WHOLE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

My entire family is either vegetarian or vegan; meat hasn’t made an appearance in my parents’ house since, like, maybe 2010. This makes mealtimes and restaurant choices extremely easy. Holiday menus that revolve almost exclusively around a giant bird that wasn’t lucky enough to receive a presidential pardon, though? Not so much.

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CRANBERRY HALVA BIG-CRUMB COFFEE CAKE

One of my best friends growing up was allergic to strawberries. Like my-throat-will-close-up, inject-me-with-epinephrin-now allergic. Her mom made me learn how to inject an Epipen since the two of us went to camp together and, well, you never know.

Thankfully, I’d never had to use that skill. But last Tuesday, I almost did.

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PURPLE POTATO KNISHES

We decided we wanted to make purple potato knishes six months ago.

Six. Months. Ago.

Six months ago I lived in a different apartment, with a different roommate, in a different bourough. I had a different job. I had a different life.

And yet. AND YET. These knishes haunted my dreams through it all.

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BUTTER-ROASTED PEAR + HALLOUMI SALAD

You never believe it till you hit it, but being in your twenties is like free falling without a parachute. For whatever reason, when you’re a kid and a teen and even in college, you imagine you’ll have everything sorted out once you’re in your twenties. I blame TV for this, mostly. Twenty-something sitcoms are notoriously inaccurate. But they do get one thing right - something you completely neglect to appreciate until you’re chin-deep, flailing about the most confusing decade of your life thus far.

You find comfort in the oddest places.

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PUMPKIN LEEK SOUP WITH GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS

My partner and I run on completely opposite schedules. I wake up at around 7:00 each morning to get ready for work and ease into my day, while he stays burritoed for a few more hours. By the time I get home from work, anywhere from 7:15 to 9:00 or later, he’s already well on his way to a gig. Once he’s home, I’m the burritoed one.

Now that we live together we see each other a bit more than we used to, but not by much. What to do? Stuff a week’s worth of dates into one Sunday. Normal!

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COLORFUL KALE SALAD WITH TOMATILLO DRESSING

I never thought I’d consider getting a haircut an oddly intimate experience. Intimacy is reserved for people you’ve dated, family members, a handful of good friends. Probably a doctor or two. Maybe, the woman who gives you bikini waxes. But never hair stylists. Or so I thought.

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GARLIC SCAPES GREEN GODDESS DIP

Today, I saw Bradley Cooper in the NYC wild.

What normally would have been a typical Wednesday with great weather, quickly became a glorious afternoon. I can’t take credit for the first sighting, though. My assistant saw him first. Obviously, the most logical next step would be to grab the nearest coworker and go get a coffee from the cafe next door to Bradley’s lunch spot. We certainly weren’t what I’d call covert, but we mastered the slow-walk and side-eye.

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VEGAN BLACK BEAN SWEET POTATO QUESADILLAS

I successfully made it through 5 years of living in New York without a mouse problem. Sure, there were the pantry moths and that teeny-tiny roach infestation in my building and a rogue “what the FUCK IS THAT” every once in a while, but as far as I knew, I had gone through my life here without a single Mickey or Minnie in sight.

Until last week.

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CRISPY KALE, BRUSSELS SPROUTS + POTATO HASH

Shopping at Trader Joe’s is a dangerous game. You could be perusing the frozen foods section, looking for some fruit to improve your smoothie game when suddenly it catches your eye - the chocolate covered something that you’ve been trying to avoid but your willpower is simply not strong enough.

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ROASTED BUTTERNUT, FETA + POMEGRANATE KALE SALAD

When I lived in Jerusalem (OH MY GOD YOU LIVED IN JERUSALEM YOU NEVER TALK ABOUT IT), I was invited to a friend’s for Shabbat lunch and was tasked with making a side dish. I decided to explore my horizons and make something I’d never made before, and for some reason settled on mashed butternut squash with feta and pomegranate seeds.

Which like, sounded delicious.

But boy was it a mess.

