Every time we asked someone in Oakland what makes the city a great place to live and eat in, the number one response was the diversity. It's a place with nearly every cuisine you can think of, from soju bangs serving Korean drinking food to street-side champurrado vendors.
For these Rice Krispy Treats, we mixed in kettle-cooked potato chips for added crunch and a salty kick, upped the decadence with chocolate-covered peanuts, and added another level of sweetness with toasty graham crackers.
French Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Ganache
No lie: macarons can be fairly finicky to make, in that they might spread into uneven shapes or form dark spots on their tops -- but even if they're not as beautiful as bakery specimens, they will still be delicious. The smooth chocolate ganache filling sandwiches the light, chewy-inside, delicately-crisp-outside chocolate macarons together, for a classic French dessert you shouldn't be afraid to try making.
Easy Roasted Acorn Squash
Roasted acorn squash couldn't be easier, or more delicious. A little butter, salt, freshly ground pepper, and a sprinkle of brown sugar to emphasize the squash's natural sweetness, plus about an hour in the oven, and you have a gorgeously caramelized side (or main dish, if you stuff the squash), with a pool of glaze in the center of each piece.
Easy Rice Pudding
A simple and supremely satisfying dessert, rice pudding is pure comfort in a bowl. It's easy to get there too! Just simmer white rice with whole milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt until the grains are tender, plump, and creamy, then stir in a little vanilla or almond extract while the pudding's still warm. Top however you like (fresh berries in season, dried fruit, toasted nuts for a crunchy contrast, a sprinkle of cinnamon, etc.) -- you really can't go wrong.