Love the NY Times Recipes? Your kids can too.

I am a super fan of the New York Times cooking crew.  They have so many inventive recipes and are “in the know” on the latest food trends.  Lately they’ve invited key chefs to join them from time to time such as J Kenji Lopez-Alt and Yotam Ottolenghi, both masters in the kitchen.   Your kids can learn both basic cooking techniques and the most popular recipes from the New York Times this summer. 

I’m offering 2 weeks of classes called “Best of NY Times” June 5-9 and July 17-21.   To enroll in this cooking class series go here.  We’ll be learning how to make these and much more.

Indian Butter Chicken

Homemade Pita Bread


Ovwn-Roasted Chicken Shawarma

Lemon Bars with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Creme Brulee French Toast

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NYC and Spring Break Camp

While in NYC and Scottsdale last week I enjoyed many meals out on the town.  Some were good, some were drab, some looked lovely.  Although I pride myself on my cooking I do keep a list of restaurants.  Some to try out and always ones where I’ve dined.  They get a one to five star rating.   On this trip Victor’s Café got my 4 star rating.  It’s the oldest Caribbean restaurant in NYC.   Check it out next time you’re in the theatre district.  Here are some food photos from that trip: Ble Striped Cocoa (with the best hot chocolate in town), the gyro cart after the St. Patrick’s Day parade, Jue Lan’s chicken saray inside a converted church in Chelsea.

Eating out is fun but often the best cooking is often what you do at home.   Come help the young chef in your family learn how to cook by signing them up for my “Spring Break Cooking Camp” April 3-7. The New York Times has a great article on Kid Friendly recipes.  Frankly, I don’t know if all of the kids who I teach at La Toque de Cindy would be keen on some of these.  But, if you join my Spring Break class I’m open to taking suggestions if they are your kids’ fancy.  We’re cooking from Smitten Kitchen and the New York Times wealth of fabulous recipes that week.   

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Cooking in Palo Alto Facebook group

It’s been such a long time since I wrote a blob post.  Sorry about that.  Just being a sloth.   Well, La Toque de Cindy is back up and running and welcomes private parties from here on out until summer camp begins on June 5.    If you’d like a bit of armchair cooking wisdom, sign up to be a member of my new Facebook Group called “Cooking in Palo Alto”.  It’s a forum for cooks (or those want to be cooks) to share ideas about cooking in Palo Alto and culinary events around the area.

My first post on this group will be in a few days when I head for Whole Foods for their $1 per oyster sale on Fridays.  I’ll post a recipe and a cool and safe shucking tool I bought at Sur La Table at Town and Country.

So, come join the FB group COOKING IN PALO ALTO.

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Cookie Camp Starts June 6

Come learn how to make the tastiest and most beautiful cookies ever.  In this 5 day cooking series we’ll bake a variety of cookies every day.   Fortune cookies have been a hit with past students and I’m bringing those back.   But we’ll try out some cool cookie tools I bought this year: embossed rolling pin, cookie stamps and a two color cookie press.   For extra fun we’ll follow the taste test of The Pancake Princess and try out at least two recipes of black and white cookies.  

Come join the baking fun by signing up HERE.

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Newsletter #39: Summer Camp Registration Now Open

I am so happy to bring back summer camp this year! After super limited offerings in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid, this is the perfect summer to come visit La Toque in person and get inspired for a lifelong of cooking fun. Here is the line up so far. Just click on the camp tab and then the registration link to register. I so hope you can join camp this summer.

June 6-10, 9:00am-noon, Cookie Connoisseurs, ages 10-15, teacher: Cindy Roberts, $310

June 20-24, 9-noon, Delectable Dinners: Viva Italia, ages 10-15, teacher: Cindy Roberts, $310

July 11-15, 9:00-noon, Easy Peasy Meals for Younger Kids, ages 6-9, teacher: Cindy Roberts, $310

July 25-29, 9-noon, Chocolate Champions, ages 10-15, teacher: Cindy Roberts, $310

August 1-5, 9-noon, Chocolate Champions, ages 10-15, teacher: Cindy Roberts, $310

August 8-12, 9:00-noon, Great British Baking Show Camp, ages 10-15, teacher: Cindy Roberts, $310

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Newsletter #39 In Search of Pastry and Chocolate NYC

As the Covid numbers drop I’m off to my next venture, or shall I say “adventure”?  As long as my health holds out I’m travelling the globe in search of grate chocolate and pastry.   Maybe great cooking schools, too.  Add to that, how about recipes from Michelin starred restaurants?  So many ideas and it’s time to get rolling.   The hope is that it will culminate in a book or set of books.  So pardon me for the change in format from my usual newsletter but I hope you enjoy.

