Breads and baking

Recipe: Mom’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

When I was seven, I dressed up as a cowgirl and traveled the neighborhood to hand out cookies to strangers. We'd just moved to a small bit of cul de sac away from the farm we'd lived on for more than … [Read More...]

Recipe: Popovers from ‘The Homemade Kitchen’

 I've long been fascinated by popovers and for this, I blame Dorothy Parker. For those unfamiliar, Dorothy was a fabulously wry writer who was among the founding members of "the vicious circle" … [Read More...]

Lighten up!

Provencal tomato spread

This recipe first appeared in The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. During the heat of summer, I make it at least once a week. t's also a crowd pleaser. People have purchased my first book based … [Read More...]

Recipe: Spicy shrimp in saffron tomato sauce

Next week, I’ll be joining a Holland America ship as my second gig as a guest chef for the cruise line. Long story, but another chef canceled and so we agreed to go relatively last minute. HAL … [Read More...]

Cooking fundamentals

Knife Skills – The Basics [video lesson]

I’ve interviewed dozens of home cooks and hands down (pun intended), the most valuable thing a home cook can do is to get a decent chef’s knife and learn how to use it. Below, you’ll find a quick video lesson. After that, you’ll find basics on buying and caring for a chef’s knife. A good […]

Spices & Herbs: A Quick Lesson

As this terrific video by Consumer Reports shows, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy spices. However, the key element is when spices get old. Ground herbs and spices are more exposed to air, and thus they lose their potency more quickly. Spices vs. Herbs First, its important to know the […]

How to Avoid Wasting Food

Comedian John Oliver took to task the issue of food waste on an episode of This Week Tonight. Seemingly overnight, it’s become a burning issue. Finally. I dedicated an entire chapter of my 2011 book, The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, to the issue of food waste. Here’s an excerpt from “Waste Not, Want Not,” courtesy […]

Cooking in Parchment (video lesson)

Cooking en papillote (French for “parchment”) is a wildly overlooked method of cooking in America. It’s an easy method for a quick weeknight dinner that’s also elegant enough for guests. The smell that escapes when the package is reason enough to try it. This works well for salmon and mild-flavored white fish such as snapper, cod and so […]

How to do a Comparative Tasting and Why You Should

Salt to taste. If you’ve ever read a recipe, you’ve probably seen that line. Though common, it’s also a common source of confusion for home cooks. “Whose taste?” some ask. The answer, your taste, often leads to more questioning: “What is my taste?” or “What if my taster’s no good?” Salt to taste just means salt […]