May 6, 2015 |
The long: Country's oldest performance festival for kids offers live, under-an-hour-each matinee shows - hip-hop violin, contemporary dance, daredevil acrobatics, juggling and the true story of two girls in one lifeboat. The short: Three days, five acts, one local flick. The demo: Pre-K through fifth grade. The free: Daily, rain-or-shine Fun Zone in front of Annenberg Center does craft-making, face-painting, balloon sculpting, drum-playing and hamburger-eating ($5 for a kid's meal)
December 22, 2014 |
I'M HOSTING Christmas dinner for 16, and I'm kind of sweating it. I never sweat hosting the Thanksgiving meal, since the menu, by state law and family decree, must never change: Roasted turkey, a hay bale of stuffing, 87 different potato sides and enough desserts to stock a Wegmans pastry case, if Wegmans sold only chocolate pastry. Same old, same old, and everyone's happy. Christmas is different in that, menuwise, anything goes - so anything is possible, including failure.
December 19, 2014 |
The holiday season is a time when I want to impress friends and family with a special meal, but I don't want to miss all the fun and socializing and arrive at the table sweaty and exhausted. Since I want the meal to register a notch above a typical supper, I've learned it's best to plan a menu that can be prepared largely ahead of time, with a few quick trips to the kitchen during cocktail hour. Rich, indulgent ingredients like red meat, red wine, cream, and chocolate can make the simplest dishes taste extraordinary, and they're the perfect way to savor a celebratory meal during a cold, dark winter evening.
November 21, 2014
BACK IN the Norman Rockwell days, Thanksgiving dinner was unified. All eyes at the table hungrily focused on that giant roast turkey that Grandma was placing on the table, everybody with a single thought: Gimme. Nowadays, there's your gluten-free cousin, your soy-allergic aunt, somebody's lactose-intolerant boyfriend, a niece who shuns meat for ethical reasons. Unity is gone - how can you make one meal to satisfy all these requirements? Now imagine you're trying to satisfy not a handful but 300 people.
November 21, 2014 |
My Philadelphia childhood straddled two unlikely culinary traditions: the fertile fields of Lancaster County and Boston's briny North Shore. Maybe not so odd, after all. Both championed fresh, local ingredients that were unpretentiously prepared. Our food looked exactly like what it was, and it was delicious. Why ruin it with fancy stuff, even on holidays? From Mom's roots in Ephrata, Pa., came Cope's dried corn, crunchy coleslaw with hard-boiled eggs and cream, and - oh man, the desserts!
September 6, 2014 |
All Philadelphia School District students are now eligible to receive free meals, officials said Thursday. Students must simply show up to receive the free food - applications are no longer required. "Our goal is to provide as many students as possible with access to healthy, nutritious meals," Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said in a statement. "We want to keep students' focus on learning, not hunger. " A shift in federal policy means that school systems with at least 40 percent of students living in poverty can apply to offer universal free meals.
August 19, 2014
NEVER TRUST a skinny chef. Nor one with a spotless apron. I trust Walter Staib, built like a Black Forest barrel with a winter-frost Vandyke. In a world crawling with skinny chefs, Iron Chefs and nuisance chefs, give me Walter. "I don't have tattoos, I haven't been in jail, I'm an ordinary guy," he says. This ordinary guy has published six cookbooks, his PBS "A Taste of History" series snagged four Emmys in five seasons, he's a mega-consultant who has launched 650 restaurants around the globe.
August 10, 2014 |
My father considered himself a Don Juan, although it's questionable if he really was that much of one, since he was married to my mother for almost 35 years and to his third wife for 30 more. But, like the literary Don Juan, my father also redeemed himself from the grave. He died four years ago and I find myself appreciating his most endearing traits. For example, I love to travel and I know it's because when I was a little girl growing up in Madrid, I treasured going with my dad on his Vespa motorcycle to some historic Spanish towns: Toledo, Segovia, Ávila, Salamanca.
August 7, 2014
L EE WALLACH, 28, of Center City, is the chef and owner of the meal-delivery startup Home Appetit. Wallach worked behind the stoves of eateries in the Napa Valley and New York City before coming to Philadelphia. He rents the kitchen at the Farm and Fisherman, on Pine Street near 11th, where he prepares meals for delivery . Q: How'd you come up with the idea for Home Appetit? A: I moved to Philadelphia and started a personal-chef business in late 2012 and went to people's homes and prepared meals for the week.
August 1, 2014 |
When Gigi was 5, her mother, Sarah Eisenstein, was getting worried. A big child - born at 10 pounds, 13 ounces - Gigi was gaining weight, as the family dined on hot dogs and ate chips as a snack. Now, Eisenstein cooks eggplant and zucchini fries for Gigi and sister Isabella. Their mother learned these skills at Cooking with Friends, a Children's Hospital of Philadelphia program. Gigi, 8, tall for her age, is at a healthy weight. The program that helped Eisenstein will expand into a community-based study, thanks to a new partnership between Children's and the food service company Aramark, announced Wednesday at the Enterprise Center in West Philadelphia.