Elsa M. Jacobson, Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Elsa M. Jacobson has tested.

Elsa Jacobson

Elsa M. Jacobson is the child of a Swede and an Eagle Scout, which, as her pal Breadman has said, “explains everything.” Her father, the Eagle Scout, was also Jewish, so she had the pleasures of a dual-dining culture growing up. She has been vegetarian since the age of nine, and has never looked back.

After graduating valedictorian with a BFA in Fiber, she worked for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Merce Cunningham Dance Company, followed by Event Managing AIDS Walks nationwide, and subsequently serving as Regional Director for Chicago’s Green Festival. She loves to study and has taken Swedish classes wherever she can find them, including both Columbia and Harvard. She currently manages three neighborhood farmers markets in Chicago, and vends arguably the nation’s finest tofu at three others, while also providing tofu education to customers and staff trainees. She has a deep interest in cheese of all types, has taught cheese and cheese making, and assisted chefs at cooking schools, among them Sur La Table, as well as testing recipes for other publications.

Elsa is an avid environmentalist, a Chicago Conservation Corps leader, has worked for the Chicago Park District, serves for an organization that upcycles plastic grocery bags into sleeping mats for the homeless, as well as on the operating committee of the Chicago Volunteer Expo. She has a passion for seniors, and has served on the board of multiple senior homes for the past two decades. Elsa additionally has a strong passion for community, and lives in an intentional community dedicated to greening and sustainability. She is curious, nerdy, enjoys process and details, has a quirky sense of humor, loves being of service, and is, at her core, 100% an introvert. She was accepted into the ranks of LC testers on December 7, 2006, after taking a food journalism class with the fat daddy himself, David Leite.

A pile of homemade potato ruffles on a white surface.

Homemade Potato Ruffles

These shatteringly crisp, undeniably sophisticated potato ruffles—chips, if you will—have no ridges. Nor do they need them. They’re intoxicatingly lovely just as they are.

Gingerbread pancakes stacked on a plate, covered with syrup, blueberries, and a pat of butter.

Gingerbread Pancakes

Gingerbread pancakes, a perfect holiday treat, are filled with warm spices, including ginger. Gingerbread pancakes are a unique weekend breakfast.

Sweet and spicy roasted nuts in a large green bowl on a wooden table.

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts

These sweet and spicy nuts are addictive, so serve with care. The sweet comes from sugar, the spicy is the result of red pepper flakes. Use any kind of nut.

A single basic crepe, folded into quarters on a sheet of parchment with two lemon wedges beside it.

Basic Crêpes

A simple, step-by-step recipe for the classic French crepe that can easily be mastered by anyone. Yes, anyone. Including you.

Spicy cranberry sauce in a grey pottery bowl on a white tablecloth.

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

A sweet-tart little condiment to slather on everything on your holiday table. It gets a little bit of heat from ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and chile.

Adobo seasoning in a small bowl with a wooden spoon full of seasoning.

Adobo Seasoning

A flavor-packed adobo spice mix that contains less salt than store-bought, so go ahead and sprinkle it on anything that needs to be perked up.

Hot artichoke dip in a white pottery bowl with a serving spoon, beside a bowl of toasted bread.

Hot Artichoke Dip

This is one of those ubiquitous party dips that tastes so much better when you make it yourself. And who knew it was so easy? You’ll never buy artichoke dip again!

Apple and celery salad in a patterned bowl, beside a cutting board with a knife and apple slices.

Apple and Celery Salad

A simple and elegant salad that brightens up whatever you serve it alongside. Crisp, tangy, and refreshing, it’s a perfect accompaniment.