Archive for the ‘5 Star’ Category

Annual TONY’s Party

Sunday, June 10th, 2012
I've been hosting a TONY's party for the past 8 years. Started with Sally Atkinson and Hilary Johnson Ayer, its been a special party for the three of us who started our NYC adventures together in 2003 and had a common love for Broadway. The past couple years we've chosen to celebrate and watch in Times Square...but with the arrival of Sally's new little one we decided it would be best to be inside with a little smaller of a group. We had a great group of Broadway lovers and samplings of lots of Read More....

Sally’s Baby Shower

Thursday, April 12th, 2012
When I learned that my best friend Sally Atkinson was pregnant, I started the planning for the baby shower. They decided not to find out the gender and at 1st I wasn't excited about coming up with ideas for the shower, but then I got inspired by the popular spring colors (red, yellow, green) and lots of ideas started coming together. I had a lot of fun shopping for the decorations for the shower. I couldn't have done this amazing shower without the help of some amazing friends (Erica Gardner,Read More....

St. Patty’s Day Kid Party

Saturday, March 17th, 2012
I had the pleasure of spending a couple weeks in Michigan babysitting my niece and nephews. Its always a little difficult cooking for kids - I want to still be adventurous and they don't like anything. I always take a slew of recipe options and my sister-in-law helps me choose the best options. My youngest nephew is the most picky but he loved a couple things that I made...and for some reason that feels more rewarding than all of the other 5 Stars! Last time I babysat we did a special party fRead More....

Poach, Roast, Steam – Fall at its best!

Friday, November 11th, 2011
I started the Test Nest experiment to have an excuse to test lots of recipes I never had time to make, but I also wanted to improve my cooking skills by trying things I’ve never made before and that were challenging. There have been flops…but my 1st time roasting a duck was a great experience. I’d definitely do it again…in fact, this Test Nest duck was better than any duck I’ve had at a restaurant. My wonderful testers were Katherine Lum (one of my best friends who was visitRead More....

Panini BOOffet Halloween Party

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
My roommate Amber Robinson and I both love fall and holidays and wanted to do a Halloween themed party…but we didn’t have time to do all of the work Test Nest style. I was looking through a booklet of Panini recipes and it hit me…lets do a Panini buffet…so the 1st Annual Panini BOOffet was born. Yep, it was that good and easy that it will become a yearly event. We had a great time, everyone brought an ingredient and we made Pumpkin Chili and Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake to go alonRead More....

Sweet and Sage

Thursday, October 13th, 2011
With all of my canning projects and a really busy work schedule in September, I needed to take a break from Test Nest. October started back with a FALLabulous menu. My favorite time of the year, I was excited to test recipes influenced by fall’s best offerings. Testers for the first dinner of the month included Daniel Evans, Micah Allred, Russ Hill, Vicki Walters, who brought friends Heather Payne and Laura White, and the ultimately wonderful Joon Shin who once again took all the pictures for Read More....

BBQ Ribs & Corn on the Cob

Monday, August 22nd, 2011
For the 2nd half of my August theme of connecting to my southern roots , I took on BBQ ribs. I also tried to recreate a North Carolina classic cola called Cheerwine…a cherry cola of sorts, any true Carolinian has it among their favorite sodas (and RC Cola). We had a great evening and my wonderful testers were Sharon Franke, Emily Kunz, Jason Bond, Todd Stevens, Russ Hill, Barbara Anglisz and Nick Cordua. Sharon come early to sous chef and also helped take pictures for the evening Read More....

Southern Pulled Pork

Thursday, August 4th, 2011
After a few weeks in North Carolina and a family reunion themed on remembering our roots, I wanted to spend the month of August putting a twist on family favorites and trying some Southern BBQ recipes. My testers were Amber Robinson, Matt Hardy, Jason and Erica Gardner, Stephanie Zundel, Russ Hill and Erin Mashidas. My roommate Amber Robinson helped take pictures for me, thanks Amber! [simpleviewer gallery_id="48"]

Virgin Mint Juleps (3 Stars)

Perfectly Southern, tRead More....

Manchego, Manchego

Monday, June 27th, 2011
I went skydiving on Memorial Day and after wards we spent the evening in Philadelphia were we ate at Amada, a tapas restaurant. We had quite a few AMAZING dishes at this restaurant, in particular a few with Manchego. I’m not sure what was more exhilarating, jumping from a plane or the amazing food. I had already picked this menu but became more excited about it after the manchego tapas consumed in Philly. It’s probably the reason that I got a huge chunk of it at Costco, when I didn’t need Read More....

Some Top Notch Dishes

Saturday, June 25th, 2011
Since I started this project in January of last year I haven't made any recipes that I've ever made before...so this means everything I make to eat is a trial. I of course try to share everything I make with as many other mouths as possible to get an accurate star rating (my roommate and best friends benefit the most from this). Here are a few of the other recipes that have been stand outs the last couple months that I'd like to suggest you give a try. So far this year I've tried over 100 recipeRead More....