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...

On Your Table: Get the most from local farmers’ markets

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times One of the joys of shopping at farmers markets is picking out your own produce. As farmers market season kicks off again I am excited to reconnect with the farmers whose produce graces my summer dinners. A trip to one of these markets can yield nearly all that’s needed to make a spring dinner – fresh vegetables, local meats, tender herbs...

On Your Table: Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with Mexican and Italian flare

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Mushrooms are the star in these Italian style enchiladas. Cinco de Mayo is a significant Mexican celebration, originating as a commemoration of the defeat of Napoleon III in 1862 when Mexican soldiers, greatly outnumbered and poorly armed, prevailed versus the forces of France.  In honor of that holiday, many folks plan a Cinco de Mayo fiesta...

On Your Table: Lighten up and deconstruct

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Lightening up familiar favorite dishes is a great way to please the family while serving healthier dishes. If the recent spate of springtime weather (this week’s crazy winter weather notwithstanding) has started you thinking about summertime and bathing suits, now is the time to start lightening up food choices. And, by the way, this doesn’t...