Meet Nikki

I am a chef, TV host, blogger, radio host, recipe developer, professional voice over artist and terrace gardener. I cook mostly "Meat on the Side" which focuses on veggies, making them unique and the star of the plate. 

More about Nikki...

           

Food Network Star

Nikki Dinki is going to be on Food Network Star! Premiering June 2nd at 9pm on the Food Network. Click here for pics, clips and more from the show

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    Monday
    Apr142014

    Willa's Lemonade Cheesecakes

     

     

    “Where have you been?”

    “What have you been doing?”

    “Why haven't you posted a new recipe?”

     

    These are frequent questions from my readers. And I’d love to tell you all that I've been busy filming my own show, or that I couldn't come to the computer because I was elbow deep in tomato sauce, but the truth is sadly something very different.

     

     

     

     

    At 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant my husband and I lost our little girl. Her heart just stopped, and we don't know why. We never got to hear her voice, or see her smile, or know what she looks like when she first wakes up. We never got to have all those “firsts” that we had excitedly anticipated.

     

     

     

     

    We were ready for her: diapers unpacked, tiny clothes in her dresser and a place for her to rest her head right next to mommy. It was supposed to be the week we brought her home, the week we stumbled our way through parenthood, laughing as we put diapers on backwards and figuring out the difference between a “boppy” and a “breast-friend”.

     

    But that's just not what happened.

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Oct172013

    Roasted Acorn Squash

     

     

    The squirrels in NYC can get a little close... too close for my liking.

     

     

     

     

    Through years of experiencing that getting close to humans results in the receiving of french fries, pretzels and maybe if they're lucky a classic NYC hot dog (probably better that they eat it than us), these little guys have no fear.

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Sep032013

    Poblano Pizza

     

     

    There are not often tears shed in my kitchen, but the event has taken place before. It actually became a frequent occurence years ago when I really got on a pizza making kick.

     


     

     

     

    I had acquired the ESSENTIAL pizza making tool- the pizza stone. The magical stone that when pizza is cooked upon- the crust is crisp on the outside but remains chewy on the inside. It had changed my pizza making experience. There was only one problem, transferring the perfectly topped raw pizza onto the stone that had to be preheated in the oven...

     

    And this is where the tears came in...

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Aug272013

    Zucchini + Tomato Pasta

     

     

    I was reminiscing yesterday, remembering that very first cooking video I shot in my kitchen. The lighting wasn't great, the sound was a little off, and as I felt the need to explain everything in utmost detail, it was entirely too long.

     

     

     

     

    But people started watching. And since I was featuring “Zucchini Noodles” a fairly new and exciting concept no one seemed to mind the low budget quality or rambling host.

     

    That first video is what started everything...

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Aug132013

    Mango Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

     

     

    I love food (obviously). And I have made a happy deal with myself that I can have the pasta, garlic bread (and the brownie too) as long as I workout... but this can be a flawed deal.

     

    I only have so many hours to spend in the gym working off said meal and let's face it, working out sucks. So I made a new deal. I cook healthier dishes during the week and the more indulgent selections are kept for the weekends.

     

     

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Aug132013

    Pesto Crusted Halibut + Grape Risotto

     

     

    Since being pregnant, I have been on a real fruit kick. I think I- or maybe I should say, the small human being in my tummy is craving sugar. SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR...and water!!

     

    There is nothing like waking up in the middle of the night desperate to slurp water out of the faucet. Isn't pregnancy beautiful?!

     


     
     

     

     

    So fruit is kind of the perfect food that my body wants right now. Sweet with natural sugars and jam packed with juicy goodness.

     

    And yes, I'll admit, a little better for me than the sour patch kids and gummy worms which have been finding their way into my candy drawer lately.

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Aug072013

    Cheddar Cauliflower + Squash Soup

     

     

     

    I'm convinced that the reason Broccoli Cheddar soup is so popular is because parents like that they can sneak a vegetable into a kids' bowl and disguise it as Cheese soup.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    And let's face it! There are times when all of us would rather cozy up to a hot and cheesy bowl of soup rather than a bowl of steamy veggies.

    And so we pat ourselves on the back for choosing such a healthy option while still feeding that inner child who is craving comfort food in a bowl.

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Jul312013

    Food Network Star - Episode #9

     

     

     

    End Of The Road, Not The End Of A Dream!!

     

     

     

     

     

    Well let's just get right down to it...I got sent home this week... 

     

    I spent the day dreading 9 p.m., knowing the tears I would inevitably have to watch myself cry. But at least everyone would finally know what happened and I could think about what was next.

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Jul192013

    Enchiladas

     

     

     

    A couple times a week this happens in my house...

     

    It's 8:30 and my husband comes home only to find me on the computer, blogging, producing, editing, writing (maybe online shopping ;) and he meekly says “What's for dinner?”

     

     

     

     

     

     

    You see, at this point in our marriage he is well aware that if he doesn’t walk in to find me rocking to 90's pop with the kitchen in full-on disaster mode than I'm probably not making dinner.

     

     

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Jul192013

    Basil Pesto

     

     

    I'm a traditionalist when it comes to my Pesto. I like it just the way an old Italian Grandmother would make it. A few simple, fresh, quality ingredients tossed with some hot pasta and call it a day.

     

     

     

     

    If you start using walnuts or almonds or anything besides pinenuts, I start getting angry. Throw in some parsley with the basil and I might just lose it.

     

     

    Click to read more ...