Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chocolate Pumpkin Cream Macarons

Like chocolate? Like pumpkin? Like cookies? ....then this just might be your favorite fall friend.  A soft crunch on the outside with a creamy filling in the middle, this cookie combines my recipe for Nutella French Macarons with a pillowy pumpkin cream filling.  Give these simple French macarons a go...Bon appetit fall!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Canvas for your “Palate”: Ricotta Gnocchi (with Turkey Meatballs)

A soft, light texture combines with a savory, sweet heartiness to make this the perfect contrast of taste and texture.  Serve it all year round – as a pillowy summer pasta drizzled with fresh basil pesto or a hearty winter comfort topped with your favorite ragout.    Ricotta gnocchi, a year-round canvas for your palette of sauces.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Apple Rum Raisin Bread Pudding with Cinnamon-Streusel Topping

What’s a classic, comforting dessert to you?  For some, it’s warm apple pie that grandma used to make; for others it’s a classic cookie or family Irish soda bread recipe (shout out to my fam); and for many it’s warm, rich bread pudding.  For me, bread pudding was never on the table.  It wasn’t a staple in my Irish mother’s recipe box, so I’ve grown up brushing aside what I thought was a sweet, mushy mix of stale bread.  However, when the next work food throw-down was excitedly announced as bread pudding, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.  My approach was to take the classic, comfort dessert flavors that I love, and turn them into a bread pudding.  Thus, I took plump raisins from my Mom’s soda bread, apples from my favorite apple pie, alcohol from my Irish side, and cinnamon streusel from my German side.  And what did I create…a first place Apple Rum Raisin Bread Pudding with Cinnamon-Streusel Topping.  Bread pudding, NOW a classic and a comfort for me too!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Classic Scones

Many have asked, what’s in a name?!  Well, I think the more important question truly is, what’s in a scone?!  Just like a person, you can’t judge a scone by its name or appearance…it all depends on what’s on the inside.  For some, it’s buttermilk.  For some, it’s cream.  For others, it’s the latest health food ingredient (applesauce, acai berry, you name it!).  But for me, it’s a classic Irish family recipe that starts with my grandmother telling you to “take off all your rings and bracelets because you need your hands!”  Buttery and warm, fruity but not too sweet, rustic and homey, this is my family’s recipe for perfect scones.  Judge for yourself, I think you’ll find that my family is delicious on the inside! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012


 One’s too rich.  One’s too dense.  One’s too creamy.  This one?... Just right! This recipe is a combination of a nutty, buttery crust and a creamy, fluffy, rich (but no too rich) filling.  Top with berries, dollop with chocolate, or keep it plain and simple.  In the accented words of my German gramps in reference to anything he ever made, “It’s the best one I ever made!”

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The New Meatball Sub – Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs

Perhaps one of my favorite comfort foods, this dish scores high all around from taste, to texture, to nutrition, to versatility.  Vegetarian?  Swap the meatballs.  Vegan? Hold the cheese. Gluten-free? No pasta, no problems.  Tender roasted spaghetti squash creates the vessel for a piping hot marina sauce, tender meatballs, and serve up your very own meatball “sub”.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

The most likely workouts happening on Super Bowl Sunday are by those on the field and by the slow cooker in the kitchen.  The Pats (shout out) and the Giants have got the prior taken care of, but who’s going to work that slow cooker?  With a little help from a pork roast, a tangy BBQ sauce, and some sweet buns, your slow cooker is going to get a great workout and your going to get a savory reward.  Go Pats!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Berry Crumbles

Cold outside? How about a winter warm-up?  These individual berry crumbles are warm, delicious, and the perfect end to a chilly day.  An example of a healthful "dessert flip", this recipe combines loads of sweet, warm berries and a touch of decadent crumble topping.  Cozy-up to a crumble tonight!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter, egg, sugar, salt. ‘nough said.  This is the simplest, least processed, and perhaps most delicious peanut butter cookie you can make.  Whether you’re gluten-free or just carefree, mix up a batch and savor a good old fashion p.b.c.

