Easy Entertaining H’orderves
I love to entertain at home. There is nothing better to me than having friends and family over for dinner or just to chat. My New York apartment is my favorite place to be on a friday night, with good food of course. When guest come over I like them to feel comfortable, that is why I always have a little snack to offer. If it is just for an afternoon coffee or before a full dinner, h’orderves are my thing and here are a few of my favorites.
1.) Ricotta and honey bruschetta. I can’t take the credit for this one entirely. My dear friend Manuela and always get together for coffee during the week and one of the things she serves is toast spread with ricotta and a slice of delicious ham or salami. Manuela is from italy so she knows how a good ricotta should taste. My spin on this is that I like to fill a bowl with ricotta, drizzle it with a little truffle oil and honey. I sprinkle a little sea salt and serve with warm crusty bread. This is delicious during the afternoon with coffee or as a dish before dinner. I also serve slices of ham on the side to top this delicious spread with.
2.)Piggies in a blanket. I mean who doesn’t like these warm little bites? They are the perfect comfort food served in an upscale way. I take nathan’s famous cocktail franks and wrap them in thin slices of crescent rolls and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 mins or until the crescent rolls are golden. I like to serve these warm as guests arrive with a little dijon mustard and wasabi mustard to give them a little kick.
3.)Mix and Match Flatbreads. This is a great dish when you need to bring an appetizer to a friends house. I take the Naan bread that is sold in the grocery store and bake them in the oven until crispy. I then make different flavors. One of my husbands favorites is the bbq chicken. I shred chicken and cook on a grill pan and smother in bbq sauce. Another delicious and vegetarian option is a mozzarella caprese. Just take cherry tomatoes, mozzarella basil and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic reduction. The third crowd favorite is a blt version. Taking bacon lettuce and tomato, drizzle the top with a little creamy dressing to blend the flavors all together and ta-da!
4.)Corn Salsa. This salsa is a favorite that I stole from my mom. I serve it all the time with tortilla chips. It makes a big batch so it is good for a large crowd. All you do is take 1 can corn, 1 can of black beans, 2 large tomato’s diced into cubes, 1/2 red onion, a handful of chopped cilantro. Mix these ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and a touch of balsamic. Let it stand in the fridge for an hour or so and serve when the guests arrive.
Vanilla Macarons with Nutella
These little chick macarons are the cutest thing we’ve ever seen! They are perfect for you Easter celebration, or try the recipe without the adorable details for a tasty treat any time of the year.
- Beat egg whites until foamy and add in one tablespoon of granulated sugar one by one. Beat until stiff peaks form. Add in your choice of extracts and food coloring.
- Sift almond meal and powdered sugar together in a separate bowl.
- Fold in almond meal and powdered sugar into the stiff egg whites until you get a lava-like batter. Use a rubber spatula for this step.
Note: It’s important to not undermix and overmix the batter.
- Transfer batter to a piping bag with Wilton 12 round tip and pipe circles onto a Silpat.
Note: If your batter is more on the runny side, leave plenty of room between the circles because the batter will spread.
- Allow a hard crust to form on the freshly piped macarons. This will take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour depending on the humidity in your kitchen.
- Preheat oven to 300F. Bake macarons for 5 minutes on each side to ensure even baking.
- Allow macarons to cool before removing from Silpat. Store in an air-tight container up to one week.
- In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream to a simmer.
- Pour over chocolate and nutella. Allow to sit for 20 seconds. This allows the chocolate to melt and not seize up.
- Using a electric mixer, whip the ganache until light in consistency.
- Use a piping bag to pipe whipped filling between macaron shells and sandwich.
See http://www.atasteofkoko.com/2012/04/easter-macarons.html to learn more.
Looking for the perfect dress to wear to your Easter Celebration? Check out our newest spring styles at LaurenGabrielson.com or visit our store at 278 Mott St. Set up an appointment to make your very own custom made dress by calling 212-966-0767 or emailing Lauren an firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucky Charms Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day
Our neighboring church, Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral is beginning the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations a week early, with a mass in Irish and some Bagpipers that are sending their tunes in our direction. With such great traditional entertainment, and “drink ’til you’re Irish day” only a week a way, I was in the mood for a little festivity. These cupcakes are just the ticket to a fun, “magical” St. Patrick’s Day treat. They are a little work to complete, but they are too darn cute to pass up.
For the crust:
- 2 cups crushed Lucky Charms (I used my mini food processor to crush them.)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the cake:
- 1/4 cup homemade corn syrup
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour, not self-rising
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons full-fat sour cream
- 2 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 cup Lucky Charms
For the corn syrup buttercream frosting (double all frosting ingredients if you like really big frosting swirls):
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons homemade corn syrup
- Lucky Charms marshmallows for topping the cupcakes
Lucky Charms crust directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a small bowl, mix together crushed Lucky Charms and melted butter.
- Divide mixture evenly between ten cupcake liners. Pack it firmly into the bottoms of the liners.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
Lucky Charms cupcake directions:
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together corn syrup, sugar, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. Because there is so little butter, you’ll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg, sour cream, and oil until smooth.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
- Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined. The batter will be liquidy. (Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s supposed to be that way.)
