New Beginnings for a New Year

by Nina Z

Do you notice anything different? Look up! One of my super talented friends, Grace, designed this logo especially for Nina Knows Food. I am thrilled with her beautiful interpretation of my passion for cooking and eating. I am also SO honored to display her work. Now I can move into the New Year with a new look to the blog, among other things!

The past two months have seen one BIG move, two major holidays, lots of cooking, and even more eating. My new kitchen has yet to be used to cook a real meal, but lots of delicious food was cooked in my family's home kitchen.


Thanksgiving is a time for my mom and I to bounce ideas off each other about how to make the meal even better than last year's. We stick with the classics, turkey and stuffing being two of them. Stuffing that does not fit into the bird goes into muffin tins to make what we call stuffin' muffins. For those who like their stuffing a little crunchy, these muffins are perfect.

Green beans with ginger and garlic was added to our menu last Thanksgiving, and made a repeat appearance this year because they're just so darn tasty. Thanksgiving foods are very savory and these green beans add a much-needed crunch and spice to the meal. My apple cake with lemon and ginger will always make an appearance - everyone knows to save room for dessert.

My leftover sandwich, piled high with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, spinach, guacamole and goat cheese, was one of the best things I have ever eaten. Ever. 

Chanukah came and went, but the lingering smell of sizzling latkes stayed for weeks. I learned how my mom makes latkes, and now I'm confident I'll be able to take on the task. Needless to say, I don't really want to eat another latke until next Chanukah.

My family does not celebrate Christmas, but that doesn't mean we won't help others celebrate! Chocolate-covered strawberries are WAY easier than you might think and they make a gorgeous gift to bring over to any holiday party.

Over a double boiler, melt dark chocolate chips (1/3 - 1/2 bag) with 1 TBS Crisco - this makes the chocolate shiny and smooth. Once melted, dip strawberries and place them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cool overnight, or at least for a few hours, to let the chocolate set. Repeat with the remainder of the chocolate, depending on how much fruit you have to dip.

You can use this chocolate to dip any kind of fruit or treat! I added Chanukah-themed sprinkles to our strawberries above because, well, why not?

I'm looking forward to more sunrises from my apartment window and more amazing meals to share with all of you. Cheers to the happiest and healthiest New Year yet!