Lauren Katz

The Pastry School Diaries: Never Buy Marshmallows Again

Editorial Assistant, Lauren Katz, has enrolled in the part time Baking & Pastry Arts program at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her each week as she shares her sweet experience!

After a month of classes, I finally feel adjusted to my new schedule and the pastry school curriculum. I’m becoming more comfortable working in an industrial kitchen, cooking sugar, whipping egg whites and chopping fruit. I’ve already noticed a difference between baking at home and baking in a professional kitchen: we weigh all of our ingredients to the gram, a clean station is a must and we’re not just baking delicious treats– we’re developing an understanding of the science behind each of them, as well.

When I hear the word, ‘gelatin,’ the first thing that comes to mind, of course, is Jell-O. But we quickly learned that gelatin is used in all sorts of desserts, like panna cotta and marshmallows. Gelatin is essential to these desserts because it is a hyrdrocolloid, or stabilizing agent. Hydrocolloids are added to heated water to influence a dessert’s texture. Lucky for us, rather than just understanding what gelatin does, we got to see it in action.


Our Chef Instructor, Jenny McCoy, pouring freshly whipped marshmallow batter into a sheet pan to set.


I was a bit intimidated at first to try my hand at homemade marshmallows, but I’m so glad I got the chance to learn how simple it is. You just let the gelatin bloom and soften in cold water, boil a mixture of corn syrup and water, combine it with your gelatin, whip it until room temperature, add your flavor and color and pour into a pan to chill. They come out beautifully.



They taste delicious, too! My class whipped up some fun flavors including vanilla, coffee-cinnamon, lemon, orange and almond. These sweet, fluffy pillows are nothing like what you can find in the store: they’re flavorful, chewy and delicate, and oh-so addictive. Then my favorite part of class comes: when we get to take home all that we’ve made. Marshmallows for days!!

My team’s vanilla bean marshmallows

Be sure to check back next Friday for a new sweet story!

Wanna Know What It’s Like to Be in Pastry School?

Editorial Assistant, Lauren Katz, has enrolled in the part time Pastry & Baking Arts program at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her each week as she shares her sweet experience in The Pastry School Diaries!


Working at Every Day with Rachael Ray has taught me a lot–not only about the magazine industry but also about the wide (and always expanding) world of food! I’m always picking up new tips and tricks issue after issue, like when specific fruits and veggies are in season, and ingenious ways to use my slow-cooker.


I developed a love of food, cooking and baking at a very young age (well, after I grew out of what my mom likes to call, “the beige diet”) and time has only strengthened that relationship. When I really thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I knew it had to involve my two passions: writing and food. While my journalism degree has given me the knowledge, appreciation and street cred for the former, I knew I wanted to advance my skills in the latter. It took a bit of soul searching and evaluating my personality and interests to finally realize I wanted to attend pastry school.

My #TBT photo, featured in our March 2015 issue


After countless hours researching pastry programs, multiple “pros and cons” spreadsheets and a few in-person tours, I filled out an application for the Pastry and Baking Arts program at ICE. With a curriculum including all aspects of pastry arts (bread baking, chocolate sculpting, you name it), an externship program with some of the most well respected chefs in the country and a brand new facility in downtown NYC (hello, shiny new ovens!), ICE spoke to my heart… and stomach!

Trying on my uniform at the office!


Being the early riser that I am, I knew being at class until 10:00 pm three nights a week would pose a bit of a challenge. Add a full-time job into the equation and I knew I was asking for trouble. But even just four weeks in, the risks are being wildly overrun by the rewards. I’ve learned more valuable science within the last month than I ever did in grade school, I get to experiment with tools and ingredients I’ve never used and I’m working with a very unique group of people–all of whom have the same drive and passion as I do.


Be sure to check back every Friday for a new post– I can’t wait to share all that I learn, create and, of course, eat!



