I must confess: I turn a blind eye to most wine-related press releases unless they contain news of a sale or a death. There are exceptions, such as this week's dispatch from Washington State Wine Commission, a trade organization that represents most, if not all, of the wineries in Washington.
The pitch was the launch of an advertising ...Read more
The golden-orange apricot is among the first fruits to announce summer has arrived.
Farmers' market stands are aglow with these petite, plump orbs, soft and gently sweet. This seasonal favorite originated in China about 4,000 years ago, but apricots are famously associated with Armenia (the scientific name is Prunus armeniaca). ...Read more
As the heat continues to be oppressive, I look for dishes that require little or no cooking and are easy to prepare. Tapas, those little bites you can find at bars all over Spain, come to mind.
Pan con tomate is summer in a bite. For these tomato toasts, you'll need good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, chewy bread, a couple of ripe beefsteak ...Read more
Creamy tzatziki and crisp sliced cucumber add a refreshing twist to this easy Greek-inspired burger recipe loaded with feta, spinach and Mediterranean spices. No tzatziki? No problem! Make your own at home by combining plain Greek yogurt with a squeeze of lemon, dill and finely chopped cucumber.
Greek Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Feta & ...Read more
The icebox cake is a no-bake confection that needs literally no cooking or baking, and yet it yields what you would swear are slices of tender cake layers, filled with airy whipped cream and fresh summer fruit. I learned icebox cakes from my mother and grandmother, who both made them ...Read more
What About My Beer?
When people embark on Plan Z we tell them that while they are in the ZReduction phase of Plan Z that it’s a good idea to not drink alcohol. We learned from those who experimented with wine, beer or cocktails that they lost about 60 percent less weight when they drank. Most people would say that’s just not worth ...Read more
Cajun cooking is a combination of French and Southern cuisine. This easy recipe for Cajun Shrimp uses prepared Cajun spice seasoning and beer to flavor the shrimp.
Although Cajun and Creole cooking differ in many respects, rice is an important staple in both. Red beans and rice is a basic Creole dish that completes this meal.
Serve with a ...Read more
Bursting with colorful fresh produce, if summer isn't the time to visit Farmers' Markets, when is? Unfortunately, it might be almost never if you are a busy person, whose schedule is already on overload. While it might be wonderful to have the time to utilize seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables from a farmers' market, your local supermarket ...Read more
LOS ANGELES -- Hummus is definitely having a moment. It seems you can't scroll through a menu without at least one offering. And with all of the varieties available -- I've seen variations flavored with everything from edamame to chipotle, roasted butternut squash to English pea with watercress -- it's become the muse of many a chef.
You might ...Read more
When Von Diaz talks about her new book, "Coconuts & Collards: Recipes and Stories From Puerto Rico to the Deep South," she usually describes its genesis as a "Julie & Julia,"-style project in her tiny Brooklyn kitchen.
Diaz decided to cook her way through a copy of her grandmother's favorite cookbook, "Cocina Criolla." That volume, by Carmen ...Read more
You haven't forgotten about pesto, have you? This is a public service announcement.
I made pasta with pesto for guests recently, and they loved it. As in, could not stop talking about how good it was while they ate it as fast as they could and then asked for more. The happiness-to-effort ratio was approximately 1,000,000 to 1. I felt like I ...Read more
Shrimp are special.
Not, of course, if you look at them -- especially if they still have their heads. Then they're kind of gross. I know one woman who refuses to eat them because, as she puts it, they look like "insects of the sea."
Fine. More for the rest of us. And that's good, because shrimp are special.
I decided to celebrate everything ...Read more
For decades we got our peanut butter in our chocolate. We got green tea in our ice cream. There's Heinz's Mayochup -- mayonnaise and ketchup together in one bottle, which sounds odd until you realize it's the same byproduct that's coated your BK Whopper's bun since its inception in 1957.
Sonic even introduced a pickle-juice slushie this summer....Read more
For reasons I cannot begin to explain -- and I have given it considerable thought -- the word "barbecue" is impossible to pin down. It simply refuses to commit to one meaning. Or maybe it's that we refuse to assign one meaning to it, letting it run wild and stand in for different things depending on the word we put next to it. Going to "a" ...Read more
A co-worker who recently spent two weeks on the East Coast raved about the lobster rolls served at Spindler's in Provincetown, Mass.
It's no wonder the lobster roll was good. The restaurant's menu development was overseen by James Beard award-winning chef Barbara Lynch, who is the chef-owner of Boston-based Barbara Lynch Grupp, according to www...Read more
"Ticklemore, peas and lovage." The message, dispatched from a London hotel suite, made me blush. It sounded sweet and naughty and terribly British.
My world traveler, once home, insisted I had to try it. Cautious and curious, I acquiesced. He dropped his plans, dashed out the door and returned with a paper-wrapped packet of goat cheese. Imagine...Read more
The beer: Deep Space, Half Acre Beer Co. (Chicago)
What it is: A seasonal double IPA from Half Acre that's among my very favorite beers made in Chicago. Deep Space is a gloriously fruity-bitter-boozy hop bomb that's impossibly easy to drink. It's the rare Half Acre IPA featuring darker malt in the mash, which leads to a sweeter, bready ...Read more
If you asked many food lovers to sum up August in two words, I would bet that right near the top of the list of responses you'd find "tomatoes" and "grilling."
We're now at the peak of tomato season. Home gardens and farmers' markets stalls are bringing us a special delight with their wide assortment of heirloom tomatoes -- old-fashioned ...Read more
The waiter approached and pointed at the empty wine glass, as if to ask if I would like another. "Yes, I would," I said, "but, no, I won't." We both laughed. It was a workday, and I was about to return to the office. If only they offered a half-glass of wine, I thought, before asking for the check.
Restaurants have upped their game on wine-by...Read more