Monday, November 19, 2012

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies- Food Network Recipe Review

3 days until Thanksgiving, my second favorite holiday (Christmas naturally being #1) . Here I am testing away at recipes so you don't have to. I'm reviewing the Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies from Food Network. The recipe sounded like it would work perfectly but it didn't. I consider myself an expert baker, I followed all the steps but these cookies turned out crispy, more like Frisbees than cookies. The recipe makes a huge batch and I refuse to throw out good food. SO naturally I fixed them, I placed the cookies in an airtight container overnight with a few pieces of white bread. Sure enough the cookies turned out nice and soft the next day. I'm sad to say that even though now they were soft they just lacked good flavor. Oh well back to the drawing board. Do you have a favorite cookie recipe you'd like to share?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Loopy Jello Shots- TGIF

It's Friday and here's my fave low cal recipe to celebrate- Loopy Jello Shots, I use Three Olives Loopy Vodka and Strawberry sugar free, fat free Jello- top it off with Whip Cream and Cheers!

Pumpkin Soup- Thanksgiving

NY is a mess. First Hurricane Sandy, then gas shortages and the Nor'easter. It's hard to think of celebrating anything even Holidays right now. The show must go on. I'm posting my favorite Pumpkin Soup recipe, it's  great dish to drop off to your local food shelter- I'm sure our friends staying in warming shelters can use a cup of cheer. My Pumpkin Soup is a Thanksgiving staple, it's easy, healthy and cheap to make. If you're on a Weight Watchers this is a 2 point soup!

Jen's Pumpkin Soup
(1) 16oz can of Libby's Pumpkin Puree
4 cups of Low sodium, fat free chicken broth
1 small yellow onion chopped
1 small apple, peeled and diced
2 tsp of organic coconut oil
2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp of honey

Saute onion and apple in coconut oil
Add in pumpkin and broth- cook 15 minutes
Season with salt, pepper and pumpkin pie spice
Puree in Blender, adjust seasoning - Add in Honey
Top with a spoonful of greek yougurt or low fat sour cream and drizzle more honey to desired taste
* WW Members (Extra Honey and Sour cream will add points)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nor'easter Meals - Shrimp Marinara and Spaghetti

A Nor'easter is hitting NYC right now, just a week  after Hurricane Sandy. How much more can we take? There's over 19,000 homes in Brooklyn alone without power tonight! This post is dedicated to all the people out there tonight sleeping on a friend's sofa cause they have no power in their home. During Hurricane Sandy we all ran to my mom's in Brooklyn for safety. A total of 14 people under 1 roof! Talk about cooking for a crowd! Here's a recipe I cooked one night when we wanted to cheer up the crowd. I give to you my Shrimp Marinara & Spaghetti, it's a great way to stretch a little shrimp. Recipe feeds 12 because 2 out of our 14 house guests do not eat shrimp. Stay safe, Stay warm,Stay Strong-God Bless!

Jen DePalma's Shrimp Marinara & Spaghetti
1 1/2lbs medium shrimp
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cans crushed tomato sauce
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch basil hand torn
2lbs spaghetti
Cook Pasta according to directions, drain& set aside
Add oil to a large saucepan
Add in garlic, lightly saute till lightly golden
Add in shrimp , cook halfway remove and set aside
Add 1/2 of basil to pan and 2 cans of sauce
Season with salt and pepper, simmer 20 minutes
Add shrimp back to sauce simmer 5 minutes until cooked through
Toss in basil and Serve!
Step 1


Step 3

Step 4

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cheesy Bacon and Broccoli Quiche

To celebrate our Free Ticket Giveaway to 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, here's my favorite quiche recipe: Cheesy Bacon and Broccoli Quiche, the secret ingredient fingerling potatoes.This recipe has everything a loaded baked potato should and more! It's a quiche- the most perfect party finger food.

Jen's Cheesy Bacon and Broccoli Quiche
1 recipe for Jen's Secret Pie Crust (email me at
4 cups of half and half
6 Eggs
2 cups of Cheddar Cheese
1 cup of Fontina Cheese
1 cup of Parmesan Cheese
1 cup of frozen broccoli
1lb of bacon,cooked crispy & chopped
2 cups of cooked fingerling potatoes sliced


1.    Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.    Combine eggs and heavy cream, beat lightly.
3.    Add cheese, broccoli and bacon to pie shell
4.    Pour Egg mixture over cheese..
5.    Sprinkle in salt and pepper
6.    Cook 35 minutes or until set- cool, slice and enjoy!

