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These Marinated Olives Are Better Than Any New Year’s Eve Kiss

Welcome to Never Fail, a weekly column where we wax poetic about the recipes that never, ever let us down.

There’s a lot of hype around New Year’s Eve. Old habits (supposedly) give way to resolutions. Filmmakers organize the climax of movies around ball drops and choruses of “Auld Lang Syne.” When I was 17, I got asked to senior prom—very awkwardly—on New Year’s in my friend Lexi’s living room. But these days, my year-end traditions are less grandiose. All I’m looking forward to is plenty of sparkling wine, a good sequined top, and these marinated olives with feta—the snack to end all snacks (or, at least, the best snack to end the year).

Marinated Olives & Feta

Here’s my recipe for a great night. In typical New York City fashion, around two weeks before the 31st, your best friend, your colleague, your roommate’s boyfriend, and the girl from your yoga class will all send competing Google Calendar invites for their respective New Year’s parties, which all happen to be conveniently spread across the city. You don’t know which one(s) you’ll go to. You don’t know who you’ll go with, or how you’ll get there. But it doesn’t matter, because you know you’ll be bringing these marinated olives, the easiest snack on the planet to throw together.

It’s beyond simple. First, you smash some Castelvetrano olives (the best olives) with the back of a knife, which breaks them open enough so that the olives will absorb the marinade and the pits will release more easily later on. Then you smash and peel three three garlic cloves, too. (You know what people say about not eating garlic if you’re planning on kissing someone? Well, that rule doesn’t matter if both parties are eating garlic, so the best place to look for a New Year’s kiss just might be right by this olive app.) Then, you’re going to use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from a lemon in wide strips, which will release their oils when cooked and give the whole dish a subtle, citrusy note. You throw all of those things into a pan with half a cup of olive oil and some red pepper flakes, then turn on the heat and let the mixture warm up for about 5 minutes, just until the garlic starts to sizzle and brown around the edges.


It’s a holiday, so spring for the (slightly more expensive) feta in brine—the best feta, if you ask us.

While the olives are getting their fancy olive oil bath spa treatment, you break feta into irregular, bite-sized chunks and place them in the bottom of a bowl or transportable vessel of your choice. We’re springing for the nicer feta here, the kind that comes in brine, rather than the dry, shrink-wrapped stuff. It’ll have so much more flavor and not an overwhelming amount of saltiness. Then the warm olive mixture gets poured over the feta, and bingo bango bongo, you’ve got a bowl of olive-y goodness that’ll ensure the last night of the year is an unmitigated pleasure.

This is a perfect snack to eat on it’s own, with some toothpicks for people who are weird about eating with their hands and a little dish for olive pits, but I like it best with a bunch of bread for soaking up the tasty, tangy marinade. (That bread also happens to be perfect for soaking up a bit too much sparkling wine, just saying.) And there you have it folks: a fancy-seeming appetizer that’s super quick to make, easy to transport, and makes you look like you have your shit together a little more than that pre-sliced cheese plate would. It’s like the song says: Make new friends, keep the old—but feed them all these marinated olives. Or something like that.

What’re you waiting for? Marinate some olives already!



These Striped Shortbread Cookies Have Taken Over Our Instagram Feed

Every December, the BA Test Kitchen churns out a handful of festive cookie recipes that go all out on the holiday vibes (glitter, kooky shapes, bizarro toppings). And every December, one cookie steals the stage as the most ogled, most baked confection of the year. For 2018, that winner—and by a landslide—is Chris Morocco’s zebra shortbread, a twist on the OG (literally), with layers of chocolate shortbread rolled right in. And if the black-and-white stripes weren’t enough, the cookies coated in green and red sanding sugar—just in case you forgot that Christmas is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!!! So yeah, we can tell you all about how everyone is making the zebra cookies, but wouldn’t you much rather see everyone’s two-toned creations? We thought so.

Sooo, you’re going to make them now right?



