17 of Rick Martinez’s All-Time Best Recipes (Shrimp Tacos, Chicken Sandwiches & Cookies Galore)

Food52’s Resident Sugar Man Rick Martinez builds a fire time and time again with his twice-monthly recipe and video column, Sweet Heat. While Rick always celebrates the vivid colors and big-time flavor found in Mexican cuisine, today, we’re celebrating…

Food52's Resident Sugar Man Rick Martinez builds a fire time and time again with his twice-monthly recipe and video column, Sweet Heat. While Rick always celebrates the vivid colors and big-time flavor found in Mexican cuisine, today, we're celebrating him because it's his birthday. But instead of birthday cake, we've already got ice cream churning away for Rick's Chocolate-Dipped Concha Ice Cream Sandwiches. His homemade rich vanilla bean ice cream is balanced by a spicy berry sauce and warm chile fudge sauce, which slowly melts the ice cream. "It's like eating a really, really delicious messy burger," says Rick. We can't think of a better birthday treat than that.

And for a speedy weeknight dinner to top it all off? Try your hand at his Shrimp Tacos Dorados, al Pastor-Style, which comes together in just 30 minutes. Or, there's this quick Huevos Rancheros With Chorizo & Porky Refried Beans. Both are packed with gentle heat that will light up any night of the week. Ahead, we're sharing 17 recipes that Rick developed exclusively for Food52. For more delicious content, check out his YouTube playlist, where he demos how to make each of these recipes (and gives us a peek into his beautiful Mazatlán home!).

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Erin McDowell’s 8 Best Cupcake Recipes for an Extra-Special, Extra-Fun Dessert

Cupcakes are a constant for me, not a baking trend. As someone who bakes a lot, I never tire of making them – they’re easy to make, and I always get excited about eating them. They are also a lot of fun to dress up, get creative with, and make extra sp…

Cupcakes are a constant for me, not a baking trend. As someone who bakes a lot, I never tire of making them - they’re easy to make, and I always get excited about eating them. They are also a lot of fun to dress up, get creative with, and make extra special. I find that I’m not alone in my love for cupcakes, too— I have elicited my fair share of gasps and smiles walking into a room carrying a colorful box of cupcakes. (Seriously - move over bouquet of flowers—give me a box o’ cupcakes.) And if cupcakes are meant to be baked, gifted, and/or eaten by the dozen, I’m coming in hot with a bunch of recipes to keep you in tiny cakes for all occasions. My newest episode of Bake it Up a Notch dives deep into all things cupcakes—from super simple to over-the-top, I’ve got your cupcake to-bake list covered.

1. Basic Vanilla & Chocolate Cupcakes

These are my go-to cupcakes: an easy base recipe that can be made in vanilla or chocolate. These rise a “just-right” amount, to get a beautiful little cakey dome with a super moist crumb that’s a perfect match for any frosting or other finishes you can dream up! Be sure to check out this article I wrote back in 2015 about cupcakes, too—it has lots of ideas and techniques for making your best, plus creative ideas for making them look super beautiful, too. What’s that? Super in-depth coverage on cupcakes from me over five years ago on this same site? Just a perfect example of the cupcake constant.

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A DIY Ottoman Makeover—With a Twist

As a designer, the question I’m asked most often is where I get my inspiration. And the answer is: from as many sources as possible—from fashion to food, music, and cinema. But some of my favorite inspirations have come from decorative objects I’ve acq…

As a designer, the question I’m asked most often is where I get my inspiration. And the answer is: from as many sources as possible—from fashion to food, music, and cinema. But some of my favorite inspirations have come from decorative objects I’ve acquired from local markets on my travels: Spanish tiles sourced from Valencia, brightly woven textiles bought at tiny shops in the side streets of Mexico City, and beaded necklaces from the beaches of Thailand. I love spotting the little details on some of these objects that I now have at home, and using those to spark ideas.

