blueberry bourbon sour

Blueberries make me think of summer — hot, sticky days spent at my Grandparents’ house in Cape Cod, picking plump berries from the blueberry bushes that lined their walkway. Finding the bluest, sweetest ones before the birds was always a challenge, but the effort was worth it. Even the slightly underripe berries, with the tinge of green that lingered by their stem, were a welcomed, tart treat.

Though blueberries are not in season in the Northeast over the winter months, I find them to be such a festive berry to use over the holidays — and thankfully they are easy to find in the freezer and fresh from South America all winter long. Their seasonal versatility ensures that they always have a spot at the table — whether in a sauce for a roasted pork loin or folded into buttery pastry dough and baked into a galette. 

In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, I’m sharing a recipe for a blueberry cocktail — one that’s festive enough to be worthy of a spot at your next party, but also simple enough to enjoy over a cozy night in. It has all the tartness of a traditional sour, with a subtle sweetness from blueberries and warming notes of bourbon and dark brown sugar. I really encourage you to give it a try, even if you aren’t the biggest bourbon fan. 

This post is sponsored by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, but as always, all opinions are my own. You can find my recipe on their website, here. Enjoy!


if (!window.AdButler){(function(){var s = document.createElement(“script”); s.async = true; s.type = “text/javascript”;s.src = ‘’;var n = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; n.parentNode.insertBefore(s, n);}());}

var AdButler = AdButler || {}; = || [];
var abkw = window.abkw || ”;
var plc216822 = window.plc216822 || 0;
document.write(”);{handler: function(opt){ AdButler.register(166318, 216822, [640,200], ‘placement_216822_’, opt); }, opt: { place: plc216822++, keywords: abkw, domain: ‘’, click:’CLICK_MACRO_PLACEHOLDER’ }});

And for another blueberry-inspired cocktail, give this blueberry bellini a try!

citrus + fennel winter salad

citrus + fennel winter salad

This salad is so simple, yet so good that I’ve already made it twice this week. Its flavors are clean and bright, making it an especially nice pairing with the otherwise heavy, slow-cooked dishes of the winter. Better yet, it will be on the table in just around 15 minutes, including the time it takes to toast the nuts. I find that macadamia nuts are really worth using here — they have a rich, toasty sweetness that other nuts simply cannot replicate. You should be able to find them in the self-serve bins at any specialty market. 

The best thing about this salad is how versatile it is. If you have leftovers and are looking for something a bit heartier, like I was the other day, try adding some chopped Tuscan Kale and a spoonful of tahini to the dressing. Enjoy!


1/2 cup whole macadamia nuts

1 white grapefruit

1 blood orange

1 small bulb of fennel

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the macadamia nuts in a single layer on a sheet pan. Toast in the oven, shaking the pan periodically, until browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cool, chop coarsely.

While the nuts are toasting, cut the top and bottom from the grapefruit and rest it on end. Run a sharp knife down the sides of the fruit, starting at its top and following its curve to the bottom, to remove the skin and pith and expose the fruit. Once you have completely removed the skin, cut the grapefruit into supremes by slicing into the fruit in between each membrane, until you’ve removed all of its segments. Squeeze the leftover membrane into a bowl to catch any juice and reserve. Repeat process with the blood orange.

Remove the fennel tops from the bulb. Reserve a few fronds for garnish and discard the stems (or save for vegetable broth)! Using a mandolin on its thinnest setting, slice the bulb into fine shavings. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the reserved grapefruit juice with the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

In a large bowl, gently toss the grapefruit and orange supremes and fennel shavings. Dress lightly with the vinaigrette. Garnish with the chopped, toasted macadamia nuts and fennel fronds.

cauliflower + parsnip soup

Around this time of year, I can think of no better way to spend a day than standing over a slowly simmering pot of soup. For me, it’s a way to unwind. I find calm in watching the steam rise in lazy curls from the pot, and of bowing my head over them to inhale deeply. Nothing is hurried, nothing sudden. There is no urgency, no pressure.

After a particularly demanding week in culinary school, I longed for this slowness in the kitchen, and set out to make a soup that would be as comforting to prepare as it would be to enjoy. A couple heads of cauliflower and a handful of parsnips promised a simple, yet warming combination of autumnal flavors. To that I added some thyme and bay leaves, which released their herbaceous and lively aromas as they simmered along with the vegetables. After cooking, I added a touch of heavy cream and sweet, roasted garlic for richness and depth.  All in all, a mere seven ingredients flavor this dish – each one working together with the next to complement and balance, yet also receiving the attention it deserves.

cauliflower + parsnip soup

Like all of the soups I love, this soup demands nothing. There are no elaborate cooking techniques, no unique ingredients – just a simple, wholesome combination of cauliflower, parsnips, and roasted garlic. The perfect dish to curl up with on a chilly fall day.



4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 1/2 cups chopped white onion (about 2 small onions)

2 heads cauliflower, greens removed

2 pounds of parsnips (about 4 medium-large), peeled and ends trimmed

3 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus leaves for garnish

2 bay leaves

2 heads of garlic

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish

1 cup heavy cream

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a heavy-bottomed large dutch oven or stock pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the chopped onions and sweat, stirring occasionally, until translucent and just beginning to brown on the edges, about 10 – 15 minutes.

