Kettle Corn Cheesecake Recipe

Were I ever to be told that all desserts on the planet would be henceforth deleted from the global consciousness except one and I was the savior of the one dessert which could remain, I’d choose ice cream. Hands down. Cheesecake would be a close second, and here’s why: both ice cream and cheesecake are nearly-neutral bases out of which to spin a hundred variations. The boredom of one choice of dessert would vanish under the many flavors available of said dessert. And anyway, I’m astonishingly predictable for someone who typically vacillates between menu items for twenty minutes: if ice cream is offered, that is my choice. I am not even a tremendous snob. While I draw the line at Pet or other equally lame brands, I’m open to the concept that if I ever again visited a McDonald’s (doubtful) and if that McDonald’ses ice cream machine was miraculously working (also doubtful) that their .59 cent cone might be something sort of palatable and not to be immediately sneered at. We’ll see. I might be stretching my good faith in that regard.

Anyhow. I’m here to talk about cheesecake.

Ingredient Spotlight: Fiori di Sicilia

As I'm descending back into my writing flow, I've set some time aside for reading through various Google Docs full of words I've jotted down in spasmodic moments of inspiration over the last several years. Occasionally, a file has surprised me with decent writing. Others are annoying because I stopped writing suddenly just as it got good, and now I have no idea what the point of that particular article was going to be. Seriously, I couldn't have wrapped up that thought? I've also read through some fun posts from years past, including this one about Hazel Mountain Chocolate: a place that has a lot to do with today's chat about my latest discovery that everyone-but-me seems to have known about: Fiori di Sicilia!

An Accidental Fan Letter To Alison Roman: Corn Salad Edition

{ absolutely not my image }

Ever heard of Alison Roman? To the uninitiated she is someone I talk about an eye-rolling amount on Instagram. To those in the know, she is a weekly inspiration and a culinary brain whose somewhat-annoying Cali-girl mannerisms aren't enough to push me away. (Unlike another cool-girl kitchen legend I won't name, whose online persona I find as grating as a microplane to a block of parm. I sulk around for That One's undeniably good recipes, break up with her yet again when she calls a Caesar salad a "cae sal" or a Rueben a "sando", or some other contrived cuteness. Then next week she's got me back with another recipe I love and the cycle continues. "I hate you, I love you, I hate that I love you," and all that. But listen, we are here to discuss Alison Roman.)

Lava Toast

“Lava toast” began with shrimp & grits. More specifically, it began with my memory of the shrimp & grits we used to make at Four Eleven York, the restaurant that launched my professional baking career (as such).

Now, let's clear the air about something: I've seen those memes circulating around the internet, where we all roll our collective eyes at the way food bloggers have to tell stories and write paragraphs before getting to the point of the recipe. If that's you, I respect your opinions and you can scroll to the bottom. Or go to and eat your heart out, scanning two dozen questionable recipes for the same dish and trying to decide which looks less mediocre. This blog – our blog – is a blog for food stories, for hanging out, for talking about food and all the nuances of it, not simply a recipe database. It's almost always been that way, hasn't it? I don't think most of us are confused about this fact, but now I'm self conscious of the length of my posts and I want you to know what to expect from the outset. M'kay?

Weekends Together And Saucepan Eggs

 Experimenting with a more stream-of-consciousness type of writing as a change-up. This post is half story, yet contains two recipes in the narrative. I hope you enjoy it! Let me know if you like this type of writing or if you prefer the classic "intro + formula" style posts. Enjoy! (pics from our 2020 engagement shoot by Victoria Hartell)

Morning comes so early on the weekends. Not that clocks have changed, or daylight. But I have changed and my body wakes me up on a Saturday the same way it does before my 6:15 alarm on a Monday because it senses that soon – SOON – the morning will arrive. Don't you hate that anticipation? It's as if my physical self is excited for my alarm while (and I can attest to this) my mental self is anything but. When this pseudo-excitement drags me out of deep sleep, I wiggle further into my covers and hide. There's a difference between the kind of awake that means I can fall back to sleep for a precious few moments, and the kind that means I might as well go ahead and get up. Lately, it's been the latter.

I start thinking about farmers markets and how each second I continue lying in bed, the most ideal produce is being sold and snapped up by regrettably-disciplined shoppers who think 5:00 AM is an appropriate weekend waking hour. I might not even go to a farmers market this weekend, yet the idea that if I decide to go, the best items will be sold out by the time I get there activates my FOMO. I could sneak out of bed right now, rush to the farmers market, buy a tomato and a loaf of bread and a bunch of spring onions which I really don't need and be home before Andrew has even cracked his eyes open for an experimental attempt at waking.

Avocado Toast For Two

photo by our incredible photographer Victoria

Hello, all my neglected blog friends! I know that I said I would update you in the process of setting up our house, wedding plans, all that jazz but let's be real: I wasn't going to do that, barring a miracle. I am much too human, much too fallible, to be relied upon to provide miracles. Instead, I offer an apology and a promise to do better. I'm married now (that's a meaty, glamorous blog post for another time) and I have more chutzpah for things like blogging and being consistent about it. Here is a timeline run-down of the big things that have gone on since writing last:
- we went house hunting
- we put an offer on a house
- our offer was accepted
- Andrew & Co. got Covid so
- we closed on our house in separate cars in the law firm parking lot
- spent Christmas and New Years apart
- I painted and otherwise prepped our house while Andrew tried not to wither away from Covid
- packed up my apartment, barely surviving not seeing my fiance for an entire month while he nursed his parents back to health (I'd suck at the military wife life)
- I moved into our house
- we re-planned our wedding again and again
- had a lot of tears but also plenty of laughs
- began to get excited at last about our Very Different From Originally Planned wedding
- moved Andrew's things in
- went on our honeymoon to Charleston, SC
-  came home and went back to our full-time jobs
- my car broke down twice
- we've settled in together, had lots of fun, and are now just enjoying being married!