From the category archives:


Q: My husband and I invited another couple to dinner last week, and they brought us a bottle of wine — then took the half-empty bottle home with them.  Have the rules changed, or was that rude? A: The wine is yours!  If the rules have changed, it’s a new one on me.  An offering […]


Little Chocolate Spice Cakes

by epi on April 6, 2012

These little cakes are as much fun to make as they are to eat — and they look terrific. They don’t require plates or utensils, and as such are a perfect end to a holiday cocktail party. The spice notes and bittersweet chocolate also pair well with many red wines, particularly reds with high fruit […]


Q: I love hosting my extended family for Easter, but my in-laws always bring their high-maintenance dog.  May I tell them that their pooch is not on the guest list this year? A: Of course!  It’s presumptuous of any guest to assume he or she can bring along another visitor, especially a four-legged one.  Try […]


Spring Pea Soup

by epi on March 30, 2012

This is our dear friend Louise Roomet’s version of an Elizabeth David classic. While it’s simply delicious as a chilled soup, it’s just as wonderful served hot. The vibrant green makes it the perfect soup for Christmas dinner. This soup is easily adaptable for vegetarians.  (Serves 4 to 6) 1 medium-size head iceberg lettuce 1-pound […]


Q: We just spent a weekend at the home of our daughter’s future in-laws. I was terribly embarrassed when my husband went over to the dining room table, which was set for dinner, picked up a plate, turned it over, and looked at the back. He then did the same thing with the silverware. He […]


Lizzie’s Ham and Cheese Crostini

by epi on March 16, 2012

A Delicious Take on Bread and Cheese! The best part about this recipe is that you can easily adjust it to make a small or large batch. You can even eyeball the ingredients without destroying the dish! Ingredients 1 French baguette 4-8 oz. cream cheese (full fat), softened (8 oz. makes a creamier mix, 4 […]


Lizzie’s Shepard or Cottage Pie

by epi on March 2, 2012

Shepherd’s pie is a delicious warm comforting dish known for the combination of Lamb and Mashed Potatoes. Cottage pie is the same thing but uses ground beef instead of ground lamb. Here’s my twist on this classic. Ingredients: 4-6 medium to large russet potatoes, peeled & cut into medium chunks 1 TBSP butter 2-4 TBSP […]


Q: We are planning on having a swimming pool installed in our backyard. We are anticipating that kids (and perhaps some adults) may become more friendly and look for invitations to come swim. We want to be generally friendly, but what is the proper etiquette as a pool owner when kids (or adults) stop by […]


Fussy About Food: When nothing appeals to you

by epi on February 20, 2012

Q: My husband and I were invited to dinner at our daughter’s in-laws last Christmas Eve. My husband is a very fussy eater, and unfortunately there wasn’t anything there that he liked. He joined us at the table, but didn’t eat. Apparently everyone discussed his behavior after the holidays and said he was extremely rude. […]


Lizzie’s Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes

by epi on February 17, 2012

Simple and scrumptious, these fudgy, moist cupcakes will be a huge hit (and for those watching their calories, they come in at around 130 calories per cupcake – based on a yield of 18 medium-sized cupcakes). Ingredients: Moist Devil’s Food Cake Mix (I use Duncan Hines) 1- 15 oz. can of Condensed Pumpkin (you can […]