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Mini Pavlovas with Blood Orange Curd


Miniature Pavlovas with Blood Orange Curd2


Here we are again.

You & I and some blood oranges.

The season is so short, and it’s nearly impossible to get these out of season, I need to enjoy them now. It’s almost embarrassing how I’ve started to hoard them. Whole Foods had a sale this week and I left with three bags. I even bought a new fruit bowl to accommodate my citrus bounty. And if you came over to my house and commented on my large bowl of blood oranges, I may or may not gush over how gorgeous they are and offer to cut one open for you. In which you would probably respond with a slight look of shock and decline my offer and very quickly change the subject.

I made pavlovas as an edible fruit container of sorts. Don’t be intimidated by pavlovas, although they look difficult and impressive, they are actually very simple. As long as you make sure that not a single drop of fat (yolks or residual butter left over in a bowl) come in contact with the egg whites, they really don’t require much skill.

Miniature Pavlovas with Blood Orange Curd3

Chocolate Stout Waffle Sundae with Chocolate Stout Fudge Sauce


    For The Sauce
  • 3 tbs butter
  • ½ cup stout
  • 2 tbs corn syrup
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • For the Waffles
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3cup milk
  • 2/3 cup stout
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Ice Cream for serving


  1. Add the butter, 1/2 cup stout and corn syrup to a sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat until butter has melted and the mixture has just started to boil.
  2. Turn off heat and stir in 1 cup chocolate chips until completely melted. Allow to cool slightly before using.
  3. Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturers specifications.
  4. In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt, stir.
  5. In a microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and milk. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted. Stir in the beer, vegetable oil, vanilla and only the yolks of the two eggs.
  6. Add the whites to separate bowl, along with the sugar. Whip with a hand mixer until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  7. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the chocolate milk mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold into the egg whites until just incorporated.
  8. Cook in waffle iron according to manufacturers specifications, using butter flavored cooking spray if indicated.
  9. Plate waffles, top with desired amount of ice cream, drizzle with chocolate sauce. Serve with a malty stout.


Miniature Pavlovas with Blood Orange Curd4


Drunken Strawberry Tart with Beer Lemon Curd

Being wrapped in a world filled with food people, the lovers, academics and fanatics, I’ve often lost my footing. Forgotten the simple pleasures of small, honest meals for the sake of a journey towards the creation of an epic recipe. While surrounding myself with people who strive to reinvent the world of food as we know,  I’ve been so entranced that I’ve stepped away from the core of who I am and the food I fell in love with.

I am not a moderist cook.

I am not a chef.

I may never create an epic recipe.

I am OK with that.

It was through a process, not of self discovery but of self remembrance, that stumbled upon a memory that I had almost lost within my catalogue of food experiences. Under the thousand dollar dinners, PR events, celebrity chefs, and world renowned restaurants was a small Italian city, and a home cooked meal.

Years ago, on what turned out to be a 16 hour layover, I was stuck in Pescara Italy. A girl about my age, just past 21, took pity on a broke and confused American in her tiny local airport and asked if she could show her town to me. It began with a home cooked meal, from her own mothers hands on a rickety folding table in her living room, the only place in the small apartment that would accommodate us all. Homemade bread, a small green salad, smashed peas and a roasted chicken.

For dessert was a lemon tart. Simple, beautiful and tangy, made by the hands of a woman who didn’t speak a word of English, but who took time to cook for me even though we would never have the ability to have a conversation, and I could never properly thank her. This is the food that I fell in love with, and I am reminding myself to stay true to that.

I’ve done my best to make the beer infused version of the tart that was made for me in Pescara, and chose a beer that is nearly as fascinating to me. Cooney Island Lager has flavors that remind me a great meal made in spring, orange, citrus, bread and apples.

If you can’t find this beer, look for a low hop beer with notes of citrus, tropical fruits and bread.

