Slow-cooked Italian beef

26 January 2017
Thumbnail image for Slow-cooked Italian beef

Coming from a family of seven siblings, with 21 kids between them, my Ohio sister-in-law Michelle can feed a crowd like a boss. For New Year’s Eve in Columbus, we had 40 family and friends over to watch Ohio State play Clemson in the (disastrous for us) Fiesta Bowl playoff game. After Christmas, all I […]

Full article →

Holiday gift guide 2016

7 December 2016
Thumbnail image for Holiday gift guide 2016

For all the online fun kids have these days – musical.ly videos, Snapchat filters, YouTube channels, online gaming – it’s amusing to note that the hottest toy this year was the half-empty disposable water bottle. Water bottle flipping, a YouTube-inspired sensation, became such an obsessive craze it was covered in the New York Times. For […]

Full article →

Foolproof mashed potatoes

23 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Foolproof mashed potatoes

I finally figured out the best way for a distracted cook to manage homemade mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. No peeler, no risk of overcooked spuds – just potatoes, butter and milk in the most fuss-free and relaxed method I’ve found. Here’s the trick: quickly score each potato around the center before boiling them whole. You […]

Full article →

Kale salad with honey-mustard peanut dressing

22 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Kale salad with honey-mustard peanut dressing

This shredded kale and cabbage salad, coated in a sweet honey-mustard dressing and generously showered with crushed peanuts, has a cult following at Hillstone restaurants across the country, from Houston’s to Bandera to various Grill outposts, such as Cherry Creek, Bal Harbour, Palm Beach and Rutherford. You see it on almost every table, as starter, […]

Full article →

Pumpkin bread with chocolate

16 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Pumpkin bread with chocolate

I have a beef with pumpkin breads that aren’t pumpkiny. A drier bread makes for easy cutting and tidy presentation, but the pumpkin bread I want to eat is a little soft, with big sticky crumbs, and super rich with pumpkin flavor. In Ohio we live for pumpkin bread, from a little bakery called Beehive […]

Full article →

Comfort in pancakes (banana chocolate chip)

11 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Comfort in pancakes (banana chocolate chip)

When I’m stressed, I don’t want a beer, I want a bakery. Or to bake something. Science backs me up on this: sugar reduces the stress hormone cortisol in our systems (don’t try to substitute fake sugar, it doesn’t have the same effect). Even before eating, the warm olfactory combination of flour, butter and sugar […]

Full article →

The best yellow birthday cake

26 October 2016
Thumbnail image for The best yellow birthday cake

I’ve had a best chocolate cake recipe forever – easy and reliably fantastic – but it took years of trying before I finally found the perfect yellow cake. When we lived in Ohio with my husband’s side of the family, chocolate was the only cake we ever needed. But in California, my Chinese family likes […]

Full article →

Grand Canyon’s quieter east entrance

10 October 2016
Thumbnail image for Grand Canyon’s quieter east entrance

My parents avoided the crowds and tension of cities, so we rarely traveled to urban areas on family vacations, unless we did the Asian thing and stopped for a college tour. To their immigrant eyes, the wonders of America were not in cities but in the immense protected landscape of the country, unusual in a […]

Full article →

Sliced green bean and ground turkey stir fry

23 September 2016
Thumbnail image for Sliced green bean and ground turkey stir fry

One recipe, two ideas here: First, that you can use ground turkey in a stir fry. Second, that when you have older, thicker green beans, you can transform them by cutting steep diagonal slices that will absorb a fantastic amount of flavor. My mom has made green beans like this for years, so it always […]

Full article →

Eggs and zucchini in tomato sauce

15 September 2016
Thumbnail image for Eggs and zucchini in tomato sauce

Daily dinner in my house probably isn’t what you imagine. With four kids in three schools, and an activity or two per kid, every day is a lot of screeching around corners in my loaded minivan hauling people hither and yon. I might use a brief stop at home to rummage around and prep, but […]

Full article →