Cooking for a Cause

Like a surprising number of Americans, Jane Woellhof remembers going to school in a setting quite unlike the ones most kids think of (or see on television) today. Her school was one building with one room, with several grades learning side by side and, at least every once in a while, no other students at…

The Art (and Fun) of Charcuterie

For the longest time, we Americans served, ate and talked about “cold cuts,” most often laying a slice of this or that across bread to make a sandwich. This was, among other things, the American working man’s and the American school kid’s lunch throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Little did we know we were starting…

Foodie Treats for The Biggest Game

There’s a collection of dishes that seem to be mandatory at a watch party for the Super Bowl – a pro football game that has developed a way of adding to our waistlines every bit as much as it adds to our excitement. Yet there’s absolutely no reason you have to limit your Super Bowl…

Chocolate Crepes for Your Valentine

As a chef, and really as a person, winter is an interesting time, a time when the need for comfort magnifies. For me the winter is when I slow a bit, recharge, refocus and spend time cooped up in my warm home reacquainting with my family.  As I have watched this process play out each…

Spanokopita Squared

Spanokopita, the savory pie one authority praised as the ultimate Greek “soul food,” might be the first word I ever tried to understand when arriving in Greece coming up on half a century ago.  Surely I heard a few other words, enough to climb off the overnight ferry from Italy, find a late dinner of…

Return of the Bread Bowl

Only a few months back, a national bread-centric chain called Panera introduced a “hot new trend” – yet another version of soup served in a bowl of hollowed-out bread. It was a “hot new trend” because Panera, along with many food journalists, told us it was.  Which is great – since soup served in a…

Gingerbreading a Local Landmark

Working in the kitchen can be fun, entertaining, challenging, rewarding, and exciting. An adventure always waits in the kitchen and sometimes that adventure is even better when shared. At the cooking school I get to live a life of sharing every weekend. And though I reap the rewards of satisfaction and joy with each class,…

The Exotic Flavors of Smoked & Dried Chiles

The smoking and drying of meats and other perishable foods reaches back beyond written history across the Americas, so much so that when French explorers sailed into the pre-colonial Caribbean, they found locals preserving food with smoke on grates called “boucains.” Thus, in French, these obviously wild, semi-naked practitioners became “boucainiers.” When that got translated…

SOUPS FROM HOLIDAY BIRDS

In a holiday season that traditionally begins with turkey and ends with goose, it should come as no surprise that this time of year is for the birds. And that includes roasted chickens, Cornish hens and even tiny, delicate quail. Many of those larger birds produce leftovers, of course. So it’s our job as intrepid…

‘Tis the season….Holiday Scones

The holidays are upon us and, with them, the cold chill of winter’s breath. It is time for sweaters, wool socks, a fire in the fireplace and, of course, warm weekend breakfasts, the kind that fill the house with welcome aromas and warm comfort. Maybe it’s a sweet potato hash with candied bacon and caramelized…

The Joys of Homemade Food Gifts

Just try doing what we did. Try gathering internet advice on making homemade food gifts this holiday season. Everybody and his Aunt Lucy has recipes – oh yes, plenty of recipes. And online these almost always take the form of a “slideshow” you have to click through, invariably with some silly number that somebody decided…

The Beauty of Beets

There were beets hanging in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, as well as being cultivated for both love and money in ancient Greece and Rome. The difference was: those cultures were growing beets to eat the greens sprouting from the top of the root. It was a very long time and far away, the 1500s…