Kitchen Shrink

  • Kitchen Shrink: How to pick a winner in the produce aisle, Part 1

    Kitchen Shrink: How to pick a winner in the produce aisle, Part 1

    KITCHEN SHRINK: It's always humorous watching fellow supermarket shoppers perform a series of ritualistic gestures as they grope, squeeze, sniff, knock, cradle, shake and rattle a piece of produce to hedge their bets for selecting a perfectly ripe one. Of course, to get the best out of fruits and...

  • Kitchen Shrink: A Yogurt Primer - Become a Culture-Vulture

    Kitchen Shrink: A Yogurt Primer - Become a Culture-Vulture

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Flipping through an old cookbook my mom used religiously during our childhood, I landed on a dog-eared, batter-stained page that revealed our family's favorite recipe for carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. One of the cake ingredients was a half-cup of yogurt. In those days,...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Summer school for foodies

    Kitchen Shrink: Summer school for foodies

    KITCHEN SHRINK: To keep you on your toes this laid-back summer, and help you get the best out of the season's culinary and solar bounty, here's a quiz on everything from barbecues and bugs to sunburns and stone fruits. Check out next week's column for the answers. • Multiple choice: 1. Watermelons,...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Summer desserts easy on your scale

    Kitchen Shrink: Summer desserts easy on your scale

    KITCHEN SHRINK: We can have our cake and eat it, too, if we choose lighter desserts (less sugar and fat), and forego the traditional summer lollapaloozas — ice cream sundae extravaganzas, salted caramel brownies, and triple-decker cakes and trifles. While the concept of healthy desserts sounds...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Kicking off summer with the Holy Grill

    Kitchen Shrink: Kicking off summer with the Holy Grill

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Intoxicating aromas of smoky mesquite and bold hickory filling the warm air herald the arrival of summer, and tweak nostalgic memories of childhood. Those were the wild-and-crazy barbecuing days when the Weber grill was king, meat was burned beyond recognition over reckless flames...

  • Kitchen Shrink: The great burger flip flop

    Kitchen Shrink: The great burger flip flop

    KITCHEN SHRINK: The beloved burger is America's sweetheart of foods affirmed by the 14 billion consumed yearly, and a nationally designated month (May) honoring the grilled sandwich. In my globetrotting days, I met many strange burgerfellows — some caught me off guard, taking my stomach by surprise,...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Dad's Day menus for your special guy

    Kitchen Shrink: Dad's Day menus for your special guy

    KITCHEN SHRINK: While some guys experience culinary nirvana scarfing down a heap of guacamole and pile of corn chips washed down with a can of fizzy fluid welded to their palm, others first inquire about food's provenance, and choose judiciously from both the sea (sustainable, wild caught, omega-3...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Bone Broth — Best stock option for allergies and colds

    Kitchen Shrink: Bone Broth — Best stock option for allergies and colds

    KITCHEN SHRINK: 'Tis the season for allergies and colds as pollen, ragweed and other airborne hazards bloom, along with assorted viruses that all reek havoc on our systems. Whatever the season, bone broths with a rich store of vitamins and minerals are embraced by top chefs and Dr. Moms alike....

  • Kitchen Shrink: Cauliflower is the New Kale

    Kitchen Shrink: Cauliflower is the New Kale

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Low temps and other quirky weather patterns in California's central valley — the agricultural nucleus of the West Coast — has caused cauliflower to become caviar costly. But this highbrow crucifer with an antioxidant oomph and starchy, potato-like texture is well worth the sticker...

  • Kitchen Shrink: What's Your Culinary I.Q.? — The Answers

    Kitchen Shrink: What's Your Culinary I.Q.? — The Answers

    KITCHEN SHRINK: I will now hand feed you the answers to last week's Culinary I.Q. Quiz. Take your time to digest them well. ••• True/False 1. Baking soda and baking powder can be used interchangeably. False. Not all leavening agents are created equal. Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate, a base...

  • Kitchen Shrink: What's Your Culinary I.Q.?

    Kitchen Shrink: What's Your Culinary I.Q.?

    KITCHEN SHRINK: In keeping with the spirit of the end-of-school season, I thought it apropos to give a food-related final exam for your amusement and amazement. Check out next week's column for the answers — and please, no cheating! • True or False 1. Since baking soda and baking powder are both...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Spring's best stalk options

    Kitchen Shrink: Spring's best stalk options

    KITCHEN SHRINK "Europeans of the Renaissance swore by it as an aphrodisiac, and the church banned it from nunneries." — Barbara Kingslover   Ahh, the seductive asparagus spear, considered the caviar of the vegetable world, heralds the arrival of spring as bright green bunches line produce aisles...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Celebrate Mother's Day with a liquid brunch

