Hungry for Words in Seattle – July 18th-19th

retro food poster

I began teaching Hungry for Words in 2006, a curriculum focusing on food writing and the various aspects involved in the genres that make up this endlessly fascinating area of writing. My first weekend intensive was held at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle. Since then, I’ve taught elements of the coursework all over the place, working with national conferences (including the International Association of Culinary … [Read more...]

St. Germain Pitcher Cocktails

Refreshing lemonade with oranges and mint on wooden table.

Originally posted by Lisa Simpson, updated June 2015 Summer doesn’t officially start for another month, but in Seattle, after our long grey blahdeblah winters we’re so hungry for sunshine that when we see it, and it’s warmer than 60, we consider it close enough. Since our sunshine is so hard to find and unpredictable, I have drink fixins on standby in my pantry. Last year I was all about Lillet, that French … [Read more...]

Recipe: Salade Niçoise

Salade Nicoise

I first encountered  Salade Niçoise in a most embarrassing way -- by reading about it in a cheap romance novel the summer I turned 14. The scene was typically evocative of a dime store read. A beautiful protagonist perched at a table under a striped umbrella on an immaculate beach in Cannes waiting for a murky character. The server brought her a bracingly cold glass of chablis and Salade Niçoise. At this point, the … [Read more...]

Summer Berry Tart with Whole Wheat Crust

Summer Berry Tart

Someone asked me recently why I didn't study pâtisserie at Le Cordon Bleu. The honest reason? I'm not keen on most sweets and I don't like chocolate. (Yes, you read that correctly.) If there's a choice of dessert or a cheese plate, I always go for the fromage. When I started to review restaurants back in the 1990s, I routinely left a report on desserts out of my reviews. I was working then with Tom Sietsema, now the … [Read more...]

Shrimp with Tarragon on Wilted Greens

Tarragon Shrimp with Pasta finished web - Copy (2)

It started as this small thing, just a tiny container from a local nursery. Then, like something out of a 1950s horror film, by August last summer, my French tarragon grew into an embarrassment of riches on the patio of my Seattle home. On a chilly day in late autumn, I hacked most of it back and dried it to make my own fine herbs, that classic combination that's a mainstay in French cuisine. The traditional ingredients … [Read more...]

Grief and Gratitude, Under a Sky So Blue

angel in the sky

I stared at my closet and wondered. What do you wear to the funeral of your favorite cousin, more like a brother, really, but you hadn’t seen him in nearly 20 years? On top of it, what does a person pack to go home to a hometown about which you’ve penned a book yet had not been there to visit in just as long? This is where I found myself on April 30th, 2014, one year ago today. Richard “Richey” Fridline was one of … [Read more...]

Recipe: Coq au vin (chicken braised in wine)

Coq au vin_cookfearless

Go ahead. Impress people. Tell them you're making coq au vin. It's just chicken... braised in wine, thus making it fabulous. In its original French inception, the coq referred to a rooster, typically mean old birds who have worn out their welcome in the hen house. The tough nature of their meat required a long simmer time to soften, aided by the sugar in the wine which helps to break it down. Classic recipes include … [Read more...]

How to Reclaim Your Kitchen

Reclaim the Kitchen

Someone once confessed to me that they eat Tuna Helper while watching Gordon Ramsey. It's a humorous line about a serious issue. Cooking has evolved into something of a spectator sport. If you know me, then you know I want to help teach the world to cook and to give people the confidence to be fearless in their kitchens. I'm delighted to announce that I've partnered with Wolf in a new initiative they've launched called … [Read more...]

Hungry for Words Food Writing Boot Camp in Washington, D.C. March 21-22

pollitics and prose logo

I've partnered with acclaimed independent bookstore Politics & Prose and The Writer's Center in D.C. to offer my weekend-long introduction to food writing camp on March 21-22, 2015. Known as "Hungry for Words," this workshop covers a lot of ground in two jam-packed days. We start with a brief look into the history of food writing and its most noted contributors, then shift into a myriad of fast-paced discussion on … [Read more...]

Recipe: Easy Thai Curry

Easy Thai Curry_Kathleen_Flinn_20JAN2015_edited-1

Thai curry sounds exotic and complicated, but in truth it's a quick meal for which you can keep the bulk of ingredients in your pantry or freezer, plus it’s a great option for using up leftovers. If you can't find it in your supermarket, you can order a variety of curries online for under $12. Vary up the main protein and vegetables based on what’s in your fridge. The basic formula calls for one pound of a protein (tofu, … [Read more...]