web analytics

Blog

How to Make Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is one of those foundational recipes that everyone should know. It's useful in cold beverages where sugar would not dissolve on its own. Simple syrup is a frequent ingredient in cocktails (like the classic daiquiri pictured here) and also virgin drinks like lemonade. It couldn't be easier to make, and it keeps in the fridge for eons.

Tip

Like what you see here? It's a classic daiquiri, a preferred drink of Ernest Hemingway and JFK. It's got rum, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup, and it's so good. Go get it.

How to Make Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is useful in cold beverages where sugar would not dissolve on its own. It's a frequent ingredient in cocktails (like the classic daiquiri pictured here) and also virgin drinks like lemonade. This recipe makes about 1 cup.
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Serves 16

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  1. Combine the sugar and the water in a small pot.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Cool completely. Can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to a month.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size:

1 tablespoon

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 48

    Beet, Goat Cheese and Mint

    Prep Time 40 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 55 minutes
    Serves Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 pounds cucumbers (about 4 medium)
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

    Directions

    Place the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

    Slice the cucumbers into thin 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Place them in the bowl, add the chives, and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed before serving.

    Preheat the oven to 450°F.

    1. Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.

    2. Spread a rimmed (18×13-inch) half sheet pan with the tablespoon of olive oil.

    3. Dunk the salmon in the miso glaze and arrange along one edge of the baking sheet.

    4. Next, toss the asparagus in the glaze and arrange in one even layer in another corner of the baking sheet.

    5. Finally, toss the bok choy with the remaining glaze and arrange in a pile in the open space on the baking sheet (don’t worry about piling it up a little—it will help them steam and cook through).

    6. Roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the fish is firm to the touch (if you’d like a little more color on the salmon, broil it for 2 minutes at this point).

    7. Remove from the oven, garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds, and serve.

    Notes

    test

    Americano Recipe: Classic Cocktails

    The Americano is the Negroni's lighter cousin, which swaps out gin for soda water and is a great aperitif or day drink. Both cocktails hail from Italy, and you may be surprised to learn that the Americano came first, apparently because Italian bartenders of the mid 1800s found that American tourists preferred their Milano-Torino cocktails with a big splash of soda water. To me there’s some poetry and comfort in a drink named for Americans by Italians a century and a half ago.

    Tip

    If you're in the mood for a light cocktail with a bitter component, you might also like the Aperol Spritz.

    Americano Recipe

    The Americano is a lighter take on the Negroni, developed when Italian bartenders of the mid 1800s found that American tourists preferred their Milano-Torino cocktails with a big splash of soda water.
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Total Time 5 minutes
    Serves 1

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 ounces Campari
    • 1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth (rosso)
    • 2 ounces soda water

    Directions

    1. Place some ice in a tall glass. For their slow melt and simple, classy look I used these giant ice cubes.
    2. Pour in Campari and vermouth, stir in soda water and serve.

    Nutrition Information

    Amount Per Serving:

    Calories:: 185

      Beet, Goat Cheese and Mint

      Prep Time 40 minutes
      Cook Time 15 minutes
      Total Time 55 minutes
      Serves Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

      Ingredients

      • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
      • 2 tablespoons olive oil
      • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
      • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
      • Freshly ground black pepper
      • 2 pounds cucumbers (about 4 medium)
      • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

      Directions

      Place the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

      Slice the cucumbers into thin 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Place them in the bowl, add the chives, and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed before serving.

      Preheat the oven to 450°F.

      1. Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.

      2. Spread a rimmed (18×13-inch) half sheet pan with the tablespoon of olive oil.

      3. Dunk the salmon in the miso glaze and arrange along one edge of the baking sheet.

      4. Next, toss the asparagus in the glaze and arrange in one even layer in another corner of the baking sheet.

      5. Finally, toss the bok choy with the remaining glaze and arrange in a pile in the open space on the baking sheet (don’t worry about piling it up a little—it will help them steam and cook through).

      6. Roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the fish is firm to the touch (if you’d like a little more color on the salmon, broil it for 2 minutes at this point).

      7. Remove from the oven, garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds, and serve.

      Notes

      test

      Lemon Curd Recipe

      This lemon curd recipe, adapted from Sherry Yard's awesome book The Secrets of Baking, has been in our family for years. It's great with yogurt, spread on toast, spooned into a tart shell (or lots of mini tart shells), or divided into 4 5-ounce jars to give as gifts.

      Tip

      Lemon curd will keep in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for three months. If giving as a holiday gift, it's great to let people know about the freezer potential so they can enjoy when the overindulgent season is a distant memory.

