"Say it with chocolate" seems to be one of the most popular themes of Valentine's Day, and for very good reasons. Chocolate, so luscious and sweet, is one of the world's most popular flavors. Studies have shown that naturally occurring substances in chocolate actually make us feel better, happier and maybe even more romantic. And ...Read more
Last year, much of the Midwest and Eastern U.S. endured snowstorm after snowstorm. Right now, where I live in Southern California, we're in the grip of what meteorologists have been saying may be the biggest El Nino rain system ever.
Yes, winter can feel like a burden. But I like to think of it in much more optimistic terms: It's perfect soup ...Read more
As we near the end of January, memories of all that holiday entertaining have begun to fade and many people begin to think about throwing dinner parties again.
One thing I've noticed over the years about the way people entertain at home is that they mistakenly think they have to go all out, preparing labor-intensive, multi-step dishes to ...Read more
Just as New Year's resolutions often inspire us to eat more healthily and exercise more often, so does January see many of us trying to live more economically. And one of the smartest ways to save money is to enjoy more meals cooked at home.
Yet, it sometimes seems to me as if the home kitchen can feel like a foreign territory to...Read more
The new year always feels like it offers us an opportunity to celebrate new beginnings. That's why so many of us make resolutions at this time of year -- the most widespread of which, not surprisingly, revolve around a desire to eat more healthfully and shed some pounds.
Fortunately, all the beautiful produce you can find in your supermarket, ...Read more
One of my favorite ways to entertain is with an hors d'oeuvre party. So many other food lovers feel the same way. I would have a hard time finding anyone who doesn't love a celebration at which delicious bites of food are displayed on one or more buffet tables or passed around, to be enjoyed with wine, beer, cocktails, a homemade punch or even ...Read more
What's a party without crunchy, toasted nuts? Whether you're host or guest, you'll probably agree that nuts are perfect for parties. Plus, a dish of roasted nuts is great when you and your friends sit down to watch an upcoming sporting event, such as the New Year's Day bowl games or the Super Bowl, or for the spate of awards shows...Read more
You might think that, working as I do in the food world, the rush of festive meals coming at the end of the year would leave me feeling tired. But the opposite, in fact, is true.
For one thing, some of my restaurants are closed for the big holiday occasions, so I do get to feel like I have a little time off. Even more important is the simple ...Read more
When normal people suddenly attack and murder, their defense attorney hires Dr. Michael Rose, a former cop turned forensic psychiatrist and his associate, Karen Scott to represent them in court. The inexplicable events mystify these experienced professionals, and together they seek a rational...
"Try my special salad," said the hostess at a holiday party I was invited to in the mid-1970s during my early years in the United States. "It's called ambrosia."
Now, I don't want to disrespect anyone who likes ambrosia, and I know many people to this day have fond memories of that old-fashioned mixture of sweetened canned fruit, marshmallows, ...Read more
It often puzzles me the way people who love good food go wild during the holiday season and then, just days later, try to change their personalities and habits completely and become healthy eaters the moment they have made their New Year's resolutions.
In my life as a chef, I have gradually evolved a personal approach to cooking ...Read more
Time and time again, I hear home cooks saying something along the lines of, "I forgot all about my Thanksgiving dinner first course!" Fortunately, I have a perfect solution in the form of what may be my all-time favorite soups. One that guests in my restaurants ask for again and again: butternut squash soup. And once you've looked...Read more
Whenever I think of special occasions from my childhood, one of the dishes that always comes to mind is the palatschinken, literally "pancakes with filling" in the Austrian dialect, that my mother or grandmother made as a special dessert or even a breakfast dish for my sisters, brother and me. Of course, the time of year during which I ate my ...Read more
Wednesday, November 11, is Veterans Day in the United States; the holiday honors the men and women who have served in our nation's armed forces. It also marks the anniversary of the end of World War I, a date recognized in many countries around the world as a time to remember those who defend them.
Every ...Read more
Just as so many people consider the Labor Day weekend to be the official start of grilling season, I think of the first week of November as the start of baking season. Halloween is over, and the time has come to turn our thoughts to preparing all the cookies, pies, cakes and other baked goods that we'll serve and ...Read more
I didn't really know much about the American tradition of celebrating Halloween when I was growing up in Austria in the 1950s. Around the same time of year, we observed Seleenwoche (All Souls' Week). No candy was involved. Instead, the tradition was to leave out on a table in our home a lantern and bread and water to welcome ...Read more
Here we are in the middle of a sort of entertaining no man's land between Labor Day's end-of-summertime backyard barbecues and the holiday feasts soon to come. Sure we have Halloween coming up, but most of the parties people throw then seem to revolve around candies, cookies and punchbowls.
But I'm a firm believer ...Read more