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By Elizabeth Karmel The Associated Press

Baked spaghetti squash that takes hassle out of cooking

A few years ago when everyone I knew was on the Paleo diet, I started making spaghetti squash and topping it with meat sauce to feed my dinner party guests who were off carbs. I grew up eating spaghetti squash with butter and Parmesan cheese, so I have always had a taste for it, and more and more it seems an easy way to get an extra vegetable into my diet.

Mini pies take centre stage as holiday dessert option

When I have a lot of people coming over, I love to make mini pies, or “pie cups.” I coined the name “pie cup” when I created a “pie program” for one of my restaurants and vowed to make pie the new cupcake in NYC.

Since then, the mini, hand-held pie has exploded in popularity. The beauty of the mini pies is that they are portable, easy to make and the perfect proportion size.

Green Genie sandwich spread transforms ham and cheese

My sister sent me a text about a green spread that said, “you have to make this...love it on sandwiches, crackers, eggs, etc.”

And she was right ‚Äî this green spread is a sandwich genie. It is also a great way to get a few more vegetables in your diet. Better yet, it’s made with ingredients that you almost always have in the pantry.