10:58 am
Tue April 8, 2014

A “Frank” Story of Survival

Portrait of a hot dog
Credit Tamra Wilson

Experts tell us that hot dogs are full of preservatives. I know this for a fact.

When I was ten years old, my mother had a portable dishwasher she seldom used. She preferred hand-washing to dragging the heavy machine across the linoleum and hooking the clumsy nozzle to the hot-water faucet. So the portable stayed next to the refrigerator – and this is where our saga begins.

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3:00 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Half-Baked: Crispy Cabbage And Two-Step Mashed Potatoes

Yukon Gold potatoes are perfect for mashing, if you know how to do that kind of thing
Credit Anne White ( / Flickr

This is the second installment in an on-going series about a full-grown adult learning to cook for the first time. Read the back story here.

While listening to America’s Test Kitchen recently, I heard a recipe for thin-crust whole-wheat pizza with garlic oil, three cheeses, and basil, which seemed like the perfect recipe to inaugurate my novice cooking project, so yesterday after work, starving and excited about my first attempt to make pizza, I printed out the recipe and walked up to my neighborhood grocery.  

That’s where things started to go wrong.

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11:50 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Half-Baked: A Reluctant Cook At Home

Novice cook and WFAE web producer Katie Herzog
Credit Navja Sol

I’m surrounded by foodies. My friends, my family—they go out for long, elaborate meals where they order things like pork belly and wild mushroom sorbet, close their eyes to taste it, sigh with contentment, and then turn to offer me a bite, which I invariably refuse. For me, dining out is merely a way to avoid cooking and eating is merely a way to avoid starving. It’s as much a chore as doing laundry or cleaning my bathroom but worse because if I procrastinate for too long I’ll die. 

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10:37 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Ruth Reichl: "A Spy In The House Of Food"

Delicious is the forthcoming novel by acclaimed food writer Ruth Reichl.
Random House

It’s hard to keep up with Ruth Reichl. In 29 minutes by phone, the acclaimed food writer covered a lot of ground, answering my questions about what she cooks for her family, what she loves to eat in other people’s homes, the one food she despises – and her forthcoming novel, Delicious.

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9:45 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Dining Advice For North Of The Border

Ohio River
Stihler Craig U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Let’s talk about the Ohio River, shall we?

The waterway that drains the eastern half of the Midwest and has divided North from South for more than two centuries, is more than a state boundary. It’s demarcation for Southern cuisine.

Let me explain. I grew up in Shelby County, Illinois, a full hundred miles north of the Ohio. It was an existence devoid of cathead biscuits, home-made cornbread, and stone-ground grits. Okra, country ham, and collards did not exist.

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10:11 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Side Dishes: A Night of Shorts At The Charlotte Jewish Film Festival

Charlotte Jewish Film Festival

Fay Tenenbaum knows what you want: cake.

No one can count how many she’s baked in her 90 years, and she has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.

Now, a short film about her, titled "The Cake Lady," is coming to Charlotte. It’s part of the tenth annual Charlotte Jewish Film Festival, an ambitious and enjoyable series that presents dramas, comedies, and documentaries that illuminate the Jewish experience in the U.S. and around the world.

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12:30 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Cookbooks To Celebrate Black History Month

Looking for a tasteful way to celebrate Black History Month? Look no further than the shelves of your favorite bookstore.

But with more that 1.3 million search results online, how do you find a place to start? That’s easy: Ask an expert.

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11:15 am
Mon February 17, 2014

The Secret Of Life: Eat More 'Doughnies'

Krispy Kreme doughnuts
Credit Krispy Kreme

What’s the secret to longevity?

If my mother is the model, we need to eat more doughnuts and bananas. My mother Enid McElroy lived to be 93 averaging a banana a day, plenty of high-test coffee and pastries by the box. Her favorite: doughnuts, or “doughnies.” She would eat them religiously. She would buy them glazed, powdered or jelly-filled and feign dismay that the rest of us wouldn’t join her sweet-toothed binges.

“Aren’t you going to eat these? They’re going to waste.” Then she’d reach into the doughnie package for seconds.

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1:04 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Go Inside The Candy Industry

Credit Sloanpix / Flickr

As we approach Valentine’s Day, Charlotte Talks took a special look at an industry that sells $25 billion  worth of product each year, employing tens of thousands of people: the candy industry.  It’s a sector dominated by small, family owned businesses that have been able to foster relationships with their customers, one that impacts healthcare, the economy and – in this case – love lives!  

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2:12 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Go Nuts On World Nutella Day

Credit ginnerobot / flickr

Your calendar might not show it, but World Nutella Day is this week, February 5.

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