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NYC Gourmet Foods Shopping Guide


Chelsea Market Decorated for the Holidays

Here’s your guide to our annual pre-holiday NYC shopping trip!

This year the trip is on November 22nd, 2015. Check out our “trips” page for all the info.

The Cooking Cottage has been taking this trip for as long as I can remember (which means since I was a young child since this business was started by my mom and grandmother) and over the years we’ve found – and been tipped off to – some amazing foodie products at all of the stops on the trip. This is why we do this trip every six months and some folks come with us again and again and again – gotta restock! I thought I’d share some of my favorite items with you and please! If you are a Cooking Cottage shopper… share some of your favorite finds in the comments!


The Upper West Side: Fairway, Citarella & Zabar’s

FAIRWAY MARKET has locations throughout the city and it’s the New Yorker’s grocery store. You can get everything there, and usually an interesting variety of “everything.”

  • The almond cookies: usually on the counter at the bakery. Packed with almond paste, coated with powdered sugar & almonds… these honeys are dense and one goes a long way. They are amazing. Susan & Leigh tipped me off to these.
  • Another great tip from a shopping tour regular was the flagels. This is a flat bagel, hence the name… it’s a chewy, flat bagel you don’t need to toast or even add cream cheese to. Genius.
  • Meyer’s Clean Day products…. I know, you weren’t expecting this. But they have a whole wall of these products in every application and in scents I’ve never seen anywhere else. Last year there were a bunch of holiday ones that I picked up for gifts.

CITARELLA MARKET is a fancy little prepared foods and grocery store… I don’t have any specific recommendations here, though I do always love to walk through and look at everything because it’s so lovely. But I don’t usually buy much… Usually I am in a hurry to get to….

ZABAR’S is one of my favorite places on earth. No exaggeration. How do they do it? I don’t know… but this store is perfect in my eyes. As a kid I used to dream of living on the Upper West Side so I could do my shopping here (hey I was a kid who liked smoked fish)..

  • The chocolate babka!! This classic Russian loaf cake is dense, yet pulls apart, swirled with chocolate, cinnamon and other delicious flavors. My mom always bought one of these on this trip the Sunday before Thanksgiving and stuck it in the freezer so we could have it on Christmas morning with coffee while opening gifts. This is the secret reason I took over the Cooking Cottage… Somebody’s gotta get the babka!!
  • Zabar’s ships out a jaw-dropping tonnage of coffee every week. Their house roasted coffee is as good as it gets. After every trip I fill my freezer with it. I am also very partial to their loose teas that you can find by the coffee. Russian Caravan, Lapsang Souchang & Lavendar Lace are some of my favorites but I’ve enjoyed every one I’ve tried and the price is right. For fancy gifting, they stock a great selection of Kusmi Teas – imported from Paris and packed in the most lovely little tins, these teas are very special.
  • Smoked mussels & pickled beet horseradish… they were giving out samples of this delectable combination a couple years ago and now I am hooked.
  • The upstairs kitchenware shop: last year I got a Kuhn Wusthof chef’s knife on sale for $50! And they have everything else you always wanted for your kitchen at shockingly good prices.
  • Can’t forget the jams and chocolates! These are two of my favorite gift items to stock up on… in the back corner there is a wall of jams, each more delectable than the next. And up front, all kinds of gourmet chocolate bars (from potato chip chili to imported Italian truffle) are there to suit every stocking on your list.

The West Village: Bleecker Street

We love to stop for lunch on Bleecker Street. The two blocks between 6th Ave & 7th Ave are pure goodness. Some highlights:

AMY’S BREAD: Really good bread. ‘Nuff said.

MURRAY’S CHEESE: Arguably the best cheese shop in the city. They are super nice and will help you make great selections for your holiday cheese plates (If you didn’t already stock up on cheese at Zabar’s, for which I would not blame you.. but hey, the more cheese the better). Murray’s has all kinds of condiments, crackers, craft beers, prepared foods, snacky treats and other things that you never knew you needed to have + they make excellent tasty gifts for your near & dear.

