in the kitchen with: lisa congdon

I was really happy to get this recipe from San Francisco-based designer Lisa Congdon– a welcome walk down memory lane. This recipe for No Bake Cookies, like the pie by Eleanor Grosch, is great to have in your repertoire for those occasions when you want something sweet and nice, but don’t have a lot of time or maybe you don’t have an oven! They’re also fun to make with kids, as we did in elementary school. Click here for the full recipe or just click “read more” below. Enjoy! –Kristina

About Lisa: San Francisco mixed media artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon is mostly self-taught. She uses her lack of training to her advantage: instead of following refined technique, she works with her own sense of color, composition and design as her guide. Lisa is almost constantly drawing, photographing and annotating her life. Lisa’s work is dominated by imagery from the natural world and is heavily influenced by her love of scientific imagery. She is known for her palette and use of color, along with the balance and symmetry of her work. When she is not making art in her studio, Lisa is at Rare Device, the San Francisco design-led shop and art gallery she owns and operates with her friend Rena Tom.




No Bake Cookies

2 cups sugar (400g)
1/2 cup milk (120ml)
1/3 cup cocoa (30g)
1 stick margarine (115g)
2 1/2 cups quick oatmeal (about 350g)
1 cup flaked coconut (75g)

Mix oatmeal and coconut in large bowl, set aside. Mix
first four ingredients in medium sauce pan. Bring to a
boil on low heat. Boil 3 minutes. Pour mixture over
oatmeal and coconut, mix thoroughly. Drop by
tablespoon onto waxed paper. Let stand until firm.

Why Lisa chose the recipe

Lisa loves to collect mid-century kitchen ware from
Scandinavia, Japan and France. Her kitchen is one of
her favorite rooms in her apartment, but her busy
schedule does not allow her much time to use it for
cooking. She loves these “no bake” cookies because
they are extremely fast and easy and can be “whipped
up” in a snap for an indulgent snack.

  1. Stockton says:

    Omigosh! I love these cookies … at least I think these are them … in the town where I’m from they’re called ‘fiddle diddles’ … can’t wait to try this and see if they’re the same!

  2. emily says:

    wow, okay, where’s the tray from?

  3. lena says:

    these are the cutest photos lisa.
    they look straight out of a vintage cookbook!

  4. Marsha says:

    Hi! Just found your site through Heidi Swanson’s site. I am interested in the leaf pattern bowls shown in the picture above. I grew up with bowls like that, and my mother has been talking about them lately. It would be such a great surprise if I could find some for her.

  5. grace says:

    hi marsha, welcome! i’m a huge, huge fan of heidi’s site. it was such a thrill to be part of her new cookbook feature.

    i’m pretty sure lisa’s bowls are vintage. i would check ebay, 1st dibs and etsy for originals.

    also, shops like three potato four: sometimes have bowls like this.

    does anyone else have a good idea for sourcing these bowls?


  6. Sue says:

    Can you use butter?

  7. laura says:

    I am totally jealous of that collection of bowls. The designer is a favorite of mine, Catherine Holm.

  8. the bowls are Cathrineholm bowls. (usually one word.. yes, no e between the h & r)

    here is some background info on the bowls

  9. lisa c says:

    hi everyone, thanks for your compliments! the bowls are actually Catherineholm (one word) and they were designed by a Norwegian woman named Grete Prydz Kittelsen in the mid-century. they are pretty easy to find on Ebay.

  10. kristina says:

    I bet butter would probably harden up better than margarine in this recipe, but I will defer to Lisa!

  11. BeccaJane22 says:

    I love the tray. Where’s it from????

  12. lisa c. says:

    beccajane: the tray is a vintage japanese tray. most of my stuff is vintage!

  13. cevec says:

    I saw vintage utensils like what you’ve got at a thrift store recently, and didn’t get them (silly me). Of course, now I’m regretting it … all I can remember is that they said “Made in Denmark” on the back, and I assume they were melamine (they were a very hard plastic).

    Any idea what brand your utensils are? The closest I’ve been able to find online are the Rosti utensils from the 60s & 70s …

    Thanks! Lovely vintage kitchen goodies!

  14. helen says:

    oh, my friend becky and i ate tons of these (literally, i think) in junior high. luckily i’d forgotten about them … until now!

  15. elizaduckie says:

    Try Crate and Berel’s newest catalog for an oval curved version in Willow. And search the internet for “Bentwood Tray” and you may find a white modern version on a stand that’s floating around, for $39.95. There also was a gorgeous inlaid vintage tray [sorry already sold] in the same rectangle shape. Keep looking..
    Good Luck!

  16. elizaduckie says:

    Oops..typo — Crate and Barrel, of course!

  17. lisa c says:

    cevec: i have an enormous collection of plastic utensils. most are from the US, but i do have about 10 Danish. i also get them at thriftstores. they are easy to find!

  18. Bari says:

    Lisa… you are even cool when you are cooking! Love all the wares! Huge fan of your work & of course, Design Sponge.

  19. I made a version of these cookies for an x-mas cookies swap, they are also referred to as cow paddies.

  20. angelune says:

    gosh lisa, everything looks so yummy!

  21. tricia says:

    I’m a little late, but I really love that pear shaped cream and sugar set. Who makes those?


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