5 Ways to Dress Up Corn on the Cob

If you’re hearing of a new food holiday on a daily basis, you’re not alone. It seems like every day is dedicated to some sort of fruit, vegetable, dessert, cocktail or snack– but that just means more cooking opportunities! So in the height of corn season, it’s only appropriate that today is National Corn on the Cob Day. But we won’t be knawing down on any old ear– we’re dressing ours up with herbs, butters, cheese and spice! Here are a few of our favorite ways to dress up corn on the cob.

red onion + dill pickle relish + white cheddar = Ballpark Corn on the Cob


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3 Fun Ways to Celebrate National S’mores Day

There’s nothing wrong with the graham cracker-marshmallow-chocolate campfire classic, but sometimes you just have to change things up a bit. We’ve reinvented everyone’s favorite summertime treat three different ways– just in time for National S’mores Day!



The Big Chipper

Top a potato chip (go for large, flat, sturdy chips) with a square of dark chocolate. Set it near the fire so the chocolate can soften while you roast a marshmallow Top with the roasted marshmallow, then another chip.

Strawberry S’mores Cake

Split a store-bought biscuit. Top the bottom with sliced strawberries and a few squares of chocolate. Add 2 roasted marshmallows and the biscuit top.

Banana Split Sandwich

Spread a waffle cookie or pizzelle with strawberry jam; top with sliced bananas. Spread another cookie with chocolate-hazelnut spread. Sandwich the cookies with 2 roasted marshmallows.

Recipes by Stacy Adimando



5 Weeknight Dinners to Cool You Down

Fact: it’s hot outside. But you still need to eat dinner and it still needs to be delicious. These five meals will keep your body temp low and your excitement high. Now how’s that for a cool dinner?!


Monday, August 10

Cold Pasta alla Norma

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4 Ways to Celebrate Lasagna Day… in the Summer!

We’re not quite sure who comes up with all of these whacky food holidays, but whoever it was has a thing for lasagna. Why else would they want to celebrate one of the best cold-weather dishes in the middle of summer? Whatever the reason, we’re still ready to celebrate. These four recipes are a lighter version of this Italian staple. They don’t compromise on flavor, but you’ll still feel like you can run after the ice cream truck afterwards.


Vegetable Lasagna Stacks are super light but still capture that Italian goodness.


No need to stand over a hot stove sautéing ground beef with this Vegetable Lasagna


Pasta Pinwheels allow you to keep the portions on the lighter side


Or, try something completely new like this Mexican Raw Lasagna


Five Handheld Dinner Ideas

It’s summertime and the living’s easy. And the only thing easier than eating a delicious dinner is doing it silverware-free! We’ve got five delicious recipes that go way beyond your typical sammie–and licking your fingers is encouraged!


Monday, July 27

Corn & Poblano Quesadillas with Warm Salsa Verde

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4 Ways to Celebrate National Hot Dog Day

What does it take to make a winning weiner? Pair the newest franks and condiments with fun, fresh toppings. Your crowd will give these top marks!


From top:


Cool Crunch

Applegate Natural Uncured Beef Hot Dog ($6.49) + Frank’s RedHot Slammin’ Sriracha ($3.49) + cucumber + onion rings


Hawaiian Twist

Hillshire Farm Jalapeño & Cheddar Smoked Sausage ($4.99) + Slawsa Spicy (kicky slaw meets relish; $3.99) + pineapple + scallions


California Club

Ball Park Applewood Smoked Chicken Frank ($5.79) + Hidden Valley Cucumber Ranch ($3.59) + avocado + red onion + bacon


Chili Bowl

Oscar Meyer Chili Cheese Dog ($3) + French’s Twangy BBQ Mustard Sauce ($1.99) + Fritos corn chips



Photography by Sarah Anne Ward

Five 30-Minute Dinners for Summer

We know life can get a little hectic in the summer– that’s why Rachael’s 30-Minute Meals are the best thing to happen to dinnertime since sliced bread. We’ve selected five weeknight meals that are perfect for the end of July: they’re flavorful, fresh and easy to prepare. You’ll have plenty of time to spend outside!


Monday, July 20th

Farro Spaghetti with Buttery Tomato Sauce & Farm Spinach


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4 Cocktails to Keep You Cool

The dog days of summer are upon us, and while we’re all about keeping hydrated,  sometimes you need something stiffer. These cocktails are refreshing, delicious and super seasonal– you may even forget how hot it is after all!

Cucumber Gin and Tonic

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