0

It proved to be no easy task selecting my favorite recipes from among the more than 2,500 posts on this blog from the past ten years, but I've done it. And I've made a real, hold-in-your-hands, scribble-on-the-pages cookbook for you. It's a quirky selection, to be sure: much more savory than sweet, recipes that my family enjoys and that are good for entertaining and for everyday. Some recipes use the slow cooker or pressure cooker. Some are vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free. All are easy to make, with your well-stocked pantry. Some of my favorite recipes appear in my e-books, so they're not in this collection. You can find those books on my Amazon.com author page. Order your copy of The Very Best Recipes From The... Read more →


When Jimmy Carter, whose presidency was challenging but whose moral compass always guided him, retired from politics, he became a champion for Habitat for Humanity, continuing to build housing for low-income families well into his 90s. His wife, Rosalynn, worked alongside him, wielding a hammer and leading with grace. When Audrey Hepburn stopped making movies, she shined her light on UNICEF, drawing attention to the world's neediest children as a goodwill ambassador. Sometimes, a person's second act has more impact than the first. The time has come for my own second act. After years of writing and editing for nonprofit organizations, and then food writing, and now food blogging, I'm moving on. Let me explain why, and why now. 1: A few months ago, I... Read more →


Are you ready for New Year's Eve? Whether you're hosting a celebration for many, or an intimate affair for two, all you really need is an assortment of some favorite appetizers, the more variety the merrier, and plenty of bubbly. When I'm planning an evening to see in the new year, I look for a mix of vegetarian and other appetizers -- often shrimp, because I love it, and because it's always a special treat, and I love variety. My entertaining mantra: some sweet, some salty, and all finger food. Here are 12 of my most popular party appetizers. Asparagus wonton wraps with hoisin wasabi or mustard filling are fun to make with a crowd. Set up an assembly line on the kitchen counter, and... Read more →


[Even old dogs can learn new tricks, and I've learned to love sweet potato latkes, even though I never ate them when I was growing up. If your family is open-minded, too, please enjoy this recipe (originally shared in 2007) from the archives.] For the most part, I don't believe in "one size fits all," because I am a size and shape that one size never seems to fit. And while in my pantry I have half a dozen types of flour -- surprising, given that I'm a notorious bake-o-phobe -- the one I reach for more often than not is "one size fits all," also known as all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour is a blend of hard (high-protein) and soft (higher carbohydrate, lower protein) wheats,... Read more →


[First published in December 2009, this is our family's go-to latke recipe. Even though we associate latkes with Chanukah, they're a crowd pleaser at any time of year. Make small ones for your Sunday football parties, or large ones for a vegetarian dinner main dish. Kids love latkes smothered with sour cream or apple sauce. Please enjoy this post adapted from the archives.] Rudolf Diesel had a dream. When the German inventor and Utopian idealist demonstrated his new engine at the 1900 Paris World Exposition, it ran not on petroleum, but on peanut oil. In the perfect world, Diesel believed, renewable biofuels like peanut oil could power farm machinery and automobiles. In our imperfect world, my car still drinks gasoline, but peanut oil powers my... Read more →


Asian Noodles: Deliciously Simple Dishes to Twirl, Slurp, and Savor, by Nina Simonds (1997) Why I've kept it: How often have you picked up a cookbook, and wanted to make Every. Single. Recipe. in it? That's what happened to me when I first purchased Nina Simonds' Asian Noodles. I've confessed many times to being a noodle-holic. This book introduced me to new types of noodles, and new condiments and sauces for flavoring them. The gorgeous color photos of each recipe made my mouth water, and convinced me that I could make the recipes with confidence. There's a great introductory chapter about noodle basics, listing dozens of types of Asian noodles and the correct cooking methods, uses, and substitutes for each. There are photos of each... Read more →


[You can never have too many cookie recipes on hand at this time of year, and I've collected some of my all-time favorites. Please enjoy this post from the archives.] 'Tis the season to make merry, and to make cookies. And to swap cookies, and decorate cookies, and pack cookies in tins and send them to friends and family far away. For me, there are only two types of holiday cookies: ones with chocolate, and ones without. Of the hundreds and hundreds of cookie recipes I've seen on food blogs, here are 40 of my favorites. Cookies with chocolate Chocolate spice cookies, from The Perfect Pantry (pictured above) Chocolate ice cream cookies, from The Perfect Pantry Oreo white chocolate pudding peppermint cookies, from Two Peas... Read more →