The BEST Thanksgiving Guide You Will Find: Right Here!

The BEST Thanksgiving Guide You Will Find: Right Here!

We found the greatest Thanksgiving recipe guide we’ve ever seen. Now, we’re sharing it. And wouldn’t you know it; it’s all thanks to Epicurious.

Epi’s 2019 Thanksgiving Recipe Finder” is a brilliant interactive flow chart of Thanksgiving recipes and ingredients. It couldn’t be simpler to use. Pick up to 3 base ingredients on the interactive chart, and Epicurious automatically narrows down its 509 Thanksgiving recipes to the select few that meet your needs.

Epi’s 2019 Thanksgiving Recipe Finder
Epi’s 2019 Thanksgiving Recipe Finder

From sweet potato to fennel, cider to sausage, Epi’s 2019 Thanksgiving Recipe Finder has it all. Are you or your Thanksgiving guests gluten free, vegan or lactose intolerant? No problem; you’re still covered.

You can also filter the Thanksgiving flow chart by dish type. Narrow the recipes by one of 7 categories (main, side, stuffing, etc.) before selecting ingredients to focus your search. The possibilities are so fun to explore!

Here are just a few great combinations we uncovered:

Cranberry + Apple + Thyme = Skillet Stuffing with Apples, Shallots, and Cranberries

Green Beans + Cauliflower + Citrus = Herb-Crusted Cauliflower Steaks with Beans and Tomatoes

Seafood + Potato + Mushroom = Crudités With Bacon XO Sauce

Epi’s 2019 Thanksgiving Recipe Finder

If these 3 recipes don’t strike your Thanksgiving fancy, don’t fret – there are 506 more where those came from!

This Epicurious Thanksgiving interactive flow chart is a passionate home cook’s dream. It’s perfect for a creative food lover who has the ingredients in mind and simply needs a little direction. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, the 2019 Thanksgiving Recipe Finder from Epicurious is as close to a ‘must have’ tool as we’ve found.

Happy browsing and Happy Thanksgiving!

Peter Salerno's favorite pumpkin ravioli recipe from Williams-Sonoma.

Our Favorite Epicurious 2019 Labor Day Recipes

Our Favorite Epicurious 2019 Labor Day Recipes

Labor Day is about food, fun and family. While you’re taking a much-deserved break from the daily grind of work, there’s nothing better than a great meal or two to punctuate a relaxing Labor Day weekend.

As usual, we’re leaning heavily on the expertise of Epicurious, one of the web’s pre-eminent food and recipe sites, to fill our Labor Day table. The recent release of Epicurious’ article “49 Low-Fuss Labor Day Recipes” provides a great deal of inspiration!

Check out Epicurious' 2019 Labor Day Recipes
Check out Epicurious’ 2019 Labor Day Recipes!

Even the most avid “foodie” isn’t going to eat 49 meals on Labor Day weekend – even though you may feel as though you did eat that much by Monday night! We’ve read up on all 49 of Epicurious’ Labor Day recipe selections, and narrowed the list down to a few options we think deserve to be on your lunch or dinner table during the long weekend.

Let’s look at 5 of our favorite selections from this year’s Epicurious Labor Day “food playlist” and we’ll tell you why they deserve the attention of your taste buds!

The Best Epicurious 2019 Labor Day Recipes

1. Smash Burger Alfresco

This double-stack take on classic Labor Day fare is the perfect place to begin our list. Two grilled 3-oz. patties start this fulfilling burger, and a special sauce punctuated with adobo and finely chopped pickles adds a jazzy punch that separates this burger from the standard.

2. Honeydew Salad with Ginger Dressing and Peanuts

One of the most surprising and appetizing entries on Epicurious’ Labor Day recipe list, this honeydew salad is full of contrast and unexpected flavors. What begins as a cold, fresh melon salad quickly becomes captivating with the heat of serrano pepper, spice of ginger and intriguing flavor of Persian cucumbers. What begins as a monochromatic all-green salad bowl ends up being a flavorful, fulfilling salad that kept us coming back for more.

