June 25, 2015 |
Dozens of children were snacking on peaches and eating turkey and cheese sandwiches from box lunches Tuesday when Philadelphia Managing Director Richard Negrin asked them: "How many of you guys have - because I know I have - gone to bed hungry?" Several raised their hands. The gathering at St. Thomas Aquinas School in South Philadelphia was arranged to promote the federal Summer Food Service Program, which was launched Monday in Philadelphia. It offers free meals to children under 18 at more than 1,000 sites in the city.
June 12, 2015
Fresh as daisies Freshen up your back-porch suppers with this bright and cheery daisy dinnerware. Illustrated for Crate and Barrel by artist Jane Dixon, they are easy care and durable, just exactly what you want for outdoor summer dining. Made of 100-percent melamine, they are BPA-free, food-safe, and top-rack dishwasher-safe. - Maureen Fitzgerald Daisy Melamine Dinnerware: Dinner plate, 10.5-inch diameter, $5.95; salad plate, 9-inch diameter, $4.95; bowl, 6.25-inch diameter, $4.95; at Crate and Barrel stores and at www.crateandbarrel.com . Best of New York bites If your summer daydreams involve a weekend getaway to New York, here's something to chew on: Food writer and Eater.com restaurant critic Robert Sietsema's New York in a Dozen Dishes, a collection of food essays that meander from Harlem to Bushwick in search of the city's defining flavors, chronicling his favorite spots for things as diverse as pastrami, clam chowder, and pho. Each chapter includes a recipe and list of eateries, so you can relive Sietsema's culinary adventures on your own time.
June 3, 2015 |
One would be hard-pressed to find any similarities between two crime procedurals hitting the box this week: ABC Family's new series Stitchers , which premieres at 9 p.m. Tuesday, is cute and so slight in dramatic gravitas that it floats away into the ether. The reverse is true of NBC's surreal Nietzschean parable Hannibal , which returns for its third season at 10 p.m. Thursday. One of the most unremittingly dark, vicious stories about murder, Hannibal enthralls the viewer's aesthetic sense with its stunning photography, sophisticated use of imagery, and breathtaking beauty while at the same time threatening to steal away our soul, dragging it deep into the void.
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.