Ginger Soy Tuna

Are you a Sushi lover? I’m not. To be honest. I’ve tried and tried to like it, but something about it sort of grosses me out. Seaweed, no problem. Rice and Vegetables, great. Fish, love it,  as long as it’s COOKED. That’s where Sushi and I have our differences. (But, I do love any sort of Sushi roll that is only vegetables or tempura fried shrimp (who wouldn’t?). )

So, to better acquaint myself with raw tuna, I bought a gorgeous sashimi-grade (read: you can eat it raw, top quality, kept frozen always) block of tuna. This type of fish is best served medium rare or, heaven-forbid, raw (ewww).  I thought the best way to serve it would be to eat it with some sort of sweet-salty-tangy glaze. Fortunately, I was right on. It was phenomenal with the glaze. Loads of fresh ginger made it really tasty. I served it over a bed of mixed greens tossed with some of the glaze that I made into a vinaigrette.

IMG_1021

This is exactly what great quality tuna should look like, not grey or dark purple. Pink and fresh.

Continue reading

Lemon Cheesecake – Part II

Here it is. The long-awaited reveal!

We’ve made lemon curd. We’ve made candied lemons. Now, let’s make some cheesecake. And put it all together.

We do have a birthday to celebrate, remember?

Lemon cheesecake at www.culinarycousins.com

Continue reading

Candied Lemons

Candied Lemons at www.culinarycousins.com

My lemon cheesecake adventure continues. What’s a dessert without decoration?

To finish, the lemon cheesecake is topped with candied lemons. Once lemons are cooked — especially when doused in syrup — they are completely edible, rind and all. You just slice lemons thinly, cook them in a sugar syrup mixture and leave them to cool. The work is not hard but the results are pretty impressive. You can mound the lemons artfully in the center of the cheesecake, or you could lay them flat in a pattern on top, like a pretty food doily. Continue reading

Homemade Lemon Curd

I teased you yesterday talking about lemon cheesecake. But, in all fairness, I said I had to do a few things before I could really give you a recipe. And, here we go.

Lemon curd.

Homemade Lemon Curd | Culinary Cousins

It pools on top of the creamy cheesecake and drips down the sides when you cut into it. It’s swirled into the cheesecake batter for a tart and tangy flavor burst. In essence, it makes this cake. Well, really it does, since it wouldn’t be lemon cheesecake without it. Continue reading

Lemon Cheesecake – Part I

Lemon cheesecake at www.culinarycousins.com

I have a bit of a reputation in my family.

Jessica is the caterer for our events, and the one who keeps us on track with healthy eating. But I’m the baker, the dessert maker. Whenever a holiday or occasion comes around, sweets are my go-to contribution. And I tend to get a bit wild when I have the opportunity to bake for a crowd, when I can try my hand at all the fancy, complicated things that I would never make for myself. Like red velvet cheesecake and from-scratch cinnamon rolls at Christmas, or southern caramel cake at Easter.

I’m even starting to get special requests. Continue reading

Southern Chicken and Dumplings

Here it is. Some real, traditional, down-home southern food. From scratch, yet so easy that you can do it.

Chicken and Dumplings at www.culinarycousins.com

I wish I could claim that this is my great-grandmother’s legacy recipe for chicken and dumplings, but it’s not. I think I found it in some cookbook claiming it’s a copycat of the Cracker Barrel dish. But I’ll take it.

The stock part of this recipe has become my go-to for basic chicken stock, which I make as often as I can. The stuff in the box is great and easy, but there’s nothing like the taste of homemade stock. Continue reading

Vegetarian Moussaka

veg_moussaka

My quest to fill my life with more vegetables continues. I’ve been doing fairly well. I’m a “pescetarian” (veggies and seafood) at home but outside of that anything goes. Hence the trip to a Brazilian steakhouse last week … and the braised short ribs I ate on vacation. (Oops.)

At home, I like that this way of eating is forcing me out of my comfort zone. I’ve had to experiment more with dishes that are hearty enough not to leave me hungry two hours later and satisfy that need for comfort food at dinner. I never realized that part before — a couple of nights ago my friends were talking about what we eat for dinner. Some just have yogurt or a sandwich or crackers. Others of us (like me) feel the need to make a full meal. That’s because, someone noted, dinner is such a comfort meal. So true.

Anyway, I lived for a couple of years in a Greek neighborhood in NYC. Those traditional dishes quickly became my favorite cuisine, and I dream sometimes about the authentic food I could get stumbling right out my front door: creamy hummus and baba ghanoush, Greek olives, lemon potatoes, pastistio and warm, fresh pita. I could go on and on.

Continue reading

Chia Seed Pudding

Chia Seed Pudding | Culinary Cousins

Long ago I learned I have an obsessive personality. Not in a Single White Female way, though, I promise. More like I find something I like and I latch on to it for awhile. I’ve documented some of my recent obsessions, but I really haven’t had one in awhile.

Until now.

I’ve been talking with a lot of people recently about food and health and the latest trends. One consistent recommendation in all those conversations is chia seeds. It’s the hot thing of the moment in the health food world.

I know you’re thinking about the Chia Pet/Chia Head thing and laughing at me right now. And you’re not entirely wrong. It’s the same seed, but this time we’re eating it. Don’t run away — it’s worth it. Continue reading

Amazing Lemon Cranberry Scones (Gluten Free!)

The finished product…crunchy and creamy with sweet and tart cranberries

As of right now, I don’t follow a strict gluten-free lifestyle. But I’m beginning to wonder if I should….

Gluten. Oh gluten. This was going to be my year. The year I FINALLY successfully  gave something up for Lent. After hearing a whole slew of bad press about this peculiar protein, I decided to make that my target. I was going to give up gluten for forty days. Welp, here we are, the week before Easter and I can officially say I epically failed. Epically. Like 4 days into it. I’ve eaten more glutenous foods since Ash Wednesday (start of Lent) than I’ve eaten in the past 6 months. No joke. WHY does that always happen???? That is why diets don’t work. When you are fixated on cutting something out, you eat it more often and in greater quantity- or maybe that’s just me, and my lack of dietary will power.

Continue reading

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Banana Pudding Poke Cake | Culinary Cousins
At this point you may be under the impression that I eat really well. Let’s clear that up right now.

I do try to eat reasonably and responsibly, but deep down inside I am a baker. A dessert fiend. And sometimes I may hurt you if you are between me and a piece of chocolate.

Whew, confessions are good for the soul. Glad we got that out of the way.

Pinterest is quickly becoming the best way to gauge emerging food trends, at least in the home kitchen. Think “cake balls” or “kale chips.” And at Christmas, I went to the grocery store all geared up to make this cute little treat I’d seen online. As I searched the candy aisle, the one thing I needed was missing. Rolos. Then it occurred to me, all those recipes I’d seen. Rolos melted atop a pretzel (my choice) or Rolos rolled inside a sugar cookie. In a weird Rolo shortage, I blame Pinterest. It’s the likely culprit.

A few months ago I started to see a rash of recipes for something I’d never heard of: poke cake. Perhaps it’s truly a resurrection of an old, possibly southern, recipe. Or maybe it’s something someone made up last week. Either way, poke cakes are trendy. Continue reading