Never-mushy black bean burgers

An assembled black bean burger in a bun sits on a white plate. You can see what looks like cole slaw out of focus on the plate in the background, with ketchup and mustard bottles in the top right of the frame.

My college roommate gets me. I know this because they put up with me talking to them while gesturing absentmindedly with knives for four years, but more relevantly to this blog, at least, because they sent me a Snapchat of a black bean burger they had been playing with.

They told me that it was their latest and most successful attempt to come up with a not-mushy bean burger – and that’s exactly the sort of problem I find irresistible. 

We spent the next couple of minutes batting ideas back and forth, and then the challenge took up permanent residence in the back of my brain and wouldn’t leave until I took a stab at it. 

An overhead view of all the ingredients in the black bean burgers

Which, of course, moved this recipe to the top of my “make this next” list. 


Mom’s weeknight pizza dough

An overhead view of a hand removing a slice of pizza from the larger pie. Another slice has been moved slightly away - you can see the cheese pulls still connecting it to the pizza.

I think everyone should have a good set of default recipes – the sort of thing that you can keep in your back pocket to make on those days when you get home from work and need to make dinner on autopilot. This easy, weeknight pizza dough fits the bill. 

This is the dough recipe I grew up with – my mom has been making it for years, and it has made appearances at everything from frisbee sidelines to mock trial state championships. If I didn’t have such a hard time remembering numbers, I could make it in my sleep. 

All of the ingredients for weeknight pizza dough: a tupperware box of bread flour with a blue lid, a tupperware box of dark brown sugar with a pink lid, a squeeze bottle of olive oil, a jar of yeast, salt, and a Pyrex measuring cup with about a cup of water.

Jessi Spell

A culinary degree and two years of professional experience has not stopped Jessi from making stupid mistakes – she just makes them more efficiently. She habitually reads cookbooks before bed, loses track of time on Wikipedia, and yells at cooking shows like dads watching football. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Jackson, five plants, and more cookbooks than a 600 square foot studio should hold.


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