chicken tikka masala
It happened somewhere between the collards and kale. A young woman—my age, give or take a couple years—picked a bunch of asparagus, grabbed a bag of kale, and bounded onward to the raspberries. Something inside of me lurched. “Hey!” I wanted to yell after her. “Hey! Hey! You made a huge mistake! The loose kale is $0.99 per pound! And that bag, that 1-pound bag is $3.59!” Then I rolled my eyes at myself and went on my way. But now, I’m thinking about it again.
rye waffles (or, the “other” marion cunningham waffle recipe)
One of Marion Cunningham’s most famous recipes is for yeast-raised waffles, which, a couple years ago, I made and loved and ruined most of when I stacked them on a baking sheet fresh-out-of-the-iron. I know. It’s Waffle 101. And I learned it the hard way. Never stack waffles. If you’re making a big batch, do set them on a baking sheet, in a toasty oven—but don’t let them touch each other. Otherwise, they’ll become limp and flaccid and wholly unappealing. Even if it is the best recipe for waffles ever. Or, so we thought.
So they say, the late Katharine Hepburn lived by three rules: “1) Never quit. 2) Be yourself. 3) Don’t put too much flour in your brownies.” I try to follow her lead. Ever since Dorie Greenspan’s magnum opus made its way into my family, I’ve been well acquainted with Ms. Hepburn’s famous, not-too-floury brownies. Five years ago—give or take—my mom went through a brownie phase and the actress’s recipe became a household favorite: thin from afar, but deceptively fudgy, gooey, and rich. They were wonderful. I ate way too many. But it wasn’t until college, when I found my own go-to, can’t-be-beat brownie recipe. The headline is, I admit, not quite as click-worthy as “Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies,” as only a few Hamiltonian readers will know who I’m talking about. Make no mistake, though. They are the best brownies in the world. No offense to Ms. Hepburn.
my two go-to chocolate cakes
chocolate layer cake (with espresso buttercream + mocha ganache)
I’ve been meaning to post these recipes for years. In fact, if I were being completely, unabashedly honest with you—I’d admit that I’ve even photographed each for the blog before. Multiple times. It’s not that they weren’t worth posting. The pictures sat in my iPhoto library, collecting dust until I moved away from whatever dorm I was in. Then they became obsolete. But I have a theory why I never felt the usual rush: Because every time I made chocolate cake—be it layer, or bundt—some part of me knew, I’d make it again. I couldn’t stay away.
It was just the other night. Smith and I were settling into bed, the bugs outside our window were just waking up. I had a glass of bourbon and peach juice in one hand, an unread issue of Bon Appétit in the other. Everything seemed very peaceful and perfect. Then I got to the “Readers’ Favorite Restaurant Recipes” section of the magazine. And there it was. Green gazpacho. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” I squealed. I waved the magazine around and
shoved the page in Smith’s face showed the page to Smith. “It’s here!” I yelled, outraged. “Green gazpacho! You’ve got to be kidding me!” I should clarify, the indignation wasn’t because I made green gazpacho over two months ago and, still, Bon Appétit beat me to the publishing punch. It was because I made green gazpacho over two months ago. And it was gross.