Every Friday morning, Bon Appétit senior staff writer Alex Beggs shares weekly highlights from the BA offices, from awesome new recipes to office drama to restaurant recs, with some weird (food!) stuff she saw on the internet thrown in. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you'll get this letter before everyone else.
Something to cook
I made BA’s Best Banana Bread last weekend and it lived up to its name. I only had three overripe bananas, swapped ¼ cup of AP flour with almond flour for fun, and made it into muffins (so cut the cook time in half). They turned out so moist and banana-y! Would make again!
Get the recipe: BA’s Best Banana Bread
A look that says “what have you done with that frosting sir”
Gourmet Makes star Claire Saffitz was on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon this week, decorating a layer cake and attempting to teach Jimmy Fallon how to do the same. My takeaway: Claire is so patient and charming, just like real life! I need a spin-y cake stand! Why do they use SO MANY SPATULAS?
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In a noodle mood
Happy Year of the Rat! When Lisa Cheng Smith was in the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen making the recipes for this Lunar New Year menu, I went back for bowl after bowl of the scallion-oil noodles. The scallion flavor is so deep and caramelized—nothing like that sharpness you get when they’re sliced raw and on top of stuff—because they’re sautéed in oil for nearly 30 minutes!!!
Get the recipe: Scallion-Oil Noodles
And on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, BA contributor MacKenzie Fegan wrote a great piece for the San Francisco Chronicle about her family’s Chinese restaurants in the area, Henry’s Hunan. It’s a story about the country’s first Chinese restaurants, the struggles of sustaining family-run businesses, and the physical toll that restaurant work requires of the human body. I loved this quote from Meng Tao, MacKenzie’s mother’s half-sister, who still shows up to wash dishes when needed: “I don’t care about my clothes. I don’t care about mahjong,” she told MacKenzie, “I just like to eat.”
Oh no no no
This newsletter was filed...very late
Because I was watching the Mario Buatta auction LIVE all day Thursday. The interior decorator, who died in 2018, had such a vast and quirky collection of...things...by the time the Sotheby’s auction had been running for four hours, we were only on Lot 192...of 969. Items were going for tens of thousands of dollars. My eyes were on: oil portraits of moody cocker spaniels (want), velvet upholstered footstools (need), and beautiful Delft blue and white porcelain (never enough). When it got to the TROVE of asparagus and cabbage decor, I realized I should maybe write about it to share my wonder and delight with you. Above, an asparagus-shaped tureen ended up selling for $25,000. 25,000!!!!
Have you scanned the chip aisle lately and thought: “Too many flavors!”? It’s true! There are too many! The first flavors of potato chips were barbecue, onion, and salt & vinegar. But two weeks ago we got a delivery of Flamin’ Hot Limón Doritos (not into those) and jalapeño-cheddar Lay’s (very into those). The Guardian has a nerdy-fascinating article about the rise of high-concept chip flavors, I mean flavours, especially those very UK-centric ones, like Christmas pudding and “whisky and Haggis,” which, oof.
PR stunt of the week
Mr. Peanut had to “die” in order to direct your attention towards a salty tin of peanuts this Super Bowl season. The mascot, despite having the top hat and monocle of a 19th century oil baron, was never able to afford a pair of pants. Read more about the stunt in a funny piece at Vox.
Unnecessary TikTok of the week
Unnecessary food meme of the week
Unnecessary food feud of the week
Tensions in the world—in the Senate—are mounting. Flus are spreading. Fires, burning. We did not feud over petty food topics in the office this week. And hopefully, in your life, things are peaceful too. At least for a little while.
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit