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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 …

Great American Meals
  • CAROL LOLLIS
left, Ali Pinschmidt, site manager of the Interfaith Winter Shelter, and Katie Miernecki, the director of Hampshire County Shelter and Housing Services get the Interfaith shelter ready to open.

    CAROL LOLLIS left, Ali Pinschmidt, site manager of the Interfaith Winter Shelter, and Katie Miernecki, the director of Hampshire County Shelter and Housing Services get the Interfaith shelter ready to open. Purchase photo reprints »

  • KEVIN GUTTING
Susan Barnett of Florence currently works two mornings a week in the Northampton High School office.

    KEVIN GUTTING Susan Barnett of Florence currently works two mornings a week in the Northampton High School office. Purchase photo reprints »

  • JERREY ROBERTS
Varun Sheel, left, and Curtis Barnes at the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where they two are students.

    JERREY ROBERTS Varun Sheel, left, and Curtis Barnes at the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where they two are students. Purchase photo reprints »

Tarragon: It goes with everything

Friday, September 12, 2014

Most herbs defy easy description. Trying to discuss the flavor of thyme or oregano leads only to vague adjectives. Calling rosemary “woody” doesn’t quite cut it. But tarragon is easy. Tarragon tastes sort of like licorice. It does …

Dip into dukkah

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dukkah (pronounced DOO-kah) is a Middle Eastern blend of toasted nuts, sesame seeds and spices. The crunchy condiment served on olive oil-dipped flatbread is especially popular in Egypt, where nearly every family has developed its own version to …

Valley Bounty: Hot peppers

Friday, September 12, 2014

HOT PEPPERS Local hot peppers are ripe for the picking. Varieties from around the world — with heat levels ranging from mild to scorching — are grown right here, often by farmers with a passion for peppers. Be …

This week’s local wine and beer tastings

Friday, September 12, 2014

TASTINGS Amherst Wine & Spirits, 308 College Street, Amherst Today, 2-5 p.m., Grand opening party, champagnes, red wine Liquors 44, 458-9 Campus Plaza (Route 9), Hadley Friday, Bluechair Rum, 5-8 p.m., WEEKLY EVENTS: Cooper’s Corner Liquors, 31 Main …

Cheesesteak that’s delicious even minus the steak

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Like Philadelphia itself, there’s a lot to love about the city’s signature sandwich — the cheesesteak. But that delicious combination of beef, onions and cheese isn’t the sort of thing you want to pack away every day, unless …

Apollo Grill to close Dec. 31 after 12 years at Eastworks in Easthampton

Monday, September 8, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — After a dozen years anchoring the Eastworks building, the Apollo Grill will close on Dec. 31. Owner and head chef John Casey Douglass said Monday that he and Eastworks owner William Bundy were unable to agree …

Market Basket recovering after turmoil

Sunday, September 7, 2014

RAYNHAM — Alice Farrington has her pick of four supermarkets, all a quick drive from her home. But this week, instead of going to one of those stores, she drove about 10 miles to shop at a place she’s heard a lot about lately: Market Basket, the family-owned …

How civilized! Have a brunch with sweet rolls, bread pudding, granola parfaits

Friday, September 5, 2014

‘Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting,” wrote Guy Beringer in Britain’s 1895 Hunter’s Weekly, in an article titled “Brunch: A Plea.” “It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and …

Recipe: Savory Bread Pudding With Sausage Gravy

Friday, September 5, 2014

1 hour, 10 minutes, plus soaking time. Serves 10 to 12 BREAD PUDDING 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon oil 1 onion, chopped 1 pound button or crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced ⅓ cup sherry or dry white wine 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme Salt and freshly ground pepper 3 …

Recipe: Summer Fruit and Yogurt Parfait With Homemade Granola

Friday, September 5, 2014

1 hour, plus cooling time for the granola. Serves 6 to 8 HOMEMADE GRANOLA 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons wheat bran 1 cup pecan halves 1 cup sliced almonds 1½ cups unsweetened flaked coconut 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon …