Soup Week: Chicken, Potato, and Leek Soup

While New Yorkers are still cursing the effects of yet another snowstorm (Really, Mother Nature? Again??), here at The Secret Ingredient we’re busy making lemons into lemonade…er, water into soup…oh, you get the idea! To kick off Soup Week, I turned to Rick Rodgers’s timely cookbook, Winter Gatherings, for some inspiration and he certainly did … Continue reading

Cookie Week: Chewy Ginger Cookies

My family makes gingerbread men for Christmas every year, and I take great pleasure in rolling them out to just the right thickness and baking them the exact length of time that results in impossibly soft, tender, delicious cookies. The buttery icing doesn’t hurt, either. So for my Cookie Week baking, I said I’d make … Continue reading

Rick Rodgers: Chocolate Bûche de Noël

Christmas is about tradition, especially the wonderful dishes that you make only once a year to celebrate the season. I don’t have a drop of French blood, but I did do a stint cooking for a French diplomat’s family, which required that I learned how to make a mean chocolate Bûche de Noël. Shaped like a Yule … Continue reading

Rick Rodgers: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey

Recently, one of my cooking students asked me how many turkeys I have roasted over the years. My first Thanksgiving class was in 1988, averaging (some years were many more) ten classes per year, so the starting number is 220. Add the turkeys I’ve cooked for magazine and online articles, books, and my own holidays, … Continue reading

Rick Rodgers: Halloween Blackout Cupcakes

Halloween is right around the corner. Increasingly, this scary holiday has become a reason to give a party, either for little kids in their cute costumes (I still remember the year my neighbor dressed little Timmy as a bumblebee … Awww!) or grown-ups dressed up as Lady Gaga or The Situation. So, what to serve … Continue reading