This one is about real food. This is about the food you cook when you come home after your commute was longer than your workday, after you noticed your boss hinting about job openings you might like at other companies, when you have to take one kid to hockey practice and another to Girl Scouts and another to band practice, and you’re pretty sure you have only two kids.

Sometimes simple is best, and for quick weeknight burgers or a backyard barbecue for a crowd, store-bought ground beef is certainly convenient. But with so many options available in supermarkets, we knew we would need to find the right cut of beef with the ideal amount of fat to produce tender, juicy burgers.

For a few brief weeks, fresh shelling peas grace the bins at farmers markets and produce stands ready for shucking. If you’ve not cooked fresh peas, know that their sweetness and deep, green vegetable flavor are like none other. Like sweet corn, the natural sugars in the peas change as they age — even day-old peas have a different sweetness than fresh picked. If you’re into it, buy both and cook them side by side. You’ll taste the difference.

Trends. They're everywhere. Plastered all over social media: the latest thigh-high boots, a new line of makeup by a millennial billionaire, stainless steel drinking straws! We now have "influencers" - people who can make or break a product with a single Instagram post.

My oven is getting dusty. It's only reasonable, of course, that I am reluctant to turn it on in the summer, when all it does is add 20 degrees to the inside temperature, causing my old air conditioner to work that much harder. Besides, who needs a casserole or a cake between, say, May and September, when just-picked tomatoes and ice cream are on the menu?

This dish is a bit of a mess, which you may find liberating! Trust us, it's intentional. The recipe falls in the "stuff on a potato" genre - the stuff in this case being eggs poached in tomato and/or pepper sauce, which is itself a riff on a Mediterranean shakshuka. It is built for two, but easy enough to scale up.

I think of the Ramos Gin Fizz as the Mount Everest of drinks. Not because it is extraordinarily difficult to make, or because it represents the pinnacle of cocktail achievement, but because of mountaineer George Mallory's famous response about why he wanted to climb Everest: Because it's there.

One friend of mine calls cauliflower the tofu of vegetables, because it soaks up and takes on the flavor of anything it is with. And that is true when it is served with a cheesy or spicy sauce. But when it is served by itself, unadorned, it has a mildly nutty flavor all its own.

"If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself" is an adage that certainly applies to a more healthful muffin. Whenever I've purchased one - as I have a multitude of times - all hopes of deliciousness were shot after that first rubbery, sawdusty bite. So, I took matters into my own hands, and the result is as close to muffin heaven as I can imagine.

Simple, rich almond cake makes a sophisticated and delicately sweet dessert, but traditional European versions tend to be heavy and dense. For a slightly cakier version with plenty of nutty flavor, we swapped out the usual almond paste for toasted blanched sliced almonds (we disliked the sli…

Is there a dish you always order, no matter what else is on the menu? For me, it's chiles rellenos. I started ordering the stuffed-, battered- and fried-pepper dish in my West Texas childhood, and haven't stopped during a lifetime of eating at Mexican restaurants here and in Mexico. I've made them at home, too, sometimes battering and frying them the traditional way and sometimes baking. The latter can be perfectly satisfying with the right sauce and filling, but it's the former I truly crave.