Friday Eating & Reading

What I’m eating and reading this week…

Hot take: Winter fruit salads are better than summer fruit salads! Especially when they look like this one from my everyday cooking hero Sarah Carey.

A new book column called “Group Text” from DALS-favorite Elisabeth Egan, all about what to read with friends. Whoever made that call deserves a medal.

What my kids are baking: The Karlie Kloss “Secret” Family Recipe for Toffee. (I’d add a little more salt and maybe use dark chocolate, but overall, not bad!)

I love this so much: Last January, this woman resolved to throw a dinner party every month. (And she succeeded.) I’m waiting for someone to release the study that concludes people who cook with and for each other are, like, 64% happier than those who don’t.

Taste Atlas is my new favorite time-suck. Favorite feature: Type in any city or region in the world and it tells you what its signature dishes are.

Quit Like a Woman: The radical choice to not drink in a culture obsessed with alcohol. Has anyone read this? Would love to hear thoughts.

My Uncle Doug swears this Bialetti Pasta Pot (its lid doubles as a strainer) will change your cooking life.

A little late on this one, but obviously, I devoured Melissa Clark’s Meat-Lover’s Guide to Eating Less Meat. (Plus: a handy vegetable roasting chart that I didn’t know I needed until I had it.)

Book Update: As I plug away on The Weekday Vegetarians, I’ve been experimenting with veggie burgers, and I think I finally nailed it. This one above is built on a foundation of pinto beans and mushrooms. Stay tuned! Also, ICYMI, I’ve been using a lot of vegetable stock. There are one or two storebought brands I don’t mind, but a few weeks ago, using whatever was left in my CSA bag, I made my own, roasting the vegetables first. It made such a difference! You can find more details and instructions here.

What Else I’m Up To: For my gig over at Cup of Jo, I wrote about chocolate mousse which is the ultimate make-ahead crowd-pleaser (gorgeous photo above by Alexandra Stafford); 12 pieces of essential cooking gear; Netflix infidelity (intrigued?); and raising readers.

From the Archives: We’re going to have some frigid weather this weekend, in other words, there’s no better time to bust out Bugiali’s Minestrone. Golden rule: If there’s a fire going, it’s minestrone weather.

Conspicuous Culture Consumption: Just Started Dear Edward, like everyone else in the world; hearing some hype about this book, due out in a few weeks; Who else binge-watched Cheer? (Oh man, Jerry!); And apropos of nothing: I’ve never heard a Lizzo song that isn’t a great running song, particularly this one.

Tell Me What’s Up: What are you making? What are you reading? What are you excited about?

Have a great weekend everybody!

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I haven’t read the book “Quit Like a Woman”; I did quit drinking 4.5 years ago July 5, 2015. Told myself I didn’t drink. Quit cigarettes the same way 43 years ago. Wish quitting certain
food habits was the same, but it is not.
Reactions have been interesting, people are usually offer congratulations when one quits smoking, but drinking is different. “Forever?” “Why?” “Did you have a problem?” “Not even one?” “It’s bad luck to toast with water.”


Try a Whole30 for food habits. Melissa Hartwig Urban has some really great books to go along with it.


That trailer for Cheer made me cry!

I just loved LOST AND FOUND by Carolyn Parkhurst – I missed it when it was first published, probably because I had a newborn, but it really spoke to me re: relationships and how we navigate them (the background of a reality show was a fun setting). I also reread RULES FOR VISITING which I think you recommended last year and still love it so much.

For meatless mains, these two are on my list to make: and

Go Ali! I love her recipes, photos, and blog.


I’m in New York! Just got here ahead of the weather. It’s a whirlwind two days and I want to eat and walk. Food suggestions in midtown breakfast lunch spree theatre? please! I’ll make minestrone the next time it snows in St. Louis


Talad Wat, amazing Thai on 9th and 49th! Counter at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central if you’re here during the week! Have fun.


I like the kitchen gear list. I am always throwing everything into a box and then tossing unused stuff after 6 months. My 2 drawers fill up with stuff so quick. I bookmarked the chocolate mousse. Dear Edward is on my list but I’m in no rush to read it. I am picking up Holly’s book, Quit Like a Woman, this weekend. I am not a drinker at all, but have plenty of alcoholism in my family tree and I love her Instagram feed. Lizzo is amazing though I do not run. White bean, chicken chili is on the menu tomorrow. I fell so HARD for Cheer on Netflix. I laughed, I cried, felt like I was right there in it with them. It was so well done.


