Your 5 Favorite Books for Dinner in An Instant

This post is part of our new community-driven book tournament, The Big Community Book-Off. With your help, we’re finding the best books across categories (from bread to pasta, one-bowl to weeknight-friendly, and cake to cookies, to name a few), and put…

This post is part of our new community-driven book tournament, The Big Community Book-Off. With your help, we're finding the best books across categories (from bread to pasta, one-bowl to weeknight-friendly, and cake to cookies, to name a few), and putting them through a series of rigorous reviews—considered, tested, and written by none other than you.


Last month, community members Ruth, Erin, and Shereen subjected many, many vegetables to stem-to-tip testing, in search of the category’s best.

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Meet the Home Cook Making Every Ina Garten Recipe—Ever

Trent Pheifer was celebrating. He arranged oysters and clams—lustrous, exposed on the half shell—shrimp, crabs, and four blazing-red lobsters over ice. Among the shellfish menagerie he slipped lemon wedges and three dips: mignonette, cocktail, and must…

Trent Pheifer was celebrating. He arranged oysters and clams—lustrous, exposed on the half shell—shrimp, crabs, and four blazing-red lobsters over ice. Among the shellfish menagerie he slipped lemon wedges and three dips: mignonette, cocktail, and mustard sauce. The impressive spread was to commemorate a milestone for Pheifer: Over the course of five years, he has cooked more than 1,000 of Ina Garten’s recipes. And in a little over a year from now, he’ll have cooked his way through her entire culinary oeuvre.

Pheifer began his project, Store Bought Is Fine, five years ago (October 10 is the official anniversary). In the years since its inception, he’s learned a bevy of culinary techniques, sharpened his photography skills, amassed a sizable online following, and even met his culinary idol. What began as a whim has become an all-consuming and life-altering project.

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A Sticky, Peanutty Tempeh to Win Weeknight Dinner

“The first time I watched the sky bleed tones of orange and red as the sun set over the sea in my father’s home town of Kupang, Timor,” Coconut & Sambal author Lara Lee writes, “it struck me as a moment of coming home—but to a place I had never bee…

“The first time I watched the sky bleed tones of orange and red as the sun set over the sea in my father’s home town of Kupang, Timor,” Coconut & Sambal author Lara Lee writes, “it struck me as a moment of coming home—but to a place I had never been before.”

Growing up in Sydney with an Australian mother and a Chinese-Indonesian father and grandmother instilled in Lee a sense of longing for home—wherever, whatever that may be—at a very young age. As an adult, she began cooking professionally, and that back-of-mind longing quickly evolved into a front-of-mind mission:

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The #1 Book for All Things Vegetable

This review is part of our community-driven book tournament, The Big Community Book-Off. With your help, we’re finding the best books across categories (from bread to pasta, one-bowl to weeknight-friendly, and cake to cookies, to name a few), and putti…

This review is part of our community-driven book tournament, The Big Community Book-Off. With your help, we’re finding the best books across categories (from bread to pasta, one-bowl to weeknight-friendly, and cake to cookies, to name a few), and putting them through a series of rigorous reviews—considered, tested, and written by none other than you. And so, let’s hand it off to our community members Erin, Ruth, and Shereen. Here are their reviews of your five favorite vegetable-forward books—and their nail-biting verdict on which one reigned supreme.


When a Food52 editor connected the three of us over email, we quickly figured out what we had in common. Nope, we’re not vegetarians, not one of us. But we’re all obsessed with fresh produce and cook vegetarian much of the time.

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How Soup Saved My Life—Twice

The part about surviving a terminal illness that no one talks about is that it’s almost as scary as being diagnosed in the first place. I survived the year I was given, only to encounter medical bills and a chorus of voices that seemed to question if I…

The part about surviving a terminal illness that no one talks about is that it’s almost as scary as being diagnosed in the first place. I survived the year I was given, only to encounter medical bills and a chorus of voices that seemed to question if I could meet a deadline, which is a grim fate for a cookbook author. A mist of pity hung in the air, its storm vanished but evident still. And I was the same through it all, having done nothing but breathed in and out every day, just in different rooms and being told different things about my body.

There is no such thing as “back to normal,” which is a phrase that I heard a lot then. I had bartered all of my favorite foods—my career, even—for more time with my two young sons. I became resolved about eating healthfully and listening to my body. I was the only cancer patient my doctors and nurses had seen who actually grew healthier and stronger during treatment. It was a miracle year, as many outsiders told me.

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The 5 Books That Made Vegetables Cool Again

This post is part of our new community-driven book tournament, The Big Community Book-Off. With your help, we’re finding the best books across categories (from bread to pasta, one-bowl to weeknight-friendly, cake to cookies, to name a few), and putting…

This post is part of our new community-driven book tournament, The Big Community Book-Off. With your help, we're finding the best books across categories (from bread to pasta, one-bowl to weeknight-friendly, cake to cookies, to name a few), and putting them through a series of rigorous reviews—considered, tested, and written by none other than you.


Last month, F52ers Reba, Margaret, and Jen sourced, baked, and consumed a very impressive amount of flour and sugar in determining the ultimate cake book.

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Ingredient Spotlight: Masa and Masa Harina

Looking to make your own corn tortillas, sopes slathered with beans, or tamales? If so, then you need to have one ingredient on hand: masa or its dehydrated cousin, masa harina. It’s incredibly versatile, gluten-free, inexpensive, and delicio…

Looking to make your own corn tortillas, sopes slathered with beans, or tamales? If so, then you need to have one ingredient on hand: masa or its dehydrated cousin, masa harina. It’s incredibly versatile, gluten-free, inexpensive, and delicious.

Continue reading "Ingredient Spotlight: Masa and Masa Harina" »

Harissa-Braised Eggplant is the Perfect End-of-Summer Dinner

If you’re someone who tends to get giddy at farmers markets or exuberant at C.S.A. pickups, these are your golden days. As much as the first bunches of asparagus or baskets of strawberries get me excited in the spring, it’s these weeks that straddle Au…

If you’re someone who tends to get giddy at farmers markets or exuberant at C.S.A. pickups, these are your golden days. As much as the first bunches of asparagus or baskets of strawberries get me excited in the spring, it’s these weeks that straddle August and September that bring me the most joy.

Nearly every fruit and vegetable is within your grasp—whether it’s juicy peaches and watermelon, sugar-sweet tomatoes and corn, peppers and eggplant of all sizes and colors, and even the very first crisp apples.

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We Made 45 Cakes so You Don’t Have to. *This* Is the Best Book on Cake.

This review is part of our community-driven book tournament, The Big Community Book-Off. With your help, we’re finding the best books across categories (from bread to pasta, one-bowl to weeknight-friendly, cake to cookies, to name a few), and putting t…

This review is part of our community-driven book tournament, The Big Community Book-Off. With your help, we’re finding the best books across categories (from bread to pasta, one-bowl to weeknight-friendly, cake to cookies, to name a few), and putting them through a series of rigorous reviews—considered, tested, and written by none other than you. And so, let’s hand it off to our community members Jen, Margaret, and Reba. Here are their reviews of your five most-loved cake books—and their nail-biting verdict on which one reigned supreme.


When you give three avid home bakers five cake books and tell them to have at it, a few things are guaranteed: They’ll start a spreadsheet within the hour to divvy up tables of contents. They’ll start stockpiling butter, flour, and sugar. They’ll rant over e-mail about decorative chocolate roses. And, most importantly, they’ll devote themselves to the project wholeheartedly.

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