Healthy Carrot Ginger Soup w/ Sweet & Spicy Pepitas

Healthy-Creamy-Carrot-Ginger-Soup-with-Sweet-and-Spicy-Pepitas-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJI’ve been having a bit of a love affair with carrot ginger soup lately, testing out more recipes than I can count. I wanted something creamy (without the calorie intake of actual cream), sweet and a little spicy. The addition of tofu adds a nice amount of protein that fills me up (not leaving me hungry two hours later). I like to top it off with sweet and spicy pepitas for a nice crunch and little dash of heat.

Healthy-Creamy-Carrot-Ginger-Soup-with-Sweet-and-Spicy-Pepitas-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJ 6Healthy-Creamy-Carrot-Ginger-Soup-with-Sweet-and-Spicy-Pepitas-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJ 5Healthy-Creamy-Carrot-Ginger-Soup-with-Sweet-and-Spicy-Pepitas-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJ 4Healthy-Creamy-Carrot-Ginger-Soup-with-Sweet-and-Spicy-Pepitas-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJ 3Healthy-Creamy-Carrot-Ginger-Soup-with-Sweet-and-Spicy-Pepitas-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJ 2

Healthy Carrot Ginger Soup w/ Sweet & Spicy Pepitas
Serves 4

Ingredients for soup:

  • 1 tbs. butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped leeks, dark green parts removed (around 1 large leek)
  • 1 lb. baby carrots
  • 1 1/2 tbs. minced ginger (you can grate it if you like, but it all goes in the blender at the end anyway)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup tofu
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 3 tbs. chopped chives

Ingredients for pepitas:

  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice blend
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. canola oil


  • Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add leeks, sprinkle with salt and cook stirring often until soft, around 5 minutes.
  • Add carrots and ginger, sprinkle with salt, toss well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until carrots are soft.
  • Carefully add carrot mixture and tofu to a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix).
  • Blend on the soup setting (or high) for 5-7 minutes, until completely smooth.
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste, top with chives and pepitas.

Sweet and Spicy Pepitas:

  • Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to coat.
  • Spread in a single layer on a foiled wrapped baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until puffed and brown.


Pignolata-Struffoli-Recipe-by-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJThere are so many family recipes that I love making around the holiday season, but it truly wouldn’t be Christmas without pignolata. A delicious Sicilian confection of fried pastry and toasted hazelnuts, rolled in honey and topped with sprinkles – they are my favorite yuletide indulgence and best enjoyed homemade! There are different variations of the dish found throughout Italy – in Naples they’re called struffoli – this is how I make mine:



  • 3 eggs, 3 egg yolks
  • 1 jigger Grand Marnier
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1.5 cups of toasted hazelnuts
  • Canola oil
  • 1 lb. 8 oz. honey
  • round multi-color sprinkles


  • In a mixer with a dough hook, combine first 4 ingredients and mix until fully combined.
  • Cut off a small section of the dough and cover the remainder with a damp kitchen towel.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece until 1/4-inch thick. Cut each strip of pastry into 1/4-inch pieces – about the size of the top of an eraser. Lightly dredge the dough balls in flour, shaking off any excess. Repeat with the remainder of the dough.
  • In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or fryer, pour enough oil to fill about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until the oil temp reaches 375 degrees F.
  • In batches, fry the dough until lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheets to drain.
  • In a large saucepan, warm the honey over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Remove the pan from the heat. In batches, add the fried dough and hazelnuts and stir until coated in the honey mixture. Allow the mixture to cool in the pan for 2 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, arrange the struffoli and hazelnuts on a platter, decorating each layer with sprinkles. Drizzle any remaining honey over the pignoltta (can be made 3 days in advance).

I hope you all have a very merry and wonderful Christmas! xo

The Holiday Cocktail Supper

Cocktail-Supper-Party-Menu-and-Dining-Room-by-Julia-Reed-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJWe’re hosting a little Holiday Party this Saturday, and after a hectic few weeks, I’m really excited to spend some time with good friends and toast the end to a fabulous year! I like to entertain and usually don’t find it particularly stressful. However, holiday parties tend differ from status quo. It’s a busy time of year, so understandably guests may have multiple events to attend, or a little shopping to finish up – hence arriving at different times throughout the course of the night. This can be a little stressful in terms of keeping food hot, especially on a cold Winter night!

