Monthly Archives: March 2012

New York-Style Cheesecake

First of all, I’m sorry for not posting lately. I’m finally finished with residency selection, and, now that my nerves have calmed and my current rotation is a bit easier, I can focus once more on the blog. You should be hearing more from me in the next few months.

And now, on to the food!

Who doesn’t love cheesecake?

Well… actually, I don’t. In fact, I can’t stand it.

…But my sister does!! This thanksgiving, we were discussing what desserts to make for dinner, and I asked if we could do something other than pumpkin pie. Why, you may ask, would I not want serve this staple of the American Thanksgiving table?

Not gonna lie, I don’t like pumpkin pie either.  I know, sacrilege.

I convinced my sister to let me try making something different, and she, ahem, kindly agreed to give me a shot at making a different dessert. I picked pumpkin cheesecake, because 1) as stated above, my sister loves cheesecake, and 2) there is no better dessert repellent for me than the aforementioned item.  Talk about killing two birds with one stone! Well, four packages of cream cheese, one can of pumpkin and a box of graham crackers later, I was staring into a gaping crack that could have been the grand canyon of cheesecakes. On the plus side, no one could tell once I covered it in marshmallow sour cream topping (most delicious topping ever- recipe to come later.)

Two days later, I made another cheesecake for a family event, and this one turned out wonderfully! Not a single crack whatsoever. I think the reason behind the success of this cake may have been that it was baked at a lower temperature and allowed to cool in the water bath for a few minutes once outside the oven. I figured since I put in the effort I might as well try a bite, and I have to say that for a cheesecake, it tasted really good!

Lessons learned:

  1. Baking cheesecake at a lower temperature (325 degrees) results in less cracking in the center.
  2. When the cheesecake is in the oven, don’t open the door and allow it to bake for the recommended time (you can even let it go 5 minutes less.)
  3. Making cheesecake isn’t difficult at all, and you should definitely try it out over holidays for the cheesecake lover in your life.
  4. Heating up a microwave with nothing in it will cause it to light on fire and then you will owe someone a new microwave. I kid you not.

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Make Ahead Meal: Potstickers

I’m just about halfway through my second semester of law school, and I know that the madness of outlining and finals is about to pick up. As a result, I’ve been making more meals that I can freeze for later in the semester. After the dismal eating season known as first semester finals, I’ve realized that I really need to plan ahead so that I have some semblance of a balanced diet–even if I’m completely lacking on sleep. I’m already benefitting from this plan; while this last brief did require some takeout, I was still able to pull things from my freezer for a quick lunch on more than one occasion!

Now, I love potstickers. While I could buy some from the store,  I’ve taken to making my own. They are actually really easy and a lot of fun to make. Pretty much every grocery store carries wonton wrappers (usually found near the tofu). Since I live by myself, I have no need for an entire head of cabbage; my solution this time was to buy a pack of “coleslaw” mix from Whole Foods, which worked really well. It had the perfect amount of carrots and cabbage, and you can pick a packet based on how much filling you want.

To freeze the potstickers, just fill the wonton wrappers and lay on a baking sheet. Freeze for a few hours, then place into freezer bags. Once assembled, they take only a few minutes to cook through and are great served aside a salad or some roasted vegetables. I’m posting a more traditional filling today and will post another later this week. Happy eating!

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Fennel and Apple Salad

Continuing on my Spanish food kick, the second dish from dinner the other night (and hands down my favorite part of the meal) was a salad that I first had during Sam’s and my trip to Jaleo. Sam had told me about it before we went and insisted that we order the dish. As previously mentioned, I love fennel in pretty much any form. Hand me a bulb and I will eat it raw. This salad, followed closely by some delicious roasted onions, were my favorite tapas/dishes of the night (and that’s a difficult title to win at Jaleo).

The flavors in this salad are fantastic. The heartiness of the walnut and the apple were the perfect tint of winter which, combined with the fennel and chives that reminded me of early spring, made for the perfect “transition salad” between seasons. Ideally, you should probably slice your fennel and perhaps your apple on a mandolin. Being a poor law student, I don’t have one of those. That being said, slicing both really thinly with an extremely sharp knife did the trick for me. This also kept pretty well in the fridge and made for a great side salad at lunch the next day. Also, be sure to slice your apple last, as that will preserve it’s color.

On another note: my friend Sam is off to Italy for four months of culinary school and an internship. If you’d like to keep up with travels and culinary adventures, be sure to check out her blog at Happy eating!

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It’s been awhile . . .

So, I’m really sorry.  Really sorry.  My last post contained Christmas cookies . . . that’s how sorry I am.

I have been busier than I have ever been ever.  I am juggling full-time graduate school, full-time teaching, and what seems to be a full-time job search.  That’s a lot of full-time.  I am also writing my Master’s thesis, so when there are two minutes for me to relax, the last thing I really want to do is more writing.  So sorry.

