good things about PCB Home, the company where i found these adorable totes. i actually happened upon the store by chance while searching around for bags on etsy, and fell in love with their particular brand of calligraphy. i found a listing for “best day ever” bags and messaged the store owners to ask if it’d be possible to change the text to “best weekend ever.” they responded really quickly and offered a custom listing for $15 (added to the entire order, not to each bag) with 1 proof included. that proof came within just a few days, and my totes arrived a few days later. i love them! so i got 7 of those, and then i got one “totes gettin’ married” bag for abigail.
  • an itinerary! personally, i get soooo excited for vacations and i always want to know exactly what i’ll be doing every single minute of my day. in other words…spontaneity, schmontaneity. (i am so fun.) with that in mind, i wanted each girl to have an itinerary waiting for her! i just typed one up on a google doc (google docs have the best fonts) and included a listing of each day’s events, our airbnb address (for ubering purposes!), the wifi password, everyone’s cell numbers and instagram handels, plus my sister’s wedding hashtag. …can you tell i take instagram sort of seriously? i take instagram sort of seriously. then i printed the whole thing at staples on ultra-thick cardstock for 12 cents a page, added a pink border with construction paper and a glue stick, and added it to my bag stash.
  • ring pops! i bought ring pops in bulk from amazon because, you know, WEDDING! and then, just to spiff them up a bit, i unwrapped each of them and immediately put them into food-safe cellophane bags from paper source (i actually keep these in my apartment at all times because they’re such an easy to gussy up a super-small, inexpensive gift) and secured with the tie that came with the bags. i realize that i essentially took ring pops out of a plastic bag and put them into another plastic bag. but. well, it’s a cuter plastic bag.
  • lip balm! i love this fresh sugar lip treatment in petal. it’s just a higher quality than any old drugstore lip balm, so they’ll actually want to use it, and the packaging is super cute.
  • flash tats! i found these ones on etsy and they’re super cute. you can pick 16 from a ton of different wedding-themed designs, so for me, that meant i could give each girl 2 tats.
  • confetti! i got these multicolor confetti bombs from my favorite party supply store, knot & bow (they’re based in brooklyn but you can shop on their site) in “tiny rainbow.” makes a fun, festive addition to each bag.
Recipes

5 single-serving microwave mug desserts

06.04.17

oh hello! happy sunday! i made a video tutorial (see above!) showcasing 5 of my favorite microwave mug desserts, and you can find the full recipes for each one at the bottom of this post.

but first…why microwave your dessert, you ask? well, i mean, ideally, you won’t. nothing beats a homemade cookie fresh out of the oven. but this is probably the next best thing. if you’re sitting at home alone under a blanket, whipping out all your baking supplies is probably the last thing on your mind. but a microwave mug dessert lets you have a single serving of something sweet. and you don’t have to slave away over dishes, either; just eat, soak the mug, and throw it in the dishwasher.

MAGIC.

personally, i’m making these because it’s currently BACHELOR SEASON (by which i mean abc’s “the bachelor” franchise) (more specifically, it’s “the bachelorette” season right now) and i have a handful of friends over every week to watch with me. it’s far too few people to warrant a cake-baking extravaganza…especially on a monday night. oy vey. but we always eat dinner while we watch the show, which means we always want some dessert! if there’s ever been a better excuse to start testing out 834048679 single-serving dessert recipes, i’m not aware of it.

a few important things: make sure you use microwave-safe mugs for all the recipes in the video above (you can usually check the bottom of the mug to see whether it touts itself as “microwave safe”). also, check on these desserts frequently. it’s totally fine to stop the cooking process and then restart it, and it won’t affect your final product, though it will help keep it from overflowing. so you might as well keep your finger on that “stop” button until you really get to know how your particular microwave handles these mug meals.

and a note on mug size: you should be fine with just about any size mug, barring a tiny teacup. you’ll just have to keep a close eye on the microwave if you use a smaller mug to make sure your mixture doesn’t overflow too much. (if it does, simply stop the cooking process for about 10 seconds, let the bread/brownie/cake/cookie batter/dough fall, and then restart.) f.y.i., 12 oz. and 16 oz. are the standard medium and large mug sizes, while 8 oz. is considered a small coffee mug.

okay. without further ado…

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chia seed pudding with blackberry compote

04.20.17

April is my favorite month for a trillion reasons. For starters, it’s my birth month (April 2)! And it’s SPRING. And it’s National Poetry Month, which might just seem like another obscure, made-up holiday, but it’s not. I promise.

This one’s actually very real and very official, and it was introduced by the equally real, equally official Academy of American Poets all the way back in 1996. Since then, it’s been adopted by thousands of schools and bookshops and libraries, and now it brings joy to people all over the world, including me, and hopefully, in just a moment, you.

Yay.

Last night, I attended the Academy’s annual Poetry & The Creative Mind reading at Lincoln Center here in New York City. Meryl Streep read two of her favorite poems (!!!) as did Meg Ryan (!!!!!!!) and also Wayne Brady (…?…!!!!!!!!!!). There was ukulele-playing. And singing. And a very sweet audience comprised of people whose average age was likely trice mine.

Anyway, it was a lovely night, and it got me thinking that I should really highlight a few of my favorite poems here on the blog and on my YouTube channel from time to time.

Enter: today’s post. “Poetry and pudding.” It’s an excuse for me to share my most-loved poems with you under the innocent guise of alliteration. Every time I make a dish that starts with “P,” I’ll share a poem, too. (This will probably be equal parts genius and hilarious. You try figuring out a way to combine poetry with a food blog.)

