This week, Jenny is taking her first day off since starting her weeknight cooking column at food52 over a year ago (even when her family moved cross-country from L.A. to Washington, D.C. we were right there with her, talking chili and gin rickeys).

But we know a Monday with no Jenny would be a very sad day indeed, so we've compiled some of our favorite zingers, rants and confessions below. And for even more Jenny, read our behind the scenes spotlight on her here.


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On Down and Dirty Pasta e Cecci:
"Sometimes I feel the world is against me, so I shave on a lot more cheese."

On Chocolate Cookies:
"Cookies seem made for weeknight baking, with their relatively few steps, short baking time and willingness to be misshapen."

On Silken Comfort Tofu:
"What’s more, my husband is from Texas. And by that I don’t mean Austin. 'Hey hon, would you like some tofu for dinner?' rates somewhere among queries between 'What stinks in here?' and 'Don’t you think our compost could use some management?'"

On Simple Cheese Souffle:
"Of course like almost everything I assume (except that I won’t like a movie with Steven Seagal, I’m always right about that), I am easily proven wrong."

On Buttermilk Corn Soup with Curry and Mint:
"I am considering going to her house with a very large spoon and camping out in her front yard, yodeling and mewing for some sustenance. Or, I might just invite her for coffee. It just depends."

On Poached Sole with Blood Orange Beurre Blanc:
"Once in a while during the week –- Tuesday, Sunday, whatever -– I feel I need to trot out the culinary equivalent of a vintage Helmut Lang dress."

On Nutella Cupcakes:
"I have several regrets in life, but none quite rival my short-sighted decision to join the refreshments committee at my children’s elementary school."

  Ginger Snap  Cold Sauce

On Browned Butter Asparagus Risotto:
"But when springtime arrives, I join the rest of you in relishing the finest examples of this smart, versatile stalk of folic-acid packed lily (that’s right, put it in the Google!) that the fertile ground can offer."

On Butter Chicken:
"For the home cook, poultry really is like your family –- you can’t escape it, really, but you can make the best of it, and pair it with alcohol."

On Fresh Honeydew Sorbet with Lime and Black Pepper:
"But this recipe is really no trouble at all, provided you have an ice cream maker, which I really think you should, because after all you probably own a popover pan and how often do you use that space taker of a thing?"

On Sonia's Rice Pudding:
"Normally after a week like that, I like my dinner a little more liquid (equal parts elderflower liqueur and Champagne with a dash of brandy, thanks for asking). But rage needs comfort food. This means rice pudding. For dinner."

On Just Good Chili:
"In essence, chili is the teenager on your stove, who mumbles 'whatever' and goes back to Lady Gaga. It’s fine. Just shake something at it and walk away.
If you’re from Texas, you will scoff at the beans. That’s your business. I’m not going to try and turn you into someone you’re not."

On Gin Rickeys:
"Well, nothing is a godsend to me if I can’t find it in visits to three stores, and anyone who drinks cocktails midday while their 7-year-old rocks out to Kei$ha clearly has other things to worry about
concerning her lifestyle and general comportment than the glycemic index."

On Chicken Breast with Fresh Sage:
"Is it just me or has there been a shortage of sage at the markets this year? I noticed this all year in L.A., where it is currently easier to procure medical marijuana some days than furry batches of this herb.
You can actually skip the last bit of butter if you choose, but then please don’t serve it to me."

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  • MaryDD
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Written by: Jestei

The ratio of people to cake is too big.


