Tag Archives: baking



Thursday is Thanksgiving. Time to make pie! Back in May I made rhubarb pie and I planned to tell you all about it. Well, actually Scott made pie while I supervised.  Somehow I never got around to writing about it, but now is the perfect time to talk about pie crust. I know a lot of people are afraid of pie crust but really it’s not that hard. And I know I’m kind of a snob, but I don’t think a pie made with store bought crust is worth eating. Continue reading


Rhubarb Crumble

In the spring when all you want in the world is for summer fruit to finally be in season rhubarb comes along to tide you over until the berries arrive. The leaves are poisonous but the stalks are edible and make a delicious, tart filling for pies. It’s delicious all by itself or along with strawberries. I make this at least once every spring but I never manage to actually write down a recipe. This time was no different, but it’s so simple you really don’t need one. This more or less how I make it. Continue reading

My favorite chocolate cake

This is the perfect chocolate cake. It’s moist and dense and not too rich or too sweet. There are no gimmicks involved. It’s just chocolate cake. It’s called Chocolate Dump-it Cake, a name which refers to how non-fussy the recipe is. There is no beating, creaming, or folding involved. Everything is just quickly whisked together and dumped in the pan. The batter is so thin you’ll think you’ve done something wrong. But really, it’s supposed to be that way. Descriptive as the name may be, it really doesn’t do the cake justice. In my mom’s 1960 Good Housekeeping Cookbook, there’s an aptly named recipe which has been made for many a holiday breakfast. So in the spirit of Special Day Waffles, I’m renaming this cake Special Day Chocolate Cake. Continue reading

Cowboy Cookies

A few years ago my old roommate Leslie went camping in Ithaca and ate at the Moosewood Restaurant. She brought me back a copy of the Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts. There are quite a few recipes in there that have become old standbys that people ask me to make again and again. I’ve made the cowboy cookies so many times that the book’s spine is broken and it now flops open to that page on its own. I’ve made a few modifications to the recipe over the years, before settling on what I think is pretty much the perfect oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Continue reading

Citrus Curd Tart


By this time of year I’m always ready to start eating light, fresh tasting things. Before the strawberries and rhubarb come in citrusy desserts are the way to go. I’m a very big fan of lemon meringue pie. I thought about making it for Easter, but when I went looking for a recipe I came across this Three Citrus Curd. It sounded like the perfect filling for a tart. My sister Marybeth and her family had to leave before dessert was served, and as the rest of us sat around the table licking our plates clean, we all agreed that it was a good thing they couldn’t stay. The last piece was cut into postage stamp size pieces so that everyone could have one more bite. Sorry Mar. Continue reading

Adelaide Bartow’s Irish Soda Bread


My mom has two recipe cards written in her mother’s hand. One is for Irish Stew, the other is for soda bread. My mom remembers her father once making soda bread. He put a ton of baking soda in it and it was pretty awful. He insisted that that was the way his Irish mother made it. In retrospect it probably was. Apparently true Irish soda bread is made with just flour, buttermilk and baking soda, and it sounds like it’s hardly worth eating. Nanny found this recipe so Pop could stop making his. My mom has always made this soda bread for St. Patrick’s Day, and we all scoff at any other. It’s not too sweet or too cakey, and its made with raisins, no caraway seeds. Continue reading

Maple Nut Granola Bars


I eat an awful lot of granola bars. I’ve tried a few times over the past couple years to make my own, but it’s a hard thing to get right. You need enough sticky stuff to make them hold together, but too much makes them sickeningly sweet. The first recipe I tried pretty much just made oatmeal cookie bars. Not the same thing. My next few attempts didn’t stick together at all. I finally made a batch that held together, but an excess of brown rice syrup made them like toffee. They were dubbed tooth shattering granola bars. Continue reading