Autumn Indulgence: Pumpkin Babka

Fall in Northern California… is not quite fall. In San Francisco, there are no leaves crunching under foot and the temperature is more or less the same on October 15th as it is on July 15th. In the Midwest it’s an all-sensory experience that makes death pretty appealing: you can see the leaves transforming from…

The Tart Keith Richards Won’t Touch

“It wasn’t my idea of a dessert, and they tried to force me to eat it, threatening me with punishment or a fine. It was very Dickensian. I had to write out ‘I will not refuse food’ three hundred times in my infantile hand.” That was Keith Richards’ reaction to the Gypsy tart they served…

Lila Clementine Cookies

I am a notoriously bad gift giver. There’s no excuse for it; I am just not gifted at giving gifts. My dad is probably the biggest victim of my bad gifts. One year for his birthday I picked up a book for him at KMart simply titled “Running.” Basically, it was a guide filled with…

WTF Is Yorkshire Pudding?

If ever I were to go back to culinary graduate school and had to write a thesis, it would be about PUDDING. To the passing (American) Internet user, this seems a boring subject because what comes to mind is the gelatinous goo you can find in plastic cups in the refrigerator aisle of your local…

Black & White Cookies: An Exercise in Self Defeat

If you’ve never had a black and white cookie, they’re not really cookies at all, nor are they black and white. They are not crunchy and crumbly the way you expect cookies to be, rather they are soft and supple cakes hidden beneath a thin layer of half vanilla and half chocolate fondant (hardened icing)….

Pralines And Cream: Cure for Indian Summer

October isn’t the time to eat ice cream — at least it’s not expected. However, today in Chicago, temperatures are expected to reach 79℉. I’ve seen the words “Indian summer” floating around social media, but that doesn’t seem quite right. Indian summer just means unseasonably warm. But I think it’s losing its meaning — I…