Holiday Recipes

The Great Firehouse Challenge: Packaged vs. Homemade Holiday Dinner Classics

For years, a relative of mine served boxed stuffing at her holiday gatherings, spiced up with cut-up pre-cooked turkey sausage. When I offered to make some homemade stuffing one year, she waved me … [Read More...]

Stocks & Soups

“Minestrone” Soup like My Mother’s

In my first book, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, this recipe was known as "Potage 'Minestrone' a la Ma Mere," since all the recipes had French names. This is neither French, nor strictly … [Read More...]

Cooking fundamentals

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 […]

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 Outfit a Kitchen on a Budget or 14 Things Every Kitchen Needs

People have been quite successful making a lot of food in the past centuries with little more than a pot, spoon, bowl, knife and cutting surface. I’ve put together a very general guide that I’ve used for events aimed at college students, and you’ll find the list below. A Good Chef’s Knife Don’t waste money […]

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 […]

Fish: Buying Basics

Story by Kathleen Flinn A couple years ago, I attended a screening event of the beautiful, fascinating and depressing documentary The End of the Line. The film illustrates the message and research found in the book of the same name written by British journalist Charles Clover. The tag line says it all: “Imagine a World Without Fish.” The End of […]

Vinaigrette Basics [video lesson]

Do you have so many bottles of vinaigrette in your fridge that when you open the door it sounds like wind chimes? Vinaigrette is one of the first things that any home cook should master for a couple of reasons. One, it’s expensive to buy and tends to be loaded with ingredients. I did a […]

How to Cut an Onion [video lesson]

My book club read The Sharper Your Knife and we all loved it. So I got a copy of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School and I was so inspired, I went ahead and got the chef’s knife from block set we received as a wedding gift 11 years ago sharpened for the first time! I’ve read through your description on […]