Chomping Fall Pears, Part One

Few pieces of knowledge are as critical to living a good life as knowing when to eat a pear. Perfectly ripe pears are luscious and compliant with a honey fragrance — they are life-changingly delicious. Unripe pears are bitter, tooth-bending rock of fruit; overripe ones are a grainy, mushy mess. They are life-changingly awful. Eat a pear when the flesh … Read more

Nantucket Menu

I collaborated with my friend’s chef & here’s the menu for our first night in Nantucket. Can I leave now please? Will post menu updates — and our plans for on-the-beach clambake — when we are there later this month. Sesame Tuna Crispy Wonton w/Wasabi Drizzle Fresh Chicken and Avocado Spring Roll w/Thai Chile Sauce Open Faced Mini Pulled Pork … Read more

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw for Labor Day

This has been my summer of slaw. Maybe it’s just emotional transferrence from going through the shredder of Food Network Star, but from spicy Asian slaws to creamy coleslaws, a plentiful cabbage season inspired me to shred away. Slaw begs for your cooking improvisation – toss any saucy liquid (lemony vinaigrette is a favorite) with cabbage and whatever else is … Read more

Back-to-School (or Work) Snack Bars

Few foods represent summer-into-fall as well as apples: crisp, familiar, and perfectly portable for snacks on the go. Amazing when slathered with that other back-to-school/work workhorse, peanut butter. I was over the moon to find the season’s first apples at the farmers’ market this week. But some days, the 4 pm apple won’t cut it. You eye the vending machine … Read more

Savory Breakfast Muffins

Say it with me: keen-WAH. Quinoa is the most delicious healthy thing you’re not eating – and you’re always just 15 minutes away from a steamy bowl packed with fiber and protein. This ancient seed (most think it’s a grain) has gone trendy, on menus at the hottest restaurants. Behold quinoa’s light, fluffy texture and deep, nutty flavor when you substitute … Read more

Creamed Spinach

It’s mid-August and I’ve been to so many cookouts I’m ready to cancel Propane Taxi for the season. Time for a new side dish. Sweet, luscious, and surprisingly healthier, today’s recipe for creamed spinach is a hearty accompaniment for grilled meats but delicate enough for fish. With so few ingredients, you’ll need the best spinach – perky with no wilting … Read more

Food Network Star Finale

First and most important: Congratulations to Jeff. As I’ve said in interviews and everywhere else, his food is wonderful and his show is appointment viewing for me. I’ve already programmed my DVR to remind me (cute, Tivo has it listed as “FNS Season 7 Winner Show” to not spoil the surprise). As I watched FNS, his sandwich concept won me over … Read more

Googling Myself at 1am

Mark this day as the first in history when Googling yourself at 1 am turned up something wonderful. I’m in today’s Washington Post’s Reliable Source, DC’s gossip column of record. Who knows what tomorrow brings but today, I am a bold-face name. Yesterday was The Day of 1,000 Interviews — here’s my weekly Let’s Talk Live dish on my thoughts … Read more

Exit Interviews

Most appropriate sponsorship EVER…my exit interview sponsored by Jose Cuervo. Best headline goes to The Washington Post’s “Mary Beth Albright’s Food Network Dreams Dashed – or Just Delayed?”

Episode 10: I’m Not a Reality Show Star, But I Play One on TV (Non-East Coast Spoiler Alert!)

I’m not a reality show star, but I play one on TV. This thought occurred to me yesterday, while sitting in the exact same spot where I got the call for Food Network Star, a million years ago. One of my pals who competed on a similar show advised, “Expect to see someone who looks 100% like you, but not … Read more