Entries tagged with “Ellie Krieger”.

I love Halloween and Fall colors. So, it was fun to get a jump on the season a little while back, when food stylist Lisa Cherkasky and I shot Ellie Krieger’s “Frightfully Good Black Bean Dip” recipe for USA Weekend magazine.

To complement the effect of the fun web motif we had in mind, we had to special order the creepy little spiders. When I was purging my prop collection recently, I had made the decision to toss out that pesky, useless nest of tiny plastic spiders that was just hanging around for no good reason. That choice soon came back to, you know…haunt me.

We always decorate our house for the season with pumpkins, gourds and mums. It looks very warm and inviting—not scary at all! We’re located kind of out-of-the-way, so we don’t attract a real horde of trick-or-treaters. But, we still like to buy a bunch of candy to treat all of the cute little kids in our immediate neighborhood, who make a point of stopping at our house (because I make such a fuss over them).

I hope your Halloween is fun, too!




There is nothing like a homegrown tomato! I could eat them unadorned, right from the vine growing in my own garden—or with just a simple touch of olive oil, salt and pepper. But a great salad dressing can really set them off, too. And with the crop of tomatoes and other veggies we expect, variety will be a good thing!

Ellie Krieger’s three dressing recipes in USA Weekend magazine offer this variety—with her always welcome, characteristic attention to healthier ingredients. Since we shot these dressings (with styling by Lisa Cherkasky), we’ve enjoyed her “De-Light-Ful Ranch Dressing” on our cucumbers. I can add my own garden-fresh chives to her “Tangy Lemon Herb Avocado Dressing.” And almost any salad greens are well-complemented with her “Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette.”

Whether you grow your own summer vegetables and fruits, or find them at some of our fantastic farmer’s markets, I hope you all are enjoying this summer’s produce, too!


This year, I am really looking forward to a low key 4th, hanging with family and friends, and eating good food. We love casual summer entertaining and relaxing outdoors, so “Perfect Picnic” tips from USA Weekend magazine are right on time.

For their cover and the recipe inside, I shot this fabulous “Creamy Ricotta Cheescake with Fresh Berries,” styled by Debbie Wahl. Delicious and eye-catching, Ellie Krieger’s “CookSmart” recipe for this traditional favorite includes healthier ingredients, as always.

Here’s hoping everyone has a fantastic 4th—and may all your picnics be perfect!

Grilling season is here! We love cooking out at our house. We just had a new stone patio laid down, so we are ready—really looking forward to enjoying our outdoor space this year. I got in the mood a little early, shooting this cover feature on summer grilling for USA Weekend Magazine: “Cookout 2.0: Refresh Summer Favorites.”

Mmm…Horseradish, Cheddar, and Caramelized Onion-Stuffed Burgers, Creamy Potato Salad with Egg, Peas, and Chives, Grilled Fruit Sundaes with Strawberry Sauce. These dishes are all wonderful, rich summer classics—and these recipes by Contributing Editor and Registered Dietician, Ellie Krieger give them her usual smart, healthy updates.

Lisa Cherkasky styled all of the shots in the feature. A talented food writer, as well, Lisa also wrote a special feature on “Summer Grilling Food Tips” for a USA Weekend slideshow, also featuring my photographs and her styling.

What a great way to welcome summer—Marty will be firing up that big green egg soon… Happy grilling!

“Nothing says ‘weekend’ like a stack of hot pancakes…”

How true—and, considering that, how appropriate that this photo (and quote) are from USA Weekend Magazine. For many months, I have been shooting, with food styling by Lisa Cherkasky, recipes for this weekly national publication and website. This is one of my favorites. How can you resist these buckwheats, literally dripping and glistening with real maple syrup, and bejeweled with plump fresh blueberries. Where’s my coffee?!

Yeah, yeah—this recipe is actually healthier than most other pancake recipes, too…That’s because nutritionist/author/TV host Ellie Krieger made sure of it. As she says, they’re made “without the unhealthy downsides of most recipes, which are typically loaded with sugar, white flour and butter.” Plus, buckwheat gives them more fiber, blueberries are high in antioxidants. Eating healthy food is important to me—and I am always delighted when it can also be tempting, rich-tasting and delicious!

Dov and Mara are home on Spring break, and we’re all very lucky—Marty will be making these for us!



Valentine’s Day can be a big deal—big opportunties for some restaurants and other businesses, and big pressure on (some peoples’) relationships. I’m glad to see my clients making their customers happy any day of the year, and wish them all well for this special holiday that keeps them very busy!

As for relationships… Marty and I try to treat each other special everyday (I know, that sounds sappy!). After 25 years, it is a little easier, now that the kids are on their own, which leaves a little more time for “us.” Our favorite Valentine’s Day tradition is to lay low and hang out at home. So… I wonder what the chef (AKA, Marty) has planned…? (No pressure!)

No doubt chocolate will be involved! Chocolate treats are a Valentine’s Day tradition—and I love it. While the health benefits of dark chocolate are widely promoted, this delicious Apricot Almond Truffles recipe maintains the indulgency quotient while upping the nutritional value.

I shot the photo above (styled by Lisa Cherkasky) for USA Weekend Magazine (below). The recipe is by Ellie Krieger, USA Weekend contributing editor, nutritionist, Food Network host and author.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!

Apricot Almond Truffles

1/2 cup whole, natural, unsalted almonds
1 1/2  cups dried Turkish apricots
1 Tb. honey
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. salt
3 ounces dark chocolate
(60% to 70% cocoa solids), chopped

Place the almonds in a dry skillet over a medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until they are toasted and become fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. Put the almonds into a food processor and pulse a few times until the nuts are coarsely chopped. Add the apricots, honey, cinnamon, ginger and salt to the processor; process until the ingredients are finely chopped and begin to stick together, about 45 seconds. Roll the mixture with your hands into heaping teaspoon-sized balls and set them on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.

Place a small bowl or double boiler over a saucepan of barely simmering water, over low heat. Place half the chocolate in the bowl and stir until melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the remaining chocolate, stirring until it is melted.

Roll the apricot balls in the melted chocolate, one or two at a time, until they are all covered. Place them back on the waxed paper, and then chill in the refrigerator until set, about 15 minutes. Serve and store at room temperature.
Yield: 20 truffles
Per truffle: 80 calories; 3.5g fat
(1g saturated); 1g protein;
12g carbohydrates; 2g fiber;
0mg cholesterol; 30mg sodium