I have to admit that I don’t enjoy overly spicy food. I think there’s an expectation when you grow a vegetable garden and like to cook that you need to get into hot pepper culture. But generally, jalapenos or chipotles are as hot as I go these days. When I want some spice, jalapenos are my g…

One of the least used herbs residing in my garden is oregano. For years it has thrived behind the shed, returning each summer more vigorous than ever. On one hand, I don’t feel that bad about neglecting it, seeing as we started the plant from seed years ago and it doesn’t require much in ter…

Sicily was one of the stops on the Mediterranean cruise planned for our upcoming honeymoon. At this point, there is no chance we’re going to make it there this fall, and honestly, who knows when we will. Yet Sicily was one of the destinations I was most excited to visit.

Let’s face it, most of our travel plans for the near future are not happening. Instead, we are spending more time closer to home than usual. At least we should be. Sadly, we are missing out on all kinds of experiences in the process. Take my honeymoon plans to the Mediterranean, for instance…

Some nights it feels like such a hassle to get dinner made at a reasonable time. The only way I seem able to make it happen is by sticking with a meal plan and a schedule. But even that’s not foolproof, as it’s so easy to get delayed with something at work, finding myself having to make an u…

I broke a record with the amount of canning I accomplished this past year. I tackled everything from plum caramel sauce and zesty zucchini relish to sour cherry preserves and roasted lime salsa. Any day now, the shelves of my cabinet that holds both my canning jars and cookbook collection, w…

One of the things I like best about this time of year is the scent of a fresh Christmas tree in the house. I was sitting next to our tree the other day, enjoying that woodsy aroma and brainstorming recipe ideas, when I started to wonder if there was a way to capture that tree essence in cooking.

Eggplant is a love or hate kind of vegetable. For me, it’s love. I think what causes these feelings is the unique texture. The best (and maybe worst) way to describe it is being similar to a dense sponge. Because just like a sponge, eggplant absorbs flavor really well. It reminds me a lot of…

Although the weather is turning cooler much faster than I’d like, I have to say it’s my favorite time of year. Over the past few weeks I’ve picked peaches, plums, pears, raspberries and apples at local orchards and while visiting home in Connecticut. Meanwhile, in my backyard garden, it’s a …

A crostata, also called a galette, or even just a tart, is one of my favorite ways to use fresh summer fruit. With a crunchy, rustic crust, one could call it a lazy version of a pie. But that’s a perspective I’m fine with after picking and pitting more than a dozen pounds of cherries from a …

There are so many specialty and niche chocolate bars available these days. Most of them are pretty good too, with creative flavor combinations and unique textures. I’m not sure we have ever had this many choices for chocolate. Most of these bars are made by smaller producers that use just a …

Go away. After seven years in Vermont, this was the spring that finally caused me to break down and buy myself a pair of muck boots. Shortly after, during a brief reprieve from the rain, I splattered through my swamp of a yard to see if I’d be able to plant the garden or just have to settle …

Spring is a rainy season. Seattle is a rainy city. Combine the two and you might expect a washout. Yet, Seattle just experienced its driest March in 75 years. It may be a fluke, or perhaps climate change will make the Emerald City a fine spring getaway for us Vermonters, where winter continu…

After Guinness and Jameson, Baileys is probably the next most popular Irish beverage. My girlfriend would argue in favor of Magners, one of her favorite ciders, but just about everyone is familiar with Baileys Irish Cream.

I shouldn’t tell you about these donuts. My grandmother doesn’t approve. Although she died about 15 years ago, I heard from her last week. She reached out from the afterlife to let me know I’m making these donuts all wrong.

As we get into the depths of winter, when the snow starts to pile up and it becomes too cold and bitter to venture out for long, it’s a good time to make hearty meals that cook slowly through the course of a lazy weekend day. Stews that warm the air with their gentle heat and meaty aromas al…

It’s Hanukkah this week, and a good time to appreciate Jewish food just a little more. There are many staples of the holiday, with the fried potato cakes known as latkes being one of the most popular. Or maybe you’ve had the delicious crescent-shaped pastries called rugelach. They’re stuffed…

The holidays are here, folks, and they’ve arrived earlier than usual. Everyone seems a bit caught off guard by how fast the fall has gone by, myself included. So much so, that as I write this column with Thanksgiving less than a week away, I’m still unsure what I’ll be cooking. I honestly ha…

While on a flight over the weekend I flipped through the onboard film options and came across Anthony Bourdain’s “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste,” a 2017 documentary that highlights the many ways in which we’re wasting our food and hurting the planet in the process. And boy, was it enlightening.