3. Grilled Whole Eggplant with Harissa Vinaigrette

While this dish is listed as an appetizer, you may find yourself eating the whole thing and turning this delicious eggplant into an entree. The direction to grill the eggplant directly on the dying coals of your grill is audacious and guaranteed a smoky, charred flavor. This recipe’s harissa vinaigrette is one of the simplest we’ve made in awhile, and is quite delicious.

4. Grilled Whole Cauliflower with Miso Mayo

The grilled veggie trend continues with this spicy cauliflower recipe. Basting the cauliflower with spicy butter gives it a unique orange color, and serving it over a tangy miso mayo adds an extra satisfying punch. This is another dish that can serve as an appetizer or a main course. Like the eggplant offering above, it’s a filling enough offering to satisfy any vegetarian guests at your dinner table.

5. Strawberry-Rose Agua Fresca

Looking for the perfect drink to cap off your Labor Day meal? This refreshing berry-filled beverage reaches new heights with the unexpected flavors of rose water and agave nectar. Epicurious lists the rose water as optional; we’ve tried it both ways and think that it makes all the difference. You can spike this drink and make it a cocktail, but the non-alcoholic version provided is pretty perfect as is.

To read the entire Epicurious “49 Low-Fuss Labor Day Recipes” article, click here.

Summer Food Trend Alert: Beat the Heat With Chilled Soup Recipes

Summer Food Trend Alert: Beat the Heat With Chilled Soup Recipes

When our most trusted recipe sources start producing mass quantities of chilled soup and cold soup recipes, we take notice.

The last few days have been blazing hot in our area (the NYC/Tri-State region), with the heat index approaching 120 degrees. For food lovers, eating a hot meal in oppressive heat can be uncomfortable. Cold drinks don’t provide enough nourishment, and cold meals don’t offer enough refreshment.

The answer, according to Epicurious and other recipe experts, is cold soups.

Gazpacho cold soup recipe
Find delicious cold soup and chilled soup recipes to beat the summer heat.

We’re not just talking about gazpacho! There are some extraordinary chilled soup recipes available, with inventive minds designing new additions to the cold soup cookbook. It’s no surprise that – once again – some of our favorite selections come courtesy of Epicurious.

Epicurious’ recent list of 34 Cold Soup Recipes to Keep You Cool This Summer features no less than a half-dozen recipes we’re instantly enamored with. From a cool AND filling Chilled Coconut Corn Soup to a guacamole-inspired Chilled Avocado and Yogurt Soup with Tomato Salsa, there are plenty of savory options that will leave even the biggest appetites fulfilled.

If your idea of chilled soup on a hot day involves lighter fare, we love the intriguing Chilled Tomato and Stone Fruit recipe, as well as a Chilled Golden Tomato Bisque that requires zero cooking!

We won’t post the full Epicurious recipes here (we’re not big on plagiarism… ha!), but here are links to six of our favorite Epicurious chilled soup recipes, along with brief descriptions of each.

Try them all, and leave us a comment about the one you love most!

Links to Our Favorite Epicurious Cold Soup Recipes

1. Chilled Coconut Corn Soup

Possibly our favorite cold soup recipe on Epicurious’ list; this fulfilling soup comes stocked with corn, potatoes and onion. Coconut milk, ginger, turmeric and lime zest finish off a bright and satisfying recipe that we will be making again.

2. Cool Jade Soup

Currently holding a 100% “Make Again” rating on Epicurious, this Cool Jade Soup offering is inspired bissara, an Egyptian bean-and-herb purée. The mix of green and lima beans blends well with mint, parsley and other herbs to create a refreshing cold soup.

3. Chilled Tomato and Stone Fruit Soup

We were a bit skeptical about this recipe to start. It looked precisely like a normal gazpacho… until the stone fruit came into play. Peach and cherry ingredients give this gazpacho base a surprising – and very enjoyable – sweetness that kept us dipping our spoons into our bowls.

Cold soup recipe
Try these chilled soup recipes to cool off during a hot summer.

4. Watermelon Gazpacho with Feta Crema

Much like the Stone Fruit recipe above, we start with a gazpacho inspiration and venture off into inspired fruit-based territory. According to original author and recipe creator Susan Spungen, the key is a super-juicy, heavy watermelon.

5. Chilled Golden Tomato Bisque

This no-cook recipe is the height of ease; we found the final result every bit as enjoyable as the short prep period. The notes of sherry and mild honey are small but pop beautifully out of the heavy bisque broth, giving a sweet touch to a savory soup.