Decadent Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake fan?  If so, this is the cake for you.  Moist, decadent, and velvety.  Top with your favorite chocolate buttercream or cream cheese frosting and devour. Perfect for any occasion…birthday, anniversary, new job or in this case, a job well “done” for my Penpal.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rum Raisin Baked Apples

Fall is definitely here.  Time for warm favorites and comforting classics.  Why not end the meal with a classy twist on the baked apple. Rum soaked raisins spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest and brown sugar warm the soul and spice up a classic. Top with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and mmm...

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Warm up with this fresh, flavorful, fiesta fare.  Shredded chicken combined with classic Mexican spices served up with crisp tortilla chips and a dollop of guac...perfect for a SoCal soul anywhere.

Nutella French Macarons

French Macarons – classy, luscious, and surprisingly easy.  These beautiful little morsels of tender meringues and creamy nutella combine a few simple ingredients to create not just a dessert but a delicious adventure to a warm Parisian bakery.  Got a few minutes…take your sweet tooth to Paris!  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Strawberry Lemon Meringue Pie

Craving tart and sweet, creamy and silky, decadent and easy?  Try this summertime pie complete with a silky, tart lemon filling, topped with sweet berries and a luscious meringue all resting atop a buttery graham cracker crust.  Hi Summer!

Honey Beer Bread

What’s better than fresh baked bread? Not much, unless of course you add a dash of honey and bottle of beer to the mix.  Got 30 minutes?  Well, then you’ve got fresh, warm, and delicious bread.   This easy and tasty loaf takes less than five minutes to prepare and combines some of the finest/easiest ingredients…flour, honey, and beer.  Thought you couldn’t bake…just crack open a beer. Cheers!

Can you can? Blackberry Jam

Apparently, yes! I can can!  Thanks to my beautiful teacher, Miss Holly Larson, I successfully canned by first batch of jam.  Not only was this my first batch, but it was fresh picked from the vine and boiled down into sweet deliciousness, sealed tight, and tempting my taste buds in less than three hours.  With the right equipment, a bit of time, and some fresh berries…you can have delicious, homemade jam in no time. Just remember, “Yes, I can!”

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rosemary-Onion Focaccia Bread

Think making bread is hard?  So did I…that is until I ventured to make my own focaccia .  Take a simple olive oil bread dough base, top it with sweet sautéed onions and garlic and a sprinkling of rosemary, and you’ve got focaccia…crackly, warm, sweet and salty straight from your very own oven.

Garlicky Lemon Chicken

Craving a bright, light summer meal with ingredients you already have?  Try this easy lemon chicken, pan-sauteed in a light white-wine lemon butter sauce.  Top with spicy arugula, sweet summer tomatoes, and a shaving of parmesan.  A summer dinner…straight from the pantry!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

From Amateur to Master: Pasta Carbonara

51 Porter is graduating!  We’ve come a long way from amateur undergrads to full-on masters.  In the next few weeks, the three of us will be graduating and what better way to celebrate a degree from a nutrition school than by EATING!  We kicked off our celebrations with a classic Italian dish – a simple yet rich pasta carbonara.  Carbonara takes basic ingredients – eggs, Parmesan, bacon – and turns them into a creamy swirl of mouthwatering tenderness.  Soft, supple noodles in a creamy coat complement a salty bacon crunch (converting even a household of vegetarians).  
Pasta Carbonara…perhaps it’s just another way to take something amateur and turn it into a master.  Cheers!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

5 Minute Chocolate Souffle - Honestly!

Got a late night craving for something warm, chocolate and gooey, but don't want to bake a whole cake (because we all know what happens when there's extra chocolate cake in the house...)? We've got just the solution: The 5-Minute Chocolate Souffle! Plus, the 5 minutes includes preparation and baking time, how awesome is that? No patience needed, just a few ingredients and a microwave. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy January Birthdays! Funfetti with Raspberry Cream & Cream Cheese Frosting


Try this combination of a classic funfetti cake filled with raspberry cream and topped with a cream cheese frosting...the perfect way to say Happy Birthday to anyone this winter, including Erin, Adee, Carrie, Lesley...and anyone else out there! :)

Swiss Chard & Potato Soup with Poached Eggs

It’s a little chilly outside (approximately 7 degrees), so it’s time for a little pick-me-up/warm-me inside! Warm up with this spicy combination of wintery greens and potatoes pureed into a creamy soup and topped with a poached egg and arugula pesto. Armed with a piece of your favorite crusty bread for dipping, this soup is sure to keep you cozy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Balsamic Roasted Butternut Squash & Mushrooms with Pasta

Need to warm up this winter?  Try this simple pasta that combines a savory roasted butternut squash puree with sautéed mushrooms, spinach, and balsamic.  Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan and a dollop of ricotta.  The perfect warm-me-up pasta!

