As a food writer, it’s no surprise that my happy place is my kitchen, and I’m at my most relaxed and joyful when I’m there, cooking — whether developing a recipe for my column in the New York Times, or just making dinner for my family, which I do at least three times a week.

Most of the cooking I do is intuitive. I buy seasonal ingredients at the market —  no plan, just whatever looks good — then worry about what to do with it when I get home. But sometimes I need inspiration for something new to do with all that asparagus I lugged from the farmers’ market. That’s when I turn to other people’s recipes.

Then there are my cookbooks, which are like my friends, and I love spending quality time with them. Some of my current go-tos include Aleksandra Crapanzano’s Eat. Cook. L.A., Carla Lalli Music’s Where Cooking Begins and Andrea Nguyen’s Vietnamese Food Any Day.

shop the post

While I cook, I love to put on music and open a good bottle of wine — it makes cooking dinner my daily equivalent of the weekend, a time to unwind and enjoy. I get some help choosing which wines to buy from Alice Feiring my favorite wine writer, through her informative newsletter. It’s a paid subscription but worth the money for any wine lover.

These tea towels, from Maker’s Market, are stylish and gorgeous and can take the rough love I give them every single day.