Improvised Life » recipes http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 08:50:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Street Entrepeneur Crab Man Mike + Our Faux Aioli Recipe http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/11/mikes-seafood-boil/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/11/mikes-seafood-boil/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:00:27 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44886

Sally Schneider

While on our NYC stay cation, we'll get a hit of the Maryland shore by stopping by legendary Crab Man Mike's stand in Harlem, where he cooks up batches of crabs, shrimp and lobsters on his rigged propane cooker. We love Mike’s seafood room temperature, dunked in our Faux Aioli (garlic mayonnaise), for an American South/French fusion. Here’s more about the amazing Mike and our recipe.]]>
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Cedar Planked Salmon for the Grill http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/07/cedar-planked-salmon-grill/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/08/07/cedar-planked-salmon-grill/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 00:47:37 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44899

Sally Schneider

Our friend Holton Rower has been learning about cooking salmon on a cedar plank on his Weber grill through trial-and-error, a method we totally endorse.  His first go wasn’t completely successful but it was clear that the cedary smoke is a perfect marriage with salmon. If you don’t have wood coals to cook over, cedar planks are a great way to achieve woodsmoke flavor. Holton learned quickly and his recent try was a huge success. Here’s how he did it (and what he/we learned). (more…)

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Sea Shell Printed Cookies and Pie Crusts http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/25/sea-shell-printed-cookies-pies/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/25/sea-shell-printed-cookies-pies/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 08:29:10 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44557

Catherine Gratwicke

While putting together our post on Sea Shell Salt Cellars the other day, we stumbled on this lovely idea: impressing cookie or pie dough with a small ridged scallop (or other) sea shell. Then we wondered what to we recommend that we KNOW will take the impression? H-m-m-m.

Eh voila! Our friends at Kitchen Repertoire’s Sand Dollar Sables look just perfect… (more…)

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Cherry Season’s Perfect Desserts http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/18/cherry-seasons-perfect-dessert/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/18/cherry-seasons-perfect-dessert/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 08:54:15 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44309

Maria Robledo

We can’t remember a cherry season lasting SO long, with such an abundance of plump cherries. If we owned a restaurant, a bowl of iced cherries would be our featured dessert. (It’s also the perfect, surprising, understated end to a dinner party.) There is little better… …except perhaps (more…)

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3 Sensational Chopped Salads for Summer http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/11/3-sensational-chopped-salads-summer-entertaining/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/11/3-sensational-chopped-salads-summer-entertaining/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 08:10:53 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43758

Maria Robledo

Although you can serve chopped salads year round, they are perfect summer fare. They are easy to make, portable enough for picnics and barbeques and refreshingly juicy in warm weather: salad, vegetable and salsa all rolled into one. They are a wonderful foil for simply-prepared meat, poultry and fish.

Every cuisine seems to have its own version – witness the Moroccan “Gazpacho” and Southeast Asian Slaw included here, along with my version of the classic Chopped Salad from the 21 Club.

The basic premise – chopped or grated vegetables bound by a flavorful dressing – lends itself to easy improvisation. (more…)

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Our Twelve Best 4th of July Recipes (Just in Time) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/03/best-4th-july-recipes/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/03/best-4th-july-recipes/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 08:28:41 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43769

Manny Howard

The city is quiet already, as many people have blown down in preparation for their 4th of July celebrations. In case you need a few ideas while you do your shopping, here’s some of our favorite summer recipes. Most are easy to make; all are delish and perfect for a summer evening, from Mamma Lucia’s Insalata Di Pomodoro to Stout Ice Cream Floats  (one of our all-time most popular posts). (more…)

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Kitchen Repertoire’s Charming, Doable, Delish Recipes http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/27/kitchen-repertoires-charming-doable-delish-recipes/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/27/kitchen-repertoires-charming-doable-delish-recipes/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 07:19:19 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43545

Dana Gallagher

Our old friends from the food world Frances Boswell and Dana Gallagher have teamed up to create a lovely labor-of-love blog called Kitchen Repertoire. Their simple mandate is a breath of fresh air:

We are 20 year veterans of the magazine industry; a food editor and a photographer. We live real lives with kids and families and careers.

Time is short and finding inspiration in the little things makes the day easier.

We hope having a repertoire to pull from will help you find more joy in your day.

