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What Kind of Summer?
DC recs, snack mix, and a special sale
There’s no adequate way to sum up this past week. First off, I am so blown away by your support for my full time hot sauce endeavors. It’s only been a few days but I feel so good about what’s to come. You showed up, online and in person at a very fun happy hour to say congratulations and offer your support and I’m so grateful. Paid subscribers got more details about how I made the decision to go full time (this week, you’re getting a recommendation for an ingredient I’ve been using constantly and as always, supporting this small business).
I’m also positively enraged by the shooting in Uvdale, Texas, the shootings that have happened since, and the new details that emerge everyday about police failure and the lives it cost. The system cannot serve those it was never meant to protect and we need to radically rethink safety in this country. I’m sharing lots of reads about the issue down below and hope you’re finding ways to balance action with moments of grace, for yourself and your communities. And call your senators this week! Don’t let them move on, there is too much at stake.
Lastly—and here comes the tonal shift—Erica and I are running a sale on our summer meal prep series, which kicks off June 12th. The classes are on Zoom on Sunday afternoons (you can catch the replays if you can’t make it live) and designed to leave you ready for the week ahead with dishes that mix and match, plus breakfast! Use code SUMMER10 for 10% off the already discounted package. This is our only sale so don’t miss out! We can’t wait to cook with you.
Now, let’s dive in.
Something to cook:
For the happy hour, I wanted to bring snacks. I made a big batch of cookie dough Sunday and froze it until Thursday, then baked it off with generous sprinkles of sea salt.
For something savory and a little spicy, I made sriracha snack mix from Lukas Volger’s new cookbook Snacks for Dinner and it was so delicious and easy. I tweaked the recipe to work with the nuts I had on hand (almonds, pepitas, and peanuts) and skipped the puffed rice. It was a hit. As with any recipe that involves toasting nuts, watch them closely so they don’t burn.
I made breakfast tacos with avocado and cholula for an easy midweek lunch. The ultimate under 10 minute meal.
Natalie was a consummate host in DC this weekend and made a loaf of banana bread for snacking and breakfast. It was Mattie Kahn’s recipe and has tahini, which I love using in banana bread.
Something to order:
Common Mollie’s was the perfect venue for our happy hour. They allow outside food and had some fun specials including a cucumber jalapeño margarita, which I obviously had. Leah sent Williamsburg Pizza, the best, and it was such a blast to meet some new people and see everyone bond! Look out for more events this summer and maybe a London meet up in the fall!
I spent the long weekend in DC with Julia and Natalie and we ate well. I hadn’t been to DC since 2017 (it was the subject of one of the first newsletters I wrote) and the food is impressive.
On Friday, we had dinner at Martha Dear, a Neopolitan pizza place with natural wine that I absolutely loved. Get a chilled red and the pie with halloumi and tomatoes. The dip duo was also very good and it’s below Mount Desert Island Ice Cream for dessert. If you have to wait for a table, browse at Bold Fork Books, a cookbook store a few doors down. After dinner we got to meet 7 week old kittens, which was a real highlight of the trip! They were so tiny and had to be weighed on a food scale! My heart!
We had a park picnic with food from Tryst and Amsterdam Falafel and then headed to dinner at St. Vincent Wine, which has a huge backyard. We split a bunch of dishes including labneh, a romaine salad, and a pasta and more chilled red wine.
I met my cousins for lunch at Sababa, which had really delicious Jerusalem bagel sandwiches, hummus, and halloumi, again. Love halloumi (it’s actually in our June meal prep class menu). Julia, Natalie and I met up for some museum hopping—we visited the Renwick Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery and I really loved both (and that they were free to visit and well air conditioned).
Madison recommended Maxwell Park’s Shaw location and it was one of my favorite spots of the trip. The wine list was fun (they have monthly themes) and the staff was so kind and knowledgable and the food was incredible—we had edamame dumplings and miso butter clams. Then we ran into our friend Morgan, which was the best surprise! Running into people while traveling is a good reminder of how small the world is and it was great to catch up with her.
Something to read:
I share more reads in the Thursday newsletter for paid subscribers.
Meet The Spice Company Founder Who Sees Chai As A Metaphor I love Diaspora Co and their tote is perfect for travel.
Have you been redistricted? Check here ahead of the primary!
I’ve had to lead many school shooting drills and they are not easy, but sadly necessary. The kids are used to doing them.
DC was hot and cold drinks were essential. Your suggestions reminded me of the cimarrona, a Guatemalan drink that’s ideal for a hangover or dehydration.
Madeleine’s suggestion is so good: my favorite hot-weather drink of choice is the go-to remedy in mexico for a hangover, fever or hot day: seltzer with lime and salt. the most perfect refreshing drink. i don't have a huge sweet tooth and one of these always feels like a big treat to me. (i wrote about this a few years ago and still stand by every word!!)
Candice has an old school New York drink for a hot day: Last summer I was browsing around a bodega in Carroll Gardens, knowing I wanted something bubbly and refreshing but not feeling in the mood for a seltzer. I looked in one of the cabinets to the back, seeing what oddities might exist I hadn't considered before. An espresso coffee soda I wasn't familiar with, Manhattan Special, called out to me, and I decided to give it a try. A bubbly punch of sweet coffee was exactly what I didn't know I needed, but I knew I'd need to have it again. Back in my own neighborhood of South Slope, I took to a local neighborhood Facebook group (Park Slope Together) to ask if any neighborhoods new of local spots I could find this drink, and to my surprise and some 80+ comments later, it's apparently an old New York staple, readily had in many bodegas, and even on tap in some old-time Brooklyn locales (such as Ferdinando's Focacceria). Recommendations to pair with a splash of half and half as a mock egg cream, or pour over ice cream as an affogato, were welcome suggestions and will certainly be my favorite ways to beat the heat this coming summer.
Veronica’s suggestion is perfect for when you can’t have too much more caffeine but want an iced coffee: In the summer, I love a half iced coffee, half ice water. I'm sure that's some people's nightmares (watered down on purpose?! the gall!). But it's hydrating with a nice caffeinated kick. For a cocktail, I LOVE a hugo. It's a spritz-like drink with prosecco, elderflower, and mint.
This week, I’d love to hear your favorite summer dessert to make! It can be ice cream or fruit based (I love a peach crumble or ice cream sandwiches). Reply to this email with your thoughts and I’ll share the sweet responses next week.
Take care this week and thank you for reading!