Lifestyle

AT THE TABLE WITH: Beth Burckley |Feb 22, 2018

Beth Burckley hails from the Cherry Hill/Collingswood, N.J., area. It was there that she met Brian Howell, an Alabama native. The couple moved to Phoenixville after Beth spent a year commuting to the area for work.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Japanese red maple trees still holding on to their leaves |Feb 22, 2018

My friend Jane Antley lives in the borough of West Chester. She emailed me last month with a question about leaf drop. “I’ve been meaning to write to you for several weeks about something that has me perplexed this year: the Japanese red maples.

HOME COOK: Make the ultimate Korean bibimbap at home |Feb 21, 2018

Every country has a distinctive comfort food. For Korea, it’s bibimbap, the rice bowl topped with grilled beef, a veritable veggie rainbow and a fried egg, drizzled with spicy gochujang and mixed with a spoon.

Local chefs compete with cookie-inspired dishes to benefit Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania |Feb 21, 2018

Thin Mint S’mores, anyone? How about a Lemonade Icebox Pie or Toffee Takeover cocktail?

Spay and Save: This grey tabby loves to cuddle |Feb 18, 2018

Krissy is a female, spayed, 1 to 2 years, grey tabby found starving in Roxborough. She is loving and vocal, loves people and is good with both cats and dogs. Please give her a forever home where she will never be on the streets again.

AT THE TABLE WITH: John Sakos |Feb 15, 2018

John Sakos lights up the room when he enters. He overflows with a joy for life and food.

FOOD: Two trendy kitchen gadgets to try now |Feb 14, 2018

It’s Valentine’s Day. And while kitchen gadgets don’t rate high on the list of romantic presents, here are two you’re bound to love — an air fryer and an electric multicooker like an Instant Pot.

Spay and Save: Cats who need a forever home |Feb 11, 2018

Sasha is a sweet soul, loves to be petted and probably should be the only kitty of the house. She loves to play. Give her a sunny window sill to nap in and she is good to go. She was found homeless and hungry in King of Prussia and was lucky to find a wonderful foster home.

AT THE TABLE WITH: Judy Serdy Gelinas |Feb 8, 2018

Judy Serdy Gelinas grew up on a farm in close-knit Hungarian family. She was the youngest of four Serdy children — three boys then Judy who must have been the family princess.

FOOD: Surprise your valentine with homemade truffles |Feb 8, 2018

They come in flavors like champagne, red velvet, strawberry cheesecake and crème brûlée. They’re small in size, big in flavor, and they scream, “Valentine’s Day!”

AT THE TABLE WITH: Mary Jane Mitchell |Feb 1, 2018

Why do people bond and get drawn together? It is hard to tell.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Get inspired by the new All-America Selections |Feb 1, 2018

There’s a lot that has to happen before flowers come popping out in our gardens. Even before the seeds show up in store displays and garden catalogues, there are years of development, trial and error, striving for certain characteristics worthy of introducing to the public.

FOOD: 5 stellar soups to warm your soul |Jan 31, 2018

Got plans for game day? Call an audible and host your own “Soup-er” Bowl.

Spay and Save: Mimi has had a tough go of it |Jan 26, 2018

Mimi is a gray and white female, one to two years of age and spayed. She was rescued from the streets of North Philadelphia. Her owner put her outside with her bowls and litter box when a new puppy was brought home.

AT THE TABLE WITH: BP Miller |Jan 25, 2018

BP (which stands for Brian Paul) Miller is an award-winning photographer and photojournalist.

Spay and Save: “Thumper” saved from the streets |Jan 24, 2018

Thumper is a gorgeous, long-haired orange/white male approximately four months. He is neutered, vaccinated and ready only for the most committed home that will care for him all of his 10 to 15-year life.

QUICK COOK: Try a super bowl of soup |Jan 24, 2018

January is always a time for me to set intentions for the year, to clean out my closets and my body. But cleansing does not have to be hardcore. No need for fasting or eating food that tastes like cardboard.

FOOD: Nutrition experts offer tips to cut sugar |Jan 24, 2018

There’s no way to sugarcoat it. “Most of us eat more sugar than we should,” said Judy Matusky of Athens Nutrition in Ardmore. “Where are all those added sugars coming from? And once you can identify where they’re coming from, how can you cut back?”