These Spiced Nuts Are a Necessary Cocktail Party Snack

Welcome to Never Fail, a weekly column where we wax poetic about the recipes that never, ever let us down.

Oh, you want to invite me over for cocktails? How nice! How festive! ‘Tis the season, after all. I’d love to. That sounds lovely. You’ll be serving the spiced nuts, of course, won’t you? Which spiced nuts? Hahahahahaha. Cute. The Sweet-and-Spicy Mixed Nuts, obviously! What’s that? You wouldn’t dream of hosting people for alcoholic beverages without serving The Nuts? I always knew you were a good egg.

Carla Makes Granola Cluster Cookies

Alright: This is not an actual conversation that I have with people who are inviting me into their home to drink and hang out—but I wish I did. I wish I could bully my friends and acquaintances into making this exact recipe for spiced nuts pretty much whenever they’re serving up cocktails. Partially for my sake: These crunchy, sweet-salty-spicy nuts are a true delight, and are exactly what I want to nibble on when I’m sipping an icy martini or nursing a boulevardier—substantial enough to keep one afloat without spoiling the appetite. But also for the sake of my hosts, because these spiced nuts are pretty much the most simple, throw-together homemade snack imaginable.

Making a batch of these bad boys is about as difficult as reheating store-bought tater tots. You preheat the oven to 350°. You mix together three cups of mixed nuts—the recipe calls for almonds, walnuts, and pecans, but you can use whatever you’ve got lying around in whatever ratio—and a handful of pumpkin seeds (but sesame or sunflower seeds work great). You toss them with some olive oil, maple syrup, fresh rosemary, smoked paprika, and salt. Spread it all out on a sheet pan, pop it in the oven, and 20 minutes later you’ve got The Nuts—beautifully caramelized from the maple syrup, addictively spicy, and rosemary-fragrant. Try to wait until they’re cool enough to eat. Just try.


Photo by Ted Cavanaugh

All the nuts that’s fit to mix.

If you need more convincing, The Nuts are not without pedigree. Like many of my favorite simple, perfect, “Oh, this? It’s nothing!” recipes for entertaining, it comes to us from the brilliant Alison Roman, the same person who brought us The Cookies and, now, The Stew. But unlike those other viral recipes—which are immediately, almost-ubiquitously recognizable—these are under-the-radar enough that you can set them out confidently, slyly, as if that’s just What You Do when people come over. Make them your own—I’m sure Alison won’t mind. Just don’t pour me a drink this month without putting a dish of these in front of me first—that I mind.

Get the recipe:



These Braisey Chicken Legs in Coconut Milk Are Almost Too Easy to Make

Like Coco Chanel removing one element of her outfit before stepping outside, sometimes you need to simplify a recipe before sending it into the world. When you’re developing, it’s easy to keep adding ingredients, but it’s much harder to take away. This braised chicken legs recipe gets rid of as many ingredients and techniques as possible without compromising on flavor. The secret to the simplicity lies in one crucial variable: Time spent in the oven.

An hour plus in the oven might sound like a long time for a weeknight but hear me out. Chicken legs are full of fat and connective tissue and benefit from long, slow cooking. In fact, I much prefer the braisey, shreddy texture they get when slowly cooked in liquid to the bouncy, cooked-but-still-not-fully-tender texture they have when part of a whole roasted chicken, where the cook time has to account for the danger of overcooking the breasts. So I took away as many barriers as I could and got this dish into the oven as quickly possible.

There is no searing or chopping. You frankly barely need a knife. The key is to just combine the coconut milk and curry paste (Maesri is our favorite brand) before adding the lemongrass (which is totally optional by the way), ginger (less optional), garlic (not optional). Then lay the seasoned chicken legs in the pan, turning them to coat them in the coconut milk, and get them in the oven.

As they roast, the luscious creaminess of the coconut milk and the chicken’s richness combine and reduce to create a dense, flavorful sauce that begs for rice or bread. Don’t be concerned if the coconut milk breaks and starts to look a bit oily; that may happen depending on the brand of milk you use, and honestly there is nothing more delicious in the world so well done, you.

