This Year’s Herbs

April 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Happy Monday, friends! My head is still spinning a bit from a whirlwind weekend in Chicago. Are any of you from there? I wish I could say I had more time to explore the city, but my time was pretty work focused. It was fun work, though! I’m hoping to share more on that in this week’s Biz Notes….


Biz Notes: Work/Life Separation

April 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

This week I want to touch on work/ life separation, not to be confused with work/life balance. I feel like there is a lot of talk about balancing one’s work and one’s personal life, but… 

Oreo Lover’s Cookies and Cream

April 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hi all- Channeling Contessa has moved, but for the next few weeks I’ll keep posting links here for subscribers. You can subscribe to the new site here.

Oreo Lover’s Cookies and Cream

Channeling Contessa has moved!

April 23, 2012 § 1 Comment

Please check out the new site here:


Thai Beef and Noodle Salad

April 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

I could not be happier it’s Friday! This week started out on a sick note and then quickly transitioned to all my energy being focused on catching up on work. That combined with working most of last weekend has left me a little burnt out, so I’m thrilled to kick off my weekend a little early and be taking Friday off! Aaah… feels like such a treat. What makes it even better is that I have something super fun planned. After doing a little lounging and reading this morning I’m headed to a Biz Ladies Lunch at the Design Sponge offices in Brooklyn. I’m so excited to meet Grace, the founder of Design Sponge, as well as a bunch of women that work for themselves in the NYC area. It’s a pot luck, so the noodle salad you see pictured here is what I’m bringing with me.

A few things on this salad- yes, there are quite a few ingredients. But I assure you, they are all completely worth it! The flavors in this dish are downright addictive- Brandon and I have literally been eating it in various forms (once as a salad, once as a noodle salad) since Wednesday. It’s also ideal for entertaining because all the ingredients can be prepped the day before and then tossed together a half hour or so before serving. It’s best served a little cool or at room temp.You must add this dish to your spring/summer repertoire.

And with that I’m off! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, with lots of time outside. Oh, and, the blog will be down a bit this weekend as I work on some things on the back end so thanks for your patience. If all goes according to plan I’ll have something very exciting to reveal on Monday… see you then!

Thai Beef and Noodle Salad inspired by Shutterbean and Camille Styles
Makes 4-5 entrée portions

For the salad (Note: You can swamp out the noodles and serve with two heads of torn romain lettuce, just use a bit less dressing.)

  • 1 lb linguine (or any fine noodle)
  • 1/2 pound skirt steak
  • big bunches of cilantro, mint, and basil roughly chopped (should equal about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 carrots peeled and shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/2 an English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper (red, yellow or orange) thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes cute in half
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped roasted peanuts
  • Steak marinade: 2 cloves garlic crush, 1 T fish sauce, 2 T soy sauce, and 1 T sugar

For the dressing:

  • 2 T and 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 T and 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 3 tsp Sriracha
  • 4 T brown sugar
  • 4 T peeled, minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)

Marinate the Steak: Place the steak in a large Ziploc freezer bag, add in steak marinade ingredients. Shake bag around and massage steak a bit to mix everything together. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to cook, but up to 1 day- the longer it marinates, the better. Remove from the fridge 15 minutes before cooking to bring to room temp.

Cook the pasta until al denté (about 8 minutes), drain and toss with a little vegetable oil. Set aside.

Heat a cast iron or heavy bottomed frying pan over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Once heated place the steak in the pan and cook for 4 1/2 minutes on each side. While the steak is cooking, mix together ingredients for the dressing. Once the steak has finished cooking, place it on a plate, cover it in tin foil, and let it rest while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Place the noodles, vegetables, and herbs in a large bowl. After the steak has rested, thinly slice it against the grain and add two thirds of it to the salad. Pour in the dressing and toss well to combine. Place the noodles on a large platter and top with the remaining steak and crushed peanuts.

New Series: Biz Notes

April 17, 2012 § 1 Comment

Hi all! I’ve got a new series to introduce today which I’m really excited about. Ever since mentioning I had officially made the transition to working for myself/starting my own business, I haven’t said too much else about the topic. That is about to change! The truth is, my mind is in such a different place these days. When I first started Channeling Contessa, is was solely a creative outlet for my culinary creations. Nowadays, I (thankfully) have many more creative outlets on my plate (ie: my work!) that go well beyond the kitchen and occupy my brain all day long. Thus it only feels natural to share more of that here.

My mind is brimming with ideas for this series, but I want to start things off in a simple and organized manner. So first things first, I’m going to break it down for you guys and share what a typical day looks like in my world these days. Here goes!

7:30-8 am: Wake up I aim to get out of bed around 7:45 am each day. I actually don’t set an alarm. I have a crazy internal body clock which can prove to be pretty frustrating on weekends, but gets me up on time during the week.

8-10:00 am: Breakfast and Work  Once out of bed I make coffee or tea and start work, which usually consists of emails and blog stuff while I’m still waking up. This is my favorite time of day- I love the morning light that pours into our apartment and I love being able to start my work day from the comfort of my own home. Breakfast usually consists of yogurt with honey and almonds or toast with almond butter.

