A Cake for America

Good morning. I was on an adventure with one of my kids. We’d eaten a lot of cheese pupusas at El Nopal in Patchogue, the hot masa slathered in salsa roja and washed down with mango purée, then driven sleepily into Blue Point and west along Middle Road to Meadow Croft, the former summer estate of John Ellis Roosevelt, now a Suffolk County Park. A storm roared in along the Great South Bay as we were touring the house and put a tree across the driveway, so we were on the grounds for a while.

Trivia filled the afternoon. (Who was the first U.S. president born in a hospital and not at home?) Later, traffic, getting out of Sayville. We were late home and in no mood to shop for Alison Roman’s new recipe for spiced lamb skewers with lemony onions, lettuces, flatbreads and yogurt sauce. Such is the nature of adventure.

Instead, I made a no-recipe recipe with what was in the house: spears of sweet potato tossed with oil, salt and pepper, roasted soft-crispy in a very hot oven, then tossed with a thick sauce of miso, gochujang, sesame oil and mirin, and served on top of baby greens, with sliced scallions and sesame seeds. This was extremely good, and I recommend it to you unreservedly. (On that presidential question, by the way? The answer’s Jimmy Carter.)

Tomorrow’s a day off for many, and a good one for cookouts and barbecues. Tonight, I’d like to make Erin McDowell’s new berries and cream icebox cake (above) so it’s ready to eat at mine, after a feast of grilled hamburgers and tricked-out Sonoran-style hot dogs and steamed corn and gazpacho.

You might prefer chicken tikka masala. Or chilled shrimp with lobster butter. Maybe summer pasta with zucchini, ricotta and basil? Cold soba noodles with dipping sauce?

Have you ever made a dinner of Alison Roman’s spinach-artichoke dip? That’s an outrageous maneuver, not for beginners.

Click on over to NYT Cooking to discover other things to cook today or tomorrow, in coming days and weeks. (Fair warning as always: You need a subscription to do so. We’ll work hard to make it worth your while.)

You can visit us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as well, if you’d like further inspiration or would like to see how we work out of uniform. As but one example, here’s Yewande Komolafe making jollof rice, one of her 10 essential Nigerian recipes.

And, as ever, you can write us for help if you find yourself in a tight spot with a recipe or the technology we use to power our site and apps: [email protected] We will get back to you.

Now, how about some delicious reading before lunch? I love Ligaya Mishan writing in celebration of American ice cream, a colorful emblem of our bounty and inclusiveness, in The Times. It’s a remarkable piece of reporting, filled with lovely stories.

Also in our pages, here’s Kim Severson on the Atlanta burger phenomenon Slutty Vegan and its charismatic owner, Pinky Cole. “We want you to have an orgasmic experience and the ultimate feeling of euphoria that comes after having a vegan burger,” Ms. Cole told Kim in an interview, explaining the restaurant’s name. Lines to get in can leave a person waiting three hours.

And, finally, you should experience Pete Wells on a new Turkish restaurant in Astoria, Queens, called Lokanta, from the prolific and very funny chef and restaurateur Orhan Yegen. Pete asked a server at the restaurant whether the sheep’s head soup was very filling. Mr. Yegan came over to answer: “I am a genius,” he said. “And even I don’t know how to answer this question. I think that the question must be wrong.” Definitely get that soup, if you’re in town.

In the meantime: Happy Independence Day to one and all. I’ll be back on Friday.

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