Sunday, July 5, 2015


Wednesday, January 7, 2015
AP Photo/Matthew Mead French lentil salad

When I was in high school, my parents took my sisters and me to Paris. That trip shaped me in so many ways, most of them culinary. So many of the dishes I make even today were inspired by that trip.

One night, we went to a small, rustic restaurant in the heart of the city. The meal started with hunks of cheese, sausages, cornichons and a bowl of "country caviar." The bread, cheese and meat were as delicious as you would expect, but it was that last item that blew us away.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
This Dec. 8, 2014 photo shows preparing tofu that will be sauteed with broccoli and red peppers in chili-orange sauce in Concord, N.H. ()

My mom started traveling abroad when I was in high school. And after each of her trips, we cooked a meal from the country she'd just visited.

It was after her trip to Italy that I became a huge fan of veal. Veal, of course, is notoriously bland, so what's the appeal?

I love it because it functions mostly as a firm landing strip for the delicious sauce of your choice, and I'm a nut for sauces. Recently, I figured out that tofu plays the same role for vegetarians as veal does for carnivores.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014
This Dec. 1, 2014 photo shows fried udon noodles with shrimp and spicy sauce in Concord, N.H. Fried udon noodles with red peppers and shrimp, all slathered in a spicy peanut sauce is simple and filling. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Let's be honest about New Year's Eve. Once you've reached a certain age, celebrating stops being about partying and starts being all about hunkering down with a movie and comfort food on the couch.

There is no shame in admitting this. After all, most of us spend most of the year wishing life would slow down enough to have just one evening now and again to do nothing and veg with a movie. So why not embrace this desire as a fine way to close out the year?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014
AP PHOTO Spiced prosecco and honey-broiled persimmon tarts.

Looking for a simple way to dress up your New Year's Eve bubbles? May we suggest spiking them with a spiced liqueur? It's fast, simple, delicious and flexible.

And that last part is key. Start by sorting out what you plan to serve alongside your bubbles. Then you pick a complementing liqueur to blend with the bubbles of your choice. We opted for individual puff pastry tarts spread with brie mixed with chopped fresh basil, then topped with persimmons that have been brushed with honey, and broiled until lightly browned and tender.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
AP Photos/Matthew Mead

Here's my holiday conundrum, and I bet you can relate: I am in charge of this year's holiday meal, which will feature a big standing rib roast.

Everyone in my family wants their meat rare, but I want the outside to be nicely seared. How to have both?

Cooking a big roast at high heat can get you that nice crisp outer crust, but it comes at a price. Cooking a roast at high heat for even part of the time generally means you end up with just a small core of rare meat running down the center of the roast.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
This July 21, 2014 photo shows bacon apple baked pancake in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/MatthewMead)This Dec. 1, 2014, photo shows bacon apple baked pancake in Concord, N.H. The baked pancake was inspired by an upside down cake. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Like Thanksgiving, Christmas is one of those holidays that requires aroma.

On Thanksgiving, we need the house to smell of turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes. On Christmas, we need whiffs of indulgent breakfast items, like cinnamon rolls or a bubbling fruit crisp. Or maybe you prefer hash browns and bacon. Those get the job done nicely, too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

It really is hard to beat freshly baked cookies. Leave aside for a moment the deliciousness of the finished product; the simple act of cooking them makes your whole house smell like heaven.

But who has the time to whip up a batch of cookies every time a guest shows up at your door? Or every time you get a craving? Actually, if you rely on these refrigerator cookies, you do!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Editor's note: To help with last-minute calculations for tomorrow's big day, we're rerunning this article from the Associated Press.

Preparing Thanksgiving dinner is enough of a pressure cooker, never mind having to do on-the-fly math to get it right. Here are all the numbers you need to have a safe, worry-free and delicious Turkey Day dinner.

All serving estimates are generous to allow for plenty of seconds and leftovers.

How big?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hosting Thanksgiving can be a stressful ordeal. So to teach any home chef how to iron out whatever wrinkles occur while making the year's most difficult meal, and to provide some expert advice on holiday favorites, Taste of Home offers 10 easy tips to ensure you're actually grateful it's Thanksgiving:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Admittedly, it sounds like a Halloween trick. Chocolate hummus.

It's either disgusting or just a cruel joke, right? Neither, actually. But when I first saw it sold alongside "real" hummus at the grocer, I decided it had to be one of those.

There was no way a traditional hummus base with all sorts of savory things like chickpeas could possibly play nice with chocolate.

I was pleasantly mistaken. I bought it only because my son as most 10-year-old boys are is smitten with anything chocolate. Frankly, I was just curious what he'd make of it.