Entries Tagged as 'appetizers'

roasted artichokes

November 7th, 2011 · 9 Comments

There are very few simple dishes that look more beautiful than whole artichokes. 

For my next dinner party, these will absolutely be the appetizers.  Artichokes are incredibly healthy (unless you go crazy with aioli for dipping) and they’re absolutely stunning while requiring almost no work.  You can throw these in to roast when the first guest arrives, and by the time you’re done with cocktails, they’re ready for the table. 

During our move, four plates of our wedding china got broken, and I realized I was even sadder because I’d never even used them.  Chad and I have been married for two years already, and I haven’t even taken them out?  Insanity.  So I’ve decided to make an effort to use them more, even just for day-to-day type things.  It’s kind of nice to work special-occasion pieces into ordinary days — and how beautiful do they make every dish look?

Roasted Artichokes

To prep the artichokes, first cut off the stem and peel off a layer of the lowest, outer leaves.  Then take scissors and cut of the tips of all of the remaining leaves, and then slice the artichoke about 3/4″ from the tip, all the way through. 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  Rub the outer layers of the artichoke with lemon juice.  Place each artichoke on a square of tinfoil and drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Wrap the foil around the artichokes and bake for about 45-60 minutes. 

To eat, peel off each of the leaves and eat the fleshy part at their base.  Serve with melted butter or aioli (my recipe is here!), and dip each leaf into the aioli if desired.  When all the leaves are gone, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part and eat the remaining artichoke heart.

Tags: appetizers · side dishes

chopped tomato flatbread (and fashion’s night out!)

September 5th, 2011 · 8 Comments

Ok, so, let me just explain: this isn’t pizza.

I know, it kind of looks like pizza.  It shares many ingredients with pizza.  But this flatbread is perfectly fresh and full of healthy, delicious ingredients, and — while a little bit pizza-esque — a big step up in taste and sophistication.

Chad got me this vegetable chopper for my birthday a few years ago, which I thought was kind of funny because it was straight off one of those As-Seen-On-TV infomercials (although, to his credit, he found it at Williams Sonoma).  But to my surprise, I actually use it all the time — it’s smaller and less hassle than a mandoline, and it’s great for chopping veggies uniformly in seconds.

Also, if any of you guys are putting together plans for Fashion’s Night Out, I’ll be taking street-style photos for the soon-to-open C. Wonder store (think, adorable, preppy accessories, clothes and home goods at insanely reasonable prices)! 

I’ll be roaming the streets of Nolita, so follow me in Twitter for up to the minute updates on my location!  And come dressed up in your cutest Fashion-Week-worth outfits, of course, and score an invitation to the C. Wonder grand opening in October!

Chopped Tomato Flatbread


1 store-bought pizza crust (get this from your local pizza place for best quality)
3 plum tomatoes
1/2 small shallot
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat your oven as high as it will go (500 or 550 degrees F).

Chop the tomatoes and shallot into 1/8″ cubes; drain on paper towels.  Roll the dough into a large rectangle or oval.  Brush with olive oil and arrange tomatoes and shallot over the crust.  Sprinkle with cheese, and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is puffed and slightly golden.

Tags: appetizers · food · main dishes

brie and apple flatbread

August 25th, 2011 · 13 Comments

Honestly, there’s nothing better than a recipe that combines cheese and bread.  Take a great, runny delicious brie and a crisp, tart green apple, and then add add a drizzle of farmer’s market honey and some fabulous bread, and you basically have the best meal you could possibly imagine.

I was a little lazy, and I wasn’t in the mood to make my own pizza dough (but if you want it, my recipe is here), but I bought a large-pizza-sized dough from a local pizza place for $3.50.  It doesn’t get much easier, cheaper or more delicious than that!  I had to go into two pizza places to find a spot that would sell me just the dough, but I eventually succeeded. 

I had a meeting this weekend over breakfast, and when I took a look at the menu, basically everything on it was cheese- and bread-related.  Not bad first thing in the morning!  Of course, though, whenever I have something really good at a restaurant, I always end up making my own version within a few days.  This was created maybe 28 hours after that breakfast, and if I do say so myself, the home-cooked version was even better.

Apple and Brie Flatbread


1/2 large pizza dough
1 large green apple
1/4 lb brie cheese
2 tsbp honey


Preheat oven to 550 degrees F, using a pizza stone if you have one.  Bake the dough for about 5 minutes, and then remove from the oven.  Layer brie on bread and then add the apples.  Drizzle with honey, and bake for 5 additional minutes.  Serve.

Tags: appetizers · food · main dishes

crab and avocado salad, take two

August 18th, 2011 · 5 Comments

Ok.  This has got to stop.  I’m pretty sure that seven of my last ten recipes have included avocados, and if I were you guys, I would be getting sick of them by now.

Come on, Katy.  What is this, an avocado blog?

[Wait, is that a thing?  Because I would subscribe.  Just saying…]

My first take on an avocado salad was here, with crab and grapefruit, and let me tell you — as recipes on Sugarlaws go, it’s only topped by this and this.  But the avocado lover in me wasn’t totally finished, and I happened to have some extra crabmeat…

This little salad is incredibly simple, and you can use pastry molds to make it look really elegant and special.  Check out the ingredient list — you probably have most of them in your kitchen already.  Now go get yourselves a big bag of avocados and get to work!

Crab and Avocado Salad Recipe

1 avocado, diced
4 ounces lump crab meat, pulled apart slightly
1 small shallot, minced
Juice of one lime
Dash of garlic powder
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Fleur de sel
Freshly ground pepper

Combine lime juice and avocado, toss gently to coat.  Separately, combine olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper with crab meat, and toss.  In a pastry mold or on a dish, first layer the avocado mixture, then layer the crab mixture over it.  Sprinkle the minced shallots over the top and drizzle with additional olive oil if desired.  Serve.

Serves four.

Tags: appetizers · food · salads

avocado bruschetta

August 3rd, 2011 · 13 Comments

I’m pretty sure that avocados improve any recipe out there.

Crab salad?  Better with avocados.

Parmesan cones?  Fill them with avocado!

Chocolate cake?  Ok, they’re not in the recipe so far, but I bet they couldn’t hurt.

But pair those delicious avocados with fresh summer tomatoes and crusty bread, and you might my favorite dish of the whole bunch.

Lots of recipes call for cheese in bruschetta, but that always feels a little too pizza-like to me.  On the other hand, a little richness in the form of some healthy fat is an amazing addition that makes this dish more satisfying, .

I’ve been on a big natural-fat kick, which is so great for my hair and skin.  Dishes like this are such an easy way to incorporate fresh, delicious, all natural foods into your diet — and delicious to boot.

Avocado Bruschetta


1 avocado, cubed
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 shallot, diced
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
Dash of garlic powder
Ground pepper
Sea salt
8 French baguette slices


Combine avocado, tomato, shallot, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Toss to combine.

Brush bread slices with additional olive oil and toast for 2 minutes.  Top each toast evenly with avocado mixture, and serve.

Serves 4.

Tags: appetizers · food