6. Lemongrass-Ginger-Carrot Soup

In terms of visual presentation, this soup might have the most beautiful color of any on the list. The mellow gold color of this chilled soup is due to carrots and ginger, and a healthy dose of chicken bone broth adds texture. Feel free to try this one hot as well.

Food Inspires Design | 5 WordPress Food Blogs We Follow + Love

Food Inspires Design | 5 WordPress Food Blogs We Follow + Love

The best kitchen designs are inspired by the food created within them.

Food is a muse for master chefs, avid home cooks and hobbyists alike – but it’s also an inspiration for kitchen design experts the world over. Peter Salerno (owner of Peter Salerno Inc., our parent company) is not only an award-winning international custom kitchen designer, but an avid cook and food connoisseur. (Peter’s first cookbook, complete with expert wine pairings, is due out later in 2019.)

Peter Salerno's pumpkin fettucine with creamy sausage sauce.
Peter Salerno’s pumpkin fettucine with creamy sausage sauce.

“It’s important for a kitchen to be as functional as it is luxurious,” Peter explained to us in a recent meeting. “If its owners don’t get a fantastic cooking experience out of their kitchen, then who cares how beautiful it is?”

In order to stay inspired by food, we keep a close eye on some of WordPress’ finest food, recipe and cooking sites. Some are well-traveled, while some are wonderful hidden gems in the deep and varied ocean of food blogs and online recipe collections.

5 WordPress Food Blogs We Follow + Love

Polenta & Baccala

Oh, how we love this gem of a website. Polenta & Baccala (stylized polenta e baccala) is an invitation to cook with Graziano, who creates authentic Italian recipes coupled with marvelous photography and detailed preparation instruction. Besides the rich content and beautiful photography, the blog is presented on a visually stimulating layout.

There’s no guesswork needed with the recipes at Polenta & Baccala. From preview to preparation, creation to consumption, Graziano provides the perfect “map” to all his dishes to cooks of any experience level. Couple this with Graziano’s photography expertise and his very real credentials (a native northern Italian now living in Hungary), and we promise you’ll be spending plenty of time perusing polenta e baccala for recipes and food inspiration.

Homemade mozzarella from Peter Salerno's kitchen.
Homemade mozzarella from Peter Salerno’s kitchen.

Cooking With a Wallflower

It’s important to remember that self-expression comes in all forms. While the statement one can make with food is loud, often the person preparing these artistically resounding meals is quite introverted. Such is the case with Cooking With a Wallflower, a charming (and delicious) blog run by Andrea, a dental hygienist with a passion for food.

We enjoy Andrea’s perspective on food, and creating a fulfilling work-life balance between her occupation and her passion for cuisine. Cooking With a Wallflower offers a highly pleasing blend of recipes and life experiences, which reminds us that the heart and soul of every kitchen is the person who uses it.

In Diane’s Kitchen

In Diane’s Kitchen is so appealing because it’s so real. Recipes are constructed with real life in mind. “What to do with those holiday leftovers?” “How can I make that recipe I saw on TV with the modest kitchen accessories I own?” Diane brings these answers to the table, crafting simple recipes that often provide amazing “bang for the buck” in terms of great rewards with minimal effort and/or skill required.

Websites like In Diane’s Kitchen help keep kitchen inspiration rooted in reality, which is an important aspect of any designer’s process. Like Diane’s recipes, a good kitchen designer knows that ease of use and simple application are of incredible importance in our daily lives.

Peter Salerno's homemade black pepper pappardelle.
Peter Salerno’s homemade black pepper pappardelle.

Foods That Blog

Sometimes, you just want to stare at some pictures of delicious food. For food photography that looks good enough to eat, we turn to Foods That Blog – a place we consider to be source material not only for food trends and food photography, but also design inspiration!

The richness and variety of color and texture in Foods That Blog’s photography can serve as a muse for holistic kitchen design. It’s also helpful to observe what styles and preparations of food are on the rise, as these dishes help signal trends in kitchen appliances and overall kitchen setup.

