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The Pastry School Diaries: Patience is a Virtue

Editorial Assistant Lauren Katz is 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 experiences! 

To this day, I am continually asked the question, “why pastry—why not culinary?” My go-to response is something along the lines of, “I’ve always wanted to delve deeper into the world of pastry arts. Since there is such a science behind it, I know I would benefit and learn more at pastry school than at culinary school. Besides, I don’t have the patience to learn how to chiffonade basil, dice an onion or poach an egg—I do that all the time at home already!”


Want to know what else I don’t have the patience for? Building, frosting and decorating a perfect cake.


We’ve transitioned from baking rustic desserts like crumb cake and muffins to more detail-oriented techniques: using a serrated knife to create a perfectly flat and round cake; Frosting in even layers that conceal any cake or crumbs; Piping perfect shells and rosettes around the edges to make a bakery-quality confection. As I’m getting my first taste (figuratively and literally!) of what our final project will be (creating a three-tiered celebration cake), I’m truly beginning to understand that patience is a virtue. Every step must be taken in a slow, methodical manner—you absolutely cannot rush the process. If you slice off too much of your cake, there’s not much you can do to remedy it, and while frosting can be spread and piped over again, there’s no hope in getting those little stray crumbs out (a cake baker’s worst nightmare).


So as I’m learning from my mistakes and trying new things, I’m thankful for this opportunity of trial and error. Am I set out to be the next Duff Goldman? Probably not. But I’m looking forward to seeing my skills in the cake department improve.


Check back next week for more pastry school fun!

The Pastry School Diaries: Saying Goodbye to Gluten

Editorial Assistant Lauren Katz is 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 experiences! 


As gluten intolerance and its awareness grows, I’ve become more and more grateful that my body allows me to eat whatever I want. Being so invested in food, cooking and baking, I can’t imagine the struggle that 18 million Americans go through being sensitive or intolerant to gluten. For 12 hours a week, I am completely immersed in flour, doughs, cakes and tarts—a celiac’s worst nightmare. But this week, we explored the (wider than I expected) world of gluten-free baking.
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The Pastry School Diaries: Blurring the Lines Between Sweet and Savory

Editorial Assistant Lauren Katz is 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 experiences! 


This week was all about making and rolling out doughs to use for various techniques and fillings. Sound familiar? While the second half of our doughs unit has focused on this subject matter, this week was a bit different in that when I say “rolling out doughs,” I really mean rolling out the dough. We spent the majority of our class time rolling and stretching linzer, puff pastry and strudel doughs to various sizes in order to be formed and filled.

The most manageable–and easy to make at home–was the linzer dough. You simply press half of the dough into the bottom of a cake pan, cover it with jam and then roll the remaining dough out into a flat sheet. Use a pizza wheel to cut straight lines that will become the lattice (or criss-cross) top and roll small balls to outline the tart. Sprinkle the top with almonds and bake until golden, brown and delicious! We used a hazelnut flour-based dough, which created a rich and warm flavor that tasted like fall.


Puff pastry dough is a bit more labor intensive, as you have to repeat a layering, folding and rolling process four times in order to create paper-thin layers of dough and butter. It is then rolled out into a uniform sheet, cut into strips, circles, halves–you name it–filled, formed and baked.


Rosemary parmesan straws

Turnovers filled with prosciutto, mozzarella and parsley


Strudel dough is an easy mixture of high gluten flour, salt, eggs, oil and water. The hard part comes in when you have to roll it. It took four people to roll the dough out to cover two entire tables (about 4 feet by 6 feet). We then poured one large row of filling at the end of the dough and began to roll it up. The strudel bakes in a large U shape and is cut into squares once it has cooled. This was a very fun and interesting process, but it is something I’ll probably never be able to do at home in my tiny kitchen (New York City problems).


I am particularly intrigued by (and value the importance of) these techniques because of how versatile these doughs are. We made a variety of sweet and savory fillings for each recipe because the doughs themselves contain very little sugar or salt. Rather, they are a blank canvas and serve more as a delicious vehicle for the filling. Here are some of my favorite sweet and savory filling combinations



Apples, cinnamon, raisins and walnuts

Farmer cheese, raisins, lemon and vanilla

Spinach and cheese

Butternut squash and leek


Puff pastry:

Parmesan and paprika

Smoked salmon and chive cream cheese

Cinnamon sugar

Spinach and roquefort


What are your favorite fillings for these doughs?


Check back next week for another delicious tale!

