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?

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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…

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For every home cook happily tossing together a stir-fry at home, there are a dozen would-be stir-fryers wanting to make chicken-broccoli-sugar-snap-pea stir-fry — and then sheepishly reaching for the takeout menu.

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…

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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.

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This is a week in which looking scary comes with sweet rewards. The same is true of the recipe for Frankenmuffins, a snack that doesn’t look appealing because of its unusual green color. But take a bite, and you will be surprised by a delicious banana flavor.

If you tend to think of peanut butter primarily as an ingredient to slather onto soft bread with jelly, or for eating by the spoonful out of the jar (guilty as charged — though I don’t double-dip), pairing peanut butter with chicken and other savory elements might strike you as unusual. Howe…

The ready-to-cook kebabs you find at the supermarket are designed to draw a shopper’s eye with their colorful chunks of vegetables and proteins, but cooks with skewering savoir faire know that when same-ingredient items populate each metal or bamboo rod (shish!), there’s a better chance thos…

Food controversies are a dime a dozen these days, but those of us with any long-term memory — or at least those of us in the business of eating — are unlikely to forget the uproar when The New York Times had the audacity to include peas in guacamole.

A medley of fresh fall fruit — pears, grapes and figs — looks splendid on the table and is lovely served as a fruit salad. But roasted together, married with a sweet-tangy glaze, it rises to another level of beauty and lusciousness entirely. The heat of the oven softens and warms the fruit, …

Grilled cheese is elemental. All you need is the right cheese (I like Gruyere or sharp cheddar), the right bread (I go for a soft sandwich bread), a little butter and a pan, and you’re on the way to a quick, simple, satisfying meal. Or at least the main thrust of one, rounded out by good old…

The characters of “Downton Abbey,” the long-running PBS historical drama spun into a feature film that premiered in recent weeks, are beloved. The starchy butler Carson, the bon-mot-slinging Dowager Countess, the chauffeur-turned-family-member Tom Branson...

The kitchen in my new apartment has a bias against large gadgets that promise to solve all my problems. Does an Instant Pot sound cool? Sure. Would I love to display a glistening white KitchenAid stand mixer on my counter? No doubt. But in the absence of ample space (and means), a tried and …

Though it’s one of the most beloved slogans in American advertising, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand” never rang quite true to me. The pleasure of M&M’s comes from their texture when you crunch on them: hard candy shell, soft chocolate mantle, surprise nuts or peanut butter in the…

Some recipes designated as “skinny” will swap more-caloric ingredients for ones that are less dear, and from my testing trials, I can say it’s an approach that does not always deserve a starred rating. Now, omnivores who are intent on health-conscious eating can make peace with trade-offs in…

I get enormous satisfaction out of putting a lot of time into a recipe — especially a baking project — and having it turn out beautifully. But sometimes the amount of enjoyment I get is (math, sorry) inversely proportional to the amount of effort expended.

Back-to-school time is stressful on its own. Add in the specter of food allergies — of your own kids or their friends — and the stakes can feel even higher. What to toss in the lunch bag? What’s safe to share with the class? What can the kids grab between practices? What can you offer that’s…

It may still technically be summer — looking at you triple-digit September days — but my mind has already moved on to thoughts of fall. And when I think of fall, I think of its colors, especially the rich red, oranges and yellows of foliage. However, let’s not forget about green, too — the h…

This week I am doing what we all learned in seventh-grade English classes in the days of yore. The first sentence in a paragraph should let the reader know what is to follow, and the first paragraph should pertain to the body of the work.

For many, the words “pasta e fagioli” conjure the image of a particular dish with a tomato-laden broth, but pasta and beans don’t stop at that. The duo is the foundation of a multitude of wonderful one-pot variations, all simple, hearty and nutritious. This one, studded with artichoke hearts…

Agrodolce — a traditional Italian sweet-and-sour sauce (agro means “sour” and dolce “sweet”) — is a mouthwatering tussle of contrast that seems to tickle every taste bud. Figs lend themselves to achieving the sauce’s yin-yang blast in a healthier way, because their inherent sweetness means l…

My first summer in Washington, I was fairly miserable. I lived barely 10 blocks from work, but what had been a 12-minute walk in the wintertime slowed to a 20-minute slog come June and July, as I tried to avoid arriving at work drenched. My second summer, things improved a bit when I discove…

Professional pastry chef and cookbook author Marcy Goldman recently joined The Washington Post Food section staffers to answer questions about all things edible. Here are edited excerpts from that chat.

Some cookbook authors have earned my complete trust, and Amy Chaplin is one of them. I’ve never made a thing I didn’t love from her stunning first book, 2014’s “At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen,” and have recommended it countless times. So I knew that when the Australian teacher, consultant…

I have just experienced a very unusual afternoon. (I write this on Sunday night, so I am talking about Sunday past.) I had absolutely no obligations, even though there was much that could be done. However, anything that could be put off until tomorrow certainly was — remember what Scarlet O’…