Things That Are Easy

How To Make Kentucky Beer Cheese For Your Final Four Party

Tomorrow night, when Kentucky plays Louisville in the Final Four, I'll be sitting on my couch in Brooklyn, and filled with the anticipatory feelings of a person who, born in Lexington and brought up to listen to what his grandmother tells him to do, eschewed smart bracketology to pick the Wildcats to go all the way. And I'll be eating beer cheese, a Kentucky specialty, with crackers and chips. It's a simple spread, and ridiculously easy to make, and I invite you to prepare some too, because even if you aren’t rooting for the 'Cats, or don’t care a thing about basketball, beer cheese is delicious—second only to [...]


How To Make Weeknight Crispy Duck Breast

It's easy to mistake duck for some sort of luxe specialty meat. The Chicken Industrial Complex holds near total dominion over the poultry aisle in our supermarkets, and we usually first encounter this most comical of waterfowl in a French or Chinese restaurant, if ever. In many cultures, duck is a staple, and visitors must be puzzled by its rarity here, like with lamb—or "futbol."

But you really don't need a lot of money, time or even skill to prepare duck at home. If you keep it simple with sides, this dinner can be made in under a half-hour. And duck is delicious too, especially the crispy skin, [...]


How To Make Hard Apple Cider

I woke up hungover the other Saturday. It was just a mild headache, a low-level pain easily vanquished with a cup of coffee and a few glasses of water. But the hangover was special to me all the same, because I'd made it myself. The night before, a few months after buying five gallons of unpasteurized apple cider from an orchard east of Los Angeles, I got drunk for the first time off of my homemade booze.

This is how you make hard apple cider: simply put, do nothing. Apples are sweet, and their skins are covered with wild yeasts, giving you the only two ingredients needed to make alcohol. [...]


How To Make Weeknight Pasta Sauce

Are you a childless adult? Are you not charged with the care of any invalid friends or relatives? Do you live in New York, or some other place where it's possible to get decent groceries? Then listen, you have no excuse to ever buy jarred pasta sauce.

I can hear the complaints already:

YOU: I’m very busy and have no time to craft fanciful sauces! ME: No, you aren’t. Making sauce only takes around half an hour. YOU: But I’m too important to concern myself with such matters! ME: Fine, you’re excused. Go spend those I-Banker dollars on pasta prepared by professionals, and have it delivered to your [...]


How To Make Veggie And Chicken Stock

You probably know you should be making stock. It's easy and basically free and so much better than the canned or boxed junk you buy at the store, and it's a thing you need in so many recipes, like perhaps the ones you've been enjoying in the Deep Dish kickasserole series! Those are all great reasons, and we haven't even gotten to the smug-factor that comes with being able to say that you're a person who makes her own stock.

But probably you aren't making stock? Even though it's easy. And smug-making. Because—and here maybe you should sort of huddle around me so the stock-making evangelists among [...]