The Best Raisin Bread Ever! Pan Tramvai!

I know, I know, not another bread recipe so soon.  But seriously, this has to be the best raisin bread you can make.  It is so chock full of raisins the dough can barely contain them.  How chock full?  Well the amount of raisins in the bread is equal to the amount of flour used. …

A Mardi Gras Cocktail: The Sazerac

Looking for a Mardi Gras cocktail that isn’t a Hurricane?  Try a Sazerac instead.  In my opinion, the Sazerac is New Orleans.  Not only was it invented there but it’s also the Crescent City’s official cocktail.  The Sazerac also has some distinctive New Orleans ingredients, Peychaud’s bitters and Herbsaint, which really make it a drink…

A Christmas Cookie Favorite – Peanut Butter Kisses

Often times on this blog I’m putting up things which are either my favorites or somehow related to my own family’s traditions.  Well there’s another member of my family who sometimes gets overlooked in the foods we eat; my wife Cheryl.  Her favorite Christmas cookie which reminds her of her family are Peanut Butter Kisses,…

Pecan Toffee Crumble – A Simple Topper for Your Sweet Potatoes

On Monday nights I usually participate in a Twitter-chat called Foodiechats* which runs for about 2 hours where the moderator asks questions based on the night’s theme.  This past Monday’s chat was, of course, Thanksgiving themed and one of the questions asked if you try new recipes or stick with tried and true.  I feel…

Homemade Peach Pie

You can tell we’re really getting into summer by the types of fresh fruits and vegetables now filling the produce aisles in abundance.  Cherries, green beans, and the newcomer of the past couple weeks, peaches.  Time to make one of my favorite summertime desserts: Peach Pie!  I’ve been discovering many people are secret peach pie…

Awesome Summer Dessert – Strawberry Rhubarb Pie!

A little more than a week ago Artizone, an online artisanal food shopping and delivery service here in Chicago (and Dallas) hosted a quiz on Twitter where you could win a small bag of food from them, sourced from local shops like Gepperth’s Meat Market and Green Grocer Chicago.  It wasn’t a very difficult quiz…

Mixed Berry Custard Tart – Simple Ratios

On Mother’s Day we went over to our friends Erik and Jen’s for some grilling.  It was a beautiful, sunny day in Chicago and we offered to bring some dessert.  No idea why since I’m not much of a baker.  Well not much of cake baker at least.  If I had to rank my dessert…

More Christmas Cookies – Thumbprint cookies

Another one of my favorites.  These are really simple to make and they cook pretty quickly too.  Like all the other “Christmas” cookies from when I was little, these would only get made once a year.  They’re probably good anytime, but for some strange reason they only get made at Christmas.  My mom still makes…

My Favorite Christmas Cookie – Porlos Testa

Remember how I said my Grandmother’s stuffing was one of the first recipes of hers I got?  Well this is the very first one.  Porlos testa (TEE-sta).  Nothing says Christmas to me like these “cookies.”  I suppose they’re more like a pastry but growing up they were my favorite, and still are.  These were really…

Strudel – The Old Fashioned Way!

Way back in October Cheryl and I attended a hands-on strudel making demonstration at Dank Haus (German-American cultural center here in Chicago).  When we lived in Washington DC Cheryl used to get strudel from Heidelberg Pastry Shop in Arlington (they’d also have grilled sausages on the weekends which were great after my men’s league soccer…