As you can tell, this bi-monthly newsletter thing is going great. Why do I feel like I’m writing a letter from camp? Sorry I missed last week’s letter, mom! Anyway. A lot has happened since the last newsletter, namely: I finished my taxes, started my second book AND I moved, which as you can imagine, took up most of my brain space, hence the radio silence (EXCUSES). I want everyone who reads this to know that I unpacked every single box within the first 36 hours of moving and definitely am not still surrounded by piles of things on the floor.
While packing up the old apartment, I had to have some very real conversations with myself about what I needed vs. what I absolutely did NOT need, especially when it came to my kitchen. So, to give you something to look forward and definitely not to procrastinate, the next newsletter will be a solid list of my MUST HAVES, kitchen supplies edition. STAY TUNED.
Another exciting thing, is that my website now includes a somewhat searchable recipe page. It’s not an exhaustive list yet but we are working on it. For now, it’s a good way to find some oldies but goodies not in the Dining In cookbook for this (very bleak! Will it ever be warm again? Probably not!) time of year, like this Roasted Citrus and Avocado Salad, these White Beans with Charred Broccoli and Parmesan, or these Garlicky Chicken Thighs with Scallion and Lime.
Last week, NYT Food also published what I think are TWO VERY GREAT MACARONI AND CHEESE RECIPES. One might be better than Velveeta, which is a thing I never thought I’d say, but it’s got a ton of cream cheese, God’s gift to dairy, so. The other is just essentially a love letter to Stouffer’s, but who would be mad at that? I’m sure people will have lots of opinions on these recipes (and if they are sharing their opinions on the internet, they will be positive, which I love! More comments!!!!!!!!) but trust me when I say I made myself sick on both of these variations because I have no shame or self-control and genuinely think they are extremely delicious.
Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese, breadcrumbs “optional” (not optional). Photo: Karsten Moran/ New York Times
There is also a larger, more general guide, with videos and all that jazz, which I hope you will find helpful. If not, at least there is lots of slow motion cheese melting, always soothing to watch.
Creamy Weeknight Macaroni and Cheese (with white cheddar!), bless and bless. Photo: Karsten Moran/ New York Times
Also out last week, for the WSJ: Future of Everything, I wrote about plant based proteins, which might be the….future. Hot dogs made from mung beans, shrimp made from algae, stuff like that. In it, I tell you about my favorite teenage snack, which yes, is related somehow to the rest of the story.
Scrambled eggs, sort of. Photo: Amanda Ringstad/ Wall Street Journal: Future of Everything
I realize this is not a universally appealing topic, but I do get almost as many requests to share what lipstick I wear as I do tips for cookies, so I’m going to address it. First, a story nobody asked for:
When I was younger, I was leafing through family albums and saw a picture of my mom holding me, minutes after she gave birth. I thought “wow, mom looks great. Is she wearing...lipstick?” Yes, turns out, she was wearing lipstick. Because she APPLIED LIPSTICK. MINUTES AFTER GIVING BIRTH. To know that about her is to know a lot about me. Anyway, it’s in my blood. Ever since my first love (Age 5, Chapstick brand Cherry Chapstick I picked up in line at Ralph’s) I’ve had an intense attachment to every and any chapstick, lipbalm, lipgloss and lipstick.
So, where is my lipstick from?
I wish I had one answer, but that’s not who I am. I am your grandma with 7 different shades, textures and styles of application, all suited for their occasion and season. Sometimes I want it to look like I had been effortlessly eating strawberries in the sun (I wasn’t) and sometimes I want to look like a Cabaret singer (I’m not). I don’t know anything about makeup or beauty products really, but I do know that I want my lips to be covered in some sort of pigmented paste AT ALL TIMES, through food and drink and yoga and eventually giving birth. JK. Here are my current top 5, but know there are millions more where this came from.
This is my every day, number one, tried and true, never-gonna-give-you-up standby. I have 9 different tubes in rotation (one on my nightstand, one in my makeup bag, one every purse) so I’m never without it. Sure, it’s chapstick, but it’s a RED chapstick, and sure, I realize it probably doesn’t actually have a ton of color and is more of a placebo effect when I think it makes my lips look rosy, but let me have this.
This is a step beyond chapstick, a barely there pink-ish color that I’ve been feeling for when my usual red seems too severe for a casual breakfast meeting. It feels very hydrating and has SPF 15, which I am a big fan of. UVA rays don’t play!
Clinique Chubby Stick in Mightiest Maraschino
I am the definition of an impulse shopper, rarely leaving a CVS or Sephora without something I absolutely didn’t come for or need at all. Of course, that’s where I picked up this little number. It’s neither lipstick nor chapstick, so I’ll call it a tinted lipbalm, since I refuse to refer to it as a “chubby stick” as they’ve labeled it. It’s a little more plum than maraschino, and definitely the only magenta-ish color I own, but I also wear this one more than anything these days. I like how it hydrates like chapstick and colors like lipstick but without making me feel inappropriate for wearing it to yoga, which, yes sometimes I do. Outdoor Voices for the face, if you will.
This was a gift from one of my best friends last October right before my book came out. She sent it to me as a congratulations, but also maybe as a way of saying “you’re a professional woman now, you need a professional lipstick” and wow does this make me feel professional. When I put it on I feel like I just picked up my dry cleaning, which is to say: Like a grown-ass woman. It applies like a dream, the cooler red color is the ideal shade of red for my skin tone (which is pink-ish, like a newborn mouse) and the tube itself, all gold and black, well, it’s just classy as hell. I will be repurchasing when I run out or lose it, whichever happens first (I’ll lose it first).
Once I walked into a Sephora and asked “what can I put on my face that will never ever come off no matter how much wine I drink or hot dogs I eat?” they looked at me like “why are you eating so many hot dogs?” and then pointed me to this matte lip stain. The shade is classic red and like the Chanel, works with my pinkish skin tone. I’m assuming it works with a lot of skin tones, since it’s their #1 seller (they are often out), which is to say it’s not too blue and not too orange and is kind of an unspecialized, non-descript red. I’ve also recently purchased another pinker shade called Chili Pepper, which I’m loving.
While I’m kind of winding down on events (this second book isn’t going to write itself) I have a few East Coast-y things coming up:
This Saturday the 21st I’ll be in Philadelphia teaching a class at Cook. It’s sold out, which makes this announcement feel like a humblebrag, but maybe there’s a waiting list and if there is, you should get on it.
On April 25th from 6pm–8pm I’ll be at The Sosta in NYC slinging charred broccoli and lemon pasta with Parmesan and garlicky bread crumbs (which is available all month long) and drinking Spritzes. Books will be available for purchase and signing should you not have one or need to buy one for someone you truly love.
Hi guys, it’s me.
STEAK with Buttered Radish Toast from the Dining In cookbook. Photo: Michael Graydon / Nikole Herriott
Have a question? Something you’d like me to address? Respond to this email (better than an Instagram DM, I promise!) and I will do my best to respond either privately or for the whole world to see via this newsletter.
See you next week! Lol just kidding, see you in 4 months. JUST KIDDING AGAIN, I will see you in two weeks. Probably.