(more…)

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Recipe: Fast-and-Furious Peas in their Pod (No Shucking!) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/20/fast-furious-peas-pod-shucking/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/20/fast-furious-peas-pod-shucking/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 08:05:05 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42681

Christopher Hirscheimer

It is peak pea season and we can’t think of a better, easier, more delightful way to eat them than this simple recipe from Canal House Cooking Volume No. 3: Winter & Spring. Unshucked peas-in-their-pods are cooked in a hot cast-iron skillet until blistered. Then you just salt and eat: the perfect hors d’oeuvre for a summer evening.

“The idea is to pull the peas out of the pods with your teeth, just as you would eat an artichoke leaf. The charred bits of the pod and the salt sticks to your lips, flavoring the tender peas.”

(more…)

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A Strawberry from Flower to Fruit (with Recipes) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/13/strawberry-flower-fruit/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/13/strawberry-flower-fruit/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 08:38:04 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42948

(Video link HERE.We recommend turning the music off while you watch this tiny miracle: a strawberry comes into being from flower to fruit.

Since strawberries are in season (and went through such an amazing process of becoming), we’re going to the farmer’s market to buy some REAL ones. We’ll savor them (more…)

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Sliced Sugar Snap Peas with Shaved Parmigiano http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/06/sliced-sugar-snaps-shaved-cheese/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/06/sliced-sugar-snaps-shaved-cheese/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 08:12:51 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42684

Maria Robledo

I’ve never tired of the classic Italian formula of a raw vegetable — most commonly arugula, thinly sliced fennel or raw baby artichoke hearts — dressed with olive oil, lemon and thin shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. One day when I was looking around my market, I thought, “Why not try not making it with sugar snap peas?”

I sliced the sugar snaps on an extreme diagonal to reveal the tiny peas hidden within and applied the basic dressing to make a quick, surprising play on the classic hors d’oeuvre. It’s a perfect recipe: at once rustic and sophisticated, easy for even the novice cook, with the bright appeal of a plate of fresh peas. Sugar snaps are in season now. (more…)

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Recipe + Improvisations http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/30/rhubarb-stawberry-crumble/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/30/rhubarb-stawberry-crumble/#comments Fri, 30 May 2014 08:12:47 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=41812

Suzanne Shaker

Last Saturday, interior designer Suzanne Shaker emailed us images of the Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble she was making at her wondrous Shelter Island home. The recipe is from Sally’s cookbook A New Way to Cook. On Sunday, Suzanne sent a follow-up email with a gluten-free improvisation she’d made on the basic recipe. We’re publishing the recipe, below, along with Suzanne’s tweaks and raves, for an easy tart-like rhubarb dessert just in time for the last of rhubarb’s fleeting season.

(more…)

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Strawberry Rhubarb Milkshake, an Unexpected Dinner Party Dessert http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/23/rhubarb-improvisations-including-milkshake/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/23/rhubarb-improvisations-including-milkshake/#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 08:17:41 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=41269

Simon Bajada/Livet Hemma

This image from Livet Hemma looks exactly like a Strawberry-Rhubarb Milkshake I devised years ago when I was monkeying around with rhubarb and strawberries, which are full-tilt right now. It got me hankering for one, and reminded me what an unexpected and delightful dessert they make for dinner parties.  So I thought I’d share how to make it and other rhubarb discoveries and improvisations I’ve made. (more…)

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Pan-Fried Artichokes with Crispy Sage and Garlic http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/16/pan-fried-artichokes-crispy-sage-garlic/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/16/pan-fried-artichokes-crispy-sage-garlic/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 08:41:04 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=41450

Maria Robledo

Peak season for artichokes is March through May and the markets are still full of plump globes. So I am making this recipe often to serve as an hors d’oeuvres with drinks before dinner parties, and the occasional panful for my supper. It chases after the flavors of fried artichokes I’ve had in Italy, but without deep-frying. (more…)

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Ramp Sushi + Sally’s Essential Ramp Wisdom For Improvising http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/09/ramp-sushi-sallys-essential-ramp-wisdom-improvising/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/09/ramp-sushi-sallys-essential-ramp-wisdom-improvising/#comments Fri, 09 May 2014 08:24:31 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=41168

Sobban Restaurant

Jim Dillon of The Thousand Dollar Shop recently sent us this image of a unique play on ramps — wild leeks — that he tasted at Sobban, a local Korean-Southern fusion restaurant in Georgia which is his neck of the woods: Shrimp and Ramp Yakidori and Kimchi Rice Sushi Rolls wrapped with ramps instead of sheets of nori seaweed. Jim summed it up: Korean food concepts with Southern ingredients. PERFECT! a fine example of the way basic techniques can be used with a variety of ingredients (more…)

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