Old Favorites and a Big Announcement
Come cook with Erica & me!
This month has been exceedingly different from May of last year. I celebrated Mother’s Day in person, I have plans to see a friend’s new apartment this week, and I have a lot of travel coming up (a wedding in Maryland this weekend and then a long awaited trip to California later this month). My work life looks different too—I’m formally a business owner, I’ve been teaching remotely for over a year, and virtual cooking classes are bringing me lots of joy. My favorite meals this week were old favorites—dishes I’ve made or ordered so many times. They bring some much needed consistency to this time of (mostly good) changes.
On the cooking class front, I have an exciting announcement: Erica and I are hosting a summer meal prep club! We had a great time teaching last month’s meal prep class and want to keep the party going. We know cooking can be a challenge in the busy summer months and want to make it easier. Each month, from June to September, we’ll host one Sunday class to get you set for the week with flavorful and seasonal main dishes, sides, breakfast options, and some surprises. Each class will include vegetarian and gluten free options and tips on multitasking in the kitchen to get a lot done in a little time.
You can sign up for all four classes for just $99, which saves you over 30%. The package includes 20+ recipes, meal prep remix ideas, and four live classes with on demand recordings. The package makes a great gift, if I do say so myself. Don’t know your plans yet? You can also enroll in each class on its own and say goodbye to Sunday scaries all summer long. We cannot wait to cook with you soon. Let me know if you have any questions and I hope you’ll join the club!
Now, let’s dive in.
Something to cook:
I made a batch of my favorite veggie burgers on Thursday night. I topped them with avocado, cheese and some sriracha mayo with a little rice vinegar. If you make these at home, get some Martin’s Potato rolls for the full experience. The patties freeze well too.
Julia Turshen’s Simply Julia continues to delight. I made Grace’s green beans, a simple green bean and tomato dish. While they cooked, I made some pasta (mini shells go so well with grape tomatoes) and added a little rosé to deglaze the pan and add some extra flavor. I tossed the vegetables with the pasta and some pasta water and topped the whole thing with feta. A winner!
I brought over cookies for Mother’s Day and made the dough in advance (a 24 hour rest really deepens the flavor). I now have a bunch of frozen cookie dough balls in the freezer. Leah picked up bagels, scallion cream cheese, and lox from Have A Bagel and my dad handled the beverages with cinnamon cardamum cold brew and mimosas.
Last night’s rain interrupted my grocery plans (I went this morning), but luckily I had all the ingredients for chickpea pasta. As always, I added spinach, frozen this time. It’s a simple dish that never lets me down.
On the kitchen front, I filmed a fridge tour on IGTV! Take a peek and let me know if we have any fridge items in common.
Something to order:
Angely and I caught up over lunch at BK Taco Factory in Bushwick. I had a delicious torta with potatoes and poblano (they have multiple veg options, which I love) and we got coffee and matcha at Mixtape afterwards. There is nothing better than Brooklyn on a sunny day.
Dale and I ordered a pie from Williamsburg Pizza and it was way better than usual (it’s always good but this was next level). The delivery guy said it was a slow night so it tasted fresh out of the oven. An incredible surprise.
Some of my favorite evenings last summer were at Syndicated, which shows outdoor movies at 8:30 each night (here’s the May schedule). They’ve added a heated awning and as ever, you have to arrive early to get a table (6:15 in our case). Leah, Julia, and I watched a classic, Mamma Mia: Here We Go again with an extremely enthusiastic audience (everyone sang and danced at the appropriate points). It was a joy. Get some waffle fries and the house rosé and enjoy the show.
On Saturday, we ran a few errands in the city and then got dinner at Old Town Bar near Union Square. It’s over 100 years old and worth waiting for a booth. I got the veggie burger and a gin and tonic and we split mozzarella sticks. Comfort food at its finest.
Something to read:
Are you still growing scallions? This sauce looks so good
Learning to unlearn with Dr. Emily Contois (cw: this interview is about diet culture)
The business of being an independent writer. I feel so lucky to do this and also very tired a lot of the time.
As a kid, I absolutely loved going to restaurants (shocker, right?) and this tribute to dining out with kids was very sweet
Now, let’s talk about grocery shopping! There’s also a fun thread from last year about what to add to your cart.
Madison’s pandemic routine has less fun browsing (same): My grocery store routine has changed SO MUCH from pre-pandemic until now. Pre-pandemic, I used to go frequently, and just lazily peruse and browse the aisles. A trip to the grocery store was definitely an enjoyable moment for me to spark joy and creativity. I'd find new ingredients and dream up new dishes to make at home. That was one of the hardest things to lose during the pandemic! Trips to the grocery store became stressful, hurried and more about just efficiency-- what could I grab to just make the one trip a week. I can't wait until I'm fully vaccinated (1.5 weeks and counting) and can go back to my days of lingering through aisles as many times a week as I please!!
Chrissy has a list making hack that sounds clutch: I also love grocery stores - visiting a new one is the highlight of every trip/vacation! I eat the same rotation of things for breakfast and lunch, but like to meal plan my dinners and snacks and build my weekly shopping list around that. I usually go to Trader Joe's, my preferred store (such a delight!) on Saturday morning, though during the pandemic/WFH I've been going Friday afternoons instead. I also use Out of Milk, a simple but handy app, to make my list. I love lists, and this one helps me add things as I run out of them so I don't inevitably forget them.
I’m going to keep next week’s newsletter short due to my travel schedule so there’s no question this week (it also will arrive a little later in the day)! But as always, my inbox is open for your reactions and questions. Paid subscribers will receive a bonus on Thursday. Thanks again for reading and supporting This Needs Hot Sauce!