9:45- 11 am: Prep for the “Office” After taking care of any morning priorities I hop in the shower and get ready to go to the “office.” Yes, office. Last month I started renting shared office space here in Brooklyn. While I love the flexibility of working from home I was starting to feel cooped up and cafés were just too noisy, so now I spend a few days a week here. I love it! The people are so sweet and there’s even a little dog named Sushi who hangs out with us.

11 am- 5:30 pm: Work at the Office These are my usual hours at the co-working space. I’ve found working here to be incredibly productive- more so than any other office I’ve worked it. Not much but work happens during this period- I usually bring something to eat and snack on it at my desk (and pet Sushi from time to time).

5:30-6:30 pm: Head Home & Prep for the Gym The office is a solid half hour walk from my apartment, so I shoot to leave by 5:30 so I can get home and change for the gym, as well as clean up the apartment a bit.

6:30-7:30 pm: Gym Time When I’m not traveling (or suffering from the stupid flu), I aim to make it to the gym 3 weekdays and 1 weekend day. Exercise is so crucial for my mental health, so I really look forward to my workout. Most days I do about 20 minutes of cardio and spend the rest of the timing lifting weights.

7:30 pm- 9 pm: Shower and Prep Dinner At 7:30 I’m hustling to finish my workout and head home to prep dinner. Usually I’m reheating leftovers or making something simple like a big salad and quesadillas, which doesn’t require too much time and effort. We eat around 8:15/8:30 and linger until around 9 pm. Sitting down for dinner is one of my favorite parts of the day- the down time and catching up with Brandon helps keep me sane.

9- 11 pm: Blogging, Light Work, and Prepping for the Next Day The majority of my evening time I spend blogging, but occasionally they’ll be a little work, and often I do a bit more tidying of the apartment and prepping meals, etc. for the next day. Some nights I’ll catch up on my TV shows – I’m currently watching Mad Men, Smash, and Bethenny Ever After (no judging!).

11-11:45 pm: Prep for bed, reading, and lights out! In an ideal world I’m in bed with teeth brushed just a little after 11 so I have a solid amount of time to read. I’m currently reading Spontaneous Happiness. Next on my list- 50 Shades of Grey!

Aaand I think that’s it! Obviously not everyday is like this- at least one night a week I have dinner or drinks with friends or we go out, and some weekdays I’ll take advantage of my work from home schedule and go to the gym in the morning or hit up Trader Joe’s when it isn’t a mad house. As simple as it sounds, this whole work from home schedule took me quite some time to figure out- I just now feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it. If there’s one thing having my own business has really taught me thus far, it’s that I need to be more patient! In time…

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Fried Artichoke Salad

April 16, 2012 § 5 Comments

Hello! And happy Monday! Apologies for the lateness of this post. I was having an all around great weekend and looking forward to a pretty routine week, but then yesterday afternoon I got hit with a nasty stomach flu which left me out of commission for all of Sunday and most of today. Seriously, this one came out of absolute nowhere! I’ve been pretty unlucky in terms of getting sick this season, so here’s hoping this is the last of it.

I’m still in recovery mode but I wanted to tell you guys about this delicious salad I made last week. The inspiration for this dish came from a restaurant in our neighborhood which makes a crispy artichoke salad with creamy garlic dressing. I had it a few weeks back and I have yet to stop thinking about it, so I was determined to recreate it at home. Here’s the deal: artichoke hearts get cut in half and then dredged in flour, egg, and a bread crumb and parmesan cheese mixture.  They’re lightly fried and then served on top a bed of greens. I think a salad like this calls for a creamy dressing, but I didn’t want anything too heavy, so I tossed it in a bit of Ashley’s greek yogurt Caesar dressing.

The cool thing about this dish is that it not only makes a great entrée style salad for a brunch or special lunch, but the fried artichokes alone make for the most satisfying appetizer. It was nearly impossible not to gobble them all up before plating up the salad. And especially paired with the greek yogurt style Caesar, they are truly to.die.for.

Hope your week is off to a much better start than mine!

Fried Artichoke Salad

Makes 3 entrée portions or 4 appetizer portions

  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained, patted dry, and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 8 cups mesclun greens
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 wedges fresh lemon

Make the dressing: For ingredients and instructions, please check out Ashley’s post!

Prepare the artichokes:  Set up your dredging station- one bowl with the beaten egg, one bowl with the flour seasoned with half a teaspoon salt and half a teaspoon pepper, and the last bowl with the breadcrumbs and cheese mixed together. Set a large frying pan to medium high heat and coat very generously with vegetable oil.  While the oil is heating, dredge the artichoke hearts, placing them in the flour, then egg, and then breadcrumb mixture.  Line a dish with a paper towel and set aside.  Place the artichokes in the pan and fry until golden brown on both sides. Once cooked, place them on a paper towel to drown. Season immediately with salt.

In a large bowl toss the greens with an ample amount of dressing.  Plate the greens on a large rectangular platter (or place into bowls).  Put the artichokes on top and finish with a squeeze of lemon and some shaved parmesan.

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