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If you’ve had just one or maybe two minestrones in your life, you might be excused for thinking that they’re always the same — summer vegetables, say, with tomatoes and beans and tiny pasta. But the beauty of this Italian soup is that it is many things to many people, and it varies widely by…

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Winter tempts us to roast everything — even fruit. Roasted fibrous apples or almost-ripe pears fill crostatas and crisps, turn up next to meat and game, or get added (sometimes clumsily) to salads.

This salad offers just the bright spot needed on a gray winter’s day. It’s healthfully aligned with most New Year’s resolutions, but in a way that feels like a fresh celebration rather than a penance. It not only nourishes — it crunches, bursts and pops!

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From early December through Jan. 1 (or beyond, depending on how fervently you hang on to the holidays), the pop of a Champagne or sparkling wine cork is a welcome and frequent sound. Fizzy wine is just the most festive of drinks, whether sipped straight up in a flute or mixed into cocktails.…

I’m sure it’s my Texas upbringing, but I never trust a chili recipe that doesn’t pack some heat. Generally, I’m not as much of a purist about the dish as I once was; moving to a plant-based diet will do that to you, especially when it comes to something as meat-heavy as a traditional chile c…

Kind of a shock, isn’t it — to see the date at the top of this page? I know we talk all the time about how time flies, but it now seems to go at supersonic speed. Once again, I have to quote my good friend, Harlan Hall, “Time flies when you are having fun.”

There seems to be little that Americans can agree on these days when it comes to current events, but politics is far from the only arena where we’re divided. Even in the food world, tribalism rears its head. I prefer to focus on what unites rather than divides us. Still, when it comes to mus…

Breakfast bakes are a holiday morning mainstay for good reason. They have a special-event quality to them, standing out as something you wouldn’t necessarily whip up on an average Wednesday. They are prepped the night before, and so offer the cook a relaxed morning. They can feed a house ful…

Decades from now, when historians look back at this year, they will refer to it as 2019 A.P., for “anno pullam” rather than “anno domini.” Because this, without question, was the Year of the Chicken Sandwich. Apologies to the deities who have been watching the fast-food poultry shenanigans t…

I know it’s the holiday season; the calendar assures me of this. The ornaments appearing in my office’s cubicle warren assure me of this. The traffic in the grocery store parking lots — full of drivers seething with goodwill as they careen into hotly contested slots, signaling their merry ju…

“Life is short, and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who make the journey with us. So — be swift to love and make haste to be kind.”

Dips, in general, are perfect party starters because they get everyone mingling and allow guests to nibble without having to put down their drinks. But when a dip is just out of the oven, bubbling and browned, it brings a whole other level of excitement to the room.

Edible gifts are my favorite to give — and to get. Among those I like to make around the holidays, candies are at the very top of the list. Most have a longer shelf life than cookies, meaning a few hours spent now and those goodies will still be giftable at the end of the month, when your ne…

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.

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.

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 …