Well, it’s fall (according to the calendar and Mark Scirto), and that means it’s soup time. I agree that we had 29 minutes of 69-degree weather last week, but the mid-upper 80s offset that just a little. However, anytime is soup time for us, and as you may remember that I have said before, I…

One upside of working from home, as many of us are these days, is the ability to upgrade your lunch from what you might normally tote to the office. Take a sandwich, for example. At home, you can incorporate small transformative elements typically impossible at work, such as warming it to me…

Chopped salads live in a kind of no man’s land. There is an ambiguity about them, so many varieties and approaches. If there are any rules that govern what goes into them or how they are constructed, they are few and frequently challenged.

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Do you ever get “hung up” on something, like a song in your mind that won’t quit playing (always one you don’t like), a particular food you must have (so much you will go out in the night to buy them somewhere — peanut M&Ms for me) or some info that you will not rest until you find out a…

I have struggled to understand America’s love affair with quinoa. Sure, it’s packed with protein, about eight grams per cup, and it’s quick-cooking, which is always a bonus. But the flavor? I find it dusty and dull, a far cry from the floral overtones of, say, jasmine rice. It also may as we…

These are not typical flapjacks with bits of apple and carrot mixed in for seasoning. Here, the produce leads the way with mounds of shredded green apple and carrot bound into tender, lightly browned skillet cakes with just enough egg and whole grain flour to hold them together in pancake form.

Do you cook? No, I mean really cook — not just soup, sandwiches, salads, cereal, peanut butter and crackers for meals? There is certainly nothing wrong with all those, but it occurred to me that I needed to get back to trying new things and experimenting more with recipes so I could share wi…

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When it comes to Rosh Hashanah desserts, apple cake or honey cake might sound most familiar to Ashkenazi (Eastern and Central European) Jews celebrating the Jewish New Year. But the Jewish diaspora is as wide as its global recipe box, which boasts other sweet delights, such as this fine and …

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Well, I needed a new one. Not a house, car, refrigerator or anything big, but what I needed (wanted) was a new cookbook to peruse. Dear friends, it is not that I do not have hundreds of cookbooks, but sometimes I just enjoy reading a new one.

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One evening, back when I was in private practice as a dietitian, I was happily strolling down the street, fully immersed in the drippy deliciousness of an ice cream cone, when a client snuck up on me with a loud “Caught ya!” Forced out of my revelry, I slipped into professional mode to expla…

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Each family has its own lore, often-repeated stories and catchphrases. One that I’ll always remember, although told to me secondhand, is from my oldest niece, who while at her great-grandparents’ farm had a simple request: “More ‘cumbers, please.”

Since about 1953-54 when I was in Miss (no Ms. then) Lucille Clinkscales seventh-grade history class, I have had a passion for quotations, sayings, adages, proverbs from all sources. Miss C. put a new “saying” on the top right of the blackboard (not green, not wipe off, not smartboard like n…

A few weeks ago, I came home with probably the biggest watermelon I’ve ever purchased. I got to the farmers market later than usual, so the smaller melons were gone, and from there I lugged away the behemoth in the bright red wagon that used to tow my son and more often now carries my produce.

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You might as well know the truth. I have a love/hate attitude about writing this column, as I imagine many of my favorite writers, past and present, feel the same. When an idea, a recipe or a comment made during the week hits me slap-dab in the face, then writing is a piece of cake. However,…

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Los Angeles chef Jocelyn Ramirez remembers when it hit her: She and a friend were making a salad for dinner, and her friend brought out some hearts of palm. “I took a bite, and thought it had the texture and even a little bit of the taste of crab meat,” Ramirez said. She filed it away.

Though you might not associate Iran with ice cream, it’s a wildly popular summertime treat there. Bastani sonnati, a traditional Persian ice cream, is typically made from milk, eggs, sugar, rose water, pistachios and saffron. For those of us who grew up in Iran, bastani’s saturated yellow hu…

Caviar-like black lentils (also known as beluga lentils for that reason) add drama to juicy grape tomatoes, shallot and herbs. Kohlrabi bulbs or broccoli stems cut into matchsticks deliver pale, crisp contrast, and the resulting salad is dressed in a rich, mustard vinaigrette.

Now surely this happens to you, too. You are thinking of someone, and the phone rings, and it is that very person saying, “You were on my mind.” That happens to me often with recipes. I was planning and plotting out this column, remembering that we are midway through the sweltering days of August.

I will admit I am going a little squash crazy right now. Summer squash are abundant, with readers reporting that they are getting a bounty in their CSA boxes. I cannot help grabbing a few each week at the grocery.

In the height of summer, my appetite often settles into a no-man’s land where I’m genuinely hungry but find myself stuck in a lackadaisical funk in which I just don’t feel like eating. It’s as if the act of consuming food generates more heat than it’s worth. Luckily, there are recipes like t…

How to fix food? Now, this is “fix” in the sense of repair — not I am “fixing” to fix dinner (as in “to cook”). When I looked up the word “fix” in my trusty Oxford American Dictionary, I found eight references to the word as a verb and three as a noun. Only you grammar police/nerds along wit…

Summer’s bounty is here, with backyard gardens, farmers markets and community-supported agriculture deliveries loading our larders with fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables. We’re firing up our grills and smokers for socially distant cookouts and barbecues. But what to wash all this down with?

You know what it feels like when you bite into really good corn on the cob. Sweet, flavorful pops. Juices flying as if you bit into an apple. Maybe a little smoky char from the grill. Maybe you’ve got to squint — either from bursts of kernels or the nearby summer sun.

The last few weeks I have been sharing recipes from the past — something old — but today, now something new. Since I went on a cooking spree, you are seeing all new recipes that I have tried this past week. You probably have heard me quote a sign I saw once in someone’s kitchen: This kitchen…

Zucchini seem to be one of the most stuff-able vegetables. They can be halved lengthwise and scooped into little boats, then filled and baked; or hollowed out into tubes, stuffed and simmered in sauce.

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At a gathering last week, a longtime friend asked me a question that I have been asked before. In fact, I often ask myself this. How can I think of what to write week after week, year after year? When LeGrande Northcutt asked me, I was a bit surprised, but flattered, as I always am when a ma…

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We have probably talked about this before but is there any untouched topic we have not covered in our weekly visits for the past 50-plus years? I want to share some of our favorite recipes from the past, and I mean from the far past. First of all, we know that our cooking and eating styles h…

The Longview Health Department inspected these establishments from June 8 to July 7: Restaurants generally are inspected by the city every three months. The grades mean: A=Excellent, B=Good, C=Fair, D=Poor.

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Do you play the “In-law Lottery”? You don’t have to buy a ticket, but a lot of expense can be involved --that is, expense of emotions, time, patience and love. And, as in all lottery games, you win some and you lose some. I have been very fortunate for the most part and would not trade my ch…