Post image for Kitchen Confidential: Double Creamed Tart

This time in Kitchen Confidential, we bring you Craig – a master chef working in our 543 cafeteria who came to us from Michelin star restaurant, Spruce, in San Francisco. Craig has some awesome culinary training strapped under his belt, and has traveled far and wide to places including Japan to perfect his craft. Read more »

Christina -Jan 02, 2012, 2:53PM
I love how rustic this looks! Yum. I just made some rustic Italian Pizzelle Cookies! Come check them out! http://becauseofmadalene.blogspot.com/ Christina
Taylor -Jan 02, 2012, 1:23PM
I had this amazing chicken quesadilla and arugula salad at the home office...such good food! I want to try this tart! www.forsurejadore.blogspot.com

More comments »

Post image for New Year’s Cocktails

New Year’s Eve is a night to celebrate and pull out your finest. Why not go all out with a fancier drink than usual? Need inspiration? Here are three amazing-looking cocktails to bring in the New Year – shown in order of easiest to hardest by way of preparation. Read more »

Post image for Crispy Sage-Sprinkled Latkes

Every year I look forward to latkes for Chanukah. In my family, we always ate them for the holiday. I remember one year when my mother was working at a local newspaper and she made an entire array using all types of potatoes for a review. It’s a fond memory of mine, and now that I’ve moved out of my parents’ house I still need them so much that I’ve taken on the task myself. Read more »

Dorothy Blevens -Jan 08, 2012, 9:38AM
These look sooo good. I have been on a diet and couldn't have any this Chanukah. Alright, I did have one, but I wanted a whole lot more! Four more weeks; can't wait to try these!
Christina -Dec 26, 2011, 1:18PM
This looks so tasty. And I love that you made them extra crispy! Check out my eggplant parm I made for the holiday weekend! http://becauseofmadalene.blogspot.com/

More comments »

Post image for Naomi’s Homemade Granola

Our awesome little chef, FP Naomi, brought in some delicious homemade granola for us and it’s so tasty I had to ask her for the recipe. It’s perfect for snacking, especially here at our desks at work :) – and, it’s a great gift for the holidays! Read more »

Harriet -Dec 05, 2013, 1:43PM
How long does this last for as a gift?
Hellen -Dec 24, 2011, 7:24AM
thank you so much for the recipe, I will come back with feedback.

More comments »

Post image for Hot Quinoa Cereal

This week’s recipe is an adaptation from one of Julie Morris’s Superfood Cuisine recipes. Read more »

-Dec 19, 2011, 9:13AM
Hey Julia, I didn't rinse the quinoa - just added it straight in.
julia -Dec 18, 2011, 3:18PM
looks fantastic! however, this recipe doesn't mention to rinse the quinoa - which is usually recommended to remove the bitter taste. did you rinse the quinoa or just add it to the almond milk as is?

More comments »

Post image for Kitchen Confidential

At the Free People home offices we have so many amazing things available to us. One that I’m sure many employees will tell you that they’re grateful for, is the amazing food. You can either head over to our dining hall called 543 or stop at the café Jharoka – both of which offer menus that are stocked with gourmet ingredients and creative pairings. The offering includes some of the freshest ideas in the culinary world today: smoked tofu and pear chicken salad with blackberry jam and arugula on a brioche, or, for the non-vegetarians, how about a grilled flank with balsamic mushrooms, horseradish mayonnaise and spring mix on semolina hero? The people behind these masterpieces are talented chefs, baristas, sauciers – they each have a reputable background and an artistry to share.

Picture 005

Picture 032

Meet Corbin – our 543 drink specialist who’s prepping up his magical Hangover Smoothie. FP Jemma will tell you that he steams the best cappuccino, and he’ll humbly profess that it’s what he loves to do. We talked to him while he got to work at the blender, learning all about his love of drinks and how he uses vitamin B12 to cure our post party pains.

Picture 028

Where did you work before this? Before this I worked at various coffee shops, always making drinks.

