Lesser Babka? I think not!

I have an epic recipe for you today. I actually made this back in April as an easter treat for my friends and family, but I haven’t had the guts to blog about it until today. That’s because this recipe is hard. It’s not impossible, but it’s a lot of ingredients, and a lot of steps, and a lot of work. And it’s horribly indulgent. Tons of chocolate and butter and bread. But the real horror is that it is AMAZING. This recipe is not yummy. It’s not delightful. It’s heaven on your tongue. And once you make it, you will want to make it again and again, despite the wreck that it leaves your kitchen, despite the fact that you have to take a day off to do it, despite the fact that you need to walk everywhere you go for the next month to offset the calories. And even more so, EVERYONE YOU FEED IT TO will beg you to make it again. They will plead. They will make sad faces. When you get invited to a party, someone will say “hey remember that thing you made? with the bread and chocolate? can you bring that??”

Yes, that!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m going to tell you how to make Babka.

Yes, I got the idea to make Babka from watching Seinfeld with my little brother, Lou. But unlike Jerry and Elaine, you will not have to make the heartbreaking, agonizing choice between chocolate and cinnamon. The recipe I found (from Smitten Kitchen, but of course) is for chocolate babka, but it has just the perfect cinnamon kiss. It’s the best of both worlds.

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Everything’s Better with Peanut Butter

If you tuned in yesterday, you may have caught on that I’m in a cool-off-with-a-summery-treat kind of mood. I blame Leopold’s, I’ve been thinking about ice cream ever since our trip. And somewhere in those ice cream musings, I decided that my ice cream cone needed an upgrade: peanut butter.

But here’s the thing – I didn’t want to just slather peanut butter inside a regular ol’ ice cream cone. I wanted the cone to be infused with the flavor of peanut butter (I can be so demanding sometimes). Naturally I didn’t see anything to fit this bill at my small-town grocery store, so I searched around for a recipe to make them myself.

But I didn’t find one. I found plenty of recipes for regular cones, and even more ‘recipes’ telling me how to scoop pre-made ice cream into pre-made cones, but nothing for cones baked with peanut butter in them. Luckily, I had heard some more health-conscientious friends mention that you can often substitute peanut butter for butter in recipes. So, readers, for your sake and mine (mostly mine), I set out yesterday to experiment.

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Monday Mocha Break: Sweets in Savannah

If you’re up for a Mocha Break today, make it an iced mocha. There’s a lovely breeze here in Pittsburgh, but not in this apartment.

Four weeks ago I was strolling through Savannah with my husband on our honeymoon. Friends and family are still asking about the trip, what we saw and what we did, and while I know I had fun sightseeing, soaking in the town’s history and scouring antique shops for treasures, what I remember best is the food. Oooh the food. I’d have gained 50 pounds that week if it hadn’t been for all the walking we did.

We only had  a week there and we had a long list of places we wanted to stop (I think all of my picks were restaurants and all of his were forts and museums), so we made sure to avoid chain restaurants and tried not to go to the same place twice.

One place was completely deserving of a second visit:  Leopold’s.

We went for ice cream one night, noted that they also serve lunch and went back for sandwiches and tomato basil soup. Oh, and more ice cream. Besides the absolutely amazing homemade ice cream (so good that I’ve had dreams about it since then), what makes Leopold’s special is its history – originally opened in 1919, still family owned and still featuring the original soda fountain (where you can order a malt, ice cream soda, or specially made soda). And while you may or may not know the name Stratton Leopold, you might be familiar with some of his work outside of the ice cream parlor – producing movies like The Sum of All Fears, The General’s Daughter, Wolfman and Mission Impossible III. At the ice cream parlor you can see posters and autographed pictures of some of the big names he’s worked with.

For your Monday Mocha Break, check out Leopold’s website. And if you’re anywhere near Savannah, stop in to Leopold’s for a couple scoops of mocha chip ice cream.

On an ice-cream-related note, I’m experimenting in the kitchen today. Results will be posted tomorrow, success or failure!


I struggled with the title for the post. I went with ‘feta-ccompli‘, but also considered asking for your un-feta-d attention. Because, you guys – I made mini feta cheese balls. You know what the three best things about that sentence are? ‘Mini’, ‘feta’ and ‘cheese balls’.

The conditions for making mini cheese balls were just right: Nick and I were hosting dinner for some of our family members, and I had an unopened pack of feta in the fridge that was just begging to be used. And, as with other snacks I like to make, the transition to making them miniature was a natural one.

I do have a go-to recipe in my Party Girl Cookbook for a ’50s Cheeseball – packed with pimento, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, and sharp cheddar- and I could snack on good sharp cheddar cheese all day. But with the tang of feta blending with herbs, something about these mini feta cheese balls just seemed downright fancy, and too hard to pass up.

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The Queen of Hearts Made Some Tartlets. . .

Readers, it’s June. And do you know what happens in June?

Why, hello. . .

I’m a junk food junkie, guys. I will admit it. My foods of choice, if I’m being totally irresponsible, tend to be carb and cheese laden calorie bombs. But my goodness, I love fresh strawberries. They are like nature’s candy. Around this time of year, all I can think about are strawberry recipes. Strawberry salads. Strawberry pies. Strawberry cake. Strawberry chicken.

So when I found this recipe for Strawberry Ricotta Tartlets over at Smitten Kitchen, I knew I had to make them. My friends and I were having a poem-sharing gathering, so I decided this was the perfect early summer treat to bring.

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Java Jive

I don’t know many people who truly identify as a coffee drinker. I mean, I know a lot of people who drink coffee, but if I sat them down and asked them to write a list of their top 10 favorite things in this world, they probably wouldn’t include their daily dose of coffee on that list.

I’m one of those people who would.
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We’re Back!

Hey! We are BACK!

Katrina here, offering apologies for the long hiatus. One of us went off and wrote a poetry thesis,

Oh hai!

And the other one got hitched!

Wouldn’t it be great if that were her real bouquet?

It’s all terribly exciting. But we have been thinking of you and feeling just lame about our lack of updates. So while I’m not 100% sure we’ll be back at full force immediately, we are making an effort to both blog and to do things worth blogging about!

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