The Best Things We Ate, Cooked & Drank This Week: Mexican Coke, Monkey Bread & More

11/07/2014 at 03:16 PM ET

Mexican Coke
Katie Kauss

From perfectly-baked chocolate babka pie to savory pull-apart pesto monkey bread, check out the most delicious things our PEOPLE staff couldn’t stop eating — and talking about — this week.

“While I was in Nashville covering the CMA Awards this week, I tried Mexican Coke for the first time — and this retro-looking soda definitely hit the spot. I was our group’s DD for the night, so I had to stick to non-alcoholic stuff during our dinner at chef Jonathan Waxman’s Adele’s restaurant. I had never even heard of Mexican Coke, but the waiter said it was made with real sugar so I said, ‘Why not?’ Truth be told, I’m not sure if I tasted a big difference between the Mexican and American versions, but it was certainly delicious. Plus, I like that it didn’t come from a can — don’t you agree that cold drinks always taste better in a bottle?” —Katie Kauss, visual projects editor, @KatieKauss

Monkey Bread
Morgan Gibson

“My sister and I have our ‘baking days’ where we find a few mouth-watering, eyes-popping-out-of-your-sockets unhealthy recipes to whip up together. I’m sure our excitement over creating these calorie-laden dishes stems from growing up in a healthy household full of whole wheat flour, coconut oil and fruit desserts (our mom is a dietitian). Anyway, this particular Saturday we baked up two-ingredient pumpkin cake (adding chocolate chips, just because), Pillsbury’s turkey cookies and — the ultimate in food wonderment — monkey bread, which, to put it simply, is piles of biscuit or bread dough, butter and the ingredients of your choosing in one pan. You bake it, and that’s it. We opted for a savory version, instead of the popular cinnamon sugar variety, but we debated at great length over exactly what ingredient combination we wanted. In the end, we came up with perfection: pesto, mozzarella and a blend of four Italian-style shredded cheeses (we bought one of those containers that includes mozzarella, provolone, Romano, Asiago and Parmesan). As soon as it started bubbling in the oven, we knew we had created greatness. Our monkey bread was so gooey, so cheesy and so delicious, I had to write down the recipe. I highly recommend making your own — sharing is totally optional.” —Morgan Gibson, PEOPLE associate food & lifestyle editor, @morgangibson

Sonal Dutt

“Anyone who has watched ‘The Dinner Party’ episode of Seinfeld knows that a good chocolate babka is worth it. Worth the wait. Worth the calories. Worth the risk of jail time for stealing a babka from the lady who bought the last one. (I just get you, Jerry.) And now, it’s worth even more. Breads Bakery in New York, who I think makes the best babka in the city, has created a chocolate babka pie for Thanksgiving. I’ll give you a second to let that sink in. CHOCOLATE BABKA PIE. Their buttery, brioche-y dough is braided with Nutella and dark chocolate and placed inside a pie tin. The dough is then baked until fluffy and light on the inside, crispy and caramelized on the outside, and chocolatey and melty throughout. Just slice, serve and sigh. (P.S. Breads Bakery ships their babkas nationwide!)  —Sonal Dutt, PEOPLE senior food & lifestyle editor, @sonal_dutt

Ana Calderone

“When I decided to throw a last minute Halloween party, I turned to good ol’ Pinterest for some festive food ideas. This vomiting pumpkin caught my eye immediately because, not only did I have a pumpkin in my apartment, guacamole just happens to be my specialty. I had never carved my own pumpkin before but the face looked easy enough so I picked up the ripest avocados I could find, added some tomatoes, a red onion, cilantro, salt, pepper and lime and whipped up the perfect appetizer. My guests thought it was both clever and delicious!” —Ana Calderone, PEOPLE editorial assistant, @anacalderone

Regan Stephens
Regan Stephens


“I’m petitioning to get this column changed to ‘The Best Ice Cream We Ate This Week’ and my combo of Ample Hills’ Salted Crack Caramel and Snap Mallow Pop was the winner. We hosted our daughter’s 3rd birthday party at their newest location in Gowanus, Brooklyn on Sunday. (Unsurprisingly, my idea.) And while the vanilla ice cream the kids made and ate atop warm Belgian waffles looked delicious — and worlds better than the freezer-burned dixie cups of every kiddie birthday party I ever attended — the scoops I surreptitiously snuck at the end of the party took the cake. Snap Mallow Pop is a ‘deconstructed Rice Krispies treat’ made with marshmallow ice cream and Rice Krispies clusters, and Salted Crack Caramel is salted butter caramel ice cream with Deb’s Famous Crack Cookies. (A family friend’s recipe made with Saltine crackers coated with butter, sugar, and chocolate. Bless you, Deb.) Together they were so good, it made the two hour chaos of 25 sugar-ed up toddlers all worth it. Get yours at one of their three Brooklyn locations, or they ship nationwide.”  —Regan Stephens, acting photo director, @ReganStephens

Courtesy Martha Stewart via Pinterest


“A miracle happened in my back yard last week. My mint and parsley plants — which had been anemic the entire summer — got all Jack-and-the-Beanstalk on me and were suddenly tall and healthy with lush, dark green leaves. I needed a recipe that would do these late bloomers proud, and I found it in a sauce from Martha Stewart that combined the cool, sweetness of mint with the vibrant flavor of parsley and the zing of lemon juice. I spooned it over sautéed tilapia (she used tuna), and my family went wild. My husband the art director even commented on how pretty it looked. Fairy tales do come true…” —Nancy Mattia, contributor, @NancyMattia

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