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How to Make a Gourmet Meal with Items from Your Local Bodega

We get it — you’re a hard working woman who doesn’t always have time to be the Julia Child of her own life — but you still have great taste. If that’s the case, arriving home at 7:30 p.m. after that final meeting ran late can make the dinner situation a bit tricky. For those moments when you’re looking at a bare fridge, but you don’t want to revert to your Top Ramen college scene, these tips for shopping at your local bodega will help you take Tuesday nights to a whole new (and dare we say — gourmet) level.

Garçon — Meat & Cheese, Please

When creating a winning appetizer, there are two things you need to have on hand: meat and cheese. Pro tip: it’s never a bad idea to have this in your fridge, btw. You can cut any block of cheese into cubes for an elevated effect so you don’t exactly have to pick up Jarlsberg from Dean & DeLuca to impress yourself (or your guests). And if the nearest bodega has any sausages or sliced salami available, grab that as well. Bonus points if you add olives to the mix.

Go For Grains

Go for the grains: sage advice, my friends. If you spot noodles, rice, a baguette or even crackers while making a quick run to the bodega — make sure you add ’em to your shopping tote. There’s nothing fancier than a pasta you can’t pronounce for dinner, but even if you aren’t lucky enough to score some quality noodles — any carb can make the basis for a quality spread, if we’re being honest.

Drench Everything In Olive Oil

Olive oil may be a pricier purchase, but it is so worth it. Pour a dab of olive oil into a small bowl and dip your baguette slices into it for an Italian restaurant experience in your own home/bed (most likely bed). Or combine olive oil with any spices you have on-hand to toss your noodles or risotto in for a delicious, but manageable main course.


Last, But Not Least — Dessert

If you’re really wanting to end on a high note — you’ve got to end the day with dessert. Hit up the dairy/non-dairy section of your local bodega to see what you can find. Cream cheese, coconut milk whipped topping or yogurt can all lead to some incredible desserts, especially when combined with fruit, nuts, honey or your favorite candy bar. If you’re lucky — you’ll be able to buy a package of lady fingers and some whip cream to mix with espresso for a simple take on tiramisu.

With these shopping tips as a guide, a quick stop at the local bodega could turn your apartment into the next Michelin star-worthy hot spot.

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