So when I came across Julia Reed’s (one of my entertaining idols) Cocktail Supper menu in this months Southern Living, I knew what direction to take. All of her dishes can be served at room temperature (aside from the Lump Crab Mornay, which is kept warm in a silver chafing dish), allowing the host to enjoy their guests – in lieu of constantly heating up food and keeping an eye on sternos. Genius!


1. Montgomery Punch

2. Mini Corn Cakes with Smoked Salmon and Dill Crème Fraîche

3. Lump Crab Mornay 

4. Perfect Beef Tenderloin served with homemade hot mustard sauce, horseradish sauce and Sister Schubert’s yeast rolls (which Ms. Reed swears are just as good as homemade!).

5. Buttery Toasted Pecans – I also really like this recipe!

6. Asparagus with Curry Dip

7. Pecan Bourbon Balls

In addition to be so much less stressful, the added benefit about the “Cocktail Super” menu is it’s more than enough to constitute as dinner, and informal enough for your guests to arrive and leave as they please!

Are you doing any holiday entertaining this season? Any tips for a stress-free party?

Thanksgiving Recipe Favorites

Thanksgiving-Menu-via-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignI love finding a little updates to the classic holiday recipes, and learning what others bring to their table time and time again! So as a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes with you. And I would really LOVE to hear from you, so please share some of your favorites in the comment section below!

1- Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a turkey! We usually have a decent size crowd – around 15 people – so a full size turkey is the way to go. Ina Garten’s Roast Turkey with Truffle Butter is my go-to recipe. It keeps the poultry moist and delicious, while the truffles add a wonderful hint of flavor that our guests can never quite put their finger on!

*Note: Truffle butter can be found in most gourmet food stores – I always pick up mine in Wegmans (I buy the white truffle version) – but if you’re having trouble finding it, you can mix truffle salt with unsalted butter to achieve a similar flavor.

2- My 90-year-old grandmother makes the gravy every year (she rocks!) and I’ve finally learned how to make it on my own – which took years of observation to accomplish (although I wouldn’t dare make it when she’s over!). I don’t have an exact recipe with measurements (will try to take notes this holiday!), but what I can share with you is this incredible recipe for Cranberry Fruit Conserve that will blow your traditional cranberry sauce out of the water – I highly recommend trying it!

3- On to the stuffing, possibly my favorite trimming! Sydney’s Mom’s Chestnut, Sausage and Apple Stuffing is pure perfection, bringing together the gastronomic trinity of tart, savory and sweet. A mixture of velvety roasted chestnuts, tart apples, sweet Italian sausage, chewy dried cranberries, aromatic rosemary, and tarragon – which adds a slight hint of licorice and entirely different dimension to the dish. Everything a proper stuffing should have, in my opinion! I make mine the day before to let the flavors marinate.

4- Growing up, my Italian side of the family not only served the full Thanksgiving spread, but it was proceeded by an entire Italian feast of lasagna, manicotti, beef stuffing, stuffed artichokes and more. Eating two HUGE meals in one day no longer takes place, but we make sure to keep a few Italian recipes in the mix. In lieu of the traditional meat and red sauce lasagna, I make this insanely decadent Butternut Squash version.

5- I’m not a huge fan of mashed potatoes when there are so many other options to be had, but my husband would boycott Thanksgiving if they were not on the table – and I have to admit I even like this buttermilk mashed potatoes recipe. Ricing the potatoes through a food mill creates the most velvety texture, and the buttermilk adds the slightest tang to the rich dish. The recipe even includes a cool trick on how to make the potatoes in advance and keep them warm.

6- Finally, you need to have something green on the table and Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts is it. Of course bacon is loaded on, it is Thanksgiving after all!

In true Thanksgiving fashion most guests bring along a dish or two, so this is only a small clipping of the gluttonous meal!

What’s on your Thanksgiving table? Any new recipes you recommend trying out?

Fall Antipasto Platter

Fall-Antipasto-Platter-by-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJCome Friday I’m perfectly content sitting outside by the fire, munching on some delicious bites and savoring a nice glass of wine. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook and indulge in fancy (read: more complicated) meals, but after a long week it’s usually the last thing I want to do! I put together this little antipasto platter for a few guests this week and everyone loved it, so I thought it was worth sharing.

