Rachel Sugar

Rachel Sugar is a writer in Brooklyn. She tweets at @rtsugar and is passionate about muffins.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Hosting Your First Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving is not a competitive cooking contest. Thanksgiving is a celebration of togetherness, and the unique joys of carbohydrates. Even if things go wrong — and something is bound to! — your inaugural Thanksgiving dinner can still be a smashing success. You can over-char your Brussels sprouts and still get compliments. You can serve store-bought bread and people will still have fun.
May 13, 2022
Here’s What You Can Drink While Doing Whole30
Just because you’re on Whole30 does not mean you are doomed to a month of tap water.
Jan 9, 2020
10 Hostess Gifts You Can Overnight from Amazon for $15 or Less
Someday, may we all have well-stocked gift cabinets full of objects just waiting to be presented to our many beautiful friends. Until then, there's Amazon.
Nov 26, 2019
10 Trader Joe’s Wines Under $16 to Drink with Steak
It is the opposite of a secret that Trader Joe’s is a mecca of budget wines. (It is definitely possible to find bottles over $20, but you really have to try.) While we picked these 10 bottles with steak in mind — is there a classier, easier meal? — beef is hardly required. Drink them with pizza. Drink them with stew. Drink them for no occasion at all, except that it is February and they are delicious.
Jun 3, 2019
The Most Memorable Movie Food Scenes of 2016
Sometimes food is a supporting player, and sometimes it is quite literally the lead. From low-brow raunch comedies starring anthropomorphized hot dogs to gorgeous coming-of-age dramas to noir-ish thrillers, food played an essential role in the films of 2016 — and not always where you’d expect it. Without further ado, and in no particular order, our nominations for the finest food scenes to hit U.S. theaters in 2016.
May 30, 2019
My Healthy Habit Challenge: I Started Meal Planning
Welcome to our Healthy Habit Challenge! Instead of focusing on (impossible-to-keep) New Year’s resolutions, we challenged four writers to start a new healthy habit. These challenges aren’t about cutting out sugar or going on a diet, or focused on the negative. They’re about doing something new and good — and making it second-nature. Here’s how they went.
May 29, 2019
Can You Bring a Turkey on a Plane? And Other TSA Questions Answered.
Every family has their own Thanksgiving customs, but there is one tradition that unites us all: standing in line at airport security. The TSA is as much a part of the holiday as pumpkin pie. It is beautiful, in a way. America may be more divided than ever, and yet all of us must stand together, forever, holding our quart-sized plastic bags.
May 24, 2019
The Rocking Chair for Social Loungers
Your grandmother was onto something: A good rocking chair is a summertime porch essential. In a rocking chair, lemonade is tangier, paperbacks are more thrilling, and naps are more refreshing. But maybe you’re looking for a rocker that’s just a little bit different — something quirky, bright, and an unexpected twist on a time-honored classic. And maybe a traditional solo rocking experience won’t cut it.
May 1, 2019
10 Ways to Perk Up Your Front Porch for Under $100
Friends see it. Strangers pass it. The mailman knows it well. Your front porch is the first thing guests see when they come by, and the last thing they’ll see when they go. It’s a living space, a gathering place, and — if you play your cards right — a testament to your personal taste. And let’s not forget the most important advantage: an extra dining space to enjoy summer food and drink.
May 1, 2019
5 Things to Leave Until Monday So You Can Enjoy the Weekend
If you’re like us, your work week is insanely busy; your to-do lists are overloaded and your inboxes are out of control. And then, the weekend arrives with the promise of redemption: This will be the weekend you do all the things that have been preventing your ascension to greatness. You will answer your emails. You will deep-clean the bathroom. You will make lasagna and freeze it for later, in practical, single-serving squares. Or, you know, you could not.
May 1, 2019
9 School Lunch Boxes for the Style-Conscious Child
You don’t have to be an adult to appreciate elegant design. You don’t even have to have finished kindergarten. Why should you sacrifice style and sophistication, just because you’re still working on your ABCs? And so, for the young tastemaker-in-training, we have searched high and low for lunch boxes that marry whimsy and refinement, form and function. Some are bold. Some are playful. Some are, shall we say, zoological.
May 1, 2019
Why Everyone Needs a Lemon Squeezer
If you already have a hand-held lemon squeezer, and I imagine that you likely do, congratulations: you are living your best life (at least, re: lemons). But if you have not yet surrendered to the marvel that is a hand-held lemon squeezer, I humbly suggest you are letting greatness escape your grasp. There was a time, not so long ago, when I did not have a hand-held lemon squeezer. I was young then, and foolish.
May 1, 2019
5 Things Your Knives Want You to Know About Cutting Boards
I have been using the same single cutting board for several years. It is bamboo, maybe? I think it is bamboo. I am happy with it, but are my knives happy with it? Is it the best kind of cutting board? Am I secretly doing something that is ruining them in some way I do not yet know of but will live to regret? If you have these questions, too, read on to find out what your knives want you to know about cutting boards. This is arguably an overstatement. There are uses for glass cutting boards.