As a cooking teacher I always find it fun to shop at cookware supply stores.  New York Cake was on my list.  It was such a wow with an incredible array of dishes and tools to make chocolates, cakes, tarts and cookies.  I decided to purchase holly shaped and Christmas cookie plungers.  I’ve never used these but they will be debuting in my Holiday Cooking Classes, holiday cookies on December 10 and buche de Noel on December 24..

I went in search of pastry and chocolate after a lovely dining experience at Benno in New York City.  I have been hopping in and out of New York City for the past few years, pandemic time excepted, and had a tough time finding a magical chocolate shop.  There are plenty of transplants from other cities.  La Maison de Chocolate from Paris.  Royce of Japanese origin.  But it was only on this trip that I was to find exactly what I was looking for, a small shop where hand made chocolates were crafted.  

On a morning with scant to do I searched Google maps for “chocolate” near my hotel.  It pointed me to Chocolat Moderne and I thought, “Why not?”  I had nothing to lose.  Google maps led me to a door looking like the entry to an apartment building at 27 West 20th street.  There was no chocolate shop to be seen but I asked the doorman.  He indicated I should take the elevator to the 9th floor.  This seemed rather crazy but again I thought, “What do I have to lose?”  I entered a very orange but very closed door apprehensively but was so excited to see bon bons being made en masse by hand.   It was so fun to chat with chcolatier Joan Coukes.  She gave me some tips on how to pop molded chocolates out of hard plastic molds.  It seems best to refrigerate them right after pouring the chocolate in and freezing them a bit if the chocolates stick and won’t unmold properly.  And I found out they are mostly a wholesale shop and sell to Allegio in Palo Alto, right down the street.  I adored their raspberry marzipan bon bon in the Christmas box selection.  And it was so interesting to find out they specialize in chocolate from Valrhona. They made dark milk chocolate bars.  With the milk yum and not so much sugar.  I thought this such a find I brought my dear friend and chocoholic, Laila, there the next day.

I ate a LOT of pastries on this trip but most of them were forgettable.   If in New York City I would definitely steer to Chelsea and visit Dominique Ansel’s Workshop, a recommendation from another dear friend, Nathalie.  This is the heart of Ansel where the pastry creations are made.  I have heard they make cronuts (so says my friend, investment partner and fellow traveler Jocelyn) but I chose the S’More Pastry, one they were showcasing that day with had made marshmallows atop a pastry with a dollop of chocolate.  I took a Salted Caramel pastry to go.   

Then off to Le Maison de Macaron, with a display case of so many flavor choices.  It’s a small shop managed by a husband and wife.  She was at the front counter taking orders while he crafted macarons in the back.  If you love macarons, head here and not Laduree, the Parisian transplant.  Le Maison is the only macaron specialty shop in NYC and a great find.

Chocolat Moderne, 27 West 20th St.

NY Cake, 118 W 22nd St.

Le Maison de Macaron, 132 W 23rd St.

Dominique Ansel Workshop, 17 East 27th St.

Benno, 7 E 27th St.

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Newsletter #38 and Kimchee with Potatoes and Eggs Recipe

News and Fun Facts   For those of you who have missed my newsletters, I’m sorry to have been so quiet.  It’s just an indication that in person classes are BACK.  I’m teaching both at Sur La Table (Sept 23, Pizza) and at my place: Tuesdays (savory), Fridays (baking Fridays)

·      September 21,   POT STICKERS


·      October 5,   SHAKING BEEF

Top Tip  On a recent trip to NYC I spent time reading back issues of my favorite magazine, Cook’s Illustrated.  I came across thie article “All About Oils” which is a great read and answers the question I get often in class “Which oil should I use for this dish?”

What I’m Reading   Many of you mastered sourdough bread in the last year.  I’m a bit behind the game as I’m generally making bread with fermented dough.  I am just embarking on my sourdough bread journey.  If you want to look forward and join me that would be fun.  For those who want to look back, read “The Year Flour was King”,

What I’m Watching   Well, I told a bit of a white lie as I’m not really starting my sourdough journey, I’m just paying more attention to the details as I wasn’t 100% successful a few years back.   I have recently mastered sourdough bread and I love it. You can do this too.  Trust me.  Watch the Food Geek show to do it here.   I’m happy to share some starter.

What I’m Cooking  Since of course I don’t make bread for every meal, I thought I’d share this recipe with you.  Korean food is trending.  This recipe is bit like Shakshuka gone Korean.  It’s actually pretty easy and a wonderful weeknight dinner or creative Sunday brunch idea.  Kimchee and Potato with Eggs recipe is here.

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Newsletter #37 and Peanut Sauce for Noodles Recipe

News and Fun Facts   I have posted a new “How To” video on my YouTube channel.  Come watch it if you’d like to learn how to temper chocolate.  It’s a bit tricky in the summer but even in the summer tempering chocolate will work in the morning while the air is still cool.    