Over the past few years, I’ve been collecting mini woven baskets from bazaars as far as Spain and Thailand, and have wanted to design a piece of furniture around them. Well, actually one basket in particular—bought from a market in Brooklyn and made by a Ghanian weaver—that boasts a glorious color combination of deep yellow and teal. A few weeks ago, I came upon the perfect vessel for the project: an old ottoman in need of some love and repair.

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3 Ways to Use Extra Greens In Fresh Pasta

If you, like me, did some spring produce impulse-buying and now find yourself wondering what to do with your haul (or even just the wilting herbs in your crisper), then it might be time to make fresh pasta. Using herbs, greens, and other wild plants is…

If you, like me, did some spring produce impulse-buying and now find yourself wondering what to do with your haul (or even just the wilting herbs in your crisper), then it might be time to make fresh pasta. Using herbs, greens, and other wild plants is one of the simplest ways to impart color and flavor into pasta dough. In Liguria, at the first sign of spring, you’ll find dishes laden with borage (borragine in Italian), a mild herb that tastes faintly of cucumber. In Emilia-Romagna, ortica, or stinging nettle, is a warm-weather staple, used often in ravioli fillings and to make a tagliatelle-like pasta called strettine.

Even if you haven’t tried your hand at fresh pasta, or you’re in the early stages of your pasta-making journey, here’s the great news: Pasta dough is a simple combination of flour and liquid. And the method for making it—by hand, in a stand mixer, or in a food processor—is the same, no matter the type of pasta you’re making. Which means that once you have some basic measurements and a technique—like my master pasta dough recipe—the color and flavor “pasta-bilities” (I had to!) are endless.

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How to Transform Your Balcony Into a Garden Oasis

Follow the Pattern is a brand new column from furniture maker and upholstery expert (and Home52’s Resident Design Wiz) Nicole Crowder. Nicole is here to show us how to breathe new life into old furniture, reuse and repurpose materials, take chances wit…

Follow the Pattern is a brand new column from furniture maker and upholstery expert (and Home52's Resident Design Wiz) Nicole Crowder. Nicole is here to show us how to breathe new life into old furniture, reuse and repurpose materials, take chances with color and pattern—and develop a signature aesthetic. Today, she shares her tips for transforming a balcony.


Spring has unfurled across the country, reminding us that it’s the perfect time to start cultivating our outdoor spaces: the patios and balconies that have felt so far removed through a cold, long winter. Like so many of you, I live in an apartment building in a city (luckily, one with a small patio), and find that even just adding a few chairs and plants on the patio makes all the difference. This year, I went a step further to try to create a garden-like oasis where I could feel transported every time I set foot outside. The result is an outdoor space filled with color, texture, and just the right amount of whimsy. Read on to learn how I did it.

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6 Macaron Recipes for the Perfect Parisian Treat

Macarons, the incredibly beautiful Parisian cookie, are perhaps equally known for their impossibly smooth surface, delicate raised “foot,” and irresistibly chewy texture. As a baker, I see macarons as a bit of a rite of passage. Learning to execute the…

Macarons, the incredibly beautiful Parisian cookie, are perhaps equally known for their impossibly smooth surface, delicate raised “foot,” and irresistibly chewy texture. As a baker, I see macarons as a bit of a rite of passage. Learning to execute these fluttery friends is a great test of a variety of baking skills: whipping a meringue, piping the perfect round, and getting the bake just right. But I also see them as an incredible opportunity to get creative. At their core, macarons are a simple cookie with a fairly short ingredient list: just almond flour, egg whites, and sugar. And since they are made with almond flour, they are naturally gluten-free. Best of all, the short ingredient list means that the cookie itself is neutral in flavor—meaning you can easily add a variety of different fillings and finishes to take your macarons to the next level.