Drunken Strawberry Tart with Beer Lemon Curd


    For the tart crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3-5 tbs ice cold water
  • For the curd:
  • 1 tbs lemon zest
  • 2 whole eggs plus six yolks
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 6 large lemons)
  • ½ cup beer
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • For the Strawberries
  • 3 cups strawberries
  • ½ cup beer
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • For the Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbs beer
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the cubes of butter and process until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Your dough should resemble course meal.
  2. Start with 3 tbs of water, pulse until combined. If the crust doesn’t hold together add more water, a bit at a time, until it does.
  3. Dump the dough into a 4 inch deep, 9 inch wide tart pan with a remove-able bottom (you can also use a pie pan). Starting with the sides, form the crust inside the pan, trying your best to make it all as even as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a least 3 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375.
  5. Place a sheet of parchment paper inside your tart and fill with pie weights. If you don’t have any, dried beans work great.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your tart is a light golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly. remove pie weights.
  7. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, beer, sugar, corn starch, whole eggs and yolks to a bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the lemon mixture to a pan over medium/low heat along with the butter. Whisk until thickened, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  8. Add the curd to the crust and chill until set, about 4 hours.
  9. Just prior to serving add the berries to a shallow bowl of pie pan and cover with 1/2 cup beer. Allow to stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Drain and return to bowl with the sugar, stir to combine.
  10. Add all of the whipped cream ingredients to a stand mixer and mix on high until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes.
  11. Top tart with berries and whipped cream just prior to serving.

Nation Pie Day Lemon Pie With Animal Cracker Crust

This is just a lemon pie.

A delicious, easy to make, creamy, lemon pie.

It doesn’t use gelatin, like a typical meringue pie does. I stopped using gelatin altogether because it’s made form animal byproducts, so it isn’t kosher or vegetarian, excluding quite a few of my friends from enjoying my dessert.

It’s also made with a cracker crust, made with animal crackers instead of graham crackers, which pair nicely with lemon and give your a firm reminder of your youth. It’s like a Nostalgia Crust.

I love a really good graham cracker crust, and I’ve learned a few tips over the years that I’m going to share with you.

Wether you use animal crackers, graham crackers, shortbread cookies or my favorite: Girl Scout Trefoils, these are tips that will put your crust well above the rest. 

Tips for the Best Cracker Crust:

1. Add 2 tbs brown sugar to the food processor when you crush the crackers. This will give your crust a nice caramel flavor, as well as help it stay together. 

2. Assemble the sides first, then the bottom. This will help you to give the sides a professional look as well help your crust to be even. 

3. Press the crap out the crust. Really, really smash it into place. Use a coffee mug, a bowl, a glass measuring cup, to press it very firmly into place. This is the secrete to having crust that stays beautifully in place when you remove the slices from the pan. 

4. Brush with an egg wash (1 egg white, 1 tbs water, beaten) before baking. This only works if you are going to bake the crust and then fill it, but it will keep the crust from getting soggy when it sits. 

There you have it. The tips to make a perfect graham cracker crust. 

Deep Dish Lemon Pie with Animal Cracker Crust

Animal Cracker Crust:

4 cups animal crackers

2 tbs brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick of butter, melted

Lemon Curd:

3 tbs lemon zest (I use this super quick zester)

7 egg yolks (reserve one white for an egg wash)

1 cup white sugar

1 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed)

1 tbs corn starch

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Whipped Cream:

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. 

In a food processor, add the animal crackers, salt and brown sugar. Process until only crumbs remain. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined and it resembles wet sand. Dump into the bottom of a deep dish pie pan.

If you don’t have a deep dish pan, you wont need this entire amount. You can remove about 1/2 cup, spray the insides of a muffin tin make 2-3 small "mini pies" (remove from muffin tins before filling).

Starting with the sides, assemble to crust. Press very firmly into place. 

Put 1 egg white (use the yolk for the curd) plus 1 tbs of water in a small bowl and beat until well combined. Brush the insides of the crust with the egg wash. 

Bake at 350 for 18 minutes. 

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, corn starch and yolks to a bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the lemon mixture to a pan over medium/low heat along with the butter. Whisk until thickened, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. 

Add the curd to the crust and chill until set, about 4 hours.

Put all the whipped cream ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until light and fluffy and holds peaks, about 4 minutes. 

Top the pie with the whipped cream and serve. Chill until ready to serve.