ROCCO’S PASTICCERIA: This is a favorite Italian pastry shop of many of our frequent shoppers. With its old-school cafe seating it makes a great place for a post-lunch coffee and dessert.

ROYCE’S CHOCOLATE: So I haven’t been to this place yet but can’t wait to pop in on this trip. One of our ladies stocked up on chocolate there when we stopped by Bleecker on our Nosh last month and she let me have a taste… It is truly outstanding! And it’s Japanese! So the packaging is really cool. A+ gift idea.

BISOUS CIAO MACARONS: Very lovely, very tasty classic French macarons. They package them very prettily.

—- But we stopped here for lunch right?? —-

These are some of our favorite West Village lunching spots. If you’re coming along on the trip you might want use the links or phone numbers provided to make a reservation… 12:30 is a good time!

PO: 31 Cornelia St. / (212) 645-2189 ~ Opened by Mario Batali, this is a great little Italian restaurant.

FISH: 280 Bleecker St. / (212) 727-2879 ~ Seafood restaurant & raw bar with fish-shack vibes.

RAMEN THUKPA: 70 7th Ave. / ~ Slurpy Japanese noodle soup + dumplings. Perfect if the day is chilly.

RISOTTERIA: 270 Bleecker St. / (212) 924-6664 ~ Never been, but I’ve read about it and it’s an Italian restaurant where everything is gluten free… so if you’re gluten free, here’s your spot.

POTJANEE: 48 Carmine St. / 

BAR PITTI: 268 6th Ave. / (212) 982-3300 ~ Another great little Italian spot.

JOE’S PIZZA: 7 Carmine St.  ~ Busy shopping? Grab a slice here.. it’s everything NY Pizza is supposed to be.

TERTULIA: 359 6th Ave. / (646) 559-9909 ~ Popular and chic serving Spanish tapas, paella, wine + brunch.

MURRAY’S CHEESE BAR: 264 Bleecker St. / (646) 476-8882 ~ It’s Murray’s Cheese Shop’s cheese-themed restaurant…

CORNELIA STREET CAFE: 29 Greenwich Village standby with American-French cuisine and Sunday brunch.

Chelsea Market

It’s an old Nabisco factory that was repurposed to house an abundance of little shops fit for food lovers of all stripes as well as the Food Network kitchens upstairs. And if it’s a lovely day, THE HIGH LINE runs just about Chelsea Market – this elevated walking path on the old railway line that once serviced this former factory district has been relandscaped with all indigenous species and outfitted with lots of places to relax and take in the Hudson River & NYC skyline. It’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike and well worth a little stroll.

POSMAN BOOKS: I can spend an hour in this bookstore just thumbing through the beautifully displayed and diverse selection of cookbooks

BOWERY KITCHEN SUPPLY: Fantastic kitchen supply shop

CHELSEA THAI WHOLESALE: This is a special place if you like to cook Asian food at home, stock up on all sorts of things for your Thai pantry!

CHELSEA WINE VAULT: It’s a beautiful thing to visit a wine store run by somebody who actually cares about wine! The selection here is excellent and they often have tastings, too.

FAT WITCH: This bakery is famous for its brownies & blondies.

NINTH STREET ESPRESSO: I always grab an afternoon espresso from this European style coffee counter.

PEOPLE’S POPS: We love People’s Pops! All natural and seasonal flavors that’ll have you rethinking the potential of popsicles.

SPICES AND TEASE: The barrels of brightly colored, aromatic spices will make you feel like you’re on another continent. The helpful staff makes it all accessible.

THE FILLING STATION: Great place for gourmet oils and vinegars.

ARTISTS AND FLEAS: Another wonderful location for checking folks off your holiday shopping list! Carefully selected NYC artists and vintage vendors sell their creative and funky wares here.

Now I really can’t wait for November 22nd! Hope to see you there!

