How to celebrate your mom every day

Happy Mother’s Day weekend! This Sunday, we are all reminded of how much our mothers have done for us, and we get the chance to let her know how much she is appreciated. I love Mother’s Day, but I started to think – why don’t we let our moms know every day how much she means to us? It’s something so simple, that goes such a long way. In honor of Mother’s Day, here is a list of small ways to spend quality time together and let mom know how much you care!

1. Cook a meal together.

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You probably aren’t surprised that this is top on my list, but cooking a meal together is a wonderful way to spend time together! Not only do you get quality time together, but you can learn from each other, laugh together, and reminisce – all while thanking her for all the meals she prepared for you as a child!

2. Bring her a special bottle of wine – and enjoy it together. 

Bocca Edit-2546Wine is a special, intimate thing to share, and sharing your favorite bottle with your mom, or introducing her to one she’s never tried before, is an experience that will be enriching for both of you.

3. Learn something new together. 

You are never too old to learn something new! Find a subject you are both interested in, and sign up for a class or seminar together. From learning a new language to taking private pilot lessons, I guarantee you will make some amazing memories together!

4. Take her out for spontaneous happy hour. 

Bocca Edit-2963Take the evening off and call Mom and let her know you’re on your way to pick her up. Let her know that she is much more important than work or being busy, and that you love spending time together!

5. Just tell her. 

If you don’t live near your mother, or even if you do, it’s that easy: tell her how much you appreciate her and are grateful for all she has done for you. Don’t wait until Mother’s Day – tell her every day!

Clean Eating for Spring: Kale Salad w. Brie & Grilled Chicken

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If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I am passionate about creating recipes that are seasonal, delicious, and nutritious. As the warmer months approach, I know we all have clean eating on our minds, so I am excited to share a recipe today that uses fresh, healthy ingredients but still tastes indulgent and amazing! This salad would be perfect for a spring lunch with your friends, or as part of your weekly meal prep. Just don’t forget the brie, the best part!

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To see the full video of how I prepared this spring dish, check out Cheese of Europe here! Bon appetit!

Ingredients:

(Dressing)
1/4 olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast
(Salad)
1 bunch kale, sliced
8 ounces Brie, sliced
1 cup glazed pecans, chopped
1 green apple, cored, sliced into thin wedges
(Chicken)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Whisk the oil with the mustard and slowly add the vinegars. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Remove the stems from the kale and slice. Toss the kale with desired amount of dressing and set aside to marinate.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the minced garlic, kosher salt, lemon zest, pepper, and paprika.
  4. Oil the chicken and rub the seasoning onto each piece. Grill on medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes per side. Let rest 4-5 minutes and then slice.
  5. Mix pecans and apple slices to the marinated kale, then place the sliced chicken and Brie on top.

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Arancini Bocca di Bacco

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When the weather is gloomy, I always find cooking to be a perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening. It’s cozy, the house is warm and fragrant from the stove simmering away, and you can always open a bottle of your favorite wine to sip while you cook! And, when it’s all done, you have a wonderful meal to enjoy together. It almost makes me thankful for the clouds!

One of my favorite classic Italian dishes to cook at home is Arancini, Italian-style saffron rice balls. With Earth Day this week, I was reminded of how important it is to reduce our waste in every capacity, and food is no exception! This is a perfect dish to prepare using leftover risotto from the previous days dinner. Never throw away ingredients that you can reinvent in a new, delicious dish!

You can choose to customize your Arancini based on your taste, or what you have on-hand, but the general way to make them uses risotto, mozzarella, egg,  and bread crumbs.  You’ll mix the pre-made risotto, eggs, and bread crumbs together and form them into balls before adding your mozzarella into the center of each, rolling in additional bread crumbs and frying lightly in hot oil. At Bocca di Bacco we serve these delicious risotto balls with a delicious red sauce, which I highly recommend–and of course, every Italian dish is better paired with a glass of wine!

What’s your favorite way to re-invent leftover ingredients? Share your tips in the comments!

Baked Spring Vegetable Omelette with Comte

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My favorite part about spring, along with the sun finally warming New York, is the abundance of beautiful spring produce! I always cook with the seasons, so when given a chance to create a recipe with the sweet, nutty Comte cheese from France, I couldn’t wait to create a dish that paired this delicious cheese with some fresh, seasonal produce.

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When creating this recipe with The Cheeses of Europe, I couldn’t help but drift towards a dish that I could enjoy with friends and family at Sunday brunch. A baked omelette seemed the perfect choice! Cheesy, fluffy, and perfectly seasoned, I guarantee this will be a well-loved dish at your next hosted brunch. Watch the whole video here, or see my recipe below! Bon appetit!

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons shallots, sliced and quartered
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 radishes, quartered
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces on diagonal
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
12 eggs
1/4 cup milk
3/4 and 1/4 cups Comté cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°.Toss the shallots, peppers, radishes, and asparagus in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange on baking sheet and roast in oven for 25 minutes. Allow the vegetables to cool a bit, and then place them in an ovenproof nonstick sauté pan and pour the egg mixture over top. On a low flame, cook the eggs until they start to set, about 4-5 minutes. Then place the pan back in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until eggs are cooked through.Sprinkle the remaining Comté on top, and cut into wedges to serve.

‘Tis the Season to spice up your Holiday Menus

Reserve your Place at the Table Today

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This is my absolute favorite time of year – The weather is crisp and my favored fruits and vegetables like, butternut squash, pumpkin, artichoke and figs are in season! It’s always around this time when I start planning my menus for the Holiday’s. First up is Thanksgiving and this year I’m doing something completely different.

‘Tis the season to indulge in specialty wines and one-of-a-kind menus. As Executive Chef and Culinary Director of BDB, I’m announcing a limited holiday edition of “Kristin’s Table.” Looking for exciting new dishes for your Thanksgiving Feast? Join me to learn new recipe’s and flavors through a five course tasting menu with Italian wine pairings. You’ll enjoy this intimate tasting in the private cellar room of Bocca Di Bacco Chelsea, 169 9th Ave Corner of 20th St.

Walk away with recipes, gift bags, memories and more!

Now taking reservations for Tuesday November 18th, 7:30pm.

Limited Seating Available. $115 per person

Reserve your seat today by emailing 

monica@kristinsollenne.com

*a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the H.O.P.E. Foundation

The H.O.P.E. Foundation

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There is no better feeling to experience than one the leaves an impact on someones life. This is what we have created with the H.O.P.E. Foundation, which is a 501c(3) non-profit that strives to “Help Others Pursue Education” in the culinary, visual and performing arts. Co-founded by Sweet Life Events President Monica Ulrich, and myself, where we strive to enhance the future of rising stars and young up-and-comers.

This is something I’ve been passionate about ever since I moved to the Big Apple six years ago! Check out my recent appearance on FOX Business – The Willis Report to learn more about the H.O.P.E. Foundation, and for some great recipes too! I have to say my re-imagined Gazpacho is a must to try! As we head into Fall, (which I’m absolutely loving!) check out my fall inspired recipes I featured on The Better Show. 

Save the Date: Wednesday October 29, 2014 for a Masquerade Black Tie Gala benefitting the H.O.P.E. Foundation. To learn more about H.O.P.E. and how you can get involved visit us at www.hopefoundationus.org

Summer in New York

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When it’s summer time in New York, I try to find every excuse to be outside! Central Park and Bryant Park are both beautiful places to walk around and spend the day. I also love NYCRG’s backyard garden at Arte Cafe – nothing beats a chilled glass of wine outside with fresh oysters surrounded by friends and family.
Here are a few ways to celebrate summer in New York City from Time Out New York!