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Archive for 'people + places'

HOT BISCUITS & BLACKBERRY BUTTER

Compound butters—butter creamed with different flavorings—may be old-fashioned, but they are versatile as all get out—think of them as instant sauces that add finesse and another layer of flavor to very simple food. A classic French maître d’hôtel butter (softened butter mashed with chopped parsley and a little lemon juice and zest) ennobles just about anything, especially a […]

BARBECUE SHRIMP

For years, I’ve avoided buying jumbo shrimp (one of my favorite oxymorons), because I’ve never known how to bring out their best. My default method—a few minutes in a small amount of simmering water—is more suited to small or medium shrimp. In my hands, jumbos handled this way become simultaneously tough and mushy on the outside before […]

STRAWBERRIES WITH BALSAMIC VINEGAR AND BROWN SUGAR

They weren’t the most perfect-looking strawberries in the world, and truth is, some were a little overripe. Still, it was the end of the day, and I was amazed the farm stand had any left. Plus, after a few hot, sunny days in the field, they smelled like summer—and just what was needed after a supper that was going […]

SHRIMP BUTTER

Most brides say they couldn’t eat a thing at their wedding reception, but I was not one of them—in fact, the food was so delicious, so absolutely right, it was one of the things I remember most clearly about the day. Sam does, too. We were married 16 years ago at my stepmother’s low, rambling […]

FAST-TRACKING CHICKEN SALAD

Aside from the “fiesta” or “Oriental” versions found at some chain restaurants, chicken salad has pretty much been relegated to the Nostalgia Department: suitable fare for tearooms (of the Woman’s Exchange variety and otherwise), drug-store lunch counters (here’s a marvelous Lewis Hine image), and southern porch suppers, circa 1955. I don’t know why. I suppose people […]

DUKKAH FROM A PARIS KITCHEN

The subtitle of the recently published My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories, by David Lebovitz, may lull you into putting the book on top of your bedtime-reading stack. That’s perfectly fine—it’s a terrific read—but you must be prepared to climb out of the wrapper at, say, 11 p.m. and go into the kitchen to eat something delicious. […]

A MICROGREEN GARDEN

In another month, the Union Square Greenmarket will be bursting with young greens—not just the ubiquitous ramps, but dandelion leaves and wild edibles such as chickweed, claytonia, and nettles—spring tonics, all. Meanwhile, I’m getting my fresh fix from microgreens. Unlike sprouts (the first stage of plant growth), which are germinated in a dark, moist environment, […]

PINEAPPLE BLIZZARD

When it comes to dessert, the world can be pretty much divided into chocolate people and fruit people. I myself am squarely in the latter camp, which is why the simple, refreshing dessert known as Pineapple Blizzard is a lifesaver this time of year. The first precious local strawberries—let alone the heavy, ripe peaches and […]

OBSESSION: MODERN MANNERS

I’m sure the folks who insist on lumping the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln together under the vague-sounding “Presidents’ Day” mean well. It’s tidier than having two separate holidays so close together and gives hope to retailers who won’t have another excuse to slash prices until Memorial Day. But it has the unfortunate […]

STIR-FRIED GARLIC LETTUCE: FOR THE LUNAR NEW YEAR, VALENTINE’S DAY, AND BEYOND

A simple stir-fry gives finesse to any meal. It can also make you look at a supermarket staple in a whole new light. Romaine lettuce is a great example of what I mean: Twenty-five years ago, it was either that or iceberg in our salad bowls. Nowadays, it’s usually passed over for more delicate varieties […]