Featured Recipe

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Recipe: Salade Niçoise

I first encountered Salade Niçoise in a romance novel, when a beautiful protagonist perched at a table under a striped umbrella on an immaculate beach in Cannes waiting for a murky character. The … [Read More...]

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Moules à la Mariniére

Something big happened in my life recently. Taylor Shellfish Farms opened a store in my neighborhood. I'm a huge fan of, well, any shellfish to be honest. But mussels - moules in French - make me weak … [Read More...]

Food Books

A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove

Friday Reads: Women & Cookbooks

This week, I'm continuing to barrel through research on gin and dining habits of the 1700s. But my research on foods of this era led me to an interesting book that I started a couple of days ago, Eat … [Read More...]

bittman

Friday Reads: How to Cook Everything plus win tickets to Mark Bittman in Seattle

Here's the trouble with artichokes. No one knows what to do with them. Eggplants suffer a similar dilemma. When I've interviewed home cooks about why they end up relying on processed foods, it's not … [Read More...]

Cooking fundamentals

White ceramic mortar and pestle with rosemary

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 […]

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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 […]

Blueberry jam

Recipe: Blueberry Jam Like My Grandpa Charles’

“Who are you?” Mike asked me last week.  “What are you talking about?” I replied. He waved his hand over the counter and dozens of jars of canned jams, jellies and preserves. “Have you become your grandmother? You’re  canning like a maniac.” “No, I am not becoming my grandmother,” I sniffed indignantly. “You read the […]

Spices collection

A “Cheat Sheet” to Flavor Profiles

What makes something taste Italian or Cajun or Moroccan? Whether crafting vinaigrette, seasoning chicken, or developing a soup, understanding the flavors of ingredients that help to define various cuisines can be deeply useful. Every cuisine has its regional variations; Basque cuisine is vastly different from the classic dishes from Provence, but they’re both French. So […]