How Baking Expert Samantha Seneviratne Brings Fun to Everyday Cooking

The first step to better, happier cooking? Setting up a tip-top kitchen. We’re talking one that’s stocked with essential tools and ingredients, organized so everything you need is close at hand, and sparkling-clean from floor to ceiling. Food52 is here…

The first step to better, happier cooking? Setting up a tip-top kitchen. We're talking one that's stocked with essential tools and ingredients, organized so everything you need is close at hand, and sparkling-clean from floor to ceiling. Food52 is here to make it happen. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks from the Food52 community and test kitchen to help you transform your space into its very best self.


Samantha Seneviratne and her work are all over Food52: She’s guided us through some seriously satisfying baking projects (like homemade toaster strudels and Cheez-Its). Her Banana Bread Scones are certified Genius. She’s the stylist behind many a recipe photo and video. She’s also the author of three books we love to bake from: Gluten-Free for Good, The New Sugar & Spice, and The Joys of Baking. For Your Do-Anything Kitchen, Samantha showed us around the Brooklyn kitchen she shares with her three-year-old, Artie, and told us about how she keeps things inspiring—and joyful—for both.

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Amanda Hesser’s Very Best Tips for an Organized Kitchen

The first step to better, happier cooking? Setting up a tip-top kitchen. We’re talking one that’s stocked with essential tools and ingredients, organized so everything you need is close at hand, and sparkling-clean from floor to ceiling. Food52 is here…

The first step to better, happier cooking? Setting up a tip-top kitchen. We're talking one that's stocked with essential tools and ingredients, organized so everything you need is close at hand, and sparkling-clean from floor to ceiling. Food52 is here to make it happen. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks from the Food52 community and test kitchen to help you transform your space into its very best self.


Our co-founder Amanda Hesser’s influence as a master organizer runs through the Food52 office and community. Genius Director Kristen Miglore picked up many of her most reliable kitchen systems (like the little wire drawer organizers for keeping measuring spoons, thermometers, and other small tools tidy) from her in Food52’s earliest days—when the site’s recipes were tested and photographed in Amanda’s Brooklyn kitchen. And parts of that every-nook-and-cranny-considered home kitchen—its shallow pull-out spice drawers, open shelving, and mix of vintage and new—were recreated at the Food52 office when it was time to design a test kitchen.

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The Best Coffee Filter Substitutes for When You’ve Run Out

Running out of coffee filters isn’t really a big deal, especially here in New York, where there’s a grocery store or bodega on every other block (most will have filters on any given day).

But there are some times—like Saturday mornings or early work d…

Running out of coffee filters isn't really a big deal, especially here in New York, where there's a grocery store or bodega on every other block (most will have filters on any given day).

But there are some times—like Saturday mornings or early work days, for example—when leaving the apartment before gulping down something caffeinated simply doesn't seem like an option. (And this is only more true if you don't live in an area with a filter-carrying store within a few minutes' walk.)

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A Professional Baker’s Tips for a Clean, Calm Kitchen

The first step to better, happier cooking? Setting up a tip-top kitchen. We’re talking one that’s stocked with essential tools and ingredients, organized so everything you need is close at hand, and sparkling-clean from floor to ceiling. Food52 is here…

The first step to better, happier cooking? Setting up a tip-top kitchen. We're talking one that's stocked with essential tools and ingredients, organized so everything you need is close at hand, and sparkling-clean from floor to ceiling. Food52 is here to make it happen. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks from the Food52 community and test kitchen to help you transform your space into its very best self.


Even if you’ve never been to Flour, Joanne Chang’s much-loved bakery in Boston, you may have gotten wind of the shop’s criminally tasty sticky buns and killer egg sandwich. Or perhaps you have spattered, dogeared copies of her cookbooks—Baking with Less Sugar, Pastry Love, Flour (and Flour, Too!), Myers + Chang at Home—on your kitchen shelves.

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A Genius Workaround for a Counter-Sparse Kitchen

The first step to better, happier cooking? Setting up a tip-top kitchen. We’re talking one that’s stocked with essential tools and ingredients, organized so everything you need is close at hand, and sparkling-clean from floor to ceiling. Food52 is here…

The first step to better, happier cooking? Setting up a tip-top kitchen. We're talking one that's stocked with essential tools and ingredients, organized so everything you need is close at hand, and sparkling-clean from floor to ceiling. Food52 is here to make it happen. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks from the Food52 community and test kitchen to help you transform your space into its very best self.


If you’re a Genius Recipes fan, you’ve been inside creative director Kristen Miglore’s apartment kitchen, where she’s been cooking and filming Genius Recipes videos since stay-at-home orders began. And you just may have noticed something missing: much in the way of counter space.

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46 Celebratory Recipes to Make for Rosh Hashanah This Year

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time to reflect on the past year—and look forward to the coming one.

The holiday’s celebratory meal can include favorites like yeasty challah, matzo ball soup, and apples dipped in honey. What do these things h…

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time to reflect on the past year—and look forward to the coming one.

