Chia Seed Pudding with Blackberry Compote


April is my favorite month for a trillion reasons. For starters, it’s my birth month (April 2)! And it’s SPRING. And it’s National Poetry Month, which might just seem like another obscure, made-up holiday, but it’s not. I promise.

This one’s actually very real and very official, and it was introduced by the equally real, equally official Academy of American Poets all the way back in 1996. Since then, it’s been adopted by thousands of schools and bookshops and libraries, and now it brings joy to people all over the world, including me, and hopefully, in just a moment, you.


Last night, I attended the Academy’s annual Poetry & The Creative Mind reading at Lincoln Center here in New York City. Meryl Streep read two of her favorite poems (!!!) as did Meg Ryan (!!!!!!!) and also Wayne Brady (…?…!!!!!!!!!!). There was ukulele-playing. And singing. And a very sweet audience comprised of people whose average age was likely trice mine.

Anyway, it was a lovely night, and it got me thinking that I should really highlight a few of my favorite poems here on the blog and on my YouTube channel from time to time.

Enter: today’s post. “Poetry and pudding.” It’s an excuse for me to share my most-loved poems with you under the innocent guise of alliteration. Every time I make a dish that starts with “P,” I’ll share a poem, too. (This will probably be equal parts genius and hilarious. You try figuring out a way to combine poetry with a food blog.)

There’s a beautiful quote by Marlene Dietrich that reads, “It is a joy to find thoughts one might have beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognizably wiser than oneself,” and that’s how I’ve always felt about the poems I’ve loved (although Dietrich was actually talking about quotations in general). Good poetry encapsulates thoughts we’ve always had, or thoughts we didn’t know we were having, and weaves them into something beautiful and pocket-sized—a gem brilliant and substantive enough to merit our interest, but always small enough for us to carry. And then, at an arm’s length, it becomes easier to see, understand, untangle, admire, or laugh at whatever that thought was that brought us to the poem in the first place.

“For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.” (That’s Mary Oliver.)

So, without further ado, a few of my personal favorites, after which, of course, is the promised recipe for vanilla chia pudding with a berry compote, which is so delicious and really doesn’t even need any sweetener if you mix it all together.

xx R

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Red Wine Chocolate Cake


Red wine chocolate cake juuuust might be my new favorite kind of cake. Yes, you can taste the wine, and yes, it is every bit as magical as it sounds. Also, the batter comes together in one bowl, which means this seemingly fancy recipe is actually way easier than it sounds. You just plop everything together, mix it up, throw it in the oven, and that’s that. No double-boiler. No offset spatulas. No…whatever else fancy people use to make their fancy cakes.

So that’s pretty fantastic.

But truthfully, besides just wanting an excuse to open a bottle of red and blast “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” on a quiet Sunday evening, I actually baked this boozy beauty to celebrate the fact that I’m now a reporter over at Food & Wine Magazine! Because it’s food…and wine…it’s cake…but there’s also wine…GET IT?!

It was the best thing I could think of.

Speaking of thinking of things, I actually didn’t think up this genius idea. I wish! That credit goes to the one and only Deb Perelman (everyone’s favorite food blogger), the voice behind Smitten Kitchen (everyone’s favorite food blog). I tweaked a few things here and there, but it’s nearly identical to her original recipe, which you can find here. I suggest you do go find it, if only for the beautifully personal and reflective post that accompanies it.

Anyway, I’m loving life at Food & Wine and will occasionally share articles and other work-related fun here / on Instagram / all over the place, so look out for that. And while you’re looking out, go ahead and make this cake. You won’t regret it. I, personally, will be bringing it to dinner parties until the end of time.

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I’m just gonna say it: Nobody. Likes. Hamantaschen.

Why not, you lucky, uninitiated few ask? Well, to put it politely, they’re dry and crumbly and they lack sweetness. And to put it less politely, THEY TASTE LIKE SAND. (No offense to sand.)

