Category Archives: baking

Navigating the Daunting Jungle of Luxury Oven Brands: Going Beyond Viking and Wolf to the Realm of Open Burner Ranges

Navigating the Daunting Jungle of Luxury Oven Brands: Going Beyond Viking and Wolf to the Realm of Open Burner Ranges

ShareTweet As soon as Steve and I decided to renovate our kitchen, I started dreaming about luxury stoves. After years of jealously running my hands along friends’ sleek Viking stovetops, it was finally my turn to pilot one of these gorgeous machines. But taking the plunge on my dream luxury stove has been more overwhelmingContinue Reading

Dauntless Chocolate Cake

Dauntless Chocolate Cake

ShareTweet For the last year or so, Bella and I have been in an informal book club, passing books back and forth, sitting down on a Friday night to watch the movie. For me, it’s a great excuse to read some really fun young adult novels. For her, it’s a chance to be welcomed toContinue Reading

Strawberry Souffles: a Very Pink Valentine’s Dessert

Strawberry Souffles: a Very Pink Valentine’s Dessert

ShareTweet How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Will you brave the crowds and the cutesy expensive menus? Or will you snuggle at home? If you’re staying in, I have a great dessert suggestion for you: Strawberry Souffles. For years now, we’ve gone dark and light with a chocolate souffle. But this year, we’re going pink.Continue Reading

Chocolate Meringue Rocky Road Cookies

Chocolate Meringue Rocky Road Cookies

ShareTweet For our book club meeting last night, I made these incredibly rich chocolate meringue cookies. By adding marshmallows, the cookies became Rocky Road Chocolate Meringue Cookies, a nod to the rough life of the main character in The Goldfinch. I modified a recipe I found on Eva’s Daily Doses of Sugar blog. Eva’s recipeContinue Reading

Perfect Meringues Bring Generations Together

Perfect Meringues Bring Generations Together

ShareTweet When I was a child, my mother reigned in the kitchen. I was her willing sous chef for the main course, but dessert was my gig. Baking didn’t interest her very much and I was (and still am) a chocoholic. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement. Fast forward to my adulthood and the rolesContinue Reading

Banana Yogurt Muffins: Homemade Breakfast for Endless Snow Days

Banana Yogurt Muffins: Homemade Breakfast for Endless Snow Days

ShareTweet Because my oldest hated fruit as a child, and still does as a tween, any child that reaches for fruit with a smile brings me joy and gratefulness. Although Bella didn’t communicate her no-Fruititarian policy to any of her younger siblings, every time Baby Sophie asks for a “Nana” I’m slightly amazed. Could thereContinue Reading

Bacon Infused Macaroni and Cheese To Please the Pickiest Eaters

Bacon Infused Macaroni and Cheese To Please the Pickiest Eaters

ShareTweet Macaroni and cheese. What color comes to mind when I say that phrase? For me, it’s a bowl of creamy colored shell noodles bathed in an equally creamy sauce made from artisan cheeses. For my kids? A day-glo orange sauce coating tiny elbow noodles. A few years ago, I decided to show my kidsContinue Reading

Holiday Baking: No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Holiday Baking: No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

ShareTweet Long before the snow starts falling, when my toes are brightly manicured and my legs are still tanned, I start clipping recipes for holiday cookie inspiration. They sit neatly organized in red and green files on my desk, and that’s where they usually remain, untouched and unloved. Once the holiday madness hits, who’s gotContinue Reading

Mini Puff Pastry Chocolate Pecan Pies

Mini Puff Pastry Chocolate Pecan Pies

ShareTweet Pecan pies are definitely the highlight of the holiday dessert table as far as I’m concerned. A few years ago, I started throwing in chocolate into the mix, and made them even better. This year, instead of using pie crust, I propose puff pastry as the base. Individual puff pastry nests filled with pecansContinue Reading

Marble Cheesecake Brownie Bites

Marble Cheesecake Brownie Bites

ShareTweet When it comes to dessert, I’m definitely a chocolate kind of girl. Marrying cheesecake with chocolate makes me weak in the knees. Marbled cheesecake brownies are a combo I’m powerless to resist: rich chocolate, creamy cheesecake, and pretty to boot. I hope to host a mother-daughter cookie exchange soon (if such an event isContinue Reading

Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake: A Decadent Memory Brought Back to Life

Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake: A Decadent Memory Brought Back to Life

