CRANBERRY HALVA BIG-CRUMB COFFEE CAKE

One of my best friends growing up was allergic to strawberries. Like my-throat-will-close-up, inject-me-with-epinephrin-now allergic. Her mom made me learn how to inject an Epipen since the two of us went to camp together and, well, you never know.

Thankfully, I’d never had to use that skill. But last Tuesday, I almost did.

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WHITE CHOCOLATE PISTACHIO SHORTBREAD WITH RHUBARB GLAZE

Anyone else an occasional victim of the Sunday Scaries? I've been realizing more and more that they're sort of commonplace and totally and completely irrational. It'd be safe to assume the Scaries come on solely to those who hate their job. But I love my job! I do! I get to learn about new ideas, work with people who are thought leaders in their industries and be surrounded by tons and tons of colorful books. 

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COCONUT CREAM PIE TRIFLE

I'm a self-admitted sitcom-addict. I love short, smart bursts of well-written comedy tied together by a domino affect of jokes. I think the reason I'm so drawn to the sitcom genre is because writing funny dialogue in a short amount of time is incredible challenging. I admire the ease of the humor and the realness of the predicaments. So, it'll come as no surprise that my favorite sitcom, Friends, is one that I can watch ad infinitum and never get bored of. 

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COOKIES + CREAM COCOA CRISPY TREATS

There's this vending machine at work that silently tempts me on days when my sweet tooth is especially acting up. No, it's not the M&Ms in two varieties. Nor the pretzels or sad packages of Doritos that gets me going. It's the Rice Krispie Treat in all of the it's luminescent blue packaging that I find myself returning to.

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POTATO CHIP MATZAH CRACK

Is there anything redeeming about matzah? It is literally the bread of affliction, for god's sake. It has weird bumpy bits and no taste, and could stop up Niagara Falls, let alone a single, sad tummy. I cannot with matzah pizza, or matzah lasagna, or any matzah version of a normally glorious chametz-filled food.

I learned a while ago that there are people who not only enjoy matzah on Passover, but all year round! Like, they go to the store in October, think "man, I could really go for some matzah right now" and then they BUY IT AND EAT IT AS IF THIS IS NORMAL. Maybe it tastes better if you've never had to survive on it for eight days a year? I don't know. I'm not going to yuck your yum if you're a year-round matzah eater, but please explain yourself in the comments.

Now, all of this being said, there actually is one redeeming thing one can do with matzah, one recipe that would get me to eat matzah every week of the year:

Matzah crack.

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SALTED CARAMEL MACAROONS

I've never been the impulsive type. I like planning, organizing and being a general type-A personality. But I think deep down there's a part of me that loves to be impulsive. Take a spontaneous trip. Drive a car through Tuscany with my little brother. Trust Rina when she suggests we make something suspicious, like vegan nachos. Because even though I'm weary of anything not smothered in cheese, more often than not, these impulsive tendencies lead to something wonderful. 

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POMEGRANATE PISTACHIO CHOCOLATE BARK

Inspiration is a funny thing. It comes and goes as it pleases, and like lightening it rarely strikes the same spot twice, so you have to make an extra effort to grab it while you can. The nice part about having a partner in crime is that inspiration rarely runs dry. Rina and I are constantly bouncing ideas off each other, swapping dream recipes, nostalgic eats and complimenting each other's ideas with embellishments and corrections. 

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CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

How good does chocolate mousse sound right now?

I mean, it always sounds good. Stupid question. But at this particular moment in time, all I can think about is how terribly I wish I had a bowl (read: vat) in front of me and en route to my face. I can't really think about anything else. Can I blame my uterus? Probably! But either way here we are.

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BUMPY CAKE

Have you ever tried explaining something to someone only to realize that that something is completely unknown beyond the confines of your childhood hometown?

It's like this earth-shattering moment of shock where you realize your Mitten State suburb is smaller than you think and that a whole chunk of the world has been deprived of one of your favorite birthday party desserts. It's a tragic moment of revelation, but thank god we have a blog to save everyone. 

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MAPLE CREAM SANDWICH COOKIES

Alyssa and I took our relationship to the next level and decided to share a winter CSA. I know, I know - things are getting serious. Lest you think a winter CSA would be filled with nothing but potatoes, some sad apples and more potatoes, it should be known that it is AWESOME. So far we've received varieties of squash, cooking and eating greens, maple syrup, popcorn, happy apples and more. It weighs like, 20 pounds, and getting it home is a fun game to play to test your muscular strength, but it's so worth it.

Our last box contained a surprise - maple cream. "The fuck?" we asked, to no one in particular. Maybe we directed it to the maple cream, but while it was a surprising addition, it wasn't sentient, so it didn't answer back.

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TOASTED CASHEW MARZIPAN BLONDIES

I am a marzipan FIEND. I am truly obsessed. I'm sure my Eastern European heritage has a lot to do with it, but whatever the case, it is one of my favorite things in the world. Visiting Austria a couple of months ago to meet my partner's family was a dream come true for many reasons - one of which being the opportunity to pull a Julie Andrews and sing on a mountaintop with copious twirling. I didn't end up singing on the apex of an alp, but I did sing loudly at 11:00 PM on a street in Salzburg, and I wasn't wearing a dirndl but I saw like, 15 in a shop so that counts, right? 

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MAPLE PECAN POPCORN

If you haven't had a chance to swing by our About Us Page, you might not know that Rina and I are high school musical dorks. And, no, that's not High School Musical with capital letters (though I do love me some Getcha Head In The Game), rather, high school musical, as in our high school's musical theater department. That's where our friendship first blossomed. It was my freshman year, her sophomore year, and she was the Marty to my Rizzo in Grease. 

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VANILLA CARAMEL SUFGANIYOT

You didn't think we would leave you with just one sufganiyah recipe this holiday season, now, did you? Of course not. We feel obligated to make up for all those sad, dried out donuts you might have had in your day school youth. Or  for the fact that you were never even blessed with fried Hannukah treats to begin with and perhaps thought that sufganiyah was a type of martial arts. So, here we are - day two of our Hannukah foodie fest, and believe you me, this recipe is not one to be missed. 

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CHOCOLATE HALVA SUFGANIYOT

Alyssa and I are dedicated to creating foods and recipes that remind us of our Jewish upbringing and culture, which is why for the next couple of weeks we're making Hannukah recipes exclusively. The defining characteristic of a Hannukah food is whether or not it's fried in oil - the miracle of Hannukah is that after the Jewish Temple was destroyed, there was only enough oil for one night to light the menorah, but it lasted eight nights (which is why Hannukah is eight days). We don't recommend eating fried foods for eight days straight, but you must try homemade sufganiyot or latkes at least one during the holiday.

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CRANBERRY CURD TART WITH ROASTED HAZELNUT CRUST

I've always been told that my eating habits are a little weird. I tend to eat small meals throughout the day (more time spent eating is always a plus in my book, anyway), eat little bits of things instead of one big item, like a sandwich or something, and I take really small bites. Like, really small. I can work at a croissant for three hours - I've timed myself, it's a personal record.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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