Hipcooks’ New Year’s Resolution

In 2019, we’ll keep the Real Food flowing with a new class each month, with fun themes and great new menus to keep you happy in the kitchen all year long.

New Hipcooks Cooking Classes for 2019January: The Surprise Guest
A class that teaches what you should you keep in your kitchen to be a Hipcook, always ready to make something amazing out of (seemly) nothing.

February: The Cheese Whiz
Come & learn to make cheese, cheese, glorious cheese at this Hipcooks Workshop!

March : India, LTD
Perfect for vegetarians who love Indian food

April: I’m free!
Here are protein-rich, satisfying meals that are gluten & dairy-free.

May: Badda-Bing
An adventurous menu featuring modern Italian cooking.

June: A Moveable Feast
It’s summertime outdoor concert season — be a hero at the picnic! It’s too hot to eat hot food! Delight your beloveds with this gorgeous summer menu.

July: Midsummer Night’s Dream
It’s too hot to eat hot food! Delight your beloveds with this gorgeous summer menu.

Vietnamese or Lebanese? We can’t decide which (or both?) Help us decide please.  COMMENT BELOW! 

September: Cooking 101
Beginner cooks, quick-cooking for singles, small families, & people on-the-go: this class is perfect for all of you

October: Oktoberfest!
As if we need an excuse for sausages & beer! Here’s a delicious German menu paired with fine wine.

November: Veni, Vidi, Vici!
The Osso-yummiest of Italian classes! A meal you cannot refuse!

December: ?
What would you like to see at Hipcooks? We’ve left this open for you to chime in and please comment below, we’d love to hear from you!

A New Year’s Resolution for You!

Make a Promise to yourself that you can honor the whole year. Enjoy wonderful energy & great health when you eat nothing processed. Real Food Only!

Make it a Year of Abundance
, not of sacrifice. When you eliminate all processed foods, reward yourself by enjoying all real foods – yep, that includes butter, cream, cacao, salt, sugar & wine. Be a guiltless omnivore!

If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it! In fact, make it simpler on yourself by not purchasing anything that needs a label. Instead, enjoy ingredients of the best quality, because you, my dear, are worth it!

Shop the perimeter
(only) of the grocery store, enjoy Farmer’s Markets, and let Hipcooks give you confidence & inspiration to keep cooking! If you’re a person on the go, we’ll help you with simple, delicious recipes with just a few ingredients. We’ll spice things up for your culinary adventurers who love to spend time in the kitchen.

1st Day of Hipcooks

Quince Fruit on a table

On the 1st day of Hipcooks, my true love gave to me…


Quince are a magical fruit. A mix between an apple and a pear, yet they are so astringent they must be cooked to enjoy. And enjoy you will.

The next days of Hipcooks will feature quince recipes you’ll love. However, on Day 1, your first task is simply to buy some quince. Put them somewhere prominently, where you can enjoy their exquisite, charming lopsided beauty. On your table, on your mantel, in a bowl in the kitchen…wherever, you put them, you’ll be glad you did. Soon your room will be smelling like apple pie. There is no other fruit so aromatic! (Well, maybe a durian, but that is altogether different.)

Even if all you do is buy the quince and enjoy their perfume and beauty, you’ll be glad you did.

2nd day of Hipcooks | How to Poach Quince

Grab those quince and being cooking, Hipcook!

How to Poach Quince

As you know, quince has to be cooked to enjoy, so today’s task is to get poaching, Quincy Jones. Use a u-shaped peeler to peel the fruit. Using a sturdy knife, cut the quince in half. Cut some into segments and remove the core, but leave some just as they are. How to poach quince depends on what recipes I make, I like to have some of each type.

How to Poach Quince

Get a large pot ready with water (start with about 2 cups), the juice of 2 lemons (and the squeezed lemons themselves), 4 cinnamon sticks, a scattering of cloves and cardamon pods, a sprinkling of star anise, and a vanilla pod, split lengthwise and teased open with the tip of a paring knife. Stir in 2 cups of sugar.

How to Poach Quince

Bring the pot to a boil, reduce to a simmer and poach away. The room will smell fantastic in short order. The holidays are here! Take big breaths, deeply. Inhale through the nose and out through your mouth. You’re gonna make it through this one, and it will be awesome.

How to Poach Quince

Your quinces are done when they have turned a wonderful orange, and are tender. When cool, store in a covered container in the fridge, immersed in all that poaching liquid. You’ll use both for the recipes that follow. (Quince can be stored this way for up to 10 days.)

3rd day of Hipcooks | Poached Quince for Dessert

On the 3rd Day of Hipcooks, I paused everything and enjoyed a dessert of poached quince. As my own reward. For poaching all those quinces, and getting ahead of the game. And they’re poached already… so I can make this in minutes.