Remember to submit your favorite quiche recipe to by November 12th to win!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Win Free Tickets to 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche

Listen up Readers, NY needs some cheer and here at NYC COOKS we are giving away (2) FREE TICKETS (yes free) to the off -broadway smash 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche. send me your best quiche recipe to include picture and recipe. Our winner receives 2 Free tickets and bragging rights on the NYC Cooks sight! Contest Ends Monday November 12th at 10pm. Winner will be announced Tuesday, November 13th. Get Cookin!


“Frolicsome!” – New York Times
“The audience just eats it up!”  Examiner
“Hysterically Funny!” – Gothamist

5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche … It's 1956 and the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are having their annual quiche breakfast. But when Communists threaten their idyllic town and long held secrets come to light, will the sisters be able to keep their cool... or will they sacrifice everything in the name of quiche?

SoHo Playhouse (15 Vandam Street, NYC)

CONTEST RESTRICTIONS: Winner receives a voucher redeemable for two tickets to a performance in October or November.  Blackout dates apply.  Voucher expires November 19, 2012.

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens’ Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts - Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens’ Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts - Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Relief

Hurricane Sandy hit NY hard, in this crisis lives have been lost, homes destroyed and families devasted. Below is a list of Meal Distribution centers from the 311 website, bring bags to stock up- no eligibility requirements needed: I will be posting donation centers as Im updated.

Updated: 11/2/2012 at 8:30 AM

Additional sites will be added as information becomes available. Times for distribution this weekend will also be added shortly. Please check back for updates.
LocationBoroughFriday Time
Coffey Park at Richards StreetBrooklyn1 PM - 5 PM
West 25th Street and Surf AvenueBrooklyn1 PM - 5 PM
Mill Road and New Dorp LaneStaten Island1 PM - 5 PM
Hunter Avenue and Father Capadanno BoulevardStaten Island1 PM - 5 PM
Beach 51st Street and Rockaway Beach BoulevardQueens1 PM - 5 PM
Red Fern Avenue and Beach 12th StreetQueens1 PM - 5 PM
Beach 84th Street and Rockaway Beach BoulevardQueens1 PM - 5 PM
West 27th Street between 9th and 10th AvenuesManhattan1 PM - 5 PM
East 10th Street between Avenues C & DManhattan1 PM - 5 PM
Catherine Street between Cherry and Monroe StreetsManhattan1 PM - 5 PM
Pitt Street and East Houston StreetManhattan1 PM - 5 PM
Confucius Plaza on Division StreetManhattan1 PM - 5 PM
413 Grand Street (Water Only)Manhattan1 PM - 5 PM

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sexy Spicy Shrimp Fettucini

Having a dinner party, need ideas? Want a simple, sophisticated, sexy dish? Spent all you time picking out the perfect outfit to match your new Red Bottoms and don't know what to serve your guests? I have the perfect quick and dirty recipe- Spicy Shrimp Fettucini.

Sparkly Red Bottoms!
 Readers have top rated my Classic Shrimp Fettucini dish so here's a new twist on an old fave. A heaping tablespoon of chili flakes, a palmful of summer tomatoes and for some subtle sexiness try using tricolored pasta, Barilla just put out a few good ones. Email me at  for recipe details.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Meatball Parm Hero

Yesterday was Meatless Monday so today it's time to indulge with my classic Meatball Parm Hero. In life it's the simple thing's that count, like getting a good sub sandwich: lightly toasted warmed bread, fresh marinara sauce, melty mozzarella cheese and flavor packed mini meatballs.

I start out with my grandma's secret recipe for homemade meatballs using grass fed beef of course. Then I make a quick and dirty thick marinara sauce for topping and dipping the sub. Thinly sliced fresh mozzarella and sprinkle of Parmesan cheese make for a meal made in heaven!

Grandma's secret Meatball Mix

Mixed up meatballs

Meatballs frying

Meatball Mountain

Meatball Parm hero in all it's glory!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Meatless Monday Meals-Summer Vegetable Baked Ziti -

Good Morning Friends. Summer is here and it's time to  start stuffing your regular recipes with the growing garden gems sprouting up everywhere. I'm actually trying to move my family more towards a plant based diet these days. I believe all foods are good for you in moderation but personally I don't feel my family eats enough veggies. Does yours? My husband doesn't even know I'm doing this, I'm just giving him salads and fresh cut fruit with his lunch everyday. Simple and Sneaky (I Know).

This recipe is right in time for Meatless Monday. I  dressed up the usual baked ziti and stuffed it with tons of summer squash and garden grown zucchini, it was fresh and fabulous- even the kids liked it! I felt so good about serving my family what I like to call feel good food. I think we can all use a little more veggies in our lives and heck the environment sure would appreciate it too. How are you trying to get more veggies and feel good foods in your diet?

