The Big 8

The quickest of check-ins to share this giant pop-tart (galette if you’re fancy!) that I recently made for an 8-year-old’s birthday party. I used recipes in Camilla Wynne’s brilliant book, Jam Bakes. But essentially I rolled out two disks of galette pastry to about the size of a half-sheet pan (12×15?) and put them in the fridge to chill. Using parchment paper, I made a template of a giant “8” that used as much of the surface of the dough as possible. Cut each sheet of dough into an “8” using the template. I then put one of the two “8”s on a parchment-lined baking sheet and piped the filling onto dough leaving a 1-inch border along all of the edges of the dough. For the filling I used both vanilla custard (thick set- about 2 cups?) and a rhubarb and Amarena cherry jam that I had made (about a cup?). I then brushed the exposed edges of dough with water and very carefully placed the second “8” on top, carefully and gently bringing the edges together to seal. I used a fork to press the edges closed in a decorative pattern, and used a paring knife to cut some ventilation holes into the top of the dough. But here is the best part! I then put the entire thing into the freezer. And left it there for a week! (once it is frozen, wrap it well to protect it!) The morning of the party, I baked from frozen (I baked at 425°F for about 45 minutes, or until golden and you can see jam bubbling through vents). It takes about 2 hours to cool enough to glaze, so keep that in mind when planning the day. And then I made a glaze using the syrup from a jar of Amarena cherries, heavy cream, and confectioners sugar. I added a couple of drops of food coloring to make the pink brighter. Anyway, I loved it. The 8-year-old loved it! Would work with any number but you may get fewer servings with other numbers since the “8” really maximizes surface area. I think I managed to carve about 25 small servings out of this beauty.


That’s all! Hope you’re having a good summer.

Eating in London

We recently returned from three weeks in England. We spent a week in Somerset and the Cotswolds, but the bulk of the time was spent in London. It was a dream trip with origins in a week-long trip we had scheduled in 2020 that was canceled for the obvious reason and the longer it was delayed the more it grew. Revenge travel?

We ate a lot of good food in London, it is easy to do. Growing up I remember jokes about British cuisine, but these days I don’t think there is a city I enjoy eating out in more. It’s good fun. And so we had two weeks of meals at restaurants that were old favorites or recommended by friends or written about by people I trust. The funny thing about having that many nice meals in a relatively short amount of time is that it can be disorienting. Meals that might have stood out during a normal week suddenly seem less special. It got me thinking about what makes a good restaurant. And the main thing I’ve arrived at (and this isn’t original) is that it is never just the food. In fact, sometimes I think the food isn’t even at the top of the list. We ate good food at places that didn’t feel great for other reasons. There was a cool new place with incredible food where the staff kept telling us they needed our table in 2 hours (1 hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes…), an iconic favorite that felt “museum-like” (to quote a friend I was complaining about it to), and another that was phoning it in and relying on an endless stream of tourists. We had good company and were on vacation at these spots, so none of this really bothered us. But you know when something is off. A handful of places felt so right that I keep thinking about them…


Let them eat cake

This photo from the set of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette is one of my favorite things. And one doesn’t think about Marie Antoinette without thinking about cake, or at least I don’t. Though I also know that the famous quote was translated wrong or taken out of context or attributed to the wrong person, which some self-righteous nerd explained to me years ago. Truly, who cares.

I’d also never really cared much about proper cakes, the ones with layers and frosting that are served at weddings or birthday parties. They’re just kind of sweet and soft and somehow always a letdown. I would rather have almost anything else—a donut, a danish (a cheese danish!), a tart, even a streusel-topped coffee cake, which is cake but not the kind we’re talking about. And so until a year or two ago, outside of the occasional carrot cake, I had never really made a proper cake.


L + D Gift Guide 2022: Special Guest Edition

[clockwise: Nadia Gohar, Dorie Greenspan, Merve Emre, Camilla Wynne, Kelly Cooper Kordylewski]

This year, in an unprecedented move on my part, I decided to ask other people to contribute to a second, bonus gift guide. This was mostly very selfish. Because my gift guide is always stuff I already have, it doesn’t do me much good. It occurred to me to ask people who I think are very cool for what they would recommend. And it worked! And I have already ordered multiple things on this list. It’s so good! Could not be more thrilled and grateful to have collaborated with these five brilliant, stylish, and wonderful people. Enjoy!


Nadia Gohar is one half of the sister/sister duo behind Gohar World, the brand currently taking the world by storm. Her work and background in the arts, impeccable style, and cleverness helps define the style of the brand. And like all genuinely cool people, she has a great sense of humor and seems to know what is ridiculous and wonderful about lace sleeves for eggs or adult bibs (see my gift guide). A friend who also regularly writes gift guides messaged me a few months ago when Gohar World launched their first collection and said: Truly cannot wait for our holiday guides to all be Gohar World. Which, truly! Because nothing Gohar World sells is necessary, which makes it all so wonderful.

