The Random Things We Love to Make and Do

Cranberry Curd Thumbprint Cookies

Prep: 25 min
Cook: 30 min
Total: 55 min
Ingredients Directions Ratings
Makes about 32 cookies

Cranberry Curd

One 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries

Zest and juice (about ½ cup) of 1 orange

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

Thumbprint Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Zest of ½ an orange

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1. Make the Cranberry Curd: In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange zest and juice, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have popped and softened, 10 to 12 minutes. (If you’re using frozen cranberries, cook until the liquid slightly reduced, 8 to 10 minutes.)

2. With a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, strain the cranberry mixture, pressing the sauce through with a rubber spatula. Discard the solids; whisk the butter into the warm liquid.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the warm cranberry mixture into the eggs to temper them (this prevents the eggs from scrambling), then return this mixture to the remaining cranberry liquid and whisk to combine.

4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the curd bubbles and thickens slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface. The curd can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. When ready to use, transfer to a pastry bag or Ziploc bag with one corner snipped.

5. Make the Cookies: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, salt, orange zest and vanilla on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the flour until a dough forms, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium. (In order to hold the thumbprint shape, the dough is stiff; you may need to knead it by hand a few times to bring it together.)

7. Using a small cookie scoop or your hands, roll the dough into approximately 1-inch balls and arrange them on the baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes, then, using a ½-teaspoon measuring spoon (or your thumb), make an indentation in each cookie.

8. Pipe some of the cranberry curd into each cookie indentation, then return to the oven until the curd is set and the cookies are slightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

My Rating:
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Art Of Caviar Serving

Tasting and serving caviar is a special ritual that can rightfully be compared to a royal reception.

How is it customary in high society to eat this exquisite product?

We will understand in detail in our article.

Serving caviar Caviar is served with special chic. It is important to think over the individual nuances: what will be served, what will the product be on, and also with what device to scoop it up?

HoReCa experts’ advice:

1 - Before opening the can, it is recommended to keep it at room temperature for a few minutes. Serving on the table takes place immediately before the arrival of the guests because the eggs can become watery due to prolonged contact with air.

2 - Dishes for serving caviar glass or mother-of-pearl. Metal products are completely unsuitable for this signature dish.

3 - It is customary to serve champagne with caviar and dishes that will not dominate the main product in terms of their taste.

You can taste the caviar by placing a few eggs in the palm of your hand between your index finger and thumb. First inhale the aroma, and then lick the eggs with your tongue, pressing them to the palate. Sturgeon caviar should delight you with a delicate nutty taste, light aftertaste of nuts or fruits.

Do not forget that the extravaganza of tastes will be able to unfold if the rules for storing the product are followed.

CAVIAR MALOSSOL branded caviar will perfectly reveal its taste and aroma if you follow the right advice

Rules for the use of caviar In fact, black caviar is sturgeon eggs (stage 4). It can be grainy and pressed. Has an excellent scent of the sea, revealing nutty or fruity notes.

Product feeding options

sandwiches with caviar;

caviar on tartlets with cheese cream;

pancakes stuffed or decorated with caviar;

source of the image - Marky’s caviar

chips or crackers with caviar and slices of butter.

In any case, caviar on your table is a key dish that must be combined with soft and mild culinary masterpieces. Traditional serving The table on which black caviar will appear suggests the use of caviar and a silver teaspoon for it. You can also arrange the caviar along with any plate in the form of an elongated rectangle, garnished with parsley or lemon slices.

In Europe, caviar is served in a caviar dish with ice, in which a crystal or glass container with caviar is placed. The Russian tradition of serving delicacies involves the use of glass, porcelain, or silver bowls without adding ice.

Caviar dish: caviar dishes; sauce bowls; glass or crystal bowls; dishes; a silver or bone spoon.

As you can see, serving caviar is not such a difficult procedure.

A delicacy from the depths of the seas will become a revered delicacy on your table.

The main thing is that it does not come into contact with metal objects when serving and eating.

Watermelon Kiwi Ice Pops

Prep: 3 hrs (includes freezing time)
Cook: 0 min
Total: 3 hrs
Ingredients Directions Nutrition Ratings
Makes 12 ice pops

¾ cup granulated sugar

4 cups cubed watermelon

5 kiwis, peeled and diced

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar and ¾ cup water to a simmer, stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat.

2. In a blender or the bowl of a food processor, puree the watermelon with two-thirds of the simple syrup until smooth.

3. Place 12 small paper cups on a baking sheet. Divide the watermelon mixture among the cups, filling three-quarters of each one. Insert wooden ice pop sticks and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours.

4. In a blender or the bowl of a food processor, puree the kiwi with the remaining simple syrup until smooth. Divide the mixture among the cups, filling to just under the edge of each cup. Freeze until solid, at least 1 hour. Store in the freezer for up to two weeks.

