Presidents Day has always puzzled me a bit, for two reasons.
Officially, the holiday has been observed on the third Monday of February since the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, created to give workers more three-day weekends, was passed into law by the U.S. Congress in 1968 and then took effect three years after that. But did you know that no U.S. ...Read more
If you walk through the produce section of any good-sized supermarket almost anywhere today, you may find it hard to figure out what time of year it is. Modern shipping methods, mass-scale cold storage techniques, and greenhouse agriculture all make it possible to find many different varieties of seemingly fresh vegetables and fruits almost year...Read more
Every year, more and more people in the West seem aware of Chinese New Year, which falls sometime between late January and mid-February due to the lunar calendar on which it is based. That calendar ascribes each New Year to one of twelve different animals in the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, ...Read more
Many health-conscious people try to avoid eating egg yolks because of their high fat and cholesterol content. While there is some debate over whether or not you need to eliminate yolks entirely, I understand the need some people feel to eat only egg whites at breakfast.
Like most things in life, however, it is possible to find a middle ground. ...Read more
If you're at all familiar with me, you've probably seen or heard me say that before we ever even put food in our mouths, we eat with our eyes. Beautiful food excites the appetite, building happy anticipation for the wonderful tastes and textures soon to come.
Making delicious food with visual appeal becomes even more important during the ...Read more
In the middle of winter, my mind and appetite often turn toward soup. A hearty bowlful feels warming and sustaining from the moment you see and smell it until long after it fills your stomach. And a big pot of soup simmering on the stove promises everyone in your home that delicious, satisfying food is on the way and guaranteed to put an end to ...Read more
Did you make a resolution this year to cook more meals at home? There are so many good reasons to do so. Cooking can be such a satisfying activity. It promotes learning and creativity, while delivering delicious results. If you allow yourself plenty of time to get the job done, tasks like cutting, chopping, stirring and kneading can become ...Read more
"I'll start my diet tomorrow" may be one of the statements most frequently made on Dec. 31. Just as we're planning a high-spirited New Year's Eve dinner, we're also beginning to think about New Year's resolutions that will probably include healthy eating and weight loss.
But a wise person once told ...Read more
Working on your Christmas menu? Let me make that process a little easier by taking care of dessert -- or at least one of the desserts -- with my version of a classic make-ahead festive French recipe.
The dessert is called a vacherin, from the word vache, French for "cow," a name shared with a popular cow's milk cheese. So, why is it called that...Read more
As Christmas draws nearer, many people begin to feel the pressure of getting ready for the holiday. There are still gifts to buy, decorations to put up, festive outfits to choose and menus to plan. Unfortunately, all that busy activity can mean that, with every passing day, there is less and less time for baking holiday cookies.
The solution so...Read more
Being the son and grandson of two excellent home and professional bakers, my mother and grandmother, I probably have a unique perspective on the Christmas season. As I've shared many times before, beginning in the first week of December those two wonderful cooks started their holiday baking, an expression of their philosophy that you could never...Read more
Hanukkah has one particular distinguishing characteristic to its traditional celebration foods: They are cooked in oil. That pays homage to the one-day supply of oil that miraculously kept the sacred lamp burning for eight days after Jewish patriots recaptured the temple in Jerusalem back in the 2nd century B.C.
This traditional ...Read more
In my experience, even on the day before Thanksgiving many people are still looking for something extra they can prepare for the holiday table. So, please allow me to modestly propose that you prepare a dessert that makes a dramatic, yet simple, departure from tradition.
Forget about making another pumpkin or pecan pie. Avoid ...Read more
When it comes to Thanksgiving, I've been thinking about some of my favorite traditional recipes of the season. The one that surprises and delights me the most is the recipe for cornbread.
Here in America, of course, sweet corn -- and the many dishes made from it in both its fresh and dried forms -- seems like the essence of ...Read more
Everybody who loves to cook, even if it isn't all the time, has their "go-to" dishes. Recipes they can always rely on for a main course they can be certain everyone will like whether the occasion is casual or special. The trick is to have something that's quick and easy to prepare while simultaneously looking and feeling special, impressing ...Read more
Sometimes, the very sight of a special-occasion recipe can surprise and excite people more than the most imaginative Halloween costumes or decorations. That's what happened recently when I appeared on Home Shopping Network alongside my friend (and fellow chef) Marian Getz, who works alongside me helping to demonstrate my latest ...Read more
Autumn always feels to me like the perfect time to cook and serve root vegetables. Sure, all the year round we enjoy carrots, potatoes and other less-popular but still well-known roots (and tubers, to be botanically accurate about potatoes) such as parsnips, turnips and rutabagas. But cooler days seem perfectly suited to the comfort and warmth ...Read more