Yes, you're in the right place -- it's The Perfect Pantry, with a fresh, new look. We're marching into the future, with a design called "responsive" that works better for all readers, on desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones. If you have more than one device, you'll see the slight changes from one to the other. The navigation tabs, a.k.a. the list of contents, are now at the top of the page on desktops and tablets, and under the three bars at the top left if you're reading this on your phone. All of your favorite recipes are still here; they're just easier to read. Please be patient as we tweak a little bit to make sure everything works the way it should, and let us know if anything is really wonky. Now, look around, and have fun!

Readers of The Perfect Pantry over the years know that the way to my husband Ted's heart has a lot to do with beef stew. This year I realized that, despite my good intentions, I forgot to make stew ahead of time for today's holiday of love. The pressure cooker -- and a game-changing new-to-me ingredient I found at a local gourmet shop -- came to my rescue. If you plan better than I do, you can make this stew on the stovetop, in the usual way. At the cheese and gourmet shop at the end of my block, I... Read more →


[Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, and favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.] 'Tis the weekend when almost everyone is talking about chocolate, or thinking about it, and dark chocolate is the way to go. Never mind that it's full of antioxidants, and helps to regulate blood sugar, or that it just plain tastes good. Dark chocolate can... Read more →


Sometimes, when the cooking bug takes hold, I start tossing things into a pan or pot, a little more of one ingredient and then another, without a plan. This turkey, sausage and vegetable sauce happened that way, and even after it was cooked, taste-tested, and pronounced utterly blogworthy, I couldn't figure out what to call it. Or how to serve it. So, here are a few ideas. If you're low-carbing, try the sauce on its own, casserole style, or over zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or cauliflower rice. If you aren't doing low carb, how about serving it over brown rice... Read more →


Winter salads can be a challenge, but really, there's so much available as long as you stay away from rock-hard, plastic-looking pinkish tomatoes, overpriced asparagus, and other foods best eaten when they're in season in the summer. This meal-in-a-bowl began as a color study in reds and greens, with a handful of farro thrown in for texture (you could use barley or medium-size couscous instead). Instead of spinach, try kale, or a mix of lettuces and dark leafy greens. Swap dried cranberries for dried cherries, if you wish. This dish filled with fruits and vegetables couldn't be easier, or more... Read more →


[Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, and favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.] Cornstarch is enjoying a resurgence in my pantry these days. Not only is it a great coating for stir-fried foods, but it's also my thickener of choice when I make stews and some sauces. Because it's gluten-free, cornstarch helps me cook for my gluten-free friends.... Read more →


At long last, in the middle of January, snow arrived in Boston. Not a huge amount yet, but more is on the way, and I'm going to make plenty of leftover mashed potato cheese soup to reward the hardy shovelers. Use your favorite mashed potatoes as the base. You could even use mashed garlic sweet potatoes. Loosen them up in a Dutch oven with a bit of vegetable stock or water; add spices; whisk in the yogurt and cheese; let everything melt together. This creamy good potato soup doesn't have any cream in it; Greek yogurt helps enrich the soup.... Read more →


What can I tell you? This Mexican-inspired green pozole beef stew zigged, and then it zagged, and in the end, it landed perfectly. In the first version I tried to incorporate a couple of cups of blue corn kernels, a gift from my friend Candy in Albuquerque. It turns out I should have pre-cooked the corn to soften it; the kernels remained hard and chewy long after the meat was tender. Hard, chewy, and a very odd blue-ish purple. In the second version, I used canned hominy, whole corn kernels that have been dried, then treated, so they look like... Read more →