Typically antipasto platters include roasted red peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and other veggies best enjoyed during the Summer months. For the longest time I never even thought to assemble one outside of the season, until I had a similar version a few weeks ago at Frankies Spuntino that incorporated Fall produce.

I roasted the carrots with a few dashes of cardamom, and added a splash of lemon juice to the roasted cauliflower for a fresh zesty finish (see recipes below). I made the ricotta (recipe here) because it’s so easy and I’m picky about my ricotta (weird, I know!), but everything else I bought from our local Italian delicacy store – fresh mozzarella, smoked mozzarella, sopressata, prosciutto, Calabrese olives and fresh crusty Italian bread. I plated the food on this serving board that I use all the time – great for cheese plates, smoked salmon platters, roasted meats and their accouterments, etc.!

The antipasto platter is really more assembling than it is cooking, making it the perfect little meal after a long week!

What are some of you favorite recipes to make when your short on time (and/or patience)?

Roasted Carrots with Cardamom 


  • 1 lb. carrots
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. good olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom


  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.
  • Peel and slice carrots diagonally – around 1 1/2″ slices.
  • Toss carrots in a bowl with remaining ingredients.
  • Transfer to a baking sheet in 1 layer (do not overcrowd the pan, otherwise they will steam!) and roast for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even roasting.
  • Adjust seasonings.
  • Serve at room temperature.

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon


  • 1/2 head of a medium cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp. good olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon juiced  – around 1 tbsp of juice
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper


  • Preheat oven to 500°.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.
  • Separate cauliflower into florets – around 1 1/2″ in diameter.
  • Toss cauliflower in a bowl with remaining ingredients.
  • Transfer to a baking sheet in 1 layer (do not overcrowd the pan, otherwise they will steam!) and roast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even roasting.
  • Adjust seasonings.
  • Serve at room temperature.

*Note: The key to any good cheese platter is to buy good cheese and serve it at room temperature. I like my veggies to be the same temperature, but you can certainly serve them hot!


Weekend Pursuits

Wölffer-Estate-Vineyard-Harvest-Party-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJOn Saturday we headed to Wölffer Estate Vineyard for their annual Harvest Party.

Wölffer-Estate-Vineyard-Harvest-Party-Dry-Rose-Cider-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJWe had the opportunity to check out some of their amazing new vintages – I was particularly fond of the Dry Rose Cider!

Wölffer-Estate-Vineyard-Harvest-Party-Rolling-In-Dough-Pizza-Truck-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJWe dined on some delicious fare – including tacos, lemon rosemary chicken, gourmet pizzas, seasonal roasted vegetables and pulled pork – I meant to take more pictures of the food, but was too busy eating! The hand-crafted pizzas were made to order from this incredibly genius, brick oven on wheels by Rolling in Dough (love the name!).Wouldn’t this be an incredible idea for a kids party, or a late night encore of snacks at a wedding?!

Wölffer-Estate-Vineyard-Harvest-Party-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJSpeaking of kids, there were a ton of activities for little ones, including horse back riding, face painting, hay rides, pumpkin rolling and a petting zoo.Wölffer-Estate-Vineyard-Harvest-Party-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJIt was an amazing Fall day meant to be spent outdoors, the weather seriously could not have been more perfect! If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend checking out the Harvest Party when it rolls around next year!

Cuck-Close-Guild-Hall-East-Hampton-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJCuck-Close-Guild-Hall-East-Hampton-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJCuck-Close-Guild-Hall-East-Hampton-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJCuck-Close-Guild-Hall-East-Hampton-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJWe also visited the Chuck Close exhibit at Guild Hall. The altered perceptions of the artist’s works in digital media over the span of his career was incredibly insightful and inspiring!

Balsam-Farm-Stand-Amagansett-NY-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJOn Sunday Dad and I hit up the local farm stands, which were overly abundant with seasonal harvest!

Balsam-Farm-Stand-Ground-Cherries-Amagansett-NY-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJI discovered a new favorite fruit – ground cherries. Part cherry, part tomato, you remove their paper-like wrapper to find a beautiful gem inside – kind of like eating candy!

