Paperback goes on sale today!

It's official: the paperback of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School went on sale today. I'm pretty psyched about it being made available in paperback as this opens up the message of the book to a wider audience, plus more book clubs are likely to read it. I've had amazing feedback from the clubs that took the plunge and tackled it in hardcover. Rather than sit around and simply discuss plot or which characters they liked … [Read more...]

How to Cut an Onion [video lesson]

My book club read The Sharper Your Knife and we all loved it. So I got a copy of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School and I was so inspired, I went ahead and got the chef's knife from block set we received as a wedding gift 11 years ago sharpened for the first time! I've read through your description on how to cut an onion, but I think I'm doing something wrong. Do you have any photos of this process online … [Read more...]

New “Energy Star” style ratings for food?

As anyone familiar with my new book knows, I've developed a habit of following people at supermarkets, and sometimes I talk to them. (Someone on my book tour said this is known as "action research" by behavior scientists. I prefer it to "stalking.") A medical watchdog group is proposing the adoption of "Energy Star" style labels for foods to help battle the confusion caused by existing nutritional labels. I think this is … [Read more...]

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 half an onion, all the skins from the onions I’ve used in the past week, a garlic clove, a carrot and a celery stalk in an eight-quart … [Read more...]

Recipes: Deviled Eggs & Easy Thai Curry

Tofu is widely regarded with suspicion by those on low-income budgets as it can smack of sprout-loving vegans, but I think it’s often overlooked. It’s high in protein, low in fat, endlessly versatile and inexpensive, about $1.50 a pound, or 38 cents per four-ounce serving. What to do with it? Mike makes great Thai food, so I’ve never tried it. But inspired by the most recent issue of Fine Cooking, I wanted to see if Thai … [Read more...]

Two People, $12 Per Day For Food

So yesterday, Mike and I started our annual Hunger Action Week cooking strategy. As part of our agreement, we will eat $12 per day at home, the amount that couples receive on food assistance. Breakfast: Mike started the day by making bread using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day strategy. Homemade bread is one of the greatest money-saving strategies and the no-knead versions offer the chance to keep the dough in … [Read more...]

Hunger Action Week: Can you eat for $3 a day?

When people think about the "poor" or the "hungry," it's often a vague concept that leads to visions of hollow-cheeked Third World children.Here's a fact you may not know. About one in six people in the United States don't have enough to eat. The shifting economy prompted the largest percentage of Americans in history to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps). In February, … [Read more...]

The Gumbo Pages

In advance of Mardi Gras, I really would like to point everyone to one of the resources I've relied on for years: The Gumbo Pages. Run by Chuck Taggart, a native of New Orleans later transplanted to Los Angeles, who has hosted a couple of gumbo-themed television shows. I first wrote about The Gumbo Pages in late 1995, when I edited a magazine called Internet Underground. Yes, you read that right -- he's been at it since … [Read more...]