Classics · Dinner · Fish Course · lent

Cracker Crusted Cod


I was recently chatting with my best friend and fellow-food blogger (An Artsy Appetite) about baking, food, school and just life in general—when I realized that I have had no time to post a single recipe on my own blog!  Well, a lot of things have been happening.  Primarily, both my husband and I are trying to finish up grad school.  As a result, it has been a lot of slow-cooker soups and stews.  I decided to cook a proper meal (not heat up leftovers from the freezer) and have a nice fish dinner (fish Fridays during Lent).  This recipe is from Epicurious and is a classic New England favorite much like my New England Baked Scallops  and Parker House Scrod.  I hope it makes it to your dinner table too!


    • 4 tablespoons (divided) butter
    • 1/2 package – 1/2 sleeve buttery round crackers (e. g. Ritz), crushed
    • 1 pound thick-cut cod loin
    • 1/4 cup dry white wine
    • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving


    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    • Place 2 tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe bowl; melt in microwave on high, about 30 seconds. Stir buttery round crackers into melted butter.
    • Place remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a 9×9-inch baking dish. Melt in the preheated oven, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove dish from oven.
    • Coat both sides of cod in melted butter in the baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
    • Bake cod in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
    • Remove from oven; top with lemon juice, wine, and cracker mixture. Place back in oven and bake until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 10 more minutes.

I served it with oven roasted fingerling potatoes and sautéed green beans.


Classics · Comfort food · Dinner · gluten-free · Poultry

Chicken Cacciatore


For those who know me and also read my recipes, you might have noticed that I cook with whatever is lying around.  I rarely “follow” recipes, most of it is by smell, look and taste.  Nevertheless, I love collecting cookbooks and my inner scientist can respect the importance of a well written “protocol”/”recipe”.  So I dusted off a cookbook that I got for Christmas and cooked this recipe–with a few changes



2 Tbsp olive oil

2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into cubes

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp of rosemary

1 small can of chopped tomatoes

salt and pepper

(original recipe called for fresh rosemary, chicken thighs and tomato paste)


Heat oil in a skillet, season chicken with salt and pepper and saute till browned.  Set aside.


Add onions, garlic, mushrooms and rosemary to skillet.  Season with salt and saute till softened.

Add chopped tomatoes and 1/4 cups water.  Return chicken to pan.

Cook on low heat till sauce reduces.

Serve with crusty bread.


Classics · Dinner · Meat · Quick Dinner

Rosemary Pork Chops with Shallots and Mushrooms


The inspiration for this dish comse from the classic Yeager Schnitzel.  Our favorite German Restaurant servers it with a rich mushroom sauce.  This is my light version which can be easily whipped up for weeknight dinner.


Boneless Pork chops

1 Tbsp of dry rosemary

1 shallots, slices

8 oz baby bella mushrooms, slices

2 tsp of flour

1/2 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 Tbsp of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in a caste iron skillet.

Season porch chop with rosemary, salt and pepper.


Sear the pork chops in a medium high skillet, on both sides, till golden brown.


Remove seared chops and add shallots and mushrooms to the same skillet.

Saute till golden and add salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and flour.  Cook for another 2-3 mins.  The mixture will look very dry and will stick together.

Stirring continuously, add the chicken stock and the pork chops.

Simmer on medium low till pork 160 F at the center.  Remove chops and continue to thicken the sauce to your liking.


Serve the chops with a generous smothering of the mushroom sauce.  Sauteed green beans are a wonderful side with this dish !



Classics · Fish Course · lent

New England Baked Scallops


A classic New England dish that an turn any weeknight dinner to date night !


24oz of Bay scallops

1 cup crushed Ritz (or similar) crackers

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Garnish: Lemon slice, chopped fresh chives or parsley



Preheat the oven to 325º, and set a rack to the second-to-top position.

Wash the scallops and pat dry.


Arrange scallops in a 8- by 8-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, garlic salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the scallops evenly with the breadcrumb mixture. Pour the butter over all, then sprinkle evenly with the lemon juice. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.


Turn the heat up to “broil” and, with the oven door ajar, brown the top for an additional 2 or 3 minutes (keep a constant eye on the dish to avoid burning). Serve hot!



Chocolate Orange Charlotte



This is a special farewell and birthday cake all rolled into one.  The post-doc in our lab is leaving after 6 years and another labmate was celebrating the big 3-0 birthday, so the cake had to be special.  Chocolate and Orange pair wonderfully; infact, it is my mother’s favorite and incorporated it into her birthday cake last year.  The recipe requires several ingredients,  but I used store-bought short-cuts to help me.   I hope this cake stuns your table as much it did mine !


