State Desserts: Carolina Killer Coconut Cupcakes

South Carolina is full of surprises, not least of which is its state dessert: coconut cake. I went to school in South Carolina (a place where the food is as good as the landscape is beautiful) and food is how I learned about the culture. My college had a great cafeteria (the pizza was weird,…

Curry Love

My love for curry is about as deep as my love for cooking. Its use of vegetables, legumes and spices are unparalleled (opinion) and it makes having a well-balanced diet easy and delicious (fact).   But cooking curry at home… sometimes it’s just too hard to gather the energy to do it..  for a number of…

Bucking Tradition: Sunbutter Buckeyes

If you don’t know what a buckeye is, you’re probably not from Ohio. Buckeye trees are found throughout the Midwest, but Ohio appropriated the buckeye tree as its own and The Ohio State University claims the buckeye as its mascot. We refer to its seeds as “buckeyes.” When they drop from the tree, they have…

The State Dessert That Never Was: Peach Galette

I’ve been thinking about working my way through all of the state desserts — you know, with my own twist. I was going to  start with states I’ve lived in or have connections with — I have one or two ticked off (California is meyer lemon cake, Illinois is the brownie) — and since May…

Yearning for Yuba: A Noodle Experiment

With my next sentence, I’m going to perpetuate a great big stereotype about eating in California. I went to a tofu tasting. It wasn’t nearly as dramatic and hippie-dippy as it sounds. It was part of San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum’s Thursday event series — and it involved a lot more than eating. It was…

Making Memories: Maple Rhubarb Tarts

One of the things I love about food is that it has the power to take us to times and places that might otherwise be forgotten.  It’s an all-sensory experience. You see its shapes and shades, feel its textures, hear its crunch and sizzle, smell the warm aromas and, of course, taste its layers of…

Conquering Quinoa: Fried Rice-Style Quinoa

 I’m a better baker than cook, but when I do cook, I try to make good food that’s good for me. That was actually the reason I started cooking in my 20s — I lived in New York City and I was surrounded by awesome food all the time, but I was spending most of…

Clementine Matzo Meal Pancakes

Exploring history and culture through food is probably the only way I like to consume information — though I love reading, history lessons are so much more fun when food is involved. We all have such unique relationships with what we eat and I’m endlessly fascinated by cookbooks and how they’ve evolved over the decades….

Marathon Brownies

There aren’t many ways to elevate a brownie; it’s a nearly perfect confection as it is. It’s portable, easy to make and a little too easy on the palate. You can’t make it more delicious or more chocolatey… but you can make it healthier. I’ve experienced many iterations of the brownie and the healthy brownie…

Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Here’s another great thing about living in California: Coworkers who have an overabundance of fruit from their Meyer lemon trees bring the excess to the office to get rid of them. And when work hands me Meyer lemons, I make Meyer lemon cake. BUT…  if you don’t know what a Meyer lemon is, you’re not…

A Taste of New Orleans: Muffaletta

We’re just a few weeks away from Mardi Gras and I had grand ambitions of making something to celebrate from La Cuisine Creole — it’s basically a New Orleans cook’s bible. It was first published in 1885 and it is amazing. It’s written earnestly with phrases and ideas that date itself… some need translation and…

Reinventing Rugelach

Rugelach (not to be mistaken for arugula — but they’re pronounced very similarly) is a pastry with a murky history, but it is known as a Jewish pastry and among the most popular pastries (if not the most popular) in American-Jewish communities in Israel. It’s also a New York City bakery staple (though Zabar’s allegedly…