Lemon, Ricotta, Chocolate Tarts

Ricotta cheese has a sweet side.  A classic Italian dessert flavor, ricotta cheese can be  stuffed in cannolis, layered in cheesecakes, drizzled with honey.  Using the last of my homemade ricotta, I combined honey, nuts, lemon juice, and a dash of nutella in a crisp, buttery phyllo shell for a sweet twist on this savory staple.

Candied Citrus

Use the whole fruit, nothing but the fruit,…and maybe a little sugar. This is a great way to use up any citrus peel (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit). Literally, all it takes is water, sugar, and leftover peel! A beautiful garnish, a sugary sweet, and a great way to use up whole fruit!



Living in Europe, I learned a lot…the bread is amazing, the cheese is unbelievable, and the combination of the two is perfection. One of my favorite restaurants was a simple café known as Le Pain Quotidien (The Daily Bread). Starting in Brussels and maintaining its classic, warm, crusty European tradition as it expanded, Le Pain Quotidien prides itself on this classic combination of bread and cheese atop the tartine. “Tartine” is a fancy name for an open-faced sandwich. Sweet or savory, plain or toasted, classic combos or modern twists, enjoy a tartine today (perhaps le tartine quotidien)!

Homemade Ricotta

Close your eyes. Picture a cloud. Now take a bite out of it. Now open your eyes, combine four simple ingredients and poof…you’ve got delicious, creamy, fluffy ricotta right before your eyes! Really, it’s that easy.

Swedish (& Italian) Meatballs

Are they Swedish? Maybe. Are they Italian? Perhaps. Are they delicious? You be the judge! J Try this Italian pesto twist on classic Swedish meatballs. You can use chicken, beef, pork, soy protein, or any combination. Swedish or Italian…these meatballs are delicious! (Adapted from Martha Stewart).

Happy New Year From 51 Porter!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dairy Free Ginger & Pumpkin Pie

While Pumpkin Pie is best known for it's star-studded appearance in the Thanksgiving meal, I don't think this pie should be overlooked during the winter season. Here's a recipe that takes that classic pumpkin pie we all know and love and spices it up with some crystallized ginger. Try it out at your next holiday meal, or on a cold Wednesday evening, it's delicious anytime!


Take toasted almonds, homemade caramel, a dash of orange zest…and let’s make a cookie! These wafer-thin lace Florentines are delicious on their own, dipped in chocolate, or as a dessert topper. Give ‘em a try!

Mushroom Ragout & Polenta

Growing up I was definitely not the world’s biggest mushroom fan. My culinary-genius of a grandmother used to make some sort of creamed mushrooms every holiday, and every holiday…I avoided them (sorry Mimi). I used to think these little dirt-dwellers were for nothing more than silly jokes. Stop me if you've heard this one: Mushroom walks up to the bar and says, “Hey bartender, why won’t that gal talk to me…I mean, I’m a fun-gi!”

BUT boy oh boy have I been wrong! Granted, I’m just starting to dabble in the culinary world of my new mushroom friend, but the possibilities seem endless. I first had this dish at a potluck hosted by a friend, who took this mushroom masterpiece from chef David Tanis and paired it with creamy polenta.

Here is my take on mushroom ragout. Serve over pasta, polenta, or rice…but definitely give these “fun-gi(s)” a try! :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Twist on a Classic: Grilled Cheese with Apples & Arugula

Grilled cheese...toasty bread hugging warm layers of melted cheese all wrapped in the perfect hand-held delivery vehicle. Some might say, “Don’t mess with the classic…don’t be puttin’ any fruit in my grilled cheese,” but the newest member of 51 Porter and I decided to experiment with the latest local New England ingredient…the apple. A classic grilled cheese at heart, mixed with a classic fruit/cheese combination in the middle…give this sweet & savory twist a try!

