This little number was a hit at Thanksgiving but would be great any time of year. A punchy hibiscus and rosemary syrup is combined with mezcal for a cocktail that is really more than the sum of its parts. The original recipes suggests serving this on the rocks, which would make for a more diluted and easier drinking cocktail. But we liked it shaken and served straight up in a coupe for more of a sipper. That color!
Combine the mezcal, lemon juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled (15 seconds) and then strain into a coupe glass.
Hibiscus Rosemary Syrup
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup loosely packed dried hibiscus flowers*
1 large rosemary sprig
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 1 cup of water and cook over medium high heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has started to boil. Add the hibiscus and rosemary and stir to combine before removing from heat to steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain the syrup and chill until needed. Makes enough for 10ish cocktails.
*Original recipe used tea bags. I have loose flowers. You’re gonna have to wing this one because the volume measure will vary depending on size of flowers, etc..
Really epic Nordic baking book covering basically everything. It feels like part cookbook and part travel journal. Bryan and I made a vow that we would visit all of the Nordic nations and this is inspiring us to plan our next trip. Also, I am into the photography.
Make fun of me all you want, my friends certainly do, but I love my selfie stick. We bought it for our trip to Iceland because we knew we’d be all alone in nature with nobody to snap our pics. This particular model (which I highly recommend!) transforms into a tripod and has a remote. It leads to even better photos for you to post on Instagram. Who cares what people think!
LA’s Gjusta is the most beautiful place to eat (my kingdom for one of their baklava croissants!) and last year they opened a little shop next door where you can buy things like these quality linen napkins.
Every yearly trip to IKEA I seem to find one thing I am excited about and recently it was this footed ceramic bowl (or SJÄLVSTÄNDIG, as they call it). I like it for chips or bread but it also looks cool just hanging out.
The best thing I read all year—an instant favorite. It is even better than Conversations with Friends which I didn’t think possible. Rooney is such a talent and I think about Connell and Marianne, the two central characters of this book, all of the time. This isn’t out in the US until April so you’ll need to order from the UK, making this a very special gift indeed.
Fancy aprons are kind of stupid but so am I so I bought this from one of my favorite British designers. I love it. It has a slick cut complete with an avant-garde pocket. I like to imagine that Nigel Slater also has one.
Talk about a unitasker! But I really love using this weird little device. The cut candle wick gets scooped up in the clever design and you can flick it in the garbage, saving your fingers from soot. The scissors are also satisfyingly goth. Though I guess so are sooty fingers. Your call.
A bag of Gardetto’s is the perfect gift for anyone. But the best gift is a family sized bag of Gardetto’s along with a bag of the rye chips (did you know they sell a bag of just the rye chips?!). Bust them both into a bowl and mix them up. The perfect proportions of the best snack mix are now yours!
This candle smells like you are using muscle cream near a bonfire, which basically summarizes my olfactory preferences. I’ll be burning this all winter.
I bought all of this myself and use it regularly. No #ads.
As usual, none of this matters! Fuck capitalism! But also, like many of you, I am just trying to do my best and sometimes it feels nice to buy things. I contain multitudes. Love your friends and help your neighbors and go outside and read books and hug people and have fun and protest shit and cry in public and eat what you want and act weird.
Love you all and hope you get whatever you want.
Oh! And my gift to you is a Spotify Playlist of Christmas music.
Maybe you already know what you’re making for Thanksgiving dessert. But for all of the procrastinators in the audience, how about this cranberry linzer tart? It is a dream of a recipe that turned out pretty flawless on my first attempt. I like the use of walnuts in the tart dough and the tartness of the cranberry filling. Spices are great and they get the palate ready for Christmas flavors. The dough is fairly easy to work with though, as the recipe warns, you need to handle the lattice strips gently. You can make the filling and dough in advance, which is always a bonus at this time of year. And even better, this thing keeps well. It was just as good (better?) on day two and I ate some on day 3 and 4 and still enjoyed it. Anyway, this recipe is a keeper.
Hope everyone is looking forward to the holidays.
Cranberry Linzer Tart (recipe by Claire Saffitz, Bon Appetit —my only change was to increase salt in dough)
1 pound fresh (or frozen) cranberries (This is sort of annoying because cranberries are sold in 12 oz bags. I think you could just use a 12 oz bag and be okay)
1¼ cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled ginger
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Pinch of kosher salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Dough and Assembly
1½ cups walnuts
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
14 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large eggs
Powdered sugar (for serving)
10-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom
Bring cranberries, sugar, ginger, butter, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often to prevent scorching and help dissolve sugar. Continue to cook, stirring often, until cranberries burst, mixture is syrupy, and pot is visible when a wooden spoon is dragged across the bottom (mixture should be reduced to about 1¾ cups), 10–12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour.
Filling can be made 3 days ahead. Transfer to a nonreactive container; cover and chill.
Dough and Assembly:
Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool.
