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.

Sweet potato wedges piled on a white serving platter.

Sweet Potato Wedges

These subtly spiced, lightly crisped sweet potato wedges will have everyone clamoring for more–and, we dare say, no one guessing they’re healthful.

  • (1)
  • 10 M
  • 35 M
  • 16
A bowl of Cuban black bean soup with a wooden ladle next to a yellow plate filled with white rice.

Cuban Black Bean Soup

This Havana-style black bean soup is gonna surprise you with just how intensely flavored it is despite calling for inexpensive everyday ingredients.

  • (2)
  • 40 M
  • 3 H, 15 M
  • 14
Twelve Turkish borekitas sprinkled with sesame seeds on a piece of parchment.

Borekitas With Cheese Filling

Allow us to introduce you to borekitas. A staple in the eastern Mediterranean, these savory pastries put equal emphasis on pastry and cheese to what we consider divine effect.

  • (9)
  • 45 M
  • 2 H, 15 M
  • 29
A classic grilled cheese sandwich--buttered grilled bread and oozing Cheddar cheese

Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Just as cheesy and comforting as it was when you were six years old. And who couldn’t benefit from feeling like you’re six again and all is right with the world?

  • (2)
  • 5 M
  • 10 M
  • 6
A person holding a glass mug of cinnamon tea on a white plate.

Cinnamon Tea

Sorta amazing what loveliness can be wrought from just a stick of cinnamon and some hot water. So simple. So soothing.

  • (1)
  • 5 M
  • 20 M
  • 4
A square of Edna Lewis's apple cake with caramel glaze on a white plate with a fork.

Edna Lewis’s Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze

Warmly spiced with a pudding-like texture, this apple cake from Edna Lewis is truly easy—just stir together by hand. And it’s unforgettable for reasons that have nothing to do with its ease.

  • (4)
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 45 M
  • 13
A glass pitcher filled with bourbon syrup on a linen napkin.

Bourbon Syrup

Nothing says “I love you” as sweetly as bringing your amour breakfast in bed with bourbon syrup on the side.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • 0
Six one-bowl mocha brownies on wood

One-Bowl Mocha Brownies

If you’re going to splurge on brownies, you may as well, you know, SPLURGE on brownies. But not in terms of effort or expense. Just taste. These brownies handle it splendidly.

  • (2)
  • 10 M
  • 45 M
  • 6
Several Frito pies made in open bags of Fritos.

Frito Pie

Rite of passage as well as rite of tailgating, Frito Pie is legendary. In case you’d forgotten about it, here’s how. Serve it as-is or glam it up with anything you like.

  • (1)
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • 8
A decorative metal serving bowl filled with fried rice with leftovers and a bowl of jalapeño garlic vinegar on the side

Fried Rice With Leftovers

A superlative version of the classic clean-out-the-fridge stir-fry that reinvents leftovers. Beware the optional but addictive jalapeño garlic vinegar.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • 0