Recipe: Salmon cakes with avocado basil cream

If you live in Seattle, it’s nearly required by state law to eat wild salmon during the summer. Lately, I’ve been grilling more than we need in order to use the leftovers for these fragrant salmon cakes that I developed last year when faced with a pile of leftover salmon after a rained-out BBQ.  They’re simple to make and freeze well, and offer a healthy alternative to fish sticks. They’re easily dressed up by a simple … [Read more...]

Soup 101: The Basics of Simple Soup

Simple soups are an inexpensive, low-fat meal solution. They can be a kid-friendly source of vegetables plus a great way to use leftovers. Soup has become a trendy diet alternative to juicing. To make a good soup, you just need adequate time and salt; try to avoid skimping on either. Consider vegetables and flavors that taste good together. Potential vegetables for soup include asparagus, broccoli, peas, beans, potatoes, … [Read more...]

Shelf Life: 15 Food Books of 2015

For years, I've been threatening to start a podcast. In October, I attended an inspiring weekend hosted by Feet in Two Worlds and promptly went and bought a Zoom H5, a mic and started contacting food writers I admired to come sit in my kitchen and chat. I'm launching the podcast in January, but I decided I couldn't wait to share the books crafted by some of the lovely folks who I've talked to already for the audio show, … [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" of writers who made up The Algonquin Roundtable in New York. Starting in 1919, the group of thirty newspaper and magazine writers met almost daily for lunch over the course of about ten years to share gossip, jokes and … [Read more...]

Fearless Thanksgiving: Turkey FAQ

That's me, age four, stuffing a turkey. I've been doing this holiday dinner thing a long time. So much information exists on the humble turkey, a curiously popular bird. Here are simple answers to common questions from reliable sources. [Updated November 2015] Q. Why do we eat turkey on holidays, anyway? A. Great question. As this terrific column in Slate explains, back in the day when people grew their own meats, … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving: 27 Great Tips from Food Writers

                    Holiday meals can cause even confident cooks anxiety. I asked some of my food writer friends for their best advice. - Kathleen. General Planning Tips 1. Make Lists "Make lots of lists," advises Diane Morgan, the author of The New Thanksgiving Table and The Thanksgiving Table. "Make a grocery list and divide it among the different stores … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving: Best Guides Online

I had to stop into my local supermarket yesterday to pick up two bottles of Prosecco -- and a pack of new kitchen sponges as that's the kind of thrilling dichotomy that rules my life. Then I saw it: the huge bin of frozen turkeys. It's that time of year again. A select few know about my slightly disturbing fascination with supermarkets. What's in food stores and what people choose to purchase intrigues me endlessly. So I … [Read more...]

How to Build a Holiday Dinner Menu

Ah, that annual stressful event known as holiday dinner planning. If you're a novice cook, it can seem deeply conflicted. But then, remember the math. Most classic holiday dinner menus include a main dish,  gravy or sauce, potatoes, two to three vegetables, some bread, plus dessert. If you're opting for a roast turkey - a favorite for both Thanksgiving and Christmas in the U.S. and Christmas in other countries - then you … [Read more...]