September 2, 2014 / 7th of Elul, 5774
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Mari Levine

  • I love baked goods, but I don’t always love baking. That’s because I’m impatient; I hate the long but necessary wait times while dough proofs and rises and just sits there, taunting me. I much prefer the instant—or at least, quicker—gratification of cooking. So when it came to a challah recipe, I wanted to minimize the waiting time. I got it down to about 90 minutes, which is long enough for the yeast to work its magic and short enou...

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  • Among this summer’s many highlights was the marriage of my cousin Danny to his partner, Bryan. For almost a year, we knew the date and the venue: early August at a beautiful estate in Connecticut where we’d rent cabins and stay for the weekend. All summer long, my sister Jackie kept saying, “I don’t want to wish summer away…but I really can’t wait for Danny and Bryan’s wedding.”

    As hard as we tried not to rush t...

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  • My summer has gotten away from me, as it often does. I’ve gone on vacations, attended weddings and spent more than a fair amount of time in the sun, but I realize now, as the end of summer approaches, that I have completely ignored one of my favorite parts of this season: homemade ice cream. This recipe is an apology to my ice-cream maker, whose canister has sat, alone and unused, in the depths of my freezer.

    Halvah, the Middle Eastern confection, comes ...

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  • I recently took a spur-of-the-moment vacation to Maine, where a couple of friends and I decided to turn off our phones and unplug at the beach for a few days. I’m as game for relaxing as much as the next person, but for me, the true allure of a seaside retreat is the food. A beach day just isn’t complete without a cooler full of snacks. And while I’ll gladly indulge in the usual bags of chips and cookies, I need something a bit more sustainable;...

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  • A couple of weeks ago, I helped plan and cater a bridal shower for two of my dear friends. It was an intimate affair, attended mostly by family and held at my home. We gathered flowers from Russo’s and created a make-ahead menu using many of the recipes I’ve featured on this blog, including gravlax, Israeli couscous salad and strawberry basil lemonade.

    But not all of the food we made was to be eaten that day. The highlight was the favor we gifted t...

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  • My roommates and I have started a new tradition called “Chicken Wednesday.” We’re nothing if not creative, and it’s just what it sounds like: One of us whips up a bunch of chicken on the grill and everyone else is responsible for the accoutrements. This week we had our friend Jenny staying with us while she was visiting from New York. To thank us for our hospitality, she brought with her some zucchini from her CSA. (She said she saved them...

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  • Last weekend I made my first trip of the summer to Provincetown for my friends’ wedding. While there, I was told by a coworker that I wasn’t allowed to leave town until I tried his friends’ new sandwich shop, Pop + Dutch. I did as I was told and left the store with one of the most unusual sandwiches I’d had in a long time: smashed chickpeas and arugula on Iggy’s ciabatta bread. The smashed chickpeas had the texture of coarse hummus, ...

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  • Homemade granola is the snack that keeps on giving. It only takes minutes to throw together and will feed you for days. I find that I’m most in need of this kind of grab-and-go food in the summer, when I’m dividing my time between hectic workweek mornings and weekends spent packed with outdoor activities.

    There’s no shortage of flavors and ingredient combinations when it comes to granola, and it’s easy to swap one thing for another. Do ...

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  • If you’re part of a CSA, you know that every week can be like an episode of “Chopped.” The share usually includes easily identifiable staples, like zucchini and peppers, plus a surplus of salad greens that you do your best to use before they wilt. Then there are the less familiar items: garlic scapes, dinosaur kale, chard and cabbage in every color you can imagine. Another ingredient that falls into that category—one you may recognize but ...

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  • These popsicles need little explanation. To me, they symbolize summer and the Fourth of July. When I was younger, the holiday marked the middle of what my siblings and I dubbed the “Wednesday Races,” which were weekly foot races held at a nearby outdoor track after school let out for the summer. We’d compete against kids our own age, collect our colored ribbons, and then cap the night off with a treat from the ice cream truck that was always par...

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Mari_levine_photo
Mari is a freelance food writer and an editor for America's Test Kitchen, where she combines her journalism and culinary degrees from Brandeis University and Johnson & Wales, respectively, with her restaurant and lifelong eating experience. When she's not working hoisin sauce into everything she eats or binging on anything sandwiched between two slices of bread, she can be found on her bike, engrossed in a documentary, or playing sports that involve throwing and/or catching a ball (the latest: flag football).

Latest Comments

Today's CSA is supposed to be chock full of heirloom tomatoes. We'll definitely be eating this this weekend.
Chosen Eats: Heirloom Tomatoes and Fried Goat Cheese with Basil Oil