January 2, 2011

a new year

I prefer predictions over resolutions. I predict that Jason and I have a really exciting year ahead of us. And, since food is one of my favorite things to think about, here are my top 5 food predictions for 2011:

1. Boozy pies
In the December/January issue of Ready Made Magazine, I was fascinated by an article about a bakery in Brooklyn, Four and Twenty Blackbirds. Two sisters are taking old-fashioned pie making and turning it into something new by using liqueurs and spirits alongside fresh herbs. Genius, I say.

2. Creative gratins
My contribution to Christmas dinner this year was a rosemary-encrusted potato gratin. Since then, I've been noticing lots of recipes for creative gratins, like Food & Wine's squash gratin with poblanos and cream. I think we'll see lots more layered dishes that don't include a single potato.

3. Whoopie pies and sandwich cookies
Cupcakes are so 2009. All of a sudden, whoopie pies and sandwich cookies are everywhere. Apparently we still want cake and icing, just in a different form. Instead of red velvet cupcakes, try these little guys as a remedy for cupcake fatigue. 

4. Mad Men era cocktail parties
AMC's Mad Men has made a huge impact on pop culture. Whether you watch the show or not, you've probably heard of it. A new fascination with the late 50s/early 60s is causing a cocktail revival. Make an old-fashioned, whip up some deviled eggs, invite your friends over, and party Mad Men style. 

5. Home-made beer
It's as local as local gets: brewing your own beer at home. Even my little brother is doing it. We've already seen a lot of artisinal beer companies popping up in the past few years, and the natural progression is to home-crafted. I think beer is having a moment. 

On New Year's Eve, we celebrated at a beautiful cabin in the woods with some of my oldest, dearest friends. I made little lemon ricotta cookies as a remedy for too much rich holiday food. We ate, we drank, we laughed, a lot. It was perfect.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
a recipe by Giada Delaurentis

Cookie batter:
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups of granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 15-oz container whole milk ricotta cheese
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment, or use my new favorite thing, a Silpat baking mat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix until fully combined. Add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice. Stir in the dry ingredients. 

Using a medium ice cream scoop, spoon rounds of cookie dough about an inch apart onto the baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cookies are set (not jiggly). Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon zest and juice in a small bowl. When cookies are mostly cool, spread a thin layer of glaze on each cookie. Enjoy.

Happy 2011!


  1. love this! young alumni Mad Men party perhaps? :)

  2. Are you missing the sugar for the main cookie? It says cream together sugar and butter- but there is no sugar in the recipe except for the glaze. Thanks so much-

  3. Oops, I forgot to write in the sugar! Good catch April. It's 2 cups - the recipe is updated now. Sorry about that!

  4. They were yummy! Mind did not stay ball shaped like yours- they got a bit flat. Is there a trick to it? I'm at high altitude, so that may be part of it. Thanks for sharing.