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The Chopping Block has been teaching home cooks how to cook for over 17 years. Since it’s our mission to get the country to cook, blogging gives us an outlet to share our food experiences not only with our students in Chicago, but the world.

Our staff shares their cooking adventures, techniques they’ve mastered and recipes, as well as family traditions and delicious dining experiences. Our readers get the inside scoop on sales and promotions, our favorite products, plus upcoming neighborhood events. Our goal is that every home cook, regardless of experience, finds The Chopping Blog a valuable resource.

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Dreamin’ of Puddin’

July 30th, 2014 by David L

puddinbookI hardly ever buy cookbooks, being very faithful to a few tried-and-true volumes I’ve had for years and recipes that have been handed down to me from friends and family. Puddin’, however, kept calling to me from The Chopping Block’s shelves, so I broke down.  Having an infamous sweet tooth, it was inevitable. Obsession may have come into play. I would read it before bed… I probably would have cuddled up with it if interested parties hadn’t intervened.

There are so many things I love about this book.  Its author, Clio Goodman, is the owner of a New York City dessert shop of the same name, and her quirky humor and passion for all things pudding-related shine through. Everything in her shop is made from scratch: from the Banana Pudding made by roasting the bananas in the oven to develop their flavor, to the Vanilla Wafers you’ll be eating until you explode… even the Sprinkles are hand-made!  There’s a Salted Caramel Sauce that might cause you to start crying.

puddingI had unexpected company last week. I was already in the process of making the Vanilla Pudding, but then my partner brought back fresh Michigan peaches and blueberries from the farmers market; which led us all to the Peach Melba Parfait, the dessert of the summer thus far: layers of Peach Melba Topping, Vanilla Pudding and Ginger Crunch.

There’s also recipes for frozen pudding pops and, for the adventuresome home cook, pudding cakes that I’m sure will invoke gasps of delight from those who see and taste it. And there’s vegan and low-fat variations to ensure everyone can indulge.

Just don’t surprised when you find yourself reading its recipes to your loved ones at bedtime.

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David LaRocco is a retail trainer at The Chopping Block. He grew up in South Florida and started cooking in his family's Italian restaurant as soon as he could roll a meatball. He is a singer/songwriter, loves to paint and finds the most truth to be in buddhist meditation and yoga. He lives in Chicago with a loving partner and two totally insane cats.

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