With Saint Patrick's Day falling on a Saturday this year, the annual celebrations honoring Ireland's patron saint are likely to be livelier than usual, as people of all nationalities and all walks of life have the opportunity to feel Irish for at least a day. In restaurants and at home parties, there will be plenty of Irish stew, corned beef and...Read more
"Spring ahead! Fall back!" That's the simple memory device we've all been taught to remember which way to reset our clocks when daylight saving time begins (on the second Sunday in March) or ends (on the first Sunday in November). The practice aims to give people an extra hour of sunlight after their working days during springtime and summer.
Nowadays, pizza is more than just an Italian specialty. You'll find people enjoying it wherever you travel around the world, from America to England to Japan to Qatar and beyond.
I'm happy to have played some part in spreading that popularity, since I first began giving pizzas a new contemporary California spin at the first location of Spago I ...Read more
I love it when two unrelated holidays just happen to fall close to each other. It more than doubles the fun -- and the possibilities for cooking enjoyable food to celebrate.
And that's what's happening right now. This year, the Chinese New Year -- a holiday that, based on a lunar calendar, can fall any time between Jan. 21...Read more
It's always a challenge when Valentine's Day falls in the middle of the work week. If you have a job or other demanding activities but want to cook for your Valentine, as many people wish to do, how do you prepare something special after what will probably be a busy day?
The simple answer is to do some planning, and at least a ...Read more
If you have read any of my cookbooks, or eaten in my restaurants, you may have noticed that I have a certain fondness for dried fruit. You'll find them in my desserts, of course. But you'll also find them turning up in many savory dishes, from stews braises, and sautes to appetizers and side dishes, to salads and soups.
Some of those guest ...Read more
In the middle of winter, summer can seem like a very long time away. As you read this, you're probably hearing of record snowfall somewhere, possibly right where you live.
It's only natural for many home cooks to want to combat the chilly surroundings by cooking foods that are robust and warming, including thick soups, slow-simmered braises and...Read more
So many people think of sourdough as an all-American -- or at least North American -- phenomenon. Credit that to the fact that sourdough starters (wild yeast cultures regularly fed and nurtured to keep available for leavening bread) were mainstays not only of pioneering life but also among the miners who made sourdough the reliable daily bread ...Read more
It seems to me that people who love to cook at home often have two separate styles of recipes that they rely on. First come the everyday dishes that they make week after week for their family and any close friends who might drop by -- simple, straightforward, delicious food they can cook quickly and easily with minimal fuss. And then there are ...Read more
We all know that there are four astronomical seasons in the year: spring, summer, autumn and winter. But, in our daily lives, we divide up the year into so many more seasons: the holidays just past, New Year's resolutions have just begun; it's back-to-school season, tax season, vacation season, and on and on. And many of those ...Read more
When Christmas celebrations are over and New Year's Eve is just days away, we all face an important challenge that only gets bigger and bigger by the moment: Deciding on our New Year's resolutions. As important as those promises to ourselves may be, however, there is no real mystery over what we'll resolve. In fact,...Read more
At no time of year do children want to help out in the kitchen more than during the holidays. It's easy to understand why.
The aromas are tantalizing. The parade of foods is beautiful and delicious. Plus, school is out and the weather is colder, so the kids are indoors more and probably itching for an activity. Why wouldn't little hands want to...Read more
Fresh. Baked. Cookies. Spoken together, those three words conjure feelings of homey warmth and goodwill that are the very essence of the holidays.
Many people consider cookies served straight out of the oven (or, to be a little less evocative but more realistic, cooled briefly after baking) the stuff of family memories. The sweet scent ...Read more
With the first night of Hanukkah around the corner, many friends have asked me for ways to cook something different for their home celebrations of the Festival of Lights. I certainly think about that question myself, since I always want to help make sure that my sons appreciate their own Jewish heritage.
Cooking for ...Read more
All my life, I've loved sweet pastries of every kind; especially cookies. So with plenty of holiday parties ahead, I feel like I'm in pastry heaven. There's the promise of wonderful cookies everywhere I turn.
I learned as a boy that you can never start making holiday cookies too soon. Around late November, my mother and grandmother were already...Read more
I grew up in a country where everyday cooking emphasized the fact that little things mean a lot. Austria's national dish, Wiener schnitzel, literally translates as "Viennese little slice." With spicy goulash, my mother and grandmother always served the tiny homemade dumplings called spaetzle, "little sparrows." And one of my favorite desserts, ...Read more