Aside from spooning some of the juices over the chicken a couple times during baking, you’re free to go about your life while the chicken bakes. You will know it’s done when the leg joint flexes somewhat easily and the skin is nicely browned. Top it with cilantro, maybe a squeeze of lime and some toasted coconut chips (have you tried Dang brand coconut chips? They have earned that name IMHO). The best thing about this dish is that it tastes way more complicated than it actually is. If you don’t have an ingredient or forgot to add something don’t worry, Coco would be proud.

Easy, braisey, beautiful:


No searing, no chopping, one baking dish. And if you don’t have ginger, garlic, and lemongrass on hand, a combination of any two will be plenty to make this chicken over-the-top delicious in about an hour. You can find curry paste in the Asian aisle at most grocery stores or at an Asian market; we recommend any from Maesri.


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These Shortbread Christmas Cookies Will Redeem All the Not-That-Careful Bakers

It was very brave of Bonappetit.com senior editor Sasha Levine to assign me this article. Sure, I’ve made decent cookies and brownies many times before. But any dessert item that involves making two doughs, measuring the size of the dough based on 6×2” rectangles, and creating layers of said dough is a world beyond my pastry comprehension.

Sasha, for unknown reasons, had blind faith that I could handle it. And ya know what, friends? I did okay! Better than okay even! A sugar-happy four-year-old and several colleagues confirmed that my cookies tasted great—like shortbread meets a not-too-sweet chocolate Oreo, minus the cream filling. Plus, they looked mostly like the professionally styled photo, minus some uneven blue sprinkles and a chocolate layer that didn’t make it all the way to the edges. I found myself eating “several” at a time.

If I, a person who has stains on her shirt more often than not, can make these cookies, then I feel very confident that you can too. So bust out that pastry ruler and keep these things in mind:

1. Don’t be intimidated by the swirl.It’s right there in the recipe headnote: “Here’s a fancy-looking swirl that novices can succeed at too.” This is a forgiving swirl. Let’s say, hypothetically, that you make your two doughs and discover that somehow you have a bit more vanilla dough than chocolate dough…and the vanilla dough is a little more pliable. Soldier on, comrade! As long as you can still stack the doughs per the recipe instructions (see more below), it’s all going to be fine. If you’re a perfectionist, I’m sure your cookies will look amazing. If you’re the kind of person who consistently discovers food in your hair many hours since you last ate (hi! Let’s be friends!), these cookies can still be part of your repertoire.

2. You can make the dough three days ahead of time.Cookie projects are fun, but then life gets in the way—grocery shopping took longer than you thought, you have been meaning to go to the gym, that cheesy Netflix Christmas movie is beckoning you… It’s all good. Make the dough, put it in the fridge, and bake the cookies another day. These are cookies for sort of lazy—but not entirely lazy—people.

3. These cookies can help you get out some rage.The step I was dreading the most was when you have to stack the vanilla and chocolate layers on top of each other to join them into one black-and-white log. My doughs were, um, not exactly the same texture (as previously confessed) and I was worried about that final swirl. In the end, though, this ended up being my favorite part. The instructions say to “pat into rectangles” but I interpreted “pat” as “aggressively mold the layers while working through some “feelings.” It was cathartic. May the layering offer you the same respite it did for me.

Get the recipe:


You know what would make a pretty great holiday gift? Our magazine! And a cool tote bag, plus some great baking tools for holiday cookies. More details here.


These Miso Almond Butter Cookies Are Juuuust Healthy Enough

Can a cookie be healthy? I used to think no, then I thought sorta maybe yes, but now I am back to no. Everyone’s definition of healthy (and delicious) is different. Personally my career has put me in front of a lot of cookies and I wouldn’t be good at my job if strong opinions didn’t follow. Maybe I am blinded by knowing how critical fat and sugar are to the structure, moistness, and flavor of cookies. Maybe I have just eaten too many bad cookies.

