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ZEST FOOD DRINK: A Seafood Stir-Fry

ZEST FOOD DRINK: A Seafood Stir-Fry

One recent morning, while making my grocery list, I peered into the fridge to see what was what, veggie-wise. Spying a few leftover red carrots and a bunch of green onions from the Farmers' Market, an untouched box of shittake mushrooms and, in a little plastic bag, some fresh ginger that ha…

July 15, 2013 11:51 am
The noble fruit

The noble fruit

Olives are as old as the history of man. As Mort Rosenblum mentions in his book, Olives (North Park Press, 1998), Greek athletes lubricated their bodies with olive oil and the first Olympic flame was a burning oil bough. The Romans even had a separate stock market and merchant marine for oli…

June 25, 2013 5:45 pm Photos

Photos

Special Sandwiches for Dad

Special Sandwiches for Dad

My father was an inspired and talented maker of sandwiches. Dad would never think of doing a “Dagwood”, piling anything and everything sky-high onto the bread.

June 11, 2013 1:15 pm
A seafood stir fry

A seafood stir fry

One recent morning, while making my grocery list, I peered into the fridge to see what was what, veggie-wise. Spying a few leftover red carrots and a bunch of green onions from the Farmers' Market, an untouched box of shittake mushrooms and, in a little plastic bag, some fresh ginger that ha…

May 31, 2013 12:00 am
Quick and easy for spring

Quick and easy for spring

Now that Mother Nature has finally made up her mind, we can all get out and plant our patio flowers and the annuals in our herb garden. What we want more than anything else is time outdoors in the sunshine and nothing labor-intensive in the kitchen.

May 16, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

Spring Lunch

Spring Lunch

When spring won't settle down, I comfort myself by planning menus for meals I'd like to make when we're finished with all this nonsense. Here's a lunch I will definitely serve some spring weekend when there are friends or family here for lunch.

May 01, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

The noble fruit

The noble fruit

Olives are as old as the history of man. As Mort Rosenblum mentions in his book, "Olives" (North Park Press, 1998), Greek athletes lubricated their bodies with olive oil and the first Olympic flame was a burning oil bough. The Romans even had a separate stock market and merchant marine for o…

April 16, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

HASH

HASH

A couple of days ago I made hash with some corned beef left over from St. Patrick's Day. My hash is good, but doesn't touch my brother's who makes the best I've ever tasted, hands down. I also recall the red flannel hash from my New England childhood - not a favorite - (the hash, not the chi…

March 29, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

SWEET IRELAND

SWEET IRELAND

Saint Patrick's Day again - incredibly fast it seems. As always I've given a nod here to my favorite Irish author, the late Moira Laverty, who wrote so lovingly of the people and the goings-on in her small village, Ballyderrig.

March 13, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

SAVORY SUPPERS FOR THE HOME STRETCH

SAVORY SUPPERS FOR THE HOME STRETCH

Mornings are brighter, sunsets are later and, in spite of the rash of snowstorms, I like to think of this time of year as the "home stretch". Within a couple of weeks we'll be turning our clocks ahead in anticipation of spring. Meanwhile, more hibernation is fine with me, especially when sha…

February 26, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

COLD WEATHER SALADS

COLD WEATHER SALADS

The meteorologists tell us we are more than half-way through winter. I'm sure those on the east coast would bitterly scoff at that as they continue to dig themselves out. We Chicagoans, however, have had it easy and find such weather statements believable. I'm getting bored with so much hear…

February 14, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

JANUARY THAW

JANUARY THAW

Writer, Bellamy Partridge, the father of one of my school friends, wrote a novel when I was about 14 entitled "January Thaw". I thought about that book this morning...not just because it was one of the first truly grown-up books I'd ever read, but because of how Januarys were back then.

