Kitchen Shrink

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With Thanksgiving approaching at gigabit speed, we’re all gearing up for the big day with a main course of stress, and side dishes of angst and doubts about menu choices, modes of preparation, presentation (and dinner guests). To help make this feast a delightfully memorable one, I’ll now take your questions and offer cooking tips.
As pies and tarts are the quintessential desserts of fall, here’s a lesson on crusts of all manners to suit assorted palates, dietary restrictions, skill levels and entertaining needs. There are four ways to go with pie crusts: 1) divine, scratch-made ones with choice ingredients have a somewhat complex and time consuming methodology, but well worth the effort; 2) crust mixes need the addition of a fat and liquid; 3) dough balls or pre-made pastry sheets only require rolling into the desired shape, or molding into a pan; and 4) pie crusts a-go-go come ready-made either refrigerated or frozen in pie plates.
This season delivers a bounty of exciting fruits, roots, seeds, gourds and grains to inspire us all to become salad enthusiasts. Here’s how. Green with Envy: Take a break from anemic, low-achieving Iceberg lettuce, and change up with antioxidant rich, brain-boosting dark leafy greens. Crisp Romaine, Caesar’s classic go-to green with a fantastic store of Vitamins A and K; peppery Arugula, a sexy little number with aphrodisiac properties dating back to ancient Rome; tender Mâche with sweet and nutty nuances, and fabulous Frisée with funky, lacy leaves and a bitter edge that wakes up ho-hum salads. There’s more. Delicate, pale green Butter lettuce, frequently “living” with roots still attached, and kale, the king of leafy greens, whether Curly, Lacinato or Dino varieties with sturdy stems and stiff leaves adds a tangy bite.
Breakfast, hands down, is the most important meal of the day as it “breaks” the “fast” from the previous night’s sleep, fueling the body with essential nutrients while jump starting the brain to take on the morning’s activities. I’ve observed six breakfast styles during my travels, and would like to make some suggestions for getting the most out of this vital morning meal.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to peel off your fake warty nose or Halloween mask and have a pristine complexion underneath? Here are a few remedies to keep your skin radiant, glowing and glabrous.
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KITCHEN SHRINK: A week or two of family faves can be prepared ahead of time so dinner is served pronto from fridge (or freezer) to table without last-minute meal cramming.
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