There’s a beautiful quote by Marlene Dietrich that reads, “It is a joy to find thoughts one might have beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognizably wiser than oneself,” and that’s how I’ve always felt about the poems I’ve loved (although Dietrich was actually talking about quotations in general). Good poetry encapsulates thoughts we’ve always had, or thoughts we didn’t know we were having, and weaves them into something beautiful and pocket-sized—a gem brilliant and substantive enough to merit our interest, but always small enough for us to carry. And then, at an arm’s length, it becomes easier to see, understand, untangle, admire, or laugh at whatever that thought was that brought us to the poem in the first place.

“For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.” (That’s Mary Oliver.)

So, without further ado, a few of my personal favorites, after which, of course, is the promised recipe for vanilla chia pudding with a berry compote, which is so delicious and really doesn’t even need any sweetener if you mix it all together.

xx R

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Recipes

red wine chocolate cake

03.23.17

Red wine chocolate cake juuuust might be my new favorite kind of cake. Yes, you can taste the wine, and yes, it is every bit as magical as it sounds. Also, the batter comes together in one bowl, which means this seemingly fancy recipe is actually way easier than it sounds. You just plop everything together, mix it up, throw it in the oven, and that’s that. No double-boiler. No offset spatulas. No…whatever else fancy people use to make their fancy cakes.

So that’s pretty fantastic.

But truthfully, besides just wanting an excuse to open a bottle of red and blast “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” on a quiet Sunday evening, I actually baked this boozy beauty to celebrate the fact that I’m now a reporter over at Food & Wine Magazine! Because it’s food…and wine…it’s cake…but there’s also wine…GET IT?!

It was the best thing I could think of.

Speaking of thinking of things, I actually didn’t think up this genius idea. I wish! That credit goes to the one and only Deb Perelman (everyone’s favorite food blogger), the voice behind Smitten Kitchen (everyone’s favorite food blog). I tweaked a few things here and there, but it’s nearly identical to her original recipe, which you can find here. I suggest you do go find it, if only for the beautifully personal and reflective post that accompanies it.

Anyway, I’m loving life at Food & Wine and will occasionally share articles and other work-related fun here / on Instagram / all over the place, so look out for that. And while you’re looking out, go ahead and make this cake. You won’t regret it. I, personally, will be bringing it to dinner parties until the end of time.

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how to host a hamantaschen party

03.12.17

I’m just gonna say it: Nobody. Likes. Hamantaschen.

Why not, you lucky, uninitiated few ask? Well, to put it politely, they’re dry and crumbly and they lack sweetness. And to put it less politely, THEY TASTE LIKE SAND. (No offense to sand.)

Just take my word for it. They’re to be avoided at all costs.

But these ones — the ones I introduce you to in the video above and the recipe below — are different. No, really. I promise! They’re loaded with more butter, for one thing. And a generous coating of egg wash makes them more reminiscent of a flaky French pastry than the hard-as-rocks cookie you remember from your Hebrew school days. Last but certainly not least, the dried fruit fillings of your nightmares have been replaced with flaked coconut, caramel, chocolate chips, and all sorts of other deliciousness.

YUM.

If that’s not enough to get you excited about hamantaschen, invite some friends over and see if you can rediscover the traditional cookie’s magic together. Or, well, discover it for the first time. Either/or. Click here to find my full how-to for throwing your very own hamantaschen-baking party over at MarthaStewart.com (more on that in the video above!).

And as always…subscribe, subscribe, subscribe!

Happy Purim, everyone!

xx R

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Recipes

healthier fish tacos

03.03.17

Another video! (…Another chance to subscribe!)

Okay. Fish tacos. I make them for dinner once every few weeks, which is, admittedly, a teeny bit strange. I know they’re typically eaten in the summer, by the beach, après-surf…but I can’t think of one good reason why we shouldn’t eat them year-round. It’s early March in New York, and I think we could all use as much colorful, happiness-inducing stuff as possible.

This is colorful, happiness-inducing stuff. Lemme tell ya.

The best part? I made ’em healthy! (I can’t be eating Rockaway-style fish tacos every couple of weeks, you guys. I have a YouTube channel to maintain. *hairflip*) I swap out the mayo for Greek yogurt, adding some extra spice to keep things exciting. Also, the corn tortillas are gluten-free, which doesn’t really concern me, but I sure like saying it, and it may concern some of you, so…there you have it! And last but certainly not least, the fish isn’t fried; it’s baked and then broiled. So it’ll still have that totally necessary, extra-crispy exterior, but you won’t lose any sleep at night. Win-win.

Keep reading for the recipe!

P.S. I do love Miles Teller; I cannot tell a lie. Don’t ask me to explain myself. The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.

xx R

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Uncategorized

whipped cream in a jar

02.22.17

I think I’m getting the hang of this whole YouTube thing. And I kind of love it. Today, I’m showing you how to make homemade whipped cream in a jar. A JAR. This would be pretty perfect for those extra-busy holidays where you’ve already got ~294038 dirty whisks staring up at you from the dishwasher. Or, you know, just for any old day when you’re craving something fresh, sweet, and special.

I know it’s a pretty straightforward recipe, but it’s also a really important one that you’ll use again and again. So, why not simplify it even further?

Many apologies to fans of W.B. Yeats. (I’m one myself!) Promise I cleaned the book off thoroughly.

I’ll leave you with a nice poem of his, anyway, to make amends.

And below that, you’ll find the ever-so-simple whipped cream recipe.

Enjoy! xx

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
by William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in bee-loud glad.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

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