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Entries in Recipes & how-to's (57)


Recipe: Cheesy "Big Corn" Casserole

If you've grown tired of traditional macaroni-n-cheese, I suggest trying this recipe that substitutes hominy (maize/corn kernels) for pasta. This dish is loosely based on a recipe from my dear cooking mentor, Ofelia.


  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic, chopped
  • Two 15.5 ounce cans of hominy (drained and rinsed with water to remove extra starch)
  • One 4 ounce can of chopped green chile (drained and rinsed with water to remove "canned" taste)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup of cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Colby cheese
  • 1/2 cup of crushed Fritos

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent. Add hominy, tomatoes and green chiles and saute for five minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese and sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour ingredients from the saucepan in to the bowl containing the sour cream and cream cheese. Stir components together to blend evenly. Fold mixture in to a lightly greased, 8x8 glass casserole/Pyrex/Le Creuset dish. Evenly top with crushed Fritos.

Bake uncovered in a 300 degree oven for twenty-minutes. Serves four.


Jeanie's FAMOUS Rum Cake Recipe!

I don't know about you, but my favorite time of year begins on Thanksgiving Day and ends on Christmas Eve. There's just something so special and magical about that month. I love the magnificent decorations, twinkling lights, holiday-themed drink concoctions at Starbuck's, and the general warmer mood of my fellow New Yorkers. And when I stop to reminisce about my childhood, the first thing that comes to mind are family friends exchanging edible holiday treats. One, in particular, is my best friend's mother's outrageously delicious rum cake. I've had plenty of rum cakes in my time (sorry Grandma, even yours wasn't this good), but not one has ever wowed or stood out like Mrs. Jeanie Johns' did.

I wasn't sure if Jeanie would give me the recipe, but instead of assuming she wouldn't, I mustered up the courage and picked up the phone. Without an ounce of hesitation, Jeanie happily gave me her infamous rum cake recipe! And with that, my dear readers, I present you with the secret ingredients and instructions to the best damn cake you will ever make...And taste.

Jeanie’s Rum Cake


  • 1 pkg. Golden Butter Cake Mix
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup rum
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped pecans in bottom of bundt pan. Mix ingredients in order given; beat 2 minutes with mixer. Pour batter into bundt pan over pecans. Bake about 40-minutes. When the cake is done remove from oven and DO NOT remove from pan. Use an ice pick to poke holes in cake while in the pan. Add glaze immediately.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup rum
  • 1 stick butter
  • ¼ cup water

Melt butter in sauce pan. Add sugar, rum and water; bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes. Remove glaze from heat and pour over cake IN bundt pan. Retain about 3 tablespoons of glaze. Let cool in pan about 20 minutes before removing.

Slightly warm remaining glaze and pour over cake after removing from pan.


Recipe: Sweet 'n Savory Quesadillas

For a small house party I hosted recently, I decided to test out a recipe that was inspired from one of my favorite restaurants, The Stanton Social. I fell in love with their Grilled Brie and Peach Quesadilla. With hopes to enjoy a similar version at home, I created my own recipe based on The Stanton Social's classic.

What I particularly love about this recipe is the non-traditional element of both sweet and savory ingredients. Enjoy!

Ingredients (serving 5 people):

  • 10 fresh flour tortillas (2 tortillas per person)
  • 10 oz. peach preserves (apricot or nectarine would also work): I like to use Sarabeth's Peach Apricot Preserves
  • Sliced brie cheese, with rind intact~Note: If brie is bought by the wheel, remove rind encircling the cheese, but not top and bottom rind (1 lb. of brie will yield enough cheese for 5 quesadillas; 1/2 lb. of brie will yield enough cheese for 2.5 quesadillas; etc.)
  • Chile powder
  • Sea salt

Pair tortillas by two's, and work on each individually. Spread 1/4 cup of peach preserves on tortilla, then place sliced brie cheese on top. Very lightly, dust with chile powder and sea salt. Sandwich with second tortilla, set aside and repeat process with remaining ingredients. Note: Uncooked quesadillas may be properly wrapped and refrigerated to cook at a later point, within 24-hour's time.

Grease griddle with cooking spray or butter. Cook quesadilla on each side, until cheese is lightly melted and tortillas resemble a buttery, golden brown color. Slice in to quadrants and serve!


Recipe: Chile-con-Queso (Texas cheese dip)

Chile-con-Queso has morphed from tradtional Mexican white cheese and rajas (sauteed green chiles and onions) or chorizo to a full blown Tex-Mex version made with trusty Velveeta cheese. In an effort to create a happy medium between tradition and my Tex-Mex upbringing, I've designed a recipe that's truly the best of both worlds.

Ingredients (recipe will feed approximately 10 people):

  • 3/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
  • 4 4-ounce cans chopped green chile
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes (or Rotel)
  • 4-ounces medium sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 16-ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, cubed
  • 4-ounces cream cheese
  • 16 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup canned evaporated milk or sour cream
  • Large cooking pot

In a large cooking pot, add 2 tablespoons of corn oil and allow to warm for 2 minutes over medium heat. Drop 3/4 cup of chopped white onion in to pot and stir frequently until they become almost translucent. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Next, add green chile, cilantro, pinch of garlic powder, chicken/vegetable broth and crushed tomatoes/Rotel. Stir ingredients together then place lid 3/4 way shut over the pot. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, remove lid and add all cheeses and canned milk/or sour cream. Turn heat back up to medium and stir frequently until all cheese is melted. Season to taste.

Serve with tortilla chips, Fritos, or fresh tortillas and enjoy! (Recipe can be made in advance and actually tastes better if made 24 hours in advance of serving. Prior to refrigerating, let chile-con-queso cool to a luke-warm, which could take approximately one hour.)