Ambler’s Lucky Well owner hopes to hire people experiencing homelessness |Jan 23, 2018

AMBLER >> If Chad Rosenthal, the owner of barbecue joint The Lucky Well, has anything to say about it, his restaurant will soon represent a lot more than Memphis-style comfort food. It will be a symbol of philanthropy.

HEALTHY LIVING: Keep off the pounds for good |Jan 19, 2018

The holidays are over, and as the fog of eggnog, gingerbread and candy canes lifts, many people find themselves confronting the harsh reality of the bathroom scale.

AT THE TABLE WITH: Gary Russell |Jan 18, 2018

Gary Russell comes from Pittsburgh, Pa. After college, he served four years in the U.S. Army. He served in Korea and then with the 82nd Airborne Division, Ft. Bragg, N.C., as a paratrooper. Gary made 38 jumps in his time there.

QUICK COOK: Indonesian flavors spice up dinner |Jan 17, 2018

This simple, vibrant curry, which originates from the Indonesian island of Java, makes a splendid “introductory” curry. It’s mild enough for sensitive palates, since it does not include any chiles and the white pepper is optional, and it’s super easy to make.

THE TREND IS TO BLEND: Meat-and-mushroom recipes to try tonight |Jan 17, 2018

Imagine an award-winning pitmaster serves you a juicy cheeseburger piled high with toppings. Bet your mouth’s watering. But this isn’t your typical patty. There’s a twist — button mushrooms blended with the beef.

PHOENIXVILLE: Leadership academy graduates five students |Jan 16, 2018

The 2017 Phoenixville Community Health Leadership Academy recently graduated five students from its ten-week program. The graduates all had a passion for addressing the needs of the greater Phoenixville region.

AT THE TABLE WITH: Jose De Los Santos |Jan 11, 2018

In 2001, at the age of 13, Jose came to the United States from the Dominican Republic. He joined his family living in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was the middle child of three children in his immediate family.

AT THE TABLE WITH: Sam Traten |Jan 4, 2018

Prior to meeting for this interview, I had the opportunity to read Sam Traten’s memoir, “Ex Post Facto.” One thing that seem to run through the memoir is his quest for knowledge and himself.

Crustacean sensation: These delicious crab cakes are easy to make and luxurious to eat |Jan 2, 2018

These simple crabcakes are easy to make and luxurious to eat. Serve them as appetizers or alongside a big, crisp salad and some garlic bread for a meal that feels celebratory.

AT THE TABLE WITH: Karen Johns |Dec 27, 2017

You can feel the love and love of life as soon as you step into the Second Avenue home of Jim and Karen Johns. The first time that they saw this home was when they were checking it out for a relative to purchase.

AT THE TABLE WITH: Phoenixville’s Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus |Dec 21, 2017

It was the Christmas of 1969 when 18-year-old Tom Mitchell was asked to be a stand-in Santa Claus for the Royersford Jaycees. Just two times as Santa, he was hooked for a lifetime and became the real deal.

FOOD: Area innkeepers share recipes for holiday breakfasts |Dec 20, 2017

“This is the finishing touch,” said Rick Carro of Fairville Inn in Chadds Ford as he sprinkled pecorino Romano over a vegetable frittata. “I’m going to make a second one of these later on for tomorrow morning because we have 29 guests.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Sweet cannoli for your holiday table |Dec 19, 2017

These intensely flavored cannoli are just as satisfying on any cold weather night when you can smell the house filling up with aroma of baking, but are especially pleasing when family and friends are around for the holidays.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Apples for the season |Dec 14, 2017

When I saw them in the store, I knew I just had to have them. I don’t know if they would have turned any other heads or whether I’m alone in my obsession. But there they were, heaped up in a basket: Stayman winesap apples.

AT THE TABLE WITH: Cameron Peters |Dec 14, 2017

Cameron Peters Floral Design may be a new business on Bridge Street in Phoenixville, opening Memorial Day weekend 2017, but Cameron has had a huge impact on the town.

THE YANKEE CHEF: A joyous occasion deserves a sweet, decadent treat |Dec 12, 2017

Reminding you of pecan pie, this recipe is far and above better flavored, joyous to the occasion and did I mention it has chocolate in it as well? One look at the crispy, toasted and decadent topping that literally crackles as you cut it, and it will soon become a favorite this Christmas.

