It took me a long while to make puttanesca sauce, the feisty Italian tomato sauce packed with sharp, pungent and briny flavors.

The end of summer means many things to me: Labor Day barbecues, back-to-school excitement, shorter days and ... loads of tomatoes. 

Here's the thing: It's fun to eat with your fingers. Skewering puts the fun in food, taking ordinary recipes and sticking it to them (pun intended), along with an assortment of dipping sauces -- because dipping a stick in a sauce is half the fun of eating food on a skewer. It's a lively pres…

There is a magical window of time when fresh figs are abundant, and now is the time. Soft and fragrant, fresh figs are oh-so-ethereal to eat. Their flavor is delicate yet nuanced. Depending on the variety, they can be sweet and winey, honeyed or grassy.

When it comes to baking, I like to keep it simple, preferring presentations that are not too fussy, but fresh and light. This especially applies to cake.

When it's super-hot outside, who wants to cook? In the heat of summer, dinner prep should be low-maintenance. Appetites are limp in high temperatures, and fresh salads filled with juicy ingredients are cool and nourishing. For a whole meal, salads can reach beyond the garden while remaining …

It’s Nacho Night at our house. Yes, I confess. Foodie I may be, parent I certainly am, and health-minded ... almost without fail. But there is always a time and place for nachos. We can all do with a little cheesy nacho goodness from time to time to balance out a healthy diet, to dig into wi…

I discovered this fresh and light-handed salad years ago when I lived in Denmark. Most likely it was at one of our frequent family gatherings, seated outdoors at a long wooden picnic table in the shadow of a thatched roof farmhouse with the summer sun hanging, as if caught on the hook of the…

Now that it's summer, it's time to dig into spicy, meaty, two-fisted pork carnitas. Carnitas are perfect party food. They are easy to assemble and messy to eat, best washed down with a cold beer while eaten outdoors. What could be more fun?

Father's Day is here, so get ready to fire up the grill and break out the big guns -- or in this case, the big paella pan. Paella is always fun to make and, of course, to eat. It's a perfect way to feed a crowd and your family, and the best way to make it is over a fire. When it's ready to s…

Avocados are a healthy staple in the kitchen. Packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, and high in monounsaturated fat, their creamy texture and mild flavor lend well to dips, smoothies, even ice cream, while their coolness provides a foil to spice and heat in salsas and salads. Having said…

Whether you use your oven or the grill, this healthy one-dish meal is bright and satisfying. I use my go-to marinade for the salmon. With a balance of bright citrus, sweet chili heat and piquant mustard, it hits all of the flavor categories, and provides a welcome bite to cut through the but…

With warmer days on the way, chilled soups are a bright and refreshing alternative to a steaming bowl of soup. And while cool soups are certainly a solution to the heat of summer, they are also delicious year-round. In fact, the slightly chilled temperature often amplifies the flavor and fre…

Porcini mushroom dust is a magical elixir, fragrant with umami-rich aroma and flavor, and a gorgeous ingredient to add to rubs and marinades.

This salad shows off the season's new asparagus, while ticking the boxes for fresh, gluten-free and crowd-pleasing, with a visual wow-factor worthy of a buffet spread.

When it comes to baking, I like my desserts messy, which is to say that I like desserts that are free-form, imprecise and often referred to as “rustic.”

The essence of an onion soup is, well, the onions. When onions slow-cook, they evolve into a slippery, squishy, mahogany-colored mound, which becomes the base for a sweet, rich and slurp-worthy soup.

It perplexes me when the subject of cheese fondue comes up, and it’s often accompanied by a smile and a reference to the ’70s. This quintessential alpine dish should not be relegated to that bygone era evoking images of shag rugs, shaggier hair and textured bell-bottoms.

You probably know hummus, the likable, dependable and very beige Middle Eastern chickpea and tahini dip. But if you are looking for something a little extra, a dip with pizzazz and flair, then you should try a different kind of hummus.

This rice salad is always a hit. It’s a great gluten-free starch substitute for bread stuffing, and the dried fruit and nuts stud the rice like festive jewelry, providing a pretty addition to the holiday table.

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