Author Archives: entertainingbythebay

Lemon Posset

blog lemon posset

Here is a perfect summer dessert both simple and delicious. It takes just minutes to make and then several hours in the refrigerator, using only three ingredients: cream , sugar and lemon. This yummy treat has the texture and consistency of a silky pudding. I consider this is a virtual food magic trick. So intrigued by the results, I did a little on line research to learn about possets. The name posset which seems to be a reference to the small saucepan they are prepared in, first appeared in Britain during the 15th century. In those days a posset was a hot beverage of curdled milk mixed with wine or ale, often spiced. By the 16th century, the recipe evolved to cream, sugar and citrus juice. With refrigeration, the posset evolved to a cold dessert. I suggest you try this recipe soon and enjoy the pleasures of a simple lemon posset. 

From by the bay, wishing you lemony food memories!

Lemon Posset
Serves 6
Ingredients3 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups granulated fine sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

In a medium sauce pan add the cream and 1 1/4 cups sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Pour into 6 ramekins. Refrigerate until set, at least 5 hours. To serve mix the lemon zest and sugar together to top each portion.

Ideas for serving Lemon Posset:
1. with fresh berries
2. with whipped cream
3. with cookies – such as shortbread or amaretti
4. with a berry sauce, such as blueberry or raspberry

Watermelon Lemonade

blog watermelon lemonade

In the dead heat of the summer, nothing is more refreshing than an icy cold fruit drink. Lemonade is  the most traditional of these beverages. Considered the quintessential American drink, it’s made with a simple syrup of sugar and water  mixed with more water and lemon juice. By adding other fruit purees you can make all kinds of variations . My favorite is watermelon lemonade, the ultimate refreshment. With the height of summer upon us, have an ice cold pitcher ready to serve to quench your thirst. 

From by the bay , wishing you refreshing food memories!

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Watermelon Lemonade
4 cups watermelon, cubed without the rind
4 cups cold water
1/2 cup fine granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
In a  food processor add the watermelon with 2 cups of water and puree. Strain into a bowl. In a medium sauce pan make a simple syrup by bringing the sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved remove from heat . Add to the water melon mixture with the remaining water and lemon juice. Mix Well. Place in a jar and refrigerate until cold before serving.Serving options:
1. with a splash of vodka for a hard lemonade
2. with a splash of sparkling water
3. with a sprig of mint or basil
4. with sparkling wine
5. with some berries
6. Freeze into a slush or popsicle

Feta, Mint and Lamb Burger with Herb Yogurt Dressing

blog lamb burger

My mom is of Greek heritage. One of her many great pleasures in life includes being an active member in the local Greek church. The church has an annual outdoor summer festival, which recently got rained out on opening night. My mom missed the festival and another opportunity to enjoy some  greek food because of torrential rain. So when mom came to visit this past weekend, I decided to make a greek style barbecue. The burgers were made of ground lamb mixed with feta, mint and a nice amount of lemon juice. My yogurt dressing was filled with fresh leafy herbs from the garden. The burgers were a big hit with mom and we had perfect weather too!

From by the bay wishing you some greek food memories!


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Feta, Mint and Lamb Burger with Herb Yogurt Dressing

Serves 4

1 ¾ lb ground lamb

2 teaspoons lemon juice

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 soft rolls, split and toasted


In a large bowl combine lamb, lemon juice, feta cheese, mint and salt and pepper. Make 4 patties. Brush the outside of the patties with olive oil on both sides. Preheat grill. Grill approximately 5 minutes on each side or until well done. Place burger on ciabiatta roll along with lettuce, roasted red onion and herb yogurt dressing.


Herb Yogurt Dressing

6 ounces greek yogurt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoon fresh mint

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


Place all ingredients in a food processor, blend well. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Maple- Glazed Peanuts and Bacon

I was wandering through the Food Hall in Grand Central Terminal and happened upon these beautifully packaged and very addictive tasting peanuts! They are from ” The Redhead” Restaurant in Manhattan They are without a doubt the perfect combination of sweet and salty, and then you add bacon and well this is one perfected recipe. Fortuantely, it seems as if the recipe was shared with Food and Wine and Meg Grace, who I think is a fantastic contributor. Now you can head to Murray’s Cheese Shop in Grand Central and buy these tasty little morsels or you can make them just as easily. I suggest using a great quality thick cut bacon – such  as one using bershire pork and if your tastes lean to the spicy side like mine do, I increased the about of Old Bay Seasoning from 3/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon. The menu at “The Redhead” reads ” because everything is better with bacon” and isn’t that so true!

