Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Cookie Monster Cupcake

Here is the Cookie Monster Cupcake recipe as I developed and created for Good Morning America.

Cookie Monster Cupcakes
( makes 24 cupcakes)

1 - 10.5 oz box devils food cake mix
3 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable  oil
1cup water

12 cups white decorators frosting

Blue food coloring ( about 2-3 TBS.)
24 mini chocolate chip cookies
48 white chocolate melting disks
1tube black food coloring ( gel for writing in cakes)

Special equipment
1- 18" cellophane pastry bag
1 special tip with small holes to pipe hair

1 ice cream scoop about 2-3 inches round
24 foil cup cake liners

Make cake mix according to package instructions using the eggs , vegetable oil and water.
Place batter evenly into each of 24 foil lined cupcake tins.
Bake according to package instructions.
Cool cupcakes completely.
Scoop frosting on top of each cupcake and refrigerate.
Color frosting and place in pastry bag with tip.
Pipe "hair" all around frosting dome. Add cookie for mouth add disk for eyes and pipe pupils on disks.
Refrigerate immediately.
I couldn't resist posting this pic of Blake's (illustrious stage hand) adorable son eating one of the cupcakes that I made for the show.

Recipe and photos by Karen Pickus 2015 except the photo of Blake's son by Blake, with his permission, Thanks Blake!!!
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2015

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bobby Flay at GMA3/12/2014

  Here are some pics of the set up I did today for Bobby Flay
 Sauteing the eggplant                                         Pacquio Peppers were the star ingredient

                                         The finished Sauce, cooling

                                                The anchors enjoying the finished dish
Photo By Eddie

                                                       The finished Pasta Antica

Photos, except where indicated and Food Styling by Karen Pickus 2014

Monday, October 14, 2013

Clinton Kelly Joined Us in Times Square

                                     I made tomato casserole and trifle for the segment

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jessica Seinfeld In the Studio

Today Jessica Seinfeld was in to tout her new book. I made, Cacio y pepe, Roast Chicken with roasted potatoes and onion, roasted asparagus and arugula, date, almond and blue cheese salad, for her segment. All under the domes!

                                       Jessica, Me (Karen) and Taylor, food segment producer

                                               Jessica and George right before the segment.

                              Angie, stage manager, Sal, Eddie and Karissa Illustrious stage hands

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Karen's Flax Seed "Bagels"

I call these bagels in quotes because they do the "job" that bagels do, as far as the satisfaction (and I punctuate them with a variety of seeds) to make them like my personal fav, everything! They have none of the calories and carbohydrates that bagels have. They also don't have quite the chewiness of a bagel, but to me they are a welcome replacement because they are low in carbohydrates and much more nutritious than standard bagels.
They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, b vitamins and fiber among other fantastic and essential nutrients
according to Laura Dolson of
This recipe was inspired by Jorge Cruise but I decided it would make an awesome "bagel" substitute.
You be the judge.
It is my go to treat when I want a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon.
I even shared them with  the illustrious Tory Johnson and her awesome husband recently and they loved them.
So now that I have made my personal "shift" too, these are a great tool in my culinary arsenal.

Here is the recipe


1 cup of ground flax seeds, I use a dedicated coffee grinder to accomplish this but you can buy them already ground.
1 Tbs. baking powder
3 large eggs


1pinch Fleur de Sel
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 large clove fresh garlic

Filling for "Bagels"

4 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. smoked salmon, I used Wild King
1 small thinly sliced red onion, optional


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a medium sized bowl combine the ground flax seeds with the baking powder, with a wire whisk.
Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated with the wire whisk.
Place one forth of the batter on the sheet pan and spread it into 4 disk like "bagels", about 3-1/2 -4 inches wide, using a small offset spatula to smooth the top.

Combine all of the seeds and salt together and sprinkle approximately 1 tsp. of the seeds
evenly over each disk. Using a microplane grate the garlic over each disk, tapping the microplane firmly over each one to distribute the freshly grated garlic.
Place into the preheated oven.
Bake for 10 minutes until the "bagels" are firm to the touch.
Remove from the oven and with a large metal spatula place "bagels" on a wire rack to cool completely.
When they are cool. Split the "bagels" in half, horizontally using a thin blade sharp knife.
Spread the cream cheese over both halves of all four bagels. Top with the salmon and onion if you like and serve.

Serves 4

Recipe, Writing and Photos by Karen Pickus
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

David Zinczenko on GMA 8/27/2013

David Zinczenko was on GMA to do a restaurant salad  comparison segment today!
This is the set up I did for the gifted spokesperson.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Roasted Marinated Red Peppers

I love these peppers. I know the peeling part is a pain but well worth the trouble, I think.  Sure beats the jarred variety by far. They are great on sandwiches or as an appetizer served with fresh Mozzarella or Buratta.

They are a magnificent addition to an antipasto platter. These are my go to all around favorite condiment. Another taste treat is using red jalapenos or Fresno peppers, if you like heat.

