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AC Food Fight: Frozen Desserts
Which one of these frozen desserts is the best bet?
Food Column  October 12, 2017, by Jessi Cape

12 Days of Christmas Desserts
Dessert magic from Janina O'Leary
DAILY Food  December 10, 2014, by Virginia B. Wood
"...While home bakers might cut out cookies shaped like pears, partridges, swans, and dancing ladies for meticulous hand decoration, pastry chef Janina O'Leary is upping the ante. Taking her creative clues from the beloved holiday standard, she's created 12 new desserts that could melt the heart of even the meanest scrooge...."

Just Desserts
Austin's Pastry Chefs
Food Story  February 16, 1996, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Lovers who dined out for Valentine's Day earlier this week were no doubt impressed with the tantalizing and delightful desserts available. Restaurant business growth in the late Eighties and early Nineties attracted and nurtured an extremely talented and diverse group of pastry cooks and dessert makers in this area. This is not to say that there haven't always been some wonderful desserts in Austin..."

Simply Sensational Desserts / Room for Dessert
Food Story  November 26, 1999, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Simply Sensational Desserts: 140 Classic Desserts for the Home Baker From New York's Famous Patisserie and Bistroby Francois Payard..."

Food Story  November 26, 1999, by Ronna Welsh
"...Desserts by Pierre Hermé..."

Just Desserts
Giving new life to the end of the meal
Food Story  July 16, 2015, by Rachel Feit
"...Thankfully, we've evolved. These days, desserts are so much more than that..."

A Passion for Ice Cream: 95 Recipes for Fabulous Desserts
The perfect guide to a yummy summer
Food Story  August 11, 2006, by Claudia Alarcón
"...A Passion for Ice Cream: 95 Recipes for Fabulous Desserts..."

Cake Envy: Paloma Efron's Coco Paloma Desserts
Paloma Efron's decadent cakes – and her home workshop – are the envy of Austin
Food Story  February 6, 2009, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Cake Envy: Paloma Efron's Coco Paloma Desserts419-1582"

Desserts at Uchi
Food Story  July 25, 2008, by Virginia B. Wood

The Kosher Baker
Dairy-free baking so delicious no one will miss the butter
DAILY Food  November 13, 2012, by Amy Kritzer
"...Those who keep a kosher kitchen know the challenge of creating parve (dairy-free) desserts to eat with juicy briskets or herb-roasted chicken. In accordance with the Jewish commandment not to mix milk with meat, these desserts cannot have cream, milk, or beloved butter..."

Who Is on the Range?
An introduction and welcome to the Chronicle's new food blog.
DAILY Food  September 15, 2008, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Years ago when I was making salads and desserts at a restaurant on Kerbey Lane, one of the chefs and I dropped by the restaurant on our mutual day off to pick up our paychecks. When the owner saw us sitting on the patio towards the end of lunch service, he ran outside in a panic shouting "Who is on the range, who is on the range?" Ever since then, that's the phrase I use to refer to the person in charge of the kitchen, or in this case, the Chronicle's new food blog..."

The Stress-Free Thanksgiving Meal
Don't spend turkey day in the kitchen
DAILY Food  November 16, 2016, by Sierra Diaz
"...There's no need to freak out. With plenty of traditional Thanksgiving options and some not-so traditional, Austin eateries have you covered with take-home Thanksgiving dinner, sides, and desserts that will impress even your most fussy aunt...."

A Baker's Half-Dozen
The best books of the season on breads, pastries, and desserts
Food Story  December 12, 2003, by Virginia B. Wood
"...As a baker by trade, I am regularly amazed at the number of books produced on the subject of baking, pastry, and desserts year after year. I keep thinking every recipe variation must have been discovered, every possible technique explained, but then other bakers consistently manage to surprise me with something new..."

Cousin Bette
Cousin Bette is so cold, so grimly repressed, it's a wonder she doesn't explode, littering the Parisian landscape with bits of starched black silk and coiled raven hair. A physical...
Film Review  June 26, 1998, by Hollis Chacona
"...She simply does not command enough respect for anyone to notice or suspect her duplicity. She, and we, get a delicious and somewhat sadistic private amusement from watching the upper crust get their just desserts..."

The Pies That Bind
Desserts to Make Your Holiday
Food Story  November 21, 1997, by Virginia B. Wood
"...While I was making desserts at Fonda San Miguel restaurant in the late Seventies, the sous chef in charge of the international lunch menu was a young woman named Susan Trilling. A Philadelphia girl with Mexican and Russian grandmothers, Susan was and is an extraordinary cooking talent..."

