PUPPY CHOW POPCORN

There’s been a debate in my office about how to pronounce the word “orange.” The Midwesterners of the group (hi) pronounce it the correct way, “oh-range,” and the East Coasters (hi mom) say “ah-range,” which is blatantly incorrect. It’s caused quite a stir in our workplace proximity relationships.

Aren’t we fun?

Also, sorry mom.

Anyway!

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VEGAN MUNCHIES COOKIES

This past Tuesday, these two theater nerds saw Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish. And it was glorious.

If you’ve had a chance to mosey on over to our ‘about’ page, you’ll know my favorite musical is Fiddler on the Roof. I don’t know if it’s the timeless tale of the old country, the heart-piercing songs about leaving home or the crazy on-the-nose Jewish humor, but something about that show gets me misty-eyed before the Overture is even finished.

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DOUBLE CHOCOLATE PECAN SLAB PIE

Happy 2019!

I still kind of can’t believe it’s already January. I know, I know, we all always say that, but I truly cannot believe it’s already the new year, AND it’s already winter, AND we’re already halfway through the school year.

Time snuck up on us so fast that we kind of forgot to post. Oops! Hence, pecan pie in January.

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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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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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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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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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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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PEANUT BUTTER + WHITE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

Back in college, most members of the Michigan Jewish community committed themselves to the boxed Duncan Hines brownie mix. For one thing, it didn't have any dairy ingredients (suspicious, I know), so if you kept kosher, you could get away with having both your Shabbat dinner chicken and your sweet tooth. But, I'm pretty sure those boxed mixes were laced with something kind of addictive artificial chemicals because we made our way through a tin brownies in the matter of a few hours, especially if said brownies were undercooked. It was a dangerous addiction I knew I had to put an end to.

College is never a time of food connoisseurship for anyone, naturally. I think most people spend their college years shuffling in and out of the kitchen, trying not to burn their popcorn and avoiding the dishes piling up in the sink. After three years of the above, I finally discovered my love for baking senior year. Once I realized a boxed brownie mix wouldn't cut it, I started experimenting with other non-dairy dessert options for my more religious friends. But the truth was, there was nothing like a real, dairy-filled dessert - especially one swirled with stuff.

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ESPRESSO WHOOPIE PIES WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM

Oh, whoopie pies. What an unfortunate name for something so delicious.

If you don't know what this absurd treat is, I highly recommend reading this article - super interesting, especially if you are a food history nerd like me.

In the cake v. frosting debate, I fall heavily on the frosting side. I firmly believe that most cakes are vehicles for frosting, and I tend to make way too much frosting when I'm baking. There are worse problems to have.

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RAINBOW KIDDISH COOKIES

When I was a kid, I loved anything and everything rainbow. I lived for Superman ice cream, rainbow Popsicles in the summer, friendship bracelets and Lisa Frank school supplies. Though I've grown out of my love for Superman ice cream (my brothers have not), a little bit of color goes a long way to brighten up even the grayest of adult days. In continuing with the Shabbat cookie trifecta we started a few weeks ago, Rina and I decided to whip up the the most popular cookie at the post bar-mitzvah kiddish luncheon - the rainbow chocolate drop cookie. 

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FOOLPROOF BANANA BREAD

My mom makes the best banana bread ever.

Growing up, it was one of her two dessert staples, her other being chocolate chip cookies (sometimes baked in the form of a cookie-cake) followed verbatim from the back of a bag of Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips. Even still, her back-of-the-bag cookies were so divine they never lasted more than a couple of days (especially when my brother’s friends came over). But her banana bread is something else.

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