Welcome to The Lunch Belle, a NYC based food and travel website that views various dining scenes and destinations through the lens - and belly - of a highly opinionated thirty-something.



Search this site
Contributions & affiliations

Tabelog Reviewer TheLunchBelle



My delicious calendar
  • 6/20-6/23: Milwaukee
  • 6/28-7/7: Turkey & Greece
  • 8/10-8/19: LA & San Diego

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

Entries in Recipes & how-to's (56)


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.)


Recipe: The Lunch Belle's Famous Organic Green Chile Cheese Enchiladas

St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan in 387 A.D., once said, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” while referring to the Church in Rome fasting on Saturdays, which is not something they practiced in Milan. The moral of the story was to follow the custom(s) of where you are visiting.
So when I’m in my hometown of El Paso, Texas, I like to eat as the El Pasoans do. Is West Texas famous for Italian, Japanese, Greek or French food? No, but we are famous for the country’s best Mexican food. Having lived in New York for four years now, I’ve not been able to find authentic Mexican remotely close to that of my beloved hometown. I can tame my cravings for nearly every other cuisine in Gotham except for my favorite Southwestern dishes.

During a recent trip to El Paso (which had been the first time in 1 ½ years), I was determined to eat as much Mexican food that I possibly could. On the eve of my sister’s engagement party, I decided to treat my exhausted family to a home cooked meal and make cheese enchiladas with my favorite organic green chile sauce. 505 Chile hand makes the best enchilada sauce that you can purchase in a jar, because these days, who has time to make their own labor intensive sauce from scratch? Recently, I read on the 505 Chile website that their amazing sauces can now be shipped anywhere in the world! This means that folks all over can finally enjoy the same caliber of Mexican food that I’ve grown up with! On this note, I couldn’t help but share my famous organic green chile cheese enchilada recipe with you all! Enjoy…


  • 15 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ pounds of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1/3 (1/2 cup can be used, as well) cup of chopped white onions
  • 1 16 ounce jar of 505’s Organic Green Chile Sauce (choose from mild, medium or hot when adding to online grocery cart)
  • ½ cup organic chicken OR vegetable stock
  • 1 medium-sized saucepan
  • 1 13x9 greased glass baking pan

Preheat oven to bake at 275 degrees.
Add oil to saucepan on medium heat and allow warming for approximately two minutes. Immerse corn tortillas, one by one, in to hot oil, cook for 10 seconds on each side and use tongs to flip. Once finished, pat each tortilla gently with a paper towel to absorb excess oil and set aside. Be careful…They will be hot!
In a shallow bowl or pie pan, pour entire jar of 505 Organic Green Chile Sauce and ½ cup of organic chicken or vegetable stock together. Stir until blended and set aside.

Create a workspace/assembly line for yourself by placing the correct ingredients in their proper order beginning with:

  • Fried corn tortillas
  • Sauce/stock mixture
  • Clean plate (to roll the enchiladas on)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Onions
  • Greased 13x9 inch glass baking pan

Dip the corn tortilla in to the sauce, fully immersing it on each side. Remove, and place flat on the clean plate. In the middle of the tortilla, add ¼-1/3 cup of cheese and a pinch of chopped onion. Roll tortilla up like a burrito, and then place in baking pan. Repeat these steps until you have used all of the tortillas. Spoon the remainder of the sauce on top of the rolled tortillas (now enchiladas), and then sprinkle with remaining cheese and onions. Cover pan with foil and bake covered for 20 minutes, then uncovered for 10 minutes. I love my enchiladas with a side of rice and beans, and occasionally, a dollop of sour cream!

*Assuming that each person will eat two enchiladas, this will serve approximately 7 guests.

505 Chile products can be purchased by phone at: 1.888.505.CHILE (2445)
Or via the internet: http://www.505chile.com/

Page 1 ... 10 11 12 13 14