Home & Leisure

Seasonal Store Flyers Can Help You Soar

Recipes / After-Work Gourmet /

Is your junk mail pile filled with seasonal store circulars? Before tossing them out perhaps you should circle back over and take a closer look. Recently, I found them to a treasure trove of culinary tips and products to turn my grilling season from good to great. I won't be so quick to confine them to the trash pile in the future.

Because ...Read more

Let Waiters Help Punch Up Your Meal Prep at Home

Recipes / After-Work Gourmet /

When eating out, you probably already ask your waiter for more water, coffee or napkins, but, if you direct that same inquisitiveness toward your meals, you just may find yourself with an inventory of easy new ideas.

Sometimes condiments or other dashes of flavor you love but don't recognize when eating a restaurant meal may be the key to ...Read more

Marketplaces Can Multiply Your Menus

Recipes / After-Work Gourmet /

Where can you eat one of the best vegetable dishes you probably ever tasted surprisingly at the most acclaimed meat purveyor you have ever visited that is among an array of beautiful "bests" you will have munched on within steps of each other in an hour? I recently did it at Los Angeles' Grand Central Market, a downtown fixture since 1917, and...Read more

Superfoods Can Supercharge Your Recipes

Recipes / After-Work Gourmet /

During the low-fat and low-carb diet trends, the way to make more of your recipes was often to make less. Cutting out ingredients was recommended, as well as trimming portions. Instead of deflating your dishes, though, superfoods can supercharge them. In addition to improving the nutrition profile of the meal, flavor can go way up as well.

...Read more

Any Way You Choose, Ginger is a Good Way to Go

Recipes / After-Work Gourmet /

Sometimes, even when you eat "healthy" food, it depends just how healthy you want to get. It also may depend on what products you have available or how much time or money you have to spend.

Ginger is a great example. The gold standard is fresh ginger and it's also the most expensive, especially if you choose organic in your supermarket as ...Read more

Families that Cook with Sticks Just May Stick Together

Recipes / After-Work Gourmet /

Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar may have slayed vampires on her hit television series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," but now she's busy in the kitchen slaying foods her kids fear. Asparagus? No problem, she turns the cooked spears into mock French fries with a dipping sauce. Your child doesn't like antioxidant-rich super fruits? Fine, turn them ...Read more

Invite Seasonal Scents to Your Spring Table

Recipes / After-Work Gourmet /

Spring is like a breath of fresh air. If you are a savvy entertainer, you can easily and economically multiply those seasonal scents many times over by inviting them to your spring table. Individual centerpieces and place settings are simple standouts.

I saw a sunny example recently that dazzled visually and scent-wise while costing nothing ...Read more

Give Yourself a Shot of Good Nutrition

Recipes / After-Work Gourmet /

Even if you don't drink alcohol, perhaps you should add a few shot glasses to your cupboards. Those who drink shots at bars know the boosts involved. I prefer my shots, though, in the form of juices, herbs and other nutritional powerhouses.

Many fresh juice bars and coffeehouses appropriated the term in the last decade, offering shots of ...Read more

Valerie's Home Cooking Is the Real Thing

Recipes / After-Work Gourmet /

I enjoy spending time in the kitchen with Valerie Bertinelli. As she cooks up a casual get-together every week on "Valerie's Home Cooking," her Food Network series, that's exactly what I feel like I am there for as I've watched every episode during the two seasons. Viewers are given the impression they are on a stool at her kitchen island, ...Read more

Let Seasoning Blends Beautify Your Meals

Recipes / After-Work Gourmet /

I used to think seasoning blends were for amateurs, like the cheat sheets of the spice world. After all, wouldn't gourmets do their own spice selections, measurements and blending? I am glad I did follow that philosophy for years because now that I've been relying on the blends in my spice rack I realize just how convenient, tasty and ...Read more

A Tortilla Chip Tasting and Beverage Pairing Might Just Perk Up Your Weekend

Recipes / After-Work Gourmet /

The tortilla chip aisle of the supermarket has never been more crowded. Whether it's using my favorite cheddar tortilla chips with flax seeds and quinoa, to a combination including black, green and Kalamata olives, to chili-lime, to roasted jalapeno, it might just be time for a tortilla chip tasting. Pair four varieties of chips with your ...Read more


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