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How to cook perfect, tender asparagus: one of spring's most delightful simple pleasures

Entertainment / Entertaining /

If you've never had properly cooked asparagus, you're missing out on something wonderful indeed.

So many professional kitchens send spears to the table undercooked that if you're accustomed to eating asparagus in restaurants, it's entirely possible you've never experienced how luscious it can be.

Undercooked asparagus, crunchy and forbidding, ...Read more

Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

This Mother's Day, take Mom on a picnic

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Usually this time of year, kids both young and young at heart are racking their brains to come up with the best way to surprise their mom on her special day.

Is love best expressed with flowers or a box of chocolate? Is it done with brunch reservations at a chichi restaurant? Or should it be her day off from all the mothering duties.

For those...Read more

Arthi Subramaniam/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Give Mom a colorful bouquet, make it edible

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Forget the roses, tulips, hydrangeas and daisies. Instead surprise Mom with a different kind of a bouquet — the kind she can feast on with her eyes and palate.

Present her a colorful and dramatic flat pack vegetable bouquet.

We are not talking about ordering a DIY vegetable kit from one of the many online companies that can cost a bundle or ...Read more

Gretchen's table: Crepe cake with raspberry cream

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Mother’s Day calls for at least one sweet treat, right?

One of my favorite brunch dishes is crepes, which feel fancier than regular pancakes and take a lot less time, because you can make the batter a day ahead of time. They’re so easy to make after you get the pan the right temperature, and they don’t need much more than a dusting of ...Read more

Dave Lobeck/TNS

BBQ My Way: Smoked chicken jalapeño popper

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Sometimes a smoked dish can be a bit of an undertaking. So naturally, finding a smoked dish that doesn’t take a ton of time is a real find, especially if you want to cook a family meal during the week. And thankfully, Liz came up with something that is a real winner. In fact, I’m having it for lunch today as well.

I am calling it Liz’s ...Read more

Abel Uribe/TNS

Celebrate Easter with corzetti, the personalized pasta born in Genoa

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Carry your Easter celebration back to medieval times with corzetti. This hand-rolled, embossed pasta, named after a Genoese coin, the corzetto, for its distinctive shape, has graced tables set for holiday celebrations in Italy’s northeastern region of Liguria since at least the 14th century.

The mariner republic of Genoa has long been known ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

BBQ My Way: An update on the pellet grill smoker journey

Entertainment / Entertaining /

For those of you who are regular readers of this column, you know that last year I began looking at embarking on a different direction in terms of my outdoor cooking, smoking and grilling set up.

I have historically been a traditionalist, with a Weber kettle grill and a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker. They have been fantastic, but I was ...Read more

Nate Guidry/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Trust in the tried-and-true back-of-the-box recipes for Easter

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Recipes from the back of boxes, packages or cans are godsent for an Easter dinner and can tug at your heartstrings in any year, but especially this one.

They are minimalists, featuring easy-to-find ingredients and simple-to-follow directions. And that is exactly what is needed during these gloom-and-doom days brought upon by the COVID-19, which...Read more

Susan Selasky/TNS

Leftover eggs? No problem, make egg salad with them

Entertainment / Entertaining /

QUESTION: What's the best use of leftover hard-cooked eggs?

ANSWER: The egg hunts are over and you've got a mess of hard-cooked eggs on hand. What's a cook to do? Why, of course, make egg salad.

After hard-cooking some eggs for a story on dying Easter eggs using whipped cream, I was in the same boat with leftover eggs. And so, I made egg ...Read more

Hillary Levin/TNS

Easter dishes that are easy and elegant updates

Entertainment / Entertaining /

What to cook for Easter? I wondered.

"Why not make rabbit legs?" said my wife. And that's why I married her.

Still, instead of contributing to bunnicide, I decided to go the traditional route: lamb. It is a springtime dish and, with its themes of death and rebirth, Easter is indisputably a holiday of the spring.

Besides, Jesus has ...Read more