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Using duck fat or goose fat dishes such as braised cabbage and roasted potatoes can take a meal from ordinary to extraordinary. Credit: Copyright 2016 Clarissa Hyman

Christmas is coming, and the geese are getting fat. And the ducks. And the rest of the poultry. And so am I. What the heck? Goose, duck and chicken fats, along with beef drippings, are no longer my secret guilty pleasures. We underground band of schmaltz lovers can now say

A soup swap is a good way to bring together friends and family for a chance to exchange recipes and share a meal. Credit: Copyright 2016 Yvonne Duivenvoorden

I don't know about you, but this election knocked me off my feet. More than ever, I feel a strong need for community. Since Election Day, I want to sit around a table sharing comfort food with people I love. That's where soup comes in. Think about it: Soup is what so

Chestnut, Sausage and Red Wine Risotto. Credit: Copyright 2016 Clarissa Hyman

Chestnuts are not just for Christmas, but you’d be forgiven for thinking they exist simply in terms of festive carols, Dickensian greetings cards and corny clichés. Each year -- the first time you hear that good old evergreen line about roasting and open fires -- it makes you glow with

Hailey Trefethen works in Katie's Garden at the Trefethen Family Vineyards. The garden was started by Hailey's grandmother and she has become the caretaker. Credit: Copyright 2016 Mira Honeycutt

In the midst of Napa Valley’s palatial wineries, Katie’s Garden, at Trefethen Family Vineyards, is a sanctuary. Among the maze of shrubs, trees and green patches, the garden is a fascinating symphony of organized chaos: bushes and bursts of flowers dot the vegetable patches and wind around the orchard. Visitors who

Lobster Pop-Tarts in a Duralit toaster, Barton G. Los Angeles. Credit: Copyright 2016 David Latt

On special occasions and holidays, we want great food and we want fun. For chef Attila Bollok at Barton G. Los Angeles, every day is a celebration because all the dishes are visually extravagant or slyly clever. In his kitchen at Barton G., Bollok showed me how to prepare his

Chicken surprise can also be turkey surprise when made with Thanksgiving leftovers. Credit: Copyright 2016 courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

We imagine the first Thanksgiving, in November 1621, as a groaning table filled with all the foods we love, but that feast and the one we look forward to today have little in common. At that hyper-local celebratory meal between Puritans and Native Americans, turkey -- the wild kind -- may

Bread crumbs and chestnuts for Thanksgiving stuffing. Credit: Copyright 2016 cislander/iStock

Our family’s Thanksgiving dinner, including the stuffing, is heavily inflected with New England themes. That’s because two of my children were born in Boston and we lived in Massachusetts for 14 years when the children were young. Once we moved to California, we kept those foods for Thanksgiving that are not

Butternut squash and pumpkins make a perfect Thanksgiving side dish. Credit: Copyright 2016 Wynne Everett

Thanksgiving side dishes can be a challenge for the host who wants to serve an impressive meal. It’s tempting to get carried away and choose something too complicated when a simple dish, such as a straightforward mashed butternut squash, can make a Thanksgiving dinner elegant. [aside] Sometimes the too-complicated culprits are regional