Category: Cooking

Pumpkin Everywhere But in the Pie

Pumpkin Everywhere But In the Pie I don’t like pumpkin pie, at least the traditional version. Put mounds of whipped cream and a sprinkle of candied walnuts on it, and I still won’t like it. But oddly enough, I like virtually everything else made with pumpkin. So with Thanksgiving just around the proverbial corner, I’m... Read more »

The Turkey Tussle: A Preview

The Foreword A few years back, I wrote a blog about the annual turkey tussle, which translates as a “rough or vigorous struggle.” I posted it after Thanksgiving, with the idea that readers would remember it when they were cooking the turkey for the following Thanksgiving. I’m reversing the order this year, in the hope... Read more »

"Hero Dinners"

I was late, and there were only a few scattered seats left at Read It and Eat, a charming cookbook store in Lincoln Park. “Hero Dinners’” co-authors, Marge Perry and David Bonom, were already well into their first demo. The mood was casual, the audience relaxed, which- given that the book’s intent is to make... Read more »

The Return of the Dinner Party

A few years back, laid low by a never diagnosed malady, I watched a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’ marathon on the Food Chanel. The experience made me an HGTV junkie, a devotee who’s listened to hundreds of people yearning for a home or vacation spot offering “an open concept that’s great for entertaining.” I keep... Read more »


Chinese cookbooks often suggest using a technique called “velveting” prior to stir-frying delicate ingredients like shelled shrimp, fish fillets and chicken. When I was first starting to cook Chinese food, I bought a copy of Irene Kuo’s “The Key to Chinese Cooking” (Alfred A. Knopf, 1977), and the book quickly became my “go-to.”  So it... Read more »

What Do The Irish Eat on St. Patrick's Day?

If you go to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day expecting an over-the-top, Guinness-fueled celebration coupled with a dinner of corned beef and cabbage, you’re likely to be disappointed.  St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, died on March 17th, and the anniversary of his death typically includes Mass and a traditional Irish dinner, a category that-for 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 »

Cooking in Foil: Easy Prep, Easy Cleanup

For a home cook, nothing beats easy, unless it’s an even easier alternative. Here’s a good example. I love Asian food. But Asian recipes usually require a lot of prep time, and much of the cooking is hands-on. Buying veggies that are already trimmed and cut is a partial solution for the first problem, and... Read more »