81 calories

0g fat

21g carbs

1g protein

18g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

My Rating:
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Average (23):


Cute N Creepy Cupcakes

Quick post today to make sure you saw this Clare Crespo post about clever ways to decorate Halloween cupcakes over on Cup of Jo. Thanks to Clare‘s advice a decade ago when we worked on some magazine stories together, I’ve kept every doll my daughters outgrew just for the purpose of making her “buried alive” creation and I can’t tell you how much it makes people laugh. Last Friday, I texted the girls, begging for them to give me an excuse to bake a batch — never a foregone conclusion when you have teenagers — and as luck would have it, both of them were attending gatherings and both of them agreed that it might be cute. Victory is sweet.

P.S. For more Clare, follow her on instagram.


Vegan And Gluten Free Apple Blackberry Crumble Tart

Prep: 20 min
Cook: 50 min
Total: 1 hr 10 min
Ingredients Directions Nutrition Ratings
10 servings (makes one 9-inch tart)

1 cup (140g) superfine brown rice flour

1 cup (100g) almond flour

½ cup (100g) light brown sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

10 tablespoons (140g) virgin coconut oil

⅓ cup pine nuts

6 ounces (about 1½ cups or 180g) blackberries, fresh or frozen

3 small or 2 large apples—halved, cored and thinly sliced

1 lemon, juiced and zested

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 or 2 tablespoons tapioca starch or cornstarch

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, toss together the brown rice flour, almond flour, brown sugar and salt. Add the coconut oil and work it into the flour using your fingertips until you have a dough that resembles coarse sand. The dough should clump up but feel slightly dry. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and mix it with your hands until it comes together into a loose dough.

2. Take approximately two-thirds of the dough and press it into a 9-inch tart mold, bringing it up around the edge. Mix the pine nuts into the remaining dough to make the crumble topping. Refrigerate both the tart crust and the crumble topping while preparing the filling.

3. In a large bowl, toss together the blackberries, sliced apples, lemon juice and zest, sugar, tapioca starch, vanilla and cinnamon. If the filling is very wet, add 1 more tablespoon of tapioca starch. Add the fruit filling to the tart mold and sprinkle with the crumble topping.

4. Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly, 45 to 50 minutes. Allow the tart to cool slightly before slicing.

335 calories

20g fat

38g carbs

4g protein

21g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

My Rating:
Didn’t like it Needs improvement It’s ok I liked it I loved it!
Average (4):


Anatomy Of A Weeknight Post Holiday Edition

The Scene: Wednesday, the first school/workday back from winter break
The Scene, pt 2: Always the longest, most exhausting day of the year
The Characters: Family DALS

5:30 Walk in door. Girls already home, one of them doing homework at kitchen table instead of cloistered in her bedroom, which brings me unspeakable joy. (Literally unspeakable — if I express this out loud in front of her, it might not happen again.)
5:45 Look in fridge to figure out dinner. After a week in Austin* stuffing our faces with brisket and carnitas, I want to get back to our weekday vegetarian routine.
5:46 Abby announces she was starving and just finished a pile of Trader Joe’s potstickers. “I’ll just have a salad before soccer,” she says. Sh*t. Who is driving to soccer?
6:00 Texting confirms I am driving to soccer.
6:10 Slice mushrooms, kale, shallots, garlic. Slice avocado, chop radishes. Set it all up on cutting board for Andy…a beautiful mise en place if I do say so myself.
6:15 Chuck some yogurt, cilantro, and miscellany into mini food processor and whirl into a sauce. Take a few avocado slices, add to two handfuls bagged lettuce, throw on some grape tomatoes, a little of that yogurt dressing.
6:25 Sit down with Abby for salad.
6:40 Leave for soccer.
7:00 Andy walks in to his own private Food Network studio! Sautés the vegetables, stuffs them in tortillas and calls it dinner. Also heats up a can of organic baked beans to round out the meal, saving me a little of everything for post-practice. Eats with Phoebe.
9:30 Home. Made it.

*Austin vacation highlight reel up next.

Kale and Mushroom Tacos with Yogurt Sauce
As usual, once I type out the instructions for this recipe it seems waaayyyy more complicated than it actually is. This is partly because of the yogurt sauce, which involves a mini food processor, and which is a lot to ask of a weeknight cook. You can just hand-whisk the sauce (the flavors won’t be quite as mingled, but whatever) but I encourage you to make it in the food processor without measuring, which makes the whole thing feel like much less of an undertaking. Just keep whirling and tasting, whirling and tasting. Trust me. Trust yourself!

olive oil, about 6-8 tablespoons
2 shallots, sliced thin (could also do about 3 tablespoons chopped onions)
1 pound cremini mushrooms cleaned and thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, halved
1 bunch curly kale, stems trimmed and chopped (about 7 cups)

Yogurt Sauce
1/3 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek 2%)
large handful cilantro (you do not have to chop it)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped roughly
juice from half a lime
pinch of sugar

8 corn tortillas
1 avocado, sliced
3 tablespoons chopped jicama or three radishes, sliced super thin
Optional toppings: lime wedges, scallions, hot sauce

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, a little more olive oil, and cook until mushrooms are cooked and shriveled, about 6 minutes. Remove to a medium mixing bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar.

