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30 Recipes that I would make again


Six years ago I started cooking meal kits from BlueApron and Hawai'i FreshBox. This helped me level up from my pasta-and-jarred-sauce / rice-and-beans / pancakes-and-eggs cooking level.

During early covid, we made our food at home every day (often diced veggies and meat in a simmer sauce). By the end of the year I had tried a lot of aspirational recipes and ingredients.

In 2022, when I stopped Airbnb-ing, I was able to buy appliances (stand mixer, food processor), and attempt a new class of recipes.

Meals (i.e. not dessert)



I had this tasty avocado pasta sauce with a small helping of cherry tomatoes and red pepper flakes at Green Hippo in Helsinki.

You'll need a food processor.

Not sure what the 'right' recipe is for this. This one is a Finnish source, so maybe it's more legit? https://www.k-ruoka.fi/reseptit/avokadopasta-valimeren-tapaan

Biang Biang Noodles


Two things to know about biang biang noodles: the written Chinese name uses a complex character, and part of cooking is slapping the noodle against your cutting board or counter. Fun! Video tutorial essential for technique.

You can order a meal kit from Xi'an Famous Foods, but I'd encourage you to attempt the noodles yourself (it's flour, salt, and water). My biggest issue was that I should have rolled the dough thinner before splitting it into noodles. Make sure you have chili crunch or chili oil.

Chorizo and Egg Breakfast Burrito


There are so many ways that you could make a breakfast burrito - hard to go wrong - but this recipe became my particular go-to if you want to have specific ingredients and timing.

A lot of supermarkets have chorizo now, but if it's not there, I would recommend one of the marinated chicken options at Trader Joe's (i.e. not the soy-rizo).

Chuck Roast in the Oven


I impulse-bought a chuck roast, and with a cut of meat like this you can't do whatever you want. The idea here is to cook in a Dutch oven in the oven for hours. For some reason I had some souvlaki seasoning in the cabinet, and sprinkled that in liberally here.

As mentioned in the recipe, beef broth can be used in place of red wine.

Cornbread with Jalapeños and Cream Cheese


I got a bunch of recipes by browsing this site, Chili Pepper Madness. The recipe is for mini-muffins, but I'm always using it for a full-sized dish of cornbread. The bake time will be different.

My family doesn't like that this adds cream cheese in there, but it's an inspired choice; it breaks up the monotony of a cornbread loaf.

Egg Bagels


If you're going to go to the trouble of making bagels at home, you might as well make them a little different from your local bakery. This is an opportunity to make a clasic New York egg bagel. I believe these are chewier or have more protein. Even when you put extra yolk, they do not turn bright yellow. Just accept egg bagels as they are, or add food coloring.

Option 1: add a shaker of 'everything bagel' seasoning

Option 2: Asiago cheese bagels are also good. Supposedly invented in the 90s at Au Bon Pain. You can generally find the cheese at Trader Joe's and upper-level supermarkets. Note that cheese is both mixed into the dough and sprinkled over the top https://www.browneyedbaker.com/asiago-bagels/

Indian Butter Chickpeas


Hard to go wrong with Indian sauces, paneer, chickpeas. Mutter paneer is also good (paneer + peas). I'm linking to the New York Times recipe which I think requires a food processor. It's easier to use a simmer sauce (which I prefer to pastes).

Keto Bison Meatballs


Wrap a meatball in bacon. Recipe amounts make huge meatballs.

Khachapuri - Georgian Cheese Bread


Good for the palate and Instagram. It's basically making a pizza dough boat, and then dropping in scoops of cheese and an egg. Recipe amounts over-estimate how much cheese you'll need. Timing with the egg is tricky (it needs to leave the oven gooey; the cheese keeps it cooking).

Of the three cheeses, farmer's cheese is hard to find, but I see it at larger Whole Foods locations. If that's not an option you can substitute ricotta or cottage cheese. Online recipes vary widely on cheeses and other toppings (spinach, artichoke, macaroni).

I want to invent a muffin-sized khachapuri (maybe with a quail egg??) but so far no luck.

Malai Rigatoni


An Indian spices-inspired pasta sauce. I saw this on Malala's Instagram!

Maple Glazed Duck Breast


Pretty straightforward and tasty.

Misir Wat (Ethiopian Spiced Red Lentils)


Tasty use of red lentils. Goes well with eggs and beans (I'd love to have a full spread of authentic Ethiopian veggie dishes, but they take time to cook).

Niter kibbeh is spiced clarified butter. I've gotten this from the Ethiopian market twice, and I'm pretty sure I could use store-bought ghee instead.