~ Kate


Perfect Summer Lobster Corn Chowder

We love this recipe for Lobster Corn Chowder from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa website! While we’ll admit it’s not exactly health food, a bowl of this luscious chowder loaded with the sumptuous flavors of late summer would be just the perfect thing for an end of season dinner party. Paired with a simple salad and some nice, crusty bread you just can’t go wrong!

Photo by Quentin Bacon / courtesy

Photo by Quentin Bacon / courtesy


Recipe: Summer Corn & Lobster Chowder


  • 3 (1½-pound) cooked lobsters, cracked and split
  • 3 ears corn
  • For the stock:
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • ¼ cup cream sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • For the soup:
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • ¼ pound bacon, large-diced
  • 2 cups large-diced unpeeled Yukon gold potatoes (2 medium)
  • 1½ cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 2 cups diced celery (3 to 4 stalks)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ cup cream sherry


  1. Remove the meat from the shells of the lobsters.
  2. Cut the meat into large cubes and place them in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  3. Reserve the shells and all the juices that collect.
  4. Cut the corn kernels from the cobs and set aside, reserving the cobs separately.
  5. For the stock, melt the butter in a stockpot or Dutch oven large enough to hold all the lobster shells and corncobs.
  6. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat for 7 minutes, until translucent but not browned, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the sherry and paprika and cook for 1 minute.
  8. Add the milk, cream, wine, lobster shells and their juices, and corncobs and bring to a simmer.
  9. Partially cover the pot and simmer the stock over the lowest heat for 30 minutes. (I move the pot halfway off the heat.)
  10. Meanwhile, in another stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the oil and cook the bacon for 4 to 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until browned and crisp.
  11. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  12. Add the potatoes, onions, celery, corn kernels, salt, and pepper to the same pot and saute for 5 minutes.
  13. When the stock is ready, remove the largest pieces of lobster shell and the corncobs with tongs and discard.
  14. Place a strainer over the soup pot and carefully pour the stock into the pot with the potatoes and corn.
  15. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  16. Add the cooked lobster, the chives and the sherry and season to taste.
  17. Heat gently and serve hot with a garnish of crisp bacon.

Number of servings (yield): 6







Fall & Holiday 2014 Will Be Our Final Season

After over twenty years of cooking in our quaint country cottage, surrounded by people who have become not only friends but a second family, the time has come for The Cooking Cottage to move on and transform.

As some of you may know, the land around the cottage is slated for development in the not-so-distant future, and this decision to close our doors has come from much heartfelt discussion and thought amongst all involved in The Cooking Cottage tradition. It’s not the end necessarily, but a new beginning as we work towards other things.

We want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us over the years. We’d never be where we are today without you. Two amazing women, my grandmother and my mother, Winnie & Peggi, started this business when I was five years old. Not only did they create a wonderful gathering place for food lovers (the best kind of people, don’t you think) to learn and share, but they inspired myself and my sisters to grow into the kind of women who embrace food, family, fun and travel with reckless abandon. It’s hard to argue that these aren’t the most important things in life. I’d like to extend the deepest, most heartfelt thank you to all of you who made it possible for us to grow up in such an incredible environment. You all mean so much to me and my family.

We have a great season coming up, full of current new classes as well as Cooking Cottage favorites. Peggi and Winnie, and of course Leigh, Susan, and myself, will be here teaching throughout the fall and holiday season. We hope to see you at the Cottage.

Yours Fondly,

A Lovely Lemon Cake for Your Spring Holiday Table!

We made this luscious lemon layer cake for our Welcome Spring classes in March, and not only is it a stunner it is beyond delicious. The intense lemon flavor is just perfect for spring. It is in fact a Triple Lemon Layer Cake because it features lemon cake, lemon curd between the layers of cake and a lemon buttercream outer frosting. Garnish with long twists of lemon zest and silver dragees for a very elegant finish. This beautiful baked creation is a perfect focal point for your Easter or Mother’s Day table.