      Lemon Curd Recipe

      Makes about 2 1/2 cups of lemon curd, which is a nice amount for filling a tart shell or 4 5-oz. gift jars. You'll need a large, heatproof glass bowl and a pot in which the bowl can rest without touching the bottom.
      Prep Time 15 minutes
      Cook Time 15 minutes
      Total Time 30 minutes
      Serves 40

      Ingredients

      • 2/3 cup sugar
      • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (finely grated on a rasp)
      • 3 large eggs
      • 4 large egg yolks
      • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
      • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
      • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

      Directions

      1. Fill the pot with about one inch of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
      2. In a food processor or mortar and pestle, combine the sugar and lemon zest and pulse or mash until the sugar is yellow and the delicious smell of lemon sugar almost knocks you out, about a minute in the food processor or a few minutes in the mortar.
      3. Combine the lemon sugar, eggs and egg yolks in the heatproof bowl. Whisk together for one minute to distribute the sugar. Place the bowl over the pot with simmering water and whisk constantly for about 30 seconds, or until the sugar is dissolved.
      4. Add the lemon juice and lime juice and cook, whisking constantly for 8 to 10 minutes, until the curd reads 160° F on an instant read thermometer and has the consistency of sour cream. Remove the bowl from the heat.
      5. Whisk in the pieces of cold butter one by one until they are completely incorporated. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
      6. If you are gifting the curd, divide it among four small jelly jars while it is still warm. Then chill in the refrigerator. The curd lasts in the refrigerator for up to a week and also freezes beautifully. Especially since people can get so overfed around the holidays, it's nice to include a label on the jar that lets recipients know they can freeze it for up to three months.

      Nutrition Information

      Serving Size:

      1 tablespoon

      Amount Per Serving:

      Calories:: 42 Total Fat:: 2.4g Carbohydrates:: 3.8g Fiber:: 0g Protein:: 1.4g

        Beet, Goat Cheese and Mint

        Prep Time 40 minutes
        Cook Time 15 minutes
        Total Time 55 minutes
        Serves Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

        Ingredients

        • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
        • 2 tablespoons olive oil
        • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
        • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
        • Freshly ground black pepper
        • 2 pounds cucumbers (about 4 medium)
        • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

        Directions

        Place the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

        Slice the cucumbers into thin 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Place them in the bowl, add the chives, and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed before serving.

        Preheat the oven to 450°F.

        1. Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.

        2. Spread a rimmed (18×13-inch) half sheet pan with the tablespoon of olive oil.

        3. Dunk the salmon in the miso glaze and arrange along one edge of the baking sheet.

        4. Next, toss the asparagus in the glaze and arrange in one even layer in another corner of the baking sheet.

        5. Finally, toss the bok choy with the remaining glaze and arrange in a pile in the open space on the baking sheet (don’t worry about piling it up a little—it will help them steam and cook through).

        6. Roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the fish is firm to the touch (if you’d like a little more color on the salmon, broil it for 2 minutes at this point).

        7. Remove from the oven, garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds, and serve.

        Notes

        test

        Raspberry Whipped Cream

        Every year for her birthday, Celia requests The Best Chocolate Cake with this raspberry whipped cream for frosting. We're pretty sure it's not just because that's pretty much the biggest cake any of us have ever seen. 

        This raspberry whipped cream makes a terrific, not-too-sweet frosting for a wide variety of cakes and cupcakes, but it's also a terrific topping for waffles, mixed berries, or anywhere else you'd like to use a whipped cream that's a little extra special.

        Tip

        Use this light pink, not-too-sweet raspberry whipped cream to frost The Best Chocolate Cake, or simply use it as raspberry whipped cream. It's great on waffles, over mixed berries, you name it.

        Raspberry Whipped Cream

        Use this light pink, not-too-sweet raspberry whipped cream to frost The Best Chocolate Cake, or simply use it as raspberry whipped cream. It's great on waffles, over mixed berries, you name it.
        Prep Time 10 minutes
        Cook Time 10 minutes
        Additional Time 20 minutes
        Total Time 40 minutes
        Serves 16

        Ingredients

        • 10 ounces frozen raspberries
        • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
        • 2 cups heavy cream

        Directions

        1. In a small pot, combine the raspberries and 1/3 cup sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the raspberries have broken down most of the way and the syrup has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
        2. Push the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer to remove seeds. You'll inevitably lose a fair amount of the beautiful red pulp to a fine-mesh strainer, but keep pushing and stirring as long as you can stand it to extract as much as possible. You can do this step up to a few days in advance and keep the strained syrup in the fridge. Either way, be sure to let the syrup cool completely before proceeding. (You can set the bowl with the syrup over a bowl of ice to speed the process if you like.)
        3. Just before you want to frost the cake, beat the heavy cream just shy of the soft peak stage with an electric mixer. Add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat to incorporate. Pour in the raspberry syrup and beat just a touch more.

