What happened to Nabisco chocolate wafers?

What happened to  Nabisco chocolate wafers? They seem to have disappeared from all my local grocery stores. I know they are still made because  you can order them on amazon.com

Smitten kitchen chocolate wafers

Smitten kitchen chocolate wafers

I  really love chocolate wafers for sweet treats at home, or for making my own ice cream sandwich.

So during the heatwave I finally made a batch of chocolate wafers using Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. These chocolate wafers are almost like a deep dark shortbread.

Fresh out of the oven, these are getting mailed to Tampa...

Fresh out of the oven, these are getting mailed to Tampa…

I recently made a batch by reducing the sugar from  1 cup of sugar to 3/4  cup of sugar for my mother’s birthday (she’s diabetic). My tip with this recipe is use the best dutch processed cocoa you can, and be sure to refrigerate the dough for at least an hour before you bake. I usually use Droste cocoa.  Others really love Scharffen Berger for baking.

They are perfect on their own (think high end Oreos meet Dorie Greenspan’s dark chocolate sables aka world peace cookies), but they also make the perfect mini-ice cream sandwich, especially with Talenti Gelato in espresso or Belgian chocolate or Soco Icecream in salted caramel.

Smitten kitchen wafers with Talenti chocolate gelato

Smitten kitchen wafers with Talenti chocolate gelato

So for those of you who suffered through a heat wave, need a sweet treat for Iftar or are looking for a new ice cream treat, consider these!

I’ve also tried other recipes from Smitten Kitchen, and along with David Lebovitz and Dorie Greenspan, it is one of my favorite go to baking blogs!


Have you been to Picasso’s, a new neighborhood bakery?

I don’t always have time to bake, and we have a new bakery in our neighborhood on Westcott. This past week I sampled  donuts and brioche from Picasso’s Pastry.Image

These are baked chocolate donuts.  Since they are baked, they do taste more like chocolate than donuts, but they do satiate that chocolate cake craving!Image

I also sampled their chocolate brioche right out of the oven…ooey, gooey and delicious!

If you are in Syracuse, please support our local businesses and check out Picasso’s Pastries.

What’s in your CSA? kohlrabi, cilantro, swiss chard, or kale?

For the next month, I hope to focus a bit on eating at home in addition to  eating out because we’re eating more at home since we’re in the middle of CSA season and it is also Ramadan.

Last week my CSA had kohlrabi, cilantro, swiss chard, kale, beets and garlic scapes.

I decided to create a lentil stew using traditional Indian spices and seasonal greens.

Lentils with kohlrabi and greens:

3 tsp salt

3 tablespoons turmeric

1 tsp of red chili powder

3 cups of red lentils

1/2 white onion sliced

2 garlic cloves

2-3 kohlrabi

3 tsp cumin

1 tsp ginger powder

1 bunch of kale, swiss chard or spinach (optional)

cilantro for garnish


1) Boil 6 cups of water with 3 tsp salt.

2) Add  3 cups of rinsed dry masoor red lentils when the water comes to a full boil,  then turn down to low and simmer 30-45 minutes till lentils are soft like a thick bean soup.

3) Add a tablespoon of turmeric and 1 tsp of red chili powder  to the lentils, and mix in well.

4) Continue to let lentils summer, and fry half a white sliced onion with 1 tablespoon oil, 2-3 diced kohlrabi,  3 tsp cumin, 2 garlic cloves and a  tsp of ginger powder in a separate pan.

5) Add the fried mixture, one bunch of kale or swiss chard, and  1/4 cup water to your lentils, stir and let simmer another 30 minutes.

6) Taste, garnish with cilantro, and add salt  to taste!

What are you doing with all that extra kohlrabi, kale and swiss chard?

These are a few of my favorite things…

These are a few of my favorite things during the summer in Upstate New York…

I always make a point of getting to Darwin’s in Syracuse for lunch and Hatties in Saratoga for fried chicken. And for summer dinners, there are a few places I like to get to while I am off from teaching: Circa for  a casual but seasonal dinner in Cazenovia, Rosalies in Skaneateles for a special occasion dinner, Elderberry Pond in Skaneateles for when the weather is perfect, and Northstar  for a locavore dinner in Ithaca. These are places I particularly enjoy in the summer because they are either a bit of a drive from where I live, or they have really great ambiance and seasonal menus.

Last week we went to dinner at Circa with friends. The waiter told us they had just changed menus so we were trying out the brand new summer menu.ImageWe started with the roasted beets, cucumbers and pea shoots salad in a goat cheese mint dressing which was light and delicious.

For my entree I had the Carne Asada (grilled shaved marinated beef) tacos which were juicy, flavorful and topped with a large scoop of fresh guacamole. My friends had the savory sea food stew which I also tasted. It was very fresh and came in a light broth. We decided it could almost be an appetizer.Image

Can you see the delicious guacamole and beef?And even the tortilla was amazing.Image

We finished our meal with the lovely cheese plate which features local and artisan cheeses. Image

I usually get a sweet treat to end such a nice dinner, but I was so full that I could barely finish my tacos or sample the cheese. I hope to get back later this summer. I always think of Circa fondly.  If you happen to have a lazy weekend, Circa is worth the drive. Check out their summer menu here.

What are some of your favorite things in the summer?