Weekly Meal Plans

Back-Pocket Banana Bread & Other Recipes We’re Cooking This Week

November  3, 2019

Welcome to What We’re Cooking This Week, a weekly love letter from our recipe developer Emma Laperruque, all about what the Food52 team is cooking and craving off-hours (with a few snacks for thought, too).

After moving to the suburbs in May, I fully expected Halloween to be the worst craziest day of my life. So my husband and I bought hundreds of individually-wrapped, bite-sized Reese’s cups, then stayed near the door for hours, bracing ourselves for a tidal wave of spooky ghosts and Ariana Grande dopplegängers.

Wanna guess how many came by? Go on, guess.

Zero. We got zero trick-or-treaters.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“We gave them an almost-full box of Mars candy (we had one trick-or-treater).”
— Carla F.

Fast-forward to me watching Grey’s Anatomy, surrounded by mountains of peanut butter cups, with a sinking sense that I failed the children, or the children failed me. Kids these days... Anyway, if you know any recipes that use up leftover candy, let me know in the comments.

For now, let’s dive into this week’s recipes, none of which involve Reese’s.

Banana Bread, but Make It the Best

Our test kitchen’s best banana bread is the banana-iest, of course. It’s also sweet (but not so sweet that you can’t eat it for breakfast), grainy and nutty (thanks to whole-wheat flour and toasted walnuts), and equal parts tender and moist (shoutout to oil versus butter and a scoop of whole-milk yogurt). Happy baking season!

Braised Onion Pasta Because November

I know what you’re thinking: Emma, you featured this pasta with braised onion sauce last week! And you’re right. (So glad you’re regularly reading this letter!) However, there’s a reason this dish is getting special treatment, and it’s because it’s our...recipe of the month! (Cue a shower of confetti, your best friend jumping out of a cake, fireworks exploding in the sky.) I’m also starting to feel like I’m the only person on our editorial team who hasn’t made it yet (probably because, um, I am the only person on our editorial team who hasn’t made it yet), which is why I’m making it on Monday. Come hang out with me on Instagram.

Snack Time, Please & Thank You

“I can’t wait to make this masala papdi with coriander cilantro chutney,” our books & special projects editor Brinda Ayer told me. “It’s an easy, spicy, crispy cracker snack with a really fresh and amazing take on the classic chutney I ate growing up.” The recipe comes by way of Chetna Makan, who you likely already know and love from The Great British Baking Show.

Squash You Don’t Need to Peel

"I'm feeling very inspired by Kristen's squash content," our director of revenue operations Azora Zoe Paknad told me. Aren't we all? This week, our resident Genius Kristen Miglore learned something wild from cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi: If you’re roasting squash (which, ahem, it’s November, you should be!), skip the peeling—aka, the worst—part. She showcases this trick in a recipe for squash with chile yogurt and cilantro sauce, but I’ll be paying it forward to every squash recipe I can get my paws on.

Apple-Picking Rewards

“I'm going apple picking with friends in Boston this weekend,” announced our executive editor Joanna Sciarrino. Fun! “So we'll definitely be making something sweet and apple-y, like Teddie's Apple Cake, which might as well be the most perfect cake ever.” If you’re feeling like something savory instead (or if you picked waaay too many apples), make a big batch of apple chutney—this one’s got a boatload of good stuff, like fennel, caraway seeds, golden raisins, horseradish, and red wine. Especially dreamy with parsnip latkes.

On the Side

Three Pocket-ed stories I am highly excited to read:

  1. On John Legend and Chrissy Teigen. Vanity Fair
  2. Where did Rocco DiSpirito go? Food & Wine
  3. What it’s like to eat dinner when you’re a widow. The New York Times

What are you cooking and reading right now? And how many trick-or-treaters did you get?

Talk soon,

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Join The Sandwich Universe co-hosts (and longtime BFFs) Molly Baz and Declan Bond as they dive deep into beloved, iconic sandwiches.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Bestchopsticks
  • Carla Fisher
    Carla Fisher
  • Taryn
  • Ameera Abdelaziz
    Ameera Abdelaziz
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.


Bestchopsticks November 4, 2019
Good, very good food, thanks for sharing.
Carla F. November 3, 2019
Our local YMCA collects Halloween candy to give to the USO for soldiers. It's meant mostly for kids to donate some of their swag (they offer a prize for anyone who donates), but they're happy to take unclaimed candy. We gave them an almost-full box of Mars candy (we had one trick-or-treater).
Taryn November 3, 2019
We use our candy collected from Halloween to create an epic gingerbread houses. I bet you could get really creative with pb cups
Ameera A. November 3, 2019
If you have any York peppermint patties, Dorie Greenspan has a recipe in her book "Baking: from my home to yours" called Brrrrr-ownies which makes a wonderful minty brownie. I do recommend it.