Bryan’s Favorites

You’ve heard a lot about Bryan over the past two years. He is the only other person who has tasted every recipe on this site and so I thought now might be a good time to let him pick some favorites. I seriously could not do this without him. At long last, he speaks…

Thanks, Tim, for inviting me to do this! And, thanks, readers, for staying tuned. I really enjoy getting to be behind the scenes of this amazing project. When Tim started discussing this over two years ago, I knew that he’d be great at it, but he still continues to impress me with his writing, photography, and mad kitchen skills. I get to eat some seriously good food, y’all. It was really difficult to narrow it down, but here are the five that I remember most fondly/crave most often.


Tim doesn’t like chocolate. I, on the other hand, would pass up almost any dessert on the menu for the one with “devil”, “death”, or “molten” in the name. Tim knows this and occasionally indulges me. The greatest of these selfless acts was this stracciatella. It is amazing. The sweet, smooth vanilla really highlights the deep, bitter, chocolatiness of those thin crunchy swirls, making them taste even chocolatier. This is a truly impressive trick for someone who claims not to “get” chocolate.


I started my life in Canada, where the proper condiment for french fries is vinegar—and not the malty British pub stuff, the white stuff you buy by the jug to clean your windows. So maybe that’s why I was so impressed by the fact that you could get the taste of vinegar inside the potato. It’s more likely though that these things were just that good—charred outside, tender inside, an impressive zing throughout. They were unique and delicious, and made a memorable BBQ even better.


Tim’s rugelach are seriously delicious. I can’t explain why. Walnuts, raisins, apricots—all of these are fine, but aren’t anything I get excited over. But mix them together—with flour, butter, love, etc.—and they truly become more than the sum of their parts. Flaky, chewy, sweet, salty magic. We eat these standing around our kitchen.


This and the pickled peppers (favorite recipe #6—honorable mention) recently led me to boldly proclaim that thyme is my favorite herb. What about oregano? What about cilantro? What about basil? I know, I know. Tim and some friends fought valiantly for those, but I would not be swayed. Make this and you’ll understand.


This is one of the few things that Tim will bake unplanned and unannounced. I’ll hear him fussing in the kitchen and assume it’s some new recipe from a new cookbook using fruit we bought over the weekend for a post he’ll write later that evening. But then I go investigate and he’s pouring liquid caramel over this familiar crumbly yellow cake. He just wanted a treat. I love it too, but Tim is unusually stingy with this one. He insists it’s his favorite not mine and therefore he shouldn’t have to share. Now that it’s officially one of my favorites too, he’ll have no choice. Sorry, boo.  : )

28 comments to “Bryan’s Favorites”

  1. Brian, altogether, your 5 choices make up a great meal… a vegetable, an entree, and three desserts. Perfect!

  2. Sorry, I mean BRYAN… it’s disrespectful to misspell someone’s name!

  3. Great list Bryan! And Tim, maybe you could take pity on a pregnant lady and mail her some of those rugelach? Good lord, I didn’t need to see those this morning…

  4. I think it is funny that Bryan’s favorite foods are all beige. He no fool!
    Beth, when are you having baby?! I feel like you have been pregnant forever. ; )

  5. Great picks, Bryan! I need to make those vinegar potatoes before outdoor grilling season is over, yum.

  6. Not the stracciatella—black and white don’t make beige!

  7. I love this! I made that caramel cake for my husband’s bday last year and I had to say it is seriously addictive. Congrats on 2 years, Tim. And glad to see Bryan on here, too :)

  8. Awww. You two are so cute! I admire you from afar…San Francisco to be exact. Keep up the fabulous cooking, eating & blogging. You have a forever fan in me.

  9. Thanks so much, Dorothe!

  10. Thank you for adding several items to my “must make” list…that pizza cipolla is one. And vinegar potatoes?! Are you kidding me? I am British and so my heart lies with malt vinegar but I can make an exception for these lovelies!

  11. Angharad- just clicked over to your site- beautiful photos! Keep up the good work!

  12. Those rugelach look so nice! My sister is coming to stay this weekend and those are on the list for brunch. Can’t wait to try them!

  13. Thanks all, for complimenting my picks. Given the great stuff Tim’s got on here though, it’d be hard to come up with bad selections.

  14. Great reminders of some of the buried gems here, I must try the stracciatella!!

  15. Bryan, time to start your own competing blog. Make it all about chocolate and thyme. I’ll be your best reader, promise.

  16. great list, Brian! I am seriously wishing i had some vinegared potatoes right now (which is weird, because usually i’d be drooling over that caramel sauce….). probably because i’m eating grits for lunch, and it sounds…. am i southern, or what?!

  17. Yum! I’m pretty sure I need to make that stracciatella ASAP! So long diet . . . hello delight!

  18. I made those vinegar potatoes and i added whole peeled garlic cloves and a couple of bay leaves – plus – some salt or fish sauce tot taste. Then I fried them, I did not have a grill but since I live in a Chicago one-bedroom apt – my whole being reeked of garlic and vinegar – for weeks!!!! This version is reminiscent of a variation of Philippine adobo. Yes folks, I am Filipino – and I Filipinized this wonderful Canadian concoction and it is still rockin!!

  19. Looks super yummy

  20. vinegar potatoes!!! i’m not canadian, but i’ve loved vinegar since i was a tot (pickled beets went on a first grade place mat as my “favorite food”!) so these sound delicious. on the menu for tonight, i think!
    thanks for sharing highlights :)

  21. love your choices bryan…thanks for sharing!!
    i am with you about the chocolate…
    great post (thanks tim!!)
    & i am going to bake the pizza cipolla asap!

  22. I also love vinegar potatoes. But, it never occurred to me to cook them in vinegar. Thanks for teaching me something new.

  23. Wow. I just stumbled across your site, after someone asked if I had ever read your blog, saying that my blog reminded them of yours. What I thought was just a passing comment, I know now was an amazing compliment. Every one of your photos is more delectable than the last. Great recipes, and ideas. Your vinegar potatoes sound great! And who doesn’t “get” chocolate?! lol. It’s amazing! I will definitely be adding this to my google reader. Thanks for sharing! =)

  24. I wanted to follow up to the above comment and say that beige food usually = butter and carbs are involved, so I can’t blame Bryan at all! :) Also, while it seems I have been pregnant forever I am finally in the home stretch…due in about 6 weeks.

  25. I love hearing Tim’s voice on Lottie + Doof. Nice you came out from behind the curtain for this post. And, enjoyed hearing your favorites. A man who whips up a caramel cake JUST because he needed a treat? You found a keeper!

  26. that made me hungry… and miss you two!!!! great entry briiiii!

  27. Thanks, Rima. But it’s actually spelled “bryyyyy.” —I miss you too.

  28. I don’t even know ya’ll, but I can tell that you’re stinking cute together.

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