Summer Vegetable Baked Ziti

For the Baked Ziti

16oz ricotta cheese
1 lb of mozzarella shredded
1 lb of cooked ziti
1 cup of freshly grated parmesean cheese
2 cups of marinara sauce (recipe below)
2 lbs sauteed summer veggies (recipe below)

Toss cooked ziti with 1 cup of marinara sauce and ricotta
Add in 1/2 of mozzarella and parmesean cheese
Fold in cooked veggies
Top with rest of sauce sprinkle on remiaining cheeses
Bake at 425 degrees 15-20 minuts or until top is bubbly and golden brown.

Sauteed Summer Veggie
1 lb chopped summer squash
1lb zucchini
1  tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of chopped
- Heat oil and saute veggies 3-5 minutes (keep the veggies crisp)

For the Marinara Sauce
2 can of san marzano tomatoes
5 cloves of chopped garlic
1/2 small red onion diced
2 handfuls of fresh grown basil
1/4 olive oil
-Heat oil in large sauce pan
Add in red onion, cook until soft
at in garlic, cook one minute until lightly golden
Add in tomatoes, cook 15-20 minutes
Season with salt and pepper
Off heat, add in torn basil leaves

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Anti-Oxidant Packed Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry with Coconut Ginger Sauce

This is going to be your next signature dish! A gourmet, healthy devilishly easy dish that does cartwheels on your taste buds and miracles on your waistline is packed with antioxidants too. The light coconut milk in this dish make for a velvety rich creamy sauce packed with sensuous and nutritious flavor. The baby corn, carrots, string beans,red onions, mushrooms and scallions give great crunch to the richness of the sauce along with hhandful of freshly minced garlic and ginger  A dash of Sriracha sauce, splash of low sodium soy sauce and tablespoon of red wine vinegar add the subtle heat and acid you need to round out the dish.

Try adding shrimp, beef or go vegan by using veggies only. Serve along side of piping hot fluffy brown rice and there you have a heavenly fest that does miracles for your body!

Want the recipe? Email me Chef Jen DePalma at

Monday, March 26, 2012

Shirataki Noodles with Brocoli, Oil and Garlic Chips

 Get your Monday off to a great start with my favorite healthy go to meal- Shiratki Noodles with Brocoli, Olive oil and Garlic Chips. I first heard about the 20 calorie tofu noodles on The Dr.Oz Show. At 20 calories per serving and zero carbs I had to give the noodles a try. Don't think these noodles taste like pasta, although folks claim they're a great substitute. There's nothing like a big dish of pasta and these noodles don't come close. But.... They are a terrific alternative and easy way to incorporate healthy menu options into your lifestyle. I purchased mine on Amazon, for just $15.49 for a pack of 6.

Shiratki sauteed with garlic chips and broccoli florets
Beware, it's been claimed these noodles smell like bad fish when you open them and the claim is true. Just rinse the noodles in cold water for 3minutes to wash away the odor then toss into boiling salted water for 2 minutes, toss with your favorite sauce or veggies and a healthy meal is done in under ten minutes. I love tossing the noodles with crispy garlic chips and nothing more than some extra virgin olive oil and fresh handful of parmigiano reggiano. This is recipe is vegan too, just omit the parmigiano! Want the recipe, email me a

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wolfgang Steak House Park Avenue, Review

Good Morning NYC. I recently had the pleasure of dining at Wolfgang Steak House Park Avenue. A true steak house fit for a cowboy. As soon as you walk into Wolfgang's the wafting aroma of prime quality beef charring on grill immediately greets you.

 The ambiance was comfortable although do not be surprised to see lots of women walking in with furs. I enjoyed the fast and attentive service and my cut of filet mignon was quite good- tender, juicy and flavorful. In my opinion the side of mash potatoes could have been bigger and creamier I thought mine were a bit grainy. The sauteed mushrooms are mouthwatering and I really wanted to love the onions but didn't. For dessert we enjoyed chocolate mousse cake which was everything a mousse cake should be light, airy and decadent. I already have my next reservation booked.Have you been to Wolgang's, what did you think?

Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail-Fabulous (A+)

Side of Bacon- okay (B-)

Filet Mignon- (A-)

Fresh Onion Rings, neede more seasoning & crunch (B)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Spicy Shitake Eggdrop Wonton Soup with Siracha Sauce

Egg Drop soup or Wonton Soup? Decisions, Decisions... lucky for me most takeout joints now make Eggdrop-Wonton Soup (yay). It's no secret I'm not a fan of takeout so there's nothing I love more than reiniventing my favorite take dishes.

 One night last week I was starving and staring into my barren pantry (I never have time to food shop), I had eggs, dried shitake mushrooms and organic chicken/cilantro wontons in my freezer. That's when it came to me- I made the most delicious eggdrop soup filled with shitakes, my little dumplings, of course an egg and just to spice it up Siracha Sauce! The dried shtake's add so much depth and flavor to this dish you will never order take-out again. My husband likes to top off this soup with a sprinkle of parmesean cheese? If it tickles your fancy give a try!