While these cookies might rely in part on the phenomenal ability of brown sugar to create a moist and chewy cookie, flavorwise, these are actually not too sweet thanks to the addition of almond butter and miso. Yes, you heard me, miso. And, no, it’s not just there for recipe-title window dressing. Miso gives umami depth and salty balance to the sugar. Add the toasty nuttiness of the whole wheat flour, and these cookies are closer to something you might find wrapped near the checkout counter of a super crunchy supermarket (in a good way).

So yeah, there is some refined sugar in these, but it’s there for a reason (tenderness), and I don’t think that means they are unhealthy. Believe me, I tried using coconut sugar. Many times. I got sad little cookie pucks that stuck to the parchment paper while they baked, which is actually really hard to do.

You can make these cookies in one bowl by mixing the dough with a spoon, no mixer required. You start by browning the butter, which creates delicious flavor but also cooks the water out of the butter so that the cookies keep a chewier structure. Once that cools slightly, add the sugar, followed by the egg, then the almond butter, miso, and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients (whole wheat flour and baking soda) just until combined.

Roll the dough into 2 tablespoon-size balls and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a fork to make a crosshatch pattern on top of each dough ball. Bake at 350 just until lightly browned and firm around edges, 12–14 minutes. If you want to go for it with the chocolate dip, let the cookies cool until they are firm before dunking.

Chewy, crispy, salty, sweet. Healthy. Ish.

Preheat your oven now:


Did we lose you with the miso? Don’t go! It adds savory richness that amps up the nutty almond butter and brown butter flavor…but don’t just take our word for it.



These Thumbprint Cookies Will Remind You of Mini Pecan Pies

All along, I thought I’d have to stick my thumb in something. But it turns out, thumbprint cookies are just symbolic, like inflatable snowmen and bourbon on the breath of a mall Santa. To master these iconic holiday cookies I wouldn’t need to burn my flesh in buttery cookie dough. The indentation is made by a teaspoon’s rounded rump.

Let me tell you more about these cookies tho. Chris Morocco developed the official Bon Appétit lineup of holiday cookies this December, a task as important and Herculean as the Thanksgiving turkey. How do you convince people to try something new when they’ve been baking the same cookies for decades? By developing some really special, showstopping cookies that they just can’t resist. My favorite recipe (to eat during testing) was this one for double pecan thumbprint cookies. They’re like pecan pie in cookie form. The dough is a buttery pecan shortbread and the frangipane filling is this sweet and gooey pecan paste. Top it off with a crunchy pecan half and an elf’s sneeze of powdered sugar and call it Christmas, folks!

I spent a rainy Sunday morning baking the pecan thumbprints, so know that these are a project. You need the leisure of time (not ALL day), but you can do this over two days if you’ve got things to do and people to see. The recipe is basically two mini recipes, the cookie dough and the frangipane. Both need the food processor, and to chill. Project means it’s got a few moving parts, but that doesn’t mean it’s technically difficult. It’s not. It’s mixing stuff. What took me time was setting up two separate mise en place (egg yolk over here, egg white over there)—which I highly recommend to stay organized—and then pausing to wash the food processor in between. You can mix the frangipane a few days ahead if that makes your life easier.

The hardest part for cookie amateurs like myself was achieving that picture-perfect shape. You use a tablespoon to measure the cookie dough, but lazy, heaping scoops and lazy, under-filled scoops left me with some that were smaller than others. And then the thumbprint. The recipe suggests the handle of a wooden spoon to make the imprint, but I found the bottom of a metal ½ teaspoon to be better, since you’ll then use that same spoon to measure the frangipane. If your imprints are too shallow, you won’t get that satisfying frangipane gooey-center in every bite. See how I’m looking out for you?

Because there’s so much butter in this cookie (hey, it’s a cookie), they can keep for a while—up to five days! And the sturdy pecan-flour dough holds up well in say, a festive holiday tin you bought 50 percent off last January. If you’re looking for a make-ahead cookie to win the swap at the office this year, or cookies you can ship to family across the country, or just a cookie that tastes like a mini pecan pie because that sounds insanely good, this is the one.