January 25, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

WINTER VEGETABLE SOUPS

WINTER VEGETABLE SOUPS

January, I've been told, is soup month, but I don't need a special month in which to make a pot of soup in the winter. I adore soup - especially heart-warming, soul-soothing Ribollita which could very well be my favorite, as it is Mario Batali's. The second soup, Golden Vegetable, is suppose…

January 09, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

BREAKFAST BISCUIT BUFFET

BREAKFAST BISCUIT BUFFET

I was lucky enough one weekend this Fall to be a houseguest of a true (and fellow) biscuit lover. Nothing frozen out of a can for that lady; biscuits were from scratch and heavenly, reminding me very much of those my paternal grandmother used to make.

January 05, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

BREAKFAST BISCUIT BUFFET

BREAKFAST BISCUIT BUFFET

I was lucky enough one weekend this Fall to be a houseguest of a true (and fellow) biscuit lover. Nothing frozen out of a can for that lady; biscuits were from scratch and heavenly, reminding me very much of those my paternal grandmother used to make.

December 24, 2012 12:00 am
ELEGANT EGGS

ELEGANT EGGS

Could you imagine cutting into the puff of a savory cheese soufflé only to find a warm poached egg on a bed of spinach?

December 15, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

ELEGANT EGGS

ELEGANT EGGS

Could you imagine cutting into the puff of a savory cheese soufflé only to find a warm poached egg on a bed of spinach?

December 12, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

POTATO LADY

POTATO LADY

Years ago, when I was writing a weekly cooking column for an Indiana newspaper, I apparently wrote more about potatoes than I realized. I still love them to this day but back then, they were kind of a passion. “A Passion for Potatoes” was even the title of one of my columns. As my photo ran …

December 01, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

POTATO LADY

POTATO LADY

Years ago, when I was writing a weekly cooking column for an Indiana newspaper, I apparently wrote more about potatoes than I realized. I still love them to this day but back then, they were kind of a passion. “A Passion for Potatoes” was even the title of one of my columns. As my photo ran …

November 26, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

BEAUTIFUL SIDES

BEAUTIFUL SIDES

My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is the array of side dishes, and I know I’m not alone, but let’s remember, they are not only for “The Bird.” Try them any time this winter with roast pork loin or a baked ham and you’ll be happy you did. Here is a dressing baked until crisp and crunchy…

November 17, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

BEAUTIFUL SIDES

BEAUTIFUL SIDES

My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is the array of side dishes, and I know I’m not alone, but let’s remember, they are not only for “The Bird.” Try them any time this winter with roast pork loin or a baked ham and you’ll be happy you did. Here is a dressing baked until crisp and crunchy…

November 14, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

FALL GRATINS –NOT A POTATO IN SIGHT!

FALL GRATINS –NOT A POTATO IN SIGHT!

Overnight, the weather in Chicago dropped from a balmy 75 degrees to the 40’s. Shivering on my way home from my exercise class this morning, all I could think of was hot soup – and how long until lunch. Gratins are another terrific comfort food in cold weather, but we always tend to make the…

October 26, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

PERFECT PEARS

PERFECT PEARS

Give me a ripe, juicy pear with a wedge of Cheddar on a crisp fall day and I am happy. Combine pears with fennel and cream in a velvety soup and I am blissful. Dice them into a colorful holiday relish and I will drift to the stratosphere. And if awaiting me at home are pears baked with butte…

October 15, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

GOLDEN SOUPS FOR FALL

GOLDEN SOUPS FOR FALL

Here are two autumnal soups to try – both gorgeous in color, creamy in texture, comforting on a brisk or rainy day. Three things you should know: First, while delicious on the day they are made, these soups are even better if made the day before and allowed to hang out, covered, in the fridg…

September 26, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

FARMERS MARKET SEPTEMBER FINDS

FARMERS MARKET SEPTEMBER FINDS

One of the boons of September, my favorite month, is the bounty at the farmers’ markets. The heirloom tomatoes have a depth of flavor that make them irresistible; even some of the late melons beg to be taken home and wrapped in prosciutto (I like this for breakfast).

