Tag Archives: dinner

Beating the Heat.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but New York is having a bit of a heat wave at the moment. My apartment wasn’t designed for maximum air-flow, and, as a result, it’s so stuffy in there that I’ve been eating most of my meals on a tray in the bedroom, as close to my sole window-unit as possible.

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The kitchen is the hottest room in the place, so I’ve obviously been doing as little cooking as humanly possible. (When that much sweat involved, it’s hard enough to motivate to eat, let alone turn on a couple of burners.) One can only stand so many makeshift meals, though, and a few nights ago I hit the tipping point. I wanted a real dinner, dammit.

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Quick Dinner.

Due to an unfortunate case of cooking-related masochism, I tend to forget that not every meal requires hours of preparation and compilation. It took a recent experience to remind me of something that working parents have known for years: Weeknight dinners do not, in fact, need to be served at 10:00 p.m.

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After a particularly demanding day in the trenches, I was in the mood for something indulgent; I didn’t have the budget for anything fancy but wanted comfort food nonetheless. This burger, an umami*-rich combination of Italian sausage (I used half hot and half sweet, with great results), anchovy-spiked spinach, and sharp provolone cheese, couldn’t have been a better fit.

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Smitten Solution.

I think you all know me well enough by now to agree that I’m not normally one for quick, decisive action, but these days, I seem to be categorically unable to carry out my preferred method of menu-planning; instead of sifting through back issues of Gourmet and long-neglected cookbooks to come up with a way-too-ambitious grocery list, I find myself flipping through my Evernote recipe collection, discouraged by all the clippings that require days of advanced planning and extensive legwork. I just don’t feel like doing any of it.

Completely uncreatively, I blame the heat. I want to make things that require as little work as possible—with one hand, preferably, so the other is free to reach for that icy-cold glass of lambrusco—so I was in the perfect frame of mind to receive yesterday’s Smitten Kitchen email. Chopped salad with feta, lime and mint. Just reading the name cooled me off a few degrees.

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