It feels strange to write about recipes and kid stuff when there are so many scary and sad things happening in the world but I don’t feel equipped to offer much more than this: There are a lot of bad people but many more good, and it’s up to us to be kind and generous and to raise a new generation of kind and generous humans. And I’m with Sam Sifton, who says that cooking is one of the best ways we can cope with tragedy and comfort those around us.
With that in mind, here’s what I’m making these days, plus some kid- and non-kid related picks to take you through August.
Gazpacho two ways: While I’ll eat a BLT any time of year, I won’t touch gazpacho outside of the summer months. And my favorite recipe doesn’t actually involve any tomatoes (though you should still only make it in summer): Ottolenghi’s green gazpacho uses spinach, green peppers, cucumbers, herbs, yogurt, and walnuts and is incredibly bright and refreshing. For a more traditional gazpacho, I love Julia Moskin’s appropriately named Best Gazpacho—there’s no bread in it, which makes for a thinner texture and gives you the option of eating it with crusty, olive-oily toast on the side.
Food for friends: I have a lot of pregnant or new parent friends so I’ve been thinking of healthy things to bring them for their early, baby bubble days. This Healthyish guide to hanging out with new parents is a) great and b) full of good food ideas. I’ll also add my favorites, which aren’t just for new parents—these are perfect for as housewarming, cheer-up, or just because gifts. In no particular order:
- Homemade granola (can’t go wrong with olive oil granola; bonus if you bring some farmers’ market fruit)
- Grain salad (here’s a good formula; for specific recipes, I like this NYT farro one, this Smitten Kitchen kale and quinoa one, and this Crunchy Radish Greek-ish one)
- Turkey meatballs (these are great because they can eat them right away or freeze them; my go-to’s are Ottolenghi zucchini and Julia Turshen ricotta versions)
- Jar of salad dressing and greens (use your favorite dressing recipe or this simple shallot one)
- Wine, obvi 🙂
Peach party: We have entered peach season and I cannot stop buying or eating them. On the subject of cooking for comfort, I’m planning on making Amanda Hesser’s easy, buttery peach tart (can confirm works just as well with plums and other summer stone fruit) this weekend and might convince Rob to try his hand at the epic peach pie in Alison Roman’s Dining In cookbook (if you don’t have it already, you’re missing out). Recipe isn’t online (buy the book!) but here’s a blueberry one from Alison. Also, if you’re feeling lazy, this Smitten recipe for peach halves with crunchy topping and ice cream hits the spot.
Rob’s grilling guide!!!: Our friend JP innocently asked Rob for some grilling tips; within 24 hours, he received this opus. I’m sharing it with you now so that you, too, may reap the benefits of my husband’s lovable insanity. (Also +1 on Thermapen—it’s the only way I feel confident grilling meat to the proper, and not overcooked, temp).
Toddler basics: I can’t believe it’s taken me this long but I finally ordered some Primary items for Lilly. They’re extremely well-made basics in a rainbow of colors and great for filling in the holes in a small person’s wardrobe. I can vouch for the bike shorts, tanks, and underwear (potty training coming soon!). Feel free to use MOLLIE20 for 20% off your first order plus free shipping (I don’t get anything except good karma :).
Lady undergarments: Speaking of wardrobe essentials, I’ve been searching for comfortable, flattering, and not too expensive underwear for everyday wear. I’ve liked GAP Breathe in the past but they seem to wear out quickly, and Everlane’s are great basics but a little too ascetic for me. My new favorite: Athleta’s Incognita line, which is seamless, comfortable, and comes in a range of colors. Thanks to my friend Deena for the pro tip!
Summer book recs: After speeding through Lauren Melching’s How Could She (delicious portrait of female friendship) in two days, I hit a major patch of reading indecision. I got recommendations from my favorite sources (Books are Magic, Graceand Becca at Bad on Paper Podcast, and Carey Polis, who is technically the digital director at Bon Appetit but also posts excellent 5-second book reviews) and downloaded at least a dozen samples to my Kindle. I’ve narrowed it down to: Claire Lombardo’s The Most Fun We Ever Had and Laura Lippman’s Lady in the Lake, though with Toni Morrison’s passing earlier this week, I might just re-read one of her gorgeous works. (Note: Everyone I know is reading Three Women but I don’t think I can handle it right now.)
Short reads: While I was waffling on my next summer book, I did catch up on my New York reading. Chalk this up to a good problem to have but they publish way too much excellent writing and I can never keep up. I had missed this fascinating and depressing account of Tulum’s decline and this jaw-dropping, fascinating, slightly terrifying story about WeWork. Also on my list: Rebecca Traister’s most recent story about Elizabeth Warren.
Hospital bag minis: I’m due in a little over a month so I’m starting to get my hospital bag organized (Lilly was two weeks early and we weren’t packed at all!). First on my list: Toiletries. It seems silly but having nice products makes you feel a lot more human both during labor and after birth. I just ordered some of my favorite travel-sizes from Birchbox: Acure face wipes and Marvis toothpaste (I had a fairly long labor with Lilly and used both of these during the process), plus Georgette Klinger Cleansing Milk (hospital air dries you out like no one’s business) and One Love Organics Skin Savior. I also might make Rob buy me this Aesop kit to brighten up the hospital shower situation.
Thanks for making it to the end!