And how long have you been with the company? About a year now

How did you develop this hangover recipe – was it out of necessity? Ha – not so much…I mainly just researched ingredients. It’s about trial and error – getting to know ingredients and what they’re good for. I then combine things with similar benefits to make a power house recipe with a specific benefit, like weight loss or energy.

How does this smoothie help to cure a hangover? Bananas, spinach, and B12 have a lot of potassium which will give you a big kick and make you feel good. The B12 also has great added energy benefits. The Kale is just good for everything – it’s so nutrient-rich.

Where do you get inspiration? Are there any sources you often use for research? I mainly just talk to people, I visit other juice bars, and the internet – I look a lot of things up on the internet…

What’s next? I’m going to be adding supplements to the cleanses more. So far I’ve just been making combinations with the juicer like carrot, ginger, and lemon – no water or anything added. I’m going to start putting in supplements like Spirulina and Echinacea. For the New Year there will be a whole cleansing regiment offered. Employees can pick up a package of 6 juices each day to either use as a liquid diet or to add on top of a healthy eating regimen.

Here’s how to make the hangover smoothie:

Picture 021

Ingredients (Serves 2)

One handful (approx 1 cup) of Washed Spinach

4 Leaves of Washed Dinosaur Kale

2 Bananas

1 Cup of Soy Milk

4-5 Drops of Liquid B12

¾ Cup of Chopped Ice

Picnik collage

Directions

Put it all in the blender & drink!

Picture 016

Picture 011

Picture 025

He left us with a bottle of the first batch. It was full of banana-y flavor, and although not hungover, it definitely put some pep in our step.

Michelle -Dec 16, 2011, 2:39PM
Should do half soy milk half coconut water! I drink coconut water for my hangovers because its filled with potassium (more than 1 whole banana!)plus has electrolytes without all the fructose in gatorade...
EV -Dec 16, 2011, 2:12PM
Sounds like the perfect smoothie for this time of year. Love you guys xx

More comments »

Post image for Fresh Cleansing Salad

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to find that in the weeks following Thanksgiving I’m in major need of detox. After letting my gluttony run wild, I turn to the juicer and salads for almost every meal. Plates get piled high with antioxidant and vitamin-rich ingredients to get myself feeling normal again. That’s not to say that things get boring. Au contraire. This recipe is one of the creations I put together when in need of salad creativity. The combination of flavors sounds absurd, but one taste and it’s more like absurdly amazing. Each bite is full of mouthwatering freshness – making it tough to stop eating, but with such healthy ingredients, it’s okay. (Did you know that the calcium in Kale is easier for the body to absorb than milk? And, both butternut squash and pomegranates are FULL of antioxidants.) I swear you’ll fall in love with this one…

Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash

1 Pomegranate

½ Cup of Sunflower Seeds

1 Medium Bunch of Red Kale

½ a Lemon

2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1 Tsp. Sea Salt

3 Tbsp. Sesame Oil (1Tbsp. for squash and 2 Tbsp. for dressing)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Peel and cube your butternut squash, then toss it in a bowl with sesame oil, and spread it out on a tinfoil-lined baking sheet.

Picture 022

Place the butternut squash into the oven to cook until tender (approx 25 min). While it’s cooking, seed your pomegranate, chop your kale, and place it into a large bowl. Squeeze your half lemon over the mixuture, sprinkle with salt, and stir it up. This will help to begin softening your kale so it’s not extremely stiff and crunchy.

Picture 028

Picture 038

Once your squash is cooked, let it cool for about ten minutes, and then mix all of the rest of your ingredients together, and serve.

Picture 065

-Dec 11, 2011, 8:21PM
I'm making this now. I'm not very experienced in the kitchen and I'm a little uncertain as to how to make the dressing. Where does the dijon come in?
-Dec 11, 2011, 5:57PM
this looks delish!

More comments »

Post image for Comfort Food Risotto with Shitakes and Asparagus

When I haven’t been to the grocery store in, awhile this risotto is something I’ll whip up for dinner. I usually have the ingredients laying around (maybe not the vegetables, but I’ll do some sort of variation), and it’s simple to make. My grandmother taught me the secret trick of stirring in some cream cheese. You don’t even have to use too much, but it makes the risotto so deliciously creamy. I also tend to use brown rice just because it’s healthier, and I find the effect to be just as desirable. This dish warms up any cold day and can help cure a funky mood. It’s one of my ultimate comfort foods – my less guilty version of mac n’ cheese. Let me know if it’s just as good for you :).

