Six recipes showcase meals, flavors, techniques and culinary influences of the African continent.

Moroccan Braised Beef

Quite unintentionally, a serially bankrupt businessman and second-rate former reality TV celebrity has become the education president. On practically a weekly basis, anxious parents find themselves scrambling to teach their children the meanings of new offensive terms—and worse, explain new offensive behaviors by the so-called leader of the free world. The most recent (as we go to press, at least) is truly appalling. [click to continue…]



Spicy, flavorful Mexican chorizo sausage and chunks of chicken are at the heart of this robust, meaty chili. Dark beer helps amp up the flavor too. Recipe below.

Chicken Chorizo Chili

The bitter cold Marion wrote about last week just keeps coming. So when I discovered a new-to-me chili—chicken chorizo chili, to be precise—all kinds of delicious buttons were pushed. [click to continue…]



Bacon, plentiful aromatics and a bit of cumin create a hearty split pea soup you’ll make again and again. Recipe below.

Valerie's Split Pea Soup

Dear Valerie,

So here’s the thing. It’s cold. It’s really cold. I’ve been sitting in my kitchen holding a big steaming mug of coffee and wearing a  turtleneck and a down vest and a hoodie, with the hood up, and wool socks and lined pants, and I’m thinking about putting on more clothing, but I’ve been reluctant because I’d like to continue being able to bend my arms and legs. All of this has made me think of what I want for dinner, which reminded me of that recipe you sent me, for one of the best things ever—split pea soup. [click to continue…]



Starting baked potatoes in the microwave and finishing them in the oven cuts cooking time and still yields crisp skin and fluffy potato flesh. Recipe of sorts below.

Quick Baked Potato

We end the year with a simple potato, and that feels somehow appropriate. Because while you’ll find plenty of recipes here designed to impress, just as often, the focus is getting good food on the table quickly, simply. Such as this baked potato. [click to continue…]



A grudging appreciation of Christmas music

by Terry B on December 20, 2017

Electric Christmas

The holidays are upon us, and we are once again beset by Christmas music. Everywhere you turn, it is there—grocery stores, building lobbies, fast food places, leaking out of retail storefronts, invading my various radio stations and streaming services… even being hummed or whistled by colleagues. All of which brings out my curmudgeonly side. [click to continue…]




by Terry B on December 13, 2017


This pretty much defines our life at the moment. All good, but zero time to cook tonight’s post, let alone photograph it and write about it. See you next week.



The signature tartness of fresh cranberries turns pan-roasted chicken, potatoes, shallots and herbs into a complex, company-ready meal. Recipe below.

Pan-roasted Chicken with Cranberries

Somewhere in our stash of vintage advertising ephemera is a cardboard novelty sign that probably hung behind a bar somewhere in the fifties, or maybe the forties: “I’m not a slow bartender. I’m not a fast bartender. I’m a half fast bartender.” That pretty much describes my cooking style. [click to continue…]



Mixed fresh berries and olive oil keep this cake deliciously light—for weekend guests or a treat for yourself. Recipe below.

Mixed Berries Olive Oil Cake

Our Thanksgiving desserts, as ever, ranged from the delicious reliables (pumpkin pie!) to the wild and crazy throwbacks (tiny chocolate bottles filled with liqueur!) to the outrageous (chocolate tres leches cake!). But when the guests had gone, and the last loads of bedsheets and dishes were stacked and put away, and the idiot cats had emerged from their hiding places blinking into the light, I found myself wanting something easy, something simple and sweet—and something I could knock together in a few minutes, without having to go to the store or particularly think. [click to continue…]



Bacon, kale and a freshly beaten egg give this weeknight-quick pasta a satisfyingly breakfasty flavor. Recipe below.

Breakfast Pasta with Bacon and Kale

Our younger daughter just moved to a new city and started a rewarding, but demanding, job. To her credit, she is still managing to cook at home more often than not. Sunday evenings will often find her cooking a batch of something that will serve as at least a few lunches. For dinners, she frequently improvises something like this quick pasta. [click to continue…]



Fried Green Tomato Soup, inspired by Toledo

by Terry B on November 15, 2017

Green tomatoes make this creamy soup less tomato-y, more vegetal. Leeks, garlic, thyme and bacon add to its savoriness. Recipe below.

Fried Green Tomato Soup

We seem to have a natural affinity for the Rust Belt. Marion grew up in Detroit, me in St. Louis. And while our ultimate destination on our recent road trip was Washington, DC and the Virginias, stops in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Toledo moved us every bit as much. [click to continue…]


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