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Recipe: Triple Lemon Layer Cake

Summary: This beautiful and delicious lemon cake is perfect for your springtime special occasion table.


  • For the cake:
  • 2 1/3 cups cake flour; more for the pans
  • 2 ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lightly packed finely grated lemon zest
  • ¾ cup butter, completely softened at room temperature; more for the pans
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 cup butter, completely softened
  • 2 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 ½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • For the filling:
  • 1 recipe lemon curd


  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven; heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Generously butter and flour two 8 x 2-inch round cake pans. (We like to use Baker’s Joy spray to be sure that every bit of the pan is evenly covered.)
  3. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.
  4. Pulse 1/4 cup of the sugar with the zest in a food processor until well combined.
  5. In a large bowl, beat the butter and lemon sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1-1/2 minutes. (This step is important so be sure to give it at least a full minute, you want fluffy butter for a fluffy cake!)
  6. Add the remaining 1-1/2 cups sugar and beat until smooth (about 1-1/2 minutes). Beat in a quarter of the milk just until blended.
  7. On low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the milk in three batches, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula; beat just until blended.
  8. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed just until foamy. (When beating egg whites it is important that not a drop of fat – yolk, butter, etc., makes contact with the whites or they will not inflate!)
  9. Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium high, and beat just until the whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted.
  10. Add a quarter of the whites to the batter and gently fold them in with a whisk or a rubber spatula (you are doing this to lighten the batter mixture so that the rest of the fluffy egg whites can combine with it without being crushed); continue to gently fold in the whites, a quarter at a time, being careful not to deflate the mixture.
  11. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Smooth the tops with the spatula. Bake until a pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes.
  12. Run a table knife around the inside of the pans and carefully invert each cake out onto the rack. Flip them right side up and let cool completely.
  13. While the cake is cooling, make the lemon buttercream icing. Whip the butter and lemon zest in an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, then gradually add the sifted powdered sugar. When the powdered sugar has been incorporated, add the lemon juice.
  14. Now, make four layers out of your two cakes. It’s important that they are completely cool before you do this. With the palm of one hand pressed on top of a cake layer, cut each in half horizontally, using a long serrated knife. (Just take your time doing this, inspecting both the front and back of the cake as you go to be sure that the knife is going in and out evenly. Keeping pressure on top with your hand is key, and also using a thin knife like a ham knife.)
  15. Put one of the four cake layers on a serving plate, cut side up. With an offset spatula or a table knife, spread a generous 1/3 cup chilled lemon curd on top of the cake layer. Lay another cake layer on top, spread it with another generous 1/3 cup lemon curd, and repeat with the third cake layer, using the last 1/3 cup lemon curd. Top with the fourth cake layer.
  16. Spread lemon buttercream icing all over the outside of the cake. Decorate or garnish as you like.

Quick notes

Here is Fine Cooking’s recipe for Lemon Curd Cake Filling:

This cake is lovely garnished with long curls of lemon zest and silver draggees, or with well-washed edible flowers such as snapdragons, violets or johnny-jump-ups.

Preparation time: 45 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

MAKE AHEAD: This cake can be made ahead and stored chilled  for up to two days. It is also nice to bake the cakes and make the lemon curd the day before, tightly wrap and chill them, and then the morning of your event you can make the icing and assemble the cake. Bring back to room temperature before serving.

A Festive Holiday Pie Recipe

Last week sisters Kate and Molly taught two pie classes alongside their grandmother, Cooking Cottage cofounder Winnie. We had so much fun and whipped up some tasty pies in the process. This Nutmeg Maple Custard Pie was our personal favorite… Molly even went so far as to say that it was one of her favorite desserts ever!

Kate, Winnie and Molly with freshly baked pies at The Cooking Cottage.

Kate, Winnie and Molly with freshly baked pies at The Cooking Cottage.  (Nutmeg Maple Custard, Lattice-Topped Apple & Bourbon Pumpkin Pecan)

This pie is simple to prepare and oh-so-delicious. We hope it will show up on your Thanksgiving or Christmas table this year.

