What makes a better gift than DIY cocktail supplies? This kind of gift is cute, unique, and way more useful than another pair of hand-knit socks. Best of all, it’s surprisingly easy to make the components of one of my favorite cocktails, the Manhattan. Well, all of the components except for the rye whiskey. That one, I’ll leave to the experts.
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A vegetable that often masquerades as a fruit in sweet dishes, rhubarb is a true harbinger of the season, appearing in April and, if we’re lucky, lasting until July. You can save some for an off-season fix, too, because it freezes and thaws beautifully.
Rather than waiting for someone to give you a treat, why not make one of your favorites for yourself? Something you can snack on all week when no one’s around. Or, better yet, something you don’t have to share. Food writer T. Susan Chang recommends slow-roasted pecans, salty-sweet matzo candy and more.
Emerald green and tender, yet with a gentle crunch, garden peas can be so delightful when fresh — and so disappointing when not. Try them now in their seasonal prime in these recipes for chilled soup, a citrusy spread and a traditional rice dish.
Stinging nettles are an overlooked bit of nature’s bounty, their prickly leaves hiding a secret: They’re good-tasting and good for you. (Consider them a stand-in for spinach.) To find them, just pull on some gloves and head out into the wild — or to a farmers market.
Salted and aged, the fruit develops mellow yet intensely lemony flavor, with none of the nose-tickling bright, high notes of the fresh version. Though they do take some time, preserved lemons are easy to make, keep practically forever, and make everything around them seem a little sweeter.
Like many other intrinsically boring foods — say, tofu or grits — lentils shine because they get out of the way. They provide a vehicle and a backdrop for other flavors — whether it’s good olive oil and gently gilded onions, or ground spices and lemony pesto.
It isn’t just the fairy tale stuff of Goldilocks, or the pauper gruel of Oliver Twist. Really, porridge can be a beautiful (sweet or savory) thing, especially during the cold slog of winter.
There is nothing sadder than giving or receiving a box of boring chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Instead, combine two things that will impress your significant other more than anything else: chocolate and a home-cooked meal — like beef short ribs braised in chocolate and wine.
This humble cabbage relative is undergoing a renaissance. Cookbooks are full of conversion stories and recipes. Food writer T. Susan Chang shares hers: The delectable versions she now enjoys bear no resemblance to the boiled, greenish-yellow sprouts of her youth.