For every cooking obsession, there should be a cookbook that speaks to it, and it alone. These are often called single-subject cookbooks, a genre that I adore. They can be pocket-sized or gargantuan, cheap or expensive, dusty-old or shiny-new and I’ll find it hard not to keep flipping the pages, nodding, appreciating its tight focus and unique perspective on the food topic in question. From exploring the historical underpinnings of an iconic dish like Pho (as masterfully told by Andrea … Read More
Cooking is empowering. And it’s unique, in that this simple exercise provides you with one of the few daily necessities for survival—food. You can’t say that for going to the gym, or writing a brilliant essay, as empowering as those activities may be. It’s not always the case that whipping up a plate of dinner gives you a great sense of personal accomplishment. But when you cook something that surprises, impresses even yourself (and as a bonus, your friends or … Read More
Spaghetti was seen as exotic in my grandparents’ day in age. Hummus was strange and vegan-centric when I was in college. Guacamole grossed a lot of Americans out a few decades ago. I don’t need to point out that they’re now proud staples of the American diet. But just imagine what our plates would look like if we had closed the door on immigration years ago.
Each year commences with another load of food and cooking trends. And each year, people who like to cook are given them. I discovered that this topic—what NOT to give a cook for the holidays—unleashes a real torrent of pain amongst foodies. When I Facebook-asked friends what they’d like to see on the list recently, the post went on for a dizzying thread of some 80+ responses. That’s a lot of angst about bad gift-giving. So let’s be helpful to the gifters out … Read More
It’s taken a week and a cathartic dinner party with good friends to come around to writing this post. But believe it or not, it was going to be the next Reason For Not Eating Out even before the election one week ago. The stress of not knowing how that was going to go was almost too much to bear doing anything besides cooking, you see.
This month marks ten years since I’ve been writing this blog. Ten years of scribbling, cooking and ranting about not eating out. 607 original recipes, 60+ Reasons For Not Eating Out, scores of profiles, ruminations and home-cooking events totaling 971 posts. Dozens of Huffington Posts and writings elsewhere. Two books. And seven years and 279 episodes of podcasts on Heritage Radio Network. It’s been 10 years.
We live in blessed times. I mean, seasonally. It’s late-spring, and we have things popping out of plants that are incredible and edible (and not edible, but fragrantly incredible, like wild lilacs, too). I recently had the plum privilege of being a judge for a cookoff held by GrowNYC, where I got to observe the making of, taste the outcome of, and help decide the winner of two very excellent dishes prepared by local restaurant chefs. Held in partnership with … Read More
Several years ago an ex-boyfriend’s mother offered to prepare the appetizer for a dinner I was cooking. Her dish, once assembled, was a salad. Yet it was unlike anything I’d ever seen. The top was sprinkled with stiff pegs of noodle and raw radish slices, and it smelled like sesame oil. I asked with genuine curiosity what was in the dressing and she fired off a strange list with the likes of mayonnaise and soy sauce. If food is a … Read More
The first rule of dating is that there are no rules. But hopefully you know that already. So why should you read this, from a person who probably knows less about the secrets to dating success than any given stranger on the subway? Because if you’re reading this, then you probably like to cook. And that in itself holds some powerful dating potential.
It’s been a while since we’ve played Scrooge. In 2011, I compiled 10 things not to give the home cook for the holiday season. Last year, I offered 5 “alternative” gifts for them instead. But we’ll take it back to that curmudgeonly place where it all began, since there are always newfangled food toys coming from the North Pole (or Mount Sinai for Hanukkah Harry land). Ho, ho, Who got me this crap?!