Pulse walnuts, granulated sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, salt, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, and 2 cups flour in a food processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and pulse until largest pieces are pea-size. Add 1 egg and process in long pulses until dough forms a ball around the blade. Divide dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic, flattening into a ½-inch thick disk. Press the remaining half into tart pan, working it across bottom and up sides with floured hands to create an even layer. Chill the dough in the pan and the wrapped dough until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
Scrape filling into crust and spread into an even layer.
Unwrap remaining dough and roll out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, dusting with more flour as needed to prevent sticking, to a ⅛-inch thick round.
Cut dough into 8 strips.
Arrange strips over top of tart in a crosshatch pattern (this dough is delicate, so don’t fuss with strips too much once they’re on the tart). Pinch off excess dough and press strips into edges to adhere. Chill 15–20 minutes.
Beat remaining egg in a small bowl and brush over crust.
Bake tart until crust is golden brown around the edges and golden across surface and filling is bubbling, 40–55 minutes. Let cool.
Just before serving, remove ring from pan and dust tart with powdered sugar.
A decade ago I started this blog and you all showed up. You are, by a mile, the best thing to come out of this hobby of mine. Some of you have been here with me for the entire decade, some of you have become my real-life friends and collaborators, all of you have made the site the wonderful place that it is. Ten years is a long time for us to be in a relationship so I am celebrating our perseverance with a very special Lottie + Doof 10th Anniversary Dinner.
Three of the greatest (and my favorite) Midwestern chefs will be in the kitchen:
Sandra Holl, pastry genius and owner of Floriole Bakery and Cafe SLASH longtime bestie of L + D, will be making all of our pastry dreams come true.
Abra Berens, chef at Granor Farm and author of forthcoming cookbook Ruffage, will provide dad jokes and the best vegetables you’ve ever had.
Jonny Hunter, Culinary Director of Underground Food Collective, and unofficial mayor of Madison, WI, will make a rare Chicago appearance and bring the meat (too much?).
Together these three superstars will cook a meal that celebrates the wonders of autumn in the Midwest. It will probably include things like relish trays and jello molds. It will not include lemon zest. It will definitely be a little witchy because it is late October and I am me.
The details: Floriole Bakery & Cafe. Sunday, October 28th, 6-8pm. Tickets are $75 (available HERE and very limited) and include food and drink and gratuity as well as some very special surprises (Trick or Treat Style! Imagine an episode of Oprah where she gives away a lot of cool stuff but I am Oprah and none of the things are cars).
Finally, it would be weird to just celebrate ourselves, so the other important thing to know is that all of the profits from the dinner will be going to support Planned Parenthood in their tireless and moral work to provide safe and affordable healthcare.
Please join me for what will surely be a night to remember (and post about on Instagram).
*We’re not able to accommodate special diets at this dinner. There will be gluten. There will be dairy. There will be some animals. (Though a casual vegetarian/pescatarian can probably skip a course or two and still be happy—let me know and we can discuss.)
*The only way to be guaranteed the super cool tote bag pictured up top is to come to the dinner. It was designed by my friend Jenny Volvoski and is inspired by Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party. An homage to some of the women who have inspired me.
*For those of you not in Chicago, I will be sure to share things like photos and recipes from the dinner, so it will be like we were all there together. And we’ll find other ways to celebrate in the next couple of months. Don’t worry.
UPDATE 9/10/18 1pm: SO sorry everyone, but this sold out super fast. Tickets are all gone. Will keep you posted if we have cancellations or if anything changes. Thanks to everyone who bought a ticket and sorry we can’t all be together. xo
My friends at D.S. & Durga recently released a new product, I Don’t Know What, which is something they are calling a “fragrance enhancer” and because, like you, I am scared of/want to destroy things I don’t understand I did what I do best and bullied David into answering some questions about this new product.
Hi, David. I Don’t Know What…the fuck this is. Please explain yourself.
It’s a perfume with no real notes, no heart, no meat. Just the bones that define, round, and enhance any given note, heart, or meat.
But for real man, is it bullshit?
Not really. It evolved from how I wear perfume a lot. Grab my fav oils or blends off the wall and fix it with this—instant perfume!
Is magic involved?
I heard it is part of a conspiracy by Big Fragrance.
We’re going it alone for now but I am using some powerful molecules from The Big Guys!!
Okay, let’s just say for a minuet that I believe you and this is a cool new thing, how can it best be used?
1. Apply your favorite oil—Bulgarian Rose Otto? Rare New Zealand Blue Cypress? Vetyver?—spray 1-2 pumps of I Don’t Know What over it. Now your favorite note smalles like a well built modern fragrance with your favorite oil.
2. Old perfume that you keep but just don’t dig? Needs a refresh. Spray this over it. Now it’s an updated version! Perfumers update classics all of the time.
3. Layer it with your regular jam. See what happens.
I since bought a bottle and have been using it and have to say that I am now totally on board and apologize to David (and Kavi) for my aggression. I really like what it does to oils but also think it works great on its own. The D.S. & Durga crew remain The Best.
