All posts filed under: Easier Than Pie

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Buy Puff Pastry and Avoid a Meltdown

  If there’s one thing that is totally acceptable to buy from the supermarket, it’s puff pastry. The reasons are two-fold. First, it takes a lot of time, patience and skill to laminate dough (folding it with butter to make hundreds of pillowy layers, a process that is just asking for a kitchen meltdown). And the kind from the supermarket always comes out perfectly. It’s the most predictable dough out there. Once it’s thawed (but still very cold), you can do a number of things with puff pastry. Fill it with chocolate and make croissants, roll it with spinach and feta for spanikopita, encase hot dogs for pigs in a blanket. Yesterday, I made a tomato tart.   Here it is: Add the accoutrements (basil + parm).   Print Tomato Tart Author: Ariel Kanter Recipe type: Pretty easy Cuisine: Buttery Prep time:  15 mins Cook time:  25 mins Total time:  40 mins Serves: Depends on how much you can eat. I’d say four people.   This recipe was adapted from Saveur’s Herbed Tomato Tart recipe. Instead of cooking the …

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Clean Cleanse: Week 2 Recap + Vegetable Lasagna

Yes. You read that correctly. I made a CLEAN lasagna with the help of the clean cleanse blog. Of course I found a way to work pasta into the cleanse, you didn’t think I’d converted completely, did you? But fear not, I didn’t break the cleanse with this lasagna as you will see in the recipe below. Recapping week 2 – this will be much shorter than last week’s as the week continued on much like week 1. This week the temptation for me was more alcohol than food. I had a pretty hard week and I really wanted a glass of wine at the end of the [every] day. However, I resisted. Mostly for fear of shaming myself to everyone at work and all my friends if I broke the cleanse, but still. I also had the strong urge to just pig out on something. You know when you eat way too much pizza, chinese food, ice cream, anything and you feel horrendous afterward but you just couldn’t stop yourself from pigging out? I missed …

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Spaghetti Squash: It’s Not Spaghetti, but It’s Good

The truth: Spaghetti squash is not spaghetti. It doesn’t taste like spaghetti (because it’s a vegetable); the texture isn’t like spaghetti (it’s crunchy). So if you’re looking for the ultimate healthy, gluten-free, low-calorie, eat-a-lot-and-still-be-skinny pasta substitute, this is not it. PS. It doesn’t exist, and if it did, we’d all look like Giselle. But here’s the good news: spaghetti squash is great. It’s easy to cook, mild in flavor and versatile. And last week, I cooked it in three divine ways. Let’s start with how to cook it. Cut it longways, take out the seeds, drizzle it with some olive oil and salt, and throw it in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes. That’s it! Then use a fork like this to create spaghetti squash’s characteristic ribbons. Once you have a bowl of these beautiful yellow shreds, you can do just about anything. Now I said spaghetti squash isn’t spaghetti, but you can certainly pair it with Italian flavors. Saute it with some olive oil, crushed tomatoes and basil and top it with a …

Salty/Spicy/Sweet Noodles

Clean Cleanse: Week 1 Recap + Salty/Spicy/Sweet Noodles

Don’t worry we aren’t turning into a health blog! Just giving some healthier options in time for Spring cleaning. First up, my recap of week 1 on the cleanse followed by a recipe for Salty/Spicy/Sweet Noodles! Hint: they’re not actually noodles…Skip to the bottom if you just want the recipe! Let me preface this recap by saying that for those of you who I don’t know personally, I work in events for a restaurant group and catering company. As you can imagine, this isn’t the most conducive environment for any type of restrictive diet. This week was especially trying as I had events almost every night of the week and each one with a food item I had not yet tried. GREAT TIMING. A sampling of the things I didn’t eat: croissant apple cinnamon bread pudding with caramel sauce, my FAVORITE mac n’ cheese in hors d’oeuvres form, a porchetta slider on focaccia, a 6′ muffaletta hero, and a remoulade macaroni salad. Did. Not. Eat. Not. A. Single. Bite. Or. Taste. I think if I …

Marinating Ribeye

Asian Beef Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

Sometimes having a good friend over for dinner can be stressful. You want to impress them (obviously), but you don’t want to be slaving away while they’re sitting on your couch awaiting your latest dating gossip. The trick to really winning the at-home dinner date is having everything pre-prepared so all you need to do is heat and serve. Last week, my friend Maggie was planning on coming to dinner. Maggie is an editor at people.com and is always up on the latest news, gossip, trends—so I knew the meal had to impress. She also isn’t the hugest carb fan, so pasta (my usual go-to) was out of the question. I decided to go with Asian beef tacos with a cabbage slaw. And I made it ALL the day ahead, so when Maggie came over, I just needed to cook the beef, assemble tacos and pour the wine. (Took about 5 minutes tops). This is a quick, do-ahead meal that you can easily prepare without being a slave to your stove. Here’s the meat in marination …