Recipe: Nutmeg Maple Custard Pie


  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 9-inch pie crust


  1. Par-bake pie crust: Preheat oven to 350. Roll out pie crust and place in a 9″ pie plate.
  2. Cover with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans (to prevent the crust from puffing up as it bakes).
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until beginning to set.
  4. Remove foil and weights and bake 15 to 18 minutes longer, until it becomes golden. (If shell puffs during baking, press it down with the back of a spoon).
  5. Cool on a wire rack. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  6. Prepare filling: in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce maple syrup by a quarter, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in cream and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and egg. Whisking constantly, slowly add cream mixture to eggs. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a cup or bowl with pouring spout.
  8. Stir in salt, nutmeg and vanilla.
  9. Pour filling into crust and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until pie is firm to touch but jiggles slightly when moved, about 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

How To: Grilled Pizza

Summer isn’t over yet – we’ve still got some time to get busy on our grills before the autumn chill settles in for good, so I’d like to share one of my new favorite grilling “recipes” with you: grilled pizza.


Yes, grilled pizza. In July my sister, Molly, and her husband, Joel, had a pizza grillin’ party the first night of their pre-wedding-festivity-week as friends from all over trickled in and gathered at Joel’s family farm. The fun, communal decorate-your-own activity totally meshed with the lighthearted celebratory vibe. This is a great technique to add to your repertoire for entertaining kids, friends, family, etc! Not to mention, it’s just the most delicious pizza. We East Coasters know that it’s all about the crust, and grilled pizza crust is a revelation nonetheless. Similar to the Indian flatbread naan, you can count on your pizza base to be crusty on the outside, and still faintly chewy on the inside. And with fresh tomatoes and other produce peaking right now, what better time than late summer to pick up this new skill.

Joel grilling pizzas.

Joel grilling pizzas.

A note on the pizza dough: I like to buy pizza dough from local pizzerias. Joseph’s Italian Market on the corner of 313 & N. Fifth Street will sell you a fresh pizza crust for about $3. Wherever you are, just call around and ask. Go out and pick up the dough shortly before you plan to use it and specify that you’d like it “ready to go.” (If you’re using it later you will want dough that still needs rising time.)  If you prefer to make your own pizza dough, here is a great recipe.

Recipe: Grilled Pizza

Summary: This is more of a template than a recipe – experimentation is strongly encouraged!


  • One pizza dough
  • Sauce (see notes)
  • Cheese (I recommend fresh mozzarella)
  • Toppings (whatever you want!)


  1. Begin by heating your grill to high heat, about 450 to 500 degrees. Clean and oil the grill grate.
  2. Divide the dough into quarters and stretch each one out to a reasonable thinness. Shape doesn’t really matter!
  3. Once your grill is good and hot, lay the pizza crusts on it. What you’re doing right now is searing them, a technique in which you cook something (often a protein) over very high heat until it forms a crust and “releases itself”. So your crusts will probably stick until they are ready to flip. This is the only tricky part. Stay with them and keep gently nudging with your spatula until they move easily – once they have seared, flip them and sear the other side, then remove them from the grill. This will probably take about one to two minutes per side.
  4. Turn the grill heat down to a low medium.
  5. Now you can sauce them, decorate them, etc. However you want!
  6. Once the grill’s heat is at about 300-350 degrees, or medium heat, pop the pizzas back on and close your grill lid. Check on them every couple minutes and once your cheese is melted and toppings are cooked, this will probably take about 5-7 minutes, remove from the grill and enjoy!

Quick notes

*** If you have access to fresh, delicious, flavorful tomatoes you should definitely make your own sauce. Here’s a rough guide: Chop up 1-3 cloves of garlic. Chop up a few tomatoes (about a pound). Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat, add garlic, cook, being careful not to burn, for about 30 seconds to a minute until it becomes fragrant. Add tomatoes and their juices and a generous pinch of sugar, some salt and freshly ground pepper. If you like spicy, add some red pepper flakes. Let this cook, bubbling and reducing, for about 10 minutes until it’s nice and thick. Stir in a little sliced basil and remove from the heat.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)


Meet Melissa, Our Youngest Attendee!

