It can be hard to find balance this time of year. As the holidays approach, I imagine myself busily and happily planning menus, addressing Christmas cards and selecting gifts, with Nat King Cole playing in the background.

Happy Thanksgiving, 2020. Even though family traditions are sacred to each family, I think we might agree that this one is going to have a different tone. Just how good that turkey and dressing (according to my clever, humorous friend, Bill Marshall, in the South, we call it “dressing,” not …

Just one week until the designated day of thanks, which was officially declared by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the resolution establishing the fourth Thursday in November as the federal Thanksgiving holiday.

We all know Thanksgiving is going to look different this year. If you’re lucky, you might live where the weather will still be nice and you have space to create an outdoor Thanksgiving with appropriate social distancing.

It doesn’t matter if you’re serving a massive turkey, a simple trussed chicken or a beautifully stuffed squash, Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without gravy.

Yes and no. Yes, I will finish my wonderful cooking story from last week. And no, the frosting recipe for Duran Cake does not have 3 cups evaporated milk and 1 stick butter.

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Do you like good stories? I enjoy hearing, reading and telling good stories, especially about cooking. I must admit there are many about my cooking that are perhaps better left untold.

While I was growing up in Russia, several things were a given: If you saw a long line, you got in it — no questions asked (because if there was a line, it must be for something good); if in the middle of a snowy February you saw an ice cream truck, you got some ice cream; and if your mom sud…

The idea for this dish came to me over the summer during one of those moments of pure bliss that seems suspended in time. I was with my husband in Montauk, Long Island, on the deck at the Inlet Seafood Restaurant, with a stunning view of the harbor, a delightful sea breeze and a nice bottle …

Look at the calendar. Guess what is three days away? I know that Halloween is a fun time for so many and some of you have worked many hours on your or your children’s costume for many weeks.

When you’ve been with someone as long as my husband and I have, you end up with a lot of running jokes. One of ours is how I always ogle the caramel apples in specialty shops and then never actually buy them. You know the type: Big, dripping with caramel, chocolate and obscene amounts of can…

Do you ever give yourself kitchen challenges? Every now and again I impose a set of parameters on myself to see if I can bring a meal in at a certain cost, with a specified number of ingredients or within an allotted amount of time.

Halloween falls on a Saturday this year. That’s every kid’s dream, right? No school the next day, so they can trick or treat, go to haunted houses and . . .. But this is 2020 — a year that feels as if it is determined to suck the joy out of every occasion.

All right, I know you are going to say that I have already talked about this book before, and you are right. On Sept. 9, I wrote about a new cookbook which was suggested to me by Woody Terrell.

It’s easy to think of chicken wings as a snappy-quick snack. Order some at a bar and, poof, they arrive, hot from the fryer, golden bubbly-brown, and probably slicked in buttery, spicy Buffalo sauce. Wings have a way of entertaining us as we angle for good bites, lick sauce from our fingers …

If you’ve ever eaten a pureed soup and, after the first dozen bites or so, found yourself getting a little bored, you need to learn the following trick: Hold out some of your ingredients, before or after cooking, and add them back in the form of a garnish right before serving. It makes all t…

Let’s be honest. For many modern mothers, dinnertime has long veered away from food on the table at 6 p.m. with everyone gathered. Until the shock of the novel coronavirus forced us all to involuntarily retreat into our homes, the fast pace of our lives, especially for single parents, cut in…

There is a chance that many of you feel and behave as I do about new recipes. When I am given a new recipe or stumble upon one, I can tell pretty much about whether I want to try it.

Sometimes stretching an ingredient — making it feed four instead of two — can be detrimental to a dish, but on rare occasions it can actually make it better. Case in point: Pan-fried chicken breasts.

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…

In normal times, food trends often started in restaurants, with top chefs. Maybe they got written up in food magazines or blogs. After some time, you could find the trending ingredients on grocery store shelves.

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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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…

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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 …