Dining With The Stars

I’ve always loved to watch awards shows to ogle at the fashion and dream about what my life could have been if I ever pursued my dreams to become the next orphan Annie on Broadway at a young age. I may have missed the boat to become the next Lea Michele, and I can barely afford my rent, let alone expensive designer dresses (although my New York City rent is probably comparable to some of those price tags), but at least I can cook and can dine like one of the stars at these awards shows. In fact, I probably have the better deal here: I can enjoy delicious food from the comfort of my sweatpants and couch, while these celebs have probably starved themselves for weeks to be sewn into those size triple-zero dresses. When you look at it from a food perspective, being poor and  not famous doesn’t sound so bad after all…

Anyways, this year’s Emmy’s served as another great excuse to indulge and pop open the zipper on my pants (take that Lea Michele!). In keeping with the elegance of the Emmy’s, Elana and I decided to make some dainty finger foods from one of our favorite blogs (and now a cookbook!Big Girls Small Kitchen. I discovered Big Girls Small Kitchen (BGSK) a couple years ago during an episode of The Barefoot Contessa. I was easily hooked by their “cooking for the quarter-lifer” spiel and delicious, yet simple recipes. I’ve been religiously following BGSK ever since, and even had the chance to contribute to their blog!

BGSK is all about cooking and entertaining on a budget within the confines of a teeny NYC kitchen, so we knew these Sweet Pea Crostini and Caramelized Onion Tartlets would be perfect for us broke quasi-New Yorkers. Both of these small bites were super easy, but also tres chic. My days of becoming a Broadway sensation may be behind me, but I can certainly take center stage when it comes to eating like one.

Sweet Pea Crostini
Caramelized Onion Tartlettes

Sweet Pea Crostini

Makes 15-25 bites


1 tbs butter or olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, diced

Pinch of red pepper flakes

20-ounce bag of frozen peas

1/4 white wine or water

1 tsp salt

1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch-think rounds

1/4 fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Melt the butter or heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and red pepper flakes, and saute until onions are translucent, 5-10 minutes.

2. Preheat the broiler.

3. Arrange baguette pieces on cookie sheets and toast under the broiler until lightly toasted.

4. Add peas and white wine to the onion mixture, raise heat to medium-high. Bring the liquid to a boil, stirring the peas until they defrost, 5-7 minutes.

5. Add the mixture to a food processor and add the salt and a few mint leaves. Blend until the peas are similar to the consistency of hummus.

6. Scoop a tablespoon of the pea mixture onto each toasted baguette round and garnish with chopped basil and grated Parmesan.

Caramelized Onion Tartlettes

Makes 15 tartlettes


1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

Olive oil

1 large onion

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp chili powder

Dash of cayenne pepper

Salt, to taste

1. Coat a skillet with olive oil and saute onions over medium heat, stirring infrequently. Once they soften and begin to brown, reduce heat to low and allow onions to caramelize, about 30 minutes. When the onions are dark brown, add the spices and salt to taste.

2. Meanwhile, using a round cookie cutter or the top of a glass, cut the puff pasty into several small round circles, about 15.

3. Top the pasty rounds with the onions and bake in the oven according to the directions on the puff pastry package. Pastry should be slightly golden and crisp. Serve immediately.


1 thought on “Dining With The Stars

  1. Pingback: Eating with Oscar | Cooking With Cara

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