Category Archives: Self-Health Survival Guides

Sesame-Ginger Kale Salad with Oranges and Almonds: A Quick and Easy Side Dish with Asian Flair

Those of you who’ve been reading my posts for some time probably know that I’m an avid gardener, and I have been since I was a child. I’ve had a sense of food appreciation for as far back as I can remember, and from an early age I was able to discern the difference between…

Summer Solstice: A Perfect Time to Check In With Yourself

Thursday is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and my favorite time to check in with myself. Why? For me the solstice brings more than just some bonus daylight; it brings energy and optimism. (I’m kind of an optimism junkie, seeking and finding it wherever possible.) It’s the perfect time to think…

Pollo alla Marengo: Napoleon and the Real Story of Chicken Marengo

Ask Chef Phyllis So many stories are told of the dish prepared for Napoleon in celebration of his victory against the Austrians at the Battle at Marengo in June 1800. Legend or food history? Here’s the real lowdown! Though the French were victorious in the battle, as luck would have it, their food carts had…

Herbed Salmon-Seaweed Cakes: Accessing Vital Minerals with Sea Vegetables

We’re all told we should be eating a diet rich in green, leafy vegetables. These foods, abundant in vitamins and minerals and low on the glycemic index scale, are tops when it comes to nutrition. And, fortunately, much of the population is finally understanding this, with many people now incorporating a host of additional “dark…

The Biggest Little Thing You Can Do for Your Plate

My brother was visiting last weekend, and I noticed he had slimmed down quite a bit. He’s never been a large person, but the change was obvious. When it came up in conversation, he mentioned he’d had some nagging health issues he wanted to get the upper hand on. So he made some changes and…

Fresh Mozzarella and Its Many Uses

Ask Chef Phyllis I know from your book, Udderly Cultured, that caprese salad and pizza are your first choices for fresh mozzarella. Can I put the fresh cheese I make in a casserole? Are there other uses for fresh mozzarella, which melts so well? Summer is coming, and life should be easier. To me, that…

Tangy Red Cabbage with Fresh Horseradish and Thyme

I’ve always loved horseradish, and the pungent kick it gives, as an accompaniment to something like a juicy prime rib or side of salmon. But it wasn’t until the last few years that I began thinking of it as anything more than just a condiment, with a limited scope of use. The more I’ve experimented…

How Old Is Your Neck?

Makeup isn’t really my thing. I’m more likely to throw away a tube of mascara because I’ve forgotten when I bought it than because it’s empty. But the other day, as I looked in the mirror, I was thrown back some years to a cosmetics party a friend had convinced me to attend. The woman…

Stuffed Cabbage: Slow Cooker Comfort Food

Ask Chef Phyllis I haven’t made stuffed cabbage in a long time, even though my family has been asking for it lately. It takes more than 2½ hours in the oven, plus maybe another hour preparing the cabbage leaves. Besides that, I only remember making it with canned tomato soup, which gave it an almost…

Strawberry Shortcakes with Crème Fraiche and Lilac-Infused Honey: Culinary Inspiration from the Backyard

We are deep in lilac season here in Northern Colorado, and to me there are few times better. Heavy blooms brighten every block, and their intoxicating scent wafts through my windows day and night. When the flowers start blooming, the sights and smells evoke a deep childhood nostalgia, and the event is a sure sign…

Cool End-of-the-Year Gifts For Your Kid’s Teacher

When my kids were in grade school, I used to love coming up with a memorable gift to give their teachers at the end of the school year. Sometimes I would recruit help from the rest of the parents, and sometimes I went solo. It all depended on the teacher’s taste. But how in the…

The Lowdown on Truffles: How to Make Mock Truffles

Ask Chef Phyllis: I recently watched celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck stop by Late Night with Stephen Colbert. He  presented a very expensive gift to the host—a tiny truffle that was worth $300! Colbert smelled it and took a bite, but he didn’t seem to enjoy the taste (although he did like the aroma). Even for…

Healing Hot and Sour Chicken Soup: Marvelous Medicine in a Mug

Being a mother to a small child comes with endless opportunities to learn, grow, play, and experience a love that is incredibly unconditional. Over the years, I’ve noticed it also comes with a whole lot of germs. Of course, germs are everywhere, and regular exposure to them actually has the power to strengthen our immune…

Is It Time to Change the Way We Look at Addiction?

When you think about addiction, there are probably certain words that come to mind, and I’ll guess there isn’t one that has a positive connotation to it. Maybe you think of words like weak, sick, unstable, and so on. But based on the current reality of drug addiction, I think something has to give. Something…

Chilled Shrimp Antipasto Salad

I love this time of year—the depth of color and light; the sweet air wafting with the scent of freshly mown grass; the cacophony of chirping birds, the hum of insects, and the sounds of baby critters exploring their new world. It’s nature in all her glory. In a strange way, I even relish the…

The False Sense of Security Behind Food Label Math

When you’re first starting out on your self-health journey, chances are pretty good that one of your first moves will be to start noticing food labels at your local market. You’ll want to make sure there are zero grams of this and “all” of that, so you keep a keen eye out for those things….

A Mother’s Day Pancake Anyone Can Make

Ask Chef Phyllis: I need something special that kids (ages eight, ten, and twelve) can help prepare on Mother’s Day for our mom. She loves pancakes, but I don’t think I can manage frying all those pancakes without help. Is there a big pancake that’s easy and special too? Any suggestions? —Mariead Q. from Cambridge,…

Luscious Liver Pate: A Quick and Easy Recipe for Nature’s Most Potent Superfood

Many of us understand the countless advantages we derive from the “odd bits” of the animal. On the surface, organ meats pack a wallop of health benefits, providing us with a plentiful source of easily assimilated, concentrated nutrition. But even beyond that, they have a deeper importance. “Nose to tail” cuisine has been receiving a…

Men: The Cycle No One Talks About

Anyone who’s made it as far as grade-school health class knows what PMS is. And once you know about this phenomenon, you start recognizing how frequently our society refers to it. Whether it’s treated as a punchline on sitcoms or a scapegoat for undesirable actions, PMS seems to be treated as an all-purpose insult or…

Paris-Brest with Fresh Berries and Crème Suisse: A Classic French Dessert Just in time for Mother’s Day

I was eleven when I began training under a French pastry chef named Pascal. He graciously took me under his wing because he recognized my passion for food and art and my eagerness to learn and create. Every Saturday morning, I absorbed Pascal’s vast knowledge in the art of patisserie, preparing fruit tartelettes, croissants, napoleons,…