Archive for November 2009

EVENT: The Lapine Thanksgiving
VENUE: Phoebe’s Parents’ Barn, Katonah New York
MENU: Grilled Turkey (Uncle Porky); Apple Cider Gravy, String Beans with Spiced Nuts, Semi-Sweet Potato Mash with Spiced Caramelized Onions (Mom); Mixed Greens with Lemon-Chive Vinaigrette, Pumpkin Leek Stuffing with Turkey Sausage (Me); Cranberry Sauce (Aunt Susan); Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie (Cousin Holly); Pumpkin Cheesecake (Cousin Jessica); Fruit Cake (Cousin Julie)

My dad’s side of the family is very close. In fact, my aunt, the only girl of four, married a man whose name only differed from hers by one letter, making half of the members …

EVENT: Thanksgiving
VENUE: Cara’s Mom’s House, Riverdale
MENU: Turkey; Gravy; Roasted Brussels Sprouts; Double Baked Sweet Potatoes; Cauliflower Puree; Broccoli Puree; Grandma Jane’s Chestnut Stuffing; Biscuits; Chocolate Marquise with Mocha Whipped Cream Frosting; One-Crust Apple Tart; Pecan Pie; Pound Cake

My mom throws Thanksgiving every year in the house I grew up in. The size varies from about 12 to 25, depending on where my uncles wind up, but the contents of the menu rarely change, even if the quantities do. The most recent addition was the Roasted Brussels Sprouts, for some added green, and that …

EVENT: Bon Appetit Holiday Recipe Contest–Vote for the Mousse here!
DISH: Chocolate Mousse with Gingerbread Whipped Cream
PART OF THIS HOLIDAY MENU: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon; Inside-Out Ravioli Pasta

Last week, Phoebe and I got to discussing the strange and tragic dearth of chocolate around the holidays. Between the spices and the nuts, the fruited loaves and the Christmas cookies, I suppose there just isn’t room for it (though my Thanksgiving dessert spread, which features my sister’s rendition of Maida Heatter’s Chocolate Marquise with Coffee Cream, and the cake we eat on Christmas–the famous Rich Chocolate

EVENT: Thursday Night “Home-Cooked” Meal
VENUE: Upper West Side Shelter for Seniors
TYPE: Sit-Down, (Paper-) Plated Family Dinner
MENU: Mediterranean Catfish Spaghetti; Salad; Cookies

For most of my life, I’ve felt more or less involved in my community. Back in high school and college, I often volunteered by way of class or curriculum at a variety of different organizations in New York City and Providence. It’s occurred to me over the course of this past year that since I’ve left school and have been without an institution that encourages such service, I have been rather selfish with …

EVENT: A 24th Birthday Din-arty
VENUE: Phoebe’s Parents’ Apartment, Upper West Side
TYPE: Large Buffet Dinner Party
MENU: Mini Meatball Subs; Wild Mushroom Mac ‘n Cheese; Pesto Mac ‘n Cheese; Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese; Arugula Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette; Big Kid Hot Chocolate (Adam); Red Velvet Cupcakes (Salima)

Birthdays are always kind of stressful. Every year I face the approaching day with a super laid-back attitude. And then the day arrives, and I realize I have to grate 6 pounds of cheese. The rational way out of this is, of course, that since …

Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese

Posted by on Thursday Nov 19th, 2009

Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese
Makes 12 Servings

The base for this mac is very similar to that of the mixed mushroom version I borrowed from Barefoot Contessa. I used two types of cheddar, one creamy and orange, one white and sharp, and I added some spices when roasting the squash to offset its sweetness. Read the original post here.


For the Squash:

1 large butternut squash (about 2lb), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper

For the Mac:

2 lb elbow macaroni
1 stick of butter
1 …

Pesto Mac ‘n Cheese

Posted by on Thursday Nov 19th, 2009

Pesto Mac ‘n Cheese

Makes 12 servings

This recipe is a play on the Conchiglie with Five Cheeses I served for Matt’s baked pasta bash back in April. Instead of the tomato base, I used pesto. And to make the texture slightly more mac-like and cheesy, I bulked up on the Fontina and left out the Gorgonzola. Read the original post here.


2 lb conchiglie rigate
4 cups heavy cream
2 cups pesto
1/2 lb shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan (reserve some for garnish)
1 1/2 cup fontina cheese, coarsely grated
½ cup ricotta cheese
2 tsp …