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Food / Dining

This Feb. 2, 2015, photo shows chopped kale and lentil winter salad in Concord, N.H. This winter salads manages to feel both energizing and comforting at the same time. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Fresh take on Irish stew

Friday, February 27, 2015

Chicken and dumplings is a wonderfully simple, deliciously comforting dish — a thick, meaty stew bubbling away beneath a patchwork of moist, pillowy dumplings. So we decided to channel that comfort for a dish suited for St. Patrick’s Day. Taking inspiration from classic Irish ingredients and dishes, we came up with this over-the-top savory lamb stew with a rich broth made from beef stock, Guinness beer and fresh rosemary. And dolloped over the top? Soda bread-style dumplings that are at once hearty and tender. Like most stews, this one only improves with age. For a do-ahead option, prepare the stew as directed, but chill it …

Spice it up

Friday, February 27, 2015

Spice it up Don’t get tripped up by the title of chef Paul Merrett’s latest book, “Spice Odyssey: From Asafoetida to Wasabi, Recipes to Really Excite & Inspire.” That would mean missing out on clever writing, helpful tips for working with spices plus quite a few I’d-make-that recipes, maybe Asian spiced short ribs …

Valley Bounty: Watermelon radish

Friday, February 27, 2015

Watermelon Radish The plain white skin of a watermelon radish covers a hidden gem: a layer of pale green surrounding a brilliant magenta core. Firm and crisp, with just a hint of spicy bite, they’ll add a splash of color to whatever you put them in—salads, stir fries, roasted roots or spring rolls. To maximize the color on your winter plate, mix them …

Great American Meals
  • KEVIN GUTTING
Full sun, temperatures in the mid-20s and calm winds made for a pleasant afternoon for Steve Leiblum and Lennie Ware of Pelham as they walked their dogs Rosa, left, and Red in an area near the Norwottuck Rail Trail south of Amherst College on Friday.

    KEVIN GUTTING Full sun, temperatures in the mid-20s and calm winds made for a pleasant afternoon for Steve Leiblum and Lennie Ware of Pelham as they walked their dogs Rosa, left, and Red in an area near the Norwottuck Rail Trail south of Amherst College on Friday. Purchase photo reprints »

  • JERREY ROBERTS
Bryan Torres, who is an undocumented immigrant who is an Amherst College student, Monday at the college.

    JERREY ROBERTS Bryan Torres, who is an undocumented immigrant who is an Amherst College student, Monday at the college. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS
Northampton residents Andres Wilson and his 3-year-old daughter, Eden Wilson color together at Forbes library in the children's  section Wednesday evening.

    CAROL LOLLIS Northampton residents Andres Wilson and his 3-year-old daughter, Eden Wilson color together at Forbes library in the children's section Wednesday evening. Purchase photo reprints »

A Nutella dessert heard round the world

Thursday, February 19, 2015

If there is any person in the United States who understands how much Americans — or really, people all over the world — love Nutella, it is Allison Robicelli, who along with her husband, Matt, owns the New …

Chasing Fireball’s heat: Whiskey makers fight fire with cinnamon

Friday, February 13, 2015

The cinnamon wars get hotter every day — or night, as the case may be. If you’ve been at a party recently, chances are you were offered a shot of cinnamon whiskey. Most likely it was Fireball. Sazerac’s …

Chinese New Year foods signify hopes for prosperity

Friday, February 13, 2015

Chinese New Year is a spring holiday focused on a fresh start and hopes of prosperity for the new year. “Basically, it’s always about getting better and better,” said Ching Ching Cernada, a native of Taiwan who has …

A wine to try: 2013 Cruse Wine Co. Valdiguie ‘Rancho Chimiles Vineyard’

Friday, February 13, 2015

A wine to try 2013 Cruse Wine Co. Valdiguie ‘Rancho Chimiles Vineyard’ Region: Sonoma Price: About $25 Style: Bright and fruity Ever heard of Valdiguie? Watch for it on you next wine trivia test. That’s the grape formerly …

Valley Bounty: Eggs

Friday, February 13, 2015

Eggs As anyone with a backyard flock of chickens knows, with the increasing daylight comes an increase in egg production. Eggs make for a wonderful, protein-rich meal any time of day. Hard boil some to slice on salad. …

This week’s local wine and beer tastings

Friday, February 13, 2015

TASTINGS Provisions, 30 Crafts Ave., Northampton Thursday, 4:30 p.m, Downeast Cider Friday, 4:30 p.m., Baystate wines WEEKLY EVENTS: Cooper’s Corner Liquors, 31 Main St., Florence: Friday, 4 to 6 p.m., wine; Leeds Package Store, Route 9, Leeds: Wednesday to Friday, 3 to 6 p.m., wine.; Four Seasons, 333 …

Chef’s Best: Have it your way with a mix and match take on mac and cheese

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Do you love macaroni and cheese? Stupid question, right? OK, so let’s try this one: How could you love macaroni and cheese even more? Now we’re talking. Because there are all sorts of simple ways to doctor an …

A little wine, butter transform mussels into romantic meal

Friday, February 6, 2015

Looking for something fast, easy and a little romantic to cook with your partner this Valentine’s Day? Consider mussels. With a pleasantly briny flavor, mussels pair well with clean, simple flavors, such as fresh herbs with melted butter …

This week’s local wine and beer tastings

Friday, February 6, 2015

TASTINGS Provisions, 30 Crafts Ave., Northampton Saturday, 2 to 4 p.m., Beer Swamp Orchard, Fire Cider, People’s Pint beer; 2 to 6 p.m. Eden Ice Cider; 4 to 6 p.m. Ruby wines Thursday, 4:30 p.m., Charles River wine Friday, 4 p.m, Cafe Europa wine WEEKLY EVENTS: Cooper’s Corner …

Valley Bounty: Carrots

Friday, February 6, 2015

Carrots Carrots are easily one of my favorite vegetables. Locally available nearly year round, they are a staple flavor in soups, stews, winter roasts or root slaws — and their sweet crunchiness is a go-to snack in my …