Get the recipe:


You know what would make a pretty great holiday gift? Our magazine! And a cool tote bag, plus some great baking tools for holiday cookies. More details here.


Like Garam Masala? These DIY Spice Blends Are the Easiest Upgrade

I am going to let you in on a secret: Most of those bottled spice blends you are buying from your grocery store are nothing more than lightly fragranced sawdust, as far as I’m concerned. By the time that packaged garam masala or curry powder hits shelves, the spices in it are usually pretty old, and have lost much of their potency.

Let me the first to admit that I have occasionally dabbled in bottled garam masala. A roommate once bought it to make a dish, and in a desperate weeknight cooking moment I grabbed it from the cupboard and dusted it atop a bland stir-fry that needed some oomph. But I knew the truth—that while bottled garam masala gets the job done in terms of adding some mild flavor to a dish, nothing holds a candle to a homemade spice mix. When you start with whole, freshly toasted spices, you are getting the most bang for your buck, flavor-wise. Your dishes will taste (and smell) infinitely more complex. They’ll have depth. Your guests will be all, YOU…cooked…THIS??? It’s amazing what whole spices can do.

The thought of making your own spice blend may feel daunting. Trust me when I say: It is not that difficult! Spice blends are about as hard to make as a dip, which is to say you need only know how to lightly cook and combine a few things. You can make dip, can’t you?

Priya Makes Dahi Toast

The other misnomer about spice blends is that they involve dozens of different ingredients. This is true about some spice blends, but not all. And not my mom’s spice blends. When she was a working mother of two who came home at 6 and had to have dinner on the table by 6:30, you can bet she was not concocting complicated combinations of spices. Instead, she had a few simple go-to combinations that each worked in different types of dishes.

A general rule with all of these mixes is to always toast your spices on low heat (to prevent burning) just until they are fragrant. Blending can easily be done in a mortar and pestle, spice grinder (my parents swear by the Hamilton Beach coffee grinder for getting the job done), or, in a pinch, a Ziploc bag and the bottom of a whipped cream can (my go-to method in my tiny college apartment). That said, my mom occasionally prefers to keep some spices whole, for texture and more intense flavor (and hey, less work).

Here are a few of my mom’s starter blends—three-ingredient combos that are easy to make and endlessly versatile. They’ll turn you off the bottled stuff for good.

Basically Priya Spice Blend01

Coriander, Cardamom, and Cumin

How to make it: Toast 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, and ½ teaspoon green cardamom pods in a small pan on low heat until fragrant. Transfer the spices to a spice grinder (or mortar and pestle) and blend into a powder.

Use it on: potatoes, summer vegetables (zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, and the like), as a dry rub for lamb or steak

Basically Priya Spice Blend 02

Cinnamon, Cloves, and Fenugreek

How to make it: Toast ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds, ¼ teaspoon cloves, plus a ½-inch cinnamon stick in a small pan on low heat until fragrant. Transfer the spices to a spice grinder (or mortar and pestle) and blend into a powder.

Use it on: Bean or meat stews, fall/winter vegetables (carrots, squash, potatoes, things like that), chicken, or anything else you might use bottled garam masala for.

Basically Priya Spice Blend03

Coconut, Mustard Seeds, and Curry Leaves

How to make it: Toast 10-12 curry leaves, 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds, and 1 teaspoon of shredded, unsweetened coconut in a small pan on low heat until fragrant. Transfer the curry leaves and coconut to a spice grinder (or mortar and pestle) and blend into a powder. Combine with the toasted mustard seeds.

Use it on: fish, lentils, tomato-based dishes, salad dressings

Try any of them on this sheet-pan chicken recipe and see for yourself!