From Nadia:

First on my list, a little jar of something from SOS Chef. Atef’s spice shop in the East Village is pure magic. When I’m there, I like to grab bits to gift to friends. Recently I got the Plum Soaked Sesame Seeds & a jar of freeze-dried capers.

I love giving the Week-end Soap from Santa Maria Novella because I think it’s the perfect gift for someone who’s going to be spending some time away from home- either for the holidays or in general. Three perfectly packaged soaps for someone in a place that’s not their own.

This is a splurge, but I’m obsessed with my metallic silver bedding from Magniberg. Totally festive.

It wouldn’t be a proper gift guide from me without mention of Gohar World ;) Our linens have a special place in my heart because of where and how they’re made. Along with the collaborative creative work I do with my sister, I also oversee the production part of things in Egypt- which mostly takes form in the linens we create. This season, we made a color-block tablecloth, with a duo tone split down the middle. Each square tablecloth comes with buttons and buttonholes, allowing you to attach the squares to expand your table (for the host whose door is always open!)  The three available color combinations are an ode to the painted landscapes of one of our favorite artists, Etel Adnan. 



If you read this blog or care about home baking, Dorie Greenspan likely needs no introduction. Truly one of the greats of the food world–an icon even! I’ve been lucky enough to also call her a friend. We met more than a decade ago at a hot dog stand in Chicago (thanks to our mutual pal David Tamarkin) and I can attest to her being as wonderful as she seems. A few years ago when I was moderating a discussion with Dorie in Chicago, I asked her about being a style icon and she quickly brushed the idea off. But Dorie has impeccable taste and style and we all know it. (She also has a wonderful newsletter that you should subscribe to.)

From Dorie:

This Hermes Scarf is admittedly a splurge, but if you know a stylish baker with a love of France and its pastry, the odds are good that it’ll be the most memorable gift of the season. It’s small more a neckerchief than a scarf (although it does come in a full, tie-it-this-way-and-that size) – but bountiful: There are images of macarons and sweet pears, charlottes, marzipan and frilly cakes galore. And if you think it’s too pretty to wear, you can frame it!

My husband, the breadbaker in the family, saw this offset bread knife at a friend’s house and went out and bought one for himself the next day. It’s one of those things that you might think you don’t need, and then you cut with it and nothing else feels as good ever after – it’s the knife that spoils you for all others. He bought it to cut through croissants, homemade baguettes and artisan loaves with sturdy crusts, but I use it every day too – it’s terrific for chopping bar chocolate into chips (always use an offset serrated knife for that job) and for slicing cakes that have a delicate crumb.

Like a genie in a bottle, a spoonful of this bright, aromatic, deeply flavorful preserved lemon paste makes just about everything taste like a million bucks. I keep a few jars on hand at all times because I get a little panicky if I think my supply has dipped below the safe level. Of course, it’s good in Moroccan dishes – every tagine is better with this paste, but so is pasta of all kinds, dishes with tomatoes, chicken, shrimp or pork, vinaigrette and dozens of vegetables. And if you like a little heat, try the Harissa with Preserved Lemon – it’s as good as it sounds. read more+++

Lottie + Doof Gift Guide 2022

Adult Bib

My main advice this year is to shop Gohar World. Because no place online has a better selection of frivolously wonderful things. Like these adult bibs, which are as unnecessary as they are beautiful—my definition of the perfect gift. The packaging from Gohar World is almost as beautiful and thoughtful as the products, which adds to the fun. Get on board the Gohar World train! 

Portrait Commissions from Christopher Gee

Christopher Gee paints brilliantly moody portraits of people, pets, or places starting at around £200, which is a lot of money for something but not for this. Hopefully he raises his prices, but not until after you order yours. 

Tortilla Press

I want to tell you I am obsessed with this tortilla press without using the word obsessed. This thing is a work of art. It is fun to use and I am convinced it has improved my tortilla-making even if I do still curse a lot.

Perfumer H Candles

I seem to be incapable of writing a gift guide without including Perfumer H, my favorite London perfume shop. But this year I am primarily here to tell you that they are now selling less-expensive versions of their scents and candles. They forgo the beautiful hand blown glass vessels for mass-produced—but surely the smell’s the thing! And the hay candle they created in collaboration with Osip restaurant is really wonderful. 

Rodeo T-Shirt

A good t-shirt. Clever. Well-designed.

October 22

Cranberry Gingerbread Crumble Bars

I recently made these Cranberry Gingerbread Crumble Bars that are extremely delicious. Recipe is by Asha Loupy, who is a genius recipe writer. They are a riff on another bar she makes with strawberries and pistachios, which I make all of the time. Now we have a version for each half of the year. And for the record, I think these are especially good cold (they need to be stored in the fridge).

Doma Cafe

Somehow took me longer than it should have to try Doma, a Croatian cafe in Chicago. I am in love. Not only is the food great (the hash brown is a work of art). But the design of the space is so rad. Feels like a mini-vacation. Can’t recommend highly enough. Also, they sell a t-shirt with the motto: “It’s Healthy if You Like It”, which—WORD.

