You Asked, We Answered: Advice for College Kids Who Can’t Cook

Every day on our Hotline—one of Food52’s oldest, coolest features—curious cooks ask questions that the experts in our community answer. Often the questions relate to a specific recipe, but we get open-ended queries, too, like this one from Katie McDona…

Every day on our Hotline—one of Food52’s oldest, coolest features—curious cooks ask questions that the experts in our community answer. Often the questions relate to a specific recipe, but we get open-ended queries, too, like this one from Katie McDonald:

We are two college students who don’t know how to cook and meal plan. Any easy recipes or advice?

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I Don’t Cook—This Italian Pasta Class (Almost) Made Me Want to Start

Blame it on years in the service industry or my tendency to avoid things I’m not immediately good at, but I don’t cook. I know that’s probably not something you’d expect an editor at Food52 to admit, but I won’t lie to y’all. When it comes to dinner, I…

Blame it on years in the service industry or my tendency to avoid things I’m not immediately good at, but I don’t cook. I know that's probably not something you’d expect an editor at Food52 to admit, but I won’t lie to y’all. When it comes to dinner, I’m often at a restaurant, leaning on my friends who love cooking for others, or reheating a bowl of roasted vegetables over rice (sad, I know). While some find the act of cooking relaxing, rewarding, or fun, I find it stressful, irritating, and unappealing.

Let me be very clear though: I love food. I’m always thinking of my next meal, I love doing deep dives into different cuisines and flavor pairings, and searching for new dishes to try. I enjoy baking—something about following a recipe exactly, to an almost science, is fun for me—and I bartend on the weekends, so you can trust me with making a pie or stirring your cocktail. But if a pot roast needs to be braised, I am simply not the girl you want nearby (although you can count on me to sneak spoonfuls of whatever you’re making on the stove).

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Sweet Or Savory? Why Not Both, Says Melina Hammer

I am a huge fan of pairing contrasting flavor notes to taste things more deeply. It might sound strange, but have you ever noticed how a little scatter of flaky salt on chocolate mousse elicits more of its chocolatey-ness? Or a drizzle of honey added t…

I am a huge fan of pairing contrasting flavor notes to taste things more deeply. It might sound strange, but have you ever noticed how a little scatter of flaky salt on chocolate mousse elicits more of its chocolatey-ness? Or a drizzle of honey added to miso further summons its savory funk?

Without getting too sciency, there’s a real thing at work behind this—salt literally stimulates the saliva impulse, connecting us to taste more richly, more deeply. Savory umami, the fifth flavor on our palate, brings exclamation-worthy bursts of flavor.

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Recipe Rewind: 2010’s Most Popular Recipes

It’s September 2010, and Food52 just celebrated its first birthday. Meanwhile, Emeril Lagasse has a weekly talk show on something called “Ion Television.” The 14th season of Ina Garten’s Food Network show Barefoot Contessa is in full swing. So is the s…

It’s September 2010, and Food52 just celebrated its first birthday. Meanwhile, Emeril Lagasse has a weekly talk show on something called “Ion Television.” The 14th season of Ina Garten’s Food Network show Barefoot Contessa is in full swing. So is the sixth season of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Rachael Ray is still making meals in under 30 minutes. And people are really interested in cupcakes.

Also, Instagram doesn’t exist. Yahoo Mail is the third most visited website on the internet. William and Kate are not married. Lebron James has yet to play a game for the Miami Heat. The fourth most viewed YouTube video of the year stars an “Annoying Orange.” Every week, more people watch American Idol than anything else on television. That includes Jeopardy, which recently aired an episode featuring Watson—an artificial intelligence machine made by IBM—defeating the show’s all-time champion, Ken Jennings.

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Everything We Think Barbie Would Cook in Her Dream Kitchen

As a millennial born in the late 1980s, I’ve watched Barbie go through many life cycles: she’s had over 200 career paths, raised her various siblings, and built an incredible community in her fictional, plastic version of Malibu. In this time, there ha…

As a millennial born in the late 1980s, I’ve watched Barbie go through many life cycles: she’s had over 200 career paths, raised her various siblings, and built an incredible community in her fictional, plastic version of Malibu. In this time, there have been brief forays into cooking, mainly in her iterations as Pasta Barbie, Baking Chef Barbie, and Ice Cream Shop Barbie.

As we usher Barbie into her new, flat-footed era of self-discovery, I’ve been thinking a lot about how and what Barbie would eat during this chapter of her life. As a fellow home-owning, city-dwelling millennial woman (I haven’t figured out how to float through my home yet, but I’m working on it), the possibility of having unfettered access to a dream kitchen feels daunting—but thrilling. I do recognize that none of these interpretations are serious or absolute. Think of them as simple daydreams and musings of pink house grandeur.

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Melina Hammer’s New Book Is Perfect for Every Season

Buttermilk panna cotta with roasted rhubarb. Duck eggs with crispy brown rice. Lamb skewers with labneh, ramp salt, and buttery potatoes. The hardest part about reading Melina Hammer’s new book, A Year at Catbird Cottage, is picking what to make first….

