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Amy Drew Thompson/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Light up your Fourth of July table with a red, white and blue cheesecake

Entertainment / Entertaining /

ORLANDO, Fla. -- I am a food writer first and a photographer second.

Actually, it’s probably more like a photographer forty-second.

But I’m trying.

Recipes like this one make it easier, though occasionally, I need help, and for this cheesecake’s close-up, that came in the form of my neighbor, Valerie, who occasionally dog sits but had ...Read more

Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Gretchen's table: A trio of potato salads for July 4

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Holiday get-togethers tend to draw lots of people, especially when they're held outside. That's why at a July 4 cookout you'll often find multiple side dishes alongside the burgers, hot dogs and barbecued chicken on the hosts' picnic table.

Whether you're preparing them yourself or a guest is the contributor, salads and other cold sides are an ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Recipe: Make a golden beet gazpacho to pair with chardonnay

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Looking for an aromatic and refreshing summer gazpacho that pairs well with wine? This is your recipe.

Found in the pages of “Gather: Casual Cooking from Wine Country Gardens” (Harry N. Abrams, $40) by Janet Fletcher, this recipe was developed at Beringer Vineyards in St. Helena, one of Napa Valley’s most popular wineries. The winery has ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Recipe: Make a deconstructed Meyer lemon curd tart with this parfait recipe

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Tired of traditional summer tarts? Try out this deconstructed lemon tart recipe – a Meyer lemon curd parfait with layers of crumbled crust and blueberries soaked in wine and sugar.

This recipe comes from the Clif Family Winery, where an organic edible farm provides produce for the winery’s food truck, Clif Family Bruschetteria. The recipe ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Recipe: Cedar plank salmon with roasted-tomato butter

Entertainment / Entertaining /

This recipe, which hails from Cakebread Cellars, is featured in “Gather: Casual Cooking from Wine Country Gardens” by Janet Fletcher.

The Napa-based food writer is known for her “Planet Cheese” newsletter, as well as her cookbooks highlighting wine, cheese and farm-to-table fare. This book highlights more than 60 recipes from 13 edible ...Read more

Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Let's grill homemade chili dogs, burgers and mushrooms this Memorial Day

Entertainment / Entertaining /

If there's one thing we can count on come Memorial Day, it's that most of us will spend at least part of the holiday weekend hunkered over a hot grill.

Summer means being outdoors, and most cooks can't wait to trade their ovens, air fryers and Instant Pots for the smoky, sizzling pleasure of cooking on a gas or charcoal grill.

Grilling has ...Read more

Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Salmon burgers and salad make a Father's Day feast

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Rightly or wrongly, men are expected to be meat lovers. So it tracks that on Father's Day, steak or burgers often end up the protein of choice on a celebratory menu.

It doesn't have to be so.

My dad always favored a good piece of fish, especially salmon, which is both low-calorie and full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. My husband is a ...Read more

Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times/TNS

How to get the perfect scoop of ice cream at home? You'll need the right tool

Entertainment / Entertaining /

My first job was waitressing at a family restaurant and ice cream shop. Among my duties was dishing out the ice cream cones, sundaes and banana splits ordered by the guests seated in my section. Most ordered ice cream for dessert after lunch or dinner. Some came in exclusively for ice cream. Suffice it to say, I became an ace ice cream scooper ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

4 Mother's Day brunch ideas to impress mom, from the adventurous to the classic

Entertainment / Entertaining /

You're excused if Mother's Day sneaked up on you and you have nothing planned. But don't panic: A quick trip to the grocery store — and the flower shop — and a little quality time in the kitchen will make it seem like you've spent weeks planning a brunch fit for royalty.

If your honoree is an adventurous eater, a Persian Mixed-Herb and Feta...Read more

Gretchen McKay/Gretchen McKay/Post-Gazette/TNS

Gretchen's table: Mom's cheesecake was her pride and our joy

Entertainment / Entertaining /

My mom wasn't a particularly touchy-feely person but I never doubted how much she loved me and my six siblings.

One way she showed it was through her desserts. While Ruth Trent hated to cook on a daily basis, she loved to bake. So holidays at the house when I was growing up were always flush with her famed chocolate chip cookies, cut-outs and ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Culinary instructor offers tips for making foil grilling packets for Memorial Day

Entertainment / Entertaining /

Memorial Day weekend, commemorating fallen military members, also marks the unofficial start to summer. The latter, culinarily, means one thing: It's time to get grilling.

You already know how to toss franks and burgers on the grill, but have you ever tried foil packet cooking? A favorite of Scout troops, these are tidy packages of meat and ...Read more