Happy New Year! Dine Well in 2014!

The ultimate CulinaryWoman, Julia Child, in her Cambridge, MA kitchen.

The ultimate CulinaryWoman, Julia Child, in her Cambridge, MA kitchen.

 

Happy 2014! I only have one wish for you this year: dine well.

Whether it’s your favorite cereal for breakfast, or an enjoyable glass of wine at dinner, choose things that you like to eat and drink. Don’t eat mindlessly, out of boredom or because you’ve run out of ideas. Have things on hand that will give you pleasure.

And, find good places to eat on the road. We’re here to help.

My very best to you for the new year.

January 1, 2014   No Comments

My Culinary Resolutions For 2014: Mexican Cuisine

I’m excited to be spending time in Phoenix this winter and spring, and one of the things I’d like to do while I’m there is learn more about Mexican cuisine.

Diana Kennedy, the queen of Mexican cuisine.

Diana Kennedy, the queen of Mexican cuisine.

Through the years, I’ve eaten all types of Mexican food, from cliched Americanized dishes covered with melted cheese, to the sophisticated cuisine offered by Rick Bayless at his Chicago restaurants, to the items you find in neighborhood taquerias.

I’ve also read books by Diana Kennedy and I’m longing to see whether I can learn more about the many variations of Mexican food. I have a feeling it is just as unique as the other styles of cooking we’ve all gotten to know, such as French, Thai and Chinese. But living up north, it’s harder to get exposure to dishes beyond those that appeal to a broad audience.

So, I’ll be making an effort to understand Mexican food, and hopefully be able to translate it to dishes I can make at home. I hear Phoenix has some outstanding groceries aimed at a Latino audience, and I’ll be venturing out to try them.

I’m more than happy to get your suggestions on things to try, especially when it comes to using products in season.

 

December 31, 2013   1 Comment

My Culinary Resolutions For 2014: Cook More

I enjoyed taking cooking classes this past year at The Market On Main in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

I enjoyed taking cooking classes this past year at The Market On Main in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

By Micheline Maynard

Over the past few years, I’ve gone from eating most of my meals out (including delivery food) to cooking more for myself. I’ve discovered a couple of things about cooking.

First, it’s a great way to unplug from mobile devices and your computer. Second, it teaches you what you’re good at doing, and where you need to improve. Third, you can save money by cooking for yourself (as long as you shop wisely). Fourth, it’s a way to control what you’re eating.

Number four is especially important to me right now, because I’m on a quest to lose 20 more pounds by May. It’s lucky that I’ll be spending time between now and then as a visiting professor at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. I can get outdoors, and I’ll have access to wonderful produce and groceries in Phoenix, or so I’m told.

I’ve taken plenty of cooking classes and I have a good repertoire of techniques, even though I don’t pretend to have chef like skills. So my first culinary resolution for 2014 is to cook more, even though I’ll keep looking for great things to eat on the road.

December 29, 2013   No Comments

The Best Things I Ate In 2013: Stone Crab

Photos courtesy of Find Eat Drink.

Photos courtesy of Find Eat Drink.

I love seafood. I especially love crab. And when I knew I was going to be in central Florida last March, I was bound and determined to track down some stone crab.

Luckily, my friends at Find Eat Drink had just the right place: Sam’s Fresh Seafood, in Dunedin, Florida. You get to Dunedin over a causeway from Tampa, then you have to do-see-do a bit along surface streets until you get there. It’s kind of a hike, but it’s worth it because Dunedin sits smack on the Atlantic Ocean. (It’s the winter home of the Toronto Blue Jays, no fools they.)

When I lived briefly in Florida, I loved to go to seafood shacks, where the owner caught the offerings, there was cold beer, and Key Lime pie for dessert. That’s exactly what Sam’s is.

There’s a Sam — Sam Hart, to be exact — who goes out every day fishing for stone crab. He buys just enough to stock the restaurant. They come in two sizes, medium claws and jumbo claws, which looked a little daunting.

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