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.

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!

My Favorite Salad

Beet-Goat-Cheese-Pecan-Salad“Favorite” is not a word I use often when describing food. “Top three” is more my speed. Top three favorite cuisines – French, Italian and Spanish. Top three favorite cheeses – chèvre, stilton and burrata. Top three favorite pastas – pappardella, cavatelli and gnocchi – and narrowing down those took me 4o minutes! So to label this salad as my “favorite” says something.

I’m not a dressing on the side kinda gal. A salad that serves as a meal needs to be a complex merriment of layered flavors, and fulfilling enough that I’m not hungry two hours later. This salad meets those requirements. A combination of roasted beets resembling little jewels, sweet and salty candied pecans, sour pickled red onions, velvety baby spinach, crunchy julienne carrots, creamy chèvre and a fresh lemon vinaigrette leaves me more than satisfied!

Serves 2 as a meal, or 4 as a side.


  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 4 small beets, roasted
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup of julienne carrots
  • 4 oz. chèvre
  • 4 oz. of candied pecans (I like Emerald Glazed Pecans)
  • olive oil

Ingredients for vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. of good olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. of honey

Pickled onions

  • Place vinegar and 1 tbsp. of honey in a small pot and boil on low for 5 minutes. Place thinly sliced onions in a bowl and pour vinegar mixture on top. Let sit for at least an hour at room temperature or preferable overnight in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally. 

Roasted Beets

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Remove top and roots of the beets and peel. Cut beets into 1″ chunks. Place on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tsp. of olive oil to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Roast until fork tender, around 25-30 minutes.
  • Adjust salt and pepper. Serve warm.


  • Whisk lemon juice, honey, and dijon in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking quickly to emulsify mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. 


  • Drain pickled onions.
  • Julienne carrots – or buy a bag already cut like I do 😉
  • Arrange spinach leaves on a platter.
  • Top with beets, onions, carrots, chèvre and pecans.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  • Serve immediately.

*You can also switch it up – pickle the beets and roast the onions!

Ginger Jalapeño Margarita

Ginger-Jalapeño-Margarita-DiCorcia-Interior-DesignIn celebration of my favorite weekday, I wanted to share this Ginger Jalapeño Margarita with you lovely readers. Wine will always be my first love, but as of late Billy and I have become quite the mixologists, thoroughly enjoying experimenting with different concoctions! A little bit spicy, a little bit sweet – jalapeño infused tequila, ginger cognac, fresh citrus juices and a tiny splash of cinnamon agave makes an incredibly refreshing drink!



  • 3 oz. jalapeño infused tequila (recipe below)
  • 0.5 oz. cinnamon agave
  • 1 oz. Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice


1- Combine all ingredients in a martini shaker.
2- Fill shaker with ice.
3- Shake until cold – about 10 seconds.
4- Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of jalapeño or lemon curl.



  • 2  jalapeños, seeds removed and sliced
  • 1 1.75L bottle of Jose Cuervo Patron Silver Tequila


1- Place jalapeños in tequila bottle and let steep.
2- Remove jalapeños from the bottle after 2 days for a mild heat or leave them in as long as you dare (I never remove mine)!

*If you want to make these tonight and don’t have jalapeño infused tequila prepared, substitute a few drops of tabasco sauce.

I am not a big kitchen gadget person (automatic can opener? no thanks!) but this little contraption has won me over. It juices citrus fruits incredibly fast, allowing me to prepare a pitcher of margaritas in the amount of time it would normally take to make one – a definite plus!

Images via DiCorcia Design / Adapted from a drink I had at David Burke's Fromagerie

Healthy Granola

Granola is one of those foods that is so much better homemade. This recipe is easy, healthy and much cheaper than buying it in the store! I like my granola over greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit. The fiber from the granola and protein from the yogurt keep me full and satisfied. Store in an airtight container and it will keep well for 2-3 months.

Yields ~ 3 1/2 cups

  •  2 cups of whole rolled oats OR quick oats
  • 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup of raw pepitas
  • 1/4 cup of shredded coconut
  • 3/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of real Vermont maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons of honey or brown rice syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Combine oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitas and coconut in a large bowl. Mix well.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine spices, salt, syrup, honey and oil. Mix well.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  • Layer a sheet pan with aluminum foil and coat with a little cooking spray or vegetable oil.
  • Spread granola out on sheet pan evenly and lightly pat down.