Valentine's Pairs
The Chronicle finds out what Austin pastry chef couples are creating for each other
Food Story  February 13, 2009, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Dessert: Hazelnut and dark-chocolate cream tart with espresso gelato ("Egil's favorite of all my desserts") Egil's Menu for Amy:..."

Seasonal Fruit Desserts: From Orchard, Farm, and Market
Fresh ingredients prepared simply can yield the most delicious and desirable dessert results
Food Story  November 26, 2010, by Rachel Feit
"...Seasonal Fruit Desserts: From Orchard, Farm, and Marketby Deborah Madison Clarkson Potter, 288 pp., $32.50..."

The Stress-Free Thanksgiving 2004
Let the hotels, restaurants, and markets take care of it
Food Story  November 19, 2004, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Driskill Hotel (Sixth & Brazos, 474-5911): Seating on the mezzanine every half-hour, 11:30am-2:30pm; full buffet, including breakfast items, traditional Thanksgiving dishes, desserts. $48 per person; kids 6-12, $24; under 5, complimentary; reservations necessary...."

And to Top It Off...
Arts Story  July 14, 1995
"...New Classic Desserts..."

Chef D'oeuvre
Austin pastry stars recount the dishes that made their careers
Food Story  May 5, 2016, by Amira Jensen
"...When someone says desserts aren't for them, they're mistaken. What they're really saying is that they don't crave the mediocrity often displayed in grocery stores' bake cases, or the surprisingly bland triple-chocolate this-or-that tacked on to a dinner menu as an afterthought...."

A Baker's Half Dozen
The best new books on pastry, chocolate, and more
Food Story  December 8, 2006, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts by Maida Heatter (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $24.95): The divine Maida was one of my early baking inspirations, and her recipes were among the popular standards of my dessert business. This wonderful collection of chocolate delights was a big hit when it was first published in 1980, and I'm thrilled to see a new edition on the shelves..."

Elizabeth Faulkner's Demolition Desserts: Recipes From Citizen Cake
Elizabeth Faulkner's new cookbook deconstructs the status quo in baked goods
Food Review  July 25, 2008, by MM Pack
"...Elizabeth Faulkner's Demolition Desserts: Recipes From Citizen Cakeby Elizabeth Faulkner, Ten Speed Press, 2007, 224 pp., $35..."

Whisks Up
The Way To Cook
Food Story  November 27, 1998
"...While Chocolate covers a wide range of desserts, it's not exclusively for the gourmet, nor is it dumbed down for the novice. The most heady recipes, such as Bittersweet Chocolate Sherbet With Coconut Rum Sauce, are remarkably clear and approachable..."

Your Betrayal, Caked on the Wall
Painting desserts like it's murder, baby
DAILY Chronolog  April 26, 2012, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...Maybe you've seen some of Kaci Beeler's food porn paintings, like the Cuban Sandwich featured in the April 2011 issue of Saveur magazine. Maybe you've eaten some of Jodi Elliott's desserts at Austin's rightfully acclaimed Foreign & Domestic. Maybe you're familiar with wordsmith David Moses Fruchter, who's also known as Slappy Pinchbottom by listeners of his "Odd Preoccupation" show on KOOP Radio. Now it's time for – as the late, lamented soapmonger Dr. Bronner might have put it – THREE IN ONE! THREE IN ONE! THREE IN ONE! That's, ah, three-in-one – because one of the features of the Digestible Feats portion of this year's vast Fusebox Festival is called "Sweet Betrayal" and showcases Beeler painting (directly onto the SVT Gallery's east wall) a huge acrylic portrait of four desserts prepared by pastry chef Elliott from eerie magic-realist descriptions written by that Fruchter..."

Building a Bookshelf
Six baking books for you to sink your teeth into
Food Story  December 4, 2009, by Virginia B. Wood
"...DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth New Orleans Style, by David Guas & Raquel Pelzel (Taunton Press, 172 pp., $25) Guas provides recipes for quintessential New Orleans sweets and desserts such as bananas Foster, king cake, Doberge cake, and Ponchatoula Strawberry Shortcakes. Those standards never looked or tasted so good..."

Holiday Cookbook Roundup
Gift Guide
Food Story  December 14, 2007, by Virginia B. Wood
"...While many of this D.C.-area chef/restaurateur's recipes boast an excess of ingredients (chocolate bourbon peppermint walnut fudge!), there are some definite winners here. The Chocolate Almond Brown Sugar Cake and White Chocolate Cranberry Mousse Cake were both scrumptious and well worth the price of the book. Desserts by the Yardby Sherry Yard Houghton Mifflin, 400 pp., $35.95..."

