Eating In

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice! It's Giftable Homemade Granola.

The hectic holiday season has officially arrived. With it, the too long ‘to do’ lists and days that aren’t long enough to get everything done. There are likely a lot of special people on your gift list and if you are like me, the thought of checking everyone off without breaking the bank can be daunting. So the question is, how do you give thoughtful gifts on a small budget?

That One Recipe That Will Make You Love Cauliflower

My relationship with cauliflower has always been a little lukewarm. Indifferent. I'm always noticing that it's the last picked vegetable on the crudité platter and it's often an under-seasoned afterthought.

But roasting cauliflower florets with bacon fat gives the vegetable a new texture and flavor: smoky, savory and incredibly addictive. I think this recipe makes just enough of the vinaigrette to bring out those bacon qualities, while keeping its crisped edges intact. Serve this hot out of the oven and make anyone a cauliflower convert!

The Most Delicious Way to Eat Fruit This Winter

There's an alchemy that occurs when roasting fruit.  It becomes both sweeter and more savory as the flavors meld and concentrate in the oven; mid-winter's answer to a ripe September peach eaten over the sink. 

Here, Lidia Bastianich lets pears and grapes soften in a bath of Moscato wine and sugar, the sweetness tempered with tangy apricot jam, heady vanilla and a little lemon. So good.

Spoon the reduced juices over the fruit and serve with a scoop of the best vanilla gelato or ice cream you can get your hands on.  And of course, a glass of that Moscato. 

A Budget-Friendly Meal That's Rich With Italian Flavor

Served over spaghetti or polenta, or tucked into crusty bread with melted cheese for a sandwich, meatballs are the ultimate Italian comfort food.  

A very budget-friendly recipe, the ground beef (already an inexpensive cut) stretches even further — and is made more moist and flavorful — with the addition of eggplant, Italian sausage and Grana Padano cheese, the less pricey cousin of Parmigiano-Reggiano. 

The meatballs can be made a day ahead and leftovers freeze beautifully, right in the tomato sauce...but with a dinner this delicious, they'll be gone before you know it. 

  • December 7, 2015

Become the Juicy Pork Chop Champion

A tough, dry pork chop is the bane of every cook's existence. So brown your chops on the stovetop with whole garlic cloves to boost the flavor. And then put them in the oven with pears, onions and a tenderizing vinegar-honey mix to keep the meat juicy, and to create a jammy, caramelized accompaniment.

Oh. And leave it to Lidia Bastianach to provide the perfect pairing to keep your chops moist: a sweet and savory oven-braise, topped with balsamic reduction. Yum.

Dig Into Lidia Bastianich's Shrimp Alla Buzara

The queen of Italian cooking knows that simple, fresh ingredients are the building blocks of most delicious meals. In this dish—typical of her native Adriatic Coast—Bastianich shows us how to cook shrimp with their shells on, a trick for infusing garlicky white wine sauce with even more sparkling seafood flavor.

Seat guests elbow-to-elbow, pass what's left of the cooking wine at the table and set out a bowl for everyone to in toss their shells. This is communal dining at its very best.