On Your Table: Savoring Summer’s bounty

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Tomatoes, the jewels of summer. It’s that time of summer when produce beckons.  All of it. From that first bite into butter slathered corn on the cob, to that cherry tomato that bursts with flavor when you pop it into your mouth, to the juicy sweetness of red ripe watermelon.  Even zucchini, that butt of too many jokes.  Well, I’m sure...

On Your Table: It’s National Blueberry Month — let’s eat pie!

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times What better way to celebrate National Blueberry Month than with a mouthwatering pie. “Everybody in the car!”  On scorching hot July Ohio mornings, my mother, siblings and I headed out in our trusty station wagon to an abandoned blueberry farm near town where we filled turkey roasters with scads of perfectly ripe dusky-colored blueberries...

On Your Table: Summer is here, so start grilling

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Skewered Grilled Shrimp with Black Bean and Corn Salsa in Lettuce Wraps Say hello to the heart of grilling season – those weeks after Father’s Day and into high summer when grilling seems just right for kicking back on a hot summer evening.  It’s an easy answer to the eternal question of “what’s for dinner?” But then the choice gets...

On Your Table: Nothing beats fresh and local

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Early spring greens such as Swiss chard and kale are plentiful at local farmers markets right now All the lovely recent weather got you jazzed up for some outdoor food shopping?  A farmers market near you can’t be beat for fresh produce and chatting with food artisans.  They are open now and can be found all over Chester County with hours...

On Your Table: Nothing beats Hatch Chiles for Cinco De Mayo

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times The cornerstone to a good enchilada is the sauce. In this dish it’s a Hatch green chile sauce, New Mexico style. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo marks a historical event but largely isn’t celebrated as a holiday.  In the US on the other hand, it’s become a fiesta of feasting and enjoying Mexican food.  Hardly anyone in this country knows its...

Tasty treats await at West Chester’s Artisan Exchange

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Delightful made-from-scratch cheesecakes are the specialty of Anastasia & Patricia’s Hand Crafted Cheesecakes. Imagine a throng of food artisans gathered together in one convenient food hall, beckoning you to try out their many tasty creations.  That’s what Saturday mornings are like at West Chester’s Artisans Exchange. The Exchange...

On Your Table: Mexico City cuisine blooms at La Piña

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times The Mole Chicken at recently opened La Pina Restaurant marries a hint of chocolate sweetness with a spicy back-bite of flavor. While we usually think of dishes made with chocolate as sweet, sometimes decadent candies, beverages or desserts, chocolate in Mexican foods can be a spicy ingredient that enlivens sauces and savory dishes.  There’s...

On Your Table: With the Eagles in NFC Title game, make sure you eat to win!

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times New Mexico Beef Chili packs a wallop and warms eaters right down to their toes. Well the Eagles remain competitors for the Super Bowl, with one playoff game left — Sunday night’s NFC Title game against the Vikings — and we might watch the Bowl regardless of whether the Eagles are playing or not, just to watch the commercials.  No matter...

Easy post-holiday buffet ideas

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times What was a glorious ham dinner on Christmas can be part of a tasty — and easy — post-holiday buffet later this week. Whew we made it! We survived the holiday onslaught, fed large numbers of people and generally were all-around heros in the kitchen. Now’s the time to take a break from all that stress and offer laid back, easy to prepare...

On Your Table: Tomatoes are the bright star in your summer salad

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Tomato Salad with Cucumbers and Shiraz Dressing Tomato season is upon us and that means we’re about to see our favorite fruit in a whole plethora of shades, shapes and sizes. Sure, these days you can find tomatoes at the grocery store year round. But those perfectly round, usually bland, tomatoes have been genetically modified over the years...