I had grand aspirations of my first post of 2012 being what I learned in 2011.  Can I still do that?  Am I allowed to discuss what I learned in 2011 when a quarter of 2012 has already passed by?  Well, I’ll keep it to a few points:

  1. I learned that deep-frying doesn’t need to be so scary, but . . . I also learned that it can be a bit tricky.  My first attempt at it occurred over Brandon’s birthday when I deep-fried some of Tom Keller’s delightfully insanely sweet and airy cinnamon-sugar doughnuts.  Later in the year, I tested out his fried chicken recipe and forgot to blog about it . . . sorry, again.  Also, insanely good.  Both recipes were not too hard, but the whole “temperature thing” gets me irritated every time.  Is it just me, or are deep frying thermometers the biggest pain?  I have the hardest time keeping my oil at just the right temperature!
  2. I learned that “healthy” food is not always healthy.  Just because something says “All-Natural” or “Light” it doesn’t always mean that it’s the best option.  Actually, it’s often the contrary.  If something has to say “All Natural,” isn’t that a little strange?  Apples, milk, eggs, and even butter don’t boast “All Natural;” they just are.  “Light” options often have chemicals that make them “lighter.”  Look at the ingredients.  If you see something you don’t recognize, put it down.  Step away from the margarine.  Walk by the whole wheat bread with high-fructose corn syrup.  If a food product contains ingredients you wouldn’t cook with, don’t buy it.  Just don’t.  Your body will thank you.
  3. Iced coffee.  I know this one isn’t very profound, but I discovered cold-brewed iced coffee, and it has changed my summer months.  Every morning, I am giddy to get my hands on my delicious glass of rich, not-bitter icy goodness.  What a difference from my naive days of plunking a few ice cubes into a hot cup of joe.  No longer!

Well, I can’t just babble on forever, and I’m sure you wouldn’t mind a recipe.  To be honest, it is funny I’m choosing today to finally get back to blogging, because today, I started the Blueprint Cleanse . . . and I’m hungry.  Really hungry.  But, I’m leaving Friday for a few days in the sun, so I need a little break from my recent diet of Thai take-out, Italian take-out, Peruvian take-out, Japanese take-out . . . see a pattern here?

Today’s recipe is one we go back to all of the time.  It’s a classic:  Nicoise Salad.  The best part of a Nicoise salad?  No lettuce.  At least, not in mine.  I get tired of lettuce, so this is a terrific alternative:  red potatoes, haricots verts, cherry tomatoes, capers, olives . . . delish.  To top it off, I often just open up a can of good tuna in olive oil, but last weekend, we splurged and seared off some fresh tuna.  If you’re an egg-lover, like my husband, you can also throw in a few of those as well! Continue reading

Chicken Paella

This week, I’m going on a bit of a world food kick. So let’s start with Spain, shall we? A few weeks ago, my friend Sam came to visit the District, and the two of us went back to one of her favorite tapas restaurants, Jaleo. Now, for those of you unfamiliar with D.C., Jose Andres is a big name around here. I’m not going to lie, I sort of majorly love him and his restaurants. He recently won the James Beard award and has a penchant for experimenting with traditional cuisine and ingredients. He’s a gastronomic genius. Needless to say, Sam and I both left Jaleo happy as clams (did I mention they have delicious sangria?), and, ever since, I’ve been thinking that I need to start cooking more Spanish food.

My friends Mary and Alex came over for dinner the other night, so I decided to try my hand at making paella. After scouring the internet for recipes and reading about different techniques, I came across a post on Gwyneth Paltrow’s site, GOOP. Apparently, the woman is not only fortunate enough to be married to the lead singer of Coldplay, but she also is friends with Jose Andres who just shows up and cooks her dinner. Jealous much? I know I am. Anyway, the beauty of this is that he was kind enough to share his recipe for paella. So, using that as my base and making a few alterations, I give you paella, Rosemary-style.

Happy eating!

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Breakfast Favorites

As mentioned, breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day, but I sometimes find myself in a rut. I adore pancakes, french toast, oatmeal, breakfast burritos, and eggs in almost any form (I refuse to eat them smothered in hollandaise. Weird quirk. I know), and I’m always on the lookout for new breakfast recipes. So I thought I’d compile a list of some of my favorites as of late. If you have a great breakfast recipe, please post it in the comments! I could definitely use some inspiration (and incentive to get going) in the morning. Happy eating!

  • Breakfast burritos: Spinach, feta, tomatoes, and mushrooms make for a great “Greek-style” burrito on the run. Pesto, spinach, asparagus, and some Parm makes for a delicious Italian take. My favorite kinds of breakfast burritos, however, involve salsa. There’s something wonderful about the  the slight zing of cilantro and onions that takes a burrito to a whole new level. Just whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite salsa into a couple of eggs and quickly scramble on low heat. Wrap it up in a tortilla with a bit of cheddar cheese and, if you have time, some sauteed peppers and onions, and you are good to go!

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp with Broccolini

There are few things in this world that are as wonderful as spring break. I know: people in the real world are not as fortunate as students. But know that I am simply relishing my precious freedom before I enter the real world in a couple of years and start paying back the couple hundred thousand dollars that I owe the government.

Sorry for being MIA lately. The last few weeks have been a blur. Between memos for school, the mock trial competition, job applications, and, most recently, journal competition, I’ve been writing pretty much nonstop. Unfortunately, none of the aforementioned tasks involved food (but how great would it be if a future memo was about pancakes?!). As a result, dinner at casa di Rosemary was pretty pathetic. There was even takeout. Now, mind you, it was good Thai takeout, but it was still takeout. You know you’ve hit a new low as a food blogger when you really look forward to takeout.

But, as I’ve mentioned, it’s spring break! A time for relaxing, catching up on sleep, and eating yummy yummy food. This is what I made for dinner last night. It received approval from all parties. I will take that as a good sign. Happy Eating!

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