Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This morning on GMA we did a segment on salad.

Here you can see my hands tossing the salad on the Jumbotron in Times Square on Good Morning America. 

It was a very busy day @GMA today. We had the Editor from Shop Smart Magazine on the show, talking about fast food salads. I had to reconstruct salads from 6 fast food chains plus show how to make your own salads at home with all the fixin's and set up how to make dressing. Joe, my right hand, was in rare form today so I thought I would reward him with a few shots of his amazing self. Katie the producer for the segment asked me to toss the salad for the 8 o'clock open. I was delighted to oblige. Robin liked a few of the salads from the segment, so I brought some up to her dressing room with Quiana's (Robin's producer) help. On the way I was startled by Katie's good cheer and proceeded to drop the dressing all over the floor and walls of the corridor. Katie and Ali cleaned it up without a moments hesitation and with such kindness in there usual joking manner. They came back to the office in my car and I was able to get these beautiful shots of these adorable and gifted girls!

Katie and Ali in the back

Tracy up front in the car

Photos and text by Karen Pickus
Courtesy of Karen Pickus 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tips of the day, I would like to share with my readers.

#1 The other night I only had unsweetened chocolate in the cupboard and I wanted to make chocolate sauce, so I scalded 1/2 cup of milk with 4Tbs. sugar, make sure the sugar disolves, take the pan off the fire, then I whisked in 8 ounces of chopped chocolate to make a velvety chocolate sauce for my homemade ice cream. Add more milk if necessary to get desired consistency.

#2When opening a tricky bottle.... use a nutcracker to twist it open. Like my husband did with this maple syrup bottle. He thought of it!

#3  If you have trouble putting a cork back in a wine bottle use a beer cap. The bottle must be kept upright and it won't seal it like a cork but at least it will keep the contents covered. My husbands tip.

#4 When making polenta, if you make it with haste, and it seems a bit lumpy, like I did the other night, carefully place the contents in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Then place back into the pot and continue cooking.

Photos, text and drawing by Karen Pickus
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oaty Scones

It is Sunday morn and I have a hankering to make scones. So I thought it might be fun to try to make them with oat flour, rolled oats, buttermilk, and riddled with raisins 'cause my husband loves 'em.  It is a dreary, rainy morning. Day light savings, to boot! (Spring ahead). Let's say I need something to brighten every corner.  Follow me into my kitchen so we can get started.


2 cups oat  flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp. coarse grain sea salt
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/2-2 cups raisins

1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup rolled oats


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a sheet of parchment on an 18x24 inch sheet pan.
Combine the oat flour, the sea salt and the baking powder in a medium size bowl, with a wire whisk.
Toss in the raisins and the rolled oats with your hand.

Combine the buttermilk and maple syrup right in the liquid measuring cup.
Pour over the already mixed dry ingredients. Use a rubber scraper to make sure you add all of the syrup. Combine with your hand until the dough forms a mass. Place on a lightly oat floured board.
Knead only a few times until the dough comes together. Pat into a 7-8 inch round. Pat the top with a slightly wet hand. Press on the remaining 1/4 cup of oats.
Cut into 8 equal wedges.
Place on the parchment with a lightly oat floured metal spatula equa-distant apart.
Put into the hot oven and bake for 13-18 minutes, until golden on the bottom and when you break them open they have a bread-like consistancy and not sticky. Let cool slightly and serve with tea, coffee, jam and butter, or alone. Put the remaining cooled scones in a resealable plastic bag. Store in the freezer (a pastry chef's best friend) if there are any left, and serve warmed up another day.

Recipe and Photos and Text by Karen Pickus
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2010

Some more about GMA behind the scenes on 3/12

You know it takes a village to put on a show like this, in case one was not aware by now. Here are more of the illustrious members of this wonderful village. ( This does not yet include everyone, although I am gonna continue to give it  my best shot!
Here I am telling Sam how to make the dressing I put on the salad. Eddie,  Amazing Stage Manager , took this photo.
1 part red wine vinegar to 3 parts the incredible olive oil, some coarse grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. That's it! The greens and vegetables were
baby spinach, romaine, frisee' arugula and radicchio. Sliced cukes, grape tomatoes, red, yellow and orange peppers.
Emeril took this shot of me getting the table ready for the tips, that will air next week.
Mary, and Eddie are there too!