The holiday's celebratory meal can include favorites like yeasty challah, matzo ball soup, and apples dipped in honey. What do these things have in common? Their friendly circular shape, which symbolizes the ongoing nature of time, the round-and-round-ness of the year. Similarly, sweet foods are favored for a sweet new year.

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Team Cilantro: These 21 Herby-Green Recipes Are for You

Once upon a time, in 2012, I returned home from my first year of college and got a summer job working at a fast food burrito chain. So began my education in the enormous passions of teams Pro-Cilantro and Anti-Cilantro.
They are equally ardent, an…

Once upon a time, in 2012, I returned home from my first year of college and got a summer job working at a fast food burrito chain. So began my education in the enormous passions of teams Pro-Cilantro and Anti-Cilantro.

They are equally ardent, and the herb is one of extremes: Some customers would ask for extra cilantro to be added to their burritos; some would immediately recoil at the sight of the leaves. It's either the world's best herb or...it tastes like feet.

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What to Plant If You’ve Never Grown Anything

Here’s the short answer: Herbs! Even if you’ve never planted anything, but dream of picking fresh produce from your kitchen window sill, a mini plot of herbs is a very good place to give gardening a whirl. It’s low-cost and low-risk: all you need are a…

Here's the short answer: Herbs! Even if you've never planted anything, but dream of picking fresh produce from your kitchen window sill, a mini plot of herbs is a very good place to give gardening a whirl. It's low-cost and low-risk: all you need are a couple of pots to grow in, a bag of soil, and a sunny window. (You already have the will.) Herbs also tend to be compact, quick-to-grow, and useful—which makes them a very good place to start. Plus, think about it: at the end of this, there could be (homegrown) mint-laced summery mojito with your name on it.

Photo by Ty Mecham

Here's what you'll need:

  • Figure out how many herbs you'd like to grow (our suggestion is to begin with 2-3), and get a pot for each. The thing to remember is size: Your pot should be at least two inches wider than the seedling you place in it. If you're starting with seeds, you'll want the pot to be at least six inches wider.
  • Dishes to sit under those pots—you'll want to avoid water stains running all down your sill.
  • A seed starting tray or old ice cube tray (more on that in a bit).
  • Soil and a small amount of pebbles or gravel.
  • Seeds or seedlings (which are baby plants, just a couple of inches tall).

Seeds vs. seedlings:

Seeds

  • Pros: They're extremely rewarding—you get to see the little guy grow from a tiny seed into something you can actually use for cooking. Starting with seeds also gives you a wider selection of herb varieties to grow, and it's less expensive, especially if you're growing many plants. The most common herbs to grow from seed are annual herbs such as basil and dill, however, you can totally get more adventurous with what you pick.
  • Cons: You'll need to be a little patient: It can take a few weeks for a seed to grow into a seedling and then to grow into a plant large enough to harvest.
  • What to try: Basil, mint, dill, and parsley. They'll all grow fairly quickly and easily from seeds, and need similar things—moist soil and lots of sun.

    Seedlings

  • Pros: You already have a plant to start picking from—and now you just have to keep it alive.
  • Cons: They can be more expensive, and you might have to buy multiples in larger trays to get the amount that you want.
  • What to try: You have a lot of freedom here: Herbs that are harder to start from seed or simply take longer to sprout and grow (like woody ones, such as rosemary and thyme) are especially good to buy as seedlings, because the hard work has already gone into sprouting them.
Photo by James Ransom

How to plant:

Many herbs reach high and wide, and naturally those will do best in the ground, but there are plenty that will do just as well in a pot, given the right conditions. First order of business? Fill the pots with a thin layer of gravel. Then:

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Treat Yourself Today With Melissa Clark’s Instagram-Famous Campari Cake

If you’ve been a home cook, even a dabbling one, in the last 15 or so years, you know Melissa Clark. Maybe you’ve come across her regular writing and recipes in The New York Times, or cooked from one of her more than 40 (!) cookbooks, which range in su…

If you’ve been a home cook, even a dabbling one, in the last 15 or so years, you know Melissa Clark. Maybe you've come across her regular writing and recipes in The New York Times, or cooked from one of her more than 40 (!) cookbooks, which range in subject from braising and weeknight cooking to the Instant Pot and bread machines.

Her latest, recently released on Mar. 10, is Dinner in French. It's a book that seems to hit, bullseye-style, Clark’s expertise: balancing the ease of weeknight recipes with somewhat more ambitious techniques and ingredients. It's the perfect home-cook's book.

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How to Help Your Favorite Cookbook Authors (& Bookstores!) Right Now

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make th…

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make things run a little more smoothly for you and your loved ones.


Coverage of spring cooking usually looks pretty different than it does this year: At a time when food media should be beginning to sing songs of radishes, peas, asparagus, and ramps, the focus this year is mostly on storage produce, pantry staples, and all-consuming kitchen projects. Coverage of spring cookbooks looks pretty different, too—but that doesn’t mean the books have stopped!

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