Good Luck Dumplings

It’s time to celebrate the Lunar New Year, ushering in the Year of the Ox. For good luck (and who doesn’t need a little of that right now?) and prosperity, share some home-made dumplings, which tradition holds resemble the shape of ancient Chinese coins. This recipe and pointers comes courtesy of Three Points Kitchen’s West…

Cookie Swap Out

This year’s cookie swap involved creative friends with varied family traditions. Actually, it was a first-time swap, as the participants would normally be scattered far and wide for holiday gatherings. The setting was a cozy outdoor arrangement (no real stretch for the Swiss host who would usually be hiking and skiing in the Alps this…

Slow and Steady Wins The Candyland Race

In his later years, my dad became a holiday candy maker and his patient nature was surely a factor in the success of his smooth fudge and  Joe’s Chocolate-Almond Burnt Toffee. He wouldn’t let anyone into the kitchen during his experiments and kept his recipes closely guarded, but my mother testified to his long evenings…

Cheesecake Under the Tree

Here’s an appetizer (or brunch alternative) that will confound and then delight your guests—a Savory Cheesecake made with asiago and cream cheese. Diners always seem to have a hard time wrapping their heads around the combination of cheesecake and savory.  Be prepared for the inevitable exclamations: “Oh . . . it’s not sweet!” followed by “Wow, that’s…

Pick a Pickled Pumpkin

Because it’s the season for all things pumpkin, here’s a new way to try the fall favorite: in a pickle. This recipe for Quick Pickled Pumpkin is just that, and the results will add a bright, unexpected punch to fall menus of all kinds. (Plus offer an excuse to jump on the pickling bandwagon.) The…

Q is for Quince

There’s something old-fashioned about quince. It could be partly because the fruit is rarely seen in U.S. markets these days, despite its likeness to the apples and pears that overflow grocery bins. That very scarcity, coupled with the fact that quinces have a dry, astringent flesh that needs to be cooked, and so can’t be…

Black-Eyed Peas, Please

Unless you happen to be a particular fan of Southern cuisine, you probably don’t think much about black-eyed peas. Except maybe around New Year’s, when it’s customary, again by Southern tradition, to cook up a pot of Hoppin’ John for good luck (a practice that’s seemingly been adopted far and wide, if the sudden scarcity…

Tamarind Creamsicle

Just in time for ice cream season, a reprise of one of our all-time favorite recipes: Tamarind Ice Cream.  The sweet-tartness of tamarind blends magically with the cool creaminess of traditional ice cream. For a new twist, try adding some tropical heat with a bit of cayenne or your favorite chili powder, blended into the ice…

How Refreshing

Looking for a quick, easy, refreshing and luscious dessert? Look no further, the Meyer Lemon Posset is here. This incredibly simple recipe with the strange name consists of just whipping cream, sugar and lemon juice. After coming to a bare simmer, it sets up into a hard-to-describe ethereal something. It’s beyond whipped cream, but it’s…

Great Cake—Honest, Abe

Honestly, I don’t know how it happens, but wherever I go, I inevitably end up in conversation about food with a chef, baker or artisan food maker. How else to explain a cake recipe discussion at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.? Browsing in the gift shop after the museum tour (also always on the lookout…