BUTTERY CELERIAC POTATO MASH

Thanksgiving at my house is a bit of a scene. Depending on whether the Michigan-Ohio State football game is in Ann Arbor or Columbus, we usually have between 20 and 35 people at what I can only accurately call a Thanksgiving feast. Even though my mom complains about hosting, I know she secretly loves it. Family from both sides come into town along with a few old friends and college pals - what's not to love? It's certainly a joyous occasion filled to the brim with laughter and lots of carbs.

Ah, carbs. If Thanksgiving was a Jewish holiday, I'm pretty certain it would be a mitzvah to eat carbs. Between the stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and rolls, you've got all the starch you need to hibernate for the rest of the winter. My mom loves to complain about the carbs. In fact, she chooses her carbs wisely (and dutifully reports back to me) usually opting for stuffing over mashed potatoes. I'm more of a little bit of everything kind of girl, myself, but I will admit that in recent years the mashed potatoes have been so lackluster that it's been hard to make the case for multiple carbs.

Enter this celeriac mash.

Read More

GIN + QUINCE COCKTAIL

When I was still in rabbinical school I took a summer course on feminist literary references to Eve (as in, first woman ever Eve). It was an amazing class that incidentally-but-not-surprisingly was all-women, taught by a badass woman. We learned all about Eve and what had been written about her - the good and the bad but usually the bad - as well as stories about the actual first woman, Lillith, who was banished by God because she wanted to be equal to Adam and quite literally wanted to be on top. So yeah, God in this story is super into smashing the patriarchy.

Read More

ROASTED SUNCHOKE SOUP WITH CARAMELIZED SHALLOTS

Hello, sweater weather! It is about damn time that the city cooled down - don't get me wrong, I love my tank dresses and jelly sandals, but I am giving a hearty goodbye to 150 degree subway platforms and that terrible first drip of sweat down the back. You know what I'm talking about - why is that first drip so horrific?

Anyway, I usually eat soup all year round because it is DELICIOUS, but eating soup in the summer is a very different experience from eating it in the fall. In the summer, I eat soup with a fan in front of my face, enjoying my food but questioning my life choices. In the fall though, eating soup is an easy, delicious comfort in the face of cooling weather and darkening skies. Alyssa and I are very big fans of soup, and are constantly looking for new recipes.

Read More

THE MOST EXTRA CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT CAKE SHAKE

Sometimes, I wonder if Rina and I should write a Gateau | Gato children's book.

Sure, sure, we drop a lot of f-bombs and highly encourage adding alcohol to any and all of our recipes, but the lessons we learn in the kitchen are life lessons. Take this milkshake, for example. Or, as Rina calls it, this extra milkshake (I still don't really understand what extra is either, don't worry). This milkshake started off as a quest to bake an unbelievably delectable homemade bumpy cake, which apparently, is something of a Detroit delicacy, as I've come to learn. 

Without naming names, or body parts, somehow the oven knob got turned up way too high and the cake dried out before we could even realize it. Talk about a bummer. Turns out, it was for the best, as the cake was pretty flavorless in and of itself. Lesson 1: Everything happens for a reason.

Read More

TAILOR-MADE MEXICAN TORTA

Whole Foods has unreal prepared foods. It should be known that this post is the opposite of sponsored - we spend so much money there (silly millenials!). But seriously, they make killer food . One of my absolute favorite things used to be their take on a torta, a Mexican sandwich that's kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure book, but edible. Their torta was vegetarian, with cheese, veggies and a killer chipotle sauce. I say it used to be one of my favorite things on the menu because they no longer sell it at their sandwich counter. Trés tragique, I know.

Anyway, it fell upon me to re-create the sandwich of my dreams, so I decided to do some research on this hefty sandwich. I am a food nerd, through and through.

Read More

THREE-INGREDIENT BUTTERFINGERS

In all my years of celebrating Halloween, I can't pinpoint a particularly genius costume. I always opted for the Disney princess, the baby in a giant onesie, the store-bought nurse's costume to match the scrubs my college boyfriend found at a thrift store. This was all in an arguably simpler time - a time before Instagram likes crowned the best costume and being meta was all the rage. Despite my simple costume choices, however, I absolutely adore Halloween. 

Read More

ROASTED PEAR CINNAMON SCONES

They say, when life gives you lemons; make lemonade. Well, dear idiom inventors, what do you do when life gives you pears? And not just a plastic grocery bag of pears - a huge brown bag of them every week for three weeks (thanks, CSA). Well, I say, when life gives you pears, you make some damn delicious pear scones.

Getting three pounds of scones wasn't exactly what I anticipated this season, but it seemed I couldn't eat them fast enough. And while pears are deliciously sweet on their own, there's only so many yogurt adornments, salad additions and snack time treats before you shout "no more!" Gliding past the whole poached pear thing, which was recommended to me by many a co-worker, I began to research ways I could turn pears into something more comforting. Fruit is great and all, but fall means hot cider, cozy sweaters, crunchy leaves and cinnamon baked goods. 

Read More

HOMEMADE PEPPERMINT PATTIES

I have never trick or treated. Like, ever.

I think I've talked about this before, but growing up my family was pretty observant - we kept strict kosher, observed Shabbat and went to Jewish camps and schools. Since Halloween is not not a historically pagan holiday, at least to a degree, it was a major no-no in the Bergman house. While some families we knew turned off all of their lights and hid in the basement from trick-or-treaters, however, my family always handed out candy to the neighborhood kids (and occasional creepy teenager). Not the typical Halloween tradition, but my family's nonetheless.

Read More

HOMEMADE SOFT PRETZEL GRILLED CHEESE

Yesterday, I found out that one of my kickball team's favorite bars closed. It was a pretty tragic revelation for our whole group, to be honest. We had spent many evenings there - from rained-out kickball games to Saturday night skee-ball matches - and, despite the beer towers and stronger-than-words Moscow Mules, we always returned for one thing - the soft pretzels. 

Now, these pretzels were hardly what you're thinking - they didn't come from a heated glass box, spinning on a mindless rotisserie, drying out by the minute. No, these pretzels bigger than your head, fluffy and flavorful, full of thick, bread-like texture and accompanied by an out-of-this-world honey mustard dipping sauce. Exactly what you need before (or after!) a night of drinking with great friends. 

Read More

ROASTED SWEET POTATO + COCONUT SOUP WITH COCONUT BACON

There are so many things I loved about living in Israel, but something that always irked me was the lack of seasons. Except for a few days of snow during my time in Jerusalem, the weather was hot, kind of hot, extremely hot, or cool-ish. No blizzards, no super strong windy days. Lots of humidity. And definitely no changing leaves. That's what I missed the most about home, I think, besides my family (duh - hi guys!) - I'm from Michigan, land of beautiful fall foliage and autocratic automobile executives.

Read More