Peas Please

I like to tread carefully where fresh English peas are concerned. They are delicate and their season is short so I try to make the most of it, usually by doing as little as possible: shell, sauté briefly, season lightly, eat. Or blanch, mash with a few droplets of oil, spread on crostini, eat. In […]

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Who’s Your Culinary Idol?

I’d like to tell you about one of mine. Laura del Principe is not a Top Chef or an Iron Chef. She doesn’t have ridiculous bleached hair or tattoos running up and down her arms or a line of cookware created in her name. The restaurant she runs with her husband is tucked away in […]

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Strawberry Festival

Every year on the first weekend in June, my dad would take my sister and me to the Strawberry Festival. This was in the ’70s, in the wilds of central New Jersey. Well, technically it was suburban New Jersey, just up the hill from our house and down the road from the Dairy Queen. But […]

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Homemade Pizza

I’ve always been a little disappointed in homemade pizza. Let’s face it, unless you have your own wood-fired oven, which I most certainly don’t, it’s hard to make anything approaching a real Neapolitan-style pie, with that charred, chewy-crisp crust, perfectly puffed around the perimeter and thin (but never gooey) in the middle. I sometimes make […]

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Cold Spring, Hot Broth

Who else feels like spring is draaaaaaging her feet? I’ve been seeing lots of snapshots and mini-rants on social media about late-winter snowstorms, dreary landscapes and chilly days so I know I’m not alone. I have a remedy. It’s this soup, this simple, gentle soup composed of crepes in broth ~ crespelle in brodo in Italian, scrippelle […]

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Dreaming of Summer and a Tuscan Tour

Spring isn’t yet sprung ~ in fact, snow, wind and ice are happening my corner of the world. But I don’t care. I’m looking ahead to summer. I am throwing open the virtual glass doors and stepping out on the veranda, into the sun. A few weeks ago I got a surprise in the mail, […]

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American Food Roots and Le Virtu’

Some of you already know this, but for those who don’t, I’m happy to share with you a new website I co-founded with three other food journalists: American Food Roots. Our mission is to tell America’s food stories, celebrate the many diverse cultures that have contributed—and continue to contribute—to the American food scene, and to […]

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Winter’s Bones

(Pardon the excessive typography on the pics in this post. As if I didn’t have enough distractions, I uploaded an iPhone app called Over, which allows you to play around with text and fonts. I couldn’t resist.) * * * * * The stockpots and soup tureens in my house have been getting a workout […]

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Crema di Pomodoro. Reliably Good.

As I write this it is 71 degrees F outside, the second day in a row of “unseasonably” warm temperatures here in Virginia. By Friday we’ll be back below freezing, with flurries predicted and with wind and buckets of rain between now and then. Such are the crazy weather patterns in the Old Dominion. My […]

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Baked Pandoro French Toast

It’s not often I have leftover Pandoro. Everyone in my family loves it so it doesn’t last long. I still have a clear image in my mind of my son at age 1, toddling around in a blue and white striped one-piece thingie with a sailboat on it, clutching a giant piece of Pandoro in […]

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