September 15, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

FARMERS MARKET SEPTEMBER FINDS

FARMERS MARKET SEPTEMBER FINDS

One of the boons of September, my favorite month, is the bounty at the farmers’ markets. The heirloom tomatoes have a depth of flavor that make them irresistible; even some of the late melons beg to be taken home and wrapped in prosciutto (I like this for breakfast).

September 13, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

UNCOMMON BURGERS

UNCOMMON BURGERS

These late summer days are my favorites as they lead into beautiful September. Our family grills a great deal and takes advantage of the bountiful produce still at its peak in the farmers markets. These unusual burgers especially lend themselves to platters of fresh ripe tomatoes with basil …

September 01, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

UNCOMMON BURGERS

UNCOMMON BURGERS

These late summer days are my favorites as they lead into beautiful September. Our family grills a great deal and takes advantage of the bountiful produce still at its peak in the farmers markets. These unusual burgers especially lend themselves to platters of fresh ripe tomatoes with basil …

August 28, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

SUMMER VEGETABLE SALADS

SUMMER VEGETABLE SALADS

While “the livin’ is easy,” I continue to search for ways to make it even more so by finding easy vegetable salad partners for grilled main courses. The three below are old friends of mine. I’ve been serving them for years and they never disappoint – lively, colorful and a lot more interesti…

August 18, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

SUMMER VEGETABLE SALADS

SUMMER VEGETABLE SALADS

While “the livin’ is easy,” I continue to search for ways to make it even more so by finding easy vegetable salad partners for grilled main courses. The three below are old friends of mine. I’ve been serving them for years and they never disappoint – lively, colorful and a lot more interesti…

August 09, 2012 12:00 am
SUMMER TARTS

SUMMER TARTS

Last weekend, I braved Chicago’s heat to visit my Lincoln Park farmers’ market. I figure if they can all stand there for hours in 90 degrees, the least I can do is show up, if only for a little. The plum tomatoes were a perfect, brilliant red and the Red Fury peaches from Michigan were fragr…

August 04, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

SUMMER TARTS

SUMMER TARTS

Last weekend, I braved Chicago’s heat to visit my Lincoln Park farmers’ market. I figure if they can all stand there for hours in 90 degrees, the least I can do is show up, if only for a little. The plum tomatoes were a perfect, brilliant red and the Red Fury peaches from Michigan were fragr…

July 27, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

VICHYSSOISE – THREE VARIATIONS

VICHYSSOISE – THREE VARIATIONS

On really hot days, dipping a spoon into a cold, smooth soup – tasting its flavor on your tongue and feeling its silky coolness slip down your throat, is about as satisfying a summer food experience as you are likely to find.

July 21, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

VICHYSSOISE – THREE VARIATIONS

VICHYSSOISE – THREE VARIATIONS

On really hot days, dipping a spoon into a cold, smooth soup – tasting its flavor on your tongue and feeling its silky coolness slip down your throat, is about as satisfying a summer food experience as you are likely to find.

July 16, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MEMORABLE ENGLISH FARE, PART II

MEMORABLE ENGLISH FARE, PART II

Having spent late May/early June in southwest England on the RoadScholar tour, “English Lit on Location”, I wasn’t prepared for the quality of food found outside of London and Bath, two major stops on my trip. As we traveled through Torquay, Lyme Regis and other coastal areas, the seafood wa…

July 07, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MEMORABLE ENGLISH FARE, PART II

MEMORABLE ENGLISH FARE, PART II

Having spent late May/early June in southwest England on the RoadScholar tour, “English Lit on Location”, I wasn’t prepared for the quality of food found outside of London and Bath, two major stops on my trip. As we traveled through Torquay, Lyme Regis and other coastal areas, the seafood wa…

June 29, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MEMORABLE ENGLISH FARE – PART I

MEMORABLE ENGLISH FARE – PART I

Having been a fairly frequent visitor to London over the years, I have watched that restaurant scene emerge like a phoenix from the culinary ashes of forty years ago, to become today’s, albeit pricey, wellspring of talent and innovation.