Hopefully you have access to injera bread from an Ethiopian market (or order extra from a restaurant). Because injera is fermented from the air, some people insist on injera imported from Ethiopia. My local market has 3 in plastic wrap for $3, so I'm sure I'm getting the Chicago-fermented version. Reheat injera in the microwave with a sheet of wet paper towel.

Nasi Goreng

National dish of Indonesia. Here's a video from Marion's Kitchen to see how it looks:


For nasi goreng to work, you'll want at least the dark soy sauce and overnight-fridged rice. I haven't tried the shrimp paste. There are some nasi goreng packets which you can order.

Nasi Lemak

Everyone has their own version of Malaysia's national dish.

Here's Marion's Kitchen again:


For nasi lemak, I made coconut rice, hard-boiled egg, and bought sambal and niboshi (anchovies) from Amazon. The end product didn't look like a full plate, so I wish I made the fried chicken or fish as well.

Bonus video : a Japanese couple (iChang) make Nasi Lemak for friends and family to the fascination of their Malaysian audience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05Hh6DUQJY8

Pasta and Lentils


This uses brown lentils (I have an excess of red lentils at home, so I made this only once).

The comments are highly critical of this dish and advise cooking the lentils separately, adding or removing liquid, different cooking times, etc. I followed the original directions closely, and wasn't disappointed.

Red Lentil Curry


Everyone already seems to know this recipe from Rainbow Plant Life, but I do make it often, and it dictated the spices I bought for my kitchen. Wash the cup of lentils and start your rice cooker or pot first thing.

My version is vegetarian (butter). I prefer bell pepper, poblano pepper, and/or a jalapeño instead of serrano peppers.

Roti Canai


Tasty flatbread. You will need to watch some YouTube recipes to get the motions right (especially crushing it immediately after pulling it from the pan).

I used a tortilla press.

A related dish is Roti Canai Sarang Burung (a ring of roti canai dough with 1–2 eggs and maybe mince meat in the middle). Also included 1/4-weight amaranth flour.

Roti Jala (Net Crepes)


This is a tricky one but looks amazing. I was lucky to try it on my first day in Kuala Lumpur.

You need to sift the flour and have a three-nozzle ketchup bottle or special cap to sprinkle trails of batter onto the pan. Then it's a question of when it's solid enough to flip. If you get it right, it's good with curry dip (savory) or maple syrup (sweet).

Scalloped Potatoes


Another option for potatoes is https://bakingmischief.com/italian-roasted-potatoes/

Spaghetti Carbonara


Everyone knows it, here's the New York Times take on how to make it, etc.

Dessert and Pastry

Afelia's Cannoli


Halal and vegetarian cannoli recipe (substituting for wine and lard). You'll need to order some cannoli rods or cone forms, and a deep pot to submerge them in coconut oil for the deep fryer.

I'm interested in using ube and pandan in the future for color.

Apple Skillet Cake With Salted Caramel Frosting


Recipe you can bake in a cast iron pan. It helps to have a peeler/corer/slicer to process the apples. Let everything cool before even starting making the frosting.

Bird Nest Baklava


A super-cute variation of baklava which I saw in Granada (though on closer examination, they might have a peanuts and chocolate version).

For the dough, I found dry kadaifi on Amazon. These are short, dry strands and need to be misted with water to the right level to wrap around your finger. These then took longer than expected to brown or caramelize in the oven


My first babka, and it uses a big scoop of Trader Joe's cookie butter. The recipe calls for "chocolate cookie butter" -- does it exist? I thought regular was fine. Added some chocolate chips on top.

This is another example of "if you're not buying a babka from a store, make it something different".

Crispy Peppermint-Lime Slices


In 2021 we got a gay holiday bakery box from Ursula in Brooklyn. These were my favorite of the cookies, so in 2022 I made them at home. The soft peppermint candy is a bit tricky to find and then to cut up or mash, but I did OK with a bag of candies from CVS.

Split the cookie roll into two rolls; one for red sparkling sugar, one for green.

Dulce de Leche Stuffed Mexican Chocolate Cookies


Big, tasty cookies.

Gochujang Caramel Cookies


A coworker suggested this recipe. Awesome.

Pain aux Raisin


For frangipane, follow the instructions! Don't assume almond butter is the same!

Pandan Chiffon Cake


Even King Arthur is getting in on the Asian dessert trend. You need an angel food cake pan.

Pandan has a green color and unique flavor. I looked at a few options on Amazon and got what look like food coloring drops, but I think they work as a pandan extract / flavoring.

Start by carefully making the meringue. I messed this up and it didn't come out the way I wanted.

Pandebono (Colombian Cheese bread)


A favorite since I went to a Colombian bakery in Queens. Requires cassava flour.

Honorable Mentions

Future Food Goals