Irish Soda Bread

My husband’s father is Irish-American and his mother is Italian-American, which means my husband grew up with an appreciation of both cultures, but a table topped with Italian dishes. So when our family began our own holiday traditions, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day was among them. But there was no cherished Irish Soda Bread recipe to beContinue reading “Irish Soda Bread”

Traditional King Cake

Once upon a time my husband and I lived in Durham, NC, and had a neighbor who threw a rocking Mardi Gras party on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday every year. He’s the one who introduced us to King Cake — and to a new food tradition. This year, the big day is Feb. 28. SoContinue reading “Traditional King Cake”

Classic Lemon Bars

I love cookies. I really do. More than cupcakes or cheesecakes or pies or … well, maybe not more than doughnuts. The point is that if you love cookies as much as I (and, thankfully, my children) do, then you need a long list of cookie recipes to choose from. These lemon bars are aContinue reading “Classic Lemon Bars”

Carrot and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

All fall long and well into the winter, produce from the amazing squash family is abundant in gardens and grocery stores, food stands and farmers markets. Beside the best-known pumpkins and butternut squash, there are cushaws and delicatas, acorn squash and spaghetti squash, Hubbard and Kabocha — all slightly different in taste and texture andContinue reading “Carrot and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash”

Even Better Than the Original Chex Mix

My mother is an incredibly generous cook. When I was growing up, I swear at least once a week she made her signature Tollhouse Cookies to give away. At Christmastime, our kitchen became a veritable cookie factory. These days, she lives 3,000 miles away. But when she flies in, she always arrives with a batchContinue reading “Even Better Than the Original Chex Mix”

Kale and Tomato Hoppin’ John

Growing up, greens and black-eyed peas were as big a part of my New Year’s Day as packing away the Christmas decorations and listening to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 Year-End Countdown. My family ate them because it was tradition and good luck — and likely because it was an easy dish to pull together afterContinue reading “Kale and Tomato Hoppin’ John”

Simple Snickerdoodles

Sometime since becoming a mom, I was introduced to the joy of Snickerdoodles. They’re a sugar cookie, but with cinnamon, too. The best versions are light and buttery, the perfect after-school snack or end to a lovely meal. Over the summer, I sampled oh-so-many recipes, in search of my absolute favorite. In the end, IContinue reading “Simple Snickerdoodles”

Ginger Crinkles

Looking back through my mother’s cookbooks, I can find at least three dog-eared Ginger Cookie recipes plus one for Gingerbread Cake, oh and there’s a Spice Cake recipe as well. I distinctly recall each of these desserts and I remember loving them all. So this year, as winter set in and I began craving the homey, holiday tastes ofContinue reading “Ginger Crinkles”

Not Your Mother’s Green Bean Casserole

  Our garden gives us green beans. We blanch and freeze them. Then, come Thanksgiving, we’ve got what we need for that holiday staple, Green Bean Casserole. But it seems a shame to slather our garden bounty with a can of condensed mushroom soup. So here’s what I make instead. It’s so flavorful, you’ll beContinue reading “Not Your Mother’s Green Bean Casserole”

Warm You Up Chili

I once won a neighborhood Chili Cook-Off with my vegetarian chili recipe, which mixes bulgar wheat with the typical kidney beans and tomatoes to give a chewy, filling feel. These days I’m cooking with meat and chili is a great one-pot meal that can feed a crowd, but I’ve struggled to find a recipe I was happy with. SoContinue reading “Warm You Up Chili”