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xoxo, 

Lindsay

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Entries in Recipes & how-to's (50)

Thursday
Jan042018

Recipe: Cranberry/Oatmeal Bliss Bars

After Christmas, we had a rather large amount of Craisins onhand.  Mom suggested topping cereal and oatmeal or adding them to pancake batter.  All great ideas, but I wanted to utilize a bigger quantity - rather than just a handful - of the dried berries all at once.  Having fallen in love with my coworker's "Oatmeal Caramelitas," I decided to tweak the recipe.  Why?  Because when I think of oatmeal and brown sugar as ingredients (both separately and together), my mind automatically goes to fruit and milk, not chocolate and caramel.  In my version, I substitute chocolate chips with Craisins and opt for condensed milk over caramel sauce.  The Maldon Sea Salt Flakes finish these bars with a delightfully savory kick!

...

Ingredients 

Crust

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose or unbleached flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups salted butter, softened

Filling

Method

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 13x9-inch pan.  Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.  In large bowl, combine all crust ingredients, mix at low speed until crumbly, or mix by hand.  Reserve 3 cups of the crumb mixture for the topping.  Press remaining crumb mixture in bottom of the greased pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and flour; blend well.  
  3. Remove partially baked crust from oven; sprinkle evenly with Craisins and, if you opted, the chopped pecans.  Drizzle with condensed milk mixture.  Finish by sprinkling the reserved crumb mixture. 
  4. Return to oven; bake an additional 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Lightly sprinkle with Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.  
  5. Cool 1 hour (or until completely cooled).  Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until filling is set.  Cut in to bars and enjoy!

...

Until we eat again

The Lunch Belle

Wednesday
Nov292017

Recipe: Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate & Butterscotch Chips

While some people ring in the fall/autumn/holiday season with pumpkin-spice lattes, I prefer to inaugurate the cooler temperatures with food.  To be more specific: Rather than sip mine, I take my 'sweet and pumpkin-y' in the form of a cookie.

There are plenty of pumpkin cookie recipes out there that call for chocolate chips, but I find that the flavors (of the chocolate and the pumpkin) tend to compete against one another.  Further, their coupling just never made much sense, at least in my opinion.  So, when I began tweaking this specific recipe, I pondered, What would be a great substitute for milk chocolate chips?  White chocolate and butterscotch (chips) immediately came to mind.  As did a 'sea salt finish,' since the sweetness (of the two) would likely be cloying.  

Beyond substituting the chips and using salted butter instead of unsalted (among other recipe amendments), the secret/je ne sais quoi that makes these cookies so delicious is to make the dough a day ahead of time.  While I couldn't tell you the science or chemistry behind it, there is something utterly magical that happens when you allow the dough to rest for 12-24 hours.  I'll bet you haven't had a more toothsome, moist, and decadent cookie since your last visit to Levain BakeryAnd you're welcome!

