What I love about cooking is that it’s always there for you. Some days, you don’t need it all, opting instead to exist on takeout and your coworker’s supply of gummy bears. Other days, you use it to power through with smart meal preps and healthy work lunches.
And then there are the times when you want an elaborate pasta dish on a weeknight.
This recipe, which involves slathering feta cheese with olive oil and honey, is best served right out of the oven while it’s still slightly warm. Ideally you want to use a block of feta cheese here, not the precrumbled stuff.
This week’s recipe is inspired by birthdays. Mine! And never one to pass up an opportunity to make a giant spread of food, I made myself some blondies.
My friend helped fund a salted pretzel cake from local baker Wandering Whisk Bakeshop for my celebration. But I wanted to have a couple other treats available at the celebration in case we ran out of cake, or family members with dietary restrictions (or picky palates) wanted something else.
Honestly, it was really just an excuse to bake a lot of things I would never eat myself. And to bust out the sprinkles.
Look, I don’t know what happened to the other herb plants.
I bought the cute herb ladder at Ikea, assembled it, propped it up against the porch screen, placed little pots of cilantro and mint and basil in the small white baskets. My heart knew this was no way to sustain plant life. But my Pinterest-addled brain had hope.
After years of not being able to kill the abundant rosemary plant in our backyard, and a persistent basil plant before that, I was confident in my herb-growing abilities. But within weeks, the plants had shriveled up and turned brown. The twee white pots that came with the ladder were the problem; without holes in the bottom, the water didn’t have anywhere to go, and the poor cilantro probably drowned.
To flourish, the herbs would need more room. It was time to clear out our garden bed, up until now home to that rosemary plant and a ton of scallions.
Current obsession in my kitchen: Recreating a granola I like to order at my go-to coffee shop. It’s an expensive habit, so I set out to reverse-engineer it at home. One of the key ingredients is dates, those large raisin-like dried fruits that have lots of delightful health benefits. I bought a bag of whole, pitted dates for my granola, and they are the perfect sweet addition.
The star of this recipe is harissa, a spicy condiment with roots in Africa. It’s mainly composed of hot red pepper, cumin, garlic and caraway, but there are variations. You can buy it in a jar at the grocery store and use just a bit to flavor many dishes.
Do you smell the sweet fruit wafting through the produce aisles? It’s strawberry season in Florida!
These are tea cakes, really just muffins that are a little bit dainty. They are the result of wanting a treat that was not totally desserty but had chocolate in it. Oh, and used the gorgeous strawberries I had just bought. Oh, and contained some almond flour, because I have a lot of it leftover from Christmas cookie baking.
In recent years, it has busted out of its shell and gained popularity as an alternative to other foods.
There’s the rice alternative, in which cauliflower is grated on a large box grater or broken down in a food processor into small, ricelike pieces, then cooked until soft. There’s the mashed potato alternative, when cauliflower is cooked and pureed with things like milk and cheese. And there’s even the steak alternative, where you cut the cauliflower into thick slabs and roast it in the oven or in a skillet with plenty of olive oil and salt and pepper until it’s soft.