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Food / Dining

CAROL LOLLIS
Easter candy at Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium.

Easter and chocolate: Hand in hand

Friday, March 27, 2015

Looking back at the traditional agriculture year shows us the origins of most Easter foods, but tells us nothing about one vital treat: chocolate. It’s a newcomer to the festivities because until the 19th century it was impossible to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids, so chocolate was only palatable as a drink. In the early 19th century …

Easter feast: Holiday sweets and luscious leftovers

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wouldn’t it be terrific if our local asparagus were with us for Easter? It tastes wonderful with both ham and lamb, which are Easter dinner favorites, but, of course, we can’t expect it to pop through the ground until early May. And that will be too late for Easter dinner. But no vegetable …

Raise your glass, Pioneer Valley

Friday, March 27, 2015

Natura Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Chile, $9.99-11.99 Natura Chardonnay 2013, Chile, $9.99-11.99 About a decade ago, I tried an organic wine. It was expensive and bad. I didn’t spit it out or even pour it down the drain, probably because of my Scots heritage, but I didn’t like it. So, when friends recently suggested …

Great American Meals
  • KEVIN GUTTING
Jim Brooks of Northampton takes a recreational shell out for a row on the Connecticut River. The oars are fixed into the oar locks so the blade is "square," the best angle to power through the water, but this immobilization also keeps the blade from being "feathered," or turned parallel to the surface, during the return stroke out of the water.

    KEVIN GUTTING Jim Brooks of Northampton takes a recreational shell out for a row on the Connecticut River. The oars are fixed into the oar locks so the blade is "square," the best angle to power through the water, but this immobilization also keeps the blade from being "feathered," or turned parallel to the surface, during the return stroke out of the water. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS
left, Pete Rogers, of Amherst, and Michael Matis, of Amherst talk during a weekly luncheon for homeless veterans at the World War II club in Northampton.

    CAROL LOLLIS left, Pete Rogers, of Amherst, and Michael Matis, of Amherst talk during a weekly luncheon for homeless veterans at the World War II club in Northampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS
 Assistant DA Jennifer Suhl gives closing statements in the Emmanuel T. Bile trial Friday morning.

    CAROL LOLLIS Assistant DA Jennifer Suhl gives closing statements in the Emmanuel T. Bile trial Friday morning. Purchase photo reprints »

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 …

Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Lou’s Been Reading All Wrong

Friday, February 6, 2015

I just love trolling the Internet for food articles that teach me something new. Something I’ve noticed recently is the overwhelming number of articles that are titled something like the following ... “The 10 Horrible Ways You’ve Been Using Your Chef’s Knife Wrong.” Those horrible ways usually include …