Serena-and-Lily-Store-Hamptons-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJSerena-and-Lily-Store-Hamptons-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJMy mom and I took advantage of the holiday weekend sales, making sure to hit up one of our favorite stores in the Hamptons, Serena & Lily. I was completely obsessed with that coffee table, and how gorgeous is the Fall-inspired table setting?!

IMG_3274We made a mid-day pit stop from shopping at Ditch Plains to take in the gorgeous view!

Race-Lane-Halibut-East-Hampton-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJAnd finished off the weekend at one of my favorite new restaurants, Race Lane.

How was your weekend? Did you have the opportunity to spend any time outdoors?

*You can check out a list of my  favorite places to eat and visit in the Hamptons here.

Food Crush • Not Without Salt


I spent the better part of last night reading through new-to-me blog Not Without Salt and am completely smitten! I can’t get enough of Ashley Rodriguez’s simple, fresh and seasonal menus, executed so beautifully I really wish I could just jump through my laptop to her table and break some bread!

For me, cooking delicious fare for family and friends is really gratifying, but when the presentation is spot on it really brings the meal to the next level. I highly recommend checking out Ashley’s blog (preferably on a full stomach), and apologize in advance for the hours of lost productivity you will likely endure! 

Whole Wheat 3-Cheese Zucchini Pizza

Whole-Wheat-Three-Cheese-Zucchini-Garlic-PizzaWhen I was 20, family friends opened up a small pizza place in my college town. I was the “manager”, and my responsibilities included making the schedule along with possessing a set of spare keys in case an emergency arose (which thank god never happened!). The majority of my time was spent experimenting with various ingredients and concocting my “special creations” – to this day I still cannot fathom why I actually got paid to do this! Some were good enough to make it onto the menu, but most were pretty terrible (I won’t horror you with the details!). It was during this time I discovered the amazingness of Sicilian 3-cheese pizza, a wonderful combination of mozzarella, ricotta and locatelli pecorino romano; paired with enough garlic to forbid any hot dates for the evening!

Best-Homemade-Whole-Wheat-Pizza-Dough-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJI’ve since updated it with a whole wheat thin crust, homemade ricotta and zucchini from my garden.

Whole-Wheat-Three-Cheese-Zucchini-Garlic-Pizza-Via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJThey key with the zucchini is to slice it paper thin, salt and let sit to draw out the excess water – there’s nothing worse than soggy pizza!


Serves 3-4.


  • 1 lb. whole wheat pizza dough – 1/2 this recipe or store bought from you favorite pizza place
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 tbsp. good olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 cup homemade ricotta  – you can use store bought but will need to thin it out with a tbsp. or 2 of milk to achieve the same consistency
  • 1/2 cup shredded 2% mozzarella
  • 1 cup locatelli pecorino romano
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil, slivered


  • Combine olive oil and garlic, let sit.
  • Preheat oven to 500°. Place pizza stone in oven and heat for at least 30 minutes – having a searing hot stone is the closest method I’ve found to replicating the effects of a real pizza oven.
  • Slice zucchini paper thin, salt and let sit for 30 minutes to draw out the excess water, then blot with paper towels.
  • Combine 3 cheeses and garlic oil mixture.
  • Roll the ball of dough out with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further, and is nice and thin.
  • Remove pizza stone from oven (very carefully), place rolled out dough on top, remove any excess dough from the perimeter – most good homemade pizzas aren’t perfectly round 😉 – and pierce with a fork all over to avoid air bubbles.
  • Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 2″ border.
  • Place the zucchini attractively on top of the cheese mixture in concentric circles, starting at the middle. Spray top with cooking spray to achieve a golden crust.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating once 180°, until the bottom and crust are golden brown.
  • Remove from oven. Garnish with basil, a sprinkle of sea salt and drizzle of good olive oil.
  • Serve immediately.

Zucchini Fritters with Perlini Mozzarella, Capers & Herbs

Baked-Zucchini-Fritters-with-Caper-Lemon-Vinaigrette-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJIf you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed my recent obsession with our vegetable garden. Being my first ever, I am a complete novice and feel like an excited mother each time a new veggie pops up!

