• Breakfast,  Dessert,  Recipes

    Chocolate babka … just like Nana used to make (or buy at Publix)

    For some reason, lots of my childhood memories with my Nana revolve around food—the good, the bad and the Jewish. The good: delicious, sweet and savory meatballs. The bad: Rice Dream (sorry Nana, but that stuff is just awful). The Jewish: Chocolate babka. Mmmmmm, delicious babka. Come to find out, its origins are debatable (some say it’s Polish, some Eastern European, but from what I can tell it is largely a favorite of Jewish New Yorkers), but that doesn’t change the fact that it is AMAZING. I fondly remember this delectable treat (and chocolate rugelach … mmmm) as something enjoyed exclusively in our yearly visits to the Jewish retirement capital…

  • Dessert,  Holidays

    PAMAphrodisiac

    I have a bad habit of throwing things into the abyss that is my freezer and forgetting they exist down there. Then I wonder where all my tupperware went … … hmmm, oh yeah! It’s holding three gallons of freezer-burned chili … Then there’s my two plastic bags full of frozen pomegranate seeds from these gorgeous pomegranates I picked up this past fall: So imagine my excitement when I got an excuse to use these little gems this Valentine’s Day. The folks at PAMA liqueur sent me some samples, along with recipes and news about a local cupcake shop that I may just have to visit for these little beauties.…

  • Dessert,  Recipes

    It’s all Greek to me

    I’ve botched baklava before. It’s hard to pinpoint my mistake, as I was in fourth grade at the time, completing an assignment as part of a project on Greece. My mother and I got the recipe from the owner of a local greek restaurant (unfortunately, we didn’t have the advantage of Epicurious or AllRecipes back then) and I’m afraid something was lost in translation. The baklava was more phyllo brick than sticky, flaky pastry. This time around, I had my redemption. Sweet, sweet, sticky, flaky redemption. Baklava You’ll need: several sheets of phyllo dough (one package should do) 3 cups walnuts 1/3 cup brown sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 cup…

  • Dessert,  Recipes

    Cookies for Cars.comers

    Dear Cars.comers, I wasn’t holding out on you by not posting this recipe. It was just a simple case of procrastination. I swear. I know you really like the oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies I send to work with Dave every so often, so now you can make them for yourselves. But don’t worry, I’ll still send some oatmeal love your way now and then. Bon appetit. love, J.C. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe adapted from Gale Gand’s Sweet Dreams (Food Network) You’ll need: 3 tablespoons butter, room temp 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup honey 1 egg 1 tablespoon water 1/2 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1…

  • Dessert,  Recipes

    Fig-get about it.

    I have a confession to make. Until a few days ago, the only fig I’d ever had in my kitchen was of the Newton variety, if you catch my drift. I know. Revoke my foodie card right here on the spot if you must. (Maybe I shouldn’t tell you that this was also my first foray into homemade pie crust. Whoops, too late). I hope I’ve redeemed myself, however, by creating these yummy fig and raspberry tartlets. OK, so techincally they’re not tartlets. More like mini pies—I just love that word. Tartlet. Fig and Raspberry Tartlet You’ll need: pie crust dough (homemade or store bought) 10-12 ripe figs 1 small carton of…

  • Breakfast,  Dessert,  Recipes

    This bread is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S

    Sometimes we buy bananas to let them sit on top of the fridge over-ripening. Because then we get to make banana bread! I adapted this recipe from Elise’s banana bread recipe at Simply Recipes. Here are the poor over-ripe bananas. You know they’re ready when the entire stem breaks off when you pluck them from the fridge/fruit bowl/counter top: I decided to try something new with this batch: Spiced Banana Bread You’ll need: 4 medium-sized ripe bananas 1 cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 1/2 cup flour 1 teaspoon baking soda dash of salt 1/3 cup melted butter 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon almond…