From by the bay wishing you tasty food memories, with bacon please!

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Maple- Glazed Peanuts and Bacon
Recipe from “The Redhead” restaurant published in Food and Wine by Meg Grace
Makes about 4 cups

1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 cups unsalted roasted peanuts ( 1 pound)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
3 thick slices of bacon , 3 ounces ( note I use a little more)
1 tablespoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt such as Maldon Salt

Preheat oven to 325 degree F. In a medium skillet , cook the bacon over modrate heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool. Finely, chop the bacon into small pieces. In a medium bowl mix together the thyme, fine sea salt, Old Bay, cayenne and dry mustard. Add the peanuts, maple syrup and bacon and toss until the peanuts are evenly coated. Scrape the nuts onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring at least once, until the maple syrup has thickened. Remove from oven and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Let peanuts cool completely, stirring frequently to break up any large clumps. Transfer the peanuts to a glass jar or a bowl and serve.

Peanuts will last 5 days when stored in an airtight container – but these are SO GOOD, it’s not likely to last!

Iceberg Lettuce Salad with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

It’s interesting to sometimes look back on how your food tastes develop over the year. I grew up eating iceberg lettuce – it was on everything and it was a garnish on many a plate I ate in restaurants. As I grew up and discovered all the other lettuces available, it was easy to toss iceberg lettuce to the side and never touch it again. I recently rediscovered this misunderstood lettuce. There is nothing like a cold crisp iceberg lettuce salad on a warm day topped especially topped with this creamy blue cheese dressing and shards of crumbled bacon tossed on top. I like this buttermilk and greek yogurt dressing, both are low fat so its lighter in calories but not light on flavor. I try to use a good quality blue cheese and bacon for the recipe. I used for my dressing Jasper Hill Farms Bayley Hazen Blue and nice thick Berkshire bacon. If your food journey has taken you away from iceberg lettuce, give it another try!
From by the bay wishing you crisp food memories.
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Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

Serves 4

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
In a medium size bowl add all dressings ingredients, except the blue cheese and whisk together until smooth. Next fold in the crumbled blue cheese.  Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Serve with lettuce, tomatoes or use as a dressing on cold sliced roast beef or top a grilled hamburger.
Iceberg Lettuce Salad with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing
Serves 4
1 recipe Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing
1 head medium iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 wedges
4 slices thick bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons chives, minced
To assemble the salad place each wedge of iceberg on a plate, top with buttermilk blue cheese dressing. Sprinkle the top of each wedge with crumbled bacon and chives. Serve immediately.

Maple, Toasted Coconut and Pecan Granola

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With the warm weather outdoors and the longer days, I’m up early ready to go. It could be an early morning jog, an afternoon hike or taking a few photos at dusk along the water. When I get back to the house, it’s time for a quick breakfast or snack. This granola is perfect for both. It’s so easy to make a quick batch of this granola and keep at hand for a  multitude of uses from breakfast to dessert. I’ve listed below the recipe a few ideas, and I’m sure you can think of a few yourself. The toasted coconut along with the pumpkin and sunflower seeds, make this granola especially versatile. If you haven’t tried to make your own granola this is the recipe to start with, it’s so easy.  Just toss everything into a bowl , mix and spread onto your baking sheet. How easy is that ? What are you waiting for???From by the bay, wishing  you simple and delicious food memories!

Maple, Toasted Coconut and Pecan Granola

3 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup pepita (pumpkin) seeds, unsalted
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup shredded  or flaked coconut
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon fine sea salt


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl, combine well. On a parchment lined sheet spread ingredients in 1 layer. Bake for 50 minutes until brown stirring every ten minutes until mixture is browned. Remove from oven and cool granola. Keep in airtight container. It should keep about one week.