    Kitchen Shrink: Celebrate Mother's Day with a liquid brunch

    KITCHEN SHRINK: To honor moms at all stages of mothering, here are some calming cocktails with a twist, along with some soothing smoothies, for fun brunch food pairings that the kids can help prepare for their special big girl on Sunday, May 14. ••• Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary For moms who enjoy...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Culinary facts I learned on spring break

    Kitchen Shrink: Culinary facts I learned on spring break

    KITCHEN SHRINK: While home on the range during spring break, I attended to matters I had long put off, and along the way, I learned some handy tips I'd like to share. A dental procrastinator, I finally went to get my teeth cleaned, at which point the hygienist gently reminded me that certain foods...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Tips for cooking with kids

    Kitchen Shrink: Tips for cooking with kids

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Thanks to the popularity of such shows as The Food Network's "Chopped Junior," the kitchen has become the new cool playground. In response, readers have requested kid-friendly advice for having a fun and safe culinary play date with their young children and grandchildren. So, roll...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Matzo's gone mainstream!

    Kitchen Shrink: Matzo's gone mainstream!

    KITCHEN SHRINK: On the evening of April 10, millions of Jewish families around the world will be sitting at the Seder table celebrating Passover or Pesach, an eight-day holiday that centers around the retelling — and through symbolic foods and imagination — reliving the historic Exodus of the Hebrew...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Springtime sips to wet your whistle

    Kitchen Shrink: Springtime sips to wet your whistle

    KITCHEN SHRINK: As spring breezes in, swap out the steamy winter drinks that warmed the cockles of your heart, for icy spring thirst-quenchers that cool your heels and invigorate your soul. Infuse these sips with the season's bounty of organic and local strawberries, cherries, zesty limes, sassy...

  • Kitchen Shrink: The Therapeutic Kitchen

    Kitchen Shrink: The Therapeutic Kitchen

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Ahh, the heady aromas of fruit pies, cinnamon buns and chocolate chip cookies perfuming the house are both nostalgic and intoxicating. But the whole baking process to me, including measuring, blending, kneading, rolling, pouring, and decorating is a calming cakewalk (pardon the...

  • Kitchen Shrink: For cold season et al, zinc's a real zinger

    Kitchen Shrink: For cold season et al, zinc's a real zinger

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Like Hippocrates, I'm going to "make food my medicine," by amping up a store of zinc-rich treasures in my diet to kick any blossoming cold viruses under the bus. Keep in mind, zinc levels have to be kept in a delicate balance like Baby Bear's porridge — too little will cause deficiency...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Lemon Law; Let's put the squeeze on sourpusses

    Kitchen Shrink: Lemon Law; Let's put the squeeze on sourpusses

    KITCHEN SHRINK: After I recently treated myself to an anti-aging birthday facial, I was reminiscing of an incident years ago when my girlfriend and I indulged in a spa day of pampering, including a stress-relieving massage, invigorating facial and light, healthy lunch. Sipping on a cool glass of...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Plant-based pastrami, anyone?

    Kitchen Shrink: Plant-based pastrami, anyone?

    KITCHEN SHRINK: When my Ottawan cousin recently visited San Diego for a few days of paradise and an escape from her Arctic winter peeked into my refrigerator, her jaw hung open. What happened to her carnivorous cuz, the charcuterie queen? Growing up on the East Coast, we practically sucked in cured,...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Smart tips for the inquiring foodie

    Kitchen Shrink: Smart tips for the inquiring foodie

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Readers are constantly e-mailing this Kitchen Shrink for advice on assorted culinary crises. I recently received one from a panicked cook who was hosting a holiday gathering. When she inserted a first generation-style meat thermometer into a crown roast of lamb — and it snapped...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Gustatory Gift of the Magi for St. Valentine's Day

    Kitchen Shrink: Gustatory Gift of the Magi for St. Valentine's Day

    KITCHEN SHRINK: A year ago, I caught up with an old friend whose daughter was just married. She told me that the newlyweds were recent graduates with modest internship incomes and tons of student debt. But they were madly in love, and would go to the moon for each other. Last Valentine's Day, each...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Name that Food — An Interactive Quiz

    Kitchen Shrink: Name that Food — An Interactive Quiz

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Before going on vacation, my neighbor recently brought a bag of mysterious fruits and vegetables to my home so they wouldn't go to waste. There were some vibrant pink pitaya or dragon fruits, ruby-fleshed Cara cara oranges, prehistoric-looking Romanesco broccoli, and a pear-shaped...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Cock-a-Doodle-Doo! It's the Year of the Rooster

    Kitchen Shrink: Cock-a-Doodle-Doo! It's the Year of the Rooster

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Mr. Zodiac Rooster swoops down on Monkey's head and crows a cock-a-doodle-doo to herald the Chinese New Year — the new moon of the first day of the first lunar month that bears his name. The rooster, a polygamous male chicken, roosts over his many hens and their nests to guard against...