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Long-Grain Brown Rice

1 Lb Asparagus

1 Large Sweet Onion

¼ Lb Shitake Mushrooms

4 Cups of Vegetable Stock

½ Cup Parmesan Cheese

3 Tbsp Cream Cheese

1 Tbsp Truffle Oil

S & P to taste

Directions

Chop onion, asparagus, and mushrooms. I like to leave the onion pieces as larger wedges for a dish like this.

Picture 006

Picture 009

Pour truffle oil into a large pot and allow it to heat up. After two minutes or so, throw in your onion wedges to sauté. As soon as they begin to appear translucent, add in your mushrooms and asparagus to.

Picture 010

Once the vegetables appear cooked (you can test them with a fork), lower the flame and pour in your vegetable stock. Then add rice and stir.

Picture 018

Cover and let cook until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in parmesan cheese, cream cheese, salt and pepper.

Picture 022

Let the risotto sit for about 5 minutes. Then stir again and serve.

Picture 030

amy -Dec 16, 2011, 1:17PM
Yummers! Made this last night for 2 friends (one of them a shitake farmer), it was DELISH! Now finishing leftovers at work as I type. Thanks FP! xoxo
HappySue -Dec 10, 2011, 9:53AM
I made this for me and my friend yesterday, it was perfect for a frosty UK day, so thanks very much.

More comments »

Post image for Mamma’s Pumpkin & Pear Curried Soup

Going home for a visit, I always look forward to some of my mother’s home cooking. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world. Everything coming out of “Mamma’s” kitchen is a unique invention that combines unexpected ingredients into something miraculous. I don’t know how she does it, but I thought I’d feature a sample of one for you all to get a taste (literally). This Pumpkin & Pear Curried Soup was the opener to our Thanksgiving meal this year. The recipe is delicately spiced, perfectly creamy, and just enough sweet. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. :)

Ingredients:

1 Medium Sweet Onion – Chopped

1/2 Lb Carrots – Chopped

1 Large Yukon Gold Potato – Cut into 1/2″ cubes

1 Tbsp Sesame Oil

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

1/2 Liter of Vegetable Stock

2 Ripe Pears

16oz Pear Nectar

2 – 29oz Cans of Pureed Pumpkin

3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

3 Cups of Nonfat Greek Yogurt

3 Tsp Curry Powder

3/4 Tsp Gara Masala

Salt to taste

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds/Sesame oil for garnish

Directions:

Place onions into a large pot with sesame and olive oils to saute.

As they begin to turn translucent, add in carrots & potato.

IMG_1169

IMG_1170

When the carrots and potatoes are soft, remove from heat.

IMG_1312

Slice pear, and add into sauteed vegetable mix.

IMG_1327

Using a blender, puree mixture in batches. For each batch you’ll want to add a bit of vegetable stock and pear nectar to cool it down.

IMG_1313

Return pureed mixture to heat on the stove. Stir in pumpkin, brown sugar, spices, and any remaining vegetable stock/pear nectar. Let cook until mixture is heated through.

IMG_1342

Pour into a serving bowl, and stir in yogurt.

IMG_1385

Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and sesame oil, then serve!

IMG_1387

Post image for The Perfect “Dillas”

Ever since Napolean Dynamite came out, I’ve been calling them “dillas.” Years later it’s far too ingrained into my vernacular to go back, so please excuse the blatant mutilation of an otherwise perfect Spanish word. Quesadillas are one of those foods that I think no American can live without once in a while. They’re the perfect blend of cheesy (who doesn’t like cheesy), carbohydrates, and (in my preference) loads of veggies – all topped off with sour cream. I like mine with a zesty flavor which I achieve using generous amounts of cilantro, garlic, and chili pepper. It gives the dillas that Mexican food sucking-air-through-your-front-teeth sort of satisfaction. Who doesn’t love that?

Ingredients (Yields 5 Quesadillas):

10 8” Tortillas (I pick mine up fresh from a Mexican joint in Philly – highly suggest it if you can find a place near you which does the same.)

1 Package of Mexican Blend Cheese or Shredded Montery Jack

¼ Red Onion – chopped finely

1 Small package of Cherry Tomatoes – cut into quarters

1 Green Pepper – chopped

2 Cloves of Garlic – minced

1 Tbsp Chopped Cilantro

1 Tsp Lime Juice

½ Tsp Chili Powder

½ Tsp Garlic Powder

½ Tsp Cumin

Salt & Pepper to Taste

You’ll also need a Panini press or George Foreman-type machine, but you could also probably pull them off in the oven or toaster oven.

Directions:

Combine onion, green pepper, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, and seasonings in a medium bowl.

Picture 018

Stir it up well Picture 019

Preheat your grill

Place a tortilla down onto the grill. Cover with desired amount of cheese, and then sprinkle with filling mixture. (I also cooked up some shrimp and added it to some. To do this, just cut raw shrimp into smaller pieces, and then sauté beforehand to have it ready.)

Picture 026

Sprinkle more cheese on top, and then cover with another tortilla.

Picture 027

Close grill, and let cook for about 8-10 minutes, and then they’re ready!

Garnish with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or hot sauce – whatever you want…

Picture 033

Nora -Jan 17, 2013, 12:59PM
A big 'oh hi' from the Netherlands. I know this is an old post, just love the treàsures that are still kept in your archive. Making these tonight for my semi mexican boyfriend. Still have to go to the groceries store, bit already enjoying the pre-taste of this recipe. <3
molly -Jan 22, 2012, 6:19PM
i am doing a nutrition project for high school health class i am going to make these quesidillias as a demonstration:) love you free people <3

More comments »

Healthy Baking 101

Post image for Healthy Baking 101

Although I love to cook, when it comes to baking I’m something of an amateur. Growing up my parents always kept a kitchen stocked with healthy options, and if I whipped up a sheet of cookies for no reason they often went uneaten (except by me). As I got older and more health conscious, I realized that I probably shouldn’t be devouring these cookies either. So, in an effort to maintain a clean diet, I kind of fell off the baking band wagon and became more of a cook.

Nowadays, we have so many more options for healthy baking. Right here in Philly there is a café that serves up my favorite “nuffins” made with yogurt, olive oil, and splenda. It got me to thinking about baking in an all new way, and I decided to give it a stab again. Up until now, this has involved following other people’s recipes, but this past weekend I attempted making whole-wheat pumpkin cupcakes with yogurt as an experiment. I took photos, and was planning to post on them today, but sadly, they came out entirely too moist, and sort of fell in on themselves.

The week got hectic, and I couldn’t make it to the store to pick up ingredients for another recipe, so as a result, I thought I’d take you all along the learning curve with me. In attempts to get the recipe right, I’ve been doing some research on healthy baking substitutes that I’ve heard about. Here’s what I’ve learned so far and can’t wait to try out. Once I get the cupcakes just right, I’ll be sure to share them with you all & if any of you have tips – please share!

Applesauce

Substituting applesauce is one way to cut down on fat in baking. Using it keeps the finished product moist, but it really only works for oil-based baked goods (i.e. breads, muffins, and some cakes) not recipes calling for butter.  When you substitute applesauce, it’s even more important to work the batter gently, and as little as possible. Most sources recommend a 1:1 swap (1 cup of applesauce in a recipe calling for 1 cup of oil). Measure it out in a liquid measuring cup, and use unsweetened applesauce.

yogurt

Yogurt

Yogurt is another great way to cut fat and calories, but maintain a tender, moist consistency in baked goods. This one can be used in both butter and oil-based recipes. In those calling for butter, replace half of the butter with half as much yogurt (1/4cup yogurt & 1/2cup butter in a recipe calling for 1 cup butter). For oil or shortening, replaice half of the oil with ¾ the amount of yogurt (1/4 cup + 2tbsp of yogurt with ½ cup oil in a recipe calling for 1 cup of oil).

