Avocado toast, passé or here to stay?

It’s not cool any more. It’s so passé, they say, and they’re probably right. Avocado toast skyrocketed to fame on Instagram a few years ago, and suddenly it was a top seller at restaurant brunches… But it’s a fact that nothing that flies that high can stay on top for very long.

Cookies galore

20 dozen. That’s roughly how many cookies I’ve made this month. 240 cookies. Rolled, sliced, filled, hand-shaped, and scooped. I’m tired. But I love doing it. I make them for everyone…

Cranberry upside down cake

I love cranberries, and I love cake, but I’ve never liked a single upside down cake. Ever. Typically they are too saccharine. I mean, pineapple? We take what is likely the sweetest fruit on the planet and add a cup of brown sugar to it? My teeth feel like they are rotting just thinking about it. But then I found an intriguing version with cranberries on New York Times Cooking.

Apple pie bars with oat pecan streusel

When it comes to dessert, soft/smooth + crunch = THE. BEST. I love just about any dessert that has a bit of a crunch, especially when it’s unexpected. My husband and I greatly differ on this (though he’s slowly but surely coming over to my side).

Thanksgiving test: Wine-braised short ribs

I’ve started testing some recipes to feed the masses. Last night I tried making wine-braised short ribs, which I’ve had at restaurants several times but had never cooked. I landed on the fabulous Anne Burrell’s wine-braised short ribs, which were delicious!

I met Anthony muthaf*&#!^ Bourdain, and it was awesome

I was lucky enough to meet Anthony Bourdain, the guy with the world’s coolest job, in NYC in Union Square last night. He was at Barnes & Noble to chat about, sign, and let’s face it, mostly sell, his newest cookbook, Appetites.

Banana bread French toast

I’m not the biggest fan of banana bread. I mean, it’s OK, but I wont go out of my way to taste, buy, or bake it, unless someone requests it or serves it at a party. So until my mother-in-law visited us recently, I hadn’t eaten banana bread in years. Then I found out she’s obsessed with it. In the six weeks she was here, every time, without fail, that we walked by a Starbucks, she ordered a cappuccino and a slice of banana bread. Every. Time.

Sweet kolaches. And I may be addicted to lemon.

I know lemon zest has become nearly ubiquitous in savory dishes and desserts, and some think it’s a fad. And to those people, I say please go ahead, stop buying so many lemons! More for me. Seriously. I’m a full-on, unabashed fan girl. I’ve been in love with lemon – and all things tart, really – since I was a little girl.

Chocolate. Pistachio. Buns. (Or, the anti-cinnamon roll)

The New York Times Cooking section has been killing it lately. I have saved dozens of recipes they’ve posted in recent weeks. Not sure if it’s my Thanksgiving prep excitement setting in or my general nesting at our new house, but I’m having fun experimenting. Last night I decided to try a recipe with a peculiar name: whirligig buns.

Experiments, Alton Brown style

Sometimes I get extra adventurous in the kitchen and take on head-scratching ideas like try to combine entirely different recipes (think big crumb and streusel cake). Typically the result is one extreme or the other: Either slap-yo-momma good or dump-it-in-the-trash awful. Despite my lack of any professional training, I’ve been trying these kinds of wtf bold experiments for many years.