Though there are more people of Irish descent in the United States than in Ireland itself, the usual American celebration of St. Patrick's Day with green beer and corned beef and cabbage has nothing to do with the Emerald Isle's cuisine. If you're going to celebrate Monday was they do in Ireland, think smoked salmon or grilled fat prawns or grass-fed beef, with a side of colcannon, a basket of brown soda bread and a pint of Harp or Guinness to wash it down.
Sunday afternoon. Cloudy. I'm reading Fuchsia Dunlop and getting very, very hungry. I need a bowl of dan dan noodles immediately and make out a grocery list for that and her recipe for wontons.
Why drink merlot when most people agree cabernet sauvignon is the king of wines? Here's why. When I throw a big dinner, it's surprising how many guests say cabs are too tannic, too powerful, and politely ask for something softer.
When Andrew Abrahamson and Pedro Shanahan helped create the menu for the newly opened Bar Jackalope, a dusky 18-seat lounge ornamented with ersatz taxidermy of the mythical creature and devoted to whiskey from around the globe, they included, of course, bourbon, Scotch and whiskeys both Japanese and Canadian.
New from Post cereals is Poppin' Pebbles, identified in tiny type on the box front as "sweetened rice cereal with Poppin' Pieces." Much larger type points out that it "fizzes in your mouth with Burstin' Berry flavor."
Dear SOS: I am in love with the kale slaw from Balboa Cafe in Mill Valley, Calif. That dish was actually what turned me on to kale, but I can't find a salad as good. I love visiting Northern California and especially going to Balboa Cafe for the kale slaw. So I can also enjoy it at home, do you think you can get the recipe?
Some kitchen scales can be space grabbers, an issue in homes where counter space is at a premium. That makes the TriScale Compact Folding Digital Kitchen Scale by Joseph Joseph so appealing. When the arms are closed (and covering the controls), it's small enough to fit in a drawer. When the arms are open, it can weigh up to 11 pounds of dry or liquid ingredients. Battery-powered, with touch-sensitive controls and an LCD display, it can weigh grams, pounds, ounces, fluid ounces and milliliters. It comes in white or green. Suggested retail price: $30. At josephjoseph.com, or for a store locater or to buy: bedbathandbeyond.com.
Never mind the cold outdoors, it's the temperature inside that makes a difference when we're cooking - inside the refrigerator, that is (which optimally will be set at 39 degrees).
Barbara Block of Berrien Springs, Mich., was searching for a recipe for Rice Krispies treat ice cream bars that she said were very popular in the 1960s.
Toms, the Los Angeles company known for its comfy, eco-friendly footwear and its shoes-donating ways, is tiptoeing into an unusual product line: coffee.
Mom picked up on the first ring. She'd been thinking of me. She had just finished dinner and was thinking about sitting in my chair.
Ale Asylum entered the world of Belgian India pale ales gingerly.
My collection began in the early '70s with a single volume, "The Hippie Cookbook," sent to my college dorm, a gift from a California relative who loved to spend time in the kitchen.
How do you pass up a doughnut? Most of us don't despite the fact they are loaded with useless calories.
In an old "Seinfeld" episode, Jerry and Elaine stop at a bakery on their way to a dinner party, intending to buy a chocolate babka as a hostess gift. But they're thwarted by the couple ahead of them, who buy the last babka - and are headed to the same party! What to do?
Question: What's a good mix of salt and water for brining chicken? Is there a time difference for whole chicken vs. parts?
Momentary warm weather got me thinking about playing outdoors, gardening and shopping at farmer's markets.
What a beauty. Caprili's 2011 Rosso di Montalcino, 100 percent Sangiovese grosso, is the perfect food wine, bright and chiseled, with flavors of black cherries, sweet spices and chocolate. Tannins are tight, and there's a lovely slight bitterness at the finish that keeps you coming back to the glass.
Question: When I saw the strawberry cake recipe in your column recently I was so excited, and then I realized it wasn't the one I wanted. The recipe I want I clipped from your column long ago and lost in Hurricane Andrew. It called for fresh strawberries in the batter and frosting, and you would never guess it came from a mix.
You need not have cousins in Cork or Mayo to stir up a few Irish dishes. Not with this trio of new cookbooks with their enticing recipes and beautiful photos.
OK, it's hardly bollito misto weather. But we can pretend. At least once every winter, I need to make the "mixed boiled meats" of northern Italy, one of the easiest and most festive meals I know. By rights, snow should be deep outside the window, but here we are, with the temperature nowhere near freezing. Only a few days ago, we were walking around in shorts. And you know what? Bollito misto suits milder weather just fine.
Linda Lahey from Baltimore was looking for the recipe for gooey butter cake that her father used to bring home every Sunday from the Marquad bakery when she was growing up. The bakery, in Baltimore, is long gone, but the memory of that delicious cake still makes her mouth water.
This Pinot Bianco is from South Tyrol's brilliant, almost 200-year-old wine estate Alois Lageder. With the fifth generation in charge now, Lageder produces a consistently excellent range of whites. The Pinot Bianco "Dolomiti," at less than $15, is always a great buy. The grapes are grown on cooler west-facing slopes and farmed bio-dynamically, giving a wine that is crisp and clean, with aromas of apples and delicate flowers.
Dear SOS: We were returning from a new year's trip and were delayed four hours at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. The saving grace was the best tuna sandwich I've ever eaten. Hard to imagine something so simple was so outstanding. The sandwich was from La Grande Orange cafe at the airport. The tuna had large chunks of fish, golden raisins and what I think was sweet pickle relish. The sandwich had fresh sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and lettuce, and it was on a toasted nine-grain (or was it 12?) bread. The combination was delicious. Do you think they would share the recipe?
Question: My oven is slow. Should I increase the temperature or increase the cooking time?
Fans of cabernet sauvignon call it "the king of wines, the wine of kings." For good reason. It makes some of the finest, richest, most powerful, age-worthy wines in the world.
Worn down by drought and dwindling water supplies, Trey Nickels was disheartened about his future as a farmer growing black-eyed peas in Muleshoe, Texas.
I like to think that I'm the kind of open-minded cook who loves all ingredients equally. But I'm not.