WINE: A witty way with wine |Dec 12, 2017

A year of good wine? Yes, please. Especially when it comes in page-a-day calendar form from the pen of Karen MacNeil (“The Wine Bible”).

HOLIDAY TREATS: Locals share the art of clear toy candy |Dec 7, 2017

Wearing a long skirt and apron, Suzanne Wainwright-Evans worked tirelessly in the kitchen of Perkiomen Township’s historic Pennypacker Mills. During last year’s Victorian Christmas, curious visitors filled the room, watching her make an old-fashioned favorite: clear toy candy.

LOCAL DESTINATION: Where sky meets water. Get to know Welkinweir in Chester County |Dec 7, 2017

Tucked in a little valley in northwestern Chester County, there’s a place called Welkinweir — “where sky meets water.” Welkinweir is the former home of Everett and Grace Rodebaugh, who in 1935 purchased the property — which includes a large, stone estate house — as a weekend retreat and summer home.

AT THE TABLE WITH: Rabbi Jeff Sultar |Dec 6, 2017

Rabbi Jeff Sultar came to Phoenixville in the spring of 2016 to attend to the spiritual needs of Congregation B’nai Jacob. The congregation was formed over 100 years ago in a small building in the downtown.

BROOKS ON BEER: 6 books for the beer lover on your gift list |Dec 5, 2017

The holidays are just around the corner. While beer is the obvious gift for that beer lover in your life — something to impress, like a winter seasonal or other specialty brew — you might consider giving them one of the many stellar beer books that debuted in 2017.

FROM THE GROUND UP: That magical time of year |Nov 30, 2017

Do you believe in fairies? Do you know someone who does? Just when Tchaikovsky’s Sugar Plum Fairy will be taking to stages everywhere comes a new book from the editors of Faerie Magazine: “The Faerie Handbook — An Enchanting Compendium of Literature, Lore, Art, Recipes, and Projects.

AT THE TABLE WITH: Dave Gautreau |Nov 30, 2017

Finally found out how to pronounce Dave Gautreau’s last name — “Go trow.”

FOOD: Holiday-ready rolls: 3 sweet, 1 savory |Nov 29, 2017

Warm up your house and your guests’ hearts this holiday season with rich, buttery rolls — ranging from savory dill to sweet cinnamon.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Dates get the spotlight in this cake recipe |Nov 28, 2017

Although there are very few dates that can live up to Medjool’s reputation, using the cheaper, bagged variety is perfect for this recipe. Not only will it allow you to taste the orange-flavored tea, but if you were to compare two cakes side by side, one with Medjools and the other with the dates we are using, you will find the recipe below to be far superior.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Gardening gifts for the holidays |Nov 28, 2017

As much as I’d love to play Santa to everyone who reads this column, that’s just not practical. But what I can do is put together a list of some of the gardening tools and related items that I think you or the gardeners on your own gift-list might enjoy.

FOOD: Try your hand at homemade pasta |Nov 22, 2017

Celebrate fall with a homemade pasta dish that’s sure to please. Whether you’re a pasta pro or first-timer, award-winning chef, author and restaurateur Marc Vetri has you covered.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Try this light, airy autumnal treat |Nov 21, 2017

Not quite a pie, not quite a custard. This deliciously moist dessert is light, airy and bursting with that warm, “cuddly” taste, if that makes sense. There is just something about the smell of pumpkin cooking that instantly puts a smile on your face, and this treat will put a smile on even that one relative that is a little hard to crack.

AT THE TABLE WITH: Mark Pinto |Nov 17, 2017

Mark Pinto is a familiar site to patrons of the Phoenixville Public Library. He has been with the library for 20 years, now as the director of adult services.

Thanksgiving all-stars: Recipes from chef Jose Garces, Lisa Thomas-Laury and Philly native Frankie Avalon |Nov 15, 2017

This holiday, add some star power to your meal with celebrity recipes that will have guests giving thanks.

Newly discovered painting shows Washington’s wartime tent. Will go on view at Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia |Nov 15, 2017

PHILADELPHIA >> Philip Mead was online late one night in May, looking for possible artifacts from the American Revolution, when a painting up for auction caught his eye and got his heart racing.

AT THE TABLE WITH: Nate Kubasko |Nov 15, 2017

Nate Kubasko is the youngest person I ever featured in one of my interviews. He is 11 going on 42. No matter his age, he is very accomplished.