I like an al dente noodle. One with a lot of chew. When I was in Chicago a few weeks back, I had a delicious plate of chestnut noodles with mushrooms at Bad Hunter (Randolph Avenue in the West Loop). The chestnut noodles were pleasantly  chewy. As well, the dish just happened to be vegan. … Continue Reading

As the temperatures gradually begin to rise, our thoughts turn to alfresco dining and outdoor grilling. Come spring, I also like to dust off the smoker that’s been standing by idly in my basement all winter long. Nothing hardcore, just an electric smoker, but it does the job. I love its ease of use: turn … Continue Reading

I love spring. It’s my favorite time of the year. Spring brings with it new beginnings and new growth. This includes many of my favorite vegetables: stinging nettle, asparagus, fiddlehead ferns, green garlic, chive blossoms, strawberries (ok, and one fruit), and, of course, ramps — signs that spring and all her glory are in full swing. If only spring lasted 12 months; … Continue Reading

As a born and bred New Yorker (Queens), I’ve eaten (and baked) a few babkas in my life. They were all reasonably good, some definitely better than others. But really, what’s  not to like about the humble babka? I’m talking chocolate babka here. Is there any other? Basically, a sweet brioche-like pastry filled with chocolate (dark … Continue Reading

On a trip to Sicily many moons ago, I first became acquainted with squid ink. Rather, I fell in love with squid ink over a plate of homemade pasta in a thick squid ink sauce in Marzamemi, a picturesque fishing village on the southeast tip of Sicily. It was like nothing I had ever tasted … Continue Reading