Tag: cooking

Love, Loss, and What I Cooked


Woman in Kitchen Checking Groceries

University of Baltimore Asst. Prof. and Bohemian Rhapsody Columnist Marion Winik is really cooking now!

I knew I was falling in love when I broke an egg into my coffee while trying to make a man an omelet. I stared at the submerged yolk poaching in my java and thought: Girl, you are gone. Just then the butter began to burn and the smoke alarm said this place is on fire.

Steamed Cranberry Pudding: A Sweet Ghost Story



As Baltimore writer Sheri Venema reacquainted herself with her mother’s quaint church cookbook, she pondered “a time when a woman became a suffix to her husband” — once her baking was done, she realized much more.

The recipe for Steamed Cranberry Pudding did not speak to me at first. The directions seemed too cryptic: Waxed paper? Tin cans? Also, the tattered cookbook in which I found the recipe originated in the long-ago kitchens of women in my childhood church, and it seemed laden with dishes predictable and dull.

Tuna Noodle Casserole.

Miracle Cheese Cake (lemon Jell-O with cream cheese and sugar).

Oven Barbecue (Spam, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce).

Typed on a manual typewriter and then Xeroxed and bound with cheap plastic coil, the cookbooks were sold to raise money for a church society. My copy long ago lost its red cover. I sometimes took it out of its protective Ziploc bag to find a cookie recipe, but mostly I felt superior to this little book with its stains and misspellings. Clearly it came from a time when cream of mushroom soup and oleo ruled every kitchen in my neighborhood, and I had walked away from the Midwestern housewifery prescribed in its pages. I owned a wok and a Silver Palate cookbook. I made my own hummus. 

Charm City Cook: Happy Snacking!

Take two friends and add a love of food and exquisite taste and you get Kinderhook Snacks. Marie Stratton and Katie Horn take snacking seriously and Baltimore absolutely should be thanking these creative, hardworking women. Whether you like salty or sweet (or both mixed together, duh), they have a snack for you. Choose from the crowd pleasers like salted chocolate chip cookies and baked cheddar cheese stamps or maybe some triple ginger cookies, bacon popcorn and spicy smokey mixed nuts. Check out all of their snacks!
Exciting times for Kinderhook – they’ve just signed a lease on their very own kitchen space! Now they need to raise $12,000 in order to equip the kitchen. Here is their beautiful Kickstarter video – give it a look and see their story. Good stuff.

Charm City Cook: Spring is Here — Get Cooking!



Spring. It gives you a feeling of hopefulness, no? Me, I’m hopeful for asparagus. And peas. And oh yeah, rhubarb! (And tulips, peonies, hydrangeas…)

This post is a super simple one: a few of my favorite spring recipes. If you make these once, they will be in the rotation. Promise.


Asparagus Gruyere Tart from Martha Stewart

Weekend Events at The Ivy Bookshop Feature Poetry and Pickled Vegetables


Join the Ivy Bookshop on Saturday,  March 16 at 6:30 as it welcomes its own former poetry section curator, Lindsay Stuart Hill, who will read from her book of poems, One Life.  On Sunday, March 17 at 5:30, spend the early evening with the husband and wife team of Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray as they discuss their new book, The New Jewish Table.


hill one lifeLindsay Stuart Hill is a graduate of Goucher College, where she received two Kratz Creative Writing Fellowships to write poetry in Ireland and at Zen Mountain Monastery in New York. Since graduating, she has been employed as the Poet-in-Residence at the Carver Center in Towson, the editorial assistant for the Goucher Quarterly and a bookseller at The Ivy. She has also worked on organic farms in Oregon and her home state, New Hampshire. She is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.







Charm City Cook: White Chicken Chili with a Kick



Recently, when my friend Lisa had me over for dinner and said we were having Cooks Illustrated’s White Chicken Chili, I was excited. Lisa is a very good cook (and amazing baker!) and I knew it would be fantastic. And, it was SO GOOD. I cleaned the bowl and wanted more, but I was polite. Thankfully, Lisa sent me home with some leftovers and about two weeks later, I made some for myself. I turned down the ‘heat’ a little bit, but other than that, I followed the recipe.

I’ve written before about Cooks Illustrated. I have an online membership (just $35 per year) and I use it all the time. I used to be intimidated by the magazine, but then I just dove in and it’s amazing. I’ve learned about different cuts of meat, how to grill, the best knives and more. What I love best about cooking is that you can keep learning as you go – whether it’s about cooking techniques, tools or ingredients. Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen are excellent sources for all these things.

Pigtown Design: Happy Valentine’s Day


I am not one to celebrate Valentine’s Day with any fanfare, so I am just having some friends to dinner.image

Johns Hopkins Students Engineer the Perfect Toast


They have homework assignments that require going to Six Flags and riding roller coasters. They study alchemy. Let’s face it, Johns Hopkins is doing a pretty rad job of making stodgy science classes fun and interactive, and in the process causing students in tedious Engineering 101 classes to seethe with jealousy. Case in point:  the mechanical engineering class that ends with a giant potluck… featuring foods the students cooked themselves, using the robotics skills they learned in class.

Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, to Appear at Williams Sonoma, Cross Keys Dec. 13

Cooking Guru and Food Network Star Ina Garten Visits Williams Sonoma, Cross Keys on Thursday

If you love cooking and you love easy recipes with fresh ingredients, Ina Garten has got to be on your bookshelf.  Meet her at Cross Keys on Thursday.

Confessions of a Bad Cook in an Era of Foodies

“The pic was not staged, I’m ashamed to say. It really was dinner.”

The email came from my husband’s cousin’s wife, who I’ve met only a handful of times. I don’t know her well enough to be honest. And, obviously, she doesn’t know me well enough to realize the email was sorely misdirected. The subject? Family recipe book.

My heart sank when I read the first line: Steve and I were thinking it would be a fun to create a recipe book of favorite family dishes. Oh no. I knew what was coming next. She wanted all the women in the family to send three of their favorite recipes that she would then, I’m sure, bind in some cute and homey fashion and distribute them to us as stocking stuffers. Nice idea. And I hate to be a party-pooper. But there’s one big problem here.