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Spanokopita! Spanokopita!

Spanokopita, the savory pie one authority praised as the ultimate Greek “soul food,” might be the first word I ever tried to understand when arriving in Greece coming up on half a century ago. Surely I heard a few other words, enough to climb off the overnight ferry from Italy, find a late dinner of…

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Reborn Bread Bowls

Only a few months back, a national bread-centric chain called Panera introduced a “hot new trend” – yet another version of soup served in a bowl of hollowed-out bread. It was a “hot new trend” because Panera, along with many food journalists, told us it was. Which is great – since soup served in a…

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A Tale of Two Kingcakes

Inspired by two years and two Epiphanies of tasting galettes des rois, first all over Paris and then at one very special patisserie in Montreal, we decided this year in northern Virginia to make our own. Two galettes came together side by side, sharing the same puff pastry and the same almond filling. The results…

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Galette des Rois

It’s has been a long, hard road for me, learning to prefer the traditional puff-pastry-almond-paste galette des rois of France over the also-traditional sweet brioche kingcakes of my native New Orleans. My journey has been helped along by spending Epiphany eating galettes (yes, definitely more than one) in Paris two years ago and then eating…

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Celebrating Citrus

The last thing I remember not doing before leaving my last daily newspaper job was going to the Rio Grande Valley to write about citrus. The first thing I remember doing after starting my own food and wine magazine was – going to the Rio Grande Valley to write about citrus. I think about this…

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It’s Always Sunny

I’ve often wondered what was wrong with Sunny Randall. Having starred in no fewer than six crime novels by the late “dean of American crime fiction” Robert B. Parker, how had Sunny somehow become chopped liver after his sudden death at his writing desk in 2010? No, not Sonny Randall, the NFL quarterback that some…

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Lightening Up Lasagna

Of all the richly deserved complaints that Italians from Italy lodge against Italian food in America, the one that resonates with me the most is that lasagna was never intended to be heavy. Over the years, more than a few Italian chefs have shown me the beauty of a light, fluffy pasta casserole that wouldn’t…

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Soups for the Season

In a holiday season that traditionally begins with turkey and ends with goose, it should come as no surprise that this time of year is for the birds. And that includes roasted chickens, Cornish hens and even tiny, delicate quail.  Many of those larger birds produce leftovers, of course. So it’s our job as intrepid…

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Emily’s 132nd Birthday

Emily Dickinson, considered by some America’s greatest poet, invites us in every line to gaze at her life “through a glass, darkly” far more than “face to face.” Despite the perfection of her phrases and the unexpectedness of her vision, she seems destined to leave us all wondering what experiences gave voice to such unique…

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Ballet West’s ‘Nutcracker’

‘Tis the season for Nutcrackers. And in the nation’s capital, that means Washington Ballet is installed for an extended run at the Warner Theater. In cities large and small across America, however, there’s at least anecdotal evidence that the local ballet company pays for the rest of its season with ticket revenues from the Tchaikovsky…

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