Fluffy-Plush Pancakes That Just Happen to Be Vegan

What should I make for my grandma's birthday? She's turning 90 (!) this month. We were planning a big party, but it goes without saying that was cancelled, and the new plan is, well, Zoom.

The irony of this—a Zoom birthday party for a woman who has happily lived without video chatting for almost a century—is not lost on any of us. But what else is there to do? Not celebrate something so lucky? So we're going to Zoom-party and my family will shout at each other from thousands of miles away, just like we would in the same room.

What should I make? Do share ideas in the comments. I'll return the favor by sharing some recipe inspiration from our team—here are a few of the dishes we're excited about this week.

Soup in the Blink of an Eye

"I can't stop, won't stop making Victoria Granof's Pasta con Ceci," Senior Social Media Manager Patrick Moynihan said. "I've made it at least once a week, every week of quarantine, and it never fails to bring me joy. I go a little heavier on the salt and garlic than she indicates but that's all personal preference." Always down for more salt and garlic!

Victoria Granof's Pasta con Ceci Cheesier Cheesiest Cheeseburgers

"These newfangled cheeseburgers have me dreaming of when I can have a few friends over," Copywriter Maurine Hainsworth told me. "Until then, my husband and I will be making these on repeat with whatever fixings happen to be in the fridge (we're even playing around with ground beef swaps)." Swaps for the win.

Your New Favorite Chickens

Last weekend, I made the newest Genius Slow-Roasted Chicken and now it's hard to imagine roasting a chicken any other way. The low oven temperature makes it almost impossible to overcook—then, once the chicken is out, you separate and re-roast the skin until it's as crackly and crispy as a potato chip.

Slow-Roasted Chicken With Extra-Crisp Skin From Lindsay Maitland Hunt

But if you don't have a whole bird around, try these yogurt-marinated chicken breasts, our latest Big Little Recipe. While breasts are infamous for drying out, the yogurt makes sure they're as flavorful and juicy as thighs.

Sumac Chicken With Yogurty Cucumber Salad Beef Bourguignon in an Instant

Name a better Saturday night. "This turned out sooooo good," Customer Care Specialist Kaleigh Embree said. "We left out the mushrooms and added a splash of mushroom stock, and we used a small bag of frozen pearl onions instead of regular yellow onion." Work with what you've got, right?

Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon Pancakes That Just Happen to Be Vegan

"I made Gena Hamshaw's Go-To Pancakes this weekend. I'm not vegan, but I gave them a try—and they were great, had a really interesting texture," Video Editing Lead Rob Strype said. "There is coconut oil in the recipe, but these are not coconut pancakes. It just adds some richness and sweetness. I also added some chocolate chips to a few of them."

Dessert Is a Must

If you break down their ingredient lists, there's little, if any, difference between cupcakes and muffins. Add frosting to a muffin and you have a cupcake. Take away the frosting from a cupcake and you have a muffin. Which means Associate Editor Coral Lee's ultimate vanilla cupcakes could be dessert, or Sunday brunch.

Our Best Vanilla Cupcakes

Five articles in my Pocket right now:

  • How to help those in need during the pandemic. (NYT)
  • What wasps have to do sourdough starter. (Taste)
  • How to make ramen noodles with just flour and baking soda. (Serious Eats)
  • On the PPP and independent restaurants. (Food & Wine)
  • "The chefs I used to admire aren't the leaders we need." (Eater)
  • What are you cooking and reading right now? Always love to hear from you.

    Talk soon,Emma

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    Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.


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