Meet Nikki

I am a chef, TV host, blogger, radio host, recipe developer, professional voice over artist and terrace gardener. I cook mostly "Meat on the Side" which focuses on veggies, making them unique and the star of the plate. 

More about Nikki...

        

Food Network Star

Nikki Dinki is going to be on Food Network Star! Premiering June 2nd at 9pm on the Food Network. Click here for pics, clips and more from the show

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    Wednesday
    May012013

    Brown Butter Nutella Stuffed Cookies 

     

     

    As a society we like things on a stick, things that are fried and things that are STUFFED! 

     

    The idea of something stuffed inside of something else is a simple but exciting idea. It's a mystery and a surprise. 

     

     

     

     

     

    You have something already delicious, like a doughnut, a potato or a turkey and then you take these things to a whole new level. You stuff the doughnut with jelly, load up the potato and then of course there is the ingenious idea of stuffing a turkey with a chicken and a duck! 

     



     

     

    You have made something new! You have taken something and not just made it the best it can be, but even better. You have STUFFED IT!!

     

     

     

     

     

    Now let's talk about cookies. We all like cookies and many times I judge my cookies like I do my books...by its cover of course. 

     

    I look at the outside, I see if it's thick or thin, smooth or bumpy. And far before I bite into it I have made a certain judgement about this cookie. 

     

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Apr172013

    Mango and Honey Crostini

     


    Balance

    It’s one of those words that's thrown around a lot when it comes to food...life...relationships...

    EVERYTHING!

     

    And as much as I would love to fix all your life's problems, let’s start with the food, this is only a food blog after all! 

     

     

    Balance in a dish makes you want to keep on going back for that next bite.

    You want your food to be sweet but not too sweet, salty but not too salty, creamy but not “food coma, never leaving the house” creamy.  

     

     

    Well, may I present you BALANCE in the form of a crostini. 

    Sticky sweet honey BALANCED by a sprinkle of salt, perfectly ripened mango BALANCED by bright and “wake up your taste buds” mint. And of course a spread of cream cheese which gives me BALANCE in my life just because...well...it is cheese...

    (I’m a simple person :)

     

     

     

     

    RECIPE:


    1 small baguette, 16 ¼ to ½ inch slices

    1 block Cream Cheese 

    1 Lemon- Zest

    2 Mangos 

     1/3 cup Mint leaves, loosely packed

    ¼ cup Honey

    Salt

     

    Toast bread slices till lightly toasted.  Let bread cool and top with approx 1Tbs of Cream Cheese and a couple grates of lemon zest.  Top that with finely chopped mango and mint.  Finally drizzle 1tsp honey over the mango and mint and finish with a sprinkle of salt.  Enjoy!! 

     

    Notes:

    • You could use most spreadable cheeses instead of cream cheese
    • You could sub apricot, plum, pineapple, grapes or berries for the mango

     

     


     

     

     

     

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    You might also like these recipes:

    • Brocolli Tacos
    • Spinach + Artichoke Bites
    • Challah Hangover Sandwich
    • Berry Keylime "Cheesecake"
    • Popovers
    Tuesday
    Apr092013

    Cream Cheese Frosting

     

     

     

    RECIPE:

     

    1 cup butter, 2 sticks, softened

    16 ounces cream cheese, 2 bars, softened

    4 cups confectioners sugar

    2 teaspoon vanilla extract

     

    Combine room temp butter and cream cheese in a mixer until well incorporated together. Add sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Enjoy!!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Pin It!

     

     

     

    You might also like these recipes:

    • Roasted Garlic
    • Cauliflower Mac + Cheese
    • Brownie Bites
    • Burst Tomato Pasta
    • Apple Pies in Apples
    Tuesday
    Apr092013

    Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

     

     

    If you know me at all, you know that more than anyone or anything... 

     

    I LOVE CHEESE. 

     

    Yes, my husband knows, it's just something he has to accept, we are working through it. 

     

     

     

     

     

    Up until I was 20 years old my diet was beyond questionable. Growing up as the pickiest of eaters my go-to list of foods included; bread (only white please), canned tomato sauce (only Prego of course), ramen noodle soup (the 25cent kind), cereal (anything with sugar), and of course CHEESE. 

     

    You see even when my diet resembled that of an anti-Atkins child, cheese was always there for me. 

     

     

     

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Apr082013

    Swordfish + Lentils

     

     

    Every time I have moved in NYC (and those times have been many) there is always one very important question to ask before even considering the place.

     

    Sure, you can ask about the cost, utilities, pets and other trivial things but let’s get down to the nitty gritty... because there is only one really important question, and that is....

     

    Where is the closest grocery store??

     

     

     

     

    You see there are many places in NYC where you have to walk 15-20 minutes for a grocery store. Some people even have to take a subway or god forbid...a bus!

     

    And though some would argue that you can get your groceries delivered and it's not a big deal, these people obviously don't understand how often I go to the grocery store.

