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...

        

NEW RECIPES EVERY MONDAY!

Sign up for my mailing list!
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    Junk Food Flip

    Junk Food Flip on Cooking Channel

    Meat On The Side Cookbook

    Food Network Star

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

    Navigation
    Monday
    May042015

    Cheesy Matzo Bread

     

     

    I like the taste of matzo bread, I know that many people find it dry and bland, I find it flavorful and…no actually, it’s pretty dry and bland.

     

     

     

     

    However, just because on its own it’s not amazing doesn’t mean we can’t make it amazing. I know that it isn’t bursting with flavor, but it issuper crunchy and it makes a great base to build on.

     

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Apr272015

    Spaghetti Nests

     

     

    Spring has sprung! Growing up in Buffalo you would think that I would be used to the snow and cold, but that was not the case; instead I was simply over it before I even hit middle school.

     

     

     

     

    So being the kind of person who mumbles obscenities at the weather under my breath all winter long, you can imagine that seeing signs of spring make me a very happy camper.

     

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Apr202015

    Cheesy Fritatta with Grape Compote

     

     

    Many of us can’t imagine having dinner for breakfast, but it seems like we can all get on that "breakfast for dinner" train.

     

     

     

     

    It may be hard to imagine having steak and potatoes at 7 a.m., but having eggs at 7 p.m. always sounds like a good idea.

     

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Apr152015

    Announcing: Meat On The Side Cookbook!

     

     

    The Meat On The Side Cookbook is coming!!!!!!


    I am beyond excited to announce that my first cookbook will be hitting the shelves in early 2016!!!!! For almost a year now, I have been cooking up a storm testing and retesting (and retesting again) recipes for this book. I have been creating meals that are simple, healthy, come out perfect every time, and are just plain yummy!

     

     

    Recipe testing photos

     

     

    The book will contain over 100 Meat On The Side meals, which means that these recipes will not have more than 4oz of meat and the vegetable will always be the star of the plate. Meat On The Side is all about vegetable-focused dishes that bend and twist veggies in unique ways to create meals that will make even the pickiest of eaters love their veggies.

     

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Apr132015

    Buffalo Shrimp Rolls

     

     

    I love anything with Buffalo sauce on it.  One time Buffalo sauce landed on my phone and I seriously considered eating it.

     

     

     

     

    Since I am from Buffalo you would think that this love affair started back when I was growing up, eating some of the best wings in the world. However, in actuality I didn’t even eat a chicken wing until many years later after I left those Buffalo winters behind.

     

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Apr062015

    Brussels Sprouts + Wild Rice Salad with Sliced Pork 

     

    I’m a huge cabbage fan...I’m also a huge Buffalo Bills fan, but for now let’s just focus on the cabbage. There is no need to get into a heated football debate until at least August.

     

     

     

     

    Once you start looking at cabbage as more than just a main ingredient in sauerkraut or coleslaw, you will start to see how versatile it can really be.

     

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Mar262015

    Bunnies in Blankets

     

     

    Bunnies are adorable, they are soft, their ears are far too big for their little heads, and they hop! Let’s face it, they are cute; that is as long as we are talking about a small furry animal and not the random guy hopping up and down behind me on the street. He’s not cute, he’s just creepy.

     

     

     

     

    I tend to make the appetizers for Easter dinner and leave the heavy lifting for my father in-law. It’s hard to help him as I barley have a free hand (no, I cannot put the Sauvignon Blanc down. And what about my other hand?  Well, it’s usually helping me taste test the cheese, a very important job).

     

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Mar242015

    Chard Sandwich with Sundried Tomato Smear

     

     

    I recently found myself in Kentucky with my good friend Damaris Phillips. To go along with the bourbon that you know is always on her table, she made me a sandwich with her signature tomato aioli.

     

     

      

     

     

    Back home in NYC I found myself seriously craving her aioli, I needed more (but not more bourbon, I’m done with bourbon for a while). It was so rich, so meaty and so deep in flavor that I would not be forgetting it anytime soon.

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Mar112015

    Getting to know: Rice

     

     

    1. Almost all rice is categorized as "long", "short", or "med";  which simply refers to their length.  Long grain rice is about 4 to 5 times long as they are wide, while short grain rice is almost round.  Let’s imagine rice as people. Let’s say long grain rice would be played by someone like Cindy Crawford;  while Mr.Short Grain would be played by Danny Devito.  How’s that for a visual?!

    2. The shorter the grain the starchier the rice.

     

     

     

     

    3. When making dishes like Risotto, high starch content is essential. The starch released from the rice is what gives risotto its signature creaminess.

    4. In general, short grain rice can be used in place of any other short grain rice in recipes, and the same goes for long grains. So feel free to sub Jasmine for Basmatti and Arborio for Calasparra, everyone will get along just fine.

     

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Apr142014

    Willa's Lemonade Cheesecakes

     

     

    “Where have you been?”

    “What have you been doing?”

    “Why haven't you posted a new recipe?”

     

    These are frequent questions from my readers. And I’d love to tell you all that I've been busy filming my own show, or that I couldn't come to the computer because I was elbow deep in tomato sauce, but the truth is sadly something very different.

     

     

     

     

    At 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant my husband and I lost our little girl. Her heart just stopped, and we don't know why. We never got to hear her voice, or see her smile, or know what she looks like when she first wakes up. We never got to have all those “firsts” that we had excitedly anticipated.

     

     

     

     

    We were ready for her: diapers unpacked, tiny clothes in her dresser and a place for her to rest her head right next to mommy. It was supposed to be the week we brought her home, the week we stumbled our way through parenthood, laughing as we put diapers on backwards and figuring out the difference between a “boppy” and a “breast-friend”.

     

    But that's just not what happened.

     

     

    Click to read more ...