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Food / Dining

This Oct. 20, 2014, photo shows lightened pumpkin crunch in Concord, N.H. Instead of relying on tons of cream and egg yolks for a smooth texture for the pumpkin chunch try silken tofu. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Chef’s Best: A little protein makes pumpkin pie a lot healthier

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The holiday season just isn’t the same if I don’t stuff my face with pumpkin pie. There, I’ve said it. Judge if you must, but then read on to hear my secret for pumpkin dessert goodness with fewer calories and better nutrition. First, I make a pumpkin crunch instead of a pumpkin pie. Why? Because while I love the buttery …

Chef’s Best: 10 fresh ways to doctor stuffing mix

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Let’s be clear about something. ... When making stuffing, it’s always better to slice and dry your own bread cubes. Hands down, the taste and texture are better. But let’s also be realistic. In the chaos of getting the many components of Thanksgiving dinner on the table in a timely manner, many of …

Carr’s Ciderhouse in Hadley carves its place in the new and fast-growing cider market

Monday, October 27, 2014

Comparing apples to apples is just good practice. Do it for 20 years, and you’ve got yourself a tradition. The 20th annual Franklin County CiderDays runs from Friday to Sunday and features classes, hangouts, talks and tastings throughout the Hilltowns. This year they’ve added a Friday-night kickoff reception at the Blue Heron restaurant in Sunderland that will focus on local hard cider. That …

Spice up your cooking with chutney

Friday, October 24, 2014

It’s time to spice up your pantry. OK, so you don’t have a pantry like your granny’s, one where she stored glistening jars of jams, jellies and pickles made with goodies from her garden. Maybe you don’t even …

Valley Bounty: Pork

Friday, October 24, 2014

PORK Ground pork is the base for sausages, meatballs, patties and dumplings from many cultures, including Asian, Eastern European and Latino. Vary the spices (chili flakes and ginger to sage and fennel) and the preparation and you can …

Soaking beans? In most cases, you don’t need to

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rich, earthy, hearty — there’s nothing quite so reassuring as having a pot of beans simmering in the oven when cool weather comes along. So why don’t more people cook them? One of the main reasons is the …

Wine to Try: 2013 Marisa Cuomo Costa d’Amalfi ‘Furore Bianco’

Friday, October 24, 2014

A WINE TO TRY 2013 Marisa Cuomo Costa d’Amalfi ‘Furore Bianco’ Region: Campania Price: $23 to $26 Style: Lean and expressive What it goes with: Grilled fish or shrimp, chilled shellfish, steamed clams, sushi and sashimi The hamlet …

Mischief and mayhem Wickedly tasty Halloween treats

Friday, October 24, 2014

If you’ve got school-age ghosts and goblins in your home, you should know these basics of Halloween parties. ■ Edible fake blood: Mix together light corn syrup with enough red food dye to get the color you want. …

Have a healthy Halloween

Friday, October 24, 2014

Your children will have plenty of candy on Halloween. That much is a given. But what do you do if you want them to eat more nourishing food as well? How do you offer children a healthy treat …

This week’s local wine and beer tastings

Friday, October 24, 2014

TASTINGS Amherst Wine & Spirits, 308 College Street, Amherst Saturday, 2-5 p.m., best reds under $15 WEEKLY EVENTS: Cooper’s Corner Liquors, 31 Main St., Florence: Friday, 4-6 p.m., wine; Leeds Package Store, Route 9, Leeds: Wed.—Fri., 3 to 6p.m.,wine.; Four Seasons, 333 Russell St., Hadley: everyday, wine; Spirit …

Tim Driscoll’s Barhopping: Strike one, strike two ... home run!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I was in the doghouse, and I deserved to be there: My friend Jean and I had gone to the Cellar Bar in Easthampton to do “research” for one of these articles and I didn’t mention her name. …

Roasted beets can brighten up any holiday table

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Beets are the perfect addition to bountiful fall feasts. They are satisfying without being heavy, and their rich ruby and golden tones add visual interest to any seasonal color scheme. Plus, beets are incredibly flexible on temperature — …

A classic revisited: How to make a Cuban sandwich

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Cuban sandwich is the stuff of which food memories are made. I still remember my first — enjoyed nearly 30 years ago at a small restaurant on Key Biscayne off the Miami coast. It was savory, it …