What to Cook

The Downton Abbey Dinners

We were late to the Downton Abbey game, my family was, but what we lacked in timing we made up for in zeal. We slammed down the first three seasons over the course of a couple of months in what felt like the equivalent of a chugging contest (do you remember the scene where Tom’s brother comes and asks for a beer? And Mr. Carson acted as though he had asked for a bottle of Jagermesiter and a funnel?). During several seasons of Downton Abbey, when it originally aired, I decided to cook dinners to eat while watching the show that …

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5 Dishes for Early Fall

Happy Labor Day! (Is saying that really a thing? Why is that a thing?) If you have kids, they may be back to school, or they may be counting those final hours. As they pack up for the first days of school, I always take a long look at those backpacks filled with school supplies. All those pencils with their sharp little tips (or those mechanical pencils filled with lead and ready to go), those bright and shiny notebooks, that binder with its neat dividers and loose-leaf paper distributed just so. If you have kids (or even if you don’t), …

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What is the Difference Between Bruschetta and Crostini?

The Difference Between Bruschetta and Crostini I adore bruschetta and crostini, and think there is no better go-to appetizer for entertaining. Both are pieces of toast with toppings. The rest is often a little loose, in terms of what you may see on a restaurant menu and how the kitchen defines it. But let’s get into the details.   What is Bruschetta? Bruschetta pronounced [brusˈketta], which translates to “a little burnt thing” in Italian (don’t go away, it’s not burnt, it’s just a cute translation), is a crusty slab of grilled or toasted country bread, usually rubbed with garlic, brushed with …

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5 Great Summer Drinks

If there is one thing, one single thing, that I think you can do to make a gathering feel more special, it’s to offer up a signature drink. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be alcoholic, simply make one beverage just for the occasion, and present it to your guests in addition to the usual assortment of soft drinks, beer, and wine. It just says, hey there, I put some extra thought into this occasion—thanks for coming over. This is a good idea all year long (hot ginger apple cider toddies for the winter? Yes, please), but …

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6 Great (and Surprising!) Slaws

Even though I love a good slaw all year round, Summer is definitely slaw season. It’s hard to image a barbecue or a picnic or a warm weather potluck of any kind without a slaw or two on the table. Plus, I love a slaw for topping a taco, whether it be a fish taco or turkey, or a fish sandwich, or a burger or pulled pork piled on a roll. And I adore a basic slaw—cabbage-centric, maybe some carrots for color, a bit of onion for bite, and a creamy mayo-based dressing. Classics are classics for a reason. But …

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10 Ways to Use Leftover Rice

The Intentional Leftover is key to my whole cooking world. I never make just enough chicken for a meal, or just enough steak, or just enough quinoa, or just enough rice. There are so many leftovers that are amazing springboards for the next meal, or just bulk up a soup or salad, or that give you a little inspiration to use up other odds and ends in the fridge.   Extra rice has so many potentials uses all week long, you’ll be glad to have leftovers hanging out in the fridge.   Types of Rice Most of these recipes can work …

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