ShareTweet What was your favorite dessert when you were a kid? We moved every few years so I have a few, but if I had to pick, my favorite would be this hot chocolate pudding cake at a London Notting Hill neighborhood burger joint called Tootsies. They served it in a wooden salad bowl, filledContinue Reading

Nutella Madeleine Volcanoes

Nutella Madeleine Volcanoes

ShareTweet It’s been a while since I’ve shared a Nutella recipe, a mysterious omission considering that we always have two jars of Nutella in our cabinet. One jar would just be too close to possibly running out. We fold Nutella in hot chocolate, roll it up in hot Nutella sponge cake, and hide it awayContinue Reading

Pumpkin Spice Madeleines: Little Puffs of Fall

Pumpkin Spice Madeleines: Little Puffs of Fall

ShareTweet For the last month, my Facebook feed has been filled with love notes about Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte. I don’t like too many spices in my coffee, but I was inspired to play around with this fall spice blend in my baking. Since my personal Starbucks addiction is those little three-packs of madeleines, IContinue Reading

Caramel Apple Brioche

Caramel Apple Brioche

ShareTweet Yeast has always scared me a little, in an “IT’S ALIVE!” kind of way. This fall, I’m trying to tame the beast in yeast by baking up a storm. My kitchen is filled with little bowls of pizza dough and my bread maker is working overtime, kneading and rising challah dough. Brioche was theContinue Reading

Apple Jelly and Apple Picking to Re-Unite a Family

Apple Jelly and Apple Picking to Re-Unite a Family

ShareTweet The family activities that take the most amount of hustle often pay the sweetest dividends. I’ve always wanted to have that house, that neighborhood hangout house that kids flock to after school. Since we’ve moved to Chicago, we’ve been living that dream, and with it comes the reality of a yard filled with baldContinue Reading

Homemade Pizza on the Grill

Homemade Pizza on the Grill

ShareTweet For our engagement, Steve and I got a bread maker, a giant white box that filled the house with amazing smells as it baked overnight. The bread was a little too thick and chewy, but we were addicted to waking up to the aroma of warm bread. We made so much bread that SteveContinue Reading

Taking Back the Birthday Cake: Chocolate Chip Ganache Cupcakes

Taking Back the Birthday Cake: Chocolate Chip Ganache Cupcakes

ShareTweet Over the years, little by little, my children’s birthday cakes have become more and more artificial. As we moved from Elmo cakes to 3-D Barbies and re-enactments of Angry Birds sets, I started using cake mix and canned frosting to focus on the art rather than the cooking. I would slave over birthday cakesContinue Reading

Our French Picnic with Anthony Anderson: AOL On Series Anthony Eats America

Our French Picnic with Anthony Anderson: AOL On Series Anthony Eats America

ShareTweet Earlier this summer, Juju and I had a very un-Chicago experience: a French picnic with actor Anthony Anderson. It was all part of a new AOL On Series called Anthony Eats America. The concept is simple: Anthony is traveling the country, trying to meet the best home chefs in the US. Juju and IContinue Reading

Homemade Banana Pudding and Why It’s Never Too Early to Plan for Back to School

Homemade Banana Pudding and Why It’s Never Too Early to Plan for Back to School

ShareTweet Have you started thinking about back to school yet? The notion may be far from your children’s minds, but that doesn’t mean that getting ready early would be a waste of your time. I like to start our eating right after a summer of grilled hot dogs and burgers, and start bookmarking recipes thatContinue Reading

Bacon Cheddar Popovers: Warm Lunch for a Chilly Summer Day

Bacon Cheddar Popovers: Warm Lunch for a Chilly Summer Day

ShareTweet Popovers are a cold weather treat: the last thing I would expect to make for lunch in July. The steam escapes from their cheesy tops and takes the edge off a chilly day. And when the crisp of their outer shell yields to the warm and tender cheesy inside, all is suddenly fine withContinue Reading

Making Memories and Simple Strawberry Jam Fresh from the Fields

Making Memories and Simple Strawberry Jam Fresh from the Fields

ShareTweet Adventures are best when they’re spontaneous. And when they involve strawberry picking, they’re spontaneously delicious. Last weekend, after what felt like months and months of baseball games, dance recitals and swim meets, we finally had an afternoon with nothing at all scheduled. Nowhere to be, nothing to do: pure bliss. ┬áThe couch beckoned butContinue Reading