Stop right this minute and think of three people who always bring joy to you when you see them. I once got a card which said, “You can’t help but get a little sunshine on yourself when you are spreading it on others.”

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One of the most joyful meals I had in recent months was outdoors under heat lamps at the Lebanese restaurant Au Za’atar in New York City’s East Village. Even masked and bundled in my puffy coat on that chilly night I was reminded of all the reasons I love, and have sorely missed, dining out.

At long last a group of us was able to gather for a luncheon meeting. We were socially distanced and properly masked. The best part besides seeing everyone was getting to taste foods that someone else had made.

If you are a youngster under 50 years of age, you might have a hard time relating. Thank you for reading my rambling and recipes. Now, if you are one of us who has some worn tread on our tires (figuratively speaking), you have already read the obituaries, maybe the comics, probably some spor…

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Years ago, a friend and I got into a monthslong back-and-forth about carbonara. The pasta dish of cheese and pork, creamy with eggs and silky with starchy pasta water, is one of Rome’s most revered exports. There are maybe hundreds of ways to make it, and lots of little rules, and my friend …

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At the pandemic’s onset, many of us rushed to the grocery store to stock our pantries with rice, beans, canned goods and all manner of other shelf-stable foods, not knowing when we might next be able to shop. While the experience was new for some, others had faced this predicament long befor…

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Peas very well might be my favorite vegetable — they at least make the top five — and with the arrival of spring, fresh peas are available in abundance. While I almost always have a bag of frozen peas on standby to add to soups, toss with pasta or simply serve as a side topped with a pat of …

Well, it didn’t happen this week. I like to have a topic in mind by the first or the middle of the week, so I can ponder all week about what I will write and hopefully you will read the following week. I simply cannot bring myself in from the beautiful sunny weather where I am planting, repo…

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I love bacon. While I agree that it shouldn’t go on everything, I welcome the moments when I get to enjoy it in all of its crisp, smoky glory, such as in my colleague G. Daniela Galarza’s winter BLT from her Eat Voraciously newsletter or on a breakfast plate alongside hash browns and a pair …

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I don’t follow a strictly “Mediterranean Diet,” but if I ever decide to, it would not be much of a sacrifice. I love all of the flavors and foods associated with that style of eating. And it is no problem for me to make the meat play a supporting role on my plate.

Now, sit down. The statistic that I am about to give you will throw you into an absolute swoon. Never mind that it comes from that infallible source called Google, is 12 years old and has many variables.

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I don’t think I had ever tasted fennel until I worked in a restaurant. Growing up, most of the vegetables we ate came from a can, and when we did have fresh produce, fennel certainly wasn’t on the list. But during my time as a line cook, I was introduced to it and fell in love.

Happy cooking! This is how I start every dedication or greeting on every cookbook I have sold. You know what? I really believe that cooking with enjoyment, love and joy makes for a better outcome.

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Matzoh brei enthusiasts tend to fall into two camps: Those who insist that the golden scramble be topped with nothing more than a sprinkle of salt, and those who feel equally passionate about a dusting of cinnamon sugar. Despite the sweet vs. savory divide, both groups agree that a no-frills…

Erin go Bragh (Ireland forever) and Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you. Because in the past — probably many times — I have given you info about St. Patrick and his day of honor, I will skip that. It’s a meaningful story, look it up.

It’s coming! I don’t just mean “spring forward” that comes with daylight saving time this weekend. Spring, I mean the real thing, is just around the corner with the vernal equinox on March 20.

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Marooned at home all winter and with no spring-break travel in the cards this year, I figured at least I can get a taste of the warm Caribbean waters by way of my kitchen. This seafood stew is my way of transporting myself there. It has a broth-like base packed with island flavor — bright wi…

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It’s hard to imagine life without the plump perfection of tomatoes. “A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins,” Laurie Colwin wrote in her 1988 memoir “Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen.”

Have you “eaten down” this week? I don’t remember hearing this expression until my friend in Ireland, Kathy Keane, said they were “eating everything down” before they made a trip to the supermarket.

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Shaking the notion of kid food from the Etch-a-Sketch of our minds not only clears the slate for children to explore a world of different flavors, it also removes any judgment adults might feel for digging into foods such as chicken nuggets, pizza or mac and cheese. Those dishes can hit the …

“Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Mark Twain gets credit for this quotation, perhaps mistakenly, because it seems that his friend and collaborator, journalist Charles Dudley Warner, is the one who first wrote this in an editorial for the Hartford, Co…

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Let’s be honest. From time to time, many of us throw weeknight dinners together with what we have on hand. It happens to me and I write a weekly column about getting dinner on the table in minutes, so supper recipes are almost always on my mind. Toward the end of the week when the refrigerat…

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We’ve all been there. There being left with a thin, watery sauce when instead we’re in want of one that is thick, luscious and full of body-ody-ody. While a roux is a common thickener that we should all master for dishes such as gravy and gumbo, it is of no use once we’ve already reached the…