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...]

“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 speaking, even minestrone. Instead, it served as a catch-all flexible soup recipe into which my mother could leverage the various leftovers from our dinner table. With five kids on a Michigan farm, my mother couldn't afford to … [Read more...]

Recipe: Carrot and rosemary soup

Call this a recipe of serendipity. I developed this recipe last year when writing the new book. I was working hard to use every single item in my refrigerator to avoid wasting food when I found myself staring at a two-pound bag of organic carrots. At the same time, Mike had trimmed the ancient rosemary bush that sometimes invades our driveway. I don't think I would have thought to pair the two things together, but I'm a … [Read more...]

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 Viking/Penguin Random House: "Even as they bemoan food prices, American consumers are generally unaware … [Read more...]