Dinner Plans are back
Did you miss us?
Sift-ed’s back, alright! We’re back in your inboxes, but also back to basics with an old school Sifted menu made up of all the recipes we’ve been cooking in our very own kitchens. We know we fell off the face of the internet for a bit (Court was eating pastries in Paris and Gab… was eating everywhere in New York besides her own kitchen). But we’re both in the U.S. now, and it’s finally warming up, so you better get used to reading our silly stories and stellar recipe recs again every week. Today, we’ve got recipes for rooftop dinners, park picnics, etc. — all the things you want to eat when it’s sunny and warm outside.
SPRING DINNER PLANS
Herby, Creamy Beans: Cooking a pot of tiny white beans over a low flame for hours and hours until they become plump and aromatic-infused is something I like to do once a year (if that). Any other time I’m craving creamy cannellini beans, I make some rendition of this recipe, which calls for cans of beans instead. Partially smashed, thickened in a skillet, and finished with olive oil-soaked herbs, they’re delicious spooned onto a thick piece of bread, toasted in even more olive oil on a flat top. You could also use them to cover a bowl of chewy farro. Or served on the side of a crunchy, bitter arugula and radicchio salad with a little grated parm for something light, or tossed into just-cooked pasta for something substantial. I like to eat cold spoonfuls from the fridge, too. These beans are so rich in texture and flavor that no matter how you eat them, you’ll forget they didn’t spend hours on the stove.
Still-Perfect Caesar Salad: I’ve preached this to you guys before, but making Caesar dressing from scratch is the ultimate flex — for both your guests and yourself. They’re always incredibly impressed that you baked your own croutons and whisked the dressing together by hand from just a few egg yolks and you’ll be impressed by how Caesar-y the salad you end up serving looks and tastes. The recipe comes from the one and only Miss Baz. Make it ASAP, and don’t even think about skipping her notes to toss the romaine with lemon juice before dressing it and to shower the entire salad with extra parm just before plopping it down on the table.
Miso Peanut Butter Cookies: Oops, another NY Times Cooking recipe! A friend brought these over to my apartment a few weeks ago and I haven’t stopped thinking about them since. Instead of the crunchy sugar that’s calls for, she rolled each ball of cookie dough in a mixture of black and white sesame seeds, resulting in a plate of crispy, crinkly, super savory treats that were incredibly difficult to stop eating.
Carrot Cake (or Cupcakes or Muffins): On a recent video shoot for work (at my real, tax form-requiring job), the host made these undeniably adorable carrot cake cupcakes. Somewhere between my second or third cupcake, taken off the pile of less-than-perfect extras, it occurred to me that carrot cake is, indeed, a perfect food. And that reminded me of this perfect recipe, which happens to be gluten-free and coconut oil-based, making it easily transformable into a muffin, and therefore a completely acceptable breakfast (perhaps with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top in lieu of frosting.) Typically, I’m a C.C. purist but the nuts, raisins, and even shreds of coconut don’t stress me out here. Instead, they add needed textural contrast and moisture. Sure, it’s no Lloyd’s, but it’s a damn good way to start the day.
As aforementioned, I was lucky enough to spend last week in Paris, my first post-panini international travel (BBOTW: Paris édition coming to an Instagram near you soon.) If you’re wondering if it ~changed me~, all I’ll say is my new favorite breakfast is a cigarette and one bar of chocolate. And that I’m still going through butter withdrawal. Between my time there and the charming new HBO series, Julia, I’m feeling ready to break out the Kerrygold and bake up a storm. First up: the Queen of Sheba Cake Julia makes in the first episode. If it can earn her a cooking show, perhaps it can convince my landlord to fix our buzzer! The limit n’existe pas!
Something devastating happened to me last week — I unwrapped my loaf of sliced, sourdough Bread Alone to find a gaping hole in the center of multiple slices. To all of those who told me to just make egg in a hole, you’re a much more positive person than I’ll ever be. And we learned (in a since-deleted tweet— scandal!) we’re apparently not the only ones plagued by the (w)hole problem. Thank you, Doug, for fighting the good fight.
Cake Zine, an exciting new project by Friend of the Newsletter Tanya (a.k.a @will.this.make.me.happy) and Aliza Abarbanel, launched this week. The first issue, Sexy Cake, is 65+ pages of recipes, poems, essays and illustrations that explore how cakes have tempted and tantalized us since the dawn of dessert, and is available for preorder now. If you recall, Tanya is behind Sifted’s first birthday cake among many, many other impeccable cakes, so if her baking is any indication this zine is sure to whet the appetite.
I recently baked this Ottolenghi lemon almond blueberry cake, which Court claimed tastes inexplicably close to a Dunkin’ blueberry muffin (her platonic ideal of a muffin.) That’s a compliment for sure, but according to my sister, the Starbucks version reigns supreme. If anyone knows of a copycat recipe, please send it my way.