Sift through the recipes of Katy Atlas, the brilliant blogger behind Sugarlaws, and you won't want to visit any other site for hours (maybe days). The blog started as a place for Atlas to share recipes with family and friends in October 2007, and has since grown into much more. Expanded to cover her two true loves (food and fashion), Sugarlaws now offers excellent eye candy no matter what you're craving! Her secret weapons? Delicious recipes for lovely little things such as chocolate soufflé, and a genuinely warm, inviting smile.
We caught up with the busy blogger to discover what some of her favorite dishes are to make, where she likes to eat out, and also to get her recipe for those Petit Fours we keep mentioning. Enjoy!
StyledOn: When did you first get into cooking?
Katy Atlas: I always had a few go-to dishes, but it was really around the time that I started Sugarlaws that I started truly experimenting in the kitchen. It was a big step for me to move away from using other people's recipes and start to develop my own – a lot of trial and error, especially at first, but definitely worth it in the end! As I was first getting started, I also took a 25-hour class in basic French cooking, so I felt like I developed a good foundation in the proper techniques, along with a healthy dose of experimentation.
SO: What kind of dishes are your favorites to make?
KA: I was a vegetarian for thirteen years, so I'm always drawn to great recipes that call for little to no meat, and I'm a huge dessert eater. I love elegant, simple finger foods – everything bite-sized and beautifully presented. And there is something so incredible about putting a whole layer cake together from scratch – and then decorating it!
SO: What makes for a great meal?
KA: The company – for many of my favorite dinners, I can't even remember what I ordered. What I do remember was sitting around a table with friends or family, practically crying with laughter. Food is meant to be shared, and great company can make even the simplest meal spectacular – and a good bottle of wine never hurts.
SO: If you had to chose one: fashion or food?
KA: That's like asking me which of my dogs I like better! Impossible. But, I mean, I guess you have to pick food, right? I could go a year without fashion, but not without food!
SO: Favorite restaurants or chefs?
KA: I tend to love a lot of neighborhood places, rather than super-fancy restaurants. Home, Mas and BLT Burger in the West Village are consistently delicious, and I've loved nearly every Jean Georges restaurant I've been to (including the one in Bora Bora on our honeymoon!). For vegetarian fare, I love Gobo and Red Bamboo.
SO: How will you be spending Thanksgiving?
KA: Actually, after seven straight years of spending Thanksgiving with my family in Connecticut, Chad and I are headed to Houston to spend it with his family. Sometimes I wish both families could just come to us – but I'm not sure I could manage Thanksgiving dinner for 12 from our Manhattan-sized kitchen!
Sugarlaws' Katy Atlas' Recipe: Petit Fours
These are such a great addition to a holiday table. They taste great, but they’re even better to look at! Also, if you’re having a New Year’s celebration, these would feed a lot of people as finger foods, and they’re really just stunning.
1 medium-size pound cake (substitute flavored pound cake or loaf cake as desired)
1/2 cup raspberry jelly
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
Nuts, ginger, shaved chocolate and sea salt for topping
1. Cut pound cake into 1″ cubes, and then cut the cubes in half.
2. Spread jelly in the center of the two halves of each cube, and push together.
3. In a double boiler, heat chocolate until just starting to melt. Remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream. Stir until thick and silky, heating over the double boiler again if necessary.
4. Dip each pound cake sandwich into the chocolate, and place on wax paper on a baking sheet. Use a knife to smooth out fingerprints.
5. Decorate each petit four with chopped nuts or other garnishes. Refrigerate until serving.
Makes about 30 petit fours, can be doubled.
All photos courtesy of Sugarlaws
*If you didn't know how to cook before we launched this food and fashion focused mini series, you should have a few ideas now – especially since we've also shared the recipes for FashionFoodFatale.com’s ‘Good Chook’ roasted with Oregano and served with Creamed Corn, Yummy Books' Clam Chowder, Carol Han's (Milk & Mode) Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup, and Jordan Reid's (Ramshackle Glam) Chicken Cacciatore.
What is your favorite dish to make now?