Cincinnati Clam Chowder

Cincinnati Clam Chowder 1

I'm a happily landlocked Midwestern girl — give me space for a vegetable garden and I'm good to go — but I'll admit to a little coastal envy now and then. Mostly, the envy involves fresh seafood. Our fish suppliers do their best to get the freshest deliveries possible — and by "freshest" I mean flash frozen — but it's in no way a substitute for enjoying a catch mere hours old. (There's also the locavore guilt that comes with seafood, but that's a topic for another … [Read more...]

Mushroom Stroganoff

Mushroom Stroganoff 3

As the granddaughter of Austro-Hungarian immigrants, I ate an awful lot of Hungarian food as a kid. Oh, no, no, wait. I don't mean "awful." I mean a wonderful lot of Hungarian food. Chicken Paprikas. Hungarian Goulash. You know what I'm talkin' 'bout, right? Oo oo ooo. My blood runs paprika red. It's true. Oh, and beef stroganoff. Which isn't actually Hungarian (it's Russian), but its sour creamy goodness endeared itself to my peeps of yore, and, with a little paprika, became a … [Read more...]

Nettletown Twists with Salty Seeds

Nettletown Twists with Salty Seeds 4

I spend a lot of time thinking about connections. Not the creepy kind, like the US Probations Officer who wants to join my LinkedIn network (um, eh?). But the odd and completely unlikely connections that occur and persist, despite time or distance. Coincidence, happenstance. Fate. Serendipity. Whatever you want to call it. Like this: After my mom passed, my brothers and I had the completely daunting task of clearing out my parents' house. They were quite tidy, my parents, but … [Read more...]

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Moroccan Chicken Stew 3

Walking to my car this morning, I noticed crocuses sticking their little heads up out of the ground. I don't know whether to be cheered, confused or depressed about this. Honestly, I'm feeling a little bit of all three. Saturday morning, my world was coated in a solid 1/4" of ice. No snow — just ice. By Sunday afternoon, the ice had melted. Overnight, we had thunderstorms and wind gusts up to 70 mph. This morning, it's 50° and spring-like, complete with windy sunshine. And … [Read more...]

Quatre Quarts Minis with Blood Orange Rum Sauce

Quatre Quarts Pound Cake 1

In a moment of serendipitous timing, I heard on Tuesday — with only minutes to spare and scrambling for my headphones — that Dorie Greenspan was about to appear on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," to chat about Tuesdays with Dorie (the original Dorie-centric baking group that preceded French Fridays with Dorie, to which I belong). She's just so delightful. I mean, she just really is.  Dorie is the aunt I wish I had growing up. Witty, kind, and French-hip with a … [Read more...]

Herbed Chicken & Dumplings

Herbed Chicken & Dumplings 1

Last Friday, the foodie world uttered a simultaneous [gasp!] when the media speculated that Butter Queen Paula Deen seems poised to admit to her long-rumored Type II diabetes diagnosis. But was this really gasp-worthy news? Interesting, perhaps, that a chef who has built her celebrity around the overuse of butter will finally concede that she was, at last, foiled by same. But no one should be shocked. Butter in small amounts is probably not going to kill you. Shameless use of butter by … [Read more...]

Mediterranean Farro Salad with Hummus Dressing

Mediterranean Farro Salad with Hummus Dressing 3

One of the things I enjoy very much about the turn of the calendar year is the parallel turn of the food year, from autumn to winter. We wave goodbye to super-heavy brown foods and embrace bright citruses and nourishing grains. Pomegranates and winter greens and windowsill herbs. Sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Hello, my lovelies! I've missed you so. … [Read more...]

Hummus Dressing

Hummus dressing - Hummus Vinaigrette

Meet my latest condiment obsession: herbed hummus vinaigrette. Thick and creamy, tangy-sweet, this dressing goes with everything — use on green salads, grain salads, sandwiches, crostinis. (But especially on this Mediterranean Farro Salad.) And unlike cream-based dressings (or worse, so called "low fat" dressings stuffed with all sorts of weird ingredients to compensate for bad texture) it's super healthy, protein-packed and stuffed to the brim with herby goodness. … [Read more...]

Ingredients: Homemade Cultured Butter & Buttermilk

Cultured butter and cultured buttermilk 1

A couple of years back, I wrote a post about making homemade butter. If you've never made butter before, you have to try it. Please, do try it. Every accomplished home cook should know how to make butter, even if you do it only once. The first time I made butter, not only was I completely gobsmacked by the delicious result, but I also felt oddly self-sufficient and pilgramy, like I had just stepped into another time, unlocking a lost but fabulous cooking secret. Butter has one … [Read more...]

Rustic Lentil Soup

Rustic Lentil Soup 1

January has gotten off to a wonky start. Not a bad start, it just ... doesn't feel like it's the turn of the New Year. First, January is already almost 1/3rd of the way over. Can you believe it? Second, we haven't had any appreciable snow this season (and the temps hit almost 60°F on Saturday). Honestly, it feels like November. But this is not a complaint, mind you — nooo, sir — this summer girl is not a fan of snow. It could stay like this through April, and I'd … [Read more...]

Trail Mix Bites

Trail Mix Bites 4

On Sunday, I decided to dig into one of my New Year's resolutions — read more books — and pulled out my long-ago-discharged Kindle and charging cable. I had already purchased the book on tap for the day ("Darkly Dreaming Dexter," no chick-lit for me, thank you very much) and only had to download it to my Kindle. I leaned over to plug in the charger and was met with a shower of plastic pieces. White plastic, everywhere. Whaa? The coating on my Kindle cable was cracking and … [Read more...]

Roasted Winter Vegetable Bread Soup


I hope everyone's New Year is off to a good start! Crossed-fingers that 2012 is really good, because — assuming the abrupt end to the Mayan calendar doesn't mean what the doomsayers think it means — this year is extra long. It's Leap Year, natch. (Which also means that there's one extra day between me and my first paid holiday off from work. [Boo]) But I can use the extra day, truth be told. Because this year, I'm mounting a one-woman crusade to rid the world of the phrase, … [Read more...]