Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Real Food Rehab Holiday Gift Guide: Sandra Holl of Floriole Bakery

Sandra Holl's pastries are beautiful to look at and even more beautiful to eat. And I'm not just using flowery language when I say they're infused with character and grace because they are. She makes seasonal fruit bread pudding from homemade brioche and the flakiest, custard-style quiche and serves them warm at her farmers' market stall. I am especially fond of her insanely rich shortbread and cornmeal lime cookies. She makes it easy to get up early and trek through rain, sleet and snow to get to her because hers are the foods worth living for. Eating them sets apart a special moment in time.

WHO Sandra Holl is the chef and co-owner of the soon to open Floriole CafĂ© & Bakery in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Floriole has been a staple for rustic, seasonal pastries using organic and local ingredients at the Green City Market for the past four years. Sandra’s love of all things pastry started while studying and teaching English in France. Shortly after returning to the U.S., she decided to go to culinary school and started working at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. With a little experience under her belt she moved to Chicago and began selling her baked goods at local farmers’ markets.

Mes Confitures: The Jams and Jellies of Christine Ferber. You could simply give this book as a gift but I think you may be inspired to keep it for yourself and make some beautiful jams for your friends and family. The recipes are seasonal and fairly simple but the results are remarkable. Packed in a jar with a printed label and a sweet ribbon, homemade jam is a gift from the heart that anyone would love to receive.

Chicago, IL

I am constantly inspired by the farmers and the produce I encounter every week at the farmers’ market.

I am always trying to find dishes that appeal to me, my husband and my three year old daughter. A perfect omelette made with farm fresh eggs, a little fresh goat cheese and chives served next to a simple salad is always a big hit at our house.

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