Archives for November 2012

Bread Stuffing with Apples, Bacon, and Caramelized Onions

Recipe by Diane Morgan, from The Thanksgiving Table Who can resist crisp bacon, sautéed apples, and the slightly blackened edges of caramelized onions? With the addition of savory herbs, this is the perfect combination for stuffing. Children, especially those (like mine!) who don’t like mushrooms, really gobble this up. This stuffing pairs deliciously with the Butter-Rubbed Roast Turkey with Apple Cider Glaze. Serves … [Read more...]

Amazon lists best food books of 2012

This week, Amazon announced the Best Books of 2012, including two separate categories for voracious food readers. At the top of the Cookbook category, we have Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust, Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen and Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet's Modernist Cuisine at Home. Then, over in Food Lit, titles include Bee Wilson's Consider the Fork and Bob Spitz's Julia Child bio … [Read more...]

Challenge: Real mashed potatoes vs. Instant

I can understand the lure of instant mashed potatoes. You want comfort, you want it now. According to, a Canadian scientist developed instant mashed back in 1962. Nutritionally speaking, instant mashed potatoes offer roughly the same vitamins and minerals as the real mashed potatoes with the exception of Vitamin C. To please palates, they tend to be higher in sodium, significantly higher than the amount of … [Read more...]

Firehouse Holiday Dinner Challenge: Gravy

At its heart, gravy is a sauce. Sauces flummox home cooks. I interviewed a woman at a supermarket who told me, "I've burned gravy, I've made greasy gravy, I've made lumpy gravy, I've made bland gravy. So, I add a packet of seasoning to my homemade gravy and it somehow works out."  Her reasons are why many cooks turn to packaged gravy, either in the form of a packet or in a jar.  Homemade gravy Homemade gravy is … [Read more...]

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 classic side dishes, cranberry relish is by the far the least challenging. If you can open a can, you can make it from scratch; it's a pour and stir operation.  Homemade Cranberry Relish My family recipe calls for adding in … [Read more...]

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 to the use of mass antibiotics as the culprit. Turkeys raised on smaller farms tend to get more humane treatment than those cranked out by the millions at factory farms.  A movement began more than a decade ago to save … [Read more...]

Fearless Approved Schools: The Cook’s Warehouse – Atlanta

The Cook’s Warehouse Fans of the store’s fancy cookware will be happy to know (if they don’t already) that Cook’s Warehouse offers recreational classes to help keep that cookware in good use. Beginners might start with Mastering Basic Techniques, where they’ll learn how to saute, roast and bake. Or perhaps the all-important Knife Skills 101. Other classes focus on baking, regional and international cuisines, seafood, … [Read more...]

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 food labels on the AttuneFoods web site. Seattle-based nutritionist Beve Kindblade generously provided all kinds of great information for the book. She recommends keeping things simple when analyzing labels. "I always tell … [Read more...]