- Fold in Lucky Charms.
- Spoon cupcake batter over pre-baked crusts. The batter should come all the way to the top of the liners.
- Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it. If they are not done, test again in two minutes. If they are still not done, test again in another two minutes.
- When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don’t own a cooling rack) to cool.
Corn syrup buttercream frosting directions:
- Mix butter on high speed for three minutes until light and fluffy.
- Slowly mix in powdered sugar.
- Mix in corn syrup until just combined.
- Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
- Top with Lucky Charms marshmallows.
*Thanks to http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2012/03/lucky-charms-cupcakes-for-st-patricks.html for such a great recipe!
So scrumptious and so fun for a luck-filled day! Stop into the store or contact us at 212-966-0767 to get a custom made dress or blouse (don’t forget to order one in green so you can avoid getting all pinchers.)
The month of February always puts me in a good mood, the January hump is over and we can focus on Valentines day and Spring fashion. Since I was in the spirit I decided to make these valentines cupcakes. But don’t tell anyone that it is from pillsbury! I bought the cake mix, with red sprinkles to add to the batter that make the cupcakes look like there is hearts inside and finished with the coordinating frosting that is already died pink and includes heart sprinkles!!! I picked mine up at Target in Harlem last weekend in the valentines section. These cupcakes are sure to make the loved ones in your life smile. Heck, my husband had one of these delicious cupcakes for breakfast this morning:)
Lauren Gabrielson’s Christmas Menu
Anyone who knows me really well knows that a.) I am a workaholic and b.) I love to cook. I find cooking to be a calming yet creative experience. I think most of eating is the presentation and how the food looks, just like pulling together a great outfit or designing a custom made dress.
The holidays are a great time to have fun with food and to bring smiles on your guests faces with some delicious food! When deciding what to cook for our Christmas Dinner, I wanted to try something new instead for the traditional glazed ham or turkey. After thinking about it a bit, I decided to go with a pork tenderloin, cranberry chutney, my famous Mac and Cheese and a salad of arugula, avocado, tomato and mozzarella. Below you will find my menu for what I will be serving for this years guests. Enjoy!
Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal.
Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Chutney
Panko Mac and Cheese
Arugula, Avocado, Tomato, Mozzarella Salad
For My Top Secret Recipe please feel free to email me: Lauren@LaurenGabrielson.com
Frozen Peppermint Chocolate Cake
One of the easiest, tastiest recipes for a Holiday treat that will blow your guests away. What makes it even better? No baking required. Who doesn’t love that.
- 1 box(es) (11 oz) Little Bites fudge brownie squares
- 1 container(s) (1.75 qt) light peppermint ice cream (Edy’s or Dreyer’s)
- 1 container(s) (8 oz) frozen light whipped topping, thawed
- Decorate: crushed candy canes or starlight mints
- You’ll need an 8-in. springform pan lined with plastic wrap. Cut each brownie horizontally in half so that you have 2 brownie squares about 1/2 in. thick. Place brownies in a tightly packed single layer over pan bottom, cutting to fit so that there are no gaps. Freeze 10 minutes.
- Spoon ice cream over brownie layer; pack into a fairly even layer. Spoon whipped topping over ice cream, swirling. Cover and freeze at least 4 hours or until firm.
- Run knife around side to release, remove sides of pan and sprinkle top with crushed candy. Cake can be placed back in freezer until serving or served immediately.
- If unfrosted brownies are not available, bake a 17.6-oz package of brownie mix in a 9-in. square pan. Using the 8-in. round springform pan as guide, cut a round from cooled brownie and fit into bottom of springform pan. You can assemble cake, wrap airtight and freeze up to 1 month ahead. Decorate just before serving.
Gobble Up Our Thanksgiving Recipes
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only a week away! With time flying, its about time we start thinking about what to cook up for holiday festivities. Some of our favorite recipes at Lauren Gabrielson include:
1. Cheese and Nut Loaf- way better than boring biscuits
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 3 ounces shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (or 1 cup dry rice)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage, leaves, plus more for garnish
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater
- 1 cup (8 ounces) cottage cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan, line bottom with parchment paper, and butter again; set aside. Place dried porcini in a small bowl; add boiling water to cover. Let soak 20 minutes; drain, finely chop, and set aside.
- Toast walnuts and cashews on a baking sheet until lightly browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Finely chop with a sharp knife, or in the bowl of a food processor, set aside. Increase oven heat to 375 degrees.
- Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add shiitake mushrooms and the reserved porcini; cook, stirring constantly, until all the mushrooms are golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in rice, the toasted nuts, parsley, marjoram, thyme, sage, eggs, Gruyere, cottage cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan, and bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan 20 minutes, then invert loaf, and remove from pan. Serve hot or warm, garnished with sage leaves.
