Fuss-free Artichoke Tart for a Quickie Dinner


photo: Robin Selden

photo: Robin Selden

If you know that your family will be racing to the finish line even before they begin your Purim meal, consider keeping your entree super simple with this Artichoke and Gruyere Tart. We love that it’s meat-free so all hamantaschen, even those laden with butter, are fair game.
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2 Family Owned Cookie Companies & Why We’re Sweet on Them


handmade at Sustainable Indulgence

handmade at Sustainable Indulgence

Katy Morris

Recently, we spent an exhilarating morning munching handmade cookies and chatting with food entrepreneurs in an inconspicuous “incubator” right in our own backyard here in CT. We had just read an article in the NYTimes about a similar space (in Queens, NY) and were prompted to finally check out what is happening with two companies we’ve admired for quite some time. We had tasted their healthy treats in local shops but wanted to get closer to the baking action.

So, we headed up I-95 to Bridgeport where Sustainable Indulgence and Biscotti Bites churn out their irresistible cookies. We wanted to know more about these family owned businesses which value sustainability and community, use only the best locally sourced ingredients, and…wait for it…have kosher certifications! Continue reading

Winter Salad that Meets the Challenge

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Winter salads can taste a little lackluster, we know. But colder months provide an opportunity to create pairings with dried fruits and nuts that sing differently but still shine in composed salads bursting with warm flavors and colors. Continue reading

Easy Spiced Zucchini Bread

Photo: Robin Selden for Marcia Selden Catering, CT

Photo: Robin Selden for Marcia Selden Catering, CT

We love easy-to-bake recipes that highlight seasonal spices like the heady quad of cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves. Once you’ve baked this super moist Spiced Zucchini Bread, your home will carry the warming scents of Autumn for days.

And with Chanukah and family gatherings ramping up next week, that’s a welcoming scent, indeed. Continue reading

Apple & Fennel Noodle Kugel

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Melissa Roberts

Noodle kugel usually finds itself alongside the bagels at a Yom Kippur break fast. Kugel, sweetened with fruit and sugar, symbolizes a wish for a sweet year ahead. There are many variations on this theme and the following recipe provides tradition with a twist on the familiar.

A cottage cheese and sour cream base is blended with eggs, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest into a smooth custard, an extra step, but one that lends a creamy base. Next, the kugel is studded with plump golden raisins and apple, a combination with hints of the fall season ahead.

But there’s more. Because apples pair well with fennel, the sugar is whizzed with fennel seed, lacing the kugel with a faint licorice flavor.

Apple & Fennel Noodle Kugel

8-10 servings

Apple & Fennel Noodle Kugel

Dairy noodle kugel (pudding) is a satisfying addition to any brunch buffet. But it is most often associated with a celebratory break-the-fast meal. Decadently creamy and filling, this kugel points to Autumn with the inclusion of apples and fennel.

This recipe was contributed by Melissa Roberts.

This kugel is dairy.


  • 2 Golden Delicious apples (1 lb total)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 12 ounces dried egg noodles
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for greasing dish
  • 1 (1 lb) container sour cream
  • 1 (1 lb) container small curd cottage cheese (4% fat)
  • 1 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • ¾ teaspoon salt


  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350F.
  2. Generously grease a 3 ½ quart shallow (2 inch deep) baking dish with some butter.
  3. Peel apples, halve, and core. Cut each half into thirds, then thinly slice crosswise.
  4. Combine sugar and fennel seed in a food processor. Run machine until fennel breaks down (it won’t be finely ground, but break most of the fennel into pieces and infuse the sugar). Measure out 2 tablespoons and set aside. Leave remaining sugar in machine.
  5. Bring a 5 to 6 quart pot of water to a boil.
  6. Measure out 1 cup boiling water and combine with raisins. Let steep.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to pot, then cook noodles until al dente. Drain in a colander, then return to warm pot and add 3 tablespoons of the butter, tossing until noodles are coated.
  8. Combine sour cream, cottage cheese, milk eggs, vanilla, zest and salt in food processor with fennel sugar.
  9. Process until smooth.
  10. Add to pot with noodles.
  11. Drain raisins (discard water), then stir in sour cream mixture , raisins, and apples with noodles until combined.
  12. Transfer to buttered dish. Dot top with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with reserved fennel sugar.
  13. Cover dish with foil and bake until kugel is beginning to set but still slightly jiggly in center, 45 minutes to 1 hour hour.
  14. Remove foil and continue to bake until top is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Peak of Summer with Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

zucchini flowers (1)

Fiori di zucca or zucchini blossoms are a delicacy in Tuscany but with the farmers’ markets heaped with towers of zucchini here in the U.S. it’s easier than you may think to bring this very Italian dish to your own table.

If your favorite market vendor doesn’t sell these sunny, edible flowers, ask her to gather them for you. They are the flower at the end of the plant from which zucchini grows. Better yet, pluck them from your own vegetable garden or that of your best friend. Continue reading

Arik Bensimon’s Do-Ahead Savory Summer Salad

Roasted Carrots, beets, fermented black beans

There’s always a lot of buzz around Le FarmBill Taibe‘s farm to table restaurant in Westport, CT. Taibe is admirably and firmly committed to sourcing from many of my favorite farms within a short distance from his charming and very popular restaurant.

Truth is though, I’ve struggled to find enough vegetarian friendly fare to keep me going back as a regular. So imagine my surprise when Executive Chef, Arik Bensimon Continue reading

Grilled Summer Salad with Local Corn

grilled corn


I cheated just a little. I confess. YUP. This locavore bought corn that was grown and trucked up from the south so I could prepare and share this recipe with you. But only because I want you to be READY to fire up your grills when local corn hits your very own farmers’ market.

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