MaryDD May 2, 2011
I have to agree about the sage! I find myself buying those containers of fresh herbs that are marked for seasoning poultry because they have a small sprig of sage in them! I guess maybe its time to plant it outside!
Jestei May 9, 2011
i put mine in yesterday. let's see how it does. i manage to kill everything but i am told herbs grow like weeds here.
WeeklyGreens May 9, 2011
Jenny, welcome to DC! Yes, herbs grow well here (even for me) and I have historically been known to put to death any plant I so much as look at.
Jestei April 29, 2011
PEOPLE! Jenny didn't die. She just went to look at alligators!!!!! I love all of you and thank you so much for these comments -- see you Monday!
xx oo
Jestei May 9, 2011
i put mine in yesterday. let's see how it does. i manage to kill everything but i am told herbs grow like weeds here.
Waverly April 26, 2011
Jenny always makes me laugh.....these are wonderful excerpts. We hope you enjoyed your time off, Jenny, but you have to come back soon.
Jestei April 29, 2011
thanks and see you soon!
boulangere April 26, 2011
A Monday without Jenny would have been bleak indeed. This concentrated dose is wonderful. I've re-read it several times.
Jestei April 29, 2011
i love your recipes.
WeeklyGreens April 26, 2011
Hysterical. This is hitting very close to home. Fixed silken tofu last night in some tacos and had very same reaction from husband and children! You'd think I'd served up mulch by the looks on their faces. Thanks for the laughs, Jenny.
Jestei April 29, 2011
next time use firm tofu and call it "special chicken"
mcs3000 April 26, 2011
Too funny! Thanks, Jenny, for giving us a reason to look forward to Monday mornings. Hope you enjoyed your much deserved day off.
Jestei April 29, 2011
thank you so much xx oo
phyllis April 25, 2011
Jenny always makes me smile and when I don't feel like cooking, she inspires. I hope she's having fun and returns to us soon!!
Jestei April 29, 2011
miami is always fun. thanks for posting.
MrsWheelbarrow April 25, 2011
Who doesn't love a Best Of compilation? This column provides a moment of joy every Monday and I expect plenty more Jenny-isms in the coming months. PS I think I'm the lucky one around here... since she moved to DC, Jennifer and I often shop the weekend farmer's markets and then she offers me the best cup of coffee in DC, right in her kitchen.
Jestei April 29, 2011
this weekend lets talk herbs
aargersi April 25, 2011
Jenny certainy has a turn of phrase that often causes me to snort / laugh in a highly unladylike manner! Love the round-up!
gingerroot April 25, 2011
So true! Lol.
Jestei April 29, 2011
i love your snort from here
gingerroot April 25, 2011
You were all so right that a Monday without Jenny would be a very sad day...thanks for kick starting my week in my favorite way. Hope you are having a great day, Jenny!
Jestei April 29, 2011
you too xx oo
thirschfeld April 25, 2011
I laughed at every one of those the first time around and have been laughing at each the second time around.
Jestei April 29, 2011
you're too kind. now where are those weeknight recipes?
liamoran April 25, 2011
"Culinary equivalent of a vintage Helmut Lang dress..." LOVE it.
Jestei April 29, 2011
i am not sure i can fit into my one and only these days....
mklug April 25, 2011
Ah, I LOVE the wit and wisdom of our Jenny! She feels like a friend. So much so that I just got engaged (to the man famed for using Brillo pads on seasoned cast iron cookware) and honestly thought the following Monday, "I should let Jenny know".
Jestei April 29, 2011
YES YOU SHOULD HAVE RIGHT AWAY!!!!!!!!!!! congrats. this is fabulous news!
fiveandspice April 25, 2011
Oh man, Jenny isn't even here and I'm still finding myself spending my Monday morning saying, "why didn't I think of saying that?!" Brilliant collection. These are all total keepers, and I eagerly anticipate appropriating them for use in future dinner conversations. :)
Jestei April 29, 2011
so nice of you. thank you so much!
WinnieAb April 25, 2011
This is awesome...particularly the hilarious quote from gin rickeys which I somehow missed the first time around. Enjoy your day off Jenny!!!
Jestei April 29, 2011
it is about gin rickey weather again. we must cyber drink.
Panfusine April 25, 2011
having a hard time picking a favorite between the Silken comfort tofu (I've yet to let a box of that 'defile' my vegetarian kitchen!) & the down & dirty Pasta e cecci.
This post on 'jennyisms' is a classic!, thanks!
Jestei April 29, 2011
that pasta is soooooooo good. did you make it?