This is Melissa, she is six years old and in kindergarten, and she came to our Summer Entertaining class on Friday night with her mom and grandmother. A fan of the food network, when she found out they were coming to a cooking class Melissa said, “What about me? I like to cook and eat. I promise I’ll behave!” She tried everything we made (even a spicy jalapeno popper) and after dinner she came in the kitchen to help me cut the cake! It was a lot of fun having Melissa in class and we can’t wait to see her again!

Melissa, 6, with her Blueberry Lemon Layer Cake.

Melissa, 6, with her Blueberry Lemon Layer Cake.

Two Ways with Summer Greens

On Saturday I was at the Longview Center for Agriculture in Collegeville, PA demonstrating two quick and delicious ways to prepare the nutritious, versatile leafy greenery hitting farm stands near you in hearty abundance as spring turns to summer. The Farm Market at Longview features a wonderful selection of their own organic produce as well as a wide array of locally produced dairy products, meat, baked goods and other such items.

The Farm Market at Longview Center for Agriculture

The Farm Market at Longview Center for Agriculture

In recent years these healthy vegetables have become pretty trendy, and for good reason. Menus and recipes are increasingly featuring vitamin-packed and satisfying Kale and Swiss Chard, and you may also notice a plethora of fresh Collard Greens and Bok Choy in your local farm markets and grocery stores this summer.  If these are new ingredients for you I suggest you try them! The following recipes are suitable for any of the aforementioned greens.

Farm Fresh Kale, Bok Choy and Swiss Chard

Farm Fresh Kale, Bok Choy and Swiss Chard

A few notes on preparation: each variety of these leafy veggies can be prepped for cooking in basically the same way – you want to remove not only the stems but also the center stalk if it is prominent and cut these reedy sections it into thick matchsticks, except for Bok Choy – I like to cut Bok Choy stalks into bigger chunks since they are more tender than the stems of the other greens (if you find some nice Baby Bok Choy you can just cut each section in half and leave the leaves on the stems). Then slice the green leaves into strips, sometimes I even roll them up and cut them in a thick chiffonade. Keep the stalks and greens separate as you will want to add them at different times during the cooking process.

My demo station at The Farm Market.

My demo station at The Farm Market.


These recipes are both guidelines that should easily be integrated into your recipe-less cooking routine – the measurements are approximate, feel free to adjust them according to your tastes and the size of your bunch of greens!

Recipe: Sesame Garlic Stir-Fried Greens

Summary: This recipe is wonderful with Bok Choy, Swiss Chard or Kale.


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 bunch leafy greens, preferably locally sourced and organic, separated into stems and leaves and chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil


  1. Add vegetable oil to wok or large sauté pan over medium-high heat; when it is just “smoking” add garlic and cook until it releases its aroma, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add stems to pan and cook, stirring vigorously so that garlic doesn’t burn, until stems begin to soften and brighten in color.
  3. Add leaves and cook, stirring, until they are wilted.
  4. Liberally season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove pan from heat, toss with sesame oil, and serve at once.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)



Recipe: Vinegar Braised Greens with Bacon

Summary: A delicious way to prepare Kale, Collards and other heartier greens.


  • 2 thick slices high-quality bacon, cut into strips (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced (optional)
  • 1 bunch leafy greens, preferably locally sourced and organic, separated into stems and leaves and chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar (Tarragon, apple cider, white or red wine vinegar all work nicely)


  1. Add strips of bacon to wok or large sauté pan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned.
  2. If a decent amount of fat is rendered off the bacon, pour off all but 1 Tbsp. If not, add enough olive oil so you have about 1 Tbsp of fat in the pan.
  3. Add garlic, if using, and allow to cook until it becomes fragrant, stirring, about 30 seconds, then add stems from the greens. Cook, stirring continuously so garlic does not burn, until stems become brighter in color and tender.
  4. Add leaves, followed by vinegar, stir to combine and deglaze the pan, then reduce the heat and allow to cook 1-5 minutes* until greens are wilted and soft.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Quick notes

*Bok Choy requires less cooking time than Kale or Swiss Chard, and Collards need the most.