May 1, 2019
10 Finds That Will Make Your Next Dinner Party a Breeze
In a fantasy world, we would throw lavish dinners effortlessly, like French people in movies, with appropriately ambient jazz playing in the background, and artfully mismatched antique plates. The wine would flow freely. The children would be asleep. And the food! Oh, the food would be a multi-course parade of fresh delicacies, which we prepared (effortlessly) in our endless free time, probably to the strains of more ambient jazz. But the radical secret is that none of that is necessary.
May 1, 2019
10 of the Best Movies to Watch on a Date Night in with Friends
Sometimes, it is fun to leave the house with your friends (or so I am told). Other times, though, the strain of the world beyond your living room is too much to bear. Luckily, that is what movie nights are for. Is there a better way to bond from the comfort of your living room, in companionable silence, while eating takeout Chinese? I think not. So what are you gonna watch? In preparation for your next friend-movie-date-night, here are 10 films that are pretty much made for pal-ing around.
May 1, 2019
5 Tips for Planning a Movie Date Night with Friends
Movie night with friends is as easy as home entertaining gets. You do not need invites, costumes, or themed decorations. You do not need to roast a duck. You do not need a signature cocktail. You do not need a hashtag. What you do need are three things: friends, a movie, and a place to watch the movie with some kind of movie-watching device. Well, four things, really, because you also need snacks. And drinks. Okay, that’s technically five.
May 1, 2019
6 Dinnerware Sets That Will Outlast Your Design Whims
This year, I am into polka dots. I was also into polka dots last year, but will I be into polka dots three years from now, or 10? There is no way of knowing. By 2026, I could be going through a blue-and-white china phase. Such is the difficulty of making design decisions: It is nearly impossible to know exactly what you will want in the future, but you will be stuck with that dinnerware until the end of time (or until you donate it to Goodwill).
May 1, 2019
11 Food-Themed Notecards to Send Just Because
Everyone likes receiving a thoughtful piece of actual mail that is not a bill or catalogue. Another thing everyone likes? Food. Given these two universal truths, we have trawled the web in search of multi-purpose note cards that will delight your friends, charm your colleagues, and make your family very, very hungry. We Go Together Box Set, $31 for six at Black Lamb BK: You are the bacon to his eggs. She is the macaroni to your cheese. Use these to express your undying devotion.
May 1, 2019
10 Gifts for $10 or Less to Give Just Because
The inexpensive “just because” gift is the best kind of gift to give. That’s because — for once — there are virtually no stakes. There is no occasion and no pressure; anything you do is light-years beyond what was expected, because what was expected was nothing. You can buy a “just because” gift for no other reason than that it is fun. It does not need to be useful, or expensive, or beautiful, or particularly meaningful.
May 1, 2019
12 Cute & Crafty Ways to Dress Up Gifts
An exceptionally well-wrapped gift is a double present. You are giving the gift of whatever your gift is, but you are also giving the gift of joy. All presents are fun, but a beautifully packaged present is even more fun. Isn’t it nice, in a warm, sappy way, to let someone know that you care enough not only to give them something, but also to wrap it with little jingle bells on top? That is thoughtfulness; that is love.
May 1, 2019
Is Coffee Actually Good for You?
Welcome to the Great Debates, where we consider the greatest nutritional controversies of our time. Our goal isn’t to tell you what to think or do, but rather to present both sides of hot-button issues, like coffee (is it good for you?) and breakfast (the most important meal of the day?). What’s being said? Who’s saying it? Then it’s up to you to make your own decisions. Coffee! Intoxicating miracle elixir, or carcinogenic poison in a paper to-go cup?
May 1, 2019
Is Breakfast Really All That Important?
Welcome to the Great Debates, where we consider the greatest nutritional controversies of our time. Our goal isn’t to tell you what to think or do, but rather to present both sides of hot-button issues, like coffee (is it good for you?) and breakfast (the most important meal of the day?). What’s being said? Who’s saying it? Then it’s up to you to make your own decisions. Breakfast — the cornerstone of a healthy diet, or optional morning meal?
May 1, 2019
10 Surprising Grocery Store Finds That Are Whole30-Approved
Some conveniently packaged, easily accessible grocery store foods do in fact make the Whole30 cut, despite all odds to the contrary.
May 1, 2019
Potatoes Are Now Whole30-Approved (and Here’s Why)
For 30 days this month we’re exploring Whole30, the 30-day reset and refocus on whole foods. Whole30 isn’t a diet or a judgment of foods as “good and bad.” It’s actually a short-term reset that has helped many of our readers cook more and figure out the foods that make them feel their best. Read more about our coverage here. Back in the olden days of Whole30, you had to stay away from legumes, wheat, white potatoes, soy, rice, sugar, and alcohol.
