Phoebe Robinson’s Pre-Show Routine Involves Instant Pot Chili and a Fabulous Coat | Healthyish

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While you’re snoozing your alarm clock six times, Phoebe Robinson has already done the dishes.

“I like to have one task I can accomplish first thing in the morning. That makes me feel actually productive,” the actress-comedian-author (a certified Triple Threat) explains. So, before starting to write anything for her books—bestselling memoirs You Can’t Touch My Hair and Everything’s Trash But It’s Okay—or working up on standup routines, she tackles the sink full of dishes from last night’s dinner.

After that, she moves onto the rest of her weekday routine: breakfast (a green juice or toast with almond butter), an hour of Spanish on Duolingo (“Who keeps up with it after high school? I’m trying to enrich my life!”), trying to “smash through emails,” and then jumping on a Peloton bike in her building’s gym and/or doing circuit training for an hour.

“Most of my work is just me seated at a desk or on a couch typing, so I need to get the energy going on the bike,” Robinson says. “I’m not just my brain—I’m also my body.” Artists like Missy Elliott, Madonna, Rihanna, Luther Vandross, and The Pussycat Dolls make up the soundtrack that pushes her through so she can get into her work-from-home flow.

Robinson’s got a lot going on between writing books and jokes, running two podcasts (Sooo Many White Guys, which is on hiatus, and 2 Dope Queens, which ended recently but became an HBO series that premieres its second season on Feb. 8), and acting (in What Women Want, also out on the 8th). We caught up with Robinson as she was preparing for her Phoebe Robinson & Friends standup show at Brooklyn’s Union Hall to see how she gets ready to make people laugh.

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This White Bean Chili Recipe Is Sunday’s Real Main Event

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Welcome to Never Fail, a weekly column where we wax poetic about the recipes—like this white bean chili recipe—that never, ever let us down.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: I like football. Really! (Says the former ballet dancer who went to a school with no football team or general school spirit—shout out to NYU!) Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, I attended USC football scrimmages (NOT EVEN THE REAL GAMES!) with my family. We watched the NFL combines as if we were on a Sopranos bender and the draft like it was the Oscars (my sister had to take notes). I know all too well the difference between offsides and false starts (and the hand signals!) and can yell at the ref like any other football lover.

The Snack Stadium to End All Snack Stadiums

And yet, the only bowl I care about this Sunday is the one that’s going to be full of Claire Saffitz’s white bean chili recipe. (Wait, there’s a game? Just kidding.) Of course, the Super Bowl is going down (L.A. represent!) and, yes, I’ll be screaming at the TV every so often with the rest of America. But honestly that’s just the backdrop to this Platonic ideal of chili, a white bean chili recipe so simple and perfect that it is destined to steal the show. I’ll pass on watching a replay of the same play for the 1,000th time. I’ll be in the other room, helping myself to chili and all the fixings. It’s that good.

I’ve eaten a lot of chili in my day. The canned stuffed heated up and poured over rice, Hawaii-style. This heavenly brisket and squash recipe. This very complex and complicated version. But this one from Claire is the Tom Brady of chilis. (Not a Patriots fan, but I just can’t deny Brady’s brilliance.) Every component of the recipe is calibrated for the most flavor and texture, like the ultimate fantasy team. Spicy chorizo stands in for boring ground beef. Lame kidney beans are benched for buttery cannellini beans. Red onions, instead of less-flavorful white ones, join the huddle. Using the chorizo fat to sizzle the aromatics puts the “special” in special teams. Simmered together with a whole head of garlic (!!), hand-crushed canned tomatoes, a little cumin and chili powder, it’s the most simple yet satisfying thing to eat, even if there isn’t a game on.

bob armstrong chile con queso

Laura Murray

Okay, this queso recipe is pretty non-negotiable too.

It does require a little bit of planning ahead though—the beans need to be soaked overnight and all that simmering adds up to one and a half to two hours in the oven. But even if you forget, you can get around the soaking overnight and, plus, there’s a little game on that will keep you entertained until the real MVP appears: this glorious bowl of chili.

Get the recipe:

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