super bowl snacks

It’s time for a huge confession. I’m not a sports fan. I watched football for a few years, when I lived in Pittsburgh, where being ignorant of the details of the Steelers game made for awkward water cooler moments.  The Immaculate Reception was decades ago, and in the intervening years, when the sounds of crowd cheers and crunching equipment is blasting in one room, you’ll find me in the kitchen, cooking away, watching a movie, a cooking show, or something  DVR’d because Dennis hates the program. However, an exception is made for the Super Bowl. After all, it’s an event where food plays an important part. Specifically, snack food. And cocktails. And great advertising. But really… it’s all about the food. I love snacks, finger […]


slow cooker challenge. i feel good about lamb neck.

I’ve had an on again off again relationship with my slow cooker. I purchased it at a small neighborhood hardware store in Pittsburgh, sometime during my senior year in college (when the dinosaurs walked the earth.) For years, it was my go to appliance, making soups and chilis while I toiled at an office. When I started to work from home, I needed it less, and it was relegated to a dusty shelf in the basement, moving from one house to the next, mostly ignored. From time to time, for big parties, I would bring it out and make chili con queso, using a recipe I made up when it was the perfect food to watch the Steelers win Super Bowls. More recently, the crock […]

And the winner is….

The Year of Meat has come to a close. We have a winner, and his name is Peter Barrett. Peter writes the visually stunning and always wry and clever A Cook Blog. From the very beginning, everyone noticed his spectacular, extravagent and enviable way of answering the challenges. I’d Like to Be Alone with the Sandwich for Awhile, My Salami Brings All the Goyim to the Yard, and the Charcutepalooza winning post Gratitude is the Attitude are three of my personal favorites, but any of Peter’s writings combine charm, insouciance, and knowledge, garnished with stunning photography that reveals his artistic training. Peter is first an artist. Trained at RISD and the Art Institute, he pursues his art in many ways, and of late, cooking and […]


rugelach. naughty or nice.

There are many cookies in my repetoire. Chocolate and ginger, biscotti, florentines, the sort of famous peanut butter cookies. But, rugelach I’ve made for years. It started early with my great-grandmother Agatha, who taught me to roll up rugelach for the Temple Sisterhood bake sales. It was one of those recipes I made all through college, baking in the toaster oven in the dorm kitchen. It’s a great cookie, lasts a long time (sure it does….) and can be mixed, rolled up and baked off without having to go to the store for any special ingredients beyond a brick of cream cheese. In fact, it was a review of the larder and an obvious overload of preserves last year that got me thinking about rugelach […]


charcutepalooza. my mincemeat experience.

I had such hope for this post. Sometime back in the summer, I learned of the availability of beef suet and an idea was hatched. It became my own personal Charcutepalooza extra credit. The sweet side of meat preservation – just in time for the holidays. Real mincemeat. Sweet, savory, boozy. Intense. It’s how bits and pieces of beef have been preserved for hundreds of years. And so it began. I have a long history with mincemeat. It was my mother’s favorite pie, and joined apple as dessert at both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. This mincemeat was decidedly vegetarian, out of a jar. My mother would top her piece of double crusted pie with a dab of well whipped fresh cream. The next morning, there […]


spiced smoked turkey breast. for thanksgiving.

It all started with the chorizo cornbread. I had it in my head to use chorizo in cornbread for months. So when McCormick Spices asked me to tell them about my Thanksgiving, that chipotle chile flavor was already haunting my kitchen dreams. I wanted to offer up something different. Something appropriate for a small gathering. A different twist because I’m always so darn traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving. McCormick has asked many of your favorite bloggers to celebrate Thanksgiving – check out their terrific recipes by liking the McCormick Facebook page. Since we’re traveling for the holiday, and I was wistful for turkey, I was thrilled for the excuse to cook, but the fifteen pound birds of past years would be way too much […]