Enjoy!

~~~

Recipe:  Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate & Butterscotch Chips

Ingredients (yield 3-dozen)

  • 3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie seasoning (substitute nutmeg if you cannot find the seasoning)
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup 100% pumpkin (the same stuff you buy in the can to make pumpkin pie)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • Course sea salt/flakes, to taste

*Expert tip: Make the dough a day ahead and refrigerate.  This will yield a thicker, more toothsome cookie with a perfectly moist interior.*

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie seasoning.

In a separate bowl, mix the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth, about 1 minute.  Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and pumpkin and mix until just combined.

Gradually add in the flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time until combined (be mindful not to over-mix!).  Stir in the white chocolate chips and the butterscotch chips.  

Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight/12-24 hours.

The next day: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  

Make 1 1/2 inch dough balls and sprinkle the top of each with a very light sprinkling/dusting of course sea salt/flakes (to taste).  Bake for 14 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

~

Until we eat again

The Lunch Belle

Monday
Oct122015

Recipe: The best bfast sandwich you've never made...

Are you ready for this?  The other morning, I saw one of my coworkers do the *CRAZIEST* thing in our office's communal kitchen: He cracked a fresh egg in to a small glass bowl - scrambled it with a plastic fork - threw in some sliced breakfast sausage - scrambled it again - then put the mixture in to the microwave for a 45-second zap.  What emerged was a gorgeous, golden soufflé dotted with porky nibs and subtle wafts of steam.  Followed by a...Pop!  Two slices of perfectly-charred toast sprang from the toaster and, within seconds, a scrumptious egg'wich was born.  "Gross, Lindsay," he laughed.  "Close your mouth!  It is not that serious."  I suppose I was so stunned by the fact that a) he MICROWAVED an egg and b) created a restaurant-worthy (or, at the very least, Starbucks-worthy) breakfast sandwich, that I just stood there staring at him - mouth agape - completely unable to speak. 

That night, I made my way over to the supermarket and purchased 1/2 dozen eggs, English muffins, havarti cheese slices, and some chunky salsa.  I managed to locate a small glass bowl and made sure to set it near my car keys so as not to forget any of my ingredients.

...and to the office I went.  

I sliced my English muffin in half and put it in the toaster.  Meanwhile, I cracked my egg in to my small glass bowl and decided against a scramble.  I wanted the full "yolk" effect; you know what I mean - when you take your first bite and the molten, yellow core runs down your chin.  I sprinkled some salt and pepper atop the cracked egg and put it in the microwave for 30-seconds.  Bam!  What was revealed was the perfect, circular cooked "fried egg" a-la a McDonald's (visually, not internally).  I put half of a slice of havarti cheese atop the cooked egg to allow it to melt.  When the 'muffin was perfectly toasted, I lightly spooned salsa atop each half, sprinkled some more salt on each piece, then placed the egg and cheese atop.  The result?  Breakfast perfection.  At a fraction of the cost of what I'd spend elsewhere at somewhere, say, like Starbucks or McDonald's.

You be the judge: How good does that baby look? 

DIY microwaved egg'wich...

Until we eat again, 

The Lunch Belle

Tuesday
Apr072015

Recipe: Salted Caramel Matzo Brittle

"You should sell this stuff at the farmer's market!"

"I don't even like sweets, and this shit is amazing!"

"You're my hero!"

"I cannot stop thinking about that Matzo Brittle!"

"It's a Passover miracle!"

"You're a mensch!"

I've heard it all, folks: From every compliment in the book - to more Matzo Brittle bribes than you can imagine. I'm here to tell you that this recipe will make you a hero amongst anyone lucky enough to sample this magical, deliciously life-altering, Passover-friendly treat. Recipe inspired by my dear friend, Meghan Coyne, and based on my amended version of Christine Gallary's.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 sheets Salted matzo
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) Salted butter, cut in to large chunks
  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a rimmed, full-sized cookie sheet with enough foil that it overlaps and you have to fold it under the edges. Arrange the matzo in a single layer on the baking sheet, breaking pieces as needed to fill any empty spaces. Set aside.
  3. Place butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to boil for 3 minutes, stirring occassionally. Remove from heat and add vanilla (pour slowly, as it may bubble up). Stir to combine.
  4. Pour caramel over matzo and spread it evenly using a rubber spatula or culinary brush. Make sure to coat each piece with caramel.
  5. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 7-10 minutes, until small bubbles cover the entire surface of the matzo and the caramel is fragrant.
  6. Remove from the oven. In a small bowl, combine both dark and milk chocolate chips and toss together. Sprinkle each piece of matzo with chocolate chips and set aside for 3-5 minutes to allow chocolate to soften.
  7. Using a rubber spatula or culinary brush, delicately spread the melting chocolate chips over the caramel. Sprinkle each piece of matzo with fleur de sel and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes.
  8. Use care when removing the brittle from the foiled pan to ensure that no foil sticks to the bottom of the brittle. Break in to pieces and serve and/or freeze for later use.

 

...

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle