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A babka’s distinctive swirls make this chocolate bread a spectacular treat

In an old “Seinfeld” episode, Jerry and Elaine stop at a bakery on their way to a dinner party, intending to buy a chocolate babka as a hostess gift. But they’re thwarted by the couple ahead of them, who buy the last babka – and are headed to the same party. What to do?

A spring-fresh take on the classic crab cake

To help get us in the mood for spring, we’ve given a seasonal makeover to the classic crab cake.

Rice bowl creations to suit any palate

There’s something comforting about eating out of a bowl.

A speedy, robust take on classic shepherd’s pie

When it comes to shepherd’s pie, there are those who toe a rather strict line, and there are those who go with the comfort food flow.

Fishing for flavor: Look to the sea for dinner possibilities during Lent

Lent is a time when less can mean more, especially in the kitchen. Going without need not be faced with a frown. Let dietary restrictions spur creativity and boost flavor, however modest the meal.

Food with a twist: Let pretzel sticks give your party a lift

Pretzel sticks don’t get much respect. They’re neither burly like rods nor twisted like knots.

What’s more delicious (or pungent) than a sardine?

In this age of fresh and local, canned foods are so far out of fashion that it sometimes seems as if they hide their heads when you walk past them in the grocery store. In some cases, this is valid: Who still buys canned peas or asparagus? But in others, it’s nothing but shortsighted snobbery on our part. What is more delicious than a really good canned sardine?

New flour and homemade syrups enhance a pancake routine

“Pancakes or waffles?” That’s what my father asked me almost every Saturday morning of my childhood.

And the award goes to ... Oscar-viewing snacks

An Oscar viewing party should be the culinary antithesis of a Super Bowl gathering. Where the latter focuses on big, bold, messy flavors tied together with a whole lot of fat, the Academy Awards call for a more refined dining experience (even if both events are spent on the same couch in front of the same television).

Teriyaki chicken wraps go with bubbly for an easy Oscar party

To help you get in the mood for the Oscars, you’ll want to drink something with bubbles. Sparkling wine is the obvious choice, though don’t forget the sparkling cider for those abstaining. But you don’t have to sip them straight up.

Using digital coupons to make money on your supermarket trips

Lorrie Lane gets paid to shop for her groceries.

Dress up plain chocolate layers for a cake worthy of your valentine

Love means never having to fuss over a Valentine’s Day dessert. It doesn’t mean ignoring the holiday’s sweet factor. Instead, take a basic chocolate cake and embellish it with pointers from a pastry pro like Alice Medrich, author of “Seriously Bitter Sweet.”

Add some heat this winter with spicy foods

Have the frigid temps got you down?

Fun ideas to make use of a snow day

Winter storms are Mother Nature’s way of saying, “Chill.”

Gifted with a slow cooker? Get the most out of your new appliance

Slow cooker under the tree this Christmas? Maybe so, given that more slow cookers are sold during the two weeks around the so-called Black Friday start of holiday shopping than any other kitchen electrical appliance, according to figures from NPD Group, a consumer research company.

Smoothies and similar drinks are not always so nutritious

Like many people, I’ve long wanted to overhaul my eating habits and shift to a diet that includes more fresh vegetables and fewer processed foods. But as a mother of three young children, I have found this to be challenging. It’s too easy to fall back on carb- and meat-heavy recipes. So the idea of getting vegetable nutrients – including those found in such greens as kale, spinach and Swiss chard – in pureed juice or smoothie form is appealing. But are these popular drinks an effective way for your body to get what it needs?

West side Wasabi opening Monday, offering half-price sushi all month

After a long wait, the Wasabi Sushi Bar West, at 2404 N. Maize Road near Logan's Roadhouse, is finally set to open — and owners are rewarding customers' patience with a sushi deal.

Fruits of good fortune: Give a citrusy kick to the Lunar New Year

Welcome the Year of the Horse with a citrusy kick that will not only deliver good flavor right now but also will promise good fortune in the months ahead.

It’s Super Bowl munch time

If your Super Bowl party prep is limited to a phone call to Domino’s or a quick run to your local chicken wing joint, we suggest you call a timeout and examine your snacking lineup.

Coffee-brewing tips to help you make a better cup at home

If convenience foods turned Americans into strangers in their own kitchens, imagine the damage that automated home brewers have done. Many of us have no clue how to brew a good cup of coffee.

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