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In the house where I grew up, mustard was yellow, neon-bright yellow, and we squirted it on hot dogs. Period. In my own kitchen, I stock at least half a dozen types of mustard, but none gets used as often as Dijon mustard. It's tangy, yet not strident. A spoonful of Dijon goes into every spaghetti sauce I make; I know it sounds odd, but you have to trust me and try it. Dijon adds character. Mix a little bit of Dijon into your egg salad or potato salad. Add it to meatloaf. And don't forget vinaigrette dressings for your salads. Sometimes I use the country Dijon, made with coarsely-ground mustard seed; other times, I use the smooth mustard. Over the years I've written a... Read more →


It takes a village to make a plate of collard greens. Well, it took my village to make this plate of collards. Stephen, a regular user of our Little Free Library, loves to cook and has a large garden in the Fenway near the Museum of Fine Arts. Recently he brought me a wonderful gift of a huge bag of collards fresh from the garden. Believe it or not, I've never cooked collards, because I've never really loved them (too slimy, and usually made with ham hocks, which I don't eat). So I asked for recipe advice, and Stephen suggested the typical long cook time of 2-3 hours, with smoked turkey in place of the ham, or maybe smoked paprika. I knew I wouldn't like... Read more →


When we moved from the log house last year, we left behind our over-the-hill grill. Now that grilling season approaches, all I can think about is buying a new grill for our backyard, because dishes like this chicken bulgogi are calling to me. I pressed the broiler into service to make this recipe for you, because I'm sure I'm the only person who doesn't already have a grill cleaned and ready to go. The broiler made truly crisp-juicy chicken bulgogi, so I don't hesitate to recommend this method. Korean barbecue is all the rage, and for good reason. While the outside of the salty-sweet meat crisps over (or under) the fire, the inside remains tender, thanks to the addition of Asian pear or kiwi in... Read more →


Happy Saturday! Let's talk about films that have food as a key player, or a supporting actor, or a setting or a prop. In the comments below, please share your favorites, old or new, funny or weird, popular or obscure. Documentaries or mockumentaries. Films for children or adults (but please, no adult films). Babette's Feast? Ratatouille? Chef (my current favorite; I've watched it at least half a dozen times)? Big Night (I've probably watched this one a dozen times.)? Dinner Rush? Mostly Martha? Like Water for Chocolate? Bottle Shock? La Grande Bouffe? Tampopo? Next up, on my to-see list: The Lunchbox. What's on your list? I'll publish a big list of food movies from all of your suggestions. Thanks! Read more →


It's only taken eight years (gulp) for me to update this April 2008 recipe post for grilled tofu wraps, stuffed with avocado, bell peppers and onions, rolled into a tortilla slathered with honey mustard. Honestly, I can't imagine why I waited so long. The combination of ingredients sounds weird, I know -- tofu and avocado, and honey mustard -- but it makes a really great sandwich. I know, because my husband Ted ate two of them for lunch. Montreal Steak Seasoning is the magic ingredient here. It gives the tofu a salty-peppery-garlicky-herby crust. Nobody knows the exact formulation of the original Montreal Steak Seasoning (available by mail from Schwartz's deli in Montreal, where it was invented to spice up grilled meats), but every version builds... Read more →


When something is really, really good, it doesn't have to be fancy. These baked potato wedges are really, really good, as good as they were when I first published the recipe back in June 2006. Actually, maybe they're better now, because they're a very occasional treat. As comfort food goes, potatoes hardly ever fail to please. These potatoes require minimal preparation, and they come out of the oven crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, buttery and slightly salty. In short, these potato wedges are perfect, and they don't even need to be dipped in ketchup or fry sauce or anything. All I can tell you is that I'm glad my husband Ted was out of town when I made them to take new... Read more →


So, this is funny, or not funny, but weird, and absolutely true. Last week my computer suffered a "catastrophic software failure" (three words no one wants to hear), and spent some time with the geniuses at the Apple Store, searching for a cure. The good news is that they did find a cure. The bad news is that it cost me some files here and there, and one of those files wiped out the emails in which you shared what's new in your pantry. If your "what's new" hasn't appeared here, I am so sorry. I promise to make it up to you, with a bit of a prowl through my own pantry. When my husband Ted and I moved to our small Boston apartment,... Read more →