Article: October, 2011

Great Meals, No Matter the Weather


As summer fades into autumn, our focus on meal planning begins its own transition. It’s that time of year when we’re reluctant to give up our grilling tongs and wood chips, yet our thoughts turn to the seasonal harvest and our appetites build for meals offering comfort and warmth.

So, take advantage of any good weather the season offers. However, it’s a good idea to build menus around dishes that can be prepared outdoors or indoors if a change in the weather requires a change in your cooking and entertaining game plan.


Autumn’s Abundance: Cooking with Fall Produce

With the wide availability of fruits and vegetables from all over the world all year ’round, one could lose touch with the seasonality of our produce.

This time of year—from Labor Day until the snow starts to fly—offers a unique opportunity to combine the last of the late-summer harvest vegetables with early autumn varieties.

Local farmers’ markets and roadside stands are the bellwether of seasonal foods. Flavored by the summer sun, tomatoes, corn, peppers, and other treasures have dwindling availability. In growing numbers, earthy cabbages, apples, mushrooms, squashes, and root vegetables are making an appearance.

And in autumn, our methods of cooking change as well. The segue begins: from grilling and dining al fresco to gathering around the hearth for the comfort of braises, stews, and roasts.

So, we’ve put together a few ideas to help you combine the season’s best bounty with the freshest and finest meats money can buy. (more…)

New Video! How To: Stew

Chilly fall weather calls for tummy-warming comfort foods. In this how-to video tutorial, Mark Lobel shows you the step-by-step process of creating a delicious homemade stew.