Ruth Reichl has described matzo brei as "one of life's perfect foods," and I couldn't agree more. After all, what's more comforting than a meal composed of reassuring ingredients like butter, eggs, and crackers? Still better is this nontraditional version of the Ashkenazi dish that's inspired by yet another Passover favorite: lox, eggs, and onions. Even if you don't observe the holiday, consider this scramble of sorts for your next breakfast. It's ideal with sweet (try drizzling it with a bit of honey) and savory (topped with a dollop of sour cream) — and it takes 10 minutes to make. Want the recipe? Then read on.
To be quite honest, my dad's not much of a cook, but that which he does make he does with great enthusiasm (and to delectable effect). Trays of meaty lasagna are at the center of his annual Super Bowl party, and Summer hasn't officially started 'til his tangy marinated chicken hits the grill, but it's his french toast, waffles, and pancakes that he is best known for in our family. Now, this recipe isn't his go-to — his is a classic stove-top affair — but I choose to take the lazy lady's route and pop mine in the oven to avoid flipping slice after slice.
Now I'm loathe to knock my dad's breakfast routine — I'll happily devour anything he cooks up given the opportunity — but this recipe is not only less labor-intensive and thus perfect for bleary-eyed mornings and group entertaining, but something truly magical happens as the sugar and butter bubble up in the oven. Tender like bread pudding in the center but with a crisp caramel-topped lid, this is, and will continue to be, my go-to recipe for the classic brunch and breakfast staple. I encourage you to follow suit.
When it comes to baked goods, looks can occasionally be deceiving. Take this cranberry-swirled gingerbread cake: slightly unassuming in appearance, it's an unlikely contender for crowd favorite when placed side by side with luscious pies, or an elegantly frosted chocolate cake.
That is, until the first bite is consumed. The batter, deeply spiced and spiked with bittersweet molasses, is a strong contender for my favorite gingerbread tasted to date. A hefty swirl of sweet-tart cranberry sauce simply gilds the lily, firmly placing this cranberry-swirled gingerbread in my cake hall of fame.
Despite its unconventional nature, chances are, this year it'll have a place at my Thanksgiving table, and many more times throughout the season to come. I urge you to look beyond aesthetics and do the same.
To eliminate any potential disaster on your first ice cream try, start out with a recipe that doesn't call for an egg yolk or custard base. That way, you won't have to worry about your egg yolks curdling or scrambling, or the lengthy cooling time that follows. While gelato and frozen sorbet contain eggs, ice cream in its purest incarnation actually doesn't. This light, airy ice cream incorporates the rich flavors of maple syrup and walnuts with cream and a touch of milk. Beginners, if you're interested, keep reading for the basic recipe.
Chances are, if you grace my dinner table anytime between June and October, you'll be digging into a heaping bowl of tomato salad. My weekly farmers market trip practically revolves around their acquisition, and I can predict with startling accuracy my mood for the week based on whether I got my fill or not.
More often than not, the tomatoes are destined for the simplest of salads: sliced (or halved, in the case of cherry tomatoes) and dressed with a hefty sprinkle of sea salt, a drizzle of olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, if that, because the best Summer tomatoes don't really need to be gussied up.
This, however, is a game changer. It's likely that I might have simply skipped over this recipe and kept with tradition, greedily gobbling bowl after bowl of the simply dressed fruit, but something about this salad drew me in. Perhaps it was its provenance (I'll almost always blindly follow recipe advice from Melissa Clark) or maybe it was the addition of fish sauce (I'm a sucker for the briny liquid). Either way, I'd suggest that you too break out of your comfort zone and give this variation on the classic Summer salad a try.