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Every Saturday for four years, beginning in February 2008, The Perfect Pantry peeked into Other People's Pantries from all around the world, as readers shared their best tips and personal touches in wonderful photographs. Pantry #1, from Mae in Michigan, showed us her spice storage and collection of Mona Lisa objects, and that set the tone for what became a favorite feature on this blog. Over the next few weeks, I invite you to revisit some of my favorite pantries, to celebrate your creativity and inventiveness, eclectic and practical storage solutions, and just plain over-the-top fabulousness. You can always browse through the entire collection of pantry photos by clicking on the Pantries link at the top of the page. If you're still dreaming of creating... Read more →


My friend Lucia married her sweetheart, Sandy, a couple of weeks ago, and when people marry in midlife, it's always a happy affair. The celebration, a potluck, demanded a festive and elegant contribution, and for that, nothing fit the bill better than Chicken Marbella. With all of the extra bits of ingredients out on the kitchen counter, and a few leftovers in the fridge, I mixed up this gorgeous salad, and it was a total winner, wedding-worthy in its own right. If you're a fan of rice and beans, or of Chicken Marbella, you'll love this salad, because it marries the two dishes. Use leftover cooked rice, canned beans, a little bit of chicken breast (or store-bought rotisserie chicken), and lots of olives, capers and... Read more →


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 →