Lauren Keene

Some vegetables just can’t be beet

My friend Michele would like to eat more vegetables. She does not, however, want to spend a lot of time cooking after work. I sympathize — as easy as it should be to steam some broccoli or cook a few green beans, it always feels like a great lot of extra work for something that, frankly, […]

December 17, 2014 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,


December 17, 2014 | Posted in Media Post

After the feast, the leftovers!

I love Thanksgiving! I love the weather, and the food, and the good spirits of everyone cooking and eating together. I even love working at the crazy-busy-exciting Davis Food Co-op during Thanksgiving, wrangling 600 or so delicious Diestel turkeys out the door with all the fixings of your dreams. But my favorite part? The very […]

November 19, 2014 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Plan ahead for freezer-friendly meals in a jiffy

November is the busiest month of the year for grocery stores, and hence for grocery store employees. In my world, that makes stocking the freezer an essential October activity. Every weekend I cook large batches of one or two things, which I package up neatly to pop into my not-nearly-large-enough freezer. To combat the small […]

October 15, 2014 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Just desserts? A sweet treat is worth the effort

While I cook a lot, dessert isn’t really my thing. On the rare occasion that I have a sweet after dinner at my house, it’s almost always ice cream. (The front-runner at this moment: Latest Scoop Salt Caramel.) I’m much more likely to devote time to making bread, stock or infused vinegar than a dessert, […]

September 17, 2014 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Food that travels well for cooking out

My friend Rebecca is planning to drive her car from Alaska to Davis (long story). She wrote me after my camp food article appeared: “I just saw an article you wrote and realized that I’m stupid for not having asked you before this. So I’m driving down through the Canadian Rockies and we’re planning on […]

August 20, 2014 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Camping with MacGyver and Julia Child

I come from a family of campers. My Grandma Cross was the queen of the camping hack, those odd applications of ordinary items that make everything easier. My very favorite Grandma-hack was for the benefit of the 20-pound cat Bugs. Bugs really liked camping, but the wilds of Lake Isabella aren’t safe for even a […]

July 16, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Potluck ideas that will make you the hit of the party

Summer means entertaining, and entertaining often means potlucks. I love them — I’ve had some really delicious and inspiring food at potlucks. You do run the risk, however, of attending the sad, hungry potluck: three kinds of chips, two liters of off-brand soda and an assortment of packaged dips. When I mentioned that I was writing […]

June 18, 2014 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Fast and easy, three-sentence suppers

If you’re the Person In Charge of Dinner, you know that recipes aren’t really all that helpful at 10 till 6 on a weeknight. At that point, most of us are just looking for a viable alternative to scrambled eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches or the dreaded cold cereal. Thus, this handy list of super-quick un-recipes. […]

June 11, 2014 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Fresh recipes for summer eating

For various reasons too dull to recount, we are meant to be reducing at our house. We’re not “on a diet”, because that implies an end to the process. Instead we’re trying to change our eating habits, so that we get far more whole grains, lean protein and fruits and vegetables, and far fewer French […]

May 21, 2014 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

12 for $40: Good grains offer nutrition and bang for your buck

When you’re trying to cook on a budget, it’s easy to fill up on starches — they’re inexpensive and satisfying, don’t take much work to cook and keep in the pantry. They are not, however, the best dietary choice. They’re also not quite the bargain they seem, since the nutritional value of refined carbohydrates (think […]

April 16, 2014 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

12 for $40: Planning and prep save the day

My first real job was in a very small restaurant, where I was officially the dishwasher, but also the only kitchen staff other than the cook. She very kindly taught me to do food prep (which almost certainly made more work for her than it saved) and how to work to restaurant-kitchen standards. That early […]

March 19, 2014 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

12 for $40: As prices go up, home cooks get more frugal

If you’ve been in California for more than 10 minutes you know our primary topic of conversation is the drought. The acute water shortage is going to make it a rough summer in a number of ways, and your grocery shopping will definitely be one of them. At the very least, we can expect to […]

February 19, 2014 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Back on our feet in the real world

Whew! The whole town let out a collective sigh of relief last Monday: the crazy rush of holidays, parties, traveling and gifting was over, school was back in session and things were back to normal. A minute or so later the realization set in: we’re in for the long slog of daily life combined with […]

January 15, 2014 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

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