Sassy Flower

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! read more+++

Lottie + Doof Gift Guide 2018

Alessi Colo-alto Salad Serving Set

I’m super into this serving set and kept giving it as a gift so I eventually bought myself a set. They’re such beautiful shapes and a good weight and vaguely art deco in a Poirot sort of way.

Strudel, Noodles & Dumplings by Anja Dunk

My vote for the best-looking cookbook of 2018, it is also super charming and I’ve liked what I’ve made from it—it is a cool little world.

The Nordic Baking Book by Magnus Nilsson

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.

Diaspora Co. Turmeric

A really great product from a really great company. Support businesses like Sana’s! You can make some Turmeric Millet-Nola with it and give that as gifts.

Aesop Brass Oil Burner

I was feeling a little spendy when I bought this, and like all of Aesop’s products it is an extravagance, but it is a beautiful object and a handsome way to diffuse fragrance.

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Cranberry Linzer Tart

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. read more+++

Happy Birthday to Us

My Dear Readers,

 

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. read more+++

Jam Bars

Jam bars are not usually my jam. These are an exception. They’re from the Tartine All Day book, which I still really love. They are gluten free if you use the right oats and wholesome and super easy to throw together. In the past when I have made jam bar recipes I eat one and then never really want another. They wither so quickly, the jam seeping into the dough and turning it all wet and sweet. Not these! I ate all of these. They keep pretty well in the fridge (or at room temp), but you could also freeze them individually and they’ll thaw fast. Kind of nice to have in case of emergency. The tricks here are the confident amount of salt and the wise addition of lemon juice (and salt) to the store bought jam. The almond butter lends a nice richness to the whole thing. They’re great. read more+++

Randoms 6.13.18

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?
  • Always.
  • 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 smells 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.

This Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake from Jessie Sheehan is a beaut.  read more+++

O’Keeffe Casual

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?

 

 

Randoms 4.16.18

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. read more+++

Loba Pastry + Coffee

There were never any chairs at Bad Wolf Coffee, a beloved Chicago coffee shop known for its stellar pastries. You don’t think much about chairs until they aren’t there. There was a table customers could stand at, but the message was clear—don’t linger. When Val Taylor, a former Bad Wolf employee and supertalented pastry chef, took over the space a couple of years ago, one of the first things she did was add chairs. It was a small correction that significantly changed both the way the space worked and felt. Taylor also changed the name to Loba, Spanish for wolf, or more specifically she-wolf. The name is perfect. read more+++