Deliciously Danish

Sandwiches from Smorgas Chef Restaurant in the Scandia House Center in New York City
Sandwiches from Smorgas Chef Restaurant in the Scandia House Center in New York City

I’m an American mutt: on my mother’s side, I’m Italian, and on my father’s side I’m Danish.  Years ago, Sundays with Grandma and Grandpa would begin with about 3 hours of Lutheran church (I was jealous of my Catholic friends who got to go home after a 1/2 hour mass). Upon our return, we would all assist in assembling an immense table-full of the week’s leftovers, all rearranged and presented to perfection on thin-sliced heavy pumpernickel bread. In Denmark, this is known as Smørrebrød, meaning “buttered bread”. The bread is traditionally smeared with super thick delicious butter (think Lurpak) before toppings are added (the butter keeps the bread from getting soggy), and eaten with a knife and fork.

These little open-faced sandwiches can get very fancy. Indeed, there are restaurants all over Copenhagen (and a couple here in NYC – my next trip will be to Aamans Copenhagen in Tribeca) that specialize in these tasty morsels. In my family, we concentrated on every bite having a perfect blend of bread, dressing and topping. We didn’t worry too much about garnishing, as we were too busy stuffing our mouths. The adults (in my family, age 16) chased the food down with a Tuborg beer (no all but impossible to find) and a shot of Aquavit: Scandinavia’s potent “water of life” made with caraway.

Smorrebrod at my father's house. You can use anything in your fridge!
Smorrebrod at my father’s house. You can use anything in your fridge!

As a fun idea, you should try throwing a Danish Smorrebrod party. Slice and lay out thin slices of heavy pumpernickel, wheat and baguette bread. Place assorted toppings on small plates or on one large platter in the middle of the table, and let your guests make their own sandwiches. Have plenty of Carlsberg and Aquavit on hand to wash down the morsels.

Check out it’s a wealth of information and tons of traditional recipes for sandwiches, homemade pickled herring, cucumber salad and other must-haves. They are one of my favorite blogs.

MOMMY NOTE: If you have young children, the smoked herring may be too much to ask their little taste buds to gobble – stick with the roast beef and pork options!





Ice Cream Colored Kitchy Kitchen

In a world of Vikings and Wolfs, I think it’s time to bring in a more gentle species with a feminine flair. Enter Big Chill. I have always loved the hominess of 50’s-era kitchens and retro design of older appliances, but using one today would probably bring a private chef to tears. Big Chill has taken the modern commercial grade quality of Viking and merged it with the design aesthetic of Donna Reed – FABULOUS.

Big Chill has a number of appliances to choose from – refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers and toaster ovens in any color of the rainbow. I prefer the pastel, ice cream flavor colors. Big Chill also offers different sizes: large appliances for the dream kitchen in the ‘burbs and smaller sets for the cutest of studio apartments. With refrigerators starting at $2995 and ranges starting at $4295, these are definitely not your grandmother’s appliances, but trust me, her bundt cake will turn out even better when baked in a baby blue oven!



Monday Morning Shopping Trip: To Dream the Hermes Dream

I probably don’t have to tell you this, but Hermes makes some of the most beautiful items in the world. I think their bags are amazing, but as an equestrian, I cannot help but drool over more horsey items. In celebration of this week’s horse show in Bridgehampton (the Classic), I am listing some of my “if I had tons of money I would get these” items.

I cannot wait to see and feel their saddles in person when I got to their booth later this week.

Hermes produced a video named (in English) “Hearts and Crafts”. It’s a beautifully made short featuring the Hermes artisans and their craft. It helped me understand why their goods are so beautiful, durable and expensive.



…and the winner is….

Haute Hippie Onesie in Paprika

The Haute Hippie Onesie in Paprika! Thanks to everyone who wrote in and voted. The Splendid maxi dress was a close second, so this will be my backup look should I fail to procure the HH duds before I leave for the Classic.


And….the winner of the Marc by Marc Jacobs iPhone 5 case is….

Raquel Escobar!! Congratulations girlfriend! You’ll be phoning in style.

I’ll be giving away another cute trinket next month, so stay tuned.

I love this onesie, now I just need to FIND IT in my size….



Super Cute Saturday

Annalise in her Luna Luna Copenhagen Clara Dress
Annalise in her Luna Luna Copenhagen Clara Dress

It’s time to shop for the other diva in the family, Annalise. She’ll be starting her first two’s preschool program (and when I say “school” I mean it lightly) in September and, of course, she needs some new duds. The brand Luna Luna Copenhagen was brought to my attention earlier this year when my sister-in-law, Sarah, was getting married. Sarah used this gorgeous dress for the flower girls. I was hooked.

Luna Luna Copenhagen has a breezy, California aesthetic; but the design detail, quality craftsmanship and superior fabric are all European. Annalise’s dress was absolutely adorable and so comfortable, Annalise wore it all day without any whining (which is a huge feat for a toddler). Danish-born Heidi Maria Schwarck, who originally designed for women’s fashion, turned her talents to the younger jet-set after her third child, Luna was born.  Their clothes do run on the small side, so if you have a larger child like me, I would go a size up without hesitation.

