Monthly Archives: April 2012

Gluten-Free Is Me: Mini Black Bean Arepas


The arepa is a beautiful thing for glutards. It’s a Venezuelan sandwich pocket made entirely out of Masa Harina. When I’m out of Udi’s bread and am too cheap to buy another $6 loaf, I turn to my pantry and whip up a batch of arepas to keep in the fridge for all of my sandwich whims.

Though most of my catering clients don’t care whether or not something is gluten-free, I’ve taken to making mini versions of these arepas to serve as cocktail fare. They are dirt cheap, and if you cut the little patties in half and serve them open-faced, you can double your yield.… Continue Reading

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Bottoms Up: Basil Patronata


I don’t get asked over to other people’s apartments for dinner that often. And especially not by my secret friend crushes. But a few weeks ago, the universe sent some magic my way, and I found an invitation in my inbox from Julia Turshen.

Julia and I have a similar freelance, cobbled-together career, except that everything she writes is featured in way better publications, and everything she cooks is served to way cooler people. We’ve run into each other a bunch of times around town, and needless to say, I’ve been crushin’. Hard.

When the email arrived, I wanted to make a good impression.… Continue Reading

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Phoebe’s Friday Favorites: Let’s Get Toasty


I haven’t been much of a breakfast person in my twenties. Who has the time? But ever since my dad started spelling my name out in bread (see #1 below), I’ve had a soft spot for toast. These days, now that I’m gluten-free, my toast ritual has adopted a few more specialty items, like Udi’s bread (#5) and Earth Balance’s butter spread (#7), which my roommate Caitlyn used to buy and I used to secretly eat. For this week’s favorites, I put together all the other toast-related items that I would own if I was a classier person, and not one who 9 times out of 10 eats breakfast in her underwear.… Continue Reading

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What’s Eating You: The Easiest Tex-Mex Recipes


What’s Eating You? is a weekly advice column where I answer all of your burning cooking questions. To get the ball rolling, I’ve asked some of my friends to send me theirs. If you’d like your kitchen dilemma solved, feed it to me here.

Ben A. is a lawyer. He once made risotto four months ago. This is his office hat. Yep. Just another day at the office.

I used to live in Texas and haven’t found a good go-to Mexican spot in New York. Got any good Tex-Mex recipes that you can throw my way? – Ben A.

Ben, I believe you consumed more burritos per capita than anyone else in the state of Rhode Island when we were in college.… Continue Reading

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On the Job: “Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters” Book Party


I know what it’s like to throw your own book party. Last May, Cara and I spent a week making hundreds of Rice Krispie balls and Mini PB&J cake-witches, and stressing about whether or not people would show up. Throwing a book party is not that glamorous, it’s certainly not that cheap, and unless you drink upwards of 5 vodka sodas, as I surely did, it’s usually pretty stressful. So when Meredith Zeitlin approached me to do the food for the launch of her new young adult novel, High School & Other Unnatural Disasters, I recognized a fellow first time author in need, and said: let’s do this.… Continue Reading

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Spicy Black Beans


Print Spicy Black Beans

Yield: Makes 4 cups


  • Two 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock, veggie stock, or water
  • Juice of 1 lime


  • In a small pot, combine the beans, spices, hot sauce, and stock or water. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until the beans have softened and the sauce has thickened. The consistency will be slightly firmer than baked beans.
  • Serve immediately, or keep in the fridge for up to a week. Reheat in the microwave and add a little more liquid (water or stock) to loosen up the beans.
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