Buttermilk panna cotta with roasted rhubarb. Duck eggs with crispy brown rice. Lamb skewers with labneh, ramp salt, and buttery potatoes. The hardest part about reading Melina Hammer's new book, A Year at Catbird Cottage, is picking what to make first. Driven by the seasons and inspired by her cozy home in New York’s Hudson Valley, the recipes jump off the page, grab my hand, and ask me to follow them to the farmers market, the backyard, the bustling kitchen. And I'm very happy to let them lead the way. Today, Melina is sharing one of her favorite recipes, aka your new favorite way to serve salmon. —Emma Laperruque


The garlic shoots in my garden have grown tall. And with their long leaves, curly scapes emerge. Meanwhile, wild salmon fishing season has just begun in the bracing waters of the Pacific Northwest. Nelly and Michael Hand, who run Drifters Fish in Cordova, Alaska, sustainably harvest wild salmon throughout the season, and each year I have been a lucky recipient of their sockeye and coho varieties.

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My Favorite Kitchen Shears Came From the Trauma Bay

There aren’t many ways in which my kitchen tools overlap with surgical instruments. I don’t use tiny scalpels or tweezers—I’m just never cooking or preparing anything that requires that level of precision—but there is one accessory that’s found in both…

There aren’t many ways in which my kitchen tools overlap with surgical instruments. I don’t use tiny scalpels or tweezers—I’m just never cooking or preparing anything that requires that level of precision—but there is one accessory that’s found in both an operating room and my utensil drawer: my favorite kitchen shears, which aren’t from the restaurant supply store, but rather from the trauma bay.

How did I get my hands on these implements? Through a friend who is doing her plastic surgery residency at UPenn. While I was cooking dinner, she was examining my perfectly good, run-of-the-mill kitchen scissors. “You know,” she said. “You should really get some trauma shears.” Though I hope to mostly avoid trauma in my kitchen, she explained why I might be interested: They’re shears meant to cut the clothing off patients who arrive in the trauma bay, which means they’re both strong and super sharp. They’re designed to be ergonomic, and have a tab on the end of the blade that prevents you from cutting yourself when you use them. They’re meant to be easily sterilized in the autoclave, so the dishwasher is no problem. Many of them have a carabiner in the handle to clip to your scrubs (or in my case, apron). They come in a bunch of colors and, crucially, are very, very inexpensive.

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Our Garlickiest Garlic Recipes

We’re doing what garlic enthusiasts do best: sharing our favorite garlic recipes to make today and every day. There are versatile recipes like garlic confit and garlic stock that you can apply in so many ways, plus one-off recipes to complete your garl…

We’re doing what garlic enthusiasts do best: sharing our favorite garlic recipes to make today and every day. There are versatile recipes like garlic confit and garlic stock that you can apply in so many ways, plus one-off recipes to complete your garlic celebration (looking at you, pull-apart garlic knots).

1. Garlic Confit

Slow-roasted garlic is like candy—candy that you’ll want to serve on a charcuterie board with cheese, jam, crostini, and so much salami.

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What to Do with an Overload of Radishes

I think by now we all know the formula: Radishes + salt = appetizer elegance. Radishes + butter + baguette = snack time nirvana. Radishes + rustic farm table + screen-printed textiles = a food photographer’s dream.But what if you’re on your 100th radis…

I think by now we all know the formula: Radishes + salt = appetizer elegance. Radishes + butter + baguette = snack time nirvana. Radishes + rustic farm table + screen-printed textiles = a food photographer's dream.

But what if you're on your 100th radish bunch of the summer and these peppery gems need to play a greater role? More than something to tide us over between meals, more than just a garnish? What if a bundle of radishes on its own must be tonight’s vegetable?

CSA subscribers, prolific gardeners, and enthusiastic market-goers alike know this issue all too well. Sure, radishes and butter and salt are made for each other, but come mid-summer, even the most striking ombre roots begin to lose their luster.

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Happy Birthday, Ina—These 6 Tips Have Saved Our Cooking

It’s Ina Garten’s birthday! Although we celebrate her every day by cooking her famous Outrageous Brownies, Vanilla Brioche Pudding (not a bad option for a birthday dessert, I might add), Tomato Tart, and a Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken, today is specia…

It’s Ina Garten’s birthday! Although we celebrate her every day by cooking her famous Outrageous Brownies, Vanilla Brioche Pudding (not a bad option for a birthday dessert, I might add), Tomato Tart, and a Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken, today is special. Ina appeared by our side in our home kitchens nearly twenty years ago when her show, Barefoot Contessa, premiered on Food Network. With it, she introduced her easy-going style, effortless flair for entertaining, and unfussy approach to cooking and baking.

Yes, everything Ina does is practically perfect. But her signature catchphrase, “how easy is that?,” which later became the title of one of her 12 (soon to be 13) bestselling cookbooks, made it seem like anyone could easily make a three-course dinner of warm goat cheese in phyllo, classic beef stew, and coffee granita—and why would you not?

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