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
You've probably noticed that gourmet ice cream is more popular than ever. Small artisanal shops are springing up everywhere, serving frozen confections made in small batches with amazing combinations of flavors using the best quality ingredients.
I love to see such creativity. It's a reminder that there are always new things to explore in the ...Read more
Autumn is a perfect time to throw a brunch party. The turning leaves and cooling temperatures seem to encourage us to spend relaxed weekend mornings enjoying good food with family and friends.
When it comes to planning a brunch menu, however, the big challenge becomes deciding on your main dish. When you think about it, most home cooks have ...Read more
When I first began cooking in the United States in the mid-1970s, an unassuming little compact head of pale-yellow and cream-colored leaves called Belgian endive mystified my restaurant guests. This vegetable often led them to ask, "What's this?" To this day, I still think Belgian endive is misunderstood and underappreciated -- but I hope to get...Read more
With the new school year in full swing and kids involved in a whirlwind of after-school activities, it can often seem like precious little time remains to put a good home-cooked dinner on the family table. That's a shame, since shared meals have always been one of the best ways to bring family members closer together.
Fortunately, a smart ...Read more
Some of my happiest childhood memories of autumn involve weekend daytrips to pick apples with my mother and grandmother. We'd pack a picnic and come home with bags and bags of beautiful red, gold and green fruit -- not to mention all the apples we'd munch on right under the trees.
I'm so happy to see that it's still possible in many places ...Read more
You can tell when a recipe has stood the test of time when it makes regular, repeated comebacks. For a perfect example, consider deviled eggs. In my more than five decades cooking professionally, I've seen them go repeatedly from appetizer favorite to jokey has-been to hip retro rediscovery -- as they seem to be right now.
Deviled eggs trace ...Read more
I always think of early September as the start of the sit-down dinner season. The kids are back in school, and autumn is coming fast. So it's the perfect time for everyone to gather around the table for a great meal, whether you're dining with your partner and the children or you're inviting friends over for a casual meal.
One of the most ...Read more
What are you grilling for Labor Day? That question is being asked more and more as the unofficial end of summer draws near.
It's an odd time of year to be thinking about what you might grill. The actual end of summer is fast approaching, after which the days grow shorter and shorter as fall begins to close in. We're also on the ...Read more
On my regular weekend visits to our local farmers' market with my two youngest sons, I get so excited seeing all the beautiful produce, especially now at the peak of summer. I can't resist buying almost everything I see.
Even as a professional chef with decades of experience who knows how to manage kitchen inventory, I often wind up with the ...Read more