Cheese Soup

One box of fart bombs, please, I said, smiling at the toyshop owner. I put the small, red box emblazoned with caution tape – “MEGA STINKY! GAS MASK REQUIRED!” –  on the counter. The shopkeeper grinned back. It had been his idea, after all. And that’s it for my weak defense. I’m the one who…

Snapshot: Champagne Tasting

Champagne tasting with my Valentine and friends at The Capital Hotel in Little Rock on February 14, 2015. (So glad I’m not in charge of washing stemware.) Sometimes the photo is the story.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (In Case You Missed It)

Sometimes a bowl of soup is just a bowl of soup, and sometimes it bears the weight of a thousand prayers for protection and swift return. ♦ ♦ ♦ A soldier I know left for faraway lands last month, honoring his promise to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies….

Sausage Rolls II (In Case You Missed It)

Champagne and hot sausage rolls, a capital way to begin a festive holiday. ♦ ♦ ♦ My mother guffawed when, at 17, I told her I was in the running for an award from the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Teachers did the nominating, and I was happy to be considered….

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Boiling good beer won’t get a cook arrested, but some beer purists might argue that it should. This Sticky Toffee Pudding is worth the crime, though. An American will see that it’s really cake, known in British nomenclature as pudding because all desserts are puddings in Brit-speak. Don’t serve the cake without the sauce; it’s…

Avocado Toast

Humble avocado toast can be transcendent. Any food can, made with care, from ingredients of good quality. Avocado Toast Cut a just-ripe avocado in half, take out the pit, and scoop the contents into a bowl. Mash with a fork into chunks, adding kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and a squirt of fresh lemon juice…

Mincemeat Cookies

Maybe you, too, didn’t get around to making those mincemeat tarts at Christmas time. Maybe that jar of mincemeat sits on your pantry shelf, reminding you of its goodness every time you reach past it for a can of soup or a box of crackers. Maybe the craving for that resinous, spicy, fruity flavor gets…

Cooking with Red and Green

I like to cook with color any time of year, but especially during Christmas holidays. Red and green food is festive and delicious. Have a Christmas cookie! Christmas Shortbread To the shortbread and linzer cookie dough I write about elsewhere in this book,  add 3/4 cup (3.5 ounces) finely chopped pistachios and 3/4 cup (4.25…

After the Feast

Thanksgiving is over, and it was good. We started the morning with Pumpkin Scones, served with a little cinnamon butter on the side. These were tender and delicious, and I’ll make them again. (Note for next time: try freezing the unbaked wedges overnight, and adjust the baking time accordingly. Might hold their shape a little…

Salmon with Kale and Cabbage

I must have been sorting socks when the kale bandwagon rolled by. I missed the whole arc, from common vegetable to decorative winter landscape plant to foodstuff so pervasive that Time magazine suggests banning kale as a word in 2015. (Personally, I would have voted for the word, “So,” in its overuse as the intro…