I just finished reading Quit Like a Woman (I actually stopped drinking last January, shortly after reading Sober Curious by Ruby Warrington, followed by a bunch of drinking/addiction memoirs that further solidified my decision). I think there is a lot of interesting conversation happening in this space, and I am heartened to see more people going public with the mindset that we can and should be questioning the role alcohol plays in our lives. I can say from my personal experience that every aspect of my life has improved not just from removing alcohol, but also examining and confronting the underlying issues that contributed to how/why/when I drank. I also highly, highly recommend We Are The Luckiest by Laura McKowen (which came out shortly after QLAW) – similar topic but her perspective is a little different and her writing is just so raw and real and beautiful. I think there’s something to learn for everyone, no matter how you identify with regards to your drinking. Curious to hear your thoughts if you end up reading either! xo


Would you mind sharing the drinking/addiction memoirs you read? Looking to make a change and waiting to read the thing that will ‘click’ with me. Thanks!


G.M. Happy time share my experience and what I found useful. I think it’s important to acknowledge that I wasn’t physically addicted and I am in no way qualified to give medical advice on addiction (and of course I don’t know your situation at all – I hope you are able to find help in whatever way works for you). Books I found really useful were: Sober Curious, This Naked Mind, The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, A Happier Hour, The Sober Diaries, Blackout, and Nothing Good Can Come From This. In my original comment I mentioned We Are The Luckiest, not only is it an amazing book but the author also has a beautiful blog and Instagram presence (all under her name, Laura McKowen). I’m a big fan of the re_filled IG account and EDIT podcast (both by the same woman), which are more geared toward “gray area drinking” which resonates a bit more with me. I hope you find the support that works for you!!


Pot lid strainer – BRILLIANT! Wish I had this instead of the strainer-that-sits-in-the-pot variety. Alas.

Also LOVE that dinner party new year’s resolution! Very impressive and inspiring (and entertaining writing to boot!)

With snow in the forecast, I feel the urge to find an extra fun or new-to-me recipe to make. Might try and do a red curry lentil recipe I saw recently from NYT Cooking. Minestrone sounds delicious too!


Thank you for this fun list! I know it’s not *technically* vegetarian, I love the tip of putting parmesan rinds in my veggie broth – AMAZING depth and richness. (And I think you can get parmesan not made with animal rennet?)

And… I’m reading “This is an Uprising: How Non-Violent Revolt is Shaping the 21st Century” and thinking about engaging in mass civil protest / disruption for climate action! The (non)-response to Australia have convinced me that it is truly the only option in order to hand a livable future to our children (and grandchildren? Will that even be a thing?).


We made homemade Thin Mints yesterday (with Ritz crackers!) – so simple & so easy & SO good.

And I just finished Modern Lovers by Emma Straub – I really liked it!

Happy Friday! xo


I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 30 years and one of my pet peeves is how bad vegetarian instant boillon tastes, from fancy organic stuff to the run of the mill maggi or knorr fixes (with the exception of only-buy-in-italy instant vegetarian stock cubes which taste amazing). Making your own stock with whatever you have on hand or just by chopping a mirepoire and adding that to whatever you’re cooking I find is the best way to convince meat eaters that being vegetarian is an amazing and delicious experience, compared to serving instant artificial flavors. Sometimes I think it is my life’s calling to show people how amazing and umami-filled vegetarian and vegan food can be! Taking 10 minutes to saute the base flavors first or a few hours to let stock bubble away is always worth it!


I also quit drinking a few years ago. I used to make excuses about it like it was just a temporary thing–(we might be trying for another baby soon; I’m driving and have a low tolerance; my kids get up early). But lately, I have just been saying, “no thank you; I don’t drink.” It does feel odd sometimes, and I do wonder if people assume I am an alcoholic (I’m not/wasn’t, but just prefer to not have alcohol in my life). So many adult social events center completely around alcohol, and my husband and I enjoy socializing. I usually just have a La Croix, and try to remember that nobody else really cares (and many don’t notice).