Pinto bean chili with pan-roasted spices and chipotle

Although I’ve created many recipes for different kinds of chili, the one I love most is this pinto bean chili with pan-roasted spices. Dry-roasting cumin and coriander seeds in a hot pan gives these two spices a depth and nuttiness that permeates the dish. As I hand-grind the roasted spices in a mortar, the whole kitchen comes alive with their intense aroma. (Any recipe that starts this way, in my book, is a good dish!)

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Mac and Cheese with braised leeks and asiago

The first time I tasted macaroni and cheese, I was well into my twenties. The experience was entirely new — and entirely pleasing. How could it not be? After all, pasta and cheese is one of those superb pairings that delight just about everyone, regardless of their age, gender or background.

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Food and Style - Cheese fondue with chipotle and tequila

Here’s a new-world version of the classic Swiss fondue. The tequila adds a wonderful dimension to this truly scrumptious fondue and the chipotle lends a hint of smokiness to it. It’s so addictive that when I first tested the recipe, Marc (my best taster and hubby!) ate the whole thing so fast I thought he’d inhaled it!

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Maple-poached pear sundae

October 24, 2009

Maple-poached pear sundae

After moving to Vermont in the late eighties, it didn’t take long for me to become familiar with what is probably the state’s signature product: maple syrup. “Sugaring” is the process of tapping the sap of sugar maples and then boiling down the clear liquid until the water has evaporated and the syrup acquires its distinctive amber color.

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Who doesn’t love Caesar salad? I haven’t met anyone yet… And it’s been a favorite of mine ever since my college days in California. Back then (do I dare mention it was in the early eighties?!), any trendy restaurant would assemble it right at your table. The waiter would arrive with his arsenal and furiously whip an egg to make the dressing. Going out for dinner and not ordering one was inconceivable!

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