Homemade Pastrami Sandwich

Try your hand at making Pastrami from scratch. Full recipe on BigTasteTinySpace.com

Up until three years ago I had never eaten pastrami. I don't know how this happened. I'm Jewish, I'm from Long Island, and I spent most Sundays of my childhood eating dinner at a Jewish deli in Brooklyn. For shame, so much shame.

Penne a la Vodka

This easy Penne a la Vodka is roasted in the oven. A hands-off easy recipe. Find the recipe on BigTasteTinySpace.com

You're supposed to eat a good meal before you drink. I was new to drinking my freshman year of college but I at least knew that. So with that nugget of knowledge and a water bottle of junky tequila that I got from someone in my dorm, I made the quick trip to the University of Delaware to see my friend Cara for a pre-spring break weekend. After a detour to health services to see if Cara had tuberculosis, she didn't, we headed to Main Street for dinner. Since we were going to spend the rest of the night party-hopping from frat to frat, ugh we thought we were so cool, I ordered pasta for dinner as a base for all of the shitty beer I was going to consume. Even bad penne a la vodka is good so dinner was awesome.

Beet Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

Bright Purple Batter for Beet Cake with Mascarpone Frosting Full Recipe on BigTasteTinySpace.com

I might have unintentionally sabotaged my friend Shelby when she embarked on a pre-wedding juice cleanse. "Some of the juices have beets? Oh, those drinks will be the best because beets are sweet and really good." Guess what? She learned at probably the worst possible time that she hates beets. And beets were supposed to be a good chunk of her food intake that week. I think the cleanse lasted three days but I swear, it wasn't just the dreaded beets that did her in. Chewing is a joy people take for granted!

Shredded Short Rib Tacos

Braise beef in a citrusy IPA and fragrant spice rub for shredded beef tacos Full recipe on BigTasteTinySpace.com

I've found that you shouldn't ask someone if they like something you've cooked. If they like it then they'll tell you without being prompted. If they don't, well then they have to politely nod and raise their voice while saying, "yes, it's good" or they tell you there are too many onions and they don't like onions.

Roasted Cauliflower with Spicy Gremolata

Roasted Cauliflower waiting to be tossed with Spicy Gremolata Recipe on BigTasteTinySpace.com

You can make a lot of great things in a toaster oven. Break and bake cookie dough is awesome if you have the patience to make three cookies at a time and if you pick up a tiny baking dish at Ikea then you can make mini-batches of brownies.  What doesn't work so well is raw cauliflower florets and gruyere cheese.

Kale and Mint Salad

Bright herbs make this kale and mint salad a wintry treat

If you like something or someone and tell me a million reasons why they are great, I will automatically hate anything involved with what you're telling me. This is why I've never listened to Serial, watched Breaking Bad or liked your new friend that you met after me.

Savory Granola with Salted Yogurt

Savory Granola in a breakfast bowl with salted yogurt and cucumbers via BigTasteTinySpace

There's no money in tv. None. Okay maybe there is some, but when I signed my first contract to be a tv news reporter I can certainly tell you that all of the big flashy tv money was not coming to me. I quickly realized that my small town rent would eat up more than half of my take home pay and no clothing allowance meant the other dribs and drabs of my checks would go towards "tv clothes." A blazer in every color, please!

Bagna Cauda Bucatini

Bagna Cauda dip transformed into a weeknight pasta sauce via BigTasteTinySpace.com

I'm not sure how the subject of garlic bread came up over 'Build-your-own burgers' but it was quickly made clear that whatever garlic bread Marc's brother had been making was too offensive to his wife. Too strong! Too much garlic breath that lingered for hours! Oh, that's an easy fix, I thought. Just use roasted garlic, I proudly suggested.

Roasted Carrots with Ginger-Miso Dressing

Roasted Carrots with Ginger Miso Dressing

When I was 11 my mom gave the choice of having a regular birthday party with many people or I could have a grown up dinner and sleepover for a select few friends. Since I was about to turn 12 and that's basically an adult, intimate dinner was the obvious choice. The fanciest restaurant I frequented back then was a hibachi restaurant that had an indoor water fountain, complete with a pond full of live fish. I told you it was fancy. 

Saag Paneer and a love for leftovers

Saag Paneer topped with a runny egg

When it comes to cheesemaking, I am 2 for 3. Dreamy ricotta came together with the insurance policy of heavy cream to help hold it together, but an attempt at mozzarella from a kit I ordered from Amazon died a hundred deaths. That attempt ended in me loudly banging pots and quietly muttering to myself while I was left with cloudy hot water, burnt fingertips and no mozzarella for pizza night. Hello emergency trip to Harris Teeter. My latest non-meltdown and major cheese success is a squeaky paneer that got dropped in a sauce of greens for saag paneer.