On Approachable Jerk Chicken

Friends, I have never been to Jamaica. The closest tie I have to the country is that I've enjoyed a Red Stripe or two, and I am related to not one, but TWO people who honeymooned there. (Go figure.) My standards for proper jerk chicken are appropriately low. But I will tell you that there is something enchanting about that taste. What looks like a spice rack inventory, a dreadful mess of mis-matched flavors magically becomes something that hangs in your nose and makes you think you are somewhere exotic....more

On Fakers' Stroganoff

As much as I like to be a culinary purist, as much as I extol the virtues of making food from scratch and how spiritual the act of cooking can be, I'm pretty terrible when it comes to following recipes. The fact of the matter is that I don't let missing ingredients stop me from trying a recipe. I also substitute at will....more

On Herb and Cheese Biscuits

There is a bundle of parsley rotting in my crisper drawer. Yes, I know, I ought to be putting parsley on everything. Yes, I know, you can just whiz it up in a pesto and bake it into meatloaf. But I just wasn't inspired by it (read: forgot it was there) and now, I have to find some way to use it up. Particularly considering produce prices. I almost had a coronary at the store the other night when I saw a head of non-organic romaine lettuce for $2.99. Three dollars for romaine lettuce in lettuce season?...more

I'm all for avocados in applications other than guacamole (which freezes nicely, by the way). I ...more

On Crisper Drawer Frittatas

It's no secret that eggs are an inexpensive source of protein, and their magical nature allows them to be served in dozens of forms. It's also no secret that ambitious, hard-working folk like you and I sometimes buy more produce than we can go through in a week. (This isn't always our fault; green onions, for instance, are only sold in bunches. How many green onion dishes can you eat in a week?) And by now, it should be no secret that we all feel awful in so many ways about wasting food. Oh, the guilt!...more

On Fettuccine with Browned Butter and Pistachios

There's really nothing worse for a cooking-obsessed and high-strung person than being sick. We don't like to sit still. We don't care to rest and take fluids (unless they're alcoholic, of course). And we certainly don't take kindly to not being able to smell. If you can't smell, you can't taste. If you can't taste, how can you adjust seasoning? ...more

On Homemade Pizza

I live in a ridiculously hot place. The summers can see 115 degrees. During that heat you do not look at your oven. You do not talk about your oven. You do not touch your oven, even to re-set the clock after a power brownout lest you accidentally activate the heating element. But the urge for homemade pizza is strong year-round....more

Plus it beats the pants off of anything you can buy AND it give you a chance to cook with the ...more

On Quiche, my Go-To Breakfast for Company

Eggs are cheap. So cheap. So full of protein and satisfaction. And so impressive with so little effort. On harried weeknights, a crustless quiche is great for using up leftover veggies and the last few slices of lunchmeat. But for special occasions, I like to make a real quiche, with flaky pie crust and all. Occasions like Christmas, where the hustle and bustle of the morning, of guests with different waking schedules, of candy-filled stockings and coffee with too much Bailey's Irish Cream can mean a mid-morning meltdown....more

On Souffle Sunday, Savory Cheddar Edition

Let's be honest, food-themed days never hurt anybody. Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, French Fridays (a little alliteration ain't bad either). Since souffles are a grand technique that I haven't fully mastered, I've been working on Souffle Sundays. About a month ago (the "weekly" argument was perhaps flawed from the beginning) I made a chocolate souffle with a brandy butter sauce. The sauce was to die for. The souffle was okay. Not awesome. But okay. I didn't get my ingredients ready ahead of time and thought I could wing it, reading the recipe as I went. ...more

It wasn't at all food safety we were worried about. That hadn't even really occurred to me. All ...more

On Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Ah, squash. Your fall abundance brings more beauty than merely centerpiece fodder, and more culinary delight than the typical preparation of too much brown sugar and baked to mush. Vegetables don't have to be candied to be eaten. And they should never be served in Jello....more

This looks yummy!! Two of my favorite things!more