Like many dishes that rely on combinations of spices, a tagine, which is a slowly braised stew, may look more intimidating to cook than it is. Even with shortcuts, the results are exotic in flavor and appearance. (Photo: Craig Lee for The New York Times)
This banana bread from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" is really something special One-fourth of the flour is whole wheat, which contributes a kind of depth you’d miss if it weren’t there There are walnuts — not unusual, but again, you’d miss them if they weren’t there, And the key, secret ingredient, is coconut
Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix: More Than 700 Simple Recipes and Techniques to Mix and Match for Endless Possibilities by Mark Bittman http://www.amazon.com/dp/0804188017/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_MVAJwb0VC64Q4
NYT Cooking: This fast version of spaghetti and meatballs with red gravy is ready in less than 30 minutes, but you’ll be chopping, stirring and monitoring heat — actively working — from start to finish. You’ll be busy, but not frantic, and rewarded not only with the twirling of pasta in half an hour, but with the satisfaction that you made every second count.