2. Mushroom Tart- great as an appetizer or after-the-game treat
- Flour, for rolling out puff pastry
- 1 (from a 17.3-ounce package) sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 packages (10 ounces each) white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 package (10 ounces) fresh baby spinach
- 2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place the pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score dough to form a 1-inch border. Using a fork, prick dough inside the border every 1/2 inch. Bake until golden, rotating pan once, about 15 minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, toss onion with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt. Cover and cook over medium heat until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir. Continue cooking with cover on for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat remaining oil. Add mushrooms; cover and cook until tender and all liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Fold in spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes more. Drain any liquid.
- Top dough with mushroom-spinach mixture. Scatter onion and goat cheese on top. Bake until cheese is lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
3. Twice Baked Butternut Squash- delicious way to get your vitamins
- 6 butternut squash (about 9 pounds total)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon nonfat sour cream
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 6 fresh chives, cut into 1/8-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs, lightly toasted
- Heat oven to 450 degrees with the rack in center. Halve squash lengthwise, and remove seeds and fibers. Sprinkle squash halves with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Fill a roasting pan with 1/4 inch water. Place squash in pan. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer squash to a cool surface, and let cool enough to handle. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees.
- Use a spoon to scoop baked flesh out of each half into a large bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch border around six of the halves so they will keep their shape. To the bowl, add sour cream, paprika, chives, and remaining teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix with a handheld electric mixer or potato masher until smooth and well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Fill six squash halves with mixture (discard remaining six empty halves). Sprinkle tops with toasted breadcrumbs. Bake until golden brown and warm throughout, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve.
4. Pumpkin Crumb Cakes- fun alternative to traditional pie
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 dry mix
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon water
1/2 dry mixture (see above)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Heat the oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder for the dry mix.
Beat the butter until whipped and creamy and then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Beat in about half of the dry mix of flour and sugar. Set aside.
Whip together the eggs, pumpkin puree, milk, brown sugar and spices for the pumpkin filling. Set aside.
Mix the rest of the dry mix with a stick of butter, an extra half cup of flour, and the spices. Add a tablespoon of water and mix with fingers until loose and crumbly.
To make a full pan of crumb cake, grease a 9×13 baking pan and pat the dough into the bottom. Pour the pumpkin filling over top and sprinkle the crumb topping over it. To make individual cakes instead, repeat using 4-ounce paper souffle cups. After they are baked, let the individual cups cool for an hour then cut the paper cups away with scissors for individual cakes.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until the filling is set inside. Let cool for at least an hour before slicing.
- 1 envelope onion soup mix
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 10 slices process American cheese
- 10 hamburger buns, split
- In a large bowl, combine soup mix, ketchup, brown sugar, horseradish and chili powder. Crumble beef over mixture; mix well. Shape into 10 patties. Grill, broil or pan-fry until the meat is no longer pink.
- Cut eyes, nose and mouth out of each cheese slice to create a jack-o-lantern. Place cheese on burgers; cook until cheese is slightly melted, about 1 minute. Serve on buns.
What a great Halloween meal!
Carmel Apple Pie Pop Recipe
This weekend I needed to take a break from working on my custom designs and was really craving apple pie but I didn’t want to make a whole pie(because I knew I would eat the entire thing)
So I decided to make a fancy version of caramel apple pie, mini pies on a stick. Also know as “Pie Pops” Below is a step by step guide how to create these beauties in your own kitchen.
1 Package of pillsbury pie crust
1 can apple pie filling(or you can make your own from scratch)
3 tbs of cinnamon
5 wooden skewers
1 package of baking caramels
For the preparation:
Step # 1 Unroll the pie crusts on kitchen table. Take a drinking glass and stamp out round circles from the dough. There should be 10 circles
Step # 2 Fill 5 of the circles with 1 spoonful of the filling. add a dash of cinnamon.
Step # 3 Insert a stick into center of the circle, using finger wet the rim of the circle and place another dough circle on top of the filled circle. Press with fingers to secure filling.
Step #4 using a fork, push down the edges of the pies and poke a little hole in the top of the pie to allow for the steam to release while cooking. Place on a greased baking sheet.
Step #5 Put in over at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 mins or until the pies are golden brown
Melt the caramels in a sauce pan with 2 splashes of milk. Drizzle carmel over the pies with a spoon. Let cool and serve!
We were invited over to our friend Kandice’s house for a italian style dinner. I never like to arrive empty Handed so I made this delicious and easy Bruschetta that is one of my favorite and easiest appetizers that I like to make and David(Fiance) enjoys eating:) This time I decided to top the bruschetta with a little bit of pancetta(italian style bacon) That I had on hand in the fridge. I have listed the recipe below for you to make for your next gathering!
1 small baguette sliced into 1″ slices
2 medium size tomatoes
1/2 purple onion
2 cloves garlic
handful of cilantro
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinaigrette
Preheat over to 325 degrees
Use a small saute pan over medium high heat. Place the pancetta in the pan until golden brown and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Slice the bread into 1″ slices and lay flat on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and put in the oven for 10 minutes or until the slices are crisp and golden brown
Finely chop the onion, tomatoes and garlic and mix together in a bowl. Chop the cilantro and incorporate into the mixture.
Drizzle balsamic into the mixture, and give a turn of salt and pepper.
Once bread slices are out of the oven top with tomato mixture.
Sprinkle each toast with a bit of pancetta and serve!