        Nutrition Information

        Amount Per Serving:

        Calories:: 142 Total Fat:: 10.8g Carbohydrates:: 11.2g Fiber:: 1.2g Protein:: 1.1g

          Beet, Goat Cheese and Mint

          Prep Time 40 minutes
          Cook Time 15 minutes
          Total Time 55 minutes
          Serves Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

          Ingredients

          • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
          • 2 tablespoons olive oil
          • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
          • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
          • Freshly ground black pepper
          • 2 pounds cucumbers (about 4 medium)
          • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

          Directions

          Place the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

          Slice the cucumbers into thin 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Place them in the bowl, add the chives, and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed before serving.

          Preheat the oven to 450°F.

          1. Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.

          2. Spread a rimmed (18×13-inch) half sheet pan with the tablespoon of olive oil.

          3. Dunk the salmon in the miso glaze and arrange along one edge of the baking sheet.

          4. Next, toss the asparagus in the glaze and arrange in one even layer in another corner of the baking sheet.

          5. Finally, toss the bok choy with the remaining glaze and arrange in a pile in the open space on the baking sheet (don’t worry about piling it up a little—it will help them steam and cook through).

          6. Roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the fish is firm to the touch (if you’d like a little more color on the salmon, broil it for 2 minutes at this point).

          7. Remove from the oven, garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds, and serve.

          Notes

          test

          Classic Buttercream Frosting Recipe

          This adaptable buttercream frosting recipe can be used as-is or dyed any color you like. You can pipe, spread or schmear it onto cupcakes and cakes as desired, and a tablespoon or two of milk more or less can firm it up or loosen it to exactly the consistency you'd like. We like to use this buttercream frosting for our Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes.

          Tip

          You don't have to be any kind of expert to pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Just practice a bit — you can always scoop frosting back into a piping bag and start over!

          Classic Buttercream Frosting

          This adaptable frosting can be used as-is or dyed any color you like. You can pipe, spread or schmear it onto cupcakes as desired. Adjust the consistency by adding a touch more or less milk. Generously frosts 24 cupcakes.
          Prep Time 10 minutes
          Total Time 10 minutes
          Serves 24

          Ingredients

          • 24 tablespoons good butter*
          • 6 cups powdered sugar
          • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
          • 2 tablespoons milk, give or take
          • Gel icing color of choice

          Directions

          1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or the whisk, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
          2. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated.
          3. Add the vanilla extract and milk and turn up the speed to medium high. Beat until very light and smooth.
          4. If making multiple colors, divide icing into separate bowls. Use a toothpick to swirl a little bit of gel icing color into each bowl, then mix thoroughly, adding more as necessary to achieve desired shade.
          5. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes and decorate as you like.

          Notes

          * Salted or unsalted butter is fine. I tend to use salted to offset the frosting's intense sweetness.

          Nutrition Information

          Amount Per Serving:

          Calories:: 394 Total Fat:: 11.5g Carbohydrates:: 75g Fiber:: 0g Protein:: 0.2g

            Beet, Goat Cheese and Mint

            Prep Time 40 minutes
            Cook Time 15 minutes
            Total Time 55 minutes
            Serves Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

            Ingredients

            • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
            • 2 tablespoons olive oil
            • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
            • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
            • Freshly ground black pepper
            • 2 pounds cucumbers (about 4 medium)
            • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

            Directions

            Place the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

            Slice the cucumbers into thin 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Place them in the bowl, add the chives, and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed before serving.

            Preheat the oven to 450°F.

            1. Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.

            2. Spread a rimmed (18×13-inch) half sheet pan with the tablespoon of olive oil.

            3. Dunk the salmon in the miso glaze and arrange along one edge of the baking sheet.

            4. Next, toss the asparagus in the glaze and arrange in one even layer in another corner of the baking sheet.

            5. Finally, toss the bok choy with the remaining glaze and arrange in a pile in the open space on the baking sheet (don’t worry about piling it up a little—it will help them steam and cook through).

            6. Roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the fish is firm to the touch (if you’d like a little more color on the salmon, broil it for 2 minutes at this point).

            7. Remove from the oven, garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds, and serve.

            Notes

            test