Just take my word for it. They’re to be avoided at all costs.

But these ones — the ones I introduce you to in the video above and the recipe below — are different. No, really. I promise! They’re loaded with more butter, for one thing. And a generous coating of egg wash makes them more reminiscent of a flaky French pastry than the hard-as-rocks cookie you remember from your Hebrew school days. Last but certainly not least, the dried fruit fillings of your nightmares have been replaced with flaked coconut, caramel, chocolate chips, and all sorts of other deliciousness.


If that’s not enough to get you excited about hamantaschen, invite some friends over and see if you can rediscover the traditional cookie’s magic together. Or, well, discover it for the first time. Either/or. Click here to find my full how-to for throwing your very own hamantaschen-baking party over at (more on that in the video above!).

And as always…subscribe, subscribe, subscribe!

Happy Purim, everyone!

xx R

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Healthier Fish Tacos


Another video! (…Another chance to subscribe!)

Okay. Fish tacos. I make them for dinner once every few weeks, which is, admittedly, a teeny bit strange. I know they’re typically eaten in the summer, by the beach, après-surf…but I can’t think of one good reason why we shouldn’t eat them year-round. It’s early March in New York, and I think we could all use as much colorful, happiness-inducing stuff as possible.

This is colorful, happiness-inducing stuff. Lemme tell ya.

The best part? I made ’em healthy! (I can’t be eating Rockaway-style fish tacos every couple of weeks, you guys. I have a YouTube channel to maintain. *hairflip*) I swap out the mayo for Greek yogurt, adding some extra spice to keep things exciting. Also, the corn tortillas are gluten-free, which doesn’t really concern me, but I sure like saying it, and it may concern some of you, so…there you have it! And last but certainly not least, the fish isn’t fried; it’s baked and then broiled. So it’ll still have that totally necessary, extra-crispy exterior, but you won’t lose any sleep at night. Win-win.

Keep reading for the recipe!

P.S. I do love Miles Teller; I cannot tell a lie. Don’t ask me to explain myself. The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.

xx R

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Whipped Cream in a Jar


I think I’m getting the hang of this whole YouTube thing. And I kind of love it. Today, I’m showing you how to make homemade whipped cream in a jar. A JAR. This would be pretty perfect for those extra-busy holidays where you’ve already got ~294038 dirty whisks staring up at you from the dishwasher. Or, you know, just for any old day when you’re craving something fresh, sweet, and special.

I know it’s a pretty straightforward recipe, but it’s also a really important one that you’ll use again and again. So, why not simplify it even further?

Many apologies to fans of W.B. Yeats. (I’m one myself!) Promise I cleaned the book off thoroughly.

I’ll leave you with a nice poem of his, anyway, to make amends.

And below that, you’ll find the ever-so-simple whipped cream recipe.

Enjoy! xx

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
by William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in bee-loud glad.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

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BIG NEWS!!!!!!!

Drumroll, please…

…I started a YouTube channel!

I assume you weren’t too caught off-guard by that news because 1) I love making videos and 2) there’s a giant thumbnail of the first video right above this block of text and my face is featured prominently. Powers of inference, people. Powers of inference.

Anyway, I’m soooooo excited about this new development. SO. EXCITED. I feel like it’ll be the perfect way to share recipes and life updates and who the heck knows what else with my friends and family and all of you mysterious and lovely blog-readers of mine.

I’m already planning tons more fun videos — in fact, a few are processing on my computer as we speak — so if you’re interested in viewing any of those, kindly subscribe! And sign up your friends and cousins and totally random acquaintances while you’re at it, too.

I started things off with popovers, which are frankly so simple/light/airy they don’t need too much of an introduction, but I *will* say that if you’re planning on hosting brunch for friends soon, these would go over splendidly. I’m partial to the cinnamon-sugar ones myself. And you absolutely don’t need to use a fancy popover pan for these. From experience, I can say with certainty that muffin tins will work just fine; you’ll just end up with a slightly more squat shape.

The recipe for those glorious, air-filled popovers is below (and in the video, duh!). Have fun, get baking, and check back to my channel soon for more videos.

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Heart-Shaped Egg-In-A-Hole


Traditional (read: non-cutesified) egg-in-a-hole is one of those quintessential, back-pocket breakfast recipes that everyone should know by heart. It’s easy and impressive and kills two birds with one stone. And that phrase is uncomfortably apt in this context, but you know what I mean.

So even if you can’t bring yourself to haul out the heart cookie cutters for this lovey-dovey version, you might as well learn / memorize / get a tattoo of the general recipe. I promise it’ll come in handy.

In the meantime, happy almost Valentine’s Day!!!!! If you’ve got a Valentine, HOORAY. Make them toast. If, on the other hand, you are alone as alone can be, never fear: I dreamed up a fun solo night plan for ya over on Martha Stewart! (Quick disclaimer that “fun” is loosely defined here and includes making pairs of felted mittens from old sweaters.)

Personally, I’m most excited to raid the candy aisles on the 15th and come up with some fun chocolate recipes with my finds. Stay tuned.

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3 Breakfast Smoothies


I really wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a morning person, which might surprise you given that A) I worked at a morning show for a long time and loved every minute of it, B) one of my all-time favorite books is quite literally titled “Why I Wake Early”, C) I do often jump out of bed and immediately begin singing the “Happy Working Song” from Disney’s Enchanted, and D) okay, OKAY, yes, I own this embarrassingly overpopulated Pinterest board dedicated to the joys of waking up early.

(Please note that I created said board back when I thought my Pinterest profile was private.) (Sigh.)

Anyway, while I’d really rather think of myself as an an all-times-of-day, does-not-discriminate sort of person, it’s true: I think mornings are great. And the best part about them just might be…smoothies! I threw these three together for FabFitFun’s online magazine and will link you guys early next week. In the meantime, you can snag all the recipes below and finally see for yourself just how wonderful it can be to wake up a little bit earlier. (You’ve been warned, though: You will get a little pin-happy in the process.)

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On My Nightstand: “Dorie’s Cookies” by Dorie Greenspan



(Okay, quick disclaimer before we get to the fun stuff: The “On My Nighstand” series doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for this particular book. I don’t actually read cookbooks before I fall asleep at night. Promise. But I do tend to keep the books I’ve most recently been perusing/loving on my nightstand before they eventually make their way back to my bookshelves. So. Let’s just go with it.)

Now that THAT’S out of the way…I have another beautiful book to share with you guys. It’s Dorie Greenspan’s newest book, “Dorie’s Cookies,” and it’s gorgeous, funny, and SQUARE. Can we admit that we all have a soft spot for interestingly-shaped books? Yes? Good.

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Potato Latkes with Smoked Salmon, Creme Fraiche, and Edible Flowers


HAPPY HANUKKAH! It’s the third night of the holiday, which, for me, is serving as a pretty horrifying reminder of the power of fried food smells to linger in apartments well beyond the actual frying action. Case in point: I made the latkes pictured above on Friday afternoon, a day-and-then-some before the holiday actually began, and my entire home still reeks of oil and onions and burnt potato skins.


But honestly, that nostalgia-inducing, days-old latke smell is totally welcome to stick around my humble abode as long as it pleases. ‘Cause latkes are the best.

As kids, my siblings and I always ate them with applesauce, and I have to admit I still think that savory-sweet pairing still reigns as the ultimate flavor combination. This year, though,  I tried my hand at a more grown-up variation, dressing them up with a bit of smoked salmon, some creme fraiche, and — ooh la la! — a smattering of edible flowers. I know. So fancy. I don’t really have anything to say for myself except that Eataly had the colorful flowers in stock and they were calling my name.

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