In my newest episode of Bake it Up A Notch, I try to show off some of the many incredible things this cookie can do. While lots of macaron recipes play with adding different colors and filings, I want to encourage home bakers to also experiment with an array of sizes, presentations, and finishes, too! From the classic mini sandwich cookies to giant macarons decorated with royal icing, to a towering, sliceable layer “cake,” there’s a whole lot of ways to embark on your own macaron adventure. Here are the recipes to get you started.

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Throw Pillows Are Meant to Be Fun—Here’s How to Style Them

Follow the Pattern is a brand new column from furniture maker and upholstery expert (and Home52’s Resident Design Wiz), Nicole Crowder. Nicole is here to show us how to breathe new life into old furniture, reuse and repurpose materials, take chances wi…

Follow the Pattern is a brand new column from furniture maker and upholstery expert (and Home52's Resident Design Wiz), Nicole Crowder. Nicole is here to show us how to breathe new life into old furniture, reuse and repurpose materials, take chances with color and pattern—and develop a signature aesthetic. Today, she shares her love for styling with throw pillows.


The pull towards a springtime refresh is upon us, and our homes—where we have largely been laboring and living for the past year—are taking center stage among the areas of our lives that we’re reimagining. Considering the weight of the news that sits just outside the thresholds to our homes, I love to turn to color and pattern to both brighten my mood and reinforce the truth that I am well, and able to experience joy. Adding accent colors and textures to my home is also how I express my personality, and the throw pillows on my couch are the perfect vehicle for that.

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The Black Women Designers Behind Patterns We Love

Follow the Pattern is a brand new column from furniture maker and upholstery expert (and Home52’s Resident Design Wiz), Nicole Crowder. Nicole is here to show us how to breathe new life into old furniture, reuse and repurpose materials, take chances wi…

Follow the Pattern is a brand new column from furniture maker and upholstery expert (and Home52's Resident Design Wiz), Nicole Crowder. Nicole is here to show us how to breathe new life into old furniture, reuse and repurpose materials, take chances with color and pattern—and develop a signature aesthetic. Today, she spotlights four of her favorite Black women pattern designers.


Pattern design permeates our homes quite literally, from floor to ceiling, across art prints, wallpaper, textiles, and rugs. We may not always be conscious of it, but we encounter its imprint on our lives and culture everyday. However, along its lifecycle from a designer’s hand to the product that adorns your home, the name and face behind its design often get lost. And as I’ve tried to trace back some of my favorite patterns—the ones I instinctually turn to as an upholsterer and designer—I found that often the face was that of a Black woman.

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My Favorite Way to Cook Vegetables Is Also the Most Underrated

Whole Food Cooking is a column by our Resident Vegetarian-at-Large, Amy Chaplin. Each month, Amy will show us a different way to love fruits and vegetables just a little bit more.

I am a big fan of food prepared simply—and a bowl of steamed vegetabl…

Whole Food Cooking is a column by our Resident Vegetarian-at-Large, Amy Chaplin. Each month, Amy will show us a different way to love fruits and vegetables just a little bit more.


I am a big fan of food prepared simply—and a bowl of steamed vegetables is my ideal simple meal. It requires minimal prep and can come together quickly at any time of year using the vegetables you have on hand. No need to heat the oven, peel onions or carrots or anything else, or wait for a pot of water to boil. You don’t even need to be good with a knife. And, the best part is that steamed veggies serve as a canvas that you can dress up in limitless ways depending on your mood.

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How to Master Pâte à Choux (For Éclairs, Gougeres & Cute Little Cream Puffs)

This original article was written to detail the process of specifically making crullers, a fried pâte à choux based pastry. For the February episode of Bake it Up a Notch, we took a deep dive into all things pâte à choux, and …

This original article was written to detail the process of specifically making crullers, a fried pâte à choux based pastry. For the February episode of Bake it Up a Notch, we took a deep dive into all things pâte à choux, and I wanted to update the article to discuss the broader scope of this process—one of my favorite pastry building blocks and baking standbys.

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