The best things I cooked in 2020 + what to cook for the holidays

An all-cooking edition.

2020 was a big year for home cooking. We all spent more time at home this year, and found ourselves with a lot of extra free time to try some more ambitious cooking projects, and just a pure need to feed ourselves with restaurants closed down in many parts of the country.

So this week, I’m looking back at some of my favorite things I cooked in 2020 — from the big projects I tackled for the first time, to the dinner recipes I loved so much that I returned to them over and over again. Plus: I’ve got tons of suggestions for what to cook, eat, and drink over the holidays!

The best things I cooked this year

The dinner recipes I made on repeat this year:

My biggest cooking achievements/firsts/ “projects” I tried during quarantine

What I read this week

Two great pieces on how social media became a nightmare and a minefield this year: The year social media became an absolute nightmare, Vox, and Our shared un-sharing, The Cut.

An oral history of the world’s biggest coupon, New York Times. It’s the Bed Bath and Beyond coupons!!

The people who actually had a pretty great year, NYT.

Slack is the right tool for the wrong way to work, The New Yorker.

Texas wedding photographers have seen some $#!+, Texas Monthly.

Turns out it’s pretty good: doomscrolling, The Cut.

Do celebrities know what sexism is?, Jezebel. They do not.

What if you could do it all over?, The New Yorker.

The year of ambitious TV watching, The Atlantic.

In a pandemic holiday, women still do it all, The 19th.

What I cooked this week

This week I made: Spicy pork tenderloin bowls. Pasta amatriciana. Turmeric chicken and asparagus (also works well with broccoli). Shrimp tacos.

What to cook for the holidays

If you are celebrating Christmas this week, or maybe New Years Eve next week, I’ve got holiday recipe ideas! While I haven’t 100% locked my holiday menus yet, I have tons of ideas and inspiration.

To me, the fun part of holiday cooking - no matter what holiday - is that it gives you an opportunity to make those rich, indulgent, “special occasion” dishes you might not make on a regular weekday. But there’s also a lot of freedom to make it whatever you want — Thanksgiving has traditions, but Christmas has a lot more variety! I’m also not a ham person, and who wants to make a giant ham or a big roast when we’re having smaller gatherings this year?

So here are some of the things on my radar. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas: these recipes are just fun, delicious recipes for any occasion, IMO — or maybe for NYE!

New Year’s Eve

For our little New Year’s Eve at home, all I’ve been wanting is oysters and champagne. I ordered oysters from Island Creek Oysters (they ship nationwide and there’s still time to order for NYE!) and am going to try my hand at shucking oysters for the first time.

For bubbles, I’m going to pair the oysters with a Capriades Pet Nat and probably order in some takeout to take a break from cooking!

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