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes. A simple tagline for a simple, effective blog. Cooking Without Limits pairs a minimalist layout with simple, clean photography and to-the-point recipes to create a user-friendly experience. We love how conversational Cooking Without Limits is; each recipe is an invitation into this cook’s personal kitchen, experiences and tastes.  Every recipe comes with a story, and we love that – after all, your kitchen is where so many of your life’s stories are created!

What is YOUR favorite recipe, cuisine, or food photography blog or website? Leave a link in the comments and tell us why!

Peter Salerno Cookbook Preview: Eight Pasta Dishes That Will Wow You

Peter Salerno Cookbook Preview: Eight Pasta Dishes That Will Wow You

We recently reported about a highly anticipated series of cookbooks forthcoming from Peter Salerno, CMKBD. (Peter is the owner and founder of Peter Salerno Inc., the most award-winning custom kitchen and bath design firm of the 21st century – and an exceptional chef!)

“The response was so overwhelming I had no choice but to start putting together recipes immediately, so here we are!” Peter recently explained to us in a phone interview.

Lobster ravioli with Grand Marnier sauce, all made from scratch - to appear in Peter Salerno's pasta cookbook.
Lobster ravioli with Grand Marnier sauce, all made from scratch – to appear in Peter Salerno’s pasta cookbook.

Earlier this week, Peter Salerno put out a survey on his Facebook account, asking friends and followers to vote on 8 different homemade pasta dishes for his cookbook. The top 4 dishes in the vote were guaranteed to make the cookbook. There was only one problem…

“The trouble was, everybody kept saying, ‘Put all of them in!'” Peter continued. “So we’re going to publish all eight recipes.”

As a result, Peter is now hard at work refining and perfecting all 8 pasta recipes, based on Sicilian tradition, family secrets, and his travels to fine dining establishments, conversations with world-class chefs, and attending CIA culinary classes.

As if THAT wasn’t enough to get you drooling, Peter also announced a partnership with David Hamburger of Acker, Merrall & Condit, wine merchants of New York City since 1820. David is a top wine educator, and will be working closely with Peter Salerno to create exceptional wine pairings for each of these pasta dishes!

Fettuccine with a wild mushroom and cream sauce, topped with black truffles, from Peter Salerno's upcoming cookbook
Fettuccine with a wild mushroom and cream sauce, topped with black truffles, from Peter Salerno’s upcoming cookbook

In no particular order, here are 8 pasta dishes that will appear in Peter Salerno’s debut pasta cookbook:

  • Lobster ravioli with a Grand Marnier cream sauce (the winner of the vote)
  • Fettuccine with a wild mushroom and cream sauce, topped with black truffles (2nd place in the vote)
  • Rigatoni with a puttanesca sauce 
  • Cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage 
  • Penne alla Norma (eggplant, tomato,basil)
  • Pappardelle al Cinghiale (wild boar sauce) 
  • Fettuccine with bolognese and sweet peas 
  • Lobster, macaroni and 3 Italian cheeses

The pasta cookbook will only be the first in a series of installments from Peter Salerno, who states that pasta felt like the most organic place to start the series.

“I wanted to make sure each of the pasta dishes we presented was unique,” Peter explained. “There will be classics like Cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage, and then a bit more exotic offerings like Pappardelle with Cinghiale, with is a wild boar sauce.”

Peter Salerno creates homemade pasta with his granddaughter, Jesse.
Peter Salerno creates homemade pasta with his granddaughter, Jesse.

For Peter Salerno, one of the real joys of creating pasta dishes is the ability to do so with his family. In the beautiful moment captured above, Peter Salerno rolls out homemade fettuccine with his granddaughter Jesse. It’s part of the Salerno family tradition, passing down old-world Sicilian traditions and recipes through generations.

Part of Peter’s appeal as a custom kitchen designer is his expertise in actually using kitchen design to its fullest. For over two decades, professional chefs and avid home cooks have trusted Peter Salerno Inc. to create state-of-the-art kitchen designs that not only look beautiful, but function as a world-class, operational kitchen.

So, we’re curious – which of the eight pasta dishes listed above sounds most appetizing to you? Which one are you most excited to see appear in Peter Salerno’s forthcoming cookbook? Let us know in the comments below!

