Sunday, August 24, 2008

Drink of the Week

Hello Kitty!! thats the name of this cocktail. And thanks to my friend James Donegan, I love it.
Its a special liquor called TY KU. Its a Sake based liquor. This is very fresh and delicious.

2 parts TY KU
1 part vodka
fresh lemonade

either put it over ice, or shake it up and put it in a martini glass...enjoy

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pumpkin Soup

One of the best things about Fall is when Squash and Pumpkin are in season. Most of us though do not have the patience to boil a pumpkin for hours to get it creamy. So this recipe cheats, but is still delicious. And very quick!

You'll Need
13oz fat free chicken broth(or veggie broth)
1 large onion diced
2 carrots diced
1/2 tsp baking soda
1tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
16 oz canned pumpkin
2 cups evaporated milk(fat free)
low fat sour cream
bacon bits

In a large pot, combine broth,onions,carrots,baking soda,cinnamon, salt&pepper. Simmer 10-15 min. Put veggies and broth in blender until smooth, add pumpkin and evaporated milk, simmer. serve topped with sour cream and bacon bits.

Braised Swiss Chard

Chard is really one of my favorite greens. I love it better than spinach. But most people I know, look at it, and have no clue how to cook it. This is a great recipe. Remember to play around with my recipe's, and you can always use subs. The bacon in this dish is totally optional...but yummy.

You'll Need
Sea Salt
4 Bunches Swiss Chard
1/2 cup diced bacon
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

Bring pot of salted water to a boil, add the chard and blanch. Drain the greens and transfer to ice water. Drain again and squeeze out extra liquid.
Saute' the bacon until crispy, add the garlic and saute'. Pour off the fat. Add the chard, and stir to reheat, add the butter 1 Tbls at a time, stirring constantly.
Serve right away.
This is a hearty dish, great for holidays or just a cozy night in with dinner.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Movie Night

Next weekend I'm planning a movie night. Not a BIG party, but it will take some planning. We will be doing a double feature. First, Charlie Chaplin's The Kid, then Young Frankenstein. My plan is to project the movie on the house behind ours as a screen. Picnic style seating, and movie snacks! Candy, popcorn, and hot dogs. I think there is truly nothing better than planning an outside event with friends. More details and pictures soon.

Friday, August 15, 2008

French Toast you'll thank me for!

Seriously.. This is the BEST French Toast you will ever eat. So easy to make. I suggest making this when you have a house guest, they will be blown away!

You'll Need:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
8 thick slices of good bread(brioche)
4large eggs(beaten)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2tsp vanilla extract
4 cups crushed cornflakes
4Tbls unsalted butter
confectioners sugar for dusting
4cups mixed berries
maple syrup

Make peanut butter sandwiches, and soak in mixture of eggs, cream, and vanilla. Then roll toast in cornflakes until coated.
Place in heated skillet with butter
Plate, pour maple syrup, dust with sugar, and top with berries!

This is very rich! And very filling!

Cupboard Must Haves!

In order to be able to cook whenever you want without spending a fortune, it helps to have a well stocked spice cabinet and certain essentials in the fridge. If you make it a habit to buy these things over time, you will always be able to make any recipe without much cost. Here is my list of must haves...

Cupboard Stuff:

Oils: Extra Virgin, Sunflower
Vinegar: Red Wine, White wine, balsamic, rice
Mustard: Dijon, wholegrain
Salt: Sea, kosher, table
Sugar: Brown, white, confectioners
Flour: All-purpose, self-rising,baking powder,baking soda,cornstarch
Dried Pasta: Spaghetti ,Penne, linguini
Legumes: (dried or canned) Black,cannellini, black eyes peas,lentils, chickpeas
soy sauce, fish sauce
Chocolate: semisweet, bittersweet
Olives:black and green

Must Have Fresh Stuff:
onions & shallots
Fresh herbs

Having all or most of these items, will inspire you to cook! It will also keep cost down. Most of these will last a very long time. Happy cooking!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Campain to Eat Fresh!

