Blog / Recipes

Recipes to share, tinker with, improvise, and make your own

Hot Chocolate

Ahhh…Swiss Miss. That’s what you got when you were out and asked for a hot chocolate in the “sad old days” of hot chocolate in America. Overly sweet, mediocre cocoa and powdered milk mixed with hot water—WATER?!!! Some people must love it or not know better because it’s still around. I say, “To each his own.”

Harlem Taught Grandma To Cook Southern Style Greens Until She Forgot

As much as I have fun inventing dishes, there are some dishes where I consider tradition sacred. Collard Greens which can include mustard greens, turnip greens or any combination of the three are always cooked with smoked pork, rutabagas, garlic and olive oil just like my Jamaican grandmother used to make them. I have no traditional American Southern roots except for those that my grandmother picked up in Harlem where she learned to cook as well as her mother who didn’t even teach her to boil water.

The Diva That Made Pine Nut Cookies

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - The Diva That Made Pine Nut Cookies

Memories… light the corners of my mouth…

This is a treat directly from my New York City childhood. Back in the stone age, the West Village was dotted with Italian bakeries (there were a ton of them, but most are gone now). All of them sold Pine Nut Cookies aka Pignoli Nut Cookies (and rainbow cookies, also almond based—I think I’ve always been an almond paste freak!) and I LOVED THEM!

As the years rolled by, there seemed to be less and less pine nuts in these cookies as the price of pine nuts went up and up.  But I recently got a “deal” on them.

The Diva That Made Salumi’d, Spinach’d & Shallot’d Potato Stuffing

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - The Diva That Made Salumi’d, Spinach’d & Shallot’d Potato Stuffing

Let’s Eat Potatoes and Dance! (sung to the tune of Let’s Face The Music And Dance)

I’m really loving losing weight by going 90% gluten free… without a lick of exercise. BUT, I wouldn’t want to have to cook a gluten free Thanksgiving dinner. I gave up most of the gluten when I returned from my trip to Alaska in September.

I’m not allergic, but having the weight fall off and eating less white flour and sugar could only be a good thing.

The Diva That Made Nougat

Nougat has always been a mystery food. I’d see it in the store, love the look of it, but never think about making it. Then I had the most amazing nougat at Baker D. Chirico, in St. Kilda, in Melbourne, Australia about eight years ago. It was soft and with delicious honey notes and nuts. It had a touch of chewiness—with no possibility of pulling out your fillings. It made me curious about how it’s made, but I decided it was magic—you ever do that?

I filed the memory in my mind. An Aussie friend of mine brought me the Baker D. Chirico nougat when she visited me in New York five years ago. And I think that’s the last time I had any of the good stuff.

When I recently saw a Belgian nougat shaped like a cake topped with fruit at Sahadi’s on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, I decided I had to try it. Plus it’s gluten free, so it fits my new low gluten lifestyle choice.

The Diva That Made Pickled Cherries

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - The Diva That Made Pickled Cherries

Gotta love cherry season! There’s nothing like munching on a big bowl of those fresh beauties!

I had a cherry-based dessert at Gotham Bar & Grill recently. I remember thinking that it would have been better with sour cherries because sweet cherries lack the deep cherry flavor and tang that I love.

That got me thinking about adding the tang back into sweet cherries. What if you made them a little sour by pickling them? As it turned out, they are STUNNING!  PLUS, you get to have cherries in the winter.

The Diva That Made Bhangin’ Chutney: Spicy Pineapple Chutney

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - The Diva That Made Bhangin’ Chutney: Spicy Pineapple Chutney

I got fruit glut. Being in the chocolate events business I often find myself with leftover fruits from my chocolate fountain rentals.

I secretly hoped I would have a lot of leftover pineapple so I could make pineapple chutney from it.

The other day I got LUCKY! I did a last minute launch event for a new start up No More Rack—another deal website and wound up with a pineapple windfall.

I had this idea about curry and pineapple and it turns out that pineapple chutney is a popular dish that’s made as a fresh chutney in India, a Bengali Dish. I made a recipe that I canned.

It kinda does a dance on your tongue so I call it Bhangin’ Chutney after the Bhangra dancing that became so popular world-wide.

The Diva That Made StrawBBQ Sauce

I HATE STRAWBERRIES! Yes, I said it!

Unless they are organic, sweet and juicy perfect strawberries.

I have been in the chocolate fountains and chocolate events business since 2003.  Nobody knows the strawberries I’ve seen. I have dipped until I dropped and I’m over even looking at them.

I’m also not a jam gal. Not so big on the sweets. But I love my condiments: relishes, chutneys, chili jams, etc. anything savory.

However I do wind up with strawberry leftovers and rather than try to give them away (Yes, picture me running after strangers with containers of strawberries), I’ve tasked myself with finding savory ways to cook them.