Peter Salerno's NKBA Best Kitchen of 2012, with a custom hood from RangeCraft.
Peter Salerno’s NKBA Best Kitchen of 2012, designed for two professional chefs. (Credit Peter Rymwid)

Award-Winning Kitchen Designer Announces Cookbook Series in 2019

Award-Winning Kitchen Designer Announces Cookbook Series in 2019

Peter Salerno of Peter Salerno Inc. To Debut Cookbook Series

Our mouths are watering already.

Peter Salerno, CMKBD (the founder of Peter Salerno Inc., the most award-winning North American kitchen and bath design firm of the 21st century) has announced a series of cookbooks inspired by his designs, his Sicilian heritage, and his world travels as an ensign in the United States Navy.

Peter Salerno (of Peter Salerno Inc.) has announced a new line of cookbooks. Here's Peter Salerno in his design showroom!
Peter Salerno (of Peter Salerno Inc.) has announced a new line of cookbooks. Here’s Peter Salerno in his design showroom!

The first Peter Salerno cookbook is set to debut later in 2019.

The announcement was made via Peter Salerno Inc.’s official Instagram and Facebook accounts and was received with anticipation and excitement.

Instagram user Stephanie Lee (@stephanie_lee_): “I’d like to preorder ASAP!!!”

Instagram user J. Patryce Design (@jpatrycedesign): “Congrats!… lmk where to purchase!”

Peter Salerno’s mastery of custom kitchen design, both transitional and traditional, stems from two places – his family tradition of cabinetry and woodworking, and his love of cooking. Peter’s friends and family often find him in his home kitchen, as well as the centerpiece kitchen of his award-winning Wyckoff, New Jersey showroom. Peter blends old-world Sicilian family recipes with other Mediterranean fare, and is eager to bring that knowledge from his kitchen to yours.

We hope Peter salerno shares his secret family homemade cavatelli recipe!
We hope Peter salerno shares his secret family homemade cavatelli recipe!

Peter also is an avid wine enthusiast, and promises to bring wine pairing expertise to his cookbooks with every recipe.

“Developing an understanding of wine pairings doesn’t depend on your budget,” Peter notes. “I’ll be pairing recipes with both high-end and affordable bottles of wine so everyone can enjoy.”

We’ve been present in the Peter Salerno Inc. showroom for some of Peter’s culinary creations, and trust us – we made sure to get a sample (or two, or three…). Whenever Peter dons his La Cornue or Miele chef’s apron, you know something special is about to happen.

Now, those special moments are about to be shared with the world!

Keep an eye out for future articles here on Design Your Lifestyle, as we keep track of Peter Salerno’s new line of cookbooks!

Peter Salerno with his father, Rosolino Salerno.
Peter Salerno with his father, Rosolino Salerno.

Our Favorite Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe

It’s been bitterly cold in the Northeast lately, which means that the team at Peter Salerno Inc. needs as many ways to keep warm as possible – both at home and at their award-winning design showroom!

(Read about Peter Salerno Inc.’s Innovative Showroom Award here…)

We don’t have to tell you how sweet and comforting a mug of hot chocolate is. And we could go on for days about how delicious Nutella is. But when we found out that A Beautiful Mess put the two together… well, our winter got a lot warmer.

A delicious recipe for Nutella hot chocolate. (Photo and recipe courtesy of A Beautiful Mess)
A delicious recipe for Nutella hot chocolate. (Photo and recipe courtesy of A Beautiful Mess)

A Beautiful Mess is run by sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. According to the website, their blog is “focused on creating happiness every day through a homemade lifestyle”. That’s a mission statement we can get behind!

Their recipe for Nutella Hot Chocolate is absolutely spectacular. It’s a great blend of sweet and a little salty, rich and smooth. And it’s the perfect, decadent way to treat yourself on a cold winter day – try it!

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe (courtesy of A Beautiful Mess):

Ingredients (2 servings)

1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup Nutella
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of sea salt
fresh whipped cream (optional)

Preparation

  1. Add your milk to a small pot and heat the milk over low-medium heat until warm (don’t let the milk boil; just warm it slowly).
  2. Once the milk has warmed, add your Nutella and stir regularly with a whisk until all the spread has dissolved.
  3. Add the cinnamon and salt, and stir until combined.
  4. Pour into mug and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.