**For my favorite breakfast ever, add some 1/8” diced sweet potatoes once the bacon has begun to cook, then continue with the garlic once the sweet potatoes have begun to brown. Omit vinegar. Top with a fried or poached egg and have a wonderful morning!)

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)


I will be at Longview Farm Market again on Saturday, June 8 from 10-11:30 am.

Spring Vegetable Dip

This elegant but indulgently delicious dip get its edge from goat cheese and fresh spring vegetables. Think of it as Spinach Artichoke Dip with pizzazz – it’s sure to please crowds and would be a nice addition to any dinner party, Easter table or potluck this season.

The creamy cheddar and goat cheese base is also a versatile vehicle for whatever other ingredients you’d like to use in the dip, for instance you could easily substitute summer vegetables – such as zucchini and corn – for the spring vegetables, or try sun-dried tomatoes, peppers and sauteed red onion with feta instead of goat cheese, and you’ll have a delightful Mediterranean dip! Also, as the seasons change, feel free to swap out the herbs for any that you have on hand.

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Recipe: Spring Vegetable Dip

Summary: This elegant and versatile dip is a sure crowd pleaser!


  • 1 cup ¾” pieces asparagus, tips reserved
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup chopped leeks
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1¼ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup grated mild white cheddar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 14-oz. can chopped artichoke hearts in water, drained
  • ¼ cup fresh or thawed frozen peas or shelled edamame
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • ½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Cook asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain; let cool.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes. Whisk in flour, gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened; remove from heat.
  4. Add cheddar; whisk until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Fold in asparagus (reserve tips), artichoke hearts, peas, chives, mint, flat-leaf parsley, lemon zest and 2 oz. of the goat cheese.
  6. Transfer mixture to a 4-5 cup baking dish, arrange asparagus spears on top and dot with another 2 oz. goat cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 15-20 minutes.
  7. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Warm Chocolate Raspberry Cake

This cake is just amazing. Sometimes all of the food we make at The Cooking Cottage blurs together and specific dishes can be difficult to remember – not this cake, which we’d made in the fall for a private party, and all very much looked forward to all day leading up to class when we made it again last Friday night at Entertain with Style.

It is a perfect cake for entertaining. Luscious, moist and delicious and it actually “frosts” itself, thanks to melted chocolate chips in the bottom of the pan, and it couldn’t be easier to serve. You can make it ahead of time and let it stay in the pan on your counter, or keep it in its pan and bring it along to a party. When you are ready for dessert, pop it back in the oven for about 10 minutes, invert onto a serving plate and you’re ready to go! We recommend garnishing with fresh raspberries… A little vanilla ice cream wouldn’t hurt, either.
Happy Baking!

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Recipe: Warm Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Summary: So delicious – guaranteed to impress!


  • 3-oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips work well)
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam (if your jam is seeded, warm it up and run it through a sieve to remove seeds)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp baking cocoa
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup seedless raspberry jam
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Raspberries to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the chocolate, ½ cup jam and the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until smooth.
  3. Pour into a buttered 9-inch cake pan.
  4. Combine the cocoa and water in a bowl and mix well.
  5. Add the milk, vanilla and ⅓ cup jam and mix well.
  6. Cream the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  8. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  9. Add to the creamed mixture alternatively with the jam mixture beating well after each addition.
  10. Pour evenly over the chocolate mixture in the cake pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
  11. Cool in the pan for 10 to 12 minutes.
  12. Run a knife around the edge and invert onto a serving platter.
  13. Let stand, covered, at room temperature in the cake pan. Garnish with raspberries.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

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