10th Anniversary Recap: How New York City Helped Celebrate 10 Years of Rachael Ray Every Day

It was a food- and fun-filled day on October 14th, as lots of New Yorkers came out to celebrate 10 years of our magazine. A Rachael Ray Every Day food truck arrived bright and early to midtown, NYC to pass out breakfast sandwiches and hash browns to hungry commuters.


Meanwhile, Rachael appeared on Morning Joe, sharing recipes from her new cookbook, Everyone Is Italian on Sunday, and recounting lots of delicious memories from the last decade. The hot topic of the conversation: how gathering around the table with family and friends enriches your life of so many levels!



Switching channels to PIX11, our Executive Food Editor, Nina Elder, shared some fun fall squash recipes  (like Paella-Stuffed Squash and Spaghetti Squash Carbonara) and a nifty pancake trick from our October issue.


As the afternoon approached, the food truck began to serve lunch: grassfed angus beef burgers with applewood smoked bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, tomatoes and a jazzy sauce with a side of Belgian-style frites and garlic aioli.



There were tattoos, sunglasses and plenty of selfies, too.


Photo courtesy of Adrienne Longo Photography

But the fun didn’t stop there! We ended our day with an anniversary party at Toro to celebrate with Rachael and her friends. It was definitely a night to remember!

Rachael and our Editor in Chief, Lauren Purcell

Celebrity chefs Anne Burrell, Marc Murphy and Rachael Ray

 Photo courtesy of Adrienne Longo Photography


We’re going to be celebrating all month long — and we hope you’ll join us!   10 of Rachael’s chef pals created special burgers in her honor. You can get all of the recipes here.



Plus, the chefs will be serving their burgers at their restaurants for a limited time throughout the month! If you live near any of these eateries, be sure to stop by for one — or three!

Recipe Roots: Ramen Cheeseburgers

We’ve already told you how much we love mash-ups. Whether it’s two Italian classics crammed into one (hello chicken parm pizza!) or a French onion soup-Chinese dumpling hybrid, the delicious end results are greater than the sum of their parts. Such is the charm of the ramen burger. When you cross the all-American sandwich with the ultimate Japanese comfort food, everybody wins.


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It’s the Bombe!

What does a “women’s” food magazine look like nowadays? While some of our readers might say “Every Day with Rachael Ray,” there’s a new(ish) mag in town devoted exclusively to celebrating women and the food that they make (and love). It’s called Cherry Bombe, if you haven’t heard of it, and this past weekend the magazine came to life in New York City at its first ever conference, deliciously called “The Cherry Bombe Jubilee.”


Photo courtesy of Cherry Bombe

The day-long event attracted all-stars from the culinary world (Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, Marion Nestle, plus plenty of others), as well as inspiring ladies from other walks of professional life—makeup maven Bobbi Brown shared her cosmetics success story; Laurie David, producer of An Inconvenient Truth, promoted Fed Up, her upcoming film on the link between sugar and obesity.


Cherry Bombe’s founders, Claudia Wu and Kerry Diamond (who also starred in our April Southern brunch feature), curated panels that ran the gamut from food politics to entrepreneurship, and real talk prevailed. Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in New York City and the Los Angeles restaurateur Suzanne Goin had a frank (and at times grim) appraisal of what it means to juggle motherhood and have a restaurant. Goin fought back tears when she recounted a story of her son telling his babysitter, “Some kids don’t have nannies, they have moms.” (Did we mention that the moderator, Bon Appétit’s Christine Muhlke, had her own toddler in her lap for much of the interview?!)


Challenges were identified, to be sure (“maybe we should change the model for what we consider success for women in food,” suggested former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl in response to recent cries of inequality in the kitchen). But mostly, the discussions were encouraging for attendees, many of whom represented different parts of the food world today—cooking, academics, business ownership, farming, writing and more—and most of whom were women. “At 25 I didn’t actually know I could have a career in food,” said Reichl in a closing interview. And we all know how that turned out. If things have changed so dramatically since Reichl was 25, then think how much more they can change in the years ahead? To be discussed, perhaps, at next year’s Jubilee.


