Baking with Parsnips: Maple Parsnip Scones

My friends and family were in a Facebook thread about the next underrated vegetable that needs to be on menus everywhere. Remember when kale was a star? Kale salad, kale soup, sauteed kale, kale chips. We tossed around suggestions for the next lowly vegetable. A few people mentioned “parsnips”. Wouldn’t you know it—the next day …

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Kitchen Skills and Motivation


Do any of these apply to you? You’re spending more than you want to on dining out You’re appalled at how much food you’re throwing out You wonder why the fridge and cupboards are full, but there’s nothing to eat. Getting a nutritious and tasty dinner on the table in a timely and affordable manner …

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Thyme is a perennial shrub that is grown in several places in the world. The picture above was taken in the hills behind Nice, above the medieval village of Tourettes-sur-Loup. The thyme plants are the low greyish-green mounds. Standing at this particular spot, you can see the Mediterranean. The coast is just 14 km away. …

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Fast, Cheap, or Good?

Hong Kong ready to eat duck and pork

I have some workdays that drag into the evening. Sometimes I don’t have a meal plan or the ingredients for supper. In the past, I would start thinking about what restaurant I could go to. I do something better now. Fast food, cheap food, and good food Here’s a quote attributed to Jim Jarmusch: “Fast, …

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Make jelly like an artisan

Any fruits can be made into jelly if you add a box of commercial pectin. The method is foolproof: follow the instructions to the letter and after a 2-minute boil you will have a product of perfect consistency. But what if your fruit contains natural pectin? You could still go with the commercial pectin method. …

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Salad Dressings: It’s time to let go of the bottle

Bottled salad dressings are certainly convenient, but they are not necessary. I don’t mean to get preachy, but you know they’re expensive and they take a lot of space in your fridge. Salad dressings back in the day What did people do before there were bottled dressings? My grandmother, who established her cooking habits before …

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Easy salads that aren’t lettuce

Fennel and Celery for a salad

Would you eat more salad if it didn’t have to be lettuce? Thanks to supermarkets and refrigeration, we’ve grown up accustomed to having lettuce available year round. When we think of salad, we  naturally think of lettuce first. In a household pressed for space and time, lettuce can be problematic. A head of leaf lettuce …

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Versatile Cocoa

Cocoa Pod Poster

It’s Valentine’s Day and it’s time to celebrate the versatility of cocoa. Cocoa for baking For much of my baking life, I never understood why anyone would buy unsweetened baking chocolate squares. Why would you, when the can of Fry’s Premium Cocoa has a clear and simple formula for a substitution? The recipe is still …

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Fennel and Celery Salad

This salad is just as good the next day. The recipe was inspired by “Winter Salad” in The Provence Cookbook by Patricia Wells. The original recipe includes a thinly sliced Belgian endive, strips of yellow bell pepper and 1/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese; I replaced the Belgian endive with celery. If you want to …

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How to make, use, and freeze lardons

Lardons (or lardoons) is simply cubed bacon. In most recipes for soups and stews, you don’t need more than 4 ounces or half a cup at a time. The next time you open a package of bacon for lardons, take an extra 30 minutes to use the whole package at once, by blanching it and …

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