Welcome to The Lunch Belle, a food website/blog that views the New York City + Los Angeles dining scenes through the lens - and belly - of a highly opinionated, critical, adorably quirky, and culinary-obsessed thirty-something year old.

Just consider me your one-stop NYC - and, most recently, Los Angeles - shop!



Search this site
My delicious calendar
Contributions & affiliations

Tabelog Reviewer TheLunchBelle




Need more streamlined advice?  Shoot me an email with your specific requests:  Lindsay@TheLunchBelle.com.

Entries in Recipes & how-to's (48)


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


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.


Makes 8-10 servings

  • 4-5 sheets salted matzo
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) salted butter, cut in to large chunks
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • Fleur de sel


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

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.

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.

This is my favorite salted butter

The toffee should look like this when it's boilingPour caramel over matzo and spread it evenly using a rubber spatula or culinary brush.  Make sure to coat each piece with caramel. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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


Recipe: Handmade "Take 5, Chubby Hubby!" Truffles (...just in time for Valentine's Day)


Hello, gorgeous!

Chocolate?  Check.  Peanut butter?  Check.  A cross somewhere between a Hershey's Take 5 candy bar and Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream?  Check. 

If you live for 'sweet and salty' desserts, then I think you will love this recipe for "Take 5, Chubby Hubby!" Truffles.  Imagine, if you will, a small peanut butter-ball packed with salty pretzels, then doused in a blend of milk and dark chocolate.  Is your mouth watering yet?  I figured as much...

Just promise me one thing:  Don't let the word "truffle" intimidate you.  This is one of the EASIEST dessert recipes to make.  Ever.  But don't tell that to your main squeeze!  Let him continue to think that you spent all day in the kitchen making your "handmade truffles."  Because, trust me, he will!  ;)

And, on that note, happy Valentine's Day!


*This recipe was adapted from Brown Eyed Baker's version

Ingredients (makes 18-25 truffles, depending on the size of your balls)

  • 1 1/4 cups pretzel pieces
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 3.5-4 ounces milk chocolate (I broke up a 3.5 ounce bar of Cadbury's Milk Chocolate)
  • 3.5-4 ounces dark chocolate (I broke up a 3.5 ounce bar of Cadbury's Dark Chocolate)
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable shortening (I used Crisco)


1. Put pretzels into a resealable plastic bag and crush into very small bits (a rolling pin works great for this).

2. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, salt, and powdered sugar. Stir until all of the ingredients are completely blended and smooth. Add the pretzel bits to the peanut butter mixture and mix thoroughly - I use my hands!

3. Line a small baking sheet with wax paper. Using a small cookie scoop, or about 2 teaspoons worth of peanut butter mixture, gently shape into a ball with your fingertips. Place the ball on the wax paper-lined cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining peanut butter mixture. Place the baking sheet into the freezer to chill for 30 minutes (if your freezer is too small, refrigerate for 1 hour).

4. When ready to dip the truffles, microwave the chocolate and vegetable shortening together in a small bowl in 15-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth.

5. Working one at a time, dip one peanut butter-pretzel ball into the melted chocolate and use a fork to roll it around, ensuring that it is completely coated with chocolate. Let any extra chocolate drip off and place back on the wax paper-lined sheet. Repeat with all of the peanut butter-pretzel balls.

6. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator and again chill for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with crushed pretzels, if desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



Until we eat again

The Lunch Belle


Recipe: Umami-roasted Sweet Potatoes

Every Sunday for the past few months, I've religiously roasted a heaping of root vegetables.  Upon completion and cool-down, I leave half of the amount in the fridge for weeknight dinners, and bring the other half to the office to be added to salads or eaten alongside roasted chicken. 

I have experimented with everything from beets and turnips, to kabocha squash and multi-colored baby carrots.  Be it maple syrup, honey, pomegranate molasses, or balsamic vinegar, I've also dressed my veggies in just about everything under the sun.  What has wowed me time and time again is the yam/sweet potato.  And, after much trial and very little error, I think I've figured out the best recipe for roasted sweet 'taters.  Ever.  I call them "Umami-roasted Sweet Potatoes" because there is a magical and mysterious 'fifth taste' element of salt/savory that marries beautifully with sweet.

I have a good feeling that you, too, will fall in love with this simple, healthy, and delicious recipe that will delightfully perfume your kitchen and lovingly kiss your taste buds. 



Recipe:  Umami-roasted Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients (approximately 4-servings)

  • 2 large yams or sweet potatoes - washed, peeled, and cut in to 1/2"x1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 bulb of peeled black garlic cloves (if you cannot find black garlic at your local grocer/specialty food store/Asian market, you can use regular "white" garlic cloves)
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to "bake" at 425 degrees F.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl and, using clean hands, toss to evenly saturate.  Line a 13x9 glass/metal pan or walled/protected cookie sheet with foil.  Pour ingredients on to foil and disperse evenly.  Bake for 35-minutes. 

