By the time you read this, I will be back from spending a couple of days bopping around New York City with a friend.
There will be lots of meals I don't have to cook, lots of gallivanting the night away. But as I'm writing this, I am in the throes of vacation prep. How will I fit everything into one suitcase? What subway line do I take from the airport? How soon can I get my hands on a slice of pizza?...
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On June 22, we debut a weekly email from Tampa Bay Times food editor Michelle Stark that will offer ideas for what to make for dinner, point you to some of her favorite recipes from the past week and showcase things like food videos and photos. ...
My dad is not what you would call an adventurous eater.
But that doesn't mean he doesn't appreciate a good meal. In fact, he has come a long way from the more limited diet I remember growing up. A true meat-and-potatoes man, he now embraces zucchini as well as hot dogs, broccoli in addition to pork chops. He has recently discovered the wonders of things like short ribs and risotto.
I don't think he would call himself an avid cook, but he's no stranger to the kitchen, always up for helping to grate cheese or slice potatoes. There are some things he makes regularly, lending his Dad touch to dishes including grilled cheese, zucchini noodles, hash browns. His scrambled eggs are still the best egg dish in town....
Every time I try to unfriend bread, it finds its way back to me.
Like a no-good-for-you ex you really need to stop hanging out with already, it's alluring, dangerous, delicious.
I am not one to condone a no-carb lifestyle unless it's absolutely necessary. Everything in moderation and all that — plus it's difficult and often unsatisfying. But even I will admit that the easiest way to get back into pants that have been feeling a little snug lately is to forego the puffy starches that are so easily consumed and rarely that satiating....
06/05/17 Food & Dining
There are a lot of things to notice the first time you walk into Story Brooke Craft Coffee Bar, which opened just south of downtown in late January: the bright turquoise walls, the reclaimed wood pallets that hold clear bottles of syrups and teeny espresso mugs, the long line of matted photographs hung from the ceiling with jute.
None is more crucial than the long, tiled bar behind which owner Story Stuart stands. It's a specific choice, her place behind the bar, customers on stools in front of it, that nods to Stuart's dream of one day owning a space that serves martinis instead of espresso....
From the food editor: I love that food is a huge part of Master of None's transcendent second season05/29/17Cooking
Deep into a late-night binge of Master of None, Aziz Ansari's Netflix series that returned for its second season May 12, I realized I was laying as far back on my couch as possible, blanket clutched up to my chin, eyebrows permanently raised.
I wasn't scared in an oh-no-the-killer-is-right-there way. I was giddy.
Ansari's show, in which he stars as the lead character as well as writes and directs along with co-creator Alan Yang, feels like essential viewing for the modern human, a meditation on the things in life that make us feel, and feel a lot: friendship, travel, success, love....
When Gordon Ramsay's MasterChef begins its eighth season tonight, the Tampa Bay area will have three contestants to root for. A marketing director from Tampa, a dentist and Palm Harbor native, and an employee for a steel supply company are all trying to impress a trio of judges with their home-cooking skills.
Ramsay's show is all about the home cook. These people are not professional chefs; you'll find those over on Bravo's Top Chef. Instead, contestants often have other, unrelated jobs that they balance with their passion for kitchen creativity. It's often like that in our own lives, reality show or not. ...
Most food is incomplete without a sauce. At the very least, almost everything benefits from the addition of it, a creamy capper to your dish that has the miraculous ability to tie everything together.
But sometimes, you don't have the energy or skills (or butter) to create a luscious pan sauce. That's where no-cook sauces come in to make your life better.
I realized how deep my love for a good no-cook sauce goes recently when I was heating up some leftover falafel. Chickpea falafel? Yum. Chunk of feta cheese? Exquisite. Bed of mixed greens and herbs? Fresh as anything....
Corn takes a lot of flack.
There's all the confusion about its identity, whether it's a grain or a vegetable. The fuss over whether it's nutritionally beneficial. The fact that it's not easy to digest. And don't get me started on high-fructose corn syrup, one of the most maligned ingredients of our time.
But as we revel in the summer corn season, we're sticking to one basic fact above the rest: Corn is delicious. ...
Tzatziki sauce is a yogurt-cucumber condiment that makes a variety of dishes way better than they already are: falafel, chicken, most vegetables, anything involving a pita. It's simple to make, and really benefits from some common but specific ingredients.
Where do you find inspiration in the kitchen? It's a question I've been asking myself lately, in an effort to become more creative with my meals in the weeks ahead.
We're heading into one of the most ho-hum times of the year for cooking. From about September to December, we're in holiday cooking mode. Even though we don't get seasonally appropriate temperatures in Florida, things feel cozier, more festive. January and February bring challenges of trying to eat healthier and cook meals that can help counteract the gluttony of the previous months. March and April offer a bit of spring. ...
05/15/17 Bars & Spirits
Think of bitters like the spice rack of the cocktail world.
That's the first thing Hunter Bryant, bar manager at Haven in Tampa, tells me when I sidle up to the restaurant's bar on a recent weekday for a Bitters 101 lesson. It instantly helps me understand the allure of the alcoholic extracts.
Like most people, I was familiar with bitters, those mysterious dark dashes of potent liquid gingerly administered to a cocktail, but never too sure what function they served. I've seen Angostura and Peychaud's, two popular national bitters brands, in the liquor store, always intimated to bring them home. Up until a couple of years ago, I only regularly encountered them in something like an Old Fashioned, a classic drink made up of a spirit (usually bourbon or whiskey), water, sugar and bitters. ...
These are an ideal snack if you're craving something salty and flavorful but still want to err on the side of healthy. They also work really well as bar snacks, so stock up your mixers and have these ready for your next home happy hour.
Rosemary Spiced Nuts
3 cups mixed raw nuts such as pecans, walnuts and peanuts
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons maple syrup...
This Mother's Day, food is likely to be a major part of the celebration. But before you honor Mom by making her sit down to a two-hour brunch at a fancy restaurant, or keeping her in her bed while you bring in breakfast dish after breakfast dish, talk to her.
It's her day, right?
We've come up with three recipes to keep in your Mother's Day arsenal and deploy based on how much time Mom actually wants to spend celebrating herself....
This one's for you, moms.
We are devoting much of this week's issue to Mother's Day, which is May 14.
I don't know about you, but food is always top of mind when I begin planning anything celebratory. I think I get this from my mom, someone who, more often than not, knows what she's eating for dinner when she gets up in the morning. When it comes to birthdays, holidays or major food outings, what we are going to eat is always a priority. ...