Annie A., Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Annie A. has tested.

Annie A.

Annie is the kind of person who always reads and rereads food scenes in books, though she didn’t really learn to cook until her mid-twenties. Her “younger, far more kitchen-fluent” sister gave her her first cookbook, the iconic Lynne Rosetto Kasper’s, How to Eat Dinner, to help get her started on her adventures in cookery. From there, she just kept stepping a little further into the kitchen, discovering food writing (Ruth Reichl and Laurie Colwin forever) and picking up recipes she loved along the way. She calls herself “a highly untrained home cook—with very little counter space,” but she loves the creativity and comfort she finds when she spends time in the kitchen, which is what brought her to recipe testing for Leite’s Culinaria. Her favorite recipe so far? “This carrot cake. Sooo good. And don’t miss this blueberry-lemon layer cake, either. Take it from a true dessert person,” she says.

A dozen hazelnut thyme matchsticks in a glass

Hazelnut Thyme Matchsticks

Hazelnut thyme matchsticks are thin, crisp crackers made with ground hazelnuts, cheese, and butter. The matchsticks are perfect with soup or as a snack.

A white rectangular dish filled with herbed bread and celery stuffing with a fork and spoon next to it on a napkin.

Herbed Bread and Celery Stuffing

A classic. Bread stuffing filled with celery, onion, thyme, basil, and parsley that’s synonymous with Thanksgiving (though honestly, it’s equally welcome any time with roast chicken).

A slice of classic carrot cake--two carrot cake layers filled and frosted with cream cheese frosting; on top are crushed walnuts.

Carrot Cake

“This was beyond the best carrot cake I have ever had.” That’s what we’re hearing about this cake, which ingeniously relies on puréed, rather than grated, carrots.

A large enamel pot filled with chicken perloo with a ladle.

Chicken Perloo

A richly warming, comforting combination of earthy spices and smoky chicken. Comes together easily and brings everyone to the table.

A soft green casserole dish filed with lightly charred broccolini, kale, and green beans, sprinkled with chile flakes and garlic.

Charred Greens with Garlic

An exceptionally tasty way to prepare a side of supergreens that’ll give your dinner a little boost. Red pepper flakes and raw garlic make it even better.

A white bowl full of buctini pasta, covered with grated cheese and parsley.

Pasta with Anchovies and Onions

If you know Chris McDade, you know he loves the salty umami bombs known as anchovies. Let this effortless pasta show you why we’re obsessed, too.

A torn loaf of focaccia with herbs and salt and sprigs of rosemary, a knife, and a hunk of pecorino on the side.

Focaccia

Easier to shape than a boule, focaccia is the next bread you may want to master making at home. Just slice it and eat it as-is with its dimpled herb-flecked surface.

A skillet filled with shrimp with chorizo and toasted bread slices on the side.

Shrimp with Chorizo

What did our discerning testers say about this recipe? “Wildy satisfying.” “Zesty.” “Quick and tasty.” “A marriage made in heaven.” “A stunning nosh.” And they should know.

Four plates topped with broccoli with peanut sauce and a small dish of sesame seeds on the side.

Broccoli with Peanut Sauce

Say hello to the most failproof way we know to get everyone to eat their veggies—and just about anything else you can dip or dunk or douse.

A white plate with a slice of blueberry-lemon layer cake

Blueberry Lemon Layer Cake

Pretty much guaranteed to be one of those desserts that makes people do face-plants onto their dessert plates. A David Leite original recipe.

A white bowl of red wine spaghetti with shaved Parmesan and basil leaves.

Red Wine Spaghetti

This ingenious approach to spaghetti requires just your usual boxed pasta, a bottle of wine, and 30 minutes. Gorgeousness ensues.

A cut loaf of lemon-poppy seed cake on a white background

Citrus Poppy Seed Cake

A harmony of sweet citrus notes nudges the classic lemon poppy seed cake in a less one-dimensional direction here. We may even be thinking of this as a 5D cake.

A person removing a slice of fresh tomato tart with a lifter and a bowl of pesto and black pepper on the side.

Fresh Tomato Tart

A perfectly flaky crust. A simple goat cheese filling. Some fresh pesto. And those spectacular heirloom tomatoes sitting on your counter. Surprisingly simple. Impressively spectacular.

A white bowl filled with sautéed summer squash with a sprinkle of Parmesan on top and a small bowl of Parmesan on the side.

Sautéed Summer Squash

Five ingredients. Fifteen minutes. And with just that you’re rewarded with an enticing side that doesn’t make you dread being healthy. Quite the opposite, actually.

Eight vegan fudge brownies on a marble surface.

Vegan Fudge Brownies

Proof that spectacularly fudgy, messily gooey, intensely chocolatey brownies can be made without butter or eggs.

A classic apple pie with one-quarter missing, topped with a scoop of ice cream, and three forks in the empty pie spot.

Classic Apple Pie

The secret to this classic? Could be the two types of apples, one tart and one sweet. Then again, the uber buttery pie crust ain’t bad, either.

A white round baking dish filled with baked ziti and topped with melted cheese, and a dish of Parmesan on the side.

Baked Ziti

Italian comfort food of the most indulgent sort. Gotta love it.