Three Pastas and a Pizza..."Take a moment"

An unplanned venture exploring the South of France took four friends to three towns: Biot, St. Paul, and Vence. The journey started off in Biot, a small hillside town known for its glass blowing artists and an awesome golf-cart driving tour-guide named Ghee. From there we made our way to Vence, another hillside town outside of Nice, with a small-town allure and some big-flavor cuisine. The final stop was perhaps one of the most beautiful hilltop towns I have ever seen: St. Paul. Resting atop a small peak offering views of the Mediterranean and a sounds laughing families in the moonlit windows, St. Paul would have been the day’s highlight….had it not been show-stopped by a meal so delicious it could only have included… 3 pastas and a pizza.

Some beautiful scenery, some amazing food, and some beautiful company… to my fellow travelers…it was a pleasure and once again let's "take a moment…”

Le Menu
-Pasta Carbonara
-Aubergines Siciliennes (Eggplant Sicilian)
-Spaghetti aux tomates
-Pizza Quatre Formage avec du miel (Four Cheese Pizza with Honey)

I will attempt to recreate these dishes back at 51 Porter… "take a moment” to check the progress.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Poached eggs in white wine, ricotta tomato sauce

Like eggs? Like cheese? Like tomato sauce? Like bread?

Try this budget-friendly, flavor-packed meal. Finish poaching eggs by simmering in a sweet bath of white wine tomato sauce mixed with creamy ricotta cheese. Serve atop crunchy baguette slices with a drizzle of pesto.

Chocolate Éclair Cake

Formally known as Chocolate Eclair Cake, but colloquially (i.e., Dumke fam) referred to as Icebox Cake, this family favorite is sure to please the palate. Simple and classic ingredients combine to form soft, creamy pudding layers topped with a silky chocolate ganache. Shout out to my Aunt Joan for taking your ordinary ingredients - graham crakers, cool whip, cream cheese, pudding, chocolate - and making something that's anything but colloquial.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Brussels Challenge #10: Croissants

Bonjour! My morning walks to work from General Jacque to Rue Guimard and Avenue Louise are accompanied by a certain beauty: Scenery you might ask? People you might think? Well…yes, but the true beauty – the smell - those aromas of fresh baked breads and pastries wafting out of the boulangeries and patisseries. It’s hard to beat the warm smell of freshly baked French bread in the morning…unless of course you happen catch a buttery waft of another French classic – the croissant!
Being, that I have only 2 weeks left on my European summer internship and to gear up for a short holiday in France, it was time for the ultimate challenge with the ultimate French ingredient – Butter.
Butter, Flour, Yeast, Butter, Sugar, Butter, Salt, & Butter…’nough said. I experimented with 2 varieties of croissants: plain and chocolate. The result from the taste-testers at the European Food Information Council (including a French woman with a discerning palate)… délicieux!

Tassel Cupcakes - A Classic with a Decadent Twist

The offices of my internship recently moved to the first art nouveau building ever designed – The Hotel Tassel, Brussels, Belgium. Designed by Victor Horta, the Hotel Tassel boasts 4 floors, each with natural “light chimneys”; spiraling metal work adorning staircases and ceilings; stained glass windows, two terraces; and hand-painted walls and mosaic floors…to name just a few features.

To celebrate this, I wanted a classy dessert that mirrored the art nouveau style of Hotel Tassel – light, classic, with a few, well-placed decadents twists. Light, airy vanilla cupcakes, topped with a classic cream-cheese frosting, and adorned with a decadent chocolate-drizzled strawberry… these mini art nouveau masterpieces welcome any and all to the Hotel Tassel.

Brussels Challenge #9: A little Mexican in Brussels - Chicken Fajitas avec Lime-Cilantro Rice

I’ve been in Brussels for almost three months. I love the French-inspired food, international restaurants, and Belgian classics…but as a California native, I miss my Mexican food. Time to bring it to Brussels where cilantro may be called coriander, but my guac is still delicious/délicieux/delicioso!

Around the Table

Around the Table
We love good food, get excited for Market Basket & Trader Joe's, serve salad out of a pasta pot, marvel in food photography, and love to laugh. You're always welcome at our table. Click on this photo to view our "People Around the Table" album.