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Pop the cork, and take a moment to be present in life

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My weekly writing deadline happens to be the 15th anniversary of the day I became a freelance writer -- the day after I quit my perfectly good magazine job and went to work for myself. I told myself I would try freelancing for two years, and if it didn't work out, I'd find another full-time job somewhere.

My last day was a Friday in 2003, and ...Read more

Pulse Drinking: An outstanding Pinot Grigio from Rohco Blanchis

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Writing about wine is like pulling up to a stop sign on an Italian street corner. It's only a suggestion. There are many, many options on the shelves for Italian pinot grigio. Rohco Blanchis Pinot Grigio from Collio, Italy, made me stop dead in my tracks and smile. Nice tropical flavors and a hint of orange peel on the nose. This pinot grigio ...Read more

Environmental Nutrition: Can diet help you lower cortisol?

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Environmental Nutrition

Several blogs and websites claim that with the right diet, you can eat your stress away. So, is that true? Well, not exactly, although good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can reduce levels of cortisol, a steroid hormone that the body produces in response to stress. ...Read more

Seriously Simple: Korean barbecued beef will get your party started

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I recently threw a California Korean barbecue party, aka my version of what I have enjoyed at many Korean barbecue restaurants in Los Angeles. I think it is the perfect summer soiree, because it is a way for people to share a meal in a casual and relaxed environment.

The barbecue must be super-hot so that when the meat hits the heat it begins ...Read more

EatingWell: Confetti salad is a party in a bowl

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The herb-infused dressing in this healthy tuna salad recipe calls for equal parts Greek yogurt and low-fat mayo to keep it light. Lots of fresh veggies, including bell pepper, carrot, radishes and celery, also give boosts of flavor, color and nutrients. Serve on lettuce leaves, over a green salad or as an open-face sandwich on whole-grain toast....Read more

The Kitchn: The only way you can improve on Southern sweet tea

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Is there anything more Southern than sweet tea and bourbon? Well, what if you were to mix these two together to make the ultimate Southern sipper? Pretty ingenious, right?

We thought so, too, when we spotted it on the menu at Milkwood Restaurant in Louisville, Ky. Even better? It's made for...Read more

The Kitchn: Make a week's worth of protein-packed breakfast in 30 minutes

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Want to make your mornings a whole lot easier? Of course you do. Well, a batch of easy egg muffins is the answer. Loaded with savory breakfast sausage, earthy mushrooms and spinach, these make-ahead muffins are for people who love eggs and crave a satisfying breakfast that will get them ...Read more

Meet the sequined, Elvis-haired ringmaster who fights childhood hunger with quips and hard work

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LOS ANGELES -- He's an old-fashioned master of ceremonies, but for the food world, hosting charity dinners at some of the best restaurants in the country and doing events with a catalog of chefs that reads like its own Michelin Guide.

And though he presents himself like a Vegas showman, Harris is one of the faces, these days maybe the most ...Read more

Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold dies at 57

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LOS ANGELES--Jonathan Gold, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times restaurant critic who richly chronicled the city's vast culinary landscape and made its food understandable and approachable to legions of fans, has died. He was 57.

Gold died of pancreatic cancer at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles Saturday evening, according to ...Read more

Jonathan Gold didn't just elevate the art of restaurant criticism, he helped a fractured region understand itself

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LOS ANGELES--Few things truly connect our sprawling metropolis: the freeways, the Los Angeles Times and without a doubt, Jonathan Gold, who transcended the role of restaurant critic to become a modern-day ethnographer. His gift was his ability to explain the tribes of this place to each other by celebrating the things they cook and eat.

"Real ...Read more

Salads, soup, calabacitas and more great ideas for corn, now in season

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What's in season: A summer staple, mounds of corn are piling up at market stands, with a season that typically runs from the hot summer months through early fall. Fans of white and yellow varieties are welcome to debate which is sweeter and more flavorful, though there really isn't much of a difference between the two beyond personal preference....Read more

She won baking's biggest show, but you'd never know it … now she's turning lemons into lemon curd

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"The Great American Baking Show," our side of the pond's answer to the "The Great British Baking Show," is once again searching for the next great baking star. Thing is, the show has a star it has all but ignored: Vallery Lomas, winner of its most recent cycle.

In the third season that never was, "The Great American Baking Show" was canceled ...Read more

Daniel Neman: Why the 'British Baking Show' is great

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"The Great British Baking Show" is back on the air, and I am once more at peace.

The show is beloved by many, including me. But why is it so popular? What makes it so hopelessly addictive?

I think I have the answer, or rather, answers. But first, some information.

The shows that are currently running on PBS are far from current.

You may ...Read more

No mere gin and tonic: Spanish craze employs fruits and herbs to pause summer

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The gin-and-tonic craze in Spain is nothing new. For years, locals have used the drink to create a lovely pause in the day, and tourists have followed suit. The Spanish cocktail barely resembles the highball from the American corner bar, often made from cheap gin topped with syrupy tonic from the soda gun. In Spain, the gin tonic -- a truncated ...Read more

Starbucks took the dairy labels off its pitchers. Here's what to do if you have allergies

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Earlier this month, Starbucks removed labels off its milk pitchers, which means that the various milks and milk substitutes now pour into drinks from the same containers.

For most people, that's barely worth a shrug. To those with food allergies or who have loved ones with food allergies, it's an alarming moment.

A July 9 Facebook post from ...Read more

A bouquet of 16 rosés to pack for your summer picnic or enjoy during a summer storm

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Rose is an ideal way to beat the gray monotony of the world at certain times of the year (say, wintertime), but it is also great year-round, ushering in shining brightness as soon as you pop open a bottle.

There's not much more that needs to be said about rose, except that there's no better bottle of wine for a picnic than a pink one. Sure, ...Read more

Re-create Popsicle dreams with fresh strawberries — and powerful boost from freeze-dried version

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Beach days elude the astronaut. No need for bikini, flip-flops or sunscreen out there. The space professional does pack ice cream -- at least in the museum gift-shop version of the job. It's always a slab of Neapolitan -- pink, white and brown layers foil-wrapped and freeze-dried. One Styrofoam-crisp bite collapses into a mouthful of powder. ...Read more

Everything you need to know about steak and how to grill it

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Hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken are fine in their way, but when it comes time for grilling, only one meat is king: steak.

But steak can be intimidating. So we have compiled a primer about steak, the basic information you need to grill a steak to perfection.

David Marren, executive chef of the Ruth's Chris Steak House in Clayton, Mo., said ...Read more

Restaurant critic shows his face for the first time in nearly 30 years

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CHICAGO -- In perhaps the most anticlimactic Chicago moment since Geraldo Rivera pried open Al Capone's vault, I'm showing my face to the world for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Funny; I thought I'd be taller.

I've been the Tribune's restaurant critic since 1989, and ever since, I've gone to considerable lengths to hide my face from the ...Read more


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