Sunday, May 3, 2015


Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Courtesy of The Culinary Institute of America Cream of Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Foam prepared by Chef Brad Barnes at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.

A bowl of warm mushroom soup is the perfect antidote to bracing weather and nipping winds during the cold winter months.

It's velvety texture and delicate hues are comforting reminders of childhood for many, and serving this simple soup in a glass mug with a Parmesan Foam makes it a sophisticated part of any meal.

The CIA's recipe for cream of mushroom soup is made lighter by cutting back on the amount of butter and cream, and then relying on the pureed vegetables to add texture to the soup.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011
This Dec. 5, 2010 photo shows pecan-crusted chicken breasts with bourbon pan sauce in Concord, N.H. For a gorgeous variation on this recipe, you can use finely chopped pistachios instead of pecans, in fact almost any of your favorite nuts would work. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe)

During the busy holiday season it's good to have a few "utility" recipes in your pocket. That is, dishes that are easy enough to prepare for a weeknight family dinner, but dressy enough for company.

This recipe for pecan-crusted chicken breast with bourbon pan sauce has a luxuriously rich flavor and looks impressive, yet takes just 35 minutes to make.

If you want to skip the booze, just increase the amount of chicken broth or use an equal amount of apple juice instead.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

If you're going to make a beef burger, your first decision takes place in the butcher or meat department. Your ground beef choices are usually chuck, round and sirloin. The following information, adapted from the Food Network Kitchens' "Get Grilling" (Meredith Books, 2005), will help you get the burger you desire:

Chuck is your classic burger meat and is usually the most flavorful, simply because it has the most fat. Ground round is the leanest of the three, with sirloin in the middle range. Sirloin has a great flavor, but it is the most expensive.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011
AP Photo/Larry Crowe Using turkey breast cutlets gives you the great taste without wrestling with a whole bird, like in this Sauteed Turkey Breast with Cranberry-Cherry Sauce.

If by now you haven't hit turkey fatigue, consider going back to this All-American bird for easy, speedy and healthy weeknight meals.

And you don't need to fuss with a whole bird to make it work. Turkey breast cutlets are thin slices of skinless meat that cook quickly and require almost no prep.

Plus, they have only half a gram of fat per 4-ounce serving.

Turkey breast cutlets can be purchased fresh or frozen, and range in size from large slices (from the main lobe of the breast) to narrow "tenders" cut from the breast tenderloin.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The new year is a great time to brush off your money-saving skills and start the year with a fresh attitude.

While I pride myself in being frugal, the holidays are a tough time for us. We eat too much, spend too much, and buy odd things at the grocery store because I'm in such a hurry.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010
AP PHOTO Chocolate bourbon butterscotch souffles are designed to be easy to make, sturdy enough to serve without stress and will make you look like a kitchen wizard.

Nothing is more indulgent, more impressive or more intimidating than a souffle.

If they aren't mixed perfectly and folded gently, they don't rise. If you look at them the wrong way, they collapse. And then when you finally nail it and it comes out perfectly, how do you get it to the table without complete deflation? Of your souffle and your ego.

Our version has you covered. This is a sturdy souffle that will buy you the sort of wiggle room you need to ensure great results.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Q: When I get home from work I need to get dinner on the table pretty quickly. How can I made this process easier?

A: Sit down once a week and make a menu. Not only will you avoid stress, but you'll have the satisfaction of knowing your meals will be tasty and healthy. Here are our top meal-planning tips:

Ÿ Bookmark recipes you plan to use and put them in a visible place.

Ÿ Vary your menu by making a few favorite dishes that you're comfortable with and a few that are new.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Beef Wellington is seen Oct. 31, 2010, in Concord, N,H. This roast uses a center-cut beef tenderloin section. Whether it's a standing prime rib, a rack of lamb or a saddle of veal, roasts can be as intimidating as they are dramatic. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe)

You've decked the table with china and linens and your grandmother's monogrammed silver.

The only thing missing? A gigantic, glistening roast, the ultimate expression of holiday luxury.

"You're serving something that people normally can't afford," says James Peterson, cooking instructor and author most recently of "Meat: A Kitchen Education" (Ten Speed, 2010). "It's a splurge."

But roasts – whether a standing prime rib, a rack of lamb or a saddle of veal – can be as intimidating as they are dramatic. Peterson offers a few techniques to help you conquer the beast:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ganache tarts are elegant, decadent and the epitome of chocolate love.

Best yet, they are easy to make, can be prepared ahead of time and transport well. In other words, they are perfect for the holidays.

Our dressed up version is flavored with peppermint extract and topped with festive snowflake cookies, but you could just as easily flavor it with orange, almond or vanilla extracts and top it with whatever cookie shapes inspire you. Holly leaves would be pretty and elegant, and snowmen would be fun.

Chocolate Peppermint Snowflake Tart

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

With Christmas just two weeks away, I'm busy preparing for the holidays and planning my final gifts.

While I can't tell you what I'm buying people, I will tell you that a majority of our gifts for friends and the extended family are edible. I love cooking, and my friends and family love eating. (OK, I love eating too.)

I also enjoy knowing that edible gifts are inexpensive to make, which means that I can spread more holiday cheer on a small budget. It's a win-win situation for everyone.