These Paris Restaurants Prove That There’s Something New-School In an Old-School City

It used to be that New Yorkers—especially chefs—wished they were in Paris. Now everyone opening a restaurant in Paris wants to be in Brook-LEEN. In the 10th and 11th arrondissements, young chefs are forgoing the Michelin route to start their own lo-fi, high-energy spots where open kitchens, mash-up menus, and scruffy servers are the norm. How not-stuffy are they? Many of these places are vibey natural-wine bars that happen to have creative chef-driven food. You can dip in for a five-euro glass of Gamay—imagine!—and a dish or two without strapping in for a whole “experience.” It’s that kind of effortless French chic that we can never seem to re-create after our vacation—luckily, we’ll always have Paris.

It wouldn’t be accurate to call Camille Fourmont the godmother of natural wine in Paris—she’s only in her 30s! But her tiny DIY-distressed wine bar has converted many a drinker to the noncommercial side. Her spot-on palate extends beyond interesting wines: Even without a kitchen she assembles unforgettable plates from the country’s best raw, cured, fermented, and jarred ingredients. Trust us when we tell you that you will eat a bean off a toothpick and rank it among the best bites of your trip, if not year. So, yes, it’s worth waiting for the chill regulars to leave so you can snag one of the empty seats or an inch of the zinc bar.

paris city guide 1

Photo by Xavier Girard Lachaîne

Vibing in Paris at the construction yard turned hip restaurant-wine-bar hybrid Yard.

The closest Paris has to an American-style bar—if bars in the States drew so many good-looking 20-somethings in search of the next underground wine release from the Auvergne that the crowd spilled into the street for an impromptu weekend hang. (One can dream.) Tapas, like tacos made on a crepe iron, absorb all that funk. If you’re really hungry, Oliver Lomeli, the young Mexican filmmaker who owns this spot, also runs Café Chilango next door, where you can sink into queso and tostadas.

In addition to having the coolest design we’ve seen in ages, Déviant is an open-air destination for the Le Fooding set, where the only things missing are windows and chairs. Sure, you could just order pét-nat and hang at the snazzy terrazzo bar, but Pierre Touitou, chef at sister restaurant Vivant, is (literally) right there in the kitchen. You can rack up a few seasonal small plates—the spicy wings, which are simmered in a tamarind-galangal glaze for ten hours, have the sole permanent spot on the menu— without spending a fortune, leaving you wiggle room for a bottle of something intéressant.

paris city guide 3

Photo by Xavier Girard Lachaîne

Tender octopus with fresh peans brings all the boys… er, everyone to Yard.

Husband-and-wife team Omar Koreitem and Moko Hirayama have something magical. Their alchemical combination of Middle Eastern, Japanese, and French food, natural wine, and life-altering cookies is why this place bubbles over from breakfast until they leave to pick up their kids around 4:30 p.m. It’s casual and welcoming even to clumsy tourists and generous in both flavor and spirit. Whether you’re ordering a bowl of clams with chermoula and a cloudy glass of white or a slice of halvah cake with buckwheat tea, you’ll feel the magic.

Here it’s all about yakitori and…pasta! (And a funky wine list, of course.) The Japanese-style counter seating encourages you to focus on the food in front of you—in this case, binchotan- grilled skewers of poultry (try the pigeon), fish, and vegetables—each of which has its own brilliant flourish. There’s also a pasta of the day (maybe with liver, if you’re lucky) and other inventive bites from Franco-American chef Robert Compagnon. And because this is still Paris—and his wife and partner, Jessica Yang, worked pastry at Guy Savoy—the desserts are not to be missed. Order the 49-euro tasting menu and feel sorry for people eating at uptight three-star places.

paris city guide 2

Photo by Xavier Girard Lachaîne

Sipping wine at La Buvette.

Getting a table at Bertrand Grébaut’s Septime is worth the effort—there’s a reason it’s on the World’s 50 Best list—and so is securing one of the handful of stools at Septime La Cave, its spin-off wine bar nearby. This is the kind of place you wish you had in your hood: an atmospheric but relaxed little bar where you can enjoy a zippy pét-nat, a plate of thinly sliced ham, and some thoughtfully assembled seasonal dishes that Grébaut could easily serve as an amuse at his mothership—all for under 25 euros. La vie, she is not fair!

