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When the weather heats up, my little kitchen does, too. One way to beat the heat is by using the slow cooker. No need to turn on the stove, or stand over it to stir-fry or sauté. In fact, no need to pay any attention at all for most of the day, save a few minutes of prep, and a few minutes of shredding at the end of the cooking. You can spend the rest of the day at the beach, in the pool, or reading a book. I love one-dish meals, and I love beef brisket (you might have guessed that by now), so you know how much I love this slow cooker shredded beef brisket that's salty, tangy, with a little bit of... Read more →


Have you had time to watch all of the food flicks from last week's list? No? I'm not surprised, as there were so many good films on the list. Here are some more recent favorites (made since the year 2000) in which food plays a role. (We didn't include documentaries. We'll do that another time.) How many have you seen? Which ones are new to you? Did we forget any? Ratatouille Chef The Lunch Box The Hundred Foot Journey Bon Appetit Haute Cuisine Julie and Julia It's Complicated Pieces of April Soul Kitchen Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Tortilla Soup No Reservations Le Grand Chef Waitress Today's Special Tasting Menu Le Chef The Chef's Wife Romantics Anonymous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the remake,... Read more →


This season, I'm grilling greens. Not just the typical asparagus and zucchini, but the leafy greens usually reserved for salads. Cabbage and bok choy and kale. And now, lettuce. Something wonderful happens to greens on the grill. They get warm and a little bit smoky, and they taste sweeter, too. Chop your grilled greens and add them to salads like this grilled lettuce salad with tomato, cucumber, bacon, cheese, and a creamy dressing. Or use them as wraps, replacing tortillas or rice paper wrappers. For something new at your next barbecue, toss your greens with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and throw them on the grill. You're going to love it. Grilled lettuce salad with creamy Dijon dressing From the pantry, you'll... Read more →


Do your taste buds tingle whenever you think of lemon? Mine do, and sometimes, that tingling is the sensation I crave, more than salty chips, more than rich chocolate, more than fiery hot sauce. Lemon in any form will calm the craving, but lemon in this form, lemon scones with a lemon glaze, takes the prize. Scones are casual, and if you have all of the ingredients on hand, these scones take less than an hour, start to finish. You can make pat the dough out and cut it into perfect little triangles or squares, but I like this method, large balls of dough formed with the aid of an ice cream scoop. The result is ten good-sized scones, perfect for a weekend brunch. And... Read more →


You can't say that The Perfect Pantry doesn't try to keep you entertained! There are so many great movies where food plays a part that we had to split the list in two. Get ready to start searching; most are available on Netflix or Amazon Prime, but for some of the older films, you'll have to hit the library. Today, food-related flicks up to the year 2000. (See our list of films since the year 2000 here.) How many have you seen? Which ones are new to you? Did we forget any? Babette's Feast Dinner Rush Mostly Martha Like Water for Chocolate Le Grande Bouffe Tampopo Eat Drink Man Woman Chocolat My Dinner with Andre Toast Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? Willy... Read more →


In the summer, you want things to be simple. Throw some tandoori spiced grilled lamb, flank steak with ponzu and honey glaze or chicken bulgogi -- or hamburgers and hot dogs -- on the grill, and spend 5 minutes whipping up this sweet and easy cole slaw. It keeps for three days in the refrigerator, and deserves a place on any picnic table. Recently, there's been some sort of cole slaw shortage around my neighborhood. The supermarket deli sections don't have it in stock, which seems crazy as cookout and picnic season is upon us. No need to worry, though, because cole slaw is so easy to make at home. Save yourself time and effort by starting with store-bought cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage and... Read more →


This is my summer of thighs. No, not my thighs, the ones I don't want to show in a bathing suit: I'm talking about chicken thighs. My freezer runneth over with packages of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. (Consider yourselves warned.) If you are reading this in the morning, you could be eating this for lunch or dinner. The grilled chicken requires a quick marinade, made from ingredients you probably always have in the pantry (and can buy at the regular grocery store). And once cooked, the chicken tastes good hot or cold, which makes it a great make-ahead dish for summer entertaining. If you don't have a grill, go ahead and cook this under the broiler. I love to serve the chicken sliced and wrapped... Read more →