Here’s a couple of ideas for using this granola:

1. For breakfast with some tangy greek yogurt and or fruit

2. Make your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and replace the chips with granola

3. Make a fruit crisp and replace the quantities for oatmeal and nuts with granola

4. Add dried fruit and some raw almonds to make a trail mix
5. Add on top of  hot oatmeal for a little needed crunch

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Raisin Pound Cake

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As I was thinking about what to write for my Mother’s Day blog, I decided to look through my Grandmother’s recipes. I love looking at the tattered, fragile pieces of paper, remembering the recipe, the family gathered for some occasion or just an ordinary day made special with the love that comes along with the food. The recipes are all hand written, many of them just a list of ingredients mostly for baking. I figured this is all Grandma needed if that, it’s in baking that you need the precise measurements. Most of Grandma’s recipes were committed to memory. Each time I try a recipe it’s requires a bit of work for me to figure out the technique to transform the ingredients in the recipe. So as I was looking through the recipes, I found this recipe for raisin cake. I have no idea the origin of the recipe, but what I do know that making the cake for my sister and mother while working on this blog, we not only enjoyed the cake but all the memories that came along with it.
From by the bay , wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day making your own special memories.
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Raisin Pound Cake
Unsalted butter and unbleached all-purpose flour or baking spray for the tube pan
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound raisins
1 cup (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
confectioner’s sugar, to dust on top of cake


Thoroughly butter the bottom and sides of a tube cake pan then coat the sides of the pan with flour, shaking out the excess or spray the sides of the pan with a baking spray.

Make the cake: In a saucepan add raisins and water until the raisins are just covered and bring to a boil. Strain raisins, discarding liquid and cool in a bowl.  After raisins have cooled, add 2 tablespoons of flour to coat the raisins. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside. In an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually, beating until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in the lemon and orange zest. Alternately, add the flour and milk , then the raisins. Pour batter into the greased tube pan. Place on a baking sheet and bake cake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a tester comes out of the cake clean. Place tube on baking rack until cool. Use a knife to loosen sides and remove outer rim. Loosen cake around the tube. Take a sheet of parchment paper slightly larger then the cake and cut a hole in the middle to place tube through. Flip cake over into the parchment paper carefully.  Place on top of cake stand. Put the confectioner’s sugar in a sieve and dust the surface of the cake lightly with it. Serve.

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with Honey Butter

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It’s a perfect spring sunday morning by the bay and I’m planning on heading to the beach for the “Annual Car Show”, featuring  a wide variety of vintage cars.  The very thought of the show had me thinking of classics, so I decided on another classic for breakfast my buttermilk pancakes. Much like the enthusiasts who breath new life into these vintage cars, I decided to update my classic recipe with some new ingredients, like lemon juice and zest along with poppy seeds and the results were fantastic. Set the stage for enjoying your next weekend with these delicious pancakes!

From by the bay, wishing you great classic food memories!

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Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with Honey Butter
Serves 4-6

11/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

2 tablespoons fine granulated sugar

1 tablespoons lemon zest
2 cups buttermilk

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs, at room temperature, separated keep egg white in separate bowl

In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds and mix. To this add lemon zest and sugar. To the dry ingredients add the wet ingredients the buttermilk, lemon juice and egg yolks and combine- do not over mix. Batter will be a little lumpy. Take the bowl with egg whites and use an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks. Fold egg whites with rubber spatula into the batter. Set aside for 20 minutes. Spray a griddle pan with cooking spray and heat.  Spread 1/4 cup of batter for each cake, cook  approximately two minutes on the first side, the pancake will just start to bubble slightly on the outer edges and flip and cook another minute. Place on baking sheet and keep warm in oven until all cakes are made and ready to serve. Serve with honey butter and maple syrup.

Honey Butter

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon honey

To butter add honey and combine well.