Sur Mer

Originally the seafood offshoot of the seminal natural-wine bar Le Verre Volé—still a must— young Belgian-Ugandan chef Olive Davoux bought the space last year to showcase her talents. Imagine raw seafood with gochujang mayo and Bordier seaweed butter, or an octopus bun with XO sauce. And you can have it all at lunch for under 30 euros. Or dip into Davoux’s Asian-accented creativity at night, sit at the communal tables, and drink a lot more wine.

paris city guide 4

Photo by Xavier Girard Lachaîne

Hanging out at Déviant.

Some come for its well-respected Mediterranean-ish food, like the stunning grilled peach salad with almonds. But this airy restaurant also attracts a devout following among natural-wine-bar owners and cult-wine importers. (You’ll find them Instagramming the latest Patrick Bouju bottles.) Recently, wine merchant Clovis Ochin, who made Action Bronson’s natty wine a sold-out success with Bouju, became a partner at Yard, expanding the space and increasing the wine focus with a bigger bar. Lunches are mellow affairs, while weekends go off the rails in a delightful way.

Use These Recipes to Ward Off Cold and Flu Season

Every Monday night, Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport gives us a peek inside his brain by taking over our newsletter. He shares recipes he’s been cooking, restaurants he’s been eating at, and more. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll get this letter before everyone else.

Cold and flu season is coming

I can’t tell you when the official start of “cold and flu season” is, but I do know that the Bon App offices got hit hard last week.

Carla Lalli Music called in sick, Alex Delany and Alyse Whitney went home sick, and I staggered through a slate of endless meetings with a pounding head cold. In times like these, the BA staff turns to the recipes that soothe us.

Want this letter before it hits the website? Sign up for our newsletter!

First up is always one of Brad Leone’s tonics. Our test kitchen manager-turned-YouTube phenom keeps a battery of tinctures, juices, extracts, and herbs in the walk-in fridge. And if you butter him up good, he’ll concoct a cure-all for you on short notice.


Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

I like mine with lots of fresh lemon or lime juice, some bruised mint leaves, unsweetened cranberry juice, and then whatever else Brad drops in there, from echinacea to digestive bitters. It all goes into a big plastic quart container with some ice and then, if I’m feeling fancy, I top it all off with a can of seltzer. This carries me through the day when all I really want to do is take a nap on my couch.

Same but different is Chris Morocco’s garlic broth—loads of garlic and fresh herbs simmered in water with a bit of salt and olive oil ‘til you’ve got a fragrant, fortifying broth. Fill a big mug with the stuff and you can roll up all boss-like on your colleagues, just like Lumbergh in Office Space.

garlic broth

Of course, when you’re battling a cold, you’ve got to do more than stay hydrated—you’ve gotta eat. I gravitate toward two BA recipes, both with poached chicken, ginger and some heat, either hot sauce or fresh chiles—something to clear the sinuses.

I love Carla’s chicken with crispy rice. She takes the chicken-poaching liquid (infused with Thai basil, ginger and scallions) and then uses it to make the rice. A brilliant, efficient move. The finished dish evokes Khao Man Gai, the celebrated signature dish at Nong’s in Portland, Oregon.


Alex Lau

If you insist on soup when you’re under the weather, then you’d be wise to go with Andy Baraghani’s chicken and rice soup with green chiles and ginger. It’s as homey and warming as it sounds and (bonus!) it’s topped with chopped roasted peanuts and scallions. I’m all in.

So, there you go. You’re armed and ready. Because, not to get all Game of Thrones on you, but cold and flu season is coming.

Get the get-well recipes:

BA Brad’s Classic Tonic
Garlic Broth
Chicken and Rice Soup with Green Chiles and Ginger
Chicken with Crispy Rice

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