We’re in the North East, so some of these dresses will only be warm enough for the first weeks of September. I’ll have to also invest in some of their fall sets, which come with matching hats. Sorry in advance to my dear hubby…this is what happens when you have a daughter ;)

Here are some of my favorites. Thanks for the tip Sarah.

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Don’t forget, the voting and giveaway end tomorrow, so be sure to post what you think I should wear to the Hampton Classic to be entered to win.



Who, What, When, WEAR and Why? – YOU decide and WIN….

Who?  me 🙂

What?  attending the Hampton Classic

When?  August 27 and September 1


Why?  I don’t want to look like a total frumpy amateur mess….

As I prepare my story angle(s), interview questions, photography options and other legitimate concerns, I’m worrying about what I’m going to wear. Is this important? Well, sure!

Normally, I’m pretty good at self-styling, but in this case I thought I would have some fun. I’m posting my options below and I’ll let YOU decide the final outfit. Please vote by commenting below, direct message, email, or facebook. The outfit with the most votes wins!

Okay, here’s the best part – everyone who votes will be automatically entered to win a super cute Marc by Marc Jacobs iPhone 5 cover, thanks to (one of my favorite online retailers). marcbymarkfront

If you spread the word and have a friend sign up and vote, you’ll be entered twice! If you have two friends, we’ll enter you even more, and so on.  Just make sure they let me know who referred them to my blog so I can note who you are!! Oh, and if you think you have any better ideas, I’d like to see these too!!

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Contest ends Sunday, August 25th at 12pm eastern, so vote today!!



Please note that I may not be able to wear the winning look 😦 It may be sold out in my size, it may not be on big enough sale or just plain unavailable by the time I need it – I will do my best!!!

4 Fabulous Flowers for Fashionable Food

When I’m cooking for clients, I’m challenged to garnish my food in a tasteful yet easy way. I found that flowers are just the touch. Finding edible flowers can be a challenge, but certain smaller gourmet stores carry them on a regular basis. When I cannot find the edible varieties, I use pretty non-edible flowers, stressing to diners to NOT include the flora on their forks.

The following are my top 4 favorites:

1. Violets


I not only use these pretty pedals as garnish, but also as a salad component. They are slightly sweet, and delicate and are tasty when using soft greens like butter lettuce and a mild and sweet honey vinaigrette.

2. Herb Flowers


Chives, thyme, garlic, rosemary and other herbs have flowers. They are not always the most ornate, but they do impart extra flavor and color. You can use them in any dish that normally calls for their greens. Be sure to taste them first, as they can be slightly off.

3. Snapdragons


Not your typical eating-flower, as they are bland and can be bitter, however, they are beautiful. Most people probably won’t try eating them, but they really can gussy-up a plate.

4. Squash Flowers


These are delicious and many times cooked and eaten as a specialty all on their own. Many chefs deep fry them, but I prefer to leave them pretty much as they are (maybe a quick sauté with butter and herbs). Be sure to remove the prickly green stems before you cook them! I learned this the hard way when I competed on Food Network’s Chopped….



Asphalt Green NYC and Me

I love chit-chatting.  I just found out that I can chatter my brains out starting September 9th. I am proud and excited to be one of a few lucky cooking instructors participating in the launch of a new culinary program at NYC’s famous Asphalt Green. I’ll be teaching their Culinary Boot Camp Series in September. Too bad I won’t be demo-ing my favorite knives….

Asphalt Green opened their new gorgeous campus in Battery Park City with a new culinary center. They have an amazing 25 yard lap pool, warm water exercise pool, full workout equipment and weights, wood floor gym, 156 seat theater, culinary center (woo hoo!) and 6 multipurpose classrooms. Members enjoy babysitting (this is amazing), youth, teen and adult oriented programs and access to all fitness centers, programs and classes (some have an additional fee). There’s no excuse not to exercise, except I don’t believe they have a barn and jumping ring….

Their gorgeous new lap pool.

My class, Culinary Boot Camp, starts September 9th at 7pm. We’ll be working on basic cooking techniques and making delicious dishes that participants will cook themselves (everything is hands on). There is still some space left, so sign up. Only 14 per class.

The Battery Park City Asphalt Green's brand-new culinary kitchen
The Battery Park City Asphalt Green’s brand-new culinary kitchen

I took these pictures, please forgive my amateurish photography 🙂

Asphalt Green’s Mission:  “Asphalt Green is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting individuals of all ages and backgrounds achieve health through a lifetime of sports and fitness. One of New York City’s most valuable resources, Asphalt Green is acknowledged for its unparalleled programs and expertise.”



to Classic or not to Classic?

Oye. I’m waiting for my media credentials to arrive in the mail so I can cover the Hamptons Classic in person. As a new blogger, I’m not sure I’ll be approved, but really…is there anyone who would appreciate the scene more?


photo courtesy

I saw someone post today on Facebook that it wasn’t worth their time or money to attend (and this is from a horse lover).