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Ricotta, Pea and Prosciutto Pizza

I’ve gone pea wild! I love spring when fresh peas start to show up in abundance. I was shopping in my favorite food market and found both english peas and sugar snap peas. Of course I couldn’t decide on which to buy, so I bought both and decided to celebrate with a little pea fest in the kitchen. First up is this yummy pizza, make with 3 cheeses and then topped with peas and ham one of those perfect duets in food. I opted for the italian version of this combo and used prosciutto. I wanted to kept the peas fresh, crisp  and vibrant green so I decided to blanch them and toss then over the pizza once it came out of the hot oven. The last touch is grating some fresh lemon zest on top to brighten all the flavors. This is a pizza you’ll want to try as soon as you find some fresh peas, but if you can’t find fresh peas, you can blanch some frozen baby peas and they will work just as well. Enjoy!
From by the bay wishing you pea green food memories!
blog pea pizza
Ricotta, Pea and Prosciutto Pizza

no-knead pizza dough for one pizza ( see recipe below)
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded or cut into small cubes
1/4 cup grated parimigano reggiano
2 -3 slices San Daniele proscuitto, in strips
1/4 cup fresh spring peas
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
coarse sea saltDirections
Make pizza as directed below. Blanch peas, by tossing into boiling water for 1 minutes, then strain the peas and place in ice water to stop cooking. Once cooled, strain and dry and set aside as a pizza topping. Once pizza dough is rolled out top with ricotta, mozzarella, grated cheese and strips of prosciutto. Bake as directed. Before serving sprinkle with peas, lemon zest and some coarse sea salt. Serve immediately.

No-Knead Pizza Dough
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Co., as featured on “Tasting Table” 
Makes four 12-inch pizza crusts
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast (such as SAF brand)
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups water

1. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the yeast and salt. Add the water and stir until blended (the dough will be very sticky). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 12 to 24 hours in a warm spot, about 70°.
2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and lightly sprinkle the top with flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Generously sprinkle a clean cotton towel with flour and cover the dough balls with it. Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
4. Stretch or toss the dough into the desired shape, cover with toppings and bake on top of a very hot pizza stone or on a oiled baking sheet in a 500 degree F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes until dough is cripsy and golden brown.

Co., 230 Ninth Ave. (at 24th St.); 212-243-1105 or

Brazilian Cheese Puffs

Last month , I was headed into another early morning meeting at work. I had the good fortune to be meeting with someone who is very thoughtful. That morning , she welcomed me with a delightful treat, two delicious brazilian cheese puffs. This was my first time tasting this yummy, light and airy bread. They are crispy on the outside and soft and cheesy on the inside. When I arrived home by the bay that weekend, my sister Nancy welcomed me with the same little treat. Amazing to spend your whole life unaware of something so good and then you experience it twice in one week . I knew then, i needed to figure out to make these little breads myself. So this is the recipe and technique that worked best for me. It’s a hybrid of  several recipes I tried. You can make these in a large size and serve for breakfast ( do adjust the baking time if you do that) or make them in a small bite size as an appetizer to serve along with your favorite wine or cocktail. These are pretty easy to make and definitely worth the time and effort. 

From by the bay, wishing you cheesy food memories!


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Brazilian Cheese Puffs

2 cups tapioca flour*
1 cup milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 stick
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
* Tapioca Flour can be found at specialty markets such as Whole Foods or Asian markets and is also called manioc starch or tapioca starch.
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced



 Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium sauce pan, bring the milk, salt, and butter to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once  the mixture starts to boil remove from heat. Slowly add tapioca flour, stirring constantly until thoroughly mixed.  The dough will be somewhat gummy at this point. Transfer the dough to a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachement. Beat the dough for a few minutes until it smooths out.  Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and add into the dough 1/2 at a time . Make sure the egg is incorporated into the dough before adding the rest of the egg. With the mixer on medium, beat in the cheese and rosemary until incorporated. Round out the dough onto the parchment lined baking sheet into little mounds spaced apart about 2 inches. Approximately 10 per tray. Place in the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 350 degrees F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. They will puff, look dry on the outside and start to turn color. Cool slightly and eat warm.Cooked puffs can be stored, in the fridge as long as it’s kept covered and then reheat in the microwave.
note: I like to mixed my parmesan cheese 1/2 grated and 1/2 shredded for a little more texture. You can also use thyme in place of rosemary or add some mixed garlic in place of the herbs. If you like things spicy, substitute the parmesan cheese for cheddar and replace the rosemary with minced fresh jalapeno.
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