Caroline is an incredible baking student and sends me great photos so she’s the Snap and Cook winner of a FREE class.  Above is one of her photos.  To enter the drawing, send me a photo of something you made in class or one of the recipes I’ve posted in my newsletter.  That will enter you in the drawing for a FREE class.

Baking Classes on Friday’s go hybrid.  If online isn’t your thing come join in person.  Limit of 2 in person students per class. Sign up here.

May 21 German Chocolate Cake, May 28 Peach Pie, June 4 Peach Cobbler, June 11: Lemon Almond Cake

Top Tip  At La Toque  If you’re like me, you probably pull out a baking sheet almost every day but probably haven’t given a lot of thought to the nuances of this great kitchen essential.  To learn about baking sheets, read “The Reason you Shouldn’t Throw out your Old Sheet Pan

What I’m Reading   I’m so excited the Covid era is coming to a close that I’ve started lining up dinner parties.  I’m starting small but still excited about the prospect.  Get inspired to do the same by reading “Most of All, I’ve Missed the Dinner Parties”.

What I’m Watching  Bake Like a Pro Easy Apple Cinnamon Fritter Cake,  I love the way he uses clips to hold the parchment paper in place.

What I’m Cooking  A friend had an abundance of cilantro growing in her garden and gifted me part of her harvest.   With it I made this awesome peanut sauce and served it with rice noodles.  It’s super easy but super delicious.   I’ve made it for so many years I can’t recall the source but perhaps from Greens restaurant in San Francisco.  If vegan isn’t your thing, toss in some cooked shrimp or chicken but I promise it’s delicious without either.  Click here to see the Peanut Sauce recipe.  

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Newsletter #36 and Sweet Potato Ball Recipe

News and Fun Facts   With such a successful vaccine rollout I am getting optimistic I’ll be able to open in person summer cooking camp this summer.  If you’d like to be one of the first to know, please send your email address to

Top Tip  At La Toque we have a LOT of fun cookie cutters.  My favorite are made from copper.  If you want to stock your kitchen with unique ones, check out Ann Clark Cookie Cutters.  This video will tell you all about how they are made in the U.S. and how to buy them.  

What I’m Reading   If you’ve joined one of my baking classes, you’ve used baking soda many times as it’s a key pantry baking staple.  Did you ever wonder how it works and why we use it?  See How Baking Soda Really Works

What I’m Watching  I find Jamie Oliver’s YouTube cooking shows so much fun but what’s even better is his 8 year old son, Buddy Oliver.  Here he is making scrambled eggs. 

What I’m Cooking  I have been enjoying my recipe tests from the “Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant” cookbook .  One of my favorites is their rum punch which I’ll skip since many readers aren’t of drinking age.  Another is sorrel soup which I’ll skip as I don’t know how many of my readers  have this growing in their yard and it’s challenging to find this lemony green in the market.  So here is one for you: Sweet Potato Balls

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Newsletter #35 and Miso Salmon Recipe

Lemon Berry Tart, Winner of Snap and Cook Drawing

News and Fun Facts   The fun fact for the week is that covid numbers are plummeting.  That means that I can foresee in person classes in the not too distant future.  Until then, join Friday’s online bake class at 3:30.  Feb 19 Crescent Cookies, Feb 26 Milk Chocolate Cookies, March 5 Chocolate Pistachio Cake.

Snap and Cook Photo Drawing  Congrats for this lemon berry tart photographer from a recent class.  I love her heart shaped pan (photo above)!  Send me a photo of the recipe below something you made in class to win a drawing for a free class.

Top Tip  Cooks Illustrated had this great article on Butter Know How.  I’m a fan of European style butter these days but read what they have to say.  Better yet, subscribe to their fantastic magazine.

What I’m Reading  Are you as tired of reading all about the U.S. woes and triumphs as I am?  Satisfy your wanderlust this week.  Here is what’s happening in other parts of our world.  India farmers are protesting

France is now allowing workers to eat at their desks. 

What I’m Watching  Here’s another wanderlust option for Francophiles. Éric Kayser, the artisan baker who opened the first of his shops in Paris, teaches you how to make classic French breads, including “la baguette,” on his lively Maison Kayser Academy YouTube channel. Eric Kayser’s YouTube channel Maison Kayser Academy 

What I’m Cooking  I have seen a LOT of recipes with miso so it must be trending.  I’m not a stranger to miso as I’ve enjoyed many bowls of miso soup at Japanese restaurants.  Yet I had never cooked with it until this month in this Miso Salmon Curry recipe.    Try that out.  It’s easy and fun to cook with a novel ingredient.  Want to learn about miso?  Check this out

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