'Tis the season to feel stressed out. At least, that's how too many people feel as December looms before us. Suddenly, there are too many gifts to buy, too many parties to plan and cook for, too many cookies to bake, too many errands to run, too much food to eat. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: too many pounds to gain.
Yes, the holiday ...Read more
Baseball ended just a few weeks ago, and I can't stop thinking about how the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years.
So why am I thinking about baseball as we approach the holiday season, with Thanksgiving almost here? The answer may be found in a term I love from ...Read more
We're entering the busiest entertaining time of the year, with holiday parties coming on in quick succession. And many home cooks are looking for an easy, all-purpose appetizer that feels extra-special and yet doesn't demand too much in terms of shopping for special ingredients, extra time in the kitchen or expert cooking skills.
I'd like to ...Read more
As we enter the heart of autumn and move happily toward Thanksgiving, one image that comes to mind, as it does for many lovers of fresh seasonal produce, is the cornucopia. That "horn of plenty," a large cone-shaped basket overflowing with an abundance of harvest goodness, seems to me to capture so much that is good about cooking ...Read more
It always interests me how just one special element can make the difference between a dish that's tastes just fine and one that people find amazing. It could be a seasoning -- the touch of honey that can brighten up a lemon vinaigrette, for example -- or maybe be a garnish (Imagine what a Caesar salad would be like without the garlicky crunch of...Read more
This Halloween, I expect I'll accompany my sons, Oliver and Alexander, to a party at the home of their school friends and maybe even to a few neighborhood houses to ring the doorbell and yell, "Trick or treat!" Lots of candy will be involved, of course, and maybe my boys will even indulge their papa's sweet tooth just a little bit...Read more
In October, many home cooks turn their thoughts toward the entertaining soon to come, from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Hanukkah to Christmas to New Year's. While such advance planning can be both fun and sensible, it also can have a serious drawback: It shortchanges opportunities for ...Read more
Of course, chips and dips are a must when you're watching weekend football on TV. A pot of homemade chili makes a great addition to the party. So do bratwursts or other favorite sausages. The list goes on and on of foods that are fun to eat while your eyes are on the action.
But nothing compares to chicken wings, which simply offer the perfect ...Read more
Fenton's DeathS. Elizabeth
Emm and Francine grew up with Fenton. He was their neighbor, best friend and big brother all in one. Fenton thought he loved both his friends equally but one day as a young man he realized he had to make a choice. But what would his choice do to the 3. And then...Fenton died. Fenton's Death ...
Autumn is a wonderful time for entertaining, especially with a brunch party. Cooler temperatures and shorter days seem to welcome lazy, late-morning gatherings that linger into the afternoon as you and your guests enjoy delicious, robust foods.
"But Wolfgang, brunches can be so fattening," people sometimes tell me, especially when I use words ...Read more
It always interests me to hear people talk about the latest food trends. While my team of chefs and I do keep our eyes, ears and mouths open for exciting new things, I also try to remember the truth to be found in the word "trend" itself. It comes from an old German word meaning "to turn or revolve," which reminds us that trends are cyclical. So...Read more
It seems to me sometimes that too many people treat recipes like scientific formulas to be followed precisely. But that isn't how I love to cook, or how I hope fans of my cookbooks or online cooking school will treat my recipes.
Great recipes are living things. Most of them can be changed in an instant, based on what's in season or good in the ...Read more
Sweet corn bridges the seasons like almost no other vegetable I know. Mention it to food lovers during summer, and they'll imagine ears of just-picked corn on the cob, simmered, steamed or grilled and served with butter, salt, pepper and other seasonings. In autumn, now just weeks away, thoughts of corn begin to turn toward either savory, creamy...Read more
Anyone who knows me, has eaten in my restaurants or reads my cookbooks probably knows how much I love vegetable soup. After all, I grew up in a small house with a big garden, the harvest from which helped my mother and grandmother feed our family of six every day. Often, that meant adding generous bowlfuls of freshly cut up vegetables into a big...Read more
Now is the time of summer when, everywhere you turn, it seems that fresh sun-ripened tomatoes are plentifully in sight. Farmers' market stands are piled high with them, from big beefsteak tomatoes to all sizes, shapes and colors of heirloom varieties to tiny cherry tomatoes. Home gardens, too, are filled with tomato plants supported by cages or ...Read more
Even people who love to cook may find themselves shying away from the stove in mid-August. When temperatures soar, and humidity isn't far behind, who wants to put up with the heat of the kitchen?
But you've still got to put dinner on the table most evenings. And I don't consider ready-to-serve, store-bought of fast foods an acceptable option.
Shakespeare penned the famous question that Ms. Capulet poses in "Romeo and Juliet." And that question often applies to food as much as it does to romance. Just like other lovers of good cooking, I've found in my travels across America and around the world that very similar dishes can go by very different names in different places.
Take the ...Read more