In And Out of The Kitchen

How to Throw a Holiday Open House Party

There are many ways to entertain friends and family, but during this terrifically busy season, it’s the Open House party that I gravitate to. Not a big sit down meal, not a frenetic, crowded 2-hour cocktail party, but rather a gentile stretch of time with people coming and going as they please. This kind of party allows people to stop by when it works for them, and stay as long as they wish – and it also allow you to host a lot of people in one day, hopefully in a nice gradual flow. With a serve yourself bar and …

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Sorry Not Sorry: When A First Kid Goes to College

It’s been a couple of weeks since my older son Jack headed off to school a plane ride away. And it’s been a couple of weeks of lovely, concerned people asking about how he likes it so far, and then leaning in and asking, “And how are you doing?” I don’t quite know how to answer this. I usually say something about being just so busy with work and other things, and make a joke about being a master at denial, and that visiting weekend is mere weeks away. I certainly know that after flying home I flung myself into a …

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Eat Smartly and Carry a Small Stick … of 100% Grass-fed Beef

What does a teenage football-playing boy and an American Pygmy Shrew have in common?  They both eat 3 times their body weight every day in food. Okay, that is NOT true (well, it’s true about the American Pygmy Shrew), but if you are the person who is feeding one or more teenage boys then you might feel like that statement is believable.  All I know is that starting in late August and heading into November my guys are in full-on football mode, working hard and eating like there isn’t a bottom in sight. And I’m cooking as fast (and as …

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In Memory of Christopher Idone (The Dirtiest Dinner Ever)

Last Friday the inimitable Christopher Idone died after a long battle with cancer, and two years in hospice. He was one of the best cooks I ever knew — decades ago he lived and wrote about much of what we know about authentic, simple, seasonal, and regional cooking today. His cookbooks Glorious Food and Glorious American Food (and many others) were revolutionary. I met him when I was 25; he was a legend and I was a kid, but I became his editor on Brazil:A Cook’s Tour, and he took a shine to me and we became great friends. He …

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I Didn’t Do Amazingly, But I Had Fun: One of the Best Kid Texts Ever

I got one of the best texts I’ve ever gotten from my 16-year old son last night. He was on his way home from his first ever Science Olympiad tournament, on the bus with his teammates. Me: “How did it go?” Jack: “Good. I didn’t do amazingly, but I had fun.” Does this look like a text a mother would get mushy about? If you are a parent of a teenage kid, you already familiar with the backdrop of today’s high school environment, and you’ve probably read an article or two about pressure and college and admissions and the whole …

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Super Bowl Sunday

To be candid, I had to ask my husband which teams are playing in the Super Bowl (it’s the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, in case you were also in the dark), so it’s not exactly like I am a football aficionado. I don’t actually think football fans use the word aficionado very much. Had the Patriots been in the Super Bowl (my husband is from Worcester, MA: “Wooo-ster”), there would have been a lot of pressure riding on this day . . . even though my New York born and bred children are fans of other random teams. (Charlie is …

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