Meet Nikki

I am a chef, TV host, cookbook author, blogger, radio host, professional voice over artist and terrace gardener. I cook mostly "Meat on the Side" which makes veggies the star of the plate. 

More about Nikki...

        

 

MEAT ON THE SIDE cookbook!!

NEW RECIPES EVERY MONDAY!

Food Network Star

Nikki Dinki on Food Network Star Season 9!! Click here for pics, clips and more from the show

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    Thursday
    Feb132014

    Cheddar Cauliflower + Squash Soup

     

     

     

    I'm convinced that the reason Broccoli Cheddar soup is so popular is because parents like that they can sneak a vegetable into a kids' bowl and disguise it as Cheese soup.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    And let's face it! There are times when all of us would rather cozy up to a hot and cheesy bowl of soup rather than a bowl of steamy veggies.

    And so we pat ourselves on the back for choosing such a healthy option while still feeding that inner child who is craving comfort food in a bowl.

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Oct172013

    Roasted Acorn Squash

     

     

    The squirrels in NYC can get a little close... too close for my liking.

     

     

     

     

    Through years of experiencing that getting close to humans results in the receiving of french fries, pretzels and maybe if they're lucky a classic NYC hot dog (probably better that they eat it than us), these little guys have no fear.

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Aug272013

    Zucchini + Tomato Pasta

     

     

    I was reminiscing yesterday, remembering that very first cooking video I shot in my kitchen. The lighting wasn't great, the sound was a little off, and as I felt the need to explain everything in utmost detail, it was entirely too long.

     

     

     

     

    But people started watching. And since I was featuring “Zucchini Noodles” a fairly new and exciting concept no one seemed to mind the low budget quality or rambling host.

     

    That first video is what started everything...

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Aug132013

    Mango Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

     

     

    I love food (obviously). And I have made a happy deal with myself that I can have the pasta, garlic bread (and the brownie too) as long as I workout... but this can be a flawed deal.

     

    I only have so many hours to spend in the gym working off said meal and let's face it, working out sucks. So I made a new deal. I cook healthier dishes during the week and the more indulgent selections are kept for the weekends.

     

     

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Aug132013

    Pesto Crusted Halibut + Grape Risotto

     

     

    Since being pregnant, I have been on a real fruit kick. I think I- or maybe I should say, the small human being in my tummy is craving sugar. SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR...and water!!

     

    There is nothing like waking up in the middle of the night desperate to slurp water out of the faucet. Isn't pregnancy beautiful?!

     


     
     

     

     

    So fruit is kind of the perfect food that my body wants right now. Sweet with natural sugars and jam packed with juicy goodness.

     

    And yes, I'll admit, a little better for me than the sour patch kids and gummy worms which have been finding their way into my candy drawer lately.

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Jul312013

    Food Network Star - Episode #9

     

     

     

    End Of The Road, Not The End Of A Dream!!

     

     

     

     

     

    Well let's just get right down to it...I got sent home this week... 

     

    I spent the day dreading 9 p.m., knowing the tears I would inevitably have to watch myself cry. But at least everyone would finally know what happened and I could think about what was next.

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Jul192013

    Enchiladas

     

     

     

    A couple times a week this happens in my house...

     

    It's 8:30 and my husband comes home only to find me on the computer, blogging, producing, editing, writing (maybe online shopping ;) and he meekly says “What's for dinner?”

     

     

     

     

     

     

    You see, at this point in our marriage he is well aware that if he doesn’t walk in to find me rocking to 90's pop with the kitchen in full-on disaster mode than I'm probably not making dinner.

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Jul192013

    Basil Pesto

     

     

    I'm a traditionalist when it comes to my Pesto. I like it just the way an old Italian Grandmother would make it. A few simple, fresh, quality ingredients tossed with some hot pasta and call it a day.

     

     

     

     

    If you start using walnuts or almonds or anything besides pinenuts, I start getting angry. Throw in some parsley with the basil and I might just lose it.

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Jul192013

    Food Network Star - Episode #8

     

     

    Another Day Another Donut

     

    This week I had the opportunity to spend Sunday night at 9 o'clock with my family watching FNS together. And one of their first questions was..."You really didn't know someone was coming back"

     

     

     

     

    The response? NO!!! The production team can be smooth and we really didn't know that when we got down to 5 people we were quickly about to make it 6 again. They just LOVE to surprise you...

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Jul182013

    Carrot Cake

     

     

    NYC can be a lonely place. You might be surrounded by people but it can be hard to make the city feel like home. In my 12+ years in the city I have carved out my own slice of home in the chaos. 

     

     

     

     

    Things like a favorite local restaurant, a bartender that knows your drink and a nail place that doesn’t rush you for taking a million hours to choose a shade are all things that help. But let's face it, there is nothing like family to make a place your home.

     

     

    Click to read more ...