Simple Appetizer, A 4-Can Antipasto

4-can antipasto (Zester) (2) “Fresh is best” is usually a good rule to live by. But if you know how to find quality preserved items, a few well-chosen canned foods in your pantry can save the day, especially during the busy holidays.

Healthy food is food that is minimally processed. All the foods’ transformation should happen when you turn it from the raw to the cooked and not at some factory.

When I am unable to pronounce the ingredients listed on the side of a food’s packaging I shiver. When I see the word “natural” on a food package I read “Sh&u8#%g” because it has the same meaning. However, I am not a fanatic or obsessive about food: I can eat crap too. I do so minimally. I don’t always seek out organic, or local, or seasonal, or any other of the environmentally correct buzzwords.

Now and then canned food is just plain convenient. And luckily there are some canned products that are not loaded with chemicals such as taste enhancers or preservatives of one kind or another. READ MORE

Zombie Pizzas With Real Innards for New Year’s Eve

ZombiePizza-tongue Pizza con Spinaci e Aglio Arrosto (Zester) The popularity of zombie movies exploded in the past several years.

Since no one watches zombie movies alone, a New Year’s Eve party is perfect. From old zombie movies going all the way back to”White Zombie” from 1932 with Bela Lugosi to the long list of recent zombie hits, there’s not shortage of flicks to pick from. For food in front of the TV, popcorn is easiest, but here’s a fun idea: zombie pizza.

It’s a clever way to introduce offal, that is, zombies eat guts. Here are three pizzas that can be partially prepared ahead of time. An enclosed pizza is a “pizza with guts” made with lamb tripe, lamb kidney, veal sweetbread in a spicy-hot chile and tomato sauce. The second is “pizza with blood and thyroid,” made with tomato sauce to represent blood, comte cheese and fried veal sweetbread, which actually is thyroid gland. Finally, the “pizza with liver bile, gonads, and pus” is made with chopped cooked spinach to represent liver bile, roasted whole garlic (gonads), diced fried eggplant, burrata cheese and ricotta cheese to represent pus, and thin slices of tongue headcheese. READ MORE

New A Thoughtful Gift? Try An Older Cookbook

Christmas Cookbook Gifts (Zester)

Shopping for a great Christmas gift once meant hours of driving and parking, but with today’s Internet shopping, it’s easier. Internet shopping can be great for those of us who like to give cookbooks. With so many available titles, there are a few … [Continue reading]

How To Throw A Flawless Holiday Dinner Party

Fondue-Dyala, Helen, Ally Sitterly laughing

It is joyous to watch people have a good time and set a table for sparkling conversation and good food. I hope my guests talk about the dinner party well into the future, about the people they met, the topics they conversed about, and the food they … [Continue reading]

Savory Ginger Pumpkin Mash, A Bit of Pilgrim Pride

Pumpkin, stewed (1)

There are basically three approaches to devising a Thanksgiving menu. In the first, the foods are typical of New England where the first thanksgiving was celebrated some 250 years before it became a national holiday with a capital “T” in the … [Continue reading]

This Year, Try a Corn Dish from the First Thanksgiving

Nasaump (2)

Although there is no menu of the first harvest celebration that is usually called the first Thanksgiving, there are some sound ideas of what foods, if not precise preparations, were on the table. Between 1620 and 1621 Edward Winslow, who arrived … [Continue reading]

Middle Eastern Meze Bring Many Cultures to the Table

Qara bi'l-Tahina (Arab Levant) (2)

In the Middle East food is shared and one place it is shared is on the meze table. Meze are small samplings of prepared dishes that make a meal. They are not appetizers, nor tapas, nor hors d’oeuvres but are actually more philosophically related to … [Continue reading]

Three Dinners in One from a New England Classic

Boiled Dinner 1 (Zester) (1)

Careful thought can ease your workload considerably, if that’s how you think of cooking, by squeezing three dinners from one initial cooking. It’s a novel way of viewing leftovers in that you’re not using them so much as you are making leftovers to … [Continue reading]

Pumpkin and Pasta? Now That’s Italian!

Pumpkin Pappardelle with Pumpkin and Poppy Seed (4)

Pumpkin is an ideal bland food with a distinctive taste. That’s a good thing because it means you have to do something to the pumpkin to make it palatable and delicious. Typically, pumpkin pie is a solution, but nowadays it’s going into all kinds of … [Continue reading]

Sicily’s Eggplant Ceviche for Summer

wright-eggplantseviche1-580x385

The end of summer offers the cook a wealth of sparkling fruits and vegetables for culinary transformation. One of my favorite dishes this time of year is a Sicilian preparation called mulinciana a schibecci, or eggplant ceviche. I don’t make this … [Continue reading]

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