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Chowder for the Wolf at the Door

When 10 pounds of potatoes and a couple dozen ears of corn show up unannounced, welcome them home to the chowder pot. After transforming our backyard into a lobster fest for 65 or so guests in September (three years running for this festive event), a few items found themselves left behind by those who pitched in to make the meal happen. The lobster pit not only provided heat for Maine’s …Read More

Peppered Corn Meal

Preparing the perfect polenta sounds easy enough, but around my kitchen, it takes added patience to work with the grainy flour ground from white or yellow corn. When simmering the flour in water to transform the fine grain into the consistency of porridge, I’ve stirred up thin batches and a few lumpy variations. Lately, a pre-cooked version makes a convenient heat-and-eat substitute. The packaged polenta is firm and ready to …Read More

Pisco and pastries south of the world

Some people naturally throw parties where the food, company and spirits are all good. Over the last two years during a stay in the Hudson Valley, friends from Chile repeatedly shared their party flair. It started at Andrea and Rodrigo’s baby shower, where guests sampled a beverage featuring pisco, colorless brandy with an alcohol content that can rise above 40 percent. The hosts served piscola, a chilled blend of cola …Read More

Confined Confection

For the past few weeks, it feels as if I’ve been camping out in my own kitchen. To acclimate a four-legged family member to our home, we gated off and puppy-proofed that room. We may come to regret the kitchen location, but it seems to make sense for the baby who needs easy access when heading outdoors on quick notice. Already named “Denver” before he joined us, this puppy’s routine …Read More

Wrap and Roll

Puffy golden egg rolls may top plates at all-you-can-manage buffets or come with beef and broccoli servings to go, but when we rely only on these sources, we’re missing out on a joyous do-it-yourself meal. Takeout offers convenience on busy days, but cooking Chinese food at home can bring on even more flavor. As the Chinese New Year approaches, falling on Jan. 28 this year, make room for a meal …Read More

All-Purpose Pasta

Although average strands of spaghetti dressed with a homemade sauce typically fill the dinner plates at our house, there’s no argument that to appreciate the beauty of true noodles — prepared with eggs, flour and a little olive oil — you need fresh pasta. For fine pasta selections, like the hand-rolled pasta at Manhattan restaurant Felidia, it’s hard to beat what culinary pros create with dough. It’s completely unlikely that …Read More

Share Shopska Summertime Salad

Fresh from Bulgaria By Mary Ann Ebner A savory aroma met me at my front door and led the way to our kitchen as a spicy blend of sweet and sour promised the evening’s menu included no regular fare. But before any tasting, a cross-cultural lesson was in order. My personal chef-for-a-day, working away, wanted to adjust the temperature on an oven that looked completely foreign to her. She opened …Read More

Big on Beans

With his standard limit of one daily cup, Charles Day would rather skip coffee than drink it stale. The Cold Spring resident has tasted his way to faultless flavor not simply by sipping through a procession of espressos or lattes but by perfecting beans before the first pour. Day started home-roasting coffee beans soon after he and his wife, Susan Wallach, relocated from his native England to Brooklyn. “Susan’s sister’s …Read More

Shredded Bliss

It’s tempting to slip on a pair of stretchy dark yoga pants this time of year though not necessarily for yoga. The holiday season afterglow that drifts into January makes the rest of the wardrobe feel a little snug. An extra pound (or five) shows up after indulging in everything from office party cookies to the New Year champagne brunch. While the extra weight represents an unwelcome reminder of dietary …Read More

A Toast to France

Cool fall weather marks the perfect time to toast France with a hearty meal and a glass of red wine. Make these creamy bistro potatoes. I’m toasting our hosts in Paris for their fabulous hospitality. Merci!