     

     

     

     

    So when my current apartment building boasted a grocery store in the building well... I was sold.

     

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Apr082013

    Food Network Star - Episode #1

     

     

    Well, episode #1 is done!! Thank god!! It's hard to express how nervous I was going into this week. I had no idea if they would even kind of buy my point of view, I had no idea how I would perform when the pressure is on and worst of all I had no idea how much I could accomplish cooking wise in 45 minutes.

     

    The first thing we did was meet everyone and I suddenly realized that there are 11 other people with great personalities, cooking chops and scariest of all, they have my same dream, and will probably run me over to get it!!

     

     

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Saturday
    Apr062013

    Biscoff Fudge

     

     

    Desserts don’t have to be complicated...Desserts just have to be delicious!

     

     

     

     

    I'm well aware that there is a proper way to make fudge. You bring the sugar to a very specific temperature and if you’re lucky you create this amazing silky, creamy, fudgy texture.

     

     

     

     

    The problem? I’m so glad you asked! You see, I'm not always so lucky...

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Apr022013

    Biscoff Blondies

     

     

    There has been a battle brewing for centuries...

     

    !!!!!!!!!!!! Brownies vs. Blondies !!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

      

     

     

    Chocolate lovers everywhere have never truly accepted the Blondie. They look at this non-chocolate cousin of the brownie as the ugly step child of the dessert family.

    How dare it walk around with not an ounce of chocolate to its name and think it can be called a real dessert.

     

     

      

     

     

    Here though, is where I confess my dirty little secret...

     

    I prefer Blondies over Brownies....

     

    (((((((((((((( Audible GASP from the crowd )))))))))))

     

      

     

     

    I'm sorry, so sorry to do this to you, and if you are a chocoholic and feel the need to stop reading this blog, un-subscribe to my youtube channel, un-like me on facebook and stop following my witty 140 character tweets than I understand.  I only hope that one day we can be friends again.

     

    Oh and you better stop following me on Instagram and Pinterest too (#I'mSocialMediaAddicted)

     

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Mar252013

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

     

     

    To continue to grow and learn in life you must be humble. You must accept that you are probably not an expert in…well…anything. And there is a very good chance that there will always be somebody that knows more than you do on any given subject.

     

      

     

     

    When it comes to cooking I accept that there is more to learn, though I think I have plenty to teach on the subject myself ;)

     

    But, when it comes to baking I will easily take a back seat and allow a real pastry chef to teach me a thing or two.

     

      

     

     

    And so I'm not the least bit ashamed to say that my new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe...is not my own.

     

     

      

     

     

    When someone comes up with the perfect ratio of sugar to flour, the optimal amount of chocolate chips and a simple but specific method to creating the best cookies you have ever had, well, you just do exactly what they do.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Mar252013

    Gnudi

     

     

    Let's admit it, food can be sexy. The pleasure it brings, the sometimes sinful experience of eating it and of course the tantalizing discovery of new textures, tastes and smells.

    And yes, of course, if you have some good looking company that helps the overall experience too ;)

     

     

      

     

     

    And when it comes to sexy foods, Gnudi has its place at the top of the list.

     

    Its name alone provokes an inner desire and the simple idea of a ricotta dumpling, light and airy but still indulgently cheesy only makes that desire burn stronger.

     

     

     

     

     

    You see “Gnudi” literally means “Nude.” These little guys are in a sense ravioli filling without the ravioli, so in a way they are, well, missing their clothes...hehe, dirty I know...

     

     

     

     


    Well, whether or not you find a ricotta cheese dumpling sexy, I promise you WILL find it delicious.

     

     

     

    RECIPE:

     

    1 15-16oz container Ricotta

    ½ Lbs Frozen Spinach, thawed + drained, chopped fine

    ½ tsp salt

    ¼ tsp Pepper

    Pinch of Nutmeg

    1 cup Parmesan, shredded

    ½ tsp dried Oregano

    1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

    ¼ cup All Purpose Flour

    ¼ cup Panko Bread Crumbs

    3egg yolks

     

    Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl, don’t over mix. Roll mixture into small 1-2inch balls. Cook in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until the Gnudi float. Toss gently with sauce and ENJOY!

     

     

    NOTES:

     

    • Depending on the amount of water in your ricotta you may need more flour or bread crumbs.  If you cannot roll the mixture into a ball add more flour or bread crumbs.
    • Be sure spinach is finely chopped. Even if your using frozen pre-chopped spinach, run your knife through the spinach once more to ensure it is finely chopped.
    • Make sure spinach is as dry as possible.

     

     

     

     

     

    Gnudi Shown with Kabocha Sqaush + Tomato Pasta

     

     

     


    Pin It!

     

     

    You might also like these recipes:

    • Brocolli Tacos
    • Spinach + Artichoke Bites
    • Challah Hangover Sandwich
    • Berry Keylime "Cheesecake"
    • Popovers
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