Weekly Meal Plans

Life-Changing Philly Cheesesteak (& More Recipe Picks for the Week)

December  8, 2019
Photo by James Ransom

A few days ago, at Five Two’s first birthday party, my coworkers and I were talking about our plans for the holidays. Mine, for the second year in a row, are: hibernate and, ahem, that’s it.

Ok, so I’ll do yoga. Drink hot cocoa. Do yoga while drinking hot cocoa. Cook something I haven’t cooked before (like sheet-pan mac and cheese and braised chicken with salami and railway omelets). Watch something I haven’t watched before (like Succession and Stranger Things and You). Go for a walk. Go to sleep early.

Like last year, the reaction to this was sheer awe, as if I had said I was flying to the moon. Who would’ve thought, right? A break that’s actually a break.

But we're not there yet; we’ve still got a couple whirlwind weeks to go. So onward, upward! Let’s make dinner. Dessert, too.

Our Best Philly Cheesesteak

Our test kitchen director Josh Cohen developed his dream Philly cheesesteak, and our office went wild for it. “Easily the best thing I’ve eaten in a while,” Senior Editor Eric Kim said. (Wow!) “Didn't even matter that I was tweeting with greasy fingers. It was that good,” Social Media Coordinator Max McDonough said. Say no more! It features not one, but two cheeses. Guess which ones, in the comments below. (No peeking allowed.)

Radicchio Salad With Manchego Vinaigrette

I’ve had a hunk of Manchego in my cheese drawer for, oh, almost too long and finally realized what to do with it: Toro Bravo’s radicchio salad with Manchego vinaigrette. My husband, Justin, says he “doesn’t like” radicchio, but it’s hard to not like something when it’s covered in this Manchego vinaigrette. I’ll throw some chickpeas on top, defrost some of that pumpkin soup in the freezer to go alongside, and call it a day. Come hang out with me while I cook on Instagram.

Frittata for Meal Prep

Last week, I had leftover roasted potatoes, which I turned into an onion-y frittata, which I turned into four different meals (one frittata sandwich with spicy mayo, three frittata salads with whatever lettuce was within arm’s reach). Somewhere between the second and third, I started to wonder: Why don’t I do this every week? You can make a frittata with whatever bits and bobs are in the fridge—and effortlessly reap the rewards throughout the week. Just make sure you use the slow-bake method, which I swear by, below.

31 (31!) Holiday Cookies

ICYMI, we just baked up a special-edition batch of holiday cookie recipes. Thirty-one of them, to be exact. These include everything from my mom’s magic middles to Nik Sharma’s buckwheat cutouts to Melissa Clark’s tahini shortbread. Short-and-sweet stories included. BYO milk. (And if you want even more cookies, don't sleep on these sugar cookies Eric is baking this weekend—"they’re scoop and bake cookies (versus the usual roll and cut-out), which means they’re so much more manageable for a lazy baker like me.")

On the Side

Justin and I were chatting in bed the other night, when we arrived at this: What if, in 2020, nailing homemade pizza is our New Year’s resolution? What if pizza is a journey? What then? TBD.

In case you were wondering: Manhattan Beach really got wild at the end; definitely recommend. Now I’m onto Catch and Kill, which I haven't been able to put down. This means I have four-and-a-half books left in my 2019 reading challenge (26 books—in retrospect, this was not realistic). Wish me luck.

Spotify released its annual “Your Top Songs” of the year playlist this week and eight out of my top 10 were, unsurprisingly, Lana Del Rey. But! In a surprise twist, my top-top song was “Cruel Summer” by Taylor Swift.

Tell me yours in the comments! C’mon, I already told you mine.

Talk soon,

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    Emma Laperruque
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.


GeekKnitter December 9, 2019
*fist bump of hibernation solidarity*
I'm taking time off of work over Christmas as well, and my main goal is to see if I can re-train my brain to let me sleep past dawn.
Also, there will be hot chocolate!
Emma L. December 9, 2019
That is a very admirable vacation goal. Good luck!