On My Mind

On the Best-Laid Plans.

This past Sunday was a doozy of a day in our kitchen. It wasn’t for lack of planning—no, my husband, Les, and I had laid out a terrific plan for completing a list of specific preparations for Thanksgiving. But things went amiss, and through a comedy of errors, I was rattled back into the reality … Read More

I’ll Take “Gratitude” for $1000, Please

The news should not have hit me like a train, but my awareness of Alex Trebek’s serious illness didn’t prepare me for the announcement of his death Sunday. When the charismatic host of Jeopardy announced early last year that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, my interest in the quiz show was … Read More

100!

When I published my first post on Comfort du Jour in April, I didn’t know what it would become or what it would mean to me. It took a global pandemic to help me finally grasp that the phrase “life is short” is more than a catchphrase; it’s a reality. What I did know is … Read More

Sourdough Pumpkin Challah (a bread maker’s journey)

When I set out in 2011 to learn the terrifying skill of bread making, my primary goal was to have the welcoming aroma waft out of my oven and throughout the house. Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked bread? My first few attempts were pretty confused, with some downright inedible, but also with … Read More

I Want a Sunday Kind of Supper

It’s challenging enough in normal times to get dinner on the table on a busy weekday. Toss in a pandemic? I’m lost. At this point, I barely know what day it is, except for the display on my smart phone screen. Before COVID, managing the “life” part of the work-life balance felt easier because I … Read More

What Makes Breakfast Better?

One of the websites I visit frequently for inspiration, or sometimes sheer amusement value, is the (U.S.) National Day Calendar, which announces quite matter-of-factly what we should be celebrating on a given day. This gave me a heads-up to plan for National S’mores Day, when I shared my adventures with this dessert pizza and this … Read More

“Now You’re Cooking With Gas!”

It was a phrase my Gram said all the time, though she wasn’t necessarily referring to her method of stove-top cooking. Rather, she said it any time one of us grandkids had done something well. “Look, Gram, I’m riding my bike without training wheels!” “Woo-eee, now you’re cooking with gas!” And she would clap at … Read More

Squash plants produce “male” and “female” blossoms, and only the females result in fruit. The two at the bottom are fused together, so it will be interesting to see how they grow.

First Fruits

Last week, when I came home from a weekly grocery run, I stepped warily toward the garden at the end of the driveway. I’m accustomed to feeling like a lousy farmer thanks to the herd of deer in our woods. With a sigh on my lips, I lifted back the giant leaves drooping from our … Read More

Vanilla-Black Pepper Old Fashioned

Vanilla

When I set out to develop a recipe to properly acknowledge our nation’s birthday, my instinct was to make something that looked like the flag, because isn’t that what everyone does on the 4th of July? For my culinary tribute to America, I decided instead to focus on the flavors that make a food distinctly … Read More

The Backyard Happy Hour

An interesting thing has happened during this time of physical distancing—my husband, Les, and I are enjoying more frequent visits with friends and loved ones who live too far away for regular visits. The world’s newfound fascination with Zoom and FaceTime calls has increased our own get-togethers with relatives two and three time zones away, … Read More

The Foundation of Good Pizza

Homemade pizza dough isn’t as complicated as it seems. Unless, of course, you happen to live with the one person who is seemingly the expert on all things related to “New York pizza.” And I do. My husband, Les, is a little finicky completely fanatical about his pizza, to such a degree that I am … Read More

The Salad Bar

Just ahead of the rainy Memorial Day weekend, I put on my grungy outside sneakers and went digging in the dirt in our sweet little garden plot. I’d been to the local greenhouse a few weeks before, but had waited for exactly the right time to plant bell peppers and jalapenos, Japanese eggplants, sweet basil … Read More

Something delicious is about to happen!

Meatless Monday – 7 Tips to Make it Work

If you spend any time on the internet (you’re here, right?), you probably know about Meatless Monday, the movement to reduce meat consumption. The idea is rooted in wellness initiatives, and seems even more relevant today as we each try to do our part to keep things going during the pandemic. And because of my … Read More

Early Lessons on Leftovers

Like many children, I loved time spent in my grandmother’s kitchen. After school, and especially in the summer, we were always cooking up something—cookies, cakes, applesauce, rhubarb jam. She was a “hands-on” kind of grandma, willing to let slide any mess made by a young helper in the midst of learning important lessons at the … Read More

The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports

Here’s my big confession about the Kentucky Derby: I’ve never been, and until a few years ago, I honestly never even paid attention to it. But a dear friend had written to me about his incredible experience of attending the Derby for a buddy’s bachelor party, and I was mesmerized (and forever changed) by his … Read More

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