Really Good Toast & Your Cooking Playlists
Plus, the new vaccine mandate
On Tuesday, NYC announced a new program where vaccines will be required to dine indoors, attend performances, and do many other activities. I’m thrilled about this initiative, the first of its kind in the US (France has done something similar). We had a conversation about it on Instagram and most people were similarly into it—one question I got a bunch was why wait until September 13th to begin enforcement? There are a few reasons: If you saw this announcement and wanted to get vaccinated to keep indoor dining, going to the movies, etc, it would take 5-6 weeks to get your doses and build immunity. Vaccine appointments are up in the city, which shows this part is working. Next, it gives restaurants and other businesses a chance to plan their systems (remember when Cuomo #theworst ended to go drinks with 24 hours notice? it’s not good). I’ve seen and spoken to many restaurants that are already requiring vaccines and many more will start before the government date. Here’s a running list. Also, it’s summer and outdoor dining is still a great option.
Another great option is my August happy hour at Tuffet (it’s in their backyard) on August 24th at 6:30 pm. I love Tuffet and cannot wait to see people in person. Please RSVP here so we can give them a headcount and note this event is for vaccinated guests only.
Now, let’s dive in.
Something to Cook:
I spent part of the week recipe testing for our August meal prep class, which is coming up soon. The class is oven free and includes a grapefruit mint cocktail and taco salad that I’m quite excited for. Any salad that includes chips is a win in my book. All of our classes include vegetarian and gf options.
Other than that, I kept things simple in the kitchen with soft scrambled eggs, lots of toast (I got some bread from Winner in Park Slope and basically had toast for dinner because the bread was so good), and smoothies (I used leftover mint from the cocktail in my smoothie).
Gotham Greens sent me their new vegan caesar dressing and it’s quite good and peppery. It’s thick enough to use with salad or as a dip.
I used the last of the bread to make croutons in the cast iron pan by frying torn bread in olive oil with salt and pepper until golden. Try it the next time you have stale bread and get ready for an epic salad.
Something to order:
Delia and I got oysters and orange wine at Lighthouse, which has one of the best happy hours around. It goes till 6:30 and also includes Israeli nachos with pita chips and tahini.
Julianne hosted a fabulous event at Duck Duck and it was so nice to see people in one of my favorite spaces. The meat eaters raved about Boogie’s Birria, who popped up for the event.
Breakfast dates are real winners these days. Natalie, Oset, and I met at Winner for a weekday treat. They sold out of egg sandwiches before 10, but the pastries were so good. I especially loved the carrot ginger loaf. If you go, grab a half loaf of bread to take home. Toast for days.
Friday was a really busy workday and it was after 6 before I left the house (do not recommend). To get some fresh air and film this, Dale and I met Julia at Tuffet for some backyard drinks (I love the spa water with tequila, chili, and ginger).
The backyard closed early for a private event so we walked to Ainslie for dinner. Dale and Julia loved the wings (they’re roasted with rosemary, salt, and pepper) and we all enjoyed the pizza, penne alla vodka and lightly sparkling Txakoli rosé. Dale and I grabbed beers at Rocka Rolla after and sat in their backyard for a while. It was such a fun Brooklyn night, where one thing seamlessly led to the next.
Mesa Coyoacan is a longtime favorite and the owner Ivan Garcia was just featured in the New Yorker. Read his story and then head on over for dinner, brunch, you name it. Dale and I got a late lunch/early dinner (it was 4:30, I don’t know how to classify it) and continued our quest to try every margarita flavor (between the two of us we’ve tried all of them but strawberry). Grapefruit and cucumber are my favorite and Dale loves the mango. I always order the mushroom tacos.
Something to Read:
The Washington Post is now calling for fine sea salt in recipes instead of kosher salt. Read more about the change.
Nach Waxman of Kitchen Arts and Letters Cookbook store dies. I loved that store.
The history and cost of Ziploc bags
Restaurants nationwide should require proof of covid vaccination (I’m curious if other cities will follow New York’s lead)
The new vaccine mandate and how it will be implemented
The nuances of food appropriation and congee
American shoppers are a nightmare
A birthday cake for Dorie Greenspan’s granddaughter
Fishs Eddy is such a fun store to browse and I loved this profile of owner Julie Gaines.
Sorel liquor is back after a five year hiatus. I definitely want to try it.
The woman who rifles through New York City’s garbage–exposing the city’s excess. There is so much waste built into our world.
I love Chrissy’s reflections on turning 39
We’re still exhausted and so much for hot vax summer
Erica told me about Celebrity Book Club last month and it is an absolute delight (start with the Danny Meyer episode if you like restaurants). I loved learning more about the hosts in this piece.
NYC’s just cause laws dramatically shift the power dynamic between fast-food managers and employees. Will other cities follow?
Erica and I did a reels challenge where we each posted a new reel everyday for 7 days. Check out four of my favorite spicy products, tips for newsletter growth, and a fun travel moment. I loved Erica’s pasta recipe, meal prep confessions, and I use her knife stabilization tip every time I cook.
Now, let’s talk about kitchen playlists. You have incredible soundtracks in the kitchen and I so appreciated the links!
Rebecca knows cooking time is podcast time: I'm a podcast and long YouTube video kind of person when I'm cooking and eating
Kathleen is so right about podcast time: As for music while eating/cooking, I’m a huge proponent of turning on something while cooking or eating- I feel like it stems from growing up and always having the TV on in the background for everything- but I understand where people come from when they say they hate it. I love me a good podcast at any time of day so I usually stick with that when needing mindless entertainment, and during these covid times while not having a commute it’s also a great way to listen to podcasts/music!!
Steph sets a mood with the jazz: I love a good jazz playlist, particularly French jazz or covers of pop songs in French. Bossa nova is also fabulous for eating, drinking, or cooking. I prefer music without lyrics, since lyrics distract me if I'm trying to cook or talk to friends.You can't go wrong with anything by Ernest Ranglin: Ernest Ranglin – Wranglin' (Jazz) (Full Album) (1964)
Claire’s playlist is aptly named: Yes, I DO have a cooking soundtrack: Gourmand Groove. (Feel free to share if substack allows/you'd like!) It's a little jazzy, some R&B, & a lot like dancing under a disco ball in my dream kitchen! Oh, and I only listen to it in the kitchen so it stays special.
Julianne always has the perfect soundtrack: Am I the friend who always recognizes the song? Yes, I must be. At home, I love putting on some old funk rock/r&b/jazz, I don't know how it came to be but it's the best. I once said something to my Google Home that I cant really remember now, but it started playing the "Soul Food Kitchen station." It is SO GOOD and makes me so happy to listen to while I cook! Songs like "Come and Get Your Love" and "One Mint Julep." It is kinda fun to chop to a good beat! Also shout out to Julia for always having songs in mind for any occasion and I loved cooking to Folklevermore (sp?? haha) with you both on Sunday!
Lauren brings her favorite spots home through playlists: I personally love music while cooking (and wine) and I loved the phase of restaurants/bars sharing their Spotify playlists because I always notice it and it brings a new layer of personality to the space. One of my favorites is from Lazy Tiger, the cocktail bar from Tim Wiggins in St. Louis.
This week, I want to talk about salt! What salt do you typically use as you cook? I use fine sea salt in most of my cooking and Maldon salt or fleur de sel for finishing salt—I’m all about the crunch. I definitely want to get a fancy salt cellar when I have more counter space.
Reply to this email with your salty thoughts and I’ll share the responses next week!
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Have a great week!