Crispy Spiced Chickpeas

Crispy chickpeas are a salty but healthy snack. Full recipe on

Some cooks put their blood, sweat, and tears into what they cook. That's definitely not me, usually. But for something that only has four ingredients: these crispy, spiced chickpeas definitely cost me a river of blood, a few tears, and Marc a lot of sweat. But I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Easy Creamy Queso

Like Alton Brown, I don't believe in kitchen unitaskers. I hate walking the aisles of a store and seeing knives just for avocados, or a machine that bakes mini cupcakes in a contraption that looks like a George Foreman grill, or a maze-like brownie pan that promises extra crispy edges.

Buttery, Salty Matzah Brei

Turn your piles of Passover Matzah into Matzah Brei. Full recipe on

I've never seen my mom make Matzah Brei, but she is the only person I think of when I cook it.  Spring break in New York always coincides with Passover so my mom, my sister, and I would decamp to Brooklyn to hang out with my grandparents for a seder and a sleepover. Then the next morning my grandma would make my mom Matzah Brei, and I ignored it.

Pomegranate Glazed Ribs

Pomegranate Ribs Slathered with BBQ Sauce. Full recipe on

Sometimes you just need to fangirl a little bit. I once shouted at Stephanie Klein, one of my favorite authors/bloggers, at a book event in Bryant Park. When it was my turn in line to get my book signed I exploded in her face, "I cancelled my gyno appointment to be here." Words cannot describe the Kanye West enthusiasm that I displayed.

Salmon Pokē

Salmon Poke is a great DIY dish. Full recipe on

A good $4 drink is powerful stuff. It gets the night started, is light on your wallet, and I think almost got my friend Cara, from the infamous Penne a la vodka, to move to Philly. Ok so she probably wasn't going to abandon her teaching job on Long Island for a four dollar vodka soda at a college magazine launch party but the non-New York price tag did give her pause. She could have so many more drinks if she moved to Philly and all the deconstructed sushi rolls my kitchen could turn out. And by deconstructed I mean fallen apart and now called salad. Somewhere I had seen this photo of shrimp and avocado wrapped in paper thin cucumber and knew this was the impressive dish I would make when Cara came to town. I have a cheap-ass mandoline that usually gets the job done but failed so hard when I needed sheer sheets of cucumber. What I ended up with were cut fingertips and nubs of cucumber noodles, not the same as sushi.  I gave up and chunked up all of the [Read more...]

Roasted Broccoli Salad

Roasted lemon perks up my easy broccoli salad. Full recipe on

I wouldn't say my former roommate Shannon burns water when she boils it, but when invited to a Friendsgiving she will bring canned cranberry sauce. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I love the stuff and am always glad to see her and the can. But she does step out of her comfort zone from time to time and actually cooks things. When we lived together I remember her making her boyfriend-now husband a chicken dish with some sort of preserves. And recently she sent me a 911 text asking for help with a broccoli salad.

Chris Stover Dumplings

Dumplings are a late night favorite. Make them at home and enjoy them all the time. Full recipe on

Once while driving at 1am to a newspaper plant in New Jersey I thought, "Maybe I should have gotten two orders of dumplings tonight." Dumplings solve all problems. Especially when you and your friends are frantically trying to put out the college newspaper and "Shit, the network is down and we can't send the paper to the printing plant. Time for a road trip."

Chocolate Almond Truffles

One last Choclate Almond Truffle to dip. Full recipe on

Ferrero Rocher truffles, Seventeen magazines and dollar votive candles. Those were my main purchases from CVS in the 90's. My best friend Meredith and I would ride our bikes around the neighborhood every day after school. I don't know if we were explicitly not allowed to cross major intersections but we never crossed streets with traffic lights. This limited where went, so the shopping center with a CVS and a pizza place were our spots.

Shortcut Falafel Scramble

Shortcut Falafel Scramble is quick, easy, and delicious. Get the recipe on

I love how creepy the internet can be. Most people have those Facebook friends they maybe met once, or had a class with years ago that they don't talk to in real-life but keep up with their online activity. For me, that's Emily. We had two classes together freshman year and honestly the only in-person memory I have of her is us walking from class number 1 to class number 2 and her mentioning the guy she was dating at the time. But we're Facebook friends so I know so much more.

Simple Caesar Salad

Make a Caesar salad using my easy dressing with hardboiled egg yolks. Full recipe on

Most of the recipes I made when I started cooking were total clunkers. There was a lemon chicken that called for lemon curd, the offensive cauliflower that I have since redeemed, and I once sliced my hand open slicing chicken for a stir-fry. The one recipe that I'm still making all of these years later is an easy Caesar dressing.