father’s day

Since I first viewed it in September, Bon Appetit’s How To Make A Smash Burger At Home video has echoed through my mind as I fall asleep each night. Adam Rapoport’s silver-fox good looks, those lacy edges of that burger, that melty American cheese on a Martin’s potato roll…it is all the stuff of my dreams. I have wanted to make this burger for ages, and I thought Father’s Day was as good a time as any to try it out.


The burger is made on a cast-iron skillet (very appealing to me) and not a grill, because as Adam so wisely explains, when you grill a burger, all the good stuff (i.e. fat) drips to the bottom of the grill. This totally explains why I hate all grilled burgers!!! I don’t know how I had never thought of it before.

I started these burgers and it all started relatively smoothly. The skillet was nice and preheated, the burger patties were loosely packed as instructed, but then CAST-IRON CHAOS ENSUED! I am used to the smoke alarm in my apartment going off any time I use my skillet, but it’s very sensitive. Thought my house might be different! But I started making more and more of these burgers, and the skillet got more and more smoky, and the house got more and more smoky, and then every smoke alarm in my house went off. Happy Father’s Day!


I should have had all the cheese slices unwrapped before I started, which was such a rookie mistake. The burgers still turned out great though. I used brioche buns (even though Adam Rapoport advised against that) from the bakery I work at. We don’t have Martin’s buns in Texas, Adam!!! (how does the Austin Shake Shack get them and can they hook me up with their supplier?!?) I also made a delicious sauce of ketchup, mayo, onion powder, pickle juice, and celery salt. I was slurping that up.

I accompanied the burgers with a cole slaw recipe from one of my mom’s best friends. It’s pretty light, especially compared to most slaws. Lots of fresh herbs and really light on the dressing. I also made a simple caprese salad with summer tomatoes which are nearly at their peak! It was good for the burgers to be balanced with something fresher.


My dad’s favorite dessert is a peach cobbler, with Texas peaches that are right in season during his birthday month of June. When I was working at the bakery on Sunday, they brought out this peach crumble pie and I knew he needed to have it for his dad’s day dinner. I bought it on the spot. It was delicious served with a dollop of Blue Bell vanilla.

The house doesn’t even smell like smoke anymore so these yummy burgers are a success in my book.



impromptu dinner party

My parents were going to be out to dinner and my mom suggested I have a dinner party. This was the night before, so I had less than 24 hours to throw this thing together. It was okay because only one of our friends was in town…so it worked out and I only had to cook for three.

For being a relatively cosmopolitan and epicurean city, it sure is damn hard to find a tub of truffle butter in Dallas. It took me trips to FOUR different stores to find it and several calls, but I trekked through dangerous neighborhoods and spanned dozens of miles in every direction of the city and found it.

I had wanted to make Ina Garten’s Tagliarelle (tagliatelle? which is it? I have heard both?!) With Truffle Butter ever since I saw her make it for Barbara and Bobby Liberman while visiting their Berkshires cabin in her latest holiday special. It just seemed so luxurious–and it is, mothasuckas! Tagliarelle/telle is a delicious new pasta I’ve tried! Light and eggy and such a delicate nice shape. Light pasta but not a light sauce- it is a whole jar of truffle butter and cream. Whatever, we’re young.


We had a basic arugula salad that I always make (not too worthy of a photograph) and then for dessert, I made something I’ve wanted to make forever- Eton mess. It incorporates raspberries, one of the few fruits I like, and whipped cream and meringues, two things I also really like. Also, why are MERINGUES the most difficult thing to find? Even harder than truffle butter, like damn! I literally couldn’t find these anywhere and had to make them myself! It wasn’t hard but like shit! The point of this dessert was that it is very little cooking and mostly assembling!

Anyway. It was delicious and summery. You cook down the raspberries with sugar and lemon juice and framboise and just layer them all together. It’s really cute and rustic and still really elegant. I loved it even though my sister didn’t. She prefers cake.


A picture of the homemade meringues, just for fun. They were cute.



linguine with italian sausage and pomodoro sauce


I make so much pasta at home, and my sister makes me feel like a Michelin starred pasta chef with how much she praises me for each pasta dish I make. For this quick dinner, I used my favorite Bon Appetit pomodoro sauce recipe and added, of course, Italian sausage. This is a simple and yummy meal that always makes everyone happy.



sausage risotto with spring greens

I have never tried making risotto before- the real, by hand, stir-this-until-your-hand-falls-off kind of risotto. I make that disclaimer because my dad makes Arborio rice in a rice cooker and calls it risotto (sorry for exposing you like this). This is remarkably unphotogenic and looks basically like gruel, but it was delicious.

I made Bon Appetit’s Sausage Risotto with Spring Greens to use up some sausage and chard that we had in the fridge. It turned out really good and I didn’t even mind the stirring that much while listening to Joanna Newsom’s interview on WTF with Marc Maron.


Lately, my family has been very obsessed with Trader Joe’s sausage of all varieties. My summer at home so far has been seeing all the things I can put sausage in or on. I’ve had worse summers!