Chili Without Carne goes easy on the chili powder, but is still flavorful. (Photo by Laura Groch)
Anyone who knows me knows better than to invite me to a chili cookout. It’s never been one of my favorite dishes, and when I was a food editor I turned down many requests to judge chili contests. (It just wouldn’t have been fair. I would have rated everything C-minus.)
Chili has wonderful ingredients in it — meat, beans, onions, garlic, tomatoes — but the “authentic” chili seasoning just turns me off. I’ve always found it bitter and harsh. So I Continue reading
My well-thumbed copy of “The Kitchen Counter Cooking School” by Kathleen Flinn is my recommended reading to you for 2019. (Photo by Laura Groch)
If you’re one of the millions who are resolving to change your eating/cooking/food-buying habits in the new year, have I got a recommendation for you. I have meant to write about this book forever, but I just keep rereading it and re-enjoying it for myself. (And procrastinating too, yes.)
But no more. My 2019 resolution is to share this book with you, so: “The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices Into Fearless Home Cooks,” by Kathleen Flinn (Penguin Books, 2011).
Here’s the premise. Flinn was in the supermarket one day when she saw a woman whose Continue reading
Fried rice is an easy way to use leftovers and a fun addition to the dinner repertoire. (Photo by Laura Groch)
Lots of folks made ham for Easter, others did a nice brisket for Passover. (We did a pork roast, make what you will of that, Facebook)
So: leftovers. (By now I hope yours are neatly packaged in your freezer, awaiting the call for meals like this.)
This Fried Rice recipe isn’t anything new or fancy, but it’s a fun change of pace and a Continue reading
Pumped-up piecrust awaits its custardy filling. No spills with a raised-edge crust. Photo by Laura Groch
Well, we’re coming close to crunch time for Thanksgiving cooks. You’ve probably already got your recipes in hand, but just in case you still need some ideas, here are some of my favorites:
First up, a sweet potato-and-apple dish that I actually enjoy: Find it here. Next, my Italian grandmother’s stuffing recipe, which you’ll find here. How to make hearty turkey soup from the leftovers here. Some hints for your pumpkin pie crust here.
And, in case you’d like to be reassured that even seasoned cooks can make kitchen Continue reading
Don’t fear the fierce-looking artichoke. Instead, learn to conquer and eat it. Here’s how. (Photo by Laura Groch)
It pains me to see food misused. I once nearly keeled over while watching a cooking-show host take some very fine lobsters, remove all the meat from the shells, then puree it, mix it with other stuff and pour it into a baking dish. Oh! what a terrible way to treat beautiful, succulent lobster meat!
Similarly, I was shocked to see on another show a vendor at an open-air market slicing all the leaves off an artichoke to reach the tender (and yes, delicious) heart. Oh! what a waste of tasty leaves!
But I can understand it — somewhat. You may be familiar with jarred artichoke hearts, Continue reading
Polenta With Arugula (topped with mushrooms I also had on hand) was a delicious solution to the problem of overabundance. (Photo by Laura Groch)
Can a Californian have too much arugula?
Well — maybe.
I’m a fan of this peppery little salad green, and one day at the supermarket I was seduced by the sight of a large plastic container of arugula — one pound — on sale — for $1.69.
I could not resist.
So I brought it home. And I started adding handfuls to my salads.
Almond Roca Bars or Toffee Bars are a sweet way to show the love. Photo by Laura Groch
December was a bit of an unsettled month for us. A death in the family meant our Christmas celebrations were low-key.
Homebaked cookies are my usual contribution to holiday cheer. But I didn’t bake for myself, or friends, or family. Missed the annual cookie exchange, too.
But we did have some very nice homemade cookies at the funeral reception, Continue reading