August 20, 2015 |
The location is a secret. The people are prepared. On a summer evening, they descend as a pristine crowd. It's dîner en blanc , a Parisian concept that brings together thousands annually to eat a picnic dinner in a public place, fashioned entirely in white. It's a secret until it happens, and when it's over, the diners pack up and disperse, leaving no trace behind. It could be called fine dining flash-mob style, and the trend has been picked up around the world, from Haiti to Australia, and across the United States, from New York to Albuquerque.
August 18, 2015 |
Bridget Sharkey set down the letter on the couch. The words, written in the near-perfect handwriting of a 14-year-old who is serious about her studies, seemed alien coming from this soft-spoken girl. "I sat there with my insides burning, hearing the sounds that bothered me the most: chewing and swallowing," she wrote. "More and more sounds bothered me, and this time it gave me a new reaction. It made me angry. " For Bridget, dinner with her family in their Schwenksville home was becoming a nightmare.
August 14, 2015
Fresh fish on the grill is one of summer's simple pleasures: season with salt and pepper, cook, and finish with a touch of lemon. But with just the tiniest extra effort, you can turn that basic fillet into a spectacular dish. Here, two easy steps make it so: add a smear of sun-dried tomato tapenade and wrap it in a leaf of Swiss chard. Chard-Wrapped Cod With Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade 4 servings For the tapenade 12 sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed; 1.4 ounces total)
August 7, 2015
Lentils are rich in fiber and contain a steak's worth of protein, folate, iron, phosphorous, and potassium. Adding cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red bell pepper pumps up their nutritional profile. Although these quick-cooking legumes are basically interchangeable in recipes, green lentils retain their shape when cooked. Summer Lentil Salad Makes 6 servings 1 cup green lentils 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1 medium cucumber, not peeled, seeded and chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1/2 medium red onion, chopped 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 2 cloves garlic, minced Fresh ground black pepper 1 tablespoon fresh minced mint 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted 1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese 1. Cook lentils in boiling water according to package directions until tender.
July 31, 2015
Peaches may be at their savory best when combined with pork and basil, as they are in these novel quesadillas. Peach Quesadillas 7 ounces fresh pork sausage (3 or 4 links) 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder 1 medium red onion, diced 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce Freshly ground black pepper 3 ripe peaches 1 tablespoon olive oil 6 or 7 large basil leaves Eight 6-inch corn tortillas 6 ounces grated sharp white cheddar cheese 1. Line a plate with paper towels.
July 24, 2015
It's really not so crazy, having a warm bowl of soup on a hot day. As chowders go, this is a light one, fragrant with thyme. To make this vegetarian, skip the bacon fat, and add an extra tablespoon of butter for sauteing the onion, seasoning it liberally with smoked Spanish paprika. Serve with a tomato-graced salad. Double Corn Summer Chowder 4 servings (makes about 101/2 cups) 5 cups water 5 or 6 medium ears corn 12 ounces small yellow creamer potatoes 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed 1 large onion 1 small bunch fresh thyme 4 ounces thick-cut bacon 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 tablespoons flour 2 cups half-and-half 1 teaspoon sugar Freshly ground black pepper 1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. 2. Meanwhile, shuck the corn and remove any silk, then cut off and reserve the kernels (to yield 4 cups)
July 24, 2015 |
Let's say your spouse wants you to take a gaggle of kids to see Adam Sandler in "Pixels" this weekend, and let's say you don't want to. Let's say you'd rather be waterboarded. Let's say - because it's true - terrorists would rather be waterboarded than watch "Pixels" with a gaggle of kids. Now let's say you could watch "Pixels" and have a couple of ice cold beers while seated, as if you were at a ballgame. In fact let's say you could have five beers (or margaritas, or whatever)
July 10, 2015
This plump, juicy burger is my desire-driven answer to the nutritional call to limit the portion size of a piece of lean meat to a deck of cards. I found a way to make a burger both healthful and indulgent: Stuff it with a modest amount of lean meat and vegetables. You expand the size of the burger, so your eyes widen with excitement before you bite into it. Antipasto-Stuffed Turkey Burgers 4 servings For the burgers 3 tablespoons chopped roasted red peppers, drained and rinsed 3 tablespoons chopped marinated artichoke hearts 2 tablespoons chopped pitted green olives 3 tablespoons shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese 11/4 pounds extra-lean or lean ground turkey breast 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper For the spread 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1. For the burgers: Toss together the peppers, artichokes, olives, and mozzarella in a bowl.
July 3, 2015 |
While I'm away, readers give the advice. On divorced people as social creatures: I'm a divorced mom to an elementary-age kid. I'm a social creature - love dinner parties, open houses, family pizza nights, neighbor barbecues, weekend trips. My life was full of this as part of a married couple. But as a "divorcee," I feel excluded from social plans. I usually get a call to get together only when someone's hubby is working late or away on business, or maybe for a moms'/girls' night.
June 17, 2015 |
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I am in a serious relationship with a divorced man, no children. I am having trouble getting over the fact that he's done everything before - proposed, watched his bride walk down the aisle, bought a house, etc. I know it's ridiculous, but why do I keep being bothered by it? I am in my mid-30s, so I have many divorced friends, and I think they all deserve a second chance at love. Can you please talk some sense into me?