Everyday I struggle to eat healthy, sometimes I just want Taco Bell! And I admit, one in a blue moon, I devour it. But my new thought to eat fresh, starts at home. When I'm making dinner, sometimes I don't feel like making a side dish, so I'll grab some Lipton Noodley thing, cause in 10 to 12 minutes, I have a starch. Thats what I want to stop. I want to start a trend again, where we stop eating so much processed food. I know It's easy, and a lot of it tastes delicious, but I believe if we take just a little extra time, we can create better food for ourselves.
Open your pantry...look at how much food you buy because it's quick and easy to make. Look at the back of the package, really read it, after you have done that, decide if it is truly something healthy to but in your body. If not, get rid of it. I've created a little book of side dishes, that I take with me when grocery shopping. Thats the best way to make sure you always have fresh items around to make what you like. Many recipes I give are easy to make, and I find It gives you pride in your food when you make it fresh yourself!! Lets get healthy!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sing For Your Supper?

I just go off the phone with Phillip George( Brilliant Musical Theater Director ). And we have been throwing around the idea of what to do for my one woman cabaret show. After starting this blog, it gave Phil the idea of singing while I cook. A comedy where I cook in the middle of my show, and then feed the audience! I think it sounds hilarious and fun. I'm excited to research songs, have new one's written, and do a new show!

Mediterranean Medley Salad

Last night, Hunter and I went next door to our neighbor's Drew and Melissa for dinner, and boy was it wonderful. Skirt Steak, chopped veggie salad, corn on the cob, and the topper was Drew's homemade Ice Cream mini parfait. Everything tasted like summer. I also made my fresh peach cobbler, it was great until my dog stole it. But Melissa's salad reminded me of a salad I like to make. It's fresh, raw, and delicious.

You'll Need:

4 Cups roughly chopped veggies(carrots, red onion, cucumbers, tomato, green and red bell peppers, zucchini.)
Feta Cheese crumbled
1/4 Cup Kalamata Olives(torn)
1/2 Cup torn Basil leaves
2Tbls Extra virgin Olive Oil
2Tbls Balsamic Vinegar
Kosher salt and Pepper to taste

Toss everything together in a large bowl. I prefer a little more Balsamic in my salad, but thats just me. Taste and season yours. This salad is great for dinner parties, because it's easy to do without a recipe. If you don't eat cheese, I suggest a rice cheese as a substitute. Happy veggie chopping!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Drink of the Week

Every week I will give a new drink recipe, some with alcohol, some without. Being that I've spent the last... ahem...10 years being a bartender on and off, I think I have a fair knowledge about drinking.

This new drink was created one late night, looking at the liquor shelf in my apartment, and thinking there was nothing to drink... Boy was I wrong. This is delicious.

Pom Spritzer:

Bacardi Limon
Fresh Pom Juice(organic preferred)
For extra freshness, add a sprig of mint to the drink.

Try this at home, or when out, ask a bartender if they carry Pom juice, and ask them to make this delicious late summer drink.

It's raining and I want Oatmeal

Whenever it gets slightly gloomy outside, I crave oatmeal. But not just any oatmeal.. Mcann's Steel Cut Oatmeal. Most of us Americans are used to the instant oatmeal, which is great and quick. But as I get older, My tastes change. I absolutely LOVE the texture of this oatmeal. True, It takes about 20-30 minutes to cook, but so worth it. I'm very simple when it comes to what I put in my oatmeal... Butter and lot's of Honey. And if the mood strikes some fresh berries on top. The oats come in a vintage tin container, that when you are finished, can be used as a great plant/herb pot. Just poke some holes in the bottom. So try something a little different... And if you are trying to be green, this is the way to go. One container, and it's reusable.

Apple-Horseradish Slaw

Ok, normally I can't stand Coleslaw. And you can guess why. It's always in a paper cup, being runny, bitter, and smelling questionable. But this recipe is awesome. So awesome, I won't even call it a Coleslaw. It's a fresh raw salad.

You'll Need:

1/4Cup Non-fat Sour Cream
1Tbls Prepared Horseradish
2tsp Cider Vinegar
1/2 Head napa or Green Cabbage(shredded)
2 crisp apples, cut into matchstick size strips(Fugi preferred)
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4tsp pepper

In a bowl combine sour cream, horseradish, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the cabbage, apples, scallions. Toss and serve.

This salad is great for lunch alongside a sandwich, or at dinner, throw this next to a Porkchop, or BBQ Chicken.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I Heart Polenta

Ok, lets talk Polenta. Easily one of the best side dishes ever. Now you can buy the pre-made stuff in a tube. To me, it's crap. Polenta is easy to make at home, and so much better. I usually buy the GOYA corn meal, just because I like it coarse. You can follow the recipe on the back of the package, and it's delicious. Or, you can try this recipe... It just takes it up a notch. I'm a fan of stinky cheeses. Even if they are not your favorite, I still think you should try this dish. It's rich and goes great with a steak dinner!