As Many Culinary Influences as Islands
Austin's Philippine "turo-turo" uprising
Food Story  February 23, 2007, by Mick Vann
"...Word gets out of a stable and growing Pinoy (a term of endearment used by Filipinos in referring to one another; Pinay is the feminine form) culture in the area, and Austin's cultural and culinary melting pot grows. Like any group, they need places to shop for their specialty-cooking ingredients, bakeries for their breads and desserts, and, naturally, restaurants in which to dine and commune...."

Fresh seafood and an instant vacation
Food Story  June 11, 2015, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Our group of six stopped in for a brunch to benefit the culinary grant program of the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, and we ate our way through the entrées on the almuerzo (lunch) menu, sharing appetizers and desserts. We chose to start with mushroom gorditas ($10) for our shared appetizer – pillowy masa boats topped with white bean purée, Manchego cheese, and meaty roasted mushrooms in a chipotle sauce, with a gilding of avocado..."

How Sweet It Is
Sugar Mama's Bakeshop East moves beyond the cupcake
Food Story  October 23, 2014, by Virginia B. Wood
"...The new shop has been an immediate hit in the East Austin neighborhood, offering everything from breakfast pastries and coffee drinks to house signature cupcakes and elegant plated desserts paired with wine or craft beer. We've noticed diners stopping in to check out Sugar Mama's desserts before dining at Dai Due, and now we know why..."

Cast a ballot for your favorite food entrepreneurs
Food Column  June 29, 2012, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Paloma Efron has added a line of 8-inch cakes to the product line at Coco Paloma Desserts. They're available in a variety of seasonal flavors and can be customized with decorations to suit any occasion..."

Begin the new year with new local restaurant openings, count the dollars local charities collected last year, and more Central Texas foodie news
Food Column  January 9, 2009, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Lamar, 444-6644), the creation of former Chez Zee chefs Martin Abun­das and Vicente Jaramillo. Pie Slice kicks off each day with pastries, coffee, and 99-cent breakfast tacos, then offers bistro fare for lunch and dinner, plus a pastry case stocked with delectable desserts all the time....."

Cookies, cupcakes, and ice creams – oh, my!
Food Column  May 2, 2008, by Virginia B. Wood
"...The trend of customizing desserts that started with mix-ins or crush-ins in flavors of ice cream has spread to cupcakes and cookies. Lori Schneider, owner of Figs Catering (, included a cupcake bar in a catered event last year, and the concept proved so popular, she ultimately had to create a new business entity to handle the demand..."

Got Milk?™
On the trail of pastel de tres leches
Food Story  February 13, 2004, by MM Pack
"...Now, the European influence on Latin American cooking is well known; I was getting somewhere with my theory. All I needed was some pre-Nestlé recipes in Mexico to bridge the gap from traditional European desserts to modern tres leches...."

Hill Country Food & Wine Guide
by Virginia B. Wood & the Cuisines staff
Food Story  April 13, 2001
"...Though the menu changes daily, patrons can count on finding light, flavorful dishes expertly prepared and beautifully served. Save room for the excellent desserts, including the decadent Coffee Ice Cream Pie ($3.75) with hot fudge, praline, or fresh strawberry sauce..."

Hill Country Food and Wine Guide Update
Food Story  October 9, 1998
"...Each room is named for a Texas city. Every night, guests are greeted with complementary desserts and wine in their rooms, and every morning, a breakfast described by Southern Living magazine as "the best in Texas" is served from 8-9:30am...."

Al Fico
Missed potential at Austin's latest Italian restaurant
Food Story  January 14, 2016, by Brandon Watson
"...The absence of pastry chef Ken­dall Melton, now at Odd Duck, could be felt in the desserts. Melton's desserts have always been more about taste than flash, but it's impossible to imagine her unceremoniously plopping three doughnuts in a cup of chocolate and calling it a day..."

Attention to detail yields small pleasures
Food Story  December 23, 2015, by Brandon Watson
"...The cocktails and desserts play with that heritage as well. Nic Vascocu's beverage program skips making another negroni, but there is definitely gin and definitely tons of bitters..."

Mother's Day Cookbooks
Tasty reads for (almost) every mom
DAILY Food  May 7, 2015, by Virginia B. Wood

Ortiz and Sawicki hit all the right notes
Food Story  April 16, 2015, by Virginia B. Wood
"...The Mediterranean-inspired and seasonally appropriate dishes that make up the menu at Launderette are definite proof of that. The snacks, grilled items, toasts, vegetable dishes, entrées, and desserts here reflect a conscious layering of flavor, whether those flavors are subtle or robust, savory or sweet..."