Add a little more oil and cook garlic, cut-side down about one minute, to infuse the oil, then remove. Add kale and cook until it has wilted, about 4 minutes. (You might have to do this in batches.) Remove kale to the mushroom bowl and toss with remaining red wine vinegar.

In a small food processor whirl together yogurt, cilantro, olive oil, scallions, lime juice, sugar, 2 tablespoons water, adding more water as needed until it reaches drizzly consistency. 

Cook tortillas on gas burners or in a cast iron skillet. Stuff them with filling and a few slices of avocado as they come off the burner, and place on a platter. When all eight are cooked, stuffed, and plated, scatter jicama or radishes. Serve with yogurt sauce and desired toppings. 

Related: More in the Anatomy of a Weeknight Dinner series.


Gluten Free Friday Mushroom Cap Pizza

Happy Friday Everyone!!


I’m very happy to share this little Gluten Free meal we made a few weeks ago. This whole thing came about after finding gluten free mini pepperoni by Hormel. Yay! They are so cute! Now it’s time to make mini pizzas with a twist….no crust.

Don’t they look amazing??



Baby Bella mushrooms Pizza sauce Mozzarella cheese Pizza toppings of your choice .


Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Feed them to your hungry kid. Place the caps onto a cookie sheet, with the hole facing up. I covered my sheet with foil, and gave it a shot with non-stick cooking spray. Put a small dollop of pizza sauce into the mushroom cap. Skylar asked for hers without sauce, and that worked well too. Top with cheese and your choice of topping. If you are like me and realize at this point that you thought you had Mozz cheese, but didn’t, you can always take string cheese (a staple in my house) and grate it.

Bake in a 400 degree oven until cheese is slightly browned. Approx 10 mins. Remove carefully, as the sauce is hot and can be runny. We ate ours as a meal, but these would make amazing appetizers too.


I hope you enjoyed this twisted, gluten free, take on pizza! I would love to know from all you other GFs out there, how have you gotten your pizza fix? Do you have a crustless pizza? Have you found the perfect GF crust recipe? Please share!!


Have a great day everyone!! Lizz

Gluten Free Friday Bacon Cheeseburger Parfait

Oh Gluten Free Friday, how I have missed you…


I had something totally different planned for today, but then came across this awesome recipe by Hungry Girl (LOVE her!!), and I knew I needed to do this immejietly. There is nothing I love more than naturally gluten free meals that Skylar and I will both eat, with the bonus element of fun. After you excuse my unedited photos (my computer was giving me attitude, and I couldn’t wait to share this one), I give you the Bacon Cheeseburger Parfait:

OH. MY. GOSH. THAT’S. SO. COOL! (as stated by Skylar)


We don’t currently own parfait glasses, so we scoured the shelves for something else fun. Skylar chose a perfectly sized martini glass (a girl after my own heart), and I picked a larger sangria glass, because I wanted a bigger portion.


The absolute best part of this meal is the customizability (new word?). Just as you would with a normal burger, you can throw whatever toppings you want in here. We both wanted bacon. I mean, who wouldn’t, right?! After checking around, we found that these “Real Bacon Bits” contain no gluten ingredients. You can find them with the other bacon bits in the non-fridge aisle. They are a little soft, so we decided to toast them up for crunch. This is a great alternative to making a big ol’ mess trying to fry up bacon slices just for a little bacon crumble. Plus they jumped and danced in the pan, which was fun to watch.

Ingredients (for approx 4 parfaits) (Adapted from Hungry Girl)

1 lb of ground beef salt/pepper/burger seasoning to taste 1 small/medium sweet onion, diced (set some aside if you want raw for toppings) 4 slices of american cheese Instant mashed potatoes (enough for a serving of 4), with all ingredients to make it Burger toppings of your choice: ketchup, mustard, A1, BBQ sauce, pickles, tomato, bacon, avocado, lettuce, raw onion, relish, sautéed mushrooms, ect, ect, ect… .


Gather, chop, peel, saute, and lay out all of the optional toppings. Put beef, seasoning, and diced onion into a pan, and cook until the meat is brown and the onions are cooked through. Meanwhile, cook the instant mashed potatoes as directed on the box. When you mix everything together at the end, add a little extra flake to make it a nice thick batch. Start to layer in your glass. First the meat mixture, covered with a few ripped off pieces of American cheese. Then add your choice of toppings, and a layer of potatoes to fill the glass halfway. Repeat to fill the top half. Garnish the top layer of potatoes with a few of your ingredients. Enjoy! .

Skylar went simple with hers: Cheese, bacon, and pickles. I, however, went a little on the fun side with cheese, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, avocado, tomatoes, and A1 sauce.

Total success. We will definitely do this again. This would be a great alternative for someone GF at a BBQ. You could even take a burger from the grill, chop it up, and throw all of this in a bowl. Yum. Everyone will be jealous.


Will I see any of you at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo this weekend?! I went to this last year, and it was amazing! I couldn’t believe not only how many great companies were there sharing their products, but also how many people attended. They’ve moved it to the Schaumburg Convention Center this year, which is a much larger venue, so I’m sure there’s going to be a ton of great stuff to check out. Woohoo!


Have a wonderful Friday Everyone!!