June 23, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

MEMORABLE ENGLISH FARE – PART I

MEMORABLE ENGLISH FARE – PART I

Having been a fairly frequent visitor to London over the years, I have watched that restaurant scene emerge like a phoenix from the culinary ashes of forty years ago, to become today’s, albeit pricey, wellspring of talent and innovation.

June 19, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

UNCOMMON OMELETS

UNCOMMON OMELETS

To me, the idea of cooking a decent omelet in a Ziplock bad was pretty preposterous. Then, too, the idea of a banana omelet didn’t appeal at all. But then I tried the omelet in a bag and let me tell you, it totally works. And the more I thought about the sweet and savory aspects of bananas p…

May 26, 2012 12:00 am
UNCOMMON OMELETS

UNCOMMON OMELETS

To me, the idea of cooking a decent omelet in a Ziplock bad was pretty preposterous. Then, too, the idea of a banana omelet didn’t appeal at all. But then I tried the omelet in a bag and let me tell you, it totally works. And the more I thought about the sweet and savory aspects of bananas p…

May 24, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

Chicken Osso Bucco

Chicken Osso Bucco

I love classic Osso Bucco but, frankly, with veal shanks now out of sight in price, I’ve started making it using meaty chicken thighs. Wow, is it good! Chicken takes half the time and costs a fraction of the original.

May 20, 2012 12:00 am
Chicken Osso Bucco

Chicken Osso Bucco

I love classic Osso Bucco but, frankly, with veal shanks now out of sight in price, I’ve started making it using meaty chicken thighs. Wow, is it good! Chicken takes half the time and costs a fraction of the original.

May 11, 2012 12:00 am
CELEBRATING CINCO DE MAYO

CELEBRATING CINCO DE MAYO

I'll use any excuse to make some south of the border food - and what could be more excusable than Mexico's upcoming national holiday, Cinco de Mayo? Here are two Mexican "takes" on other cuisines. While not classic, they sure hit home runs. The first is a salad I enjoyed at Dos Caminos in Ne…

April 29, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

CELEBRATING CINCO DE MAYO

CELEBRATING CINCO DE MAYO

I'll use any excuse to make some south of the border food - and what could be more excusable than Mexico's upcoming national holiday, Cinco de Mayo? Here are two Mexican "takes" on other cuisines. While not classic, they sure hit home runs. The first is a salad I enjoyed at Dos Caminos in Ne…

April 25, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

VEGETABLE SALADS THAT SHINE

VEGETABLE SALADS THAT SHINE

These are not the salads for torpid summer days. Each one has some heft that helps us through the breezy still-cool days of spring. I cheerfully admit I could probably polish off the entire bowl of red cabbage and Roquefort salad by myself, I love it so. This salad and the white beans and go…

April 22, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

VEGETABLE SALADS THAT SHINE

VEGETABLE SALADS THAT SHINE

These are not the salads for torpid summer days. Each one has some heft that helps us through the breezy still-cool days of spring. I cheerfully admit I could probably polish off the entire bowl of red cabbage and Roquefort salad by myself, I love it so. This salad and the white beans and go…

April 13, 2012 10:00 am Photos

Photos

FEATURED BLOG: The Culinarian's 'Pasta for the Gods'

FEATURED BLOG: The Culinarian's 'Pasta for the Gods'

This luxurious dish is easy to assemble and bakes in 15 minutes. Perfect for any occasion with a crisp green salad (no bread required), it pairs equally well with a nice white or red wine.

March 27, 2012 9:00 am Photos

Photos

PASTA FOR THE GODS

PASTA FOR THE GODS

PASTA FOR THE GODS

March 25, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

PASTA FOR THE GODS

PASTA FOR THE GODS

PASTA FOR THE GODS

March 22, 2012 10:00 am Photos

Photos

IRISH LORE AND A FAVORITE DISH

IRISH LORE AND A FAVORITE DISH

With the "Wearin' of the Green" being celebrated today, here's some Irish lore followed by one of my favorite recipes. I am indebted to the late Irish author, Maura Laverty, for both.

March 17, 2012 12:00 am Photos

Photos

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