—Gabriella Gershenson

New Jewish Recipes to Make Bubbe Proud

If you can’t get enough Root Vegetable Tzimmes or Challah Honey Bread Pudding from our January/February New Jewish Deli Cuisine story, wait until you try these. Two delicious delis have graciously shared with us their recipes for popular menu items, so if you can’t get to New York City or San Francisco, you can make these comfort-food classics at home:


Fried Noodle Kugel from Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen in San Francisco, CA


MAKES ¼ pan of kugel = 1 dozen fritters

PREP 30 min

COOK 5-10 min


Cold leftover noodle kugel (see below for recipe)

2          qts. vegetable oil, for frying

1          cup flour

1          tsp. potato starch

¼         tsp. salt

1          egg yolk

1 ¼      cups seltzer water, chilled

Maple syrup, warmed, for serving

Maldon sea salt, for serving


1. Squeeze a 1 tbsp. portion of cold kugel to form a tight ball. Repeat with remaining leftover kugel. Place balls on a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to fry.

2. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot heat the oil over medium-high heat, until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350 degrees. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, potato starch and salt. Stir in the yolk and half of the seltzer to make a thick batter. Gently stir in the remaining seltzer.

3. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, dunk kugel balls into the batter and carefully transfer the hot oil, one by one, working in batches if necessary. Fry, using the tongs to gently move the balls if they are sticking to one another or the bottom of the pot, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve with a drizzle of warm maple syrup and a sprinkling of sea salt.


Wise Sons Noodle Kugel



PREP 1 hour plus 1 hour rest

COOK 45 minutes


2 2/3    cups cottage cheese

2          cups sour cream

2          cups whole milk

1 1/3    cups plain, whole milk yogurt

1          cup orange juice

6          eggs

1          tbsp. pure vanilla extract

1 3/4    cups granulated sugar

1 1/2    cups raisins

8          cups wide egg noodles

1          stick butter

3          cups corn flakes

3/4       cup light brown sugar


1. Grease a 15×19-inch baking dish. In a food processor, puree the cottage cheese until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in the sour cream, milk, yogurt, orange juice, eggs, vanilla, sugar and raisins.

2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the noodles according to package directions, until just past al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Transfer the noodles to the prepared baking dish and pour 8 cups of the filling mixture over top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 350º. In a large bowl, crush the cornflakes until crumbled into pieces no larger than a grain of rice. Meanwhile, in a small saucepot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture over the crushed cornflakes and stir gently to coat. Cover kugel evenly with cornflake topping and bake for 45 minutes or until top is browned and kugel is set in the center. Serve hot or cool completely, then refrigerate.



Smoked Whitefish Salad with Horseradish Cream from Mile End Delicatessen in New York City





8          oz. boneless smoked trout or other white fish

I           sour pickle, finely diced

1          large rib celery, peeled and finely diced

1          small red onion, finely diced

3          scallions, thinly sliced

3          tbsp. chopped fresh dill

2          tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2          tbsp. EVOO

½         cup coarsely chopped fresh celery leaves

½         cup drained prepared horseradish in beet juice

½         cup crème fraiche

4 to 6   bagels, split, for serving

Plain cream cheese, for serving


1. Peel the skin off the trout and flake the flesh into a medium bowl. Add the pickle, celery, onion, scallion and dill and toss well. Drizzle the lemon juice and oil on top, season with the pepper and toss well. Refrigerate until ready to serve (up to 2 hours).

2. In a small bowl, stir together the horseradish and crème fraiche. Add the celery leaves to the smoked fish mixture. Spread bagel halves with cream cheese, spoon on some of the smoked fish and drizzle with the horseradish cream.


Happy Friday! Celebrate with a Bacon Latte

You’re not seeing things, I really did just use the words, “bacon” and “latte” in the same sentence. Treehaus, a Midtown hot spot for artisanal coffee, pastries, sandwiches, crepes and an all-day buffet — and an EDWRR staff favorite! — has introduced the king of all flavored espresso beverages: A bacon latte.


I was a little skeptical at first, wondering how on earth someone could infuse the smokey, salty flavors of bacon into a latte, but the barista told me it was a combination of maple syrup and a top-secret “essence” crafted by himself and the restaurant owner. It’s neither a syrup nor a flavored cream, and the most mysterious part of all is — get this — it’s completely vegetarian! Garnished with a strip of candied bacon (the only non-vegetarian element) and a milk foam piggy, this was certainly one of the most interesting — and adorable! — ways to start my Friday morning.


The latte was rich and sweet from the maple syrup, with no need for additional sweetener. There was a smoky aftertaste which definitely resembled that of a succulent strip of bacon, but I found myself missing that true wake-up-and-smell-the-bacon bacon flavor. But my latte was thoroughly enjoyed, especially alongside another one of Treehaus’s bacon concoctions, a bacon Rice Krispie treat!


Carnivores and vegetarians unite: If you’re in need of a midday pick-me-up (trust me, this thing is strong), the bacon latte is calling your name.