Hello! Here’s something new: I took over the Well newsletter this week, creating a weekend-prep game plan to make weeknight cooking faster and easier. Think: Wash and cut up your sturdy veggies on Sunday so you’re all set for orzo salad on Monday and naan-o paneer-o sabzi on Tuesday. Sign up below to get my takeover in your inbox tomorrow!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. Have you noticed that hot honey is suddenly everywhere? It’s on your ricotta toast, in your potato chips and ice cream, even in your espresso martinis. Julia Moskin wrote about how this syrupy condiment went from a drizzle on your pizza to a cultural deluge, hitting the most-searched lists right next to “chili crisp,” “pumpkin spice,” and “polycule.”

I’m here for it. I love a sweet and spicy mash-up — and I’m guessing Farideh Sadeghin does, too. Her new recipe for hot honey chicken produces thin and blissfully crunchy cutlets, made from pounded chicken breasts aggressively seasoned with garlic and onion powders. They’re then coated in crushed cornflakes, which form a shaggy golden crust after baking. A little homemade hot honey swirled on top is the decisive flourish. Substitute store-bought if you have it on hand; it’s all good. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself with leftovers, they make the best sandwiches slicked with mayo and layered on a soft, toasted bun with some crunchy romaine.


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Need even more culinary crossovers in your life? Anna Gass’s rigatoni alla zozzona, which loosely translates to “big mess rigatoni,” is a combination of four classic Italian pastas. It’s got the tomato sauce of amatriciana, the pancetta of gricia, the egg yolks of carbonara and the black pepper of cacio e pepe, along with red wine and sweet Italian sausage for good measure. Rigatoni is ideal here; the big, sturdy tubes can stand up to the delicious lovefest of the sauce. Abbondanza!

Basta, now let’s get minimalist and super speedy. Yasmin Fahr’s spicy shrimp and chickpea salad is a colorful, hardy melding of garlicky sautéed shrimp, canned chickpeas, Fresno chiles, red onion and herbs, all tossed in a citrus-mustard dressing. It’s even better the next day, so be sure to stash your leftovers in the fridge for a lunch lift.

My family is trying to go light on the meat during the week, to varying degrees of success. But Farideh makes it easy: Her take on a Punjabi palak paneer has cubes of the fresh cheese cooked briefly in a green purée of spiced spinach seasoned with fresh ginger and chiles. Tofu cubes make an excellent paneer stand-in if you can’t find or prefer not to use the traditional Indian cheese. And you can skip the cream at the end as well to keep this on the lighter side.

For dessert, my black and white cookies are classic rounds of soft vanilla cake covered in half-moons of chocolate and vanilla glaze. My only modern twist is a touch of grated lemon zest in the batter for a bright pop. They’re pure nostalgia for the native New Yorkers and Midwesterners who grew up on them, and a delightful treat for anyone else.

You will need to subscribe to get these excellent recipes, along with the thousands of others available at New York Times Cooking (and if you’re already a subscriber, we thank you). If you need help with a technical issue, reach out to cookingcare@nytimes.com. And I’m at hellomelissa@nytimes.com if you want to get in touch.

Yewande Komolafe’s creamy, turmeric-spiced coconut fish and tomato bake is a sunshine-hued dream of a meal, heady with ginger, garlic and chile. Serve it with flatbread to scoop up all the soft, saucy fish and cherry tomatoes, which wrinkle and condense but don’t quite collapse from their brief stint in the oven.



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