SIDESSALADS

A Broccoli Salad I’ll Actually Eat (Because Bacon)

This is so much more delicious than you think it is.

I was at Mollie's house last weekend for a pre-Easter parade lunch, and MAN do she and her husband ever feed us well when we're there. (The dishes generally include a lot of mayo. I am okay with that.) Her husband made deviled eggs that were so delicious that I ended up eating my daughter's leftovers. By which I mean the leftover bites that had actually been in her mouth, and that she had decided needed to come out again. (If you are a parent, you know this is relatively normal and often your best chance of getting to eat anything over the course of the day. If you are not...sorry.) I learned that HoneyBaked Ham isn't just...like, ham baked in honey, but an actual thing that people wait on interminably long lines to buy (and I totally get why because oh my GOD it's so good). And finally, I ate - with considerable reluctance - a broccoli salad.

When faced with a table of deviled eggs and ham (and pumpkin muffins and potato salad and mimosas), my default tactic is to skip the green stuff, lest it take up valuable space in my stomach that could otherwise be dedicated to muffin-consumption. But then I overheard Kendrick saying about Mollie's broccoli salad, "Oh wow, there's bacon in this?" and Mollie said, "Yup!" and okay fiiiiiiiiiiine if I have to, I'll try it. Reluctantly.

ENTERTAINING

I Made Peepshi, And So Should You

The good news: Oh my GOD is Peepshi - a.k.a. sushi that has been constructed from Peeps and an assortment of other cavity-creating substances - ever cute.

The bad news: Cavity-creating substances are frequently insanely delicious, which means that you will make Peepshi "for the kids"...and in the process eat millions of little Peep remnants (you know, the ones that you cut off in pursuit of a perfectly-shaped piece of nigiri) yourself.

Okay. Now that we've established that you're making Peepshi, because of course you are, let me tell you how to do it. This geniusness was originally created by Serious Eats, but now that I've made one batch and am thus clearly an expert, I'm going to tell you the little discoveries that I made over the course of the Peepshi-making process that I thought were extra wonderful.

Eat

The Very Best Stuff You Can Get At Trader Joe’s (According To Me)

Like so many things in life, the joys of Trader Joe's are sweeter for having known the sad, grey world that existed in their absence. Until I was twenty-seven years old, you see, I lived in tragic ignorance of the fact that pre-marinated meat could be so delicious (and so thinly sliced!), or that crumpets could be so wonderful-tasting that they could make the casual usage of the word "crumpet" (almost) acceptable, or that drinkable four-dollar wine existed. Even in those heady days during which I first roamed the aisles alongside fellow Himalayan sea salt lovers too broke for Whole Foods, Trader Joe's was a once-a-month special occasion, because each trip resulted in the purchase of oh, so much four-dollar wine that I was required to splurge on a $25 taxi ride home.

Now I am a suburbanite. I own a car that I call a "truck" but that most people would probably consider an SUV. There is a Trader Joe's located 15 minutes from my house.

And now? Oh, now I know all about it. I can close my eyes and see the shelves laden with quinoa chips and dried broccoli florets in stunning - even technicolor - detail.

SWEETS

Three-Ingredient Bananacakes

omg these are delicious.

How have I never heard of bananacakes before?! They're like pancakes, except you get to skip 90% of the steps involved in making pancakes. And since they have zero added sugar and flour and everything else, I have to assume they're...better for you? ...Sort of?

Anyway, I was at my friend Elise's house for brunch the other day and she whipped up some of these using just eggs and mashed-up banana (with a touch of cinnamon), and they are good. Slightly denser than pancakes - and you definitely have to be into banana-flavored things, but who isn't? - and such a great last-minute what-do-I-make-for-breakfast solution (plus a fun way to use up your about-to-go-brown bananas; you can always make them now and freeze them for the weekend).

SWEETS

Once You DIY A Doughnut, You Don’t Go Back

an easy and delicious recipe for biscuit dough donuts

Deep-frying is not my forte. I've only ever done it once, actually, when I made fish 'n' chips - white-hot oil has just always struck me as a substance I should stay far, far away from. But when I'm presented with an opportunity to learn how to whip up homemade doughnuts from my friend and RG contributor Mollie, I'm obviously going to say yes. First, because Mollie alerted me to the fact that she inherited her love of deep-frying from her great-grandmother Big Momma, and any recipe even tangentially associated with a woman named "Big Momma" is clearly going to be a delicious one. But also because these doughnuts are made using pre-made biscuit dough. Which means they take about five minutes.

Let me say that again, for emphasis: If you have these (pretty basic) ingredients handy, you can be eating homemade doughnuts in five minutes. And now that I have officially tasted doughnuts fresh from the oven (or...oil-pot), I get why some people skip Dunkin' Donuts in favor of DIY: the doughnuts you buy in stores can't even begin to compare to ones you eat seconds after they're made.

Oh, and if you have kids this is such a fun project (minus the boiling oil part) - just sit them down with toppings and slightly cooled doughnuts - and maybe a few dropcloths, depending on how much you like your furniture - and let them go crazy. Which they will. (I practically had to hose my daughter down before I'd let her get in my car at the end of all this.)