661861316_8a210c42ea_b

Whole Wheat Flour

This is where it can get a bit tricky. From what I’ve read, you want to find whole-wheat pastry flour which is generally lighter than the all-purpose kind. You usually still have to include white flour when making this switch. Sometimes you can use 100% whole wheat, but that’s where experimenting comes in. From what I’ve read, going entirely whole-wheat works great with banana bread. Breads in general can take more, as it tends to make the product heavier which is okay with bread. When baking pastries you’ll want to stick to a 50/50 rule (substituting half the amount of all-purpose white flour with whole-wheat flour).

click on images for sources

Hmoureuse -Nov 21, 2011, 10:00AM
@Anonymous : gluten free flour is great ; you can use either coconut flour or rice or corn or chestnut flour (which is quite expensive, so I always mix rice and chestnut flour) As for the egg replacer, arrowroot is GREAT. 1 full tablespoon of arrowroot + 3 tbsp of water for one egg. I always use coconut oil as a substitute for butter as I am allergic to lactose but also almonds, soy, gluten, etc. Every day I find new ways to replace ingredients and it all tastes even better :)
michelle B -Nov 16, 2011, 6:13PM
While, I do love stevia(truvia is pretty good), I find that there is a distinct after taste and it can be tricky to sweeten when used alone. I typically used it with something else like agave, honey, concentrated white grape juice or powdered frutose. Sometimes I substitute it for half of raw sugar just to cup don on the sugar. I love to use it in whipped cream. Add two packets to a 1/2 pint of whipping cream and beat until peaks form. No one will ever know the difference!

More comments »

Spicy Four Bean Soup

Post image for Spicy Four Bean Soup

I love crock pots. There’s something magical about them. It’s like the modern day witch’s cauldron that you throw a bunch of stuff into, and poof, it turns into a delicious meal. It’s great for when I’m feeling lazy, or just plain don’t have the time to prep dinners all week. I’ll put together a concoction, turn the temperature to low, and go to bed for the night. When I wake up in the morning I’ll put aside enough for lunch. Then stick about half of the remains into the freezer, the other half in the fridge, and I’m set for a go-to healthy meal all week.

This Four Bean Soup recipe as is, is definitely not for wimps. The spice is strong, but burn is good. If you’re not into it, leave out the jalapeno peppers, or cut down on the amount of red pepper. You can also try removing the jalapeno pepper seeds before you add them into the pot as this is where they contain most of their spice. However you like it, it’s simple, good for you, and will make your week much more convenient. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients:

1 Can Kidney Beans

1 Can Cannellini Beans

1 Can Black Beans

1 Can Pinto Beans

1 28oz Can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes

4 Cups of Vegetable Broth

2 Carrots

2 Celery Stalks

1 Red Onion

2 Jalapeno Peppers

1 Tbsp Chili Powder

1 Tbsp Cumin

1 Tsp Turmeric

1 Tsp Salt

3 Garlic Cloves

Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

Directions:

Drain and toss all of your beans into the crock pot.

Picture 005

Pour in tomatoes and then cut each one into smaller pieces.

Picture 008

Peel and chop carrots

Picture 012

Picture 013

Peel and slice onion

Picture 016

Chop celery, jalapenos, and garlic

Picture 014

Picnik collage1

Throw all chopped ingredients into the crock pot along with vegetable broth and seasonings. Stir

Picture 024

Turn crock pot to “low” if you’d like the soup to cook for 6-8 hours. If you want you want to speed the process up to 3-4 hours, you can turn it to “high.”

Picture 026

Turn off and you’re done!

Picture 034

Cristan -Nov 08, 2011, 10:48AM
This was ok. Hopefully will be better on day 2! It took A LOT longer than 8 hours to cook, so I was very hungry, and almost sad when I finally got to eat it... maybe i cut my carrots too big? woopsie!
Michelle -Nov 07, 2011, 5:45AM
Looks delicious! x Michelle www.michellesstylefile.blogspot.com

More comments »

Back To Top