Back to School

September skies, long dinners, and breakfast dates

It’ s a gorgeous Monday, with weather in the 70s and bright blue skies. I’m entering a busy season of life, with the return of in person school (I teach part time), upcoming weddings, and a move. My first instinct is to try and power through it, but I’m trying a different approach, one of taking it one day at a time (which will be a challenge for my list making Virgo self) and staying present as much as possible. I’m here for any tips for doing that!

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Now, let’s dive in.

Something to cook:

For Yom Kippur breakfast, I was in charge of fruit. It was hard to make fruit salad while fasting but it tasted so good once we could eat. I added some mint and lime juice to the combination of berries and pineapple and it was so hydrating. We also had bagels, lemon pound cake, and some much needed coffee.

Julia and I continued our Omsom habit with the spicy bulgogi tofu. I know I’m a broken record, but these starters are so great and make dinner so quick. I’ll get to Julia’s apartment and we can be eating dinner in 20 minutes, which is remarkable given how much we talk. Here’s a link to get $5 off.

Erica and I wrapped up our summer meal prep club yesterday with a delicious late summer/early fall menu (it includes apple crisp, a summery grain salad, and an heirloom tomato sauce). We had so much fun cooking with you this summer and I’m personally very excited to eat these dishes all week.

I picked up Persian cucumbers and was reminded how good they are. I’ll snack on them with a dip or add them to a salad.

Something to order:

Natalie and I grabbed breakfast at Maya’s Congee Cafe, which also has a great selection of Asian groceries (so many kinds of chili crisp). We got breakfast sandwiches with avocado and sriracha ketchup and iced coffees (it’s regular iced coffee not cold brew, which is my preference) and sat outside. I’ll be back to try the congee. Here for more breakfast dates!

Frida and I got a last minute dinner at Lighthouse on Saturday night (she’s a real MVP) and had such a nice time. We sat outside and split a bunch of stuff: summery tomatoes with feta, charred corn, the smoothest hummus with still warm pita, and fries with herb mayo, while sipping glasses of chilled red wine (the wine selection at Lighthouse is always superb). I love dinners where you don’t look at your phone for hours and then are surprised by how late it is.

I got Sage takeout on Friday and have to shoutout their green curry. It’s so good and enough for two meals (I love leftovers).

Something to read:

The podcast I recorded last week with Foster Collective is out now!

The Liberation of Paris from Cars is Working (New York, please take notes!)

Why New York has some of the country’s best Vietnamese food

I shared a recommendation in this fun cookbook preview from Food52! Thanks again, Justine!

Do you have a lucky meal?

Revolt of the Delivery Workers (this is a long, but extraordinary read on community organizing and so much more)

Where did you grow up?

Atoosa Rubenstein and her comeback

Traveling to find an Asian American History of the Gold Rush

For restaurants operating in neighborhoods with lower rates of vaccination, the city’s vaccine mandate has been a balancing act

A new slice spot in the neighborhood

Dunkin as a lifestyle brand (found this in Nisha’s spot on fall newsletter)

Alicia Kennedy on salt

In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, Azikiwee Anderson turned baking into a business with a mission to challenge stereotypes.

The myth of the productive commute

Are ‘water positive’ pledges from tech companies just a new kind of greenwashing?

Melissa passed along an ARC of this Hanukkah Romcom, which was so cute! It comes out later this month.


Now, let’s talk about fall. It starts in 2 days and I’m not quite prepared (for me, the worst part is the early sunsets) but I am starting to crave pumpkin and have apple picking on the agenda!

Rebecca has the condiments covered (such a good way to preserve the fall fruits): Ooo all the homemade applesauce, apple (pear, pumpkin) butters! I'll literally just make them every season JUST for the glorious smells!

Julianne’s answer made me even more excited for apple picking: Fall! Wow, here we all already, moments away from the familiar trio of apple cider donuts, apple cider, and apples! I love our tradition of apple picking at the start of the season, which is always met with exchanging apple recipes via group chat. (Would love a reminder, of course, but I do love an apple, brie, Dijon, turkey sandwich, and of course, the crispy apple muffins! Last year's competition was so fun!) I don't love the taste of pumpkin spice as much as I love the scented candles. Excited to bring on the cozy fall vibes with you! 


This week, I want to hear your favorite ways to use apples (a nod to the back school vibes and my upcoming apple picking excursion). I love the crisp we made in class yesterday and of course Grandma Bessie's apple cake. Plus, they’re a great snack with peanut butter and a little cinnamon!

Get the apple cake recipe

Have a good week! I’ll be back Thursday with a bonus edition for paid subscribers.


xo, Abigail