Poached Quince Recipe

Scoop about ½ cup of the quince poaching liquid into a small pot and bring to a boil. Allow the liquid to reduce by about half, turn down the heat and then add two quince halves. Let the quince warm in this liquid, and then serve. Enjoy on its own and on your own, or with a plop of honey yogurt or ice cream. You deserve it!

4th Day of Hipcooks: Cookbook Deal

Hipcooks Cook Book Sale December 2018

Travel the world with Hipcooks! Think of this as 12 Hipcooks classes, all rolled into 1 cookbook with dazzling photos. This deal is in-store / after class only, so pick up a cookbook and we’ll give you a second for free!

5th day of Hipcooks: Tagine-Inspired Lamb with Quince

How to make Lamb with Quince

Fragrant spices, fruit, and pomegranate molasses cut through the richness of the lamb, resulting in a dish that is a wondrous balance of sweet, spicy and sour flavors. Serve it with couscous for a memorable holiday dinner.

You can cook this dinner on the stovetop, in the oven or even in a slow-cooker. All will produce a lamb that will be fragrant and meltingly tender.

Tagine-Inspired Lamb with Quince

serves 4

3½ pounds of lamb (rack or leg, bone-in)
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large onions, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon paprika
½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoon pomegranate molasses
poached quince slices from about 2 poached quince (see recipe above)


Trim the lamb of any excess fat. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet.  Brown the lamb all over. Remove the lamb and set aside.

Add the garlic and onions to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Then add the tomato paste and spices. Once all is fragrant, return the lamb to the pan, with just enough hot water to cover everything. Stir in the salt and pomegranate molasses and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Check on the lamb, turning if needed, and taste (and adjust) the seasonings to your liking, adding more spice if it is too mild, or pomegranate if it needs a touch more sweet and sour. Add the poached quince and cook a further 15 to 20 minutes.

When you are ready to serve, garnish with parsley.

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6th Day of Hipcooks: 20% off Cutting Boards

Hipcooks hand-cured cutting boards will give you a lifetime of cutting and serving beauty! Made of solid-round tamarind wood, they have a handle for easy storage and drip-dry.

Your discount will be applied at purchase in-store only (we cannot ship these boards, unfortunately.)

7th Day of Hipcooks: Lamb with Quince, revisited

I loved the Lamb & Quince recipe from Day 5, and I could not let the concept go! Lamb and quince dance in such harmonious complementarity and I simply had to post another recipe. In case you were not grabbed by the first posting, here I pair the lamb and quince in a stew scented with saffron and honey. Think about it, maybe for the last night of Hannukah.

Lamb with Quince Recipe

Lamb stewed with Quince & Honey

serves 4

4 lamb shanks (you can use a rack of lamb, but note that it will cook faster)
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large onions, diced
½ teaspoon cumin seeds, freshly toasted and ground
½ teaspoon coriander seeds, freshly toasted and ground
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ cinnamon stick
4 tablespoons honey
1 hearty pinch saffron
1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
quince segments from about 2 poached quince (see recipe above)
cilantro, for garnish


Trim the lamb of any excess fat. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet.  Brown the lamb all over. Remove the lamb and set aside.

Add the garlic and onions to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Then add the spices. Once all is fragrant, return the lamb to the pan, with just enough hot water to cover everything, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Check on the lamb, turning if needed. Add the honey, saffron, and quince to the pot. Using a vegetable peeler, add a few pieces of lemon rind to the pot, and a generous squeeze of lemon. Cook for another 15-20 minutes, and remove the lamb, setting aside. Turn up the heat on the sauce to a rolling boil and reduce for about 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust the seasonings. I added some of the quince poaching liquid for sweetness! Once perfect, serve with the lamb,  adorned with cilantro, over couscous.

Great Christmas Gifts. Hipcooks Gift Certificates

8th Day of Hipcooks: Roast Chicken with Lemon & Quince

Great way to make Quail with Quince

serves 2

1 small chicken, or choose a game hen
1 bunch thyme
2 lemons, each cut in half, and in half again
olive oil, for brushing
segments from about 2 poached quince


Preheat your oven to 400°F (or 375°F, convection)

Remove any innards that may be inside the chicken, rinse and pat dry.

Place the chicken on your work surface, legs facing up, with the cavity open to you. Using your fingers, gently separate the skin from the flesh of the bird. Place a couple of thyme sprigs on each side. Fill the cavity with the rest of the thyme. Squeeze the lemons on the outside and inside of the bird, placing a few inside the cavity and others scattered around your baking dish. Season liberally with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil.