Photos except where stated by, Karen Pickus
Text and recipe by Karen Pickus
Courtesy Karen Pickus, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

3/12 Continued

We also had the pleasure of Having Becky Worley do a segment today. She has the most cheery on air disposition, and presents some of the most interesting and cutting edge info.
              Here is Becky hamming it up before the segment.
                                             Becky painting the wall with her special sponge
                                           Becky presents to Robin with interested audience members looking on.

Photos except where stated by Karen Pickus
Text by Karen Pickus
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2010

GMA 3/12

Today our friend Emeril Lagasse, our food correspondent, was on the show. I have had the enormous pleasure of working with Emeril for 13-14 years. We have worked very closely on each of the segments presented at the studio over these years. I have had a blast doing it because not only is Emeril a very giving presenter, he is a wonderful guy. He is friendly, funny, clever and considerate, and he has been very appreciative and respectful of all of my effort each and every time.
Photo of Emeril and me that Maria took. Words can't express my gratitude!

This is Emeril's beans and sausage that I made for the demo.

Here is some of the food I made for the segment. Emeril's Pork Cutlet Parmegiano, Pasta with Emeril's sauce, and a yummy tossed salad I composed.

Here some of the audience members are enjoying the beans.

                        This is the oven fried chicken I made for Emeril's tips that will air next week.

                        We are all so excited about this olive oil! Eddie, our stage manager, graciously took this shot.


 Our Stalwart Commander, Jim, after the show. ( I didn't make the sandwich, he did).

Photos by Karen Pickus , except where stated.
 Text by Karen Pickus
 Courtesy, Karen Pickus 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The cloth for the tables and other passions

Today I went to B&J fabrics one of my favorite fabric stores here in New York City. They have some of the most beautiful fabrics I have ever seen there. Lovely cotton prints and checks. Rayon velvets in vivid colors for camera. Many silks in prints and solids. Fantastic linens and many more incredible choices, even fake furs that look and feel amazing. I like to peruse the fabrics for fun, for my chef jackets, and table cloth fabric for GMA.
Kasia is a delightful and professional person who always helps me with the fabrics and swatches. Marty picks up the fabric I select there for the show.
Here is what thrilled me for spring!

Photos and written by Karen Pickus
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Behind the scenes at GMA. ( Rocco Di Spirito was our wonderful guest!)

These pictures represent just some of the hard working folk I have the privilege to work with. I will include many others in future blogs.

Here I am "walking" Rocco through the segment. Maria, magnanimously took the picture.

This is the phenomenal Sam Champion and Rocco talking together before the segment.

Maria our fabulous food producer, is one of the most well organized people I know. She stays on top of her game, which is no small feat!

This is Evelyn, the incredibly talented wardrobe stylist. Here she is getting Robin's sweater ready for her to wear on camera.

Here is Robin, graciously, as always, offering the fantastic audience Rocco's brownies that I made for the segment.

Eddie, our awesome Stage Manager. This guy never gets riled no matter what is going on. He also has a great sense of humor. His is the big laugh you hear sometimes when you watch the show.

This is Brian and Gary. Both amazing prop men who have helped me with getting tables up to the set and have assisted me in the kitchen on occasion. They also handle moving, fixing and creating sets, among many other amazing and rigorous tasks. These guys are great "buds" and can't you see why?

Marty, the out side prop man extraordinaire for Good Morning America. Marty buys all of the food and sundries I request for our exceptional food segments, in addition to many other responsibilities for the show. If anything is requested for the show no matter how soon it is needed he makes it his business to get it there on time, no matter what!

Photos and writing by Karen Pickus
except photo of Rocco and me, by Maria
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2010

Finished Slaw

Finished Slaw
Ready to eat!