DIY BYOB: Cold Summer Beverages

Ahh, summer: The season of frittering away my paycheck on iced beverages. The season of recycling many, many plastic drink cups and the accompanying “I shouldn’t be using so much plastic” guilt. The season of wondering exactly how much sugar is in all those iced beverages. No more! A few weeks ago, I decided to … Continue reading

In which I screw up the bechamel.

Every so often I’ll go to cook something I’ve made many times before, and that I know how to make, and could make in my sleep, and I mess it up. I’ve made bechamel over and over again for macaroni and cheese, tuna noodle casserole*, and whatever else, but a few weeks ago I was … Continue reading

“You need to get a new banana bread recipe!”

That’s how Jay greeted me, without saying hello, as I walked in from yoga this afternoon. Before I left, I had mixed up a batch of Joanne Chang’s banana bread from Flour and left Jay in charge of testing it and taking it out of the oven. The recipe had rave reviews, so you can … Continue reading

Whoopie pie/courtesy of Flickr user andrewb823 used under a Creative Commons license

“A good whoopie pie never expires”

Maybe you’ve heard about the small tempest brewing in Maine over an attempt to designate whoopie pies the official state dessert. If you’re out of the loop, rest assured, members of the public have been speaking out: “A good whoopie pie never expires,” said a costume-wearing visitor to the Maine Legislature who identified himself as … Continue reading

Farewell to the Minimalist

Mark Bittman’s Minimalist column ends its run today. I’m sad, but I love his farewell column for its articulation of the Minimalist approach to recipes and cooking, and I’m glad he’ll be staying on at the Times and still writing about food. Also, what am I complaining for? I own two heavily used Mark Bittman … Continue reading

Barnard College graduation at Low Library, 1913, courtesy of the Library of Congress used under a Creative Commons license

College cooking lessons

I am an admissions volunteer for my alma mater, Barnard College, and on Saturday, I interviewed a student who is a food enthusiast–she has a food blog and writes restaurant reviews for her school newspaper. Barnard is a great place to be a food lover. It’s in New York, most students aren’t on a meal … Continue reading

Alice’s sweet and spicy beef noodles

Tonight’s dinner, sweet and spicy beef noodles, came to us courtesy of my old friend and former roommate Alice. Alice describes this dish as “Chinese spaghetti with meat sauce,” an apt metaphor. You almost feel like you should break out the parmesan cheese and start grating—until you taste the sauce, which is about as far … Continue reading

A kitchen gadget I use every day

I’m not a fan of gimmicky kitchen gadgets and gizmos that do one thing and one thing only and take up shelf space and gather dust the rest of the time. Over the weekend I was at Macy’s and saw a mini donut maker. How often would you really use that? Right. I use my … Continue reading

Putting on my dinner rally cap

I came from behind to score a victory on dinner last night: Mark Bittman’s Chicken Provencale.* I was nearly defeated by giant olives that were impossible to pit because they didn’t really fit in the pitter contraption I got from my dad. Then I realized that I forgot to ask the butcher to split the … Continue reading

Deep thoughts, kitchen edition

Why is it that you never remember the stove getting really dirty, and suddenly it’s really %&*#$ dirty?!