Q&A with Lisa G.: The Stern Show newswoman dishes on cookies
Your book "Sex, Lies & Cookies" predominantly chronicles your relationships and work experiences. How do cookies fit in there? When I was younger and dating, I ended up baking for guys in hopes that they would fall in love with me. [I did that] rather than thinking "Is this guy even cookie-worthy?" or "Do I even like him?"
What are some of the sources of inspiration for your cookie recipes, and what's behind the desire to bake cookies that are simple and quick to make? Some are reflections of where I was in my life [at the time]. When I lived in Chicago I made chocolate snowballs. The idea was that if I didn't find a boyfriend before Dec. 31, the day of the first really heavy snowfall, I was going to be single for the entire winter. When I went into therapy, I did the chocolate chunk therapy cookies; and when I was dating someone who worked for a cereal company, I made "Fruity Pebble cookies."
You apprenticed at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill restaurant. What was that experience like, and what did you take away from it? I worked with pastry chefs Wayne Brachman and Alfred Stephens, and I learned about technique. A lot of people are flustered in the kitchen, but they showed me that [baking] is a simple process. It's about having the right equipment and the right utensils. My tip to any novice baker is to underbake, because when you pull the cookies out of the oven, they're still going to be baking a bit.
Tell me more about your cookie parties. What's the occasion, and why cookies? They started back in the '90s, after I found that baking was a way of empowerment. I wanted to celebrate my friends, and I started baking for them. Throughout the years, word spread and the parties got bigger. Nothing says "love" better than a cookie. You could be in a huge fight with someone, and you go, "Hey, you want a cookie?" and it just smoothes everything over.
What are some of your favorite restaurants to eat at in New York City, and where are your favorite places to get cookies? It took me a lot of time to become a homebody, and I don't go out to eat as much because I really enjoy cooking for myself. But Mediterraneo (1260 Second Ave.) is good for pasta and chicken. I love Levain (167 W. 74th St.) -- they have amazing chocolate chip cookies -- William Greenberg Desserts (1100 Madison Ave.) and Eli's Bread (403 E. 91st St.)
What are Howard's favorite cookies? Howard doesn't eat sweets, but has said on the air that he likes frozen bananas and cashews.