Ginger Hot Toddy

What’s better than sitting around on a frosty evening with a nice hot apple-y drink to warm the cockles of your heart? I use ginger liqueur in cakes and breads, but it’s especially fab in a bracing cold-weather toddy. If you’re feeling sniffly at all, it’s like the best-tasting liquid cough drop you’ve ever had, ushering you off to a deep and dreamless sleep. Hot apple cider with a dash of cinnamon and some grated fresh ginger are easy to […]


Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup with Caraway Rye Crackers

I’m a lazy cook. I like recipes with fewer ingredients that aren’t too complicated, especially foods that are adaptable for different kinds of meals. This mushroom soup can be an elegant starter (wonderful for a Thanksgiving dinner if you’re already thinking about the holidays) or a substantial entree with the addition of wild rice. You might see this on a menu and think, ‘Mushroom soup – meh.’ But it’s rich and nourishing, and with the addition of caraway rye crackers […]


Honey Fried Brussel Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are still having their moment. This long-maligned veg has found its audience, with new recipes popping up on the best food blogs and cooking magazines. This recipe is an old favorite, adapted from the Cheesemonger’s Seasons, a great cookbook for putting fruits, vegetables, and cheeses together in unexpectedly delicious ways. I substituted the Podda cheese, which I had trouble finding, with manchego (sheep’s milk) cheese, but you can also use gruyere. It takes a little time to “leaf” […]


Halloween Popcorn Balls

When I think of Halloween, my mind always turns to popcorn balls, those salty-sweet homespun sweets of my childhood. Our neighbor, Mrs. Snider, was a cheerful old lady with a little white bun on the back of her neck and sensible lace-up shoes that had been fashionable during World War II, and I never saw her without a cotton “farmer’s wife” apron like the ones my grandmother wore. When we showed up on her doorstep on Halloween, she would invite […]


I’m Sorry If…

I’m SORRY IF is no way to begin an apology. It’s a variation on a theme that we often see with celebrities and politicians: “I’m sorry if what I said hurt some people.” is not an apology, but a refusal of blame for another’s hurt by suggesting that their feelings aren’t valid. When I worked at the White House we learned the value of a sincere – and quick – apology. Anything less would have reflected poorly on the president […]