While the onions cook, prepare the cauliflower and parsnips: remove the greens from the stems of the cauliflower and cut the stems into 1-inch sized chunks. Separate the heads into florets. Reserve 2 heaping cups of the florets and set aside. Add the rest of the cauliflower to a large bowl. Peel the parsnips and cut into 1-inch sized pieces. Add the parsnips to the bowl with the cauliflower.

Once the onions are translucent, add the parsnips and cauliflower and increase the heat to medium. Cook for 15 minutes, until vegetables are just beginning to brown on the edges. Add 8 cups of water, the thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, prepare the garlic and roasted cauliflower garnish: Separate the reserved 2 heaping cups of florets into even smaller florets. Spread evenly in one layer on a sheet pan. Cut the garlic heads in half horizontally, keeping the peels on, and arrange next to the cauliflower. Drizzle everything with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt. Transfer to the preheated oven and roast. After about 25 – 30 minutes, once cauliflower is browned, remove from the pan and set aside. Allow garlic to continue roasting for an additional 10 – 15 minutes until soft and browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Once soup has simmered for 45 minutes and the vegetables are tender, remove from heat. Carefully remove the bay leaves and sprigs of thyme (the leaves will have fallen off by this point) and discard. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the peels into the soup, being careful not to get any peels into the pot. Working in batches, or with an immersion blender, puree the soup until completely smooth. If using a blender, transfer the soup back to the pot after its pureed to rewarm. 

Add the heavy cream and adjust the seasoning to taste (I added 3 teaspoons of salt and a few cracks of black pepper). If soup is too thick for your liking, you can add a bit of water at this point (though I didn’t need to).

Serve the soup in bowls and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle roasted cauliflower florets and thyme leaves over the top as garnish.


yield: approximately 3 quarts of soup; serves 6

beet and egg toast

Winter seems to be lingering a little longer than usual around here. I felt my heart sink a bit as we descended onto a snow covered ground on Saturday after a week in Utah, where the sun had already shaken its Winter gloom. Shades of brown and gray replaced the brilliant blue sky we had reluctantly left only hours before. “We’re beginning our descent into New York City — the skies are partly cloudy, and the temperature is 38 degrees Fahrenheit.” 

The doors of the airport opened to a burst of frigid air and I pulled my jacket tighter than I had in the past week, cringing against the sting of the cold and the persistent bitterness. My hopes of returning to warmer weather quietly slipped away. New York was just as we’d left it. 

Every Winter around here seems to last a bit too long — around the end of March, I’ve forgotten what it feels like to step outside without bracing myself and to leave the house without the burden of layers. This Winter in particular though has tried my patience more so than other years. As I reluctantly slid from the covers of our bed this morning, I thought to myself — I can’t take one more day of this. I’m not sure what makes this year seem worse than others, but I feel myself resenting the cold and lack of color more than I ever have. Rather than a gift, Spring feels like a necessity at this point. 

I have a feeling I might not be the only one feeling this way, so, in the spirit of chasing this gray away, I thought I’d share a bit of color — in the form of deep, robust pinks, bright yellows, and a touch of green. Here’s to colorful and brighter days ahead.

beet + egg toast

Toast is my go-to breakfast. It’s the perfect vehicle for so many different flavors. My usual is a smear of cream cheese with avocado, but this makes for a special alternative. Creamy neufchâtel cheese, earthy beets, and fruity olive oil make a great combination of flavors.



1 beet (any variety) – *see note

pinch of salt

2 eggs

2 pieces of whole grain bread, lightly toasted

1/2 of a lemon

neufchâtel cheese

drizzle of high quality extra virgin olive oil

ricotta cheese or farmer’s cheese, for garnish

fresh dill, for garnish

flaked sea salt, for garnish

*note: while I only used the equivalent of 1 beet for this recipe [to serve 2], I boiled 6 in a large stockpot and used multiple varieties on the toast. I used the leftover boiled beets throughout the week – for more toast, salads, sandwiches, etc. I even reserved the water that the beets had cooked in and Henry used it for smoothies. 


First prepare the beets: wash and remove greens. Place in a stockpot or saucepan [depending on how many beets you are making] and fill with water until beets are just covered. Throw in the 1/2 of lemon and a big pinch of salt.

Bring to a boil over high heat, and reduce to medium heat [water should be boiling, but not at a screaming boil]. Boil until beets are fork tender — about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the beets. Drain, reserving a small bowlful of the water, and set beets aside until cool enough to handle. *you can reserve all of the water, if you wish. It makes for delicious smoothies.

Meanwhile, place 2 eggs in a small saucepan and fill with water until eggs are just covered. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove from heat and cover. Let eggs sit in the hot water, covered, for 8 minutes. Immediately plunge eggs into ice water. Once cool enough to handle, peel them and place in the reserved beet water [this step is completely optional — it just adds a bit of color to the eggs and makes for a nice presentation].

Once beets are cooled, scrape off skins with a pairing knife or the back of a spoon. Slice 1 beet into 1/4-inch medallions [and, if you’ve made a batch of beets, refrigerate the rest for another use].

Remove eggs from beet water and slice into medallions. Spread a smear of neufchâtel cheese over both pieces of toast, top with slices of beets and eggs and crumbles of ricotta or farmer’s cheese. Drizzle with high quality extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with flaked salt. Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill and serve.