Monthly Archives: January 2010


You have people coming for lunch.  It’s Sunday at 10:30 and you are still dilly-dallying around the house in your bathrobe.  
A friend has given you a bag full of fresh herbs and vegetables out of their garden and you would like to use them before they spoil.
You’ve invited 30 people for brunch and you would like to keep it delicious and simple…fruit salad, fresh squeezed orange juice, a loaf of really great store bought brioche and hot coffee.  
You get home from work or picking up your kids and you don’t feel like cooking dinner. You are having pangs of guilt about ordering another pizza.  
These are all perfect scenarios to pull out your eggs and get cracking!
Frittata is so easy.  It doesn’t matter how low your provisions are a frittata can be pulled together.
Here is the recipe for the frittata I made this morning. Feel free to embellish in anyway you would like. You can change the cheese, vegetables or herbs. You can even add pepperoni, salami, oil cured olives, tomatoes confit, artichoke hearts or chorizo ANYTHING! Go into your fridge and create! It is a beautiful thing!
 Leek, Potato, Roasted Pepper and Provolone Frittata
10 eggs
½  cup heavy cream (yes I add cream to my frittata)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek cleaned and sliced
1 roasted red pepper peeled and seeded, cut in strips
(you could add whole grape tomatoes in place of the pepper-yum!)
2 red potatoes boiled until tender and cut in small chunks
½ cup fresh chopped flat Italian parsley
½ cup goat cheese
1 cup of shredded provolone cheese
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Beat the eggs and cream in a small bowl season with salt and pepper, set aside
3. Heat the olive oil in a 12 inch iron skillet over medium heat. When hot add leeks 
    and sauté until caramelized
4. Add eggs and cream lower heat
5. Add cubed potatoes, goat cheese, parsley and provolone (or whatever else you
    would like to add-artichoke hearts and oil cured olives are fantastic in this
6.Mix carefully just to coat ingredients with egg not too much
7.Place roasted red pepper strips on top (or grape tomatoes) slightly push into
8. Place skillet in oven for 3-4 minutes until eggs are just set-do not over cook
     otherwise frittata will be dry-If the top is still loose after 3-4 minutes than 
     place under the broiler for 30 seconds. DONE!

You Little Devil


The other night my mother called me.  She had a question. She needed a frosting recipe and asked if I had a good one. She was baking a cake! She took me off guard. I was a little confused. I needed more information! It wasn’t the question about the frosting that stumped me, it was the fact that MY mother was baking a cake. My mother hasn’t baked a cake since 1978!!!
What was going on? Who’s birthday did I forget? What kind of a cake was she baking? Where did she get the recipe for the cake?
I should preface the story by explaining that my mother and I are two peas out of the same pod. We get a bee in our bonnet about a particular recipe, soup, vegetable, sauce, drink or in this case, a cake, and we become obsessed! What is the history? What will make the recipe the best possible recipe ever! We talk about it. We share it. If necessary we will serve it three days in a row, until it is out of our system, and then as quickly as we have become obsessed we loose interest. We drop it like a hot potato!
It all began when my mother’s friend (for the sake of anonymity we will call my mother’s friend Sylvia), showed up with a big slice of Red Velvet Cake. Sylvia loves Red Velvet Cake. It must be her southern roots that attract her to the cake and she orders it every time she goes to this Italian restaurant in South Boston. Yes, that is right, I said Italian restaurant in South Boston. Why Red Velvet Cake would be on the menu is beyond me but that is a question for another post.
Sylvia has been experimenting with Red Velvet. She too, along with her husband, What’s His Name, also gets a little obsessed over food. Anyway getting back to my mother, I guess her hillbilly roots came out the night Sylvia showed up with the cake and she started calling it Devil’s food.   My mother has never heard of Red Velvet. Where she is from they have always called that kind of a cake Red Devil’s food. She also calls a roof, “a ruff” and you don’t wash your hands you “wush” them.
Well Sylvia and What’s his name invited my parents over for dinner a couple of days later and my mother decided that she was going to surprise Sylvia with a Devil’s food cake.  That is where the phone call to me came in. It made me start thinking.. what is the difference between Red Velvet and a Devil’s food? I needed to find out. I had to try it myself! My goal was to create a very moist, tender cake that is every so slightly flavored with cocoa powder and blood red from massive amounts of food coloring! There are many takes on who invented the Red Velvet Cake. Some say it was created at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City during the 1920’s. From what I can tell there really isn’t much of a difference between the two cakes except maybe the addition of the red food coloring. Both cakes are made with cocoa powder and not melted chocolate.
So Sylvia and What’s his name, if you are reading this post get ready to taste MY take on Red Velvet Devil’s Food Cupcakes! I think I did a pretty good job!
Red Velvet Devil’s Food Cupcakes
 1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 tablespoons red food coloring
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper cups and set aside (makes 18 cupcakes)
In a mixing bowl combined flour, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl with a hand beater or in the bowl of a stand mixer beat eggs, sugar canola oil, vinegar, and vanilla until light and fluffy about 2 minutes. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Add buttermilk and food coloring.
Divide batter evenly into cupcake cups about 2/3 of the way up. Bake 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely
Now you are ready to frost!

Frosting for Red Velvet Devils Food Cupcakes
1 stick butter
1 8oz package of Cream Cheese
1 pound of Confectioners’ Sugar

Beat until combined. Chill slightly if too soft.

For the devil’s horns I used a little rolling fondant colored black. 

I cut out little triangles and then shaped them into horn using my fingers. I let them get hard over night.

You have a choice with the frosting. You could color the frosting red and pipe in on or you can do what I did and that is to give the frosting a very thin coat of red chocolate. I used the colored chocolate wafers. I melted it over a double boiler and then dipped the frosted cupcakes into the chocolate.

Then you just stick the horns into the cupcake and use a little royal icing to complete the eyes and pitch fork tail!