Store chocolate cake mix (and eggs and oil, all the things that you will need to make the batter)

Orange marmalade

Chocolate mousse mix and milk to make the mousse


2 dozen soft lady fingers ( you will not need all of them, but having extras is good)

Cannoli Filling (refer to either Chocolate Cannoli Cupcakes or Cannoli Cup recipes I have)


Bake the cake according to the package directions.  I used some of the batter to make 6 cupcakes  and saved the rest of the batter to make 2, 9″ rounds.  Allow to cool completely.  The cake layers can be made upto three days in advance.  Make sure to wrap and store the layers in a cool dry and dark place.

Heat an entire jar of orange marmalade in a saucepan.  Once the jam thins, strain through a sieve to separate the rinds from the jelly.  Save the jelly.  I put the rinds in my morning oatmeal.

Make the chocolate mouse according to package directions.

Level off both cake layers and place one layer of the cake on the bottom of a springform pan.

Line the edges of the pan with lady fingers

Brush the surface of the cake with the orange jelly and also the surface of the lady fingers which are exposed (i.e facing the inside of the cake)

Fill with mousse and top with the second cake layer.

Pour the remaining orange jelly on the top layer and let it seep into the cake.

Add the cannoli filling on the top.

Decorate the top with mini chocolate chips and pistachios.

Chill the cake for 30 mins and then remove the springform ring.

Wrap the cake with a piece of ribbon and secure with a toothpick.

Serve chilled !


Classics · Cupcakes · Italian

Chocolate Cannoli Cupcakes


This summer, I have been on a Cannoli kick.  I guess it started with the Cannolis we had for our rehearsal dinner.


Then we were out in Boston getting some more at Cafe Vitorria.  As a result, whenever I wanted make something, the “Cannoli” flavor kept coming up.  So here is a super easy recipe for Cannoli cupcakes.  I also used the ingredients to build a my Chocolate Orange Charlotte.


Store bought chocolate cake mix

1 15oz container of Ricotta Cheese ( I used part-skim, feel free to use full fat)

4 tbsp of vanilla frosting (I used this, because it was lying around in the pantry)  OR 4tbsp  powdered sugar.  Sweeten to your liking.

1 tsp of almond extract

2tsps of ground cinnamon

mini chocolate chips and pistachios (unsalted-shelled) for garnish


Make batter and bake cupcakes as per package directions.  I baked 6 cupcakes and used the rest of the batter to make 2 9″ round cakes for my Chocolate Orange Charlotte.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely

In the meantime, mix the entire container of ricotta cheese with 4tbsp of frosting (or 4tbsp of powdered sugar) with almond extract and cinnamon

Fill into a piping bag attached to a star-tip (this is what I did; frost as you like) and pipe onto your cupcakes. You will not use the entire frosting for 6 cupcakes, I saved it for my cake recipe.  You will probably use the whole thing if you are making 12 cupcakes.  This frosting will make a great Cannoli Dip with graham crackers or you could use it for my other favorite recipe “Cannoli Cups

Sprinkle with mini-chocolate chips and pistachios (other toppings could be orange peels, almonds or nothing at all)

Serve and watch your friends devour !


Dinner · Mexican · Poultry

Chicken Tacos with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa


This is the first time I cooked with tomatillos.  I was always intrigued by this green looking, tomato-like, husked vegetable.   This is a simple dinner, but takes a little bit of time and you certainly would prefer to make it on a cooler day when you can utilize the oven.


3 small tomatillos, quatered

1 green frying pepper, sliced

1 fresno chili, de-seeded and sliced

1 small onion, quatered

2-3 cloves of garlic

5 chicken tenders

1Tbsp of taco seasoning (our a homemade blend of chili powder, cumin and oregano)

olive oil

salt and pepper

Hard or soft taco shells and all other taco fixings your family enjoys


Take the first five ingredients, spread then in a single layer on a foil-lined sheet pan.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 20-30 mins at 375F.  You want the vegetables to get slightly charred, but not burnt.

Allow the vegetables to cool and then blend in a food processor to your desired consistency.  You now have your salsa.

While the vegetables are roasting, season chicken with olive oil, salt and taco seasoning.

Saute chicken, till cooked through.  Allow to cool slightly and then shred the chicken.

Take a 1/4 cup of the salsa and mix with the shredded chicken, you now have youe taco filling.


Heat up your taco shells, pulls out the lettuce and cheese (and all your other favorite taco toppings) and build away !