Rachel Connolly

You know that feeling when a baby is so cute you want to bite it? I sometimes feel that way about writing. Like, the writing is so good I want to do more than just read it. I feel this way about Rachel Connolly. I’ve followed her work for years and she is one of a handful of people who seem to regularly make me better at thinking. She recently wrote a beautiful essay for The Cut called My Childhood Under Northern Ireland’s Abortion Ban, which tries to unpack the consequences of the environments we grow up in. read more+++

Into It, July 22

We were in Michigan last week and on a very hot and humid day went to an orchard to pick fruit. We came home with more sour cherries and blueberries than we probably needed and the seasonal fruit timer ticking away. I made a cherry pie (this recipe has become my favorite) and then decided to make jam with the blueberries. I used a recipe from Camilla Wynne’s Jam Bake (I know I am a broken record) that infuses the blueberry jam with coffee. Weirdsies! I couldn’t really imagine it but gave it a try because I’m a wild and reckless guy. The jam is super good! It’s hard to describe what happens. You can taste the blueberry jam, and also a hint of coffee. They don’t necessarily blend together, my palate kind of vibrates between the two. And if I didn’t know there was coffee in the jam, I might think there was just a sort of vague nuttiness which helps temper the sweetness. Anyway, I am a fan. The recipe I used made 5 pints of jam and all you would need to do to try is to put a tablespoon or so of coffee beans into a tea strainer and boil away with the jam. Or buy Camilla’s book.

Some other stuff I’m into…


Into It #1

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I think is cool and why. Or maybe, more accurately, I have been thinking more about what is not cool.

I regularly get sent catalogs from Flamingo Estate, a company in Los Angeles that insists it is selling a “natural” hedonistic lifestyle, but actually feels like a 1990’s shopping mall Crabtree & Evelyn (with a dose of Colonialism). Flamingo estate, which is…a farm? a house? an ad agency?…a brand! sells Instagram-ready vegetables and other household products to rich people who believe in vibes, pseudo-science, and “clean” ingredients. The catalogs are highly (read: expensively!) produced, inexplicably full of aesthetically ideal bodies (mostly unclothed) and $180 jars of honey. I wonder where I went wrong to end up on their mailing list. It all feels like it was created by some sort of horrible advertising algorithm made sentient. Somehow humanless and absolutely humorless. And also strangely untrustworthy—there is no way this relatively small organization can be producing the number of products they are producing to the quality they claim. But it is the humorless part that really kills me. Even when they do ridiculous things, like sell a bag of animal shit for $75 (I’m not joking), they somehow make it no fun. Maybe stuff that is only for rich people will never be very cool. The whole thing feels, as the kids would say, a little cringe.

On the other hand, Laila Gohar, along with her sister Nadia, recently launched a houseware company, Gohar World, that sells bonnets for fruit, black silk bags festooned with bows and ribbons to carry your baguettes in, and adult bibs made out of linen, lace, and silk ribbon. Gohar, who straddles the line between chef and artist (leaning art), is regularly profiled in the NYTimes and Vogue and it is hard for the term It Girl (groan) to not cross your mind when observing her role in our culture. But the thing is, Gohar is cool, despite it all. And the stuff she is selling is all ridiculously wonderful. A friend recently assumed I would not like Gohar and lumped her together with Flamingo Estate. I argued. The two could not be more different. Gohar’s work feels earnest and fun and understands the parts of itself that are ridiculous. It makes all the difference! And while most people won’t spend hundreds of dollars on a silk bag for their baguette, the buying of things seems beside the point. Anyone can make jello centerpiece, or find some doilies at a thrift store. We could all get weirder. Her relationship to art and food doesn’t feel exclusive, it feels inspiring. If coolness requires humor, Gohar’s got it.

“When you put my work into these spaces, it’s sort of like an equalizer,” Laila, 33, says. “Everyone is equally confused.” (quote from The Cut)

Genuine lol.

Some other stuff I’m into:

Snickerdoodle Shortbread

Hi. Checking in to say hello. I have been spending my time…I don’t honestly know how I spend my time. Mostly horrified by the news of the world? But I have been kind of into baking again lately. Inspired by some new books and some folks doing great work online.

These cookies, from the wonderful Cookies: The New Classics by Jesse Szewcyzk, are really great. A snickerdoodle for people who prefer shortbread. I am those people! The clever addition of cream of tartar to the dough to give a hint of tang really makes these and complicates them just enough to make them feel special. I might argue they taste more like Cinnamon Toast Crunch shortbread, but that is only a compliment (related: has anyone else tried that Churros cereal?!—so good!). They also recall some of the bizcochitos I ate in New Mexico. Whatever you call them, they are super and make a great springboard—you can easily experiment with other flavored sugars.

I hope everyone is doing as well as possible as we all try to figure out how to live with (or revolt against?!) the constantly changing new normal.