Pantry & Supermarket Tips

cranberry fixings

Firehouse Challenge: Cranberry sauce

Growing up, I assumed that cranberries grew in the shape of a can. I am not alone.  When I was nine, my Aunt Judy made cranberry relish from whole berries and nothing was the same again. Of all the … [Read More...]

Fancy turkey

Challenge: Supermarket turkey vs. Organic Bird

A turkey may seem like a humble, if popular, bird but it's yielding increasing discussion in the food world. One study found that generic turkeys contained high levels of bacteria; researchers pointed … [Read More...]

Read a food label

How to Read a Nutritional Label

Andrew Wilder of the excellent site Eating Rules, developed a terrific .pdf that explains how to read a basic nutritional label that you can download for free. Also, see his excellent story on reading … [Read More...]

Thanksgiving Recipes

Gumbo with white rice

How to Make Gumbo Out of (Almost) Anything

By Kathleen Flinn For most people, the word "gumbo" traditionally inspires the image of the classic New Orleans version studded with spicy sausage and shrimp. But Chuck Taggart of the GumboPages … [Read More...]

Cranberry cocktail with lemon twist

14 Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers

“I think leftovers are one of the best things about Thanksgiving!” - Amy Sherman of Cooking with Amy.  This was the general consensus when I asked some food writer friends what they do with their … [Read More...]

Whole Homemade Thanksgiving Turkey

Fearless Thanksgiving Guide

We all know that holiday dinners should be a time to celebrate family, friends and food, but more often than not, it's a stressful holiday, with anxious hosts more worried about the turkey than about … [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 […]

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 […]

whole_chicken

Recipes & Fundamentals: Using a Whole Chicken

On Wednesday I bought a chicken on sale for 99 cents a pound, and cut it up, shaving off the breasts to reserve the back for stock. It left two hearty chicken breasts nearly 14 ounces each, or about eight servings in all. I cut up the back, roasted it to a dark brown, then added it with […]