May 1, 2019
7 Whole30 Snacks to Keep in Your Office Drawer
So you’re doing Whole30. You are prepping your meals like you’ve never prepped your meals before; you are embracing your temporary sugar-free lifestyle — apples are basically candy to you now! — you have mastered the art of ordering at restaurants; and you’re drinking so much LaCroix you should probably buy stock in the company. Congratulations! There is, however, one last frontier: desk snacks.
May 1, 2019
Why Whole30 Loves Ghee (and How to Make Your Own!)
For 30 days this month we’re exploring Whole30, the 30-day reset and refocus on whole foods. Whole30 isn’t a diet or a judgment of foods as “good and bad.” It’s actually a short-term reset that has helped many of our readers cook more and figure out the foods that make them feel their best. Read more about our coverage here.
May 1, 2019
10 Chocolate Treats to Keep on Hand for Last-Minute Gifts
Chocolate is an appropriate gift for (almost) all occasions. It is easy; it is universally appropriate, unless you are looking for a present for a dog; it is ideal for hostess gifts, cheer-up gifts, thinking-of-you gifts, Valentine’s Day gifts (tread carefully), no-reason gifts, and I-forgot-to-buy-a-present gifts; and it is festive, yet impersonal. Chocolate may be the one gift you can give to your lover, your mother, your 9-year-old nephew, and your boss.
May 1, 2019
11 Things to Have in Your Pantry in Case a Storm Comes
We are in the midst of peak winter storm season, which means it is time to stock your cabinets with the essentials. It is true that storms rarely appear without warning; it is also true that, like a Boy Scout, it is best to be prepared. Bottled water: Just because water is still running once the power goes out doesn’t mean your city’s water purification systems are functioning at full capacity.
May 1, 2019
Should You Eat Red Meat? And How Much?
Welcome to the Great Debates, where we consider the greatest nutritional controversies of our time. Our goal isn’t to tell you what to think or do, but rather to present both sides of hot-button issues, like coffee (is it good for you?) and breakfast (the most important meal of the day?). What’s being said? Who’s saying it? Then it’s up to you to make your own decisions.
May 1, 2019
8 Edible Treats to Bring to a Celebration Instead of Booze
The unspoken party code (for a certain type of party) dictates that if you are invited, it is incumbent upon you to bring beer. Wine is also acceptable, even preferable, depending on the crowd and the occasion. I do not bring hard liquor, on account of general ignorance, but I have seen it done to great effect, and I commend those efforts. But alcohol is not appropriate for all occasions. What if you don’t drink, or your host doesn’t drink?
May 1, 2019
Great Debate: Is Greek Yogurt Really Better than Regular Yogurt?
Welcome to the Great Debates, where we consider the greatest nutritional controversies of our time. Our goal isn’t to tell you what to think or do, but rather to present both sides of hot-button issues, like coffee (is it good for you?) and breakfast (the most important meal of the day?). What’s being said? Who’s saying it? Then it’s up to you to make your own decisions. It’s not a secret that yogurt has been associated with a number of health benefits.
May 1, 2019
Does Milk Really Do a Body Good?
If the advertising of the very early ’90s taught us anything, it can be summed up in the following slogan: “Milk: It does a body good.” But does it really? Here, we weigh the nutritional pros and cons of milk. From a nutritional standpoint alone, cow’s milk has quite a lot going for it, the New York Times points out in their examination of the topic.
May 1, 2019
How Much Protein Do You Need If You’re Working Out?
There is a smoothie shop next to my gym that sells all kinds of protein-enhanced smoothies and shakes. It is generally filled with Spandex-clad exercisers drinking from sippy cups of nutritionally enhanced produce, and they look happy about it. But do they need protein shakes? Do I need a protein shake? Is a lack of lean post-workout protein what is standing between me and the fullest realization of my dormant muscles?
May 1, 2019
In Defense of Keeping Stuff You Never Use
I live in what is, by all reasonable standards, a very small apartment. I say this not to complain — I like my apartment! — but only to suggest that I am not necessarily in a position to devote an entire cabinet to an ice cream maker that I have never used. But there it sits, a full-sized ice cream maker, in a cabinet above my three-quarter sized fridge, where it has rested, untouched by milk or sugar, for approximately six years.
Apr 24, 2017
10 Fun Ingredients to Have on Hand Just Because
Snow days are like unplanned, inconvenient little vacations. All your plans are cancelled whether you like it or not. (Surprise!) Resistance is futile. There is nothing to do but lean in. That includes partaking in cooking projects and indulging in some special-occasion treats. What else are you going to do? Unpopped popcorn: The ultimate snack for hunkering down and staying in, popcorn is satisfying, festive, and very, very easy.
Feb 22, 2017
10 Food Movies and Shows to Stream on Netflix Right Now
We’ve posted about what to stream on Netflix before (and before that), but, like the tides, the streaming selection is ever-changing, which means we’ve got a whole new batch of mouthwatering recs. Someday, spring will come, and we can all leave the house again. Until then, here are 10 things to watch to eat up your time. Admittedly, this batch is mostly docs, but if you’ve got a craving for features, our previous lists have got you covered.
Feb 10, 2017