A Semi-Authentic Cassoulet

If a dish tastes great, who quibbles over authenticity? France’s famous bean stew rich with duck, pork, and sausage with generous lashings of duck fat, and onion, herbs, and a crust of browned crumbs on top probably has as many variations on its home turf as cooks who make it. So the version that follows […]

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies for Your Sweeties

Valentine’s Day ought to be subtitled, “Annual Let’s Eat Chocolate Day.” Boxes of bon bons, truffles, heart shaped cakes, chocolate cupcakes with pink icing and heart-shaped sprinkles in red, you know–the whole nine chocolate yards, with a few roses and diamonds stuck in for luck. Sweets for our sweeties. So add these chocolate chocolate-chip cookies […]

Something Green in Your Artichoke Dip

Spinach and artichoke dip is a classic appetizer-time offering; you can even acquire it ready-made. It’s an appealing alternative to beany, cheesy, burger-filled, scoop-worthy goo found on the Big Game Day snack table. Not, mind you, that this dip with its hearty portions of cream, cheddar cheese, and sour cream will qualify as a serving […]

Two Pourable Chocolate Sauces to the Rescue

Things were getting pretty dire around here. There was no chocolate sauce for the ice cream, always vanilla, customarily eaten by one of the inhabitants here. This situation is almost as bad as running out of popcorn during the NFL divisional championships, and something had to be done. For a couple years now, for the […]

Put Prunes in Your Stew

It is just a straight forward beef stew: browned beef, some onions and tomatoes, a bay leaf, salt and pepper, some broth or stock, red wine, a tiny bit of vinegar, and then you add a cup of prunes to simmer along with the meat. The recipe is an old one from Mark Bittman years […]

Julia Craig’s Christmas Pudding

A lucky daughter and grandsons in Phoenix, Arizona, will have their mom and grandmother’s steamed pudding on their table this Christmas. It is winging its way to them (accompanied by a couple pounds of yellow eye beans for a taste of Maine). Julia Craig, of Houlton, who will celebrate her 98th birthday next month, made […]