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GARLIC + GINGER PEA SHOOTS

Three times a year, my company offers a free book drop. They send out a list of about 75 titles and you get to pick seven that will magically appear on your desk 3-5 business days later. Granted, you can always email publicists and editors around the company to ask for a specific book, but there's something extra-special about the free book drop. 

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BREAKFAST [SANDWICH] OF CHAMPIONS

Guys, I watched this movie on Netflix last night based on a YA novel and I absolutely loved. Don't you dare judge me - I have absolutely no shame in saying I'm a sucker for a good rom-com, especially a teen romcom. It's been a while since one of these graced our screens. I mean, What a Girl Wants? Chasing Liberty? The Princess Diaries? Those are some classics that I still enjoy even to this day! Who says an excellent movie has to be a pretentious foreign film with French subtitles and lots of weird artsy nudity? 

So maybe To All The Boys I Loved Before isn't going to win any Oscars (and a damn shame because Aiden Shaw  was flawless in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and is next-level genius in this one. But it was a heartwarming, relatable story with cute actors, a lovely set and some pretty fantastic editing. It's only fault was how poorly it portrayed winter, really. 

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MEJADRA

Being a book publicist is so similar to dating in New York City it scares me sometimes.

There's that blind period, waiting for the other person to respond. There's the game of either making them sweat it out or scrambling to make sure your window of opportunity doesn't slam shut. You have to reach out, wait, reach out again, get frustrated, use interest from somewhere else to get interest from the place you really want. Read and re-read email drafts. Force yourself to push send. Get anxiety. Put it off. Distract yourself. Go bother a coworker who's doing the same exact thing for her author. Return to your desk. Radio silence. Until *ding* that dopamine hits. With each incoming email, you hold your breath hoping it's the producer or editor saying they're interested in your author. And then, if you're lucky enough, you're in. You do a little happy dance in your chair. If not, you bang your head on the desk and try to take calming breaths. I've had it both ways.

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RHUBARB BARBECUE SAUCE + FRIED CAULIFLOWER NUGGETS

I've lived in New York for a while now, and there are some things I don't think I'll ever get over: the view of the Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge park, pizza availability at 3 AM, access to some of the best museums and music in the world.

Oh, and the ACCEPTABILITY OF A 15% BROKERS FEE.

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WHITE CHOCOLATE PISTACHIO SHORTBREAD WITH RHUBARB GLAZE

Anyone else an occasional victim of the Sunday Scaries? I've been realizing more and more that they're sort of commonplace and totally and completely irrational. It'd be safe to assume the Scaries come on solely to those who hate their job. But I love my job! I do! I get to learn about new ideas, work with people who are thought leaders in their industries and be surrounded by tons and tons of colorful books. 

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BREAKFAST SWEET POTATOES WITH QUINOA GRANOLA

So I think my 27th birthday was one of the best days of my life.

Last Friday marked my 27th turn around the sun, and I got to spend the day with some of the loveliest humans I know. I walked from Morningside Heights to Midtown East through Central Park and saw a man walking 10 dogs at once. I walked from Midtown East to Chelsea and saw so many tourists. Punctuating all of this walking was coffee with new coworkers, brunch with best friends and drinks with my partner. It was already pretty damn lovely.

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CRISPY SPROUTS WITH TAHINA AND POMEGRANATE

So I'm a little afraid of my kitchen.

"Rina, you write a food blog, what the fuck?"

I know, I know! I should have full kitchen confidence, wielding knives with Benihana flamboyance and blowtorching shit all over the place.

But I'm a little afraid of my kitchen.

And the reason I'm a little afraid of my kitchen is because my oven is old, small and makes a clicking noise every once in a while. It's not not the title character from Alien.

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COCONUT CREAM PIE TRIFLE

I'm a self-admitted sitcom-addict. I love short, smart bursts of well-written comedy tied together by a domino affect of jokes. I think the reason I'm so drawn to the sitcom genre is because writing funny dialogue in a short amount of time is incredible challenging. I admire the ease of the humor and the realness of the predicaments. So, it'll come as no surprise that my favorite sitcom, Friends, is one that I can watch ad infinitum and never get bored of. 

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