*Our current favorite — until we try all the rest!

A recent New York Times article had everyone I know buzzing about bagels.

The Best Bagels Are in California (Sorry, New York),” read the headline. Several of the places author Tejal Rao raved about were in the L.A. area — among them, Pop’s Bagels, Gjusta, Bueller’s Bagels, Yeastie Boys, Maury’s, and Courage Bagels.

The article provoked a lot of debate on social media — after all, many Angelenos are transplanted New Yorkers, and New York is virtually synonymous with great bagels. Some say it’s the water. …

You don’t have to be Irish to love scones — or save them for a special day

This recipe for Irish scones calls for less sugar than typical American scones.

Scones! My Glaswegian mother pronounced them “scawns,” though I more often hear the word as “scoans.” As you may know from reading my blog, I’m obsessed with baking — cooking not so much. But, as today is St. Patrick’s Day, and most of us love scones, I thought I’d make a batch to hand around — though perhaps corned beef and cabbage, Irish coffee, and soda bread would be more to your taste. (Nothing says you can’t have them all!)

Have you discovered…

Since I can’t find the bread I’m obsessed with, I have to make it!

If there’s one food I could never give up, it’s bread. And if there’s one bread I wouldn’t relinquish, it’s rye — the kind made with a sourdough starter that causes your nose pucker when you park it over the bowl and sends your mind racing back to childhood and — for me — to those long tan, caraway seed-speckled loaves that were a fixture at our table when I was a kid.

For some years now I’ve been attempting to recreate the rye that exists…

I swore the kitchen would never define me, but now all I do is cook

As a teenager, I swore when I grew up, I would be nothing like my mother. It seemed to me her entire life revolved around the kitchen and food — buying groceries, preparing meals, cleaning up afterward, then planning for the next one. In between, she was always cooking and baking, sometimes for charitable functions, for family events, for holidays, for the company that seemed to arrive at our house with great regularity. She seemed to be in a perpetual dither about some dish that…

Is it a hat? A pocket? An ear? No matter: It’s delicious!

I have a distinct childhood memory of watching my mother rolling out sheets of yellow cookie dough, cutting circles with a drinking glass and putting teaspoons of prune-walnut filling in the centers. She would then magically turn the circles into plump little triangles, pinching the corners together, leaving a small opening in the middle for the filling to peek through.

These were hamantaschen, the signature cookies of the Jewish holiday of Purim. To me it wasn’t — and isn’t — Purim without this miniature tart of a cookie.

It’s finally soup weather in Los Angeles — rain is in the forecast and temperatures have dipped into what passes as cold in these parts — 40s and 50s, with gusty winds rattling the doors and windows.

When it comes to soup, there’s none l find more satisfying than a thick, filling brew that includes beans as either a major or minor player. …

Takeout is a better option, especially if you have a deli close by!

It seemed like a good idea at the time-a rented Airbnb in sunny Palm Springs with a hot tub and a fully equipped kitchen. My husband could bask in bubbly turquoise waters to his heart’s content while I stilled my nerves and skirted COVID-19 fears with meals composed of carefully curated food, mostly imported from home.

But, as they say, beware of best-laid plans; they tend to go awry. My “easy” meal of Trader Joe’s pasta and jarred tomato sauce, augmented with onions, mushrooms, red wine and…

Finding solace in cooking, recipes and stories during a horrible year

The message on my favorite mug is a perfect coda to the state of our nerves in 2020. A gooey brownie helps.

Happy New Year!

We’re entering 2021 with a hope and a prayer that it will be better than the terrible year that just passed. Could it possibly be worse? (Okay, let’s not tempt fate!) In his Washington Post Year in Review column, Dave Barry calls 2020 “a year of nonstop awfulness” in which the only good thing he could say was that “nobody got killed by murder hornets. As far as we know.”

While the coronavirus epidemic has deepened the food insecurity crisis for too many Americans, some of us have been lucky enough to eat well-maybe too well-despite initial…

Sometimes a classic chocolate chip or peanut butter is just right!

Barbara’s chocolate chip cookies on a plate made by her husband. (Photo by John Scott)

“No one makes cookies like my sister Barbara,” my neighbor Susie told me a while back. “They’re always so crisp.”

“That’s how I like them,” I said. “Mine are usually too soft.”

“I’m sure she’d be happy to tell you how she does it,” said Susie, the subject of a previous post on this site.

With the holidays coming up, what better time to talk about cookies? I already wrote about rugelach, a favorite at our Hanukkah table, but with Christmas just days away and everyone in need of…

Crispy croissant-shaped rugelach are easy and fun to make — and eat!

Cookies sprinkled with blue sugar and almond macaroons with nut or cherry centers-those are the Hanukkah cookies I remember from childhood. But in recent years, rugelach have become the stars of my holiday cookie plate and probably my favorite cookies, both to make and to eat.

It was a bit of serendipity that I became enamored of these twisty little cookies that look like mini croissants or, if you buy them at Canter’s Deli in the Los Angeles Fairfax District, like small, jam- or chocolate-filled pieces of strudel.

Ruth Stroud

Blogger and podcaster on the platform Ruthtalksfood.substack.com

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