Making Food Healthier

The stories about unhealthy amounts of pesticides found on the fruit and vegetables we eat on a daily basis are scary. Berries, one of my favorites, and kale, one of my least favorites, are among the dirtiest on the list dubbed the “Dirty Dozen.” Just as buying organic produce is an obvious first step for... Read more »

Coffee and Ice Cream

Steeped Coffee In our hurry-up world, convenience is a major plus. So is quality. Steeped Coffee delivers both, along with the added plus of guilt-free packaging.  Developed by entrepreneur and coffee lover Josh Wilbur, the Steeped Coffee system begins with ethically sourced coffee that’s roasted in small batches. The freshly roasted coffee is then nitro-sealed... Read more »

Diabetes Cookbooks Everyone Will Like

Cookbooks for diabetics are a growth industry.  The reason is simple: the number of diabetics is increasing rapidly, and diet is central to the treatment of the disease. A cookbook that offers a detailed analysis of each dish makes it much easier for a diabetic to eat a healthy diet. Two new cookbooks-“Diabetes Superfoods Cookbook... 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 »

A Long Time Favorite

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to revisit my favorite recipe for Irish Soda Bread. Like all of the other Irish breads I’ve made, it’s leavened with baking soda and buttermilk rather than yeast. Yeast-raised breads typically require both kneading and time to rise. Soda breads, on the other hand, can... 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 »

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 »