  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to ensure granola browns evenly.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
Images via DiCorcia Design // Recipe adapted from My Father's Daughter

Moo-Shu Chicken Lightened-Up

I grew up in Brooklyn surrounded by cultural diversity that afforded many benefits to my impressionable young mind. My family frequented an authentic Chinese restaurant down the road from our house regularly and Moo-Shu Pork was my favorite item on the menu. To be honest, the freshly killed ducks hanging in the storefront window probably generated my initial impression, but I still love Moo-Shu Pork to this day!

Traditionally prepared Moo-Shu Pork can be a bit cumbersome to make on a weeknight due to the construction of homemade pancakes and extensive chopping. This recipe has a few shortcuts like Mexican flour tortilla wraps in lieu of pancakes, a store-bought bag of coleslaw mix and this ridiculously easy method of cooking shredded chicken. It’s also lightened-up by substituting chicken breast for pork butt, and the option to use lettuce or flour tortilla wraps depending on your preferences and dietary restrictions (personally I like a combo of 1 and 1).




Serves 4


  • 2 cups of cooked shredded chicken (about 4 chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin, plus extra for serving
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 3.5 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 14 ounce bag coleslaw mix
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions (about 5 medium size scallions), reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • 8 6″ flour tortilla wraps OR 8 large bib lettuce leaves OR a combo of the two (totally up to you!)


  • Shred cooked chicken with two forks and set aside – I use Gina’s technique to cook the chicken, but you can substitute the chicken breasts with a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
  • Whisk cornstarch, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, hoisin and 1 of the 3 teaspoons of sesame oil in a small bowl.
  • Mince garlic and ginger.
  • Cut shiitake mushrooms into strips.
  • Slice scallions.
  • If using lettuce wraps, clean and prepare.


  • Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of sesame oil to a frying pan (or wok if you have one) over medium high heat. Add garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, around 1 minute.
  • Add shiitake mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add coleslaw mix and scallions to the pan and cook until vegetables begin to soften, around 5 minutes.
  • Add shredded chicken and liquid hoisin mixture, toss thoroughly.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of scallions.


  • If using tortilla wraps, place them on a plate and cover with a second plate. Microwave for 20 seconds, or until warm.
  • Serve moo-shu chicken alongside wraps of your choice and extra hoisin sauce.
  • To prepare wraps – spread extra hoisin on wrap (if desired) and place moo-shu chicken mixture on top. Wrap up and start eating!

*This is probably rudimentary, but prepping ingredients before you actually start cooking significantly increases your chances for a successful meal!

**My day-to-day is carried out based on a detailed check list, hence the bulleted list of instructions above. I find it easier to cook this way, but let me know if the bullets are driving y’all crazy and I will restructure my next recipe to follow a more traditional format!

Images via DiCorcia Design // Recipe adapted from Prevention


DiCorcia-Design-Best-of-LifeI picked up this cute little notebook at the book store a few weeks ago. The adorable illustrations are by designer Fumi Watanabe , whose enviable list of credentials include stints at Starbucks, Nike and Ikea. At less than $7 it would make a great hostess gift accompanied by a bottle of vino!

The title of the book is what initially caught my eye – The Best of Life is at the Table. I grew up in a family that takes food very seriously. Family bonding time was usually spent in the kitchen “discussing” the proper way to filet a fish or the consistency of the gnocchi. Luckily the tradition has continued into my own home. Most weeknights Billy and I get home from work and make dinner together. I start prepping the meal, he opens a bottle of wine and we talk about our day. Weekends are spent watching football games, going to check out a new art exhibit or entertaining family and friends. But food tends to be the motive behind most of these activities, considering many of our conversations usually go something like this: “The game is at 1:00, so let’s make French Toast Casserole and Mimosas for tailgating”, “Are there any new restaurants to check out by The Met?” or “Let’s make a big pot of Beef Bourgeon and have a few people over.” The best of life truly is at the table (or in some cases the parking lot of a football game;)!

In lieu of restaurant reservations we usually spend Valentines Day at home. As much as I love getting dressed up and going out to eat (see a list of my favorite restaurants here),  we’ve experienced one too many subpar “Valentines Day Menu’s” and rushed service. So tonight’s menu will start with:

Jalapeno-Margarita-Pea-Crostini-DiCorcia-Design Jalapeño Infused Margaritas and Pea Pesto Crostini,


followed by Filet MignonGarlic Aioli French Fries and Roasted Asparagus,


and the finale will be this heaven on earth, dangerously easy, Molten Chocolate Lava Cake.

I hope you have a wonderful Valentines Day!