4 Red bell peppers
3 Tbs. Olive oil
2 Tbs. aged balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1/8th-1/4 tsp. salt
5 grinds black pepper
1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Char the peppers all over on an open flame until the skin is black and blistered. Place the hot peppers inside of a plastic bag.

 This will steam the skin so that the peppers are easier to peel. When the peppers are cool enough to touch, peel them thoroughly. Use some running water to remove the charred skin if absolutely necessary.
Place the peppers in a ceramic, non reactive crock or glass bowl, add the remaining ingredients and toss the peppers so that they are coated with the marinade.  Cover and marinate over night in the refrigerator, if you can wait. They will keep for several days in the refrigerator, well covered.

Recipe writing and photos by Karen Pickus 2013
Recipe Courtesy Karen Pickus 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mashed Butternut Squash

This is a yummy veg. Great along with savory meats like roast turkey of course, but I also love it as an accompaniment to roast pork or chops or even sausages. This is a nice change from potatoes and you get the benefit of beta carotene plus its a fantastic sweet vegetable. I roast the squash, this way the flavor is intensified and it makes it really easy to mash, season and serve.

1 large butternut squash
3 Tbs. maple syrup
1 1/2 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 pinch of salt
6-8 turns of white pepper, from the grinder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a sheet pan with olive oil cooking spray.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds. Place the cut sided down on the pan.

Roast the squash for 1-1/2 hours until it is soft to the touched the squash and mash until smooth and all of the spices are mixed throughout and the butter is melted.

Serves 4

Recipe, writing and photos by Karen Pickus 2013
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cabbage Soup Extraordinaire

I made this soup on a freezing day. The pancetta enriched the soup so much and made the soup into a hearty meal. You can make the soup vegetarian by omitting the pancetta and use vegetable broth instead.

1 Tbs. Olive oil
1/2 cup diced pancetta or bacon
1 Red onion 1/4 inch dice
6 cloves of garlic minced
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 large jalapeño, pepper seeds removed and diced small
1 granny smith apple chopped
1/2 Head Red Cabbage, chopped
6 cups of chicken broth.
Sour cream- optional

In a dutch oven sauté the pancetta with the olive oil until the fat is renderred.

Add the onion, garlic, thyme, apple and jalapeño to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook 5 minutes on medium low heat until the onion is softened but without caramelization.

Add the red Cabbage and cook until wilted about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken broth and simmer for 45 minutes on low heat until the cabbage is tender and the flavors have developed.

Serve with sour cream if desired.
Serves 4

Recipe, writing and photos by Karen Pickus 2013
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cherry Galette

I love sour cherries. They are in season in June. They are not readily available year round but there are some delicious varieties that come in a jar from Europe.

I use these when I make a cherry tart or galette in other months and they work quite well.

First I make a buttery crust and top it with this delicious filling I concocted.
Here goes.

For the crust

2 stick of cold, unsalted butter (8 oz.) cut into 1/2 " pieces
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. of salt
10 oz. all purpose flour

6-8  Tbs. ice water

In a food processor combine the butter, the sugar, salt and flour. Pulse until it is a coarse crumb. Add the ice water and pulse 5-6 times until the water is somewhat incorporated. Place on a lightly floured surface and with the palm of your hand, push and grab the dough, 6-8 times to form a mass.
Form the dough into a rectangle and make 1-3- fold ( fold one long end of the rectangle toward 2/3 in with 1/3 of the dough remaining and fold that third on top).
Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for 1 hour.

For the filling

1 -14 oz jar sour cherries
1 vanilla bean
1 cup sugar
4Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. cinnamon


Meanwhile make the filling. Strain the sour cherries and reserve the liquid in a 2 quart pot. In a separate small bowl combine the cornstarch with 1/3 cup of the cherry liquid, with a wire whisk until the starch is smooth.
Add this to the liquid in the pot.
Grind the vanilla bean with 2 Tbs. of the sugar in a coffee grinder. ( I dedicate 1 clean coffee grinder for this purpose). If you don't have one, chop the vanilla bean very fine. Add  all of the sugar and the ground vanilla to the cherry juice in the pot.  Bring the liquid to a boil, add the spices and stir with a wire whisk. Cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes until the mixture is thick and boiling to cook out the starch. Add the cherries and remove from the heat. Let the filling cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll dough into a 14" round and place a sheet of parchment paper on the back of an 11x 18" baking sheet.
 Place the dough on top of the parchment. Spread the filling evenly in the middle of the dough (about a 10 " circle of filling).

Fold the dough evely around the filling, leaving some filling showing in the middle.

 Brush the dough with some water and sprinkle the dough with 2 Tbs. granulated sugar.

Place the gallette into the preheated oven and bake until the dough is golden on top and peek at the bottom carefully with a metal spatula to make sure it is nicely golden on  the bottom also, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Let the gallette cool completely and serve with or without whipped cream.

Recipe, writing, photos by Karen Pickus 2013
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2013

Finished Slaw

Finished Slaw
Ready to eat!