I was inspired by something I saw on Twitter this week (I know, strange): The podcast host and author Linda Holmes wrote that, after a pandemic stretch of ordering in and PB&Js, she wanted to reset her relationship with her kitchen. She issued herself a cooking challenge, choosing eight New York Times Cooking recipes and making them over the course of one week. (Among the recipes: this arugula salad with peaches and goat cheese; these chile-oil noodles; and our ginger-lime chicken.)
This made me realize that I, too, need a reboot. My situation is different, in that I have been cooking through this whole entire very long pandemic. But I used to actually love to cook and bake: Disappearing into the kitchen was just about my favorite thing to do. At the moment, I am a little meh on the whole thing.
I want to love again. I picked the five recipes below because I’m excited about them and think they may help get me back on the path. Tell me how you’re doing and what you’re making and whether you also need a little reset: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A true shrimp boil is an event for a crowd, with a giant pot of bubbling water at its center. Millie Peartree smartly takes a few essential elements — shrimp, corn and potatoes — and cooks them on a sheet pan for a smaller meal that is still joyous, even if it’s just for four.
We finally own a grill, and yet we mostly use it on the weekend for burgers and sausage, with one foray into tofu. This is not the robust grilling life I’d imagined for myself. I want to use my grill more, and Melissa Clark’s garlicky, herby, yogurt-sauced chicken is an obvious place to start. You can use the broiler if you don’t have a grill.
The other day, I told my 3-year-old that, to me, sweet corn is the quintessential taste of summer, something you can know only in its fullest glory this time of year. (I don’t think she cared, but she does love corn.) Even when I’m really truly over cooking, I can muster the energy to shuck a few cobs for dinner. This recipe by Colu Henry is a favorite.
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