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...

        

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June 2nd 9pm EST on Cooking Channel

 

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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    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 ...

    Thursday
    Jul182013

    Chicken Caesar Wrap

     

     

    I love a good salad, the crunch from the lettuce, the tang from the dressing, and the hidden surprises of things like chewy cranberries and juicy oranges.

     

     

     

     

    The only real problem that I have with salads is that they don't contain carbs.

     

    I know, you're asking yourself why that is so important... Well, guys...

     

    I'm a carboholic...

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Jul152013

    Food Network Star - Episode #7

    Please take a minute to vote for me!! Click HERE

     

     

    Week #7 and down to 6!!!


    The vibe has changed slightly. And though I still love all these people and am so happy to have them around during this insane experience- we are all having the realization that we could make it to the end. Suddenly the finish line doesn't look so far away...

     

    Of course, once you have that thought you also realize that some really good people are going to have to go home in order for you to reach that goal. All you can do is hope that it's not you. 

     

     

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Jul032013

    Burst Tomato Pasta

     

     

     

    RECIPE:

     

    ¼ Olive Oil

    8 Garlic Cloves - sliced

    6-8 Large Tomatoes cut into 1 inch chunks or 3 pints cherry/grape tomatoes

    3-4tsp Kosher salt

    1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar

    3-4 Tbs Chopped Basil

    1lbs Linguine

    2 Chicken Breast, split in half, breaded and cooked See Recipe

     

    Heat oil in a pan on medium low and add garlic.  Cook till just slightly golden about 3-5minutes and add tomatoes.  Let tomatoes cook until tender, 15 -20minutes.  Smash tomatoes down with a spoon and add vinegar, basil and salt, cook for another 5-15minutes until you have the consistency you want. Taste to see if it needs more salt.  Toss with pasta and serve.

     

    Serves  4-6 portions

     

     

    Notes:

     

    • Depending on what tomatoes you use you may have more or less liquid during cooking
    • Don’t over-cook the tomatoes; they should still be chunky with some liquid in the pan

     

     

     

     

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    Tuesday
    Jul022013

    Kabocha Squash + Tomato Pasta

     

     

    Kabocha squash is like that quirky but cute guy you have been eyeing at the grocery store but are too afraid to approach. There is something about him that intrigues you and you have a feeling that he's better for you then some of the other handsome junk in the store but...

     

     

     

     

    He seems like too much work to get to know. You wouldn’t even know where to begin. And so you walk away from Mr. Kabocha Squash, never knowing the love affair that could have been.

     

      

     

     

    Click to read more ...