Pop into the oven and bake about 20 minutes. Remove the baking tray from the oven, add the poached quince slices, and move things around a bit (coating the lemon and quince in the bird juices, giving them the chance to brown and caramelize). Pop back in the oven and bake until the bird is cooked through, and things are looking delightfully browned and crispy.

Allow the birds to rest a few moments before serving. I like to pair this with saffron couscous and a bright, herb salad.

Quail with Quince Recipe

9th day of Hipcooks: Quince Paste

Another great use of your Poached Quince: Quince Paste, or dulce de membrillo as it is called in Spain and South America. You’ll see it on a Tapas table, served with Manchego cheese. If you’ve never tried it, you must…the pairing is excellent!

Begin by running the poached quince through a food mill.

How to make quince paste: milling the quince

Weigh out equal parts of quince paste to sugar, and pop in a pan on high heat, stirring all the way. It will bubble away happily, as the sugar dissolves and caramelizes. It’s ready when it is nice and thick, and a deep shade of orange.

Pop into a parchment-lined baking tray to cool. Spread it out while it is still warm, and once it cools it hardens to a sliceable jam…

…perfect for a cheese plate!

Quince Paste Recipe

Are you inspired? or looking for more inspiration? Then come check out Viva España: ¡Tapas! at Hipcooks.  It’s a blast! We’ll transport you to Sevilla as we prepare all kinds of gorgeous Spanish nibbles, full of color, texture, & flavor.

We’ll show you how you can throw the perfect Tapas party at home for all your friends. We’ll share all the make-ahead tricks so that you can have time to be the perfect host.

This is our most popular class since Tapas offers a little something for everyone.

10th Day of Hipcooks: DIY Gift of Quince Paste

Aside from being a delicious item on a cheese plate, quince paste makes for a darling little holiday gift, made with love.

DIY Gift of Quince Paste

It’s not necessary, but delicious and cute to boot to grind up a little lavender sugar for the cut edges of the quince paste.

Anything edible can add to cute packaging…a lavender sprig or a eucalyptus leaf tied in a holiday bow makes it look special.

Quince Paste DIY gift

Quince paste will keep for a long while in the fridge, but who can resist enjoying it right away!

How to make Quince Paste

11th Day of Hipcooks: Roasted Quince with Ginger amaretto ice cream

Rwaaar! Here’s an elegant dessert that takes no time to prepare. Honestly!

More ways to eat quince

You’ve already poached the quince, so all you need to do is roast in a 350°F oven until they are warmed through and the syrup has dried to a shiny glaze.

Ice Cream… go ahead and make your own, it’s fun! Or, simply sprinkle store-bought vanilla with chopped crystallized ginger and a nice boozy plop of amaretto on the top. Everyone will love it (and you!) just as much.

Ginger amaretto ice cream

4 large egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups half & half
½ cup sugar
pinch of salt
splash of amaretto
vanilla bean paste, just a dash
1 cup crystallized ginger, chopped


Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined.

Bring the cream and half & half to a scald. Add a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla bean paste.

Whisk the hot cream mixture into the eggs and sugar. Return to the pot and cook slowly until the mixture is just thickened and the custard coats the back of your spoon. Add a splash of amaretto to taste and cool the custard over an ice bath.

Once the mixture is cool, process in your ice cream maker. During the last few minutes of churning, add in chopped ginger so it stays nicely suspended in the ice cream. Cover and freeze until firm, or plop right away on those lovely warm roast quince.

12th Day of Hipcooks: Quince & Frangipani Tart

Hark, the Hipcooks angels sing: Happy 12th day of Hipcooks, everyone!

Here’s a holiday table topper to crown the meal. A quince and frangipani tart, served in solitary splendor, is a showstopper of a dessert. I hope you have some poached quince left…are those beauties still sitting on the mantle, or have you been a busy Hipcook?

The best Quince Tart Recipe

There are a lot of steps to preparing this dessert — the good news is that you can space it out if you need to. Make the sweet pastry case one day, the frangipani on another, and the rest is child’s play.

How to make a Quince Tart

So, first, make the sweet pastry tart shell. Here’s our method. (coming soon)
Then, remove the core from each quince segment, and pat dry (since they’ve been stored in their poaching liquid in the fridge, they’ll be wet.)

How to make a Quince Tart

Next, prepare the frangipani. You can store it and assemble the tart on another day, or go straight to the assembly. How to make a Quince Tart

Plop the frangipani in the pastry case and artfully arrange the quince on top.

How to make a Quince Tart

I grabbed some of the cloves, cinnamon and star anise from the poaching liquid to adorn the tart. Into the oven it goes!

The best Quince Tart Recipe

A dusting of powdered sugar is all you need for a gorgeous presentation.

We hope you enjoyed this season’s 12 Days of Hipcooks! We wish you joyous & happy holidays.

With love, Monika


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