A 5-hour, 27-course meal at Blue Hill at Stone Barns

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I recently spent five days at the Culinary Institute of America for a cooking boot camp in upstate New York. When I was planning the trip, I noticed the campus was only about 45 minutes north of Stone Barns, a large farm and research center in Tarrytown, N.Y. It’s also the home of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a restaurant opened in 2004 by Dan Barber, a James Beard-nominated chef who was the subject of an episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table. Barber is a farm-to-table pioneer — the restaurant utilizes the farm’s bounty to create different dishes each night.

I had to know what it was like to eat there. I am a big believer in YOLO (that’s “you only live once”) meals, meals that transcend the typical dining scenario to become a true experience.

Well, this was definitely that, lasting 5 hours and 27 courses. You can read all about it here. 

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Carrot Coconut Soup with Crispy Almonds and Shallots

Carrot Coconut Soup with Crispy Almonds and Shallots

A vegetable-focused dish felt right after my recent visit to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a restaurant opened in 2004 by Dan Barber, a James-Beard nominated chef who was the subject of an episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table.

Barber is a farm-to-table pioneer — the restaurant utilizes the bounty from the large farm surrounding it to create different dishes each night. You can see fields of kale and tomatoes from the dining room window. And at least half the menu showcased plates composed almost entirely of vegetables.

So when I was flipping through cookbook author and celeb Chrissy Teigen’s new book Cravings: Hungry for More this past week, I was drawn to a bright carrot soup.

Skillet Chicken Thighs with White Beans and Lemon

Skillet Chicken Thighs with White Beans and Lemon

Sometimes, like before traveling or around the holidays, I am in pure Simple Cooking mode, which means I want to use as few dishes as possible, cook for less than 30 minutes, and not buy a ton of new ingredients to get meals on the table.

Enter this recipe. It checks all of those boxes: Everything cooks in the same skillet (albeit not at the exact same time), and the total cooking time comes in at just under a half hour. If you’re not sure about cooking with sliced lemon, leave it out and, just before serving, squeeze fresh lemon juice onto each serving instead.