May 9, 2014 |
Among the many things I thank my mother for was her sense of resourcefulness. Her Scots-Irish heritage taught her never to waste anything, so when it came to food preparation, this meant taking advantage of whatever grew wild outside. In summer, she'd strip clean the blackberry bushes that grew along the driveway of our Connecticut house. In the fall, we'd climb the gnarly apple and pear trees in our back yard to shake a bounty loose. But in spring, it was all about rhubarb. Every May, my sisters and I would wait for those sprouts of magenta to push up from winter's carpet of brown leaves and pine needles in the woods behind our house.
April 18, 2014 |
It's not enough to get kids to just fork down their vegetables. I want them to embrace carrots and onions and peas, to get excited about green beans and sweet potatoes and beets. So my plan for the fourth cooking class at Henry Lawton Elementary School was to take familiar vegetables and prepare them in an unfamiliar way. I chose a soup made with onion, carrots, and sweet potatoes to demonstrate how different vegetables can feel in your mouth when made a certain way, in this case, all blended together; and how different they can taste when seasoned with spices, in this case curry and paprika.
April 4, 2014 |
Even before the others had shed their backpacks and donned their aprons, Nick Rodriguez, 10, was smashing a clove of garlic, slamming his fist on the flat side of a knife, at our second cooking class at Henry Lawton Elementary. Yes, he said, without looking up, he had already peeled it. "Hey! I want a turn!" said Christian McKinney, 11, feeling like he was missing out. "Hang on, guys," I said. While I was thrilled with the enthusiasm and the smashing skill retained from class the week before, I wanted to remind them to read the entire recipe before plowing in. So each took a turn reading part of the instructions for tortelloni minestrone soup (we substituted the smaller tortellini)
March 21, 2014 |
AS THEY say, history repeats itself. For Marlise Gross, of Cherry Hill, history got a little update from the Web. When Gross was a youngster, her parents were members of a gourmet dinner club. "When it was my parents' turn to host, my mom would pore over Bon Appetit magazine to select perfect recipes," she said. "It was a way for them to try new foods and learn new cooking techniques. " Today, Gross is part of an online cooking club that brings like-minded cooks together via the Internet to learn from each other.
March 7, 2014 |
IF YOU'VE resolved to eat more healthfully in 2014, think soup. It's filling and, when made with the right ingredients, can make you feel better by the bowlful. "There is research that suggests that when you have a bowl of soup before a meal you consume fewer calories" because the fluid helps you feel more full, said Bethany Thayer, registered dietitian nutritionist and news-media spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You need only look to the latest food trends for soup-recipe inspiration.
January 17, 2014 |
In the world of cooking, one chef's throwaways are the makings of another's sauce. This is especially true of vegetables, where tradition has guided what can sometimes seem like the arbitrary rules of keep and discard. "When you think about it, the first person to figure out how to eat an artichoke was a genius," says Michael Santoro, chef-owner of the Mildred in Bella Vista. "People were probably walking past those things for a while, and it took someone to look beyond that tough woody part to get what was inside.
December 20, 2013 |
I knew I had a battle ahead of me for our next-to-last cooking class with fifth graders at Bayard Taylor Elementary School in North Philadelphia - and it wasn't with the kids. Throughout our lessons over the last nine weeks, we had been fighting with our electric oven and all its digital bells and whistles. The thing seemed to have a mind of its own; its ability to hold a consistent temperature was as unpredictable as a moody teenager. But I was determined to teach the kids this simple recipe for baked chicken thighs and potatoes because, with a working oven, it's such an easy family dinner - just prep and pop in the oven - and it appeals to even finicky eaters.
October 19, 2013 |
Tend the vegetable garden. We've been lucky the harvest season has lasted this far into October. I'm still waiting to harvest the carrots and sweet potatoes, hoping they'll get as large as possible before frost. I've picked and enjoyed the various tomatoes daily. But when all the stems and vines eventually wither and die, gather them up and dispose of them to make sure that pest problems aren't left to overwinter in the garden. Put away the cages, tepees, and trellises. If you haven't done it yet, take notes about where you planted each crop so you can rotate them to different locations in the garden next year.
September 6, 2013 |
Birthday cake in the kitchen today to celebrate September birthdays! Try my homemade cheesecake in the break room refrigerator. Enjoy! Happy Fall - Apple cider doughnuts at the front desk! If you are one of the 150 million full-time or part-time workers in the United States, you can probably relate to the high-fat, low-fiber, loaded-with-carbs goodies that often make their way into the workplace. Employers frequently entice employees to meetings with pizza lunches, doughnuts, and sodas, and employees often want to share food to create an atmosphere of camaraderie and good will.
July 19, 2013 |
CSAs, short for community supported agriculture, help farmers finance their growing expenses while offering participants great, fresh produce at peak season. Inna Spivakova and her boyfriend, Dan Manders, have been members of the Greensgrow CSA for three years now. They chose it because, while Greensgrow is an urban farm in Kensington, the CSA, started in 2002, is stocked by area farmers (more than 50 within 150 miles, according to its website). They also liked the option of getting a half share every other week, instead of weekly.