When sun-ripened tomato season is at its peak, I love to feature the juicy, savory, tart-sweet vegetable-fruits in so many dishes. Even in summer, however, you may want tomatoes to become an accent to a dish rather than its main attraction. Yes, every bite delivers the distilled essence of sunshine and warmth. But there will be times when you ...Read more
Once an esoteric pursuit embraced only by dedicated oenophiles, wine country travels in recent years have become the passion of millions of Americans drawn by the beauty and romance of vineyard lands and the people behind the wines they love.
"Where do you like to stay?" is second only to "what's your favorite wine?" when I am asked about my ...Read more
After water, tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world. Aside from pure enjoyment, drinking tea is linked with several health benefits. Here in America, 85 percent of that tea is iced; fortunately, the icy drink offers most of the same benefits as the ...Read more
It's back-to-school time, and that means lunches packed with tasty sandwiches. These grilled vegetable sandwiches are wonderful for a relaxed Labor Day picnic in your backyard, in a lunch box or for a weekend barbecue.
Things have changed since the basic tuna or chicken salad on whole wheat was considered an upscale lunch. Now ...Read more
This creamy, tangy Middle Eastern zucchini dip recipe, also known as Koosa Ma Laban, is best served with baked pita chips or crunchy vegetables.
Middle Eastern Zucchini Dip
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup low-fat or ...Read more
Oscar Wilde said, "I can resist everything but temptation." I think he had fresh figs in mind when he said that.
Consider this: Recently, at the farmers' market, I spotted close to a dozen people eating fresh figs as they shopped. That's because everything about fresh figs is ...Read more
I am not personally vegan, but I have a Thing (with a capital "T") for ice cream made with coconut milk. I think it's so dreamy and makes such a perfect base for fresh fruit or chocolate and nuts. So, in short, it's great with everything.
The only thing to know about coconut milk-based ice ...Read more
I teach cooking classes at a culinary mecca, but for every amazing product we sell, there are 10 more useless gadgets that aren't worth their space on the shelf. And while I ignore most gimmicky tools that come across my cutting board, every now and then I give in to curiosity -- like the ...Read more
In the Arms of SteeleK.L. Burrell
Chloe wanted a change. Growing up in the Midwest, she always dreamed of living near the ocean. She had many dreams that she wanted to fulfill. She never dreamed of the many things that would happen to her once she moved to West Palm Beach. Seeking to become a business manager, and possibly ...
The Party Report
I think you all know we had a big party here at Plan Z HQ. It was a Saturday night blow out. For those of you who could not make it, or would just like the live vicariously, I’m going to lay out a few of the highlights of how it all came together and how it went during the night...
A colorful salad featuring deliciously moist, flavorful chicken is a cool treat for a warm August evening. The secret to this dish is poaching the chicken and letting it cool slightly in the poaching liquid. The meat remains moist and firm.
This dinner is served on a large platter with the lettuce leaves as a bed for the chicken and the black ...Read more
Some people think of pulp fiction for summer reading. I love to browse cookbooks that transport me to another land and its cooking, cookbooks that tell a story and are not simply recipe compilations.
My guilty pleasure this month is Maureen Abood's "Rose Water & Orange Blossoms," which not only explores Lebanese cooking, a rich cuisine with ...Read more
Kozy Shack, the Arden Hills, Minn., maker of rice pudding (and tapioca pudding and chocolate pudding), steps up the price point with a set of four Indulgent Recipe puddings, each carrying the description "decadent dessert pudding." (That tagline helps to distinguish these offerings from main-course and appetizer puddings.)
Mr. Tidbit ...Read more
Americans love to visit Italy, especially Tuscany, and one of the reasons is the grape called sangiovese. Best known when made into the red wine called Chianti, it is called "the defining grape of Italy." It has been both the region's boon and its bane.
Infinitely malleable, it is so familiar to centuries of Italian growers that they have given...Read more
Temperatures rise in summer. Let the temp climb for just a few minutes in your kitchen, too, when it comes to preparing summer fruit, and you are in for an unrivaled treat.
"Preparing" warm weather fruit? Aren't they juicy and perfect just chilled and by the handful? No doubt about that. On the outdoor grill, too. When you heat that way, you ...Read more
I was shocked recently to hear that 30 to 40 percent of America's food supply is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds (9 kilograms) of food per person per month. A significant portion of that waste consists of farm-grown produce judged not attractive enough (not sufficiently regular in shape or blemish-free) to be sold in supermarkets.
Of ...Read more
The folklore: Basil is the common name for the culinary herb Ocimum basilicum, which is a member of the mint family. Thought to originate from Africa, the herb was domesticated in India, and then introduced to America in the 17th century by way of the English. The name...Read more
A buckle is one of those early American country desserts (similar to a pandowdy, grunt or cobbler) that combines fruit with biscuits or cake. The source for this recipe idea is Florida chef Clair Epting, who prepared a blood peach raspberry buckle for dessert one evening at the Cakebread Cellars winery in Napa Valley. This buckle combines juicy ...Read more
This is a healthier version of a traditional cobbler, with canola oil in place of some of the butter and whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Unlike more classic, biscuit-topped cobblers, the peaches and blueberries are nestled into a tender batter that swells around the fruit as it bakes. It's especially beautiful when baked in and ...Read more
My sister has been making zucchini bread for as long as I can remember, and it has always been a favorite quick bread, especially in the summer. The pineapple adds flavor and is a nice alternative to raisins. I like to serve it sandwiched together with cream cheese and thinly ...Read more
A chance dinner with friends has brought this meal firmly into my weeknight rotation. We had just finished moving all our earthly belongings to a new house, and our friends (now our neighbors!) took pity on us: "It's just turkey spaghetti, but you should come over for dinner."
We did, and ...Read more