Olympic Eats: Hummus

It has come to my attention this week that I will never be in the Olympics. I hold my knee cartilage too dear for moguls, I slip and fall just looking at ice, and I refuse to sweep my apartment, so curling is just out of the question. But it’s okay. At least I can make a good hummus. Whitney and I were sent some dried organic chickpeas, so these were the little babies I used to the hummus. But they took a little finagling (re: soaking and cooking). To get these little dried chickpeas into the soft beans you’ll find in the can (albeit way less salty), Soak chickpeas in boiling water for 90 minutes. Rinse out the water and then add more, covering them and bring to a simmer for another 90 minutes. When I simmered the beans, I also added bay and some garlic, just for some extra flavor.   In this hummus, I decided to get a little crazy. Here’s what I did: Print Olympic Eats: Hummus Recipe type: hummus   Ingredients …

Cheesy Taco Dip

What We’re Eating: Super Bowl Cheesy Taco Dip

Well it’s just about the end of the first quarter in this year’s Super Bowl. So far, I’m feeling pretty good about things. Don Cheadle is in a commercial, Peyton Manning is looking fine…and I’m eating the most delicious taco dip ever. Isn’t that what the Super Bowl is all about? Finding places to dip your chips? Print What We’re Eating: Super Bowl Cheesy Taco Dip Author: Ariel Kanter Recipe type: Game Day Eats Cuisine: Tex-Mex-Ish   This dip might even taste better tomorrow. Ingredients One half pound of ground meat (I used 80% lean) One packet of taco seasoning 1 jar of mild or medium salsa 2+ cups of cheese (one cup mozz / one cup Monterey Jack) 1 cup sour cream ½ cup frozen corn, thawed 4 scallions, thinly sliced 2 tsp salt Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees In a large bowl, combine salsa, sour cream, thawed corn, half of the cheese, scallions and salt. In a large skillet, brown meat until completely cooked. Then pour off some drippings, add the taco seasoning and splash …

E.V.O.Oh my gah I’m in Italy! (1)

So I actually made these Snack Mix Bars before I left to come to Firenze but I’m here! To steal Rachael Ray’s phrase (ugh never thought I’d say that) EVOOh my gahhh I’m in Italy! It is absolutely GORGEOUS here and the food is AMAZING! I think the Italian language is so beautiful and I am thrilled to be able to study it (and the cuisine) in a place like Florence! More about the food here later. For now: Snack Mix Bars. I found these on Inn Cuisine back in September, yes these have been on the “to bake” list for a while. To my surprise these are actually a no bake bar! I’m not sure why it surprised me when I actually got down to making these but yes, in fact, they are a no bake. This combined with the fact that they are addictingly delicious makes them a must make! A must make, no bake, heh. The only thing bad about these chunky bars is that you do have to let them sit …

New Years Eve Dinner Nosh & Tell Style

I feel like New Years Eve is never as fun as it should be. Like it gets built up so much and then either plans don’t work out or a bar is too crowded, etc. etc. But this year was pretty good, spent with good friends and in my favorite place: home. The only downside: the fact that it was SO FREAKIN’ COLD in Nashville this year! That made for misery during our attempts of getting a cab home. I got to see the guitar drop–a new feature for downtown Nashville this year–and I have to say it was awesome. I vaguely recall a massive multicolored guitar descending over the river front at midnight and I  also remember being way into it (got the pictures to prove it) so I feel confident that it was great. Yes, I did say the guitar drop in Nashville was great, don’t judge me. Another part of New Years Eve that I particularly enjoyed was how I spent my last day of 2009: cooking. Some friends and I decided …

Canned Soup: from Blah to Voila!

This is the enemy… Canned soup takes about 5 minutes to cook. The hardest part is probably opening the can. Just open, pour and heat. You don’t even need to add water anymore. The convenience of the soup in a can is extraordinary. Even for clean up- you just have to wash one dish. However, canned soup has some pretty serious problems. Among those are bland broth, way too much salt, mushy vegetables, and slick, slide down your throat noodles. You all know what I’m talking about. I also feel like every canned soup tastes the same. Especially when you get to the lighter, less chunky, low sodium, low fat kinds. Today I want to discuss some ways to remedy some problems that you find from canned soup because let’s face it, not many people have time to sit by the stove waiting for ham hocks to release their delicate pork flavor into a mix of freshly made chicken stock and tender vegetables. The thing is that I think we have all forgotten how soup …