Zucchini-Garden-via-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignMy zucchini plants went into full bloom this past week (didn’t realize how big those little babies get!), bearing more harvest than I know what to do with – an exciting challenge indeed!

Zucchini-and-White-Three-Cheese-Pizza-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJI’ve made 3-cheese zucchini pizza, zucchini walnut bread, zucchini and caramelized onion frittata…

Zucchini-Fritters-with-Garlic-Aioli-via-DiCorcia-Interior-Design-NY-NJ…and zucchini fritters have made way to our table three times this past week. First I served them with garlic aoili for dinner (above), then we had them leftover the following morning (reheated in the oven) with sunny side up eggs for breakfast, but my favorite preparation thus far was a take on a recipe I found in Southern Living. In lieu of the cornbread base and frying preparation the recipe originally called for, I fooled around with a few different combinations and figured out how to bake them with a whole wheat flour base. They taste just as good in my opinion, and are a much more bathing suit friendly!

{See recipe below}


Serves 4-6 as a side.


  • 1 small red onion
  • 3 large zucchini
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of milk
  • 3 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice (around 1 lemon)
  • 3 tbsp. of good olive oil
  • 1 small clove of finely minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp. large capers
  • 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped herbs (I used basil, mint and parsley)
  • 3 tbsp. perlini mozzarella balls


  • Coarsely grate zucchini and onion with a box grater or in a food processor. Place in a colander sprinkle with salt and let sit for 30 minutes to help draw out excess water.
  • Heat oven to 425°.
  • Whisk lemon juice and olive oil until combined. Add garlic, capers and herbs. Let sit.
  • Squeeze water out of zucchini mixture with hands. Place in a dish towel and wring-out excess liquid a second time.
  • In a large bowl combine flour, 1 tsp. of salt, pepper, eggs and enough milk that it resembles a pancake batter consistency. Add zucchini and stir until combined – don’t over mix!
  • Using a small ice cream scoop, drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat (or lightly greased).
  • Gently press rounds down with your fingers.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown.
  • Remove from oven. Lightly mist with cooking spray, flip and return to oven for another 10 minutes until golden brown on both sides.
  • Place on a serving platter, sprinkle with salt to taste.
  • Using a slotted spoon, drizzle the capper herb mixture on top, and finish off with mozzarella balls. Serve immediately.

Hope you guys like these as much as we did!


I love to cook and one of my favorite rituals during the Summer months is visiting the local farm stands on the South Fork with my dad. The quality far surpasses anything you’d find in a supermarket and beating the crowds at the farmers markets makes the leisurely drive well worth it! This week we hit up a few of my favorites.

Balsam-Farms-Amagansett-NY-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignBalsam Farms is located at the corner of Windmill Lane and Town Lane in Amagansett and has one of the largest varieties of locally grown fruits and vegetables in the area. We never leave empty-handed!

Balsam-Farms-Amagansett-NY-Hamptons-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignThese mixed flowers were pretty enough to serve as bridal bouquets!

Balsam-Farms-Amagansett-NY-Hamptons-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignWe picked up a bunch of these zucchini blossoms, stuffed them with fresh mozzarella from Villa Italian Specialties and homemade ricotta from Vicki’s Veggies, and then fried the beauties to golden perfection!

Caprese-Salad-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignI made caprese salad with the remainder of the mozzarella, along with tomatoes and purple basil from Balsam.

Iacono-Farm-Amagansett-NY-Hamptons-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignWe also visited Iacono Farm  – 100 Long Lane, East Hampton – in pursuit of their gorgeous free-range, organic chickens and eggs. Cheesy zucchini frittatas and zesty grilled chicken (complimented with Iacono’s incredible homemade BBQ sauce) have been a big hit, and we’re planning on cooking up some fowl in the smoker this weekend.

Iacono-Farm-Amagansett-NY-Hamptons-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignIacono’s has been family owned and operated since 1948, and the clan could not be more charming! Upon entering the farm you feel as though you’ve traveled back in time, to a slower, cleaner and more easy-going way of life – one of the many benefits of farm-to-table consumption!

Are you a fan of hitting up the local farm stands and farmer markets in your area? If so, what have you been cooking up? I’d love to know!