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The Best Things Our Team Made in the Kitchen in February

A series where we shout our favorite new recipes from the rooftops.

We spend a lot of time in our kitchens, and our team even has a Slack channel dedicated to sharing the best recipes we've tried and loved. So it only felt right to put the top contenders from February together – hopefully at a bare minimum, they inspire you to try out something new this month.

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NY Times Cooking's Chocolate Babka

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Every once in a while I like to attempt something in the kitchen that really intimidates me and recently, that came in the form of a chocolate babka. It took a minute (nearly two days to be exact) since the dough needs to rest in the fridge overnight. I wouldn't even call the process difficult - it's just that there were a lot of steps (the dough! the fudge filling! the streusel top! the syrup!). But trust me when I say that it is so worth it. The bread was soft and gave way to the fudgy interior with a crumbly top and we polished off two loaves in less than 24 hours.

Key Lime Pie

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A couple of weeks back we had a dinner party, and before we'd even decided on what the appetizers and main course would be, I knew I'd be making key lime pie. It's the same recipe I've been using for years and I have no intention of ever trying out another one. It comes together quickly and makes such an impact - the crust is buttery and sweet and perfectly complements the tart filling. 

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Fuchsia Dunlop’s Gong Bao Chicken Recipe

Photo courtesy of Zabar's

Photo courtesy of Zabar's

I've been making this version of Kung Pao chicken for the past month and it's so easy and flavorful, I don't think I'll ever go back to takeout. 

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NYTimes Cooking's Waffles

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My love of breakfast foods runs so deep, I included it in my Instagram bio. But when it comes to the holy breakfast trinity (pancakes, waffles, and French toast), I would typically rank waffles as my third choice – though I figured a five-star recipe from NYTimes Cooking might change my mind. These were thrown together in a half an hour, managed to be airy and slightly crispy, and were only made better when smothered in butter and maple syrup. They're a fantastic weekend brunch option that I'll certainly make again. 

Love & Lemon's Basil Pesto

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After I purchased an excessive amount of basil at the farmers market, I scoured the internet for the best basil pesto recipe. Love & Lemons' was well-reviewed and super simple. It wound up being so delicious I added it to pasta, chicken, and salmon.

Bon Appetit's Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta

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Listen, I have officially decided that pasta is my entire personality. So here's another goodie to add to your rotation – as cherry tomatoes begin their season, try this recipe that truly takes 20 minutes from start to finish and thank me later.

Carla Lalli Music's Brothy Basil Beans

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I'm currently cooking my way through Carla Lalli Music's cookbook, That Sounds So Good (you can follow along weekly on the Shop's Instagram!), and this Brothy Basil Beans recipe spoke to me. I love warm comfort food, and this had such a bright kick from the herbs and kept me full for hours.

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White Chocolate Almond and Raspberry Cake

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I was testing out recipes for an upcoming baby shower and came across this recipe on Pinterest from Baker by Nature and had to try it out. It was a little bit more complicated than most baking recipes that I try so I was nervous about the way it would turn out but I am so glad I went out of my comfort zone. The buttercream is so light and easy to spread around the cake - the hint of amaretto and almond is delicious and perfect for an event with other sweets/desserts. I also love raspberry jam filling, and I modified the recipe to only have one layer instead of four but when I recreate this for the shower I am going to do all four layers because I wish it had more of that filling while I was eating it. Definitely would recommend!

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A Sweet Pea Chef's Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

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Lately I've really been into cauliflower and I thought I would try a cauliflower mash. This recipe was so easy and the end result was delicious! If you read my little blurb from January you'll remember that I like to tweak recipes. This time, I used garlic powder instead of using garlic cloves, only because I was out of fresh garlic and was ready for my dinner. I loaded the mash up with some parmesan and some butter on top and it was everything I wanted it to be!

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Dinner at the Zoo's Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

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I'm not much of a cook, but if there's one recipe I can't get enough of, it's one my mom passed down to me: A Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup. Not only is chicken tortilla soup my favorite soup of all time, but it's also very easy to make, which is ideal in my book. My mom used to make it for family dinners during the chilly winter months, but it's the kind of soup I crave all year. There's nothing quite like a big bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped off with sliced avocado, shredded cheese, and tortilla strips. It just hits different! After recently making a big, delicious, pot of it to last me through a week in February, I'm already planning my next trip to stock back up on allll the beans, corn, peppers, and more for a round two this month.

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