A cook's secrets are meant to stay in the kitchen. An off-recipe substitution, a unique addition, an improvised technique — they often come from inspiration, or just a sense of craft, that can make a home chef both proud and protective. Luckily for us, Chris Kimball of America's Test Kitchen is happy to share the secrets he's picked up in more than 30 years of cooking.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

One of the best-known Northwest brands is closer to getting out of bankruptcy. A federal judge has given a tentative okay to the recovery plan for Oregon gourmet food and gift retailer Harry & David.

It's been a little damp in the Pacific Northwest these past couple of days, but that doesn't stop any fun from happening. Bring your raincoats and umbrellas and take a peek at this week's fun fests!

Nordic Heritage Museum

The Nordic Heritage Museum’s annual Viking Days festival celebrates its 27th anniversary this weekend.

The events on Saturday and Sunday offer unique Nordic entertainment, food, arts, crafts, merchants and real live Vikings right in Ballard.

Seattle Art Museum

The sun has been shining and the heat has been rising! It's time to get outside and enjoy the wonderful season of summer. This weekend's event varies from activities in a park to annual fun festivals. Take a look at the links inside for some great times to come.

Mike Murry / Flickr

It's the first weekend of summer and the state is buzzing with events and festivals from Vancouver, B.C., to Port Orchard. Follow the link for five fun events happening this weekend.

dboling40 / flickr

After 25 successful years, Emerald Queen Casino’s Taste of Tacoma still remains Tacoma’s best and most affordable family festival!

Leslie Seaton / Fresh-Picked Seattle

Leslie Seaton is a writer who loves to eat, drink, and tell people what to do. That’s part of the reason why she started her food events site called Fresh-Picked Seattle which then led to Freeattle.


Have you noticed your local grocery clerk asking you more personal questions of late? "Plastic or paper?" is giving way to "What are your weekend plans?"

This wicked turn toward what they call a 'charade of intimacy' doesn't sit well with Dick and Nancy. They've had it up to their squeaky shopping carts with faux familiarity!

And what about those frequent shopper cards that populate your wallet? Are they really 'saving' you money, as you're told at check out? 


The end (and the beginning!) of the year often marks change in business of all kinds, and the restaurant business is no exception. 

Nancy and Dick lay down the latest on some noteworthy Seattle restaurateurs who have opened - or are about to open - new kitchens. Other famous spots have new names, or new owners.  Nancy says look out for:

Nancy Leson

It's the first Food for Thought of 2011, so Nancy and Dick put the spotlight on a little morsel associated with the start of a new year from the Japanese tradition: Mochi making.  

Nancy Leson photo.

Picture your favorite cookbook, and how you have come to savor the experience of its splendor.  This week’s Food for Thought reveals new favorites that rank in that class, and Nancy and Dick are naming their top picks,   in time for Christmas.

Paul Stankavich/KPLU

Seattle Times Food Writer Nancy Leson is back from her KPLU Travel Club trip to Paris, where she ate…and ate…and, well, you get the idea.  

Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson and Dick Stein usually get together at the KPLU studios each Tuesday to record Food for Thought -- but given Tuesday's hazardous driving conditions it seemed more prudent for Dick to just get Nancy on the phone for their Thanksgiving chat.