4 Cooking Shortcuts That Aren’t Worth The Time They Save–and 2 That Are

Some things are worth the extra effort.

Always make your own vodka sauce. Fusilli alla vodka, made and photographed by the author.

THE HILL I WILL DIE ON IS MADE OF CHEDDAR: PRE-SHREDDED CHEESE

Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich, made and photographed by the author.

NOT CUTTING IT: PRE-SLICED PRODUCE

Tomato, peach, burrata, and mint salad, made and photographed by the author.

DARK WATERS: BOXED BROTH AND STOCK

Ramen with kale, egg, and homemade vegetable stock, made and photographed by the author.

BOTTLED UP RAGE: STORE-BOUGHT SALAD DRESSING

Farm-vegetable salad with feta and egg and homemade vinaigrette, made and photographed by the author.

NOT WORTH THE EFFORT: HOMEMADE PASTA

Bucatini marinara with burrata, made and photographed by the author. This was made with Barilla Collezione pasta, extruded through a traditional bronze die.

NOT WORTH THE EFFORT: HOMEMADE CONDIMENTS

I’m a west coast-based creative director at New York-based ad agency MRY, and the season 5 Masterchef runner-up. I love mayonnaise, yoga, cats, and pizza.

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