I spent the past weekend in Madison, Wisconsin, one of my favorite places. The best thing I ate were the hardshell tacos at Forequarter. They make the shells from scratch, meaning that they nixtamalize the corn, press, and fry them fresh. They are filled with perfectly spiced meat, Hooks cheddar, sour cream, hot sauce, and greens. Everything designed for maximum pleasure. Personally, they really brought a lot of pieces of my life together (namely: Taco Bell, my first true love, and Forequarter, my favorite place) and as a result I now feel like a more whole person. And at five bucks for two tacos, they are the best deal in town (maybe the best deal in any town?) and certainly cheaper than my therapist. If I lived there would I just eat these for dinner every night? Would I be such a regular that Mel would have them sitting on the bar for me when I arrived? Would there eventually be a brass plaque on “my” bar stool honoring my commitment to these tacos? It all seems very possible.
Also from Madison comes WM Chocolate. One of my new years resolutions is to “get into chocolate”, which as you know has been a challenge for me. A friend in Madison recommended these (he said they were the best he’d ever had) and I genuinely enjoyed the India, Anamalai bar. Bryan likes them all, and he’s the expert. Baby steps.
This blueberry upside down muffin business from Stella Park is really worth making. Obviously I recommend leaving out the lemon zest. It is best warm from the oven. Do it! You are worth it. (And yes, I am on an upside-down kick.)
Finally, on October 20th and 21st I will be teaching at Granor Farm in beautiful Three Oaks, Michigan. Details are here and here, I hope to see you there. More on this soon.
While hanging out at a bar in Santa Fe we heard tell of a drink that was a variation on Ranch Water (tequila, lime, and sparkling water). It goes like this: Open an ice cold bottle of Topo Chico, take a swig, and fill the empty space with tequila and a wedge of lime. Walk out into the desert with your portable tonic, brilliantly dubbed an O’Keeffe Casual. Could this be the drink of summer?
First things first: I am curating (sorry!) a small collection of cookbooks that will be sold at Field & Florist, one of the coolest shops in Chicago. My friends Heidi and Molly own Field & Florist, which is a sustainable flower farm in southwest Michigan and, as of last summer, a flower shop/gift shop/art space in Chicago. They’re basically The Best. I picked out a selection of three recently released cookbooks which will be sold alongside some carefully selected vintage titles. I even wrote about why I love each of the books. I am super excited to be contributing to the Field & Florist dream/lifestyle in this small way. Please stop by and check it out, it would mean a lot to me. Tell them I sent you! Or maybe I’ll be there and you can tell me. The shop just opened for the season this weekend and there is so much good stuff.
Erik Hall is a dear friend and all-around-great guy who records and performs music under the moniker In Tall Buildings. His latest album, Akinetic, is wonderful and worth a listen. He’s also touring around a bit and I highly recommend catching him in person if he shows up in your town. I stayed up past my bedtime for his Chicago show.
What are you reading? I finished Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney, which I can’t stop thinking about. It was so precise. And so far the only author whose inclusion of emails and instant messages hasn’t made me cringe. I learned a lot about writing from the book.
Helen Rosner on the strange and fascinating story of the food scientist (“scientist”?) who fought the Joy of Cooking and how the Joy of Cooking won.
There are two cookbooks that I am super excited about right now. One is Jessica Battilana’s Repertoire, which I plan to say more about soon. The other is Caravan: Dining All Day, from the all-day cafes in London of the same name. My friend Emily, who happens to own her own all-day cafe, recommended it and I’ve been cooking from it a bunch since it arrived. I’m especially excited to use it this summer when I have access to delicious fresh produce. Their Banana and Coconut Streusel Coffee Cake is one of the best things I’ve ever made, and the book would be worth it for that recipe alone. But I am also in love with the coconut bread recipe, which makes truly incredible toast (I’ve included that recipe below). I like it best fried, using a cast iron pan, and then given a smear of apricot jam.
Speaking of British books, I would encourage all of you to buy the original UK versions of cookbooks rather than their American editions. First of all, they usually have better-designed covers (why do American presses thing we have terrible/literal taste in book design?). Second, they are less likely to have errors—a problem that frequently plagues these books when publishers convert from weight to volume. This was highlighted recently by the disappointing release of Sweet and the need to reprint that book because of the huge number of errors. Obviously the best solution would be for the USA to transition to weight measurements for baking, but I’ve given up on that dream (though I will continue to work hard to convince each of you to get a scale). Assuming I am preaching to the converted and you have a scale, buy your Slater, Henry, and Ottolenghi books directly from the UK. I use Book Depository, which offers free shipping to the US.
I learned about Monty Don a couple of weeks ago when I randomly started watching Big Dreams, Small Spaces on Netflix. As the show keeps telling us, Monty Don is “Britain’s favorite gardener” and in the series he helps people create their dream gardens with limited money and space. The show is a true delight, and Monty is my new style icon/celebrity crush.
Preheat the oven to 170°C (or 350°F) and line a loaf pan with parchment paper so it hangs over long sides. Lightly spray with nonstick spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and coconut. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, vanilla, milk, and coconut milk, whisking lightly to break up and mix in the eggs.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix lightly until you have a smooth batter. Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50-65 minutes (the books says 45 minutes but it took considerably longer for me even at the slightly higher temp), until golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.