My friend Lynne delivered a holiday card last month. It contained her advice for surviving the winter by practicing “friluftsliv” (free-loofts-liv,) a Norwegian word meaning “open- air living.”

Some foods seem to survive and thrive throughout time. Who can say why? Probably because they fulfill a human need, are flexible and easily riffed on and may be simply prepared with few ingredients.

Some competent homecooks, though lauded and applauded by family and friends, have niggling doubts about their culinary skills. They practice madly, stuffing loved ones with one exotic dish after another. But their doubts remain.

TRAVERSE CITY — Amical is one of the many restaurants currently following the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services restrictions to dining indoors.

I have been a part of many New Year’s Eve celebrations. The longest lasting tradition was a potluck and costume dance party at a friend’s house in Suttons Bay that we attended at least ten years in a row; the wackiest was probably the night of “danger food.” I am not one to shy away from giv…

TRAVERSE CITY — Chef Edward Caballero recently opened his second restaurant in 2020: TC Italian.

Thanksgiving Day was not too eventful for us this year. My husband Joe put a turkey on the grill, and we relaxed and took the day off. Let us pray next year will be different. I decided to ask each of my children to write what they were thankful for this Thanksgiving. I am thankful to be the…

It is a Friday night and we had a nice, sunny day in the 60s. I spent the day with our children who have muscular dystrophy at their annual appointments in Ann Arbor. It was a long day, leaving home at 5:30 a.m. and returning at 3 p.m. It’s also a stressful, tiresome day for them to do all t…

If you need a break in between the sugary excesses of Thanksgiving and Christmas you might try baking a savory cake. The French (of course) first introduced savory cakes to the vast pantheon of cake-baking. In France they are called “gateaux salé,” which literally means “salty cakes.”

SUTTONS BAY — Kids can still tell Santa Claus their wish lists this year, but his visit may look different because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanksgiving Day is coming upon us. A great day to spend with family! My sister Emma and I take turns hosting Thanksgiving dinner for our families and sisters Verena and Susan. This year sister Liz and Levi and daughter Suzanne have plans to join us since they will be in the area that day.

This was a year like no other. In anticipation of a Thanksgiving that would be far from the usual, I tried not to let disappointment rule. I found myself remembering other times when Thanksgiving traditions had to be adjusted, although the circumstances then did not include a pandemic. These…

TRAVERSE CITY — Dining in is temporarily suspended, according to a recent order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Sons Benjamin, 21, and Joseph, 18, both have left for work. It is 5 a.m. and I decided I’ll write this column while all is still quiet. The weather has taken a big change overnight. Yesterday, and for over a week,we have had nice, sunny, warm weather. Now this morning the temperature is in t…

Thanksgiving is prime pie time. Some cooks might argue that summer pies, overflowing with glowing fresh fruit, are the true beauty pageant winners. But who takes the time to make pie when the weather is sultry and the beach beckons?

TRAVERSE CITY — Many people are familiar with quinoa and rice, but they may not know several other whole grain alternatives exist.

We are having nice, sunny autumn weather with temperature in the 60s by the end of the day. It’s a good time to get the leaves raked and the yard cleaned up before the snow flies. We did have a coating of snow on Sunday, but it didn’t accumulate much.

TRAVERSE CITY — Thanksgiving Day may look different amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but northern Michiganders can still enjoy a holiday meal.

Chocolate soothes, celebrates and comforts us. Whenever I was upset or due for a congratulatory indulgence, my mother made hot cocoa. She reserved it as a special pleasure and remedy. Right now some of us are happy, some distraught and others are undecided. One thing we can agree on — chocol…

TRAVERSE CITY — It may not look or feel like Christmastime yet, but bakers can start planning for this year’s holiday season through an upcoming sweet program.

Over the years I have written about my daughter Verena’s brain concussion and the almost seven years that she had post-concussion syndrome. I also wrote about our children who have limb girdle type 2 muscular dystrophy. Readers have asked why my daughters use mobility scooters. Here is Veren…

I attended a graveside memorial service recently. The afternoon was windy and cold, with rain that spit from the sky every now and then. Yet the colors of the autumn leaves seemed more vibrant than on a sunny day; I wondered if I was seeking something joyful in contrast to the somber scene a…

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