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!

Let's end the year with something a little bit sweet. Okay, more than a little bit, but not quite as sweet as honey. I love agave, and use it in my own balsamic vinaigrette dressing, in tomato sauce, drizzled on yogurt or ice cream, and a hundred other ways. Agave is a plant-based product, which makes it more acceptable than honey to some strict vegans. How about you? Is agave nectar in your pantry? Agave nectar: like or dislike? Last week: disposable pastry bags. Who liked, and who disliked? Take a peek. Read more →


The idea for this rustic fish and fennel pot pie came to me in a dream, and unless you are Sigmund Freud (you're not, are you?), I'm not going to bore you with the details. Somewhere in the dream, I was planning a menu for La Vigilia, the traditional Italian Christmas Eve feast of seven fishes, which in real life I don't celebrate, so I'm sure it wasn't real. One of the dishes on my imaginary menu was a fish pot pie, and if I were making this for La Vigilia, I'd stuff it with several kinds of fish, and... Read more →


Bakers and non-bakers alike might keep a stash of plastic, disposable pastry bags in the pantry. They're perfect for cookie icing, of course, but also for making fancy swirly designs with mashed potatoes. And, let's face it, the worst part of using a traditional cloth pastry bag is cleaning it out. I confess: I reach for these disposable bags more and more often these days, and I happily toss them away when I'm finished with them, no washing required. I'm wondering if you use them, too. Disposable pastry bags: like or dislike? Last week: black pepper. Who liked, and who... Read more →


Generally, I think of myself as a person who has not led a fear-based life. And yet, I spent decades living in fear of pressure cookers (once you see green beans plastered to the kitchen ceiling, you cannot unsee them). So I owe this risotto to my friend Kalyn, who nudged me back into pressure cooking, which turned risotto from nearly an hour of stirring (and upper arm exhaustion) to a quick six minutes at high pressure in my fail-safe electric pressure cooker, making this spinach and kale risotto officially fast food. Sun-dried tomatoes bring a little sweetness to balance... Read more →


A couple of years ago, I wouldn't have been caught in the same room with raw Brussels sprouts, let alone encourage you to make a salad with them, but here I am. With practice and determination, I've become a Brussels sprouts believer. Roasted or sauteéd, sprouts become soft and sweet. Raw, the sprouts keep their crunch. Mustard in the vinaigrette dressing helps to tenderize them a bit, without turning them to rubber. In the past, I've combined Brussels sprouts with bacon (always a winning combination), and with blueberries, but for the colors of the season, I love these raw shaved... Read more →


It takes a lot to drive me to kitchen panic, so please appreciate when I tell you that I RAN OUT OF BLACK PEPPER a few weeks ago, and panic ensued. I was sure I had a bag stashed in the freezer, as I always do, but the move to a smaller pantry, followed by a couple of months away from cooking, threw me off. I can cook without salt, without thyme, without cheese, even without olive oil, but I cannot cook without black pepper. I used to be very particular about fresh-ground pepper, as in only a pepper grinder... Read more →


On the days when I'm really in the mood to cook, I love to put some meals "in the bank" -- in other words, into the freezer, for the days when I'm really not in the mood to cook. These chicken enchilada roll-ups start with one of those "in the bank" dishes, quick and easy black beans and rice, and end as an all-in-one meal you can defrost, zap in the microwave, and serve any day of the week with just a few minutes of work. At this busy time of year, it's great to have a few easy meals... Read more →