Why did she get her Pikeurs all in a twist about this? True…traffic is a nightmare and hoards will descend upon a rural (yet sophisticated) area. True…the stands and streets will be filled with snooty dandies and fashionistas decked out in equestrian luxuries like Longines and Hérmes.

So what?
I say the Hamptons Classic is nothing but good. Good for the caterers and food vendors on the East End. Good for local retail. Good for hotels and inns. Good for any small business lucky to be along or even near Montauk Highway….and GREAT for equestrian sports and all us horsey types. I think if I had seen a horse show like this when I was young, I really would have been inspired to continue riding and not wait until, well, <cough> older to start again.

With the US Open, the start of football, and the ending of the baseball season, NY horse lovers should be thrilled with the heat of the media spotlight this time of year.

I, for one, am glued to my mailbox with the hopes of receiving a thick envelope. Geesh, I feel like I’m applying to college again. What do you think? Are you going to make it?



Tuesdays with Madeleine


My ritual in the morning, probably like most, is to wake up with a huge latte. I need something to wash down my caffeine, so today I think I’ll make Madeleines; easy and delicious. My daughter is as picky as they come and this is one treat that she eats without a fight – she prefers these to chocolate chip cookies and ice cream, if you can believe it.

This recipe, thanks to Martha Stewart, is my favorite and works every time. For some variety, add chocolate chips, lavender or honey.

Vanilla Madeleines (thanks to

(The recipe is also a good base for any number of flavors. If using a nonstick pan, which heats up faster than a traditional one, go by the shorter baking time in step 4.)
Martha Stewart Living, September 2011 

  • Prep Time 20 minutes
  • Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Yield Makes 32 (or 160 mini)


    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • Coarse salt
    • 6 large eggs, room temperature
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
    • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more, softened, for pans
    • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
    • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk together eggs and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Sift flour mixture over top in 2 additions, folding in after each addition. Fold in melted butter in 2 additions, then honey and vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let batter stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Generously butter 2 standard-size or 2 mini nonstick or aluminum madeleine pans using a pastry brush.
  4. Transfer batter to a pastry bag, and snip tip to create a 1/2-inch opening. Pipe some batter into molds, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake on middle rack until pale gold, 8 to 11 minutes (6 to 8 minutes for mini madeleines). Immediately shake madeleines out. Wash and rebutter molds. Repeat with remaining batter. Dust baked madeleines with confectioners’ sugar.

Cook’s Note

Madeleine batter can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Madeleines are best the day they are made, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days

© 2013 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. All rights reserved.

Monday Morning Shopping Trip: A Saddle and a Dream

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Haute Hippie Saddle Tee – $135 at

I love the casual/boho chic of Haute Hippie’s ethos, and when they throw in a horsy/Americana theme, I find them irresistible. Their Saddle Tee, is a fun follow-up to their previous Horses tee shirts, sweatshirts and strapless maxi dress. At $135 a pop, I may have to wait for a sale, but for now, I’ll just save my pennies and hope they don’t sell out. Next time, perhaps they’ll do an English saddle?


Unrelated, yet totally amazing, check out this knife set by Zwilling J.A. Henckels:


Zwilling J.A. Henckels Damascus 5-Piece Knife Block Set, $3,599.95 at

I’ve been looking for a new knife set, and wow….this is the Brad Pitt of blades.

Hand-folded steel, strong yet flexible laser-cut blades, solid and smooth handles, impeccable balance in the hand, African Blackwood handle for beauty; this is a set of a lifetime.

I would have to rob a bank to afford it, but one can dream. I think I may just go to back to Williams Sonoma and give one of these babies another test drive. Do you think they’ll let me cook an entire meal on the showroom floor? 😉



Hostess with the Mostest


Hosting dinner parties (in my case cooking for them) requires hours in the kitchen. I typically wear my chef jacket and plain apron when I’m cooking for clients, but when I’m home, I have an assortment of cute, typically vintage inspired aprons to keep my dressy clothes clean all the while looking fashionable.

My next apron will surely be one of these darlings. Haute Hostess Aprons ( are right up my alley – mixing fashion with cooking. When I save up some fun money I think I’ll go for the “Kate – Society Princess”. Only problem is, I think I’ll have to find an apron for my apron!



Finally a blog combining all three….

of my favorite things – food, fashion and fun (mostly in the form of horse riding). It seems a strange combination, but at events like the upcoming Hampton Classic in Bridgehampton, NY, all three are on display.  The chef in me is dying to sample the foods from local providers specializing in local farm fare, the fashionista in me wants to go to view the summer duds and amazing equestrian styles on the fabulous Hamptons hotties, and the rider in me dreams that it is I, an equestrian novice, out on the course with enough talent to compete.

An amazing jump from the Hampton Classic
An amazing jump from the Hampton Classic Photo courtesy


I’ll be posting all things foodie, fashion, and equine….maybe the stars will align and I’ll be covering the Classic in person. Stay tuned….!



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