Cheesy beer dip with hot pretzels

This November 2016 photo shows soft pretzels with hot Cheddar cheese beer dip in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Katie Workman. (Sarah Crowder via AP)

It is easy enough to put out bag after bag of chips during a Sunday football-watching party, or any other gathering for that matter. And it’s not much harder to go the extra step and put those chips into an actual bowl … you know, if you’re feeling classy.

Cauliflower is surprisingly versatile

This January 2017 photo shows fried cauliflower "rice" in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (Sara Moulton via AP)

Until pretty recently, there was nothing sexy about cauliflower. Boiled or steamed, it’s bland at best. And if you overcook it, you’d better duck or suffer the smell of dirty diapