Category Archives: Opinions

My Dogs Eat Better Than 17% of Americans Do

End Hunger

September is Hunger Action Month. With all the food that I cook, eat, and savor, I would be remiss in not wanting to act to help the 50.2 million Americans who live in food insecure households. If you’re used to my (hopefully) lighthearted posts as I search for unusual beet recipes or complain about cooking beef, be forewarned that this installment is serious, not whimsical. But it’s a topic that I support and feel very compelled to address. Continue reading

“Pink or No Pink?” The One About the Perfectly Cooked Hamburger

Aside from a greasy burger, there’s one thing I can’t stand when you’re paying upwards of $8 or $10 for a gourmet burger: overcooking. The chain restaurants are notoriously bad about this. I’ve learned to order my burgers medium rare when what I really want is medium. Even worse are the chain restaurants that ask you “pink or no pink?” as if you are not intelligent enough to know what well, medium, or rare mean. As my husband joked one day, what they’re really asking is if you want it “cooked or overcooked?” Truth burn. And then they ignore your request anyway and send everything out the same funny shade of brown. Continue reading

A Salt Manifesto

Copyright TooFarNorth/

Salt, sadly, has had a bad rap lately. From a 2009 announcement by Penzeys Spices to a recent mediocre Angelina Jolie movie, it seems that everywhere we turn, we are discouraged in using salt.

I took particular offense to Penzeys’ rationale when I first saw it (and apparently still haven’t gotten over it), which I think echoes the rationale of some health advocates: “I feel things have gotten to a point where the specialty salts are glamorizing the use of salt and, with that, encouraging people to use more of it.”

Yes, too much salt in your diet is a health concern. According to the Mayo Clinic (my go-to Internet health resource whenever I want to self-diagnose any hypochondria), when too much salt builds up in your blood, it increases your blood pressure, which, we know, is bad for your heart. This happens to some people more than others, depending on how their kidneys work and whether they have confounding conditions, so if you are one of those who honestly can’t consume much salt, please stop reading now. It’ll only make you wistful. You have my sympathies. Continue reading

My Food Philosophy

You’ll probably get a sense of this from the recipes you’ll see me post to this blog, but I mostly like to cook simple foods using a few very fresh, seasonal, and high-quality ingredients. This definitely stems from my Sicilian heritage (Sicily is known for its simple home cooking); although my German mother did most of the cooking in my childhood home, my Sicilian grandmother, who lived with us for many of my formidable years, often pitched in and taught us family recipes. In other words, I grew up eating like an Italian American. Continue reading