I like to eat bananas when the skins are spotted and ripe because they’re sweeter, but they can go mushy pretty fast. So what do you do with an overripe banana too messy to eat by hand? Make banana muffins! But most muffin recipes make too many for a person who lives alone. Recently I
My grandson has given me a directive for his overnight visits: “You don’t ever have to ask what I want for breakfast, G. Lee. Just assume it will always be pancakes”). I love pancakes too but lacking his speedy metabolism, I don’t make them often. One weekend morning when he wasn’t visiting, I woke up
Pasta with meat sauce is a favorite comfort dish. I’ve made it a million times when I wanted something familiar and filling or when I was short on cash. I used to just open a jar of commercial spaghetti sauce, add some basic spices, and heat it up in five minutes. Now I start from
There are probably a dozen variations of macaroni and cheese and I think I’ve had them all: classic, southern style, gourmet, and the day-glo orange stuff that comes in a box. My own version had been hit or miss in the past but, this year, I finally got it just the way I like it.
A friend from Trinidad introduced me to my first taste of coconut sweet bread around the holidays. Before bringing me a slice, she described it as “a cake with fruit in it”, and said that her mother possessed a ‘sweet hand’, meaning only certain Caribbean folks had the special ability to turn out a perfect
There’s a lot of prep work involved with this one, but I don’t mind because I like to keep busy while waiting for the water to boil for the pasta. I prefer using a short pasta, like fusilli or penne, but I think this dish would work just as well with long pasta. — H.
A hot kitchen in summer can be especially brutal in the sweltering heat of New York City, so at this time of year I look to make tasty meals that keep the cooking to a minimum. I love a good salad, especially one that lets me clear out the fridge. This version of pasta salad
My family likes bananas, but no matter how small a bunch we buy, we can never seem to get to the last one before it goes brown. One overripe banana is just perfect for tossing into a smoothie. But on the rare occasions when several have been neglected, I make banana bread. My recipe is
When I think of pasta, my mind usually goes to spaghetti and meatballs or cheesy lasagna. But sometimes when I’m craving comfort food and don’t want to end up in a carb coma, I go for something like this. Still comforting but not quite as heavy and sleep-inducing. It’s a good way to use up
I’ve always enjoyed flavored rice dishes but figured it was faster and easier to buy microwaveable rice rather than try to make it on my own. But co-author/daughter Hayley insisted that making my own flavored rice was just as easy and didn’t take long — and it wouldn’t include artificial colors and flavors. Finally, I
This is my go-to dish for autumn potlucks. I almost always bring this to Thanksgiving or Halloween-themed office parties and Fall Festival school bake sales. This is by design; originally, I was not really a fan of pumpkin, but sought to learn a recipe with this flavor, to contribute something fitting for the season. But
Arroz con gandules, or rice with peas is a staple in most Puerto Rican and Caribbean households. It’s one of my favorite dishes to order in Spanish restaurants and I finally decided to try making it on my own. It came out so good I ate it as a main dish instead of a side!
I love lasagna with ground beef but when I want comfort food that’s satisfying but not heavy, I make this instead. I try to incorporate seasonal vegetables in my meals whenever possible so in warmer weather, that usually means cold vegetable or pasta salads. But sometimes a cold salad just won’t do. One of the
There are probably a dozen ways to make cornbread. Southern cornbread tends to be savory and is often served with barbeque or chili. Northern cornbread tends to be sweeter and cakelike. I’m a New York City woman with a sweet tooth, so I lean toward the sweeter version but I still want it to have
I grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, a stone’s throw from Chinatown so I’m kind of picky about my fried rice. Whenever my mom had a few extra bucks, she’d treat me and my siblings to dinner at a small restaurant there, off the beaten path. Sometimes the posted menu was in
I never really understood orzo. Rice-shaped pasta? Pasta-flavored rice? I was never quite sure so I avoided it altogether — until now. This dish is actually Hayley’s recipe– my daughter and co-author of this blog, so this is is actually a review. It’s good! Serve this as a side dish with fish or roast chicken, or
Eaten warm or cold, as is, or served with a pat of butter and a dollop of jam, cornbread is great any way you slice it! (Pun intended. ) Because I use kosher salt for absolutely everything, my version comes out faintly flecked with it, which adds a deliciously subtle hint of salt to this