Remove from oven and toss potatoes in pan/cookie sheet (...for even-roasting.  No side should be discriminated!).  Bake for another 35-minutes.

Serve immediately, or allow to cool to room temperature before storing in refrigerator.  Enjoy for days; stays fresh up to 1-week.



Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


Recipe: Parfait Parfait (macerated fruit + yogurt)

So I hate it when these byotches are like, "...since I think I look hot, here's a healthy recipe - that actually tastes worse than cardboard - I make sometimes.  Because, obviously, you want to look like me.  Oh, and please make sure to comment on my newest full-body selfie." 

Kim K. Sigh.Right?  I mean, shut the fcuk up.  And while you're at it, gag me with a dumbbell...

Seriously though, if you're trying to start your day off sans that tempting breakfast burrito - pancake stack and hash browns - bagel & schmear - etc., consider my "Parfait Parfait."  Not because you want to look like me, but because this delightful yogurt cup actually tastes good.  And it's way better for you than that sausage/egg/cheese biscuit thing you've been munching on.  Plus, you'll feel like a bad ass knowing that you "cooked" your own breakfast!   


Recipe:  Parfait Parfait (Did you know that the word "parfait" means "perfect" in French?)

The secret that makes this recipe so delicious is the macerated fruit.  And what's best is the fact that you can make this fruit medley last for 5-days/a work week!  

Step 1:  Macerated fruit

  • 2 apples, chopped in to bite-size cubes (If you don't like apples, sub pears, persimmons, 2 cups of fresh berries.  Need more ideas?  Just ask.)
  • 1/2 cup of dried fruit (I like dried cherries, raisins, figs, peaches)
  • 1 tablespoon jam/preserves of your choice

Combine fruit and jam in a tupperware container (or any container with a lid).  Shake or stir to combine.  Keep refrigerated and allow to macerate for 24-hours prior to initial serving.

Trader Joe's has a great selection of dried fruit.Step 2:  Greek yogurt

Why Greek?  Because it has almost triple the amount of protein as non-Greek yogurt.  My brand of choice is Fage.

Step 3 (optional):  Granola

I love granola in my yogurt, but you certainly don't have to add it if you're opposed.  I appreciate the added fiber and texture from the crunchy oats and nuts.  I also believe that it makes this recipe perfectly balanced.

Step 4:  Combine and enjoy!

Using about 1/5 of your macerated fruit, combine it with 1/2 cup of yogurt and a handful of granola (optional).  Enjoy this breakfast - or snack - daily for the entire work-week!


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


Recipe: "Eat your emotions" cherry cobbler

TGISaturday!  Man, how happy are you that this week is over?  I don't know about you but, thus far, 2014 has sucked.  Oh, and Happy New Year, by the way.  Sorry, I should have said that first.  Now, back to my bitching:  Nothing catastrophic has happened.  Yet, at least.  But when the petty bullshiz starts to pile up, all it takes is that one seemingly miniscule comment/event/slip for the "straw to break the camel's back."  Seriously, I've had it up to HERE with flaky friend behavior (you clowns know who you are), dudes with a Napoleon complex (Yes, I'm talking to YOU!), nasty weather, "selfies," the Mexican food in NYC, Miley Cyrus, and...OK, fine, I'll stop.  But not without telling you that the icing on my proverbial cake was last night, when I tripped over some clutter in my room and got a huge gash + goose-egg on my forehead, wrist, and shin.  "Sexy" doesn't even begin to describe it...

So, in an effort to make myself feel better, I decided to whip up my favorite "eat your emotions" dessert:  Cherry Cobbler.  And you know what?  I actually *do* feel better!


Cherry Cobbler

When cooled, my Cherry Cobbler can be cut in to squares for individual portions!

Adapted from Mrs. Reister's original recipe


  • 1 14.5-ounce can pitted red tart cherries in water (I use this brand)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (whole wheat flour gives the crust some girth and a deliciously toothsome bite)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Pour entire can of cherries (including liquid) in to a bowl and blend with 1 cup sugar.  In another bowl, sift the flour, remaining cup of sugar, salt, and baking powder.  Add the milk to the batter and stir to blend.  

Pour melted butter in the bottom of a 9x9" pan (can be glass or metal).  Pour batter in to the pan.  Pour cherries on top of the batter.  Bake for 45 minutes to one hour - note that the crust should be a deep golden color, similar in hue to honey.

Serve warm.  Or cold.  Room temperature works, too.  Hell, this cobbler is so good, it doesn't matter which temperature it's served.  Trust me, the crowd will go wild.




Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle