I don’t have many fond memories of school cafeteria lunches. There are two main reasons for that. One, my mom packed my lunch most of the time, and two, when I did partake in what was on the menu, it was pretty abysmal. There was one shining exception, however: the rolls.

We are right in the middle of it, you know. The eating frenzy that lasts from Halloween candy to Super Bowl snacks is here for a few pounds — or more.

Thanksgiving leftovers can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective. The good: There’s a whole lot of food that you’ve already cooked. The bad: You don’t feel like taking the trouble to reinvent the extras before you get tired of them.

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These little cups each cradle a perfect portion of creamy, cinnamon-scented, whipped sweet potato, which gets topped with a crunch of brown-sugar-kissed pecans. They are just the thing to satisfy an afternoon sweet craving, cap a cozy dinner or curl up with at night in your PJs and fuzzy slippers.

What a wonderful time of year this is. Not only are we celebrating the blessings we have as a country, but it is a time for getting together our family and friends to reflect on and remember the earliest time in America — when people of diverse situations gathered to give thanks for survival.

Whoever coined the phrase “It’s all gravy” really knew what they were talking about. Sure, the other parts of many of our Thanksgiving meals — the turkey, the pies, the rolls — are worth singing about. But I’ve learned that the gravy can easily turn into the star of the show.

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Hard winter squash is a delicious and versatile vegetable that can be used as a side dish, in fillings for ravioli or lasagna, as a noodle alternative, in soups, salads, stuffed and so on.

If you have small group for Thanksgiving and would rather not spend the entire day in the kitchen, you could go the prepared food route. But then you lose a central pleasure of the holiday — a home-cooked harvest meal. Besides, from my experience, takeout turkey dinners tend to be expensive …

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a heaping side of stress. What size turkey should I buy? Oh, wait, it’s still frozen! Who has the one copy of Grandma’s legendary stuffing? Why does this homemade pie crust keep falling apart? Why are the mashed potatoes gluey?! Every year it’s something n…

Some people have a strict definition of chili, but to me a major joy of the dish is that it’s more a big open field than a narrow path, with plenty of room to play. I suppose at a minimum it needs to include some kind of chile, plus meat (or poultry) and/or beans simmered in a savory, season…

Carrots love spice. And they can handle a good dose of it: One of my favorite treatments is to sprinkle them with an assortment of warming, perhaps smoky, sometimes even hot spices before roasting, and then drizzle them with a little honey for sweetness and citrus for balancing tartness. Delicious.

As chilly weather sets in and days get shorter, comfort food favorites once again fill menus. While traditional flavor combinations typically hold a special place in many families’ hearts and on their plates, there is almost always room to add new and exciting flavors to tried-and-true favorites.

This column is being brought to you through the courtesy of a miracle and a brilliant young man who is my neighbor and is very patient with me in dealing with my technical needs.

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a bag — or three — of old frozen vegetables sitting in your freezer. Forgotten, unloved, possibly freezer-burned. But these grocery staples definitely deserve more appreciation, especially as winter creeps ever closer, diminishing access to the f…

Fall is my favorite season, and the moment temperatures begin to drop, I find myself craving the pumpkin flavor and aroma that define autumn. It seems pumpkin is everywhere you turn this time of year — on every porch, in every latte. That popularity extends to baked goods, too, with plenty o…

Fruit adds something special to savory dishes: a generous dose of seasonality. We can get so many fruits year-round, but when they’re at their in-season peak, there’s nothing like, say, citrus to spark a winter salad, grilled peaches to make a barbecue sauce sing of summer or pears to turn a…

Inspiration often strikes unexpectedly. While I was doing errands a few weeks back, I walked past a blue-and-white decorated Greek food truck and a side dish on its menu board caught my eye: fried potatoes with herbs and garlic. I reveled in the thought of that combination as I sauntered on,…

It might have flashed across your social media feed at some point over the past week or so: an image of a lifelike sculpture of two severed solitary feet — not fashioned from marble or wood, or even (heaven forbid) human flesh, but rather from... raw ground beef.

Around a month ago, when the “Sexy Mr. Rogers” costume began circulating on social media, I started thinking grimly about a theme for this year’s Halloween drinks. “Burn it all down”? “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”?

This nourishing bowl is like the cashmere throw of soups — cozy and comforting, in the most luxurious, stylish way. Made with cauliflower that gets simmered with shallots and potato, in broth, until softened, and then blended until smooth, the soup is ultra-creamy and filling. (The potato gi…

I’m not quite sure why pumpkin has been mostly relegated to the sweets category in the United States, but like its winter squash cousins, it happily goes savory, too. Pumpkin is delicious simply roasted, just as you would a butternut or kabocha squash: halved and seeded, brushed with a littl…

Have you ever awakened to what seemed like a plain old day with nothing out of the ordinary expected, when something you never dreamed would happen again dropped in your lap?

Lasagna is like pizza: Even when it’s bad, it’s good. With pizza, the saying goes, it’s still melted cheese on warm bread. With lasagna, sub in warm noodles for the bread, and you’ve got the same idea. What could be wrong with such bubbly goodness?

Well, you don’t have much time, but if you hurry you’ll make it. No, not to catch a plane, train or ship, but it is something very important to your kitchen and cooking. And what is that thing you are racing the clock (or calendar) to do? Why, it’s to get your winter herbs and other garden t…

Food impersonating other food is a dime a dozen these days: cauliflower rice, vegan burgers, nut cheese. I don’t have a problem with any of that. Live and let eat, I say. But once in a while, it’s nice to come across a dish that merely reminds you of something else — a whisper of a memory ra…

After carving a ghoulishly great jack-o’-lantern, don’t toss aside the seeds from the pumpkin. Transform them into Pumpkin Seed Clusters to share with Halloween doorbell ringers.