Jen DePalma's Spicy Shitake Eggdrop wonton Soup with Siracha Sauce (serves 2)
2 cup s of water
1/2 cup of dried shitake mushrooms, chopped
12 frozen wonton dumplings (any kind will do)
1 egg, beaten
1-2 tablespoons of Siracha Sauce

Bring water to boil, add mushrooms, cook 7- minutes or until mushrooms soften
Add in wontons, cook 3 minutes
Pour beaten egg into soup and stir 1-2 minutes
Add in Siracha Sauce, taste , adjust seasonings (salt & pepper)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Healthy Creamy Spinach Pesto & Pasta

It's March 1st and is your New Year's resolution anywhere in sight? well I have a  perfect perrsonal recipe for Creamy Spinahc Pesto and Pasta that's it delicious, healthy and nutrious. Traditonal pesto sauce is loaded with good for you foods, olive oil, garlic basil and pine nuts however if your trying to lose a few pounds it can the sauce itself can be high in fat(good fats though) but once you start tossing it with white pasta and parmesean cheese the healthy becomes the not so healthy.

Instead I opted for baby spinach, basil, a small amount of olive oil and grated cheese, I toss it all with whole wheat spaghetti and my secreat to the creamy sacue is a few heaping spoons of plain greek yogurt! The yogurt gives the creamy mouthfeel to the pesto sauce and no one will ever know it's in there!

Jen DePalma's Healthy Creamy Spinach Pesto & Pasta
2 cups of baby spinach
10 large basil leaves
5 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of pecorino romano grated cheese
1/4 cup 2% plain greek yogurt
2 cups of whole wheat spaghetti

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, cook pasta according to direction, drain and reserve pasta water
In food processor pulse together spinach, basil and garlic
Slowly incorporate oil- reserve sauce
Toss sauce with pasta, stream in pasta water to loosen sauce, fold in greek yogurt and serve!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gansevoort Park Hotel, review

Hey folks, I'm back and better than ever. I had the pleasure of spending my Saturday night at the Gansevoort Park Hotel, rated New York's Best New Hotel by Travel and Leisure Magazine (2010). Yes, this is the famous swanky space Kourtney & Kim Take New York is filmed.

I had the pleasure of staying at in the Park Ave Suite, a lavishly oversized luxury suite equipped with your very own Nespresso machine (my favorite amenity), wrap around balcony, double sink vanity with deep soaking tub,  posh living room, tons of closets and tremendous boudoir.

The hotel is pristine, staff are friendly and accomadating and the location is fantastic. There are so many wonderful restaurants located on the Park Avenue South strip feel free to go explore. I did pop into Asselina, the hotel's  signature restaurant for breakfaast but let's just say I should have taken  my own advice and explored other options. Overall I loved the hotel and would recommend  it to friends.
* Just remember the rooftop bar goes until 4am and the sounds do travel so stick to floors 2-10 when booking your room in case the music would interuppt your sleep.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rachael Ray's Rigatoni Carbona, Recipe Review

I love Rachael Ray from her cookbooks to cookware the woman is my absolute favorite female culinay star. I have Rach's pots, casserole sets and along with the other counter top supplies Rachael Ray sells on QVC. Today I'm here to rave to you about Rachael Ray's Rigatoni Carbonara, it's delicious and calls for a few cheap ingredients: bacon, egg yolks and rigatoni. My husband loved this dish and together we ate the whole pot! You know me I'm always posting my top secret dishes but I had to share with you this winning dish- it's great for entertaining just toss some shrimp in or leave as is and serve with a nice glass of pinot grigio and enjoy life's simple pleasure tonight!


1 pound rigatoni

1/3 pound pancetta, cured Italian meat, available at deli counter, chopped

Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan)

4 or 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, a few pinches, crushed in palm of hand

1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock

2 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons (about 2 palmfuls) grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more, for sprinkling

A handful fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

A few grinds black pepper

Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When water is rolling, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente, about 8 minutes, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.

While pasta cooks, heat large skillet over moderate heat. Saute pancetta in a drizzle of oil until it browns, 3 to 5 minutes. Add extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and crushed pepper flake. Saute garlic 2 minutes. Add wine or stock to the pan and reduce liquid by half, 2 minutes.

Beat together egg yolks, cheese, and while whisking vigorously, stir in a ladle of the boiling pasta water. Beat in parsley and pepper and set aside.

Drain pasta. Add pasta to pan with sauce. Toss pasta with pancetta, then add egg mixture and toss 1 minute, then remove from heat. Continue to toss until sauce is absorbed by and thickly coating the pasta. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve with extra cheese, for passing.