You'll Need:
5 Cups low-sodium Chicken Broth
1 3/4 cups Polenta
3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1/3 cup whipping cream

Bring 5 cups broth to boil. Gradually add polenta, whisking constantly.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and add more broth if it gets too thick. When soft, add cheese and cream. Stir until melted. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
Serve hot. Polenta does not reheat well. It still tastes great, but not as creamy.

Peaches are in Season!

I love fresh peaches, so now that you can find beautiful peaches at every farmers market, it's time to buy them up! Whether you throw them on the grill, or put them in your cereal. I wanted to share my Fresh Peach Cobbler. When I make this, it's devoured. This is NOT at healthy dish... but it is, Ooh so good! I recommend eating this on beautiful summer night, sitting outside.

You'll need:

1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
3 cups fresh peaches
1 cup Flour
3/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup water

Heat peaches in saucepan with butter and water. When some water is evaporated, pour into baking dish.
In a mixing bowl, mix sugar, flour, baking powder and milk. Pour mixture over fruit .
Bake at 350f. for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Chickpea Salad

This salad is super easy, cheap, and delicious. I have made this for brunch, lunch and dinner. It was a huge hit at a baby shower, (Hi Hoolie) as well. It's also healthy and great for veggie friends.

You'll Need:
2 cans chickpeas(drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
1/2 red onion diced thinly
2 stalks celery(VERY diced)

Throw together in a mixing bowl. add Extra Virgin Olive oil, Kosher salt(to taste) and pepper.
Optional: add 1 tsp sherry vinegar

I put the sherry as optional because sometimes i don't want the vinegar. It depends what I'm making to go with it. It tastes great with or without.
My friend Marie-France made this for her cast mates at a dinner, I hear it was a huge hit. Please give it a try, and post your comments and additions.

EGG. new brunch place!

I love my neighborhood of Williamsburg for many reasons, one, being the food. A new Restaurant EGG(235 N.5th) has one of the best brunch menus I've ever seen. Both sweet and savory. I recommend the steak sandwich... seriously. I crave it. The only downside to the great new spot is the service... it's sloooooow. So don't be in a hurry. You may have to wait for a table, and your coffee. But I will put up with slow service for a sandwich THAT good.!

Let's make Potato Salad!

Summer isn't quite over, and everyone will be throwing parties this August to savor this season. When I go to a BBQ, or throw one, salads and sides are a must. This potato salad I make, is my favorite. I came up with the recipe after eating a salad from a grocery store deli. I fell in love with it, so I tried to make it.. I did, and better.
Now because I'm not a professional chef, Some of my recipes are measured by taste. So I say, trust your instincts, and soon you will understand my lingo! Because it's a blog, feel free to write down the recipes, so they aren't lost forever.

You'll Need:

Red onion(small)
Red Potatos (6 medium)
Spicy Brown Mustard
Cayenne Pepper
Kosher Salt and Pepper

Boil Water in a pot big enough to hold the amount of potatoes you choose to make. Wash and cut Potatoes into cubes. Leave skins on, It gives the salad great color, put them in the water just before boiling. When soft, drain in colander, and rinse with cool water. Transfer potatoes to big mixing bowl.
Take red onion, and cut in half, dice 1/2 the onion. Add to mixing bowl. add more onion if you like onion!
Sprinkle the potatoes with a little paprika and cayenne, and pepper. Add 1 Tbls Spicy brown mustard. I don't like to over mayo my salad, so i say, use 2 large spoonfuls of mayo, and if it's too dry, add more. Then add 2 pinches ofKosher salt, please no table salt! I swear the kosher salt tastes so much better. Mix together! If it needs more salt, add more. If you want it spicier? add more Cayenne. Put in fridge until ready to serve.
I personally love a little heat to this potato salad. It makes it stand out! Please give it a try, and leave your comments, or additions to this recipe.

Welcome to Brooklyn Cookin


My name is Erin Crosby and I love to cook. I am not a professional chef, I wanted to be when I was a child, but I couldn't figure out how to keep my acting career. So I cook at home, entertain friends, and share recipes. I worked in a few famous NYC restaurants, where I learned a lot from watching famous chefs, and they took my palate to another level.! I wanted to start a blog to have a place to share food I love to make, and others can too! Great recipes coming soon from my Brooklyn kitchen.