Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 12:01 am

Valentine’s Day recommendations

 Champagne is a classic choice for Valentine’s Day, and it, along with other sparkling wines like cava, prosecco and moscato d’Asti, are some of the most versatile wines to enjoy and pair wit...
Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 12:01 am
 Few dishes are more aptly suited to counter the effects of the bracing February wind than hot borscht. I remember the first time it was served to me as a young child. My family was in Chicago fo...
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 12:01 am

Wooing women with bread

 In the fall of 1971 I was a skinny, pimply-faced, pathologically shy college freshman at the University of Illinois in Urbana. I desired female companionship, but was too timid to ask anyon...
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 12:01 am

From Cara Caras to clementines

 After weeks of rich wintery fare, nature has a way of offering her own elixir. Citrus fruits are in peak season now through early spring, arriving just in time to pull us out of our butter-laden...
Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 12:01 am

Julianne’s last meal

The first anniversary of my wife (and Illinois Times food writer) Julianne’s passing is approaching. When she died, she left me with four decades of memories and two freezers full of homemade soups,...
Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 12:01 am
 We know that eating fresh, simple, home-cooked food is one of the best ways to foster our health and overall well-being. Many of you, like me, will be entering the New Year with a renewed commit...
Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 12:01 am

Make-ahead breakfast delights

 I’ve always been a morning person. As a child, this meant that I was left to my own devices on weekends until about 9:30, when the rest of the house would finally begin to stir. I grew up lear...
Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016 12:01 am
 I have vivid memories of years ago answering a knock on my door the week before Christmas. We were experiencing snow showers and my wife’s friend was standing outside my kitchen door with a st...
Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 12:01 am
 ’Tis the season for braising! This hands-off cooking method, in which foods are covered and slow-cooked at a lower temperature with a small amount of liquid, transforms tough, cheaper cuts of...
Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 12:01 am

An outcast earns its place at the table

 In his book Dave Barry’s Bad Habits, humorist Dave Barry describes his mother’s approach to a balanced diet: “For every food she served you that you could stand to eat, she served you anot...

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