Painting the town red
DAILY Food  February 12, 2015, by Virginia B. Wood
"...• Check out Valentine's desserts from Coco Paloma Desserts and the Lovers Collection from the Chocolate Makers Studio at a Valentine's pop-up hosted by Coterie Market at West Elm (1011 W 5th) on Friday, Feb 13 at 10am...."

Vegan Cookbooks
Food Story  December 6, 2013, by Melanie Haupt
"...Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegansby Natalie Slater Page Street Publishing, 192 pp., $19.99 (paper) The Vegan Divas Cookbook: Delicious Desserts, Plates, and Treats from the Famed New York City Bakeryby Fernanda Capobianco HarperWave, 224 pp., $27.99..."

Second Helpings: Post-Easter-Egg-Hunt Brunch
Food Column  April 6, 2012
"...Omni Hotel Downtown serves a traditional Easter brunch buffet in Ancho's, 10:30am-3:30pm. You'll find a children's buffet, carving stations for the grown-ups, and desserts for everyone..."

34th Street Cafe
34th Street Cafe adds new Tallent
Food Review  November 11, 2011, by Kate Thornberry
"...34th Street Cafe, tucked into a little storefront on West 34th, a stone's throw from Seton Medical Center, has enjoyed a thriving lunch business for the last 16 years. Early on, the restaurant hit on a winning combination of excellent big salads, popular grilled sandwiches, premium iced tea, and gorgeous desserts, making it a favorite destination for Westside ladies who lunch, as well as doctors and other medical professionals from the surrounding health care complexes...."

My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages, and Frozen Treats
This cookbook isn't for beginners, but the recipes are meticulously documented, gorgeously photographed, and delicious if you take your time with them
Food Story  October 29, 2010, by MM Pack
"...Gerson is native to Mexico City, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, a resident of New York City, and a former pastry chef at Rosa Mexica­no and Eleven Madison Park. She spent five years traversing Mexico's regions, seeking the best recipes for the sweet breads, cakes, cookies, puddings, candies, fruit concoctions, drinks, and frozen desserts so dear to the Mexican heart and palate...."

Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented
Lewis and Poliafito traveled the country researching traditional American regional desserts and present 75 here, each with a distinctive new twist
Food Story  October 15, 2010, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinventedby Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 207 pp., $29.95..."

Restaurants Near Zilker
Music Story  October 8, 2010
"...5) AMERICAN CAFE, BAKERY/COFFEEHOUSE: Austin Java Cafe & Bar Not just for that morning cup o' joe, Austin Java offers an array of sustenance plus luscious desserts. 1608 Barton Springs Rd., 482-9450..."

Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet
The new Austin outpost of a Houston chain brings more than just hummus to North Austin
Food Review  July 11, 2008, by Mick Vann
"...Dimassi's is a buffet with Mediterranean-based food, arranged on two long, polished stone counters, one for cold items and one for hot; drinks and desserts are against the wall. There are around 18 hot dishes, eight to 10 cold dishes, and eight desserts, counting the rice pudding and three different fruits..."

Top Chef, a Savvy spirit, and birth announcements
Food Column  September 14, 2007, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Now I honestly do not have a favorite. The other thing that stands out this season is how totally inept all of the contestants appear to be when it comes to the production of desserts..."

Dining Up and Down West Lynn
Venerable spaces and new faces
Food Story  February 16, 2007, by MM Pack
"...Cipollina, Jeffrey's little sister across the street, is an upscale counter-service and takeout bistro that makes everything from scratch in its small open kitchen: breads, sauces, sausages, desserts, varieties of vegetables and entrées. It manifests a heavy Italian influence in its plates of spaghetti and meatballs, frittatas, panini on house-made focaccia ($6.75-7.25) – the panini of braised lamb, provolone, and balsamic onion ($7.25) is especially wonderful..."

The Puffy Taco Invasion
Two San Antonio-influenced Mexican restaurants are the newest residents of Manor Road's Restaurant Row
Food Story  April 30, 2004, by Virginia B. Wood
"...The Nachos de Camarones ($8.95), grilled shrimp topped with pico de gallo and cheese, were really excellent, but the house Ceviche ($7.95) was merely ho-hum, large, flaccid pieces of fish seriously in need of salt and spice. But once again, the stellar impression made by the entrées and desserts completely eclipsed the little appetizer misstep..."

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