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
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
Bite into a peak-of-season, sun-ripened tomato picked at the moment when it's fully matured, yet still firm, and you'll experience one of the greatest pleasures summer has to offer. The juices might run down your chin as your mouth fills with a flavor that's the perfect balance of savory and sweet. At that moment, you'll understand the culinary ...Read more
I always look forward to the later weeks of summer, which are usually prime time for sun-ripened tomatoes. Farm stands, farmers' market stalls, supermarket produce sections, and home gardens alike are just bursting with juicy tomatoes that seem to capture the sweet warmth of the season in every bite.
There are so many ways to prepare and serve ...Read more
On some of summer's hottest days, dessert can run the risk of turning what should be a meal's crowning glory into the last straw. When the weather feels oppressive, who needs something overly filling as the final course?
Most of the time, we turn to the freezer for warm-weather desserts. Ice creams, sorbets and other frozen treats are proven ...Read more
Meat eaters face a special dilemma in summer. It's prime time for grilling, and for them the epitome of food cooked quickly over an open fire usually means a great steak, beautifully patterned and flavored with char marks and dripping with delicious juices.
But more and more, we're all being told to moderate our consumption of red meat for the ...Read more
We're closing in on the so-called dog days of summer: the hottest, most humid time of the year. (The term comes from the prominence in the sky of Sirius, the "Dog Star." But I think it's just as apt to think it describes days so hot even the most active dogs lie panting in the shade.)
One thing is for certain during the dog days: Many people ...Read more
Mention summertime desserts, and the first thing people usually think of is ice cream. You'd have to travel far and wide to find anyone who doesn't love a scoop or two of their favorite vanilla, chocolate, mint chip or cookies-and-cream, sitting on top of a cone or maybe in a dish topped with hot fudge and whipped cream.
Good ice cream is more ...Read more
A terrible tragedy devastates Jackson Fitzgerald's world: the murder of his wife brings him close to insanity. Accompanied by friends, he undertakes one last effort to reshape his life in a journey that brings him to Glendale Plantation.
But there he is tormented by memories and ...
The Fourth of July is, to me, the biggest grilling day of the year. At no other time, I imagine, do more people gather around the barbecue to enjoy their favorite open-air foods, whether burgers or hot dogs, chicken or steaks, slow-smoked ribs or other barbecued meats, lean seafood, or beautifully charred vegetables.
And with the...Read more
When it comes to Fourth of July cookouts, I've always found that dessert is the course offering the best opportunity to prepare something patriotic.
Yes, hot dogs and hamburgers are as all-American as you can get when it comes to main dishes. So are ribs, pulled pork and chicken slathered in barbecue sauce. Of course, so many ...Read more
Few things in this world today are predictable. It's still likely, though, that this coming Sunday, being Father's Day as well as the first day of summer, will find many dads manning (that's an appropriate choice of words!) the backyard grill, or being hosted at the homes of grown children who have fired up the barbecue. And ...Read more
I cannot tell a lie: I love cherry season! And even though the old story about young George Washington chopping down a tree may be more myth than fact, there is no way I personally could deny that - if a ladder weren't available - I might be tempted to use a hatchet to get to the sweetest, sun-ripened fruit.
Cherries are among of my favorite ...Read more
It seems to me like we've all been programmed to believe that, at this time of year, "the livin' is easy," in the words of the great Gershwin song "Summertime." Unfortunately, for busy families that can prove far from true.
Sure, two-career couples may take some time for summer vacation; but that doesn't make the pace of work any more leisurely...Read more
One of the most popular kitchen countertop appliances in recent years has been the electric hinged grill, also known as a contact grill. (Many people still fondly refer to it using the name of a widely known boxing champion who helped make these devices famous.) I have my own special version of the appliance, which always excites viewers ...Read more
The long, cold winter so many people experienced is beginning to recede into memory. And it's likely to be almost forgotten when the Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of grilling season and the start of summer vacation -- even though actual summer is still almost a month away.
One of the things many enthusiastic...Read more
In many parts of the country, we're just a few weeks away from school letting out for summer. The season itself less than six weeks away, and we're only a week and a half from Memorial Day weekend, which many people consider the unofficial start of summer. So it's not surprising that many parents (as well as people who may have no...Read more
My mother and grandmother were two of the most important influences in my life. Both of these strong, loving women always believed in me, and they were the first people who taught me how to cook.
Although they are gone now, I still think of them every day. Each Mother's Day, I make sure to pause and remember them. Of course, I ...Read more