Category Archives: Recipe

How to Make Macarons

How to Make Macarons

These days I have been very much with the mentality that one should “ask and you shall receive”. This past week, I was talking to a classmate about how I wished that we had been able to see more of baking and pastry in our culinary journey as it is a pivotal component that contributes to the dining experience, it is the last memory that a guest gets before leaving one’s establishment.

Leaving class one day, I stopped to say hi to one of the pastry chefs only to see that they were about to start a macaron demo. Nagypsy, a former Johnson & Wales alumni, who works for Antonio Bachour was about to give a demonstration. I was ecstatic as I love Bachour’s work from when I was first introduced at J&G Grill. What great fortune did I have that day as I was only mentioning it hours before that I would have love to know how to make macarons. The stars aligned in my culinary universe that day.

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Raspberry Banana Turmeric Chia Pudding

Raspberry Banana Turmeric Chia Pudding

One might not realize how hectic culinary school can get. I certainly did not think so when I first began this past September: between cooking in the lab to the supplemental reading and homework on top of a social life and work while getting certified as a French wine scholar, my family says that I am burning the candle short on both ends. In order to keep a healthy lifestyle and not crash from how busy I have been, I have incorporated a good amount of exercise and have tried to maintain a balanced diet. Staying away from the monkey bread over Easter was tough.

With this mentality, I thought of my dear friend who I visited when I was last in New York who had always said that she resorted to turmeric for an immune boost when she felt like she was working to the wire. Recently, I’ve been looking to incorporate that into my diet as an added boost to my energy and health. In addition, this spice is supposed to help with digestion, arthritis, heartburn and skin conditions to name a few. Intrigued by the benefits and did a bit more research only to see it helped with joint pain as well. Hallelujah, a healthy supplement to help counter the pain from my long runs.

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Brine & Dine

The only time I had ever heard of a brine prior to culinary school was for Thanksgiving turkeys. My experience with turkey brining was at an all time never; my family has always dry rubbed and covered the turkey in dijon mustard as our holiday tradition. When presented with pork chops for a class experiment, I was not sure where to start. My family barely ate pork growing up and as a result I did not know where to begin. We had discussed different cooking methods over the course of the class and I became interested in how much flavor a brine could actually infuse into the protein.

After having cooked pork chops with and without the brine, it was clear to see the brine added so much flavor. To try it yourself, check out the recipe below.


  • 2 Pork chops — center cut, bone-on
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 ½ tablespoons salt Smashed garlic cloves  2
  • ½ tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon Badia complete sazon
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Equipment needed
Shallow dish (for brining)
Oven-safe skillet


To make a brine:

  1. Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil.
  2. Add the salt, completo sazon, and any other seasoning you’d like to incorporate and stir to dissolve the salt.
  3. Remove from heat. Add 2 cups of cold water to bring the temperature of the brine down to room temperature. Add the garlic and bay leaf into the mixture.
  4. Place the pork chops in a shallow dish and pour the brine over it. (The brine should cover the chops.)
  5. Refrigerate for an hour.

For pork chops:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the skillet in the oven to preheat as well.
  3. While waiting for the oven to heat, prepare the pork chops by removing the chops from the brine.
  4. Pat chops dry with paper towels.
  5. Rub both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Set the chops aside to warm while the oven finishes heating. You never want to cook meat right out of the fridge; it causes for uneven cooking.
  7. Take the hot skillet out of the oven using oven mitts.
  8. Set skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
  9. Sear the pork chops for 2-3 minutes by laying them in the hot skillet. You will know you’re pan is heated enough as you’ll immediately hear a sizzle.
  10. Using a tong, pull up the pork chop and see if the color is golden enough for you for presentation.
  11. If happy with the color, use tongs to flip the pork chops and transfer the skillet to the oven using oven mitts.
  12. The pork chops will be ready when they are cooked through and temp 140°F to 145°F in the thickest part of the meat.
  13. Check the chops at 5 minutes and continue checking every minute or so until they are cooked through.
  14. Immediately place the cooked pork chops on a plate to rest and pour any pan juices over the top.
  15. Tent loosely with foil and let the chops rest for 5 minutes.

When do you use a brine? 

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