This soup is the perfect remedy for sniffles, cold days, and pandemic blues.

Photo by author

A peek into the folders of my phone housing all of my saved recipes reveals lots and lots of meatballs. One of my favorites is Vietnamese-inspired Pork Meatballs With Ginger and Fish Sauce, but I also have bookmarks for Korean, Swedish, and good-old Italian marinara sauce meatballs. One day, I’m sure I’ll write a column where I only review meatball recipes I found on the internet.

To further prove my love for meatballs, I’ll inform you that my favorite dish to bring to a party is, what I call, party balls. It’s just a bag of pre-cooked, frozen meatballs with…

I’d literally rather live in the wilderness than think about the coronavirus ever again.

Illustration by Sara Schleede.

Over the summer, I bought my first pieces of backpacking gear and made it out on a few silent, serene hiking trips where nervous thoughts of the pandemic almost faded among steep mountains and trickling rivers. But it wasn’t safe enough to do that every weekend, and the little daily quarantine walks around my Brooklyn neighborhood that I’d go on otherwise just weren’t cutting it anymore. I wanted to be in the backcountry of a remote wilderness, with nothing but a pack full of necessities and maybe my partner. Maybe.

If I couldn’t be outside, away from stress-inducing social media…

This patatas bravas-inspired side dish with bacon and homemade lemon aioli will do the heavy lifting on your Thanksgiving table.

Photo of dish served with lemon aioli.

Mashed potatoes will be around every year, but this year needs a single dish that has it all, since you’ll most likely be doing the cooking yourself and won’t have the manpower (or the need) for a meal with a million different dishes. Inspired by the Spanish appetizer patatas bravas, this recipe has everything you could need for Thanksgiving: crispy bacon fat fried potatoes, Brussels sprouts, bacon bits, a tangy lemon aioli topping. …

Don’t worry — your turkey will still be juicy and full of flavor.

Photo of savory dry-brined turkey breast by the author.

Even in a normal year, making a whole turkey for Thanksgiving isn’t fun. It’s huge, takes forever to roast, and is almost always inconsistently cooked. The breast will cook faster than the thigh and leg meat, resulting in a dried out turkey breast that basically needs to be covered in gravy to be edible. And whoever came up with the idea of a wet brine? Truly ridiculous. No offense to whoever does the Thanksgiving cooking at your house, but wet-brining and roasting a whole bird just isn’t it. …

Recreating a recipe that died along with my great-grandmother.

Photo of croquetas de papa by the author.

As sugar skulls, papel picado, and other Día de Muertos decorations began to pop up in my neighborhood over the last few weeks, I started thinking about my relationship to the holiday and what I would do to celebrate this year. Día de Muertos is a two-day Latin American feast that honors loved ones who have passed away. It has a rich food history, with many people creating ofrendas, or altars, full of food that serves as an invitation for the dead to visit the realm of the living and enjoy tasty treats.

My family never truly celebrated Día de…

Learning the true cost of domestic labor made me realize I’m not cut out to be a homemaker.

Photo by the author.

If you told me a year ago that at 22, I’d be fresh out of virtual college, unemployed, making dinner every night and folding a man’s underwear for him, I would have had a good laugh. But it’s not as funny when it’s reality.

When the pandemic hit New York City in early March, I was in my last semester of undergrad, about to graduate with a journalism and English literature degree from NYU. …

The beloved tomato-spiced noodle soup has roots in Italy and Spain.

Photo of sopa de fideo by author.
Photo of sopa de fideo by author.
Photo of sopa de fideo by author.

As soon as the first chilly day rolls around each year, my internal soup mode switches on. I love soup. I’ll scream it from the rooftops. And once I can acceptably eat it most days of the week? I’m in heaven (Although, if we’re being honest, I have been known to eat boiling hot soup in the dead of summer, too). Now that the leaves have started to change and we’re officially in the autumn months, it’s time to start making soup in my house.

The best types of soups, in my opinion, are the ones that are deeply flavorful…

This Mexican-American dish has a rich history of exploitation and reclamation.

Photo of hard shell tacos by author. of hard shell tacos by author.
Photo of hard shell tacos by author. of hard shell tacos by author.
Photo of hard shell tacos by author.

We’re in the middle of Latinx Heritage Month, and this time of year always has me considering my Latinidad a little bit more thoughtfully than usual. I’ve started to think a lot about how, for many Mexican people in the United States, our food culture has evolved — and is invariably tied to this country. Mexican influences appeared on a national scale with the introduction of Mexican-American fast food chains like Chipotle and Taco Bell. …

This Mexican breakfast has been saving stale tortillas from the garbage can for hundreds of years

Over the last few years, I’ve been trying to reduce my food and plastic waste. I shop at zero-waste stores when possible, and have swapped out a number of household items like dish brushes and shower loofahs for plastic-less alternatives that can be composted at the end of their life. I also compost all food scraps that come out of my kitchen.

This lifestyle change has made me realize how much Mexican culture unconsciously reduces waste. Mexican culture, at least in the way I was raised, leaned more toward environmental friendliness than typical American culture. When I was a child…

A love letter to Calle Olvera, Los Angeles summers, and the sweetness of agua fresca.

Photo of agua fresca by author.
Photo of agua fresca by author.
Photo of agua fresca by author.

Summer will tragically be coming to an end soon. I am not ready to face that reality yet, so until I come to terms with the changing of the seasons, I will be happily sunbathing in denial and sipping nothing but aguas frescas — specifically agua fresca de jamaica — all day long.

When steeped and sweetened, flores de jamaica (hibiscus flower, pronounced ha-may-kah) gives off intense fruit punch vibes. If you’ve ever had it, you know that it can easily be mistaken for a mixed berry drink like a cran-raspberry cocktail. …

Jae Taurina Thomas

Queer Latina/Asian journalist. Busy cooking, call back later.

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