Chinese New Year: Star Anise Chicken

Chinese New Year is like Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Easter rolled into one glorious celebration. The Chinese use a lunar calendar, and the holiday always coincides with the second new moon after the winter solstice. This year, the celebration begins on February 5th and ends on February 19th.  According to Chinese legend, the holiday... Read more »

The Grain That Isn't a Grain

My inbox is crammed with information touting grains I couldn’t -until recently-pronounce or spell, let alone cook. The more I read, the more I’m convinced that given the available nutritional information, these “superfoods” shouldn’t be ignored. So listen up, and think “quinoa.” Quinoa is a good place to start, in part because it’s fast becoming... Read more »

Asian Wraps

A cold winter night is a good time to browse the cookbooks languishing on your book shelves, the ones that might provide an antidote for the long nights and freezing temperatures that define winter in the Midwest. Nothing, after all, warms a house better than a kitchen perfumed with the scent of bread baking in... Read more »
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Two New and Interesting Cookbooks

I have one sibling, and he has Type 2 diabetes, as do severable of my cousins. Some of my closest  friends also have Type 2 diabetes, enough to make the menu for most  gatherings a challenge. My situation isn’t unusual. Rates for Americans suffering from diabetes are rising, and so are the number of Americans... Read more »

Forget the Latkes

Forget the latkes. Deep- six the jelly-filled doughnuts (soofganiyot). It’s Hanukkah, and I’m serving cheese. Jews were celebrating Hanukkah long before the first potato was shipped from the New World to the Old, probably in the first half of the sixteenth century. As it turns out, potatoes weren’t an overnight success. Only when famine threatened... Read more »

Blame the Ravioli

Maybe it was the roasted pear ravioli at Phil Stefani’s Tuscany restaurants that first grabbed my attention. The fruit was mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg and Parmigiano cheese for the filling and walnuts, cream, mascarpone and sun-dried tomatoes for the sauce. Or maybe it was a luscious Comice pear eaten when it was perfectly ripe. Whatever... Read more »

Boiled Cider Jelly: Something Special

Boiled Cider “Let me send you a sample,” Tina Woods said when I first talked to her a few decades ago. I was writing an article about New England’s gourmet food industry for a trade publication, and I’d somehow stumbled on Wood’s Cider Mill in Springfield, Vermont, a small, family run business specializing in boiled... Read more »

No Stress Turkey

Cooking the Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t have to be stressful. Back before I knew there was more than one way to cook a turkey, I pre-heated the oven to 325-degrees F., put a rack in my largest roasting pan, positioned the turkey on the rack, tented the turkey with foil, and then popped it-unstuffed- into the... Read more »

I Don't Like Pumpkin Pie

I don’t like pumpkin pie. Let me clarify that. I don’t like the traditional pumpkin pie, the one that looks like a relative of flan but isn’t. And I suspect I’m not alone. If I were, pumpkin pie would show up year ‘round, like apple pie, or lemon meringue, or blueberry. It doesn’t. Even so,... Read more »

It's Fall, Think Apples

It’s Fall, Think Apples  Had Eve offered Adam a bland supermarket apple, he might not have been tempted. Picked too soon and stored too long, these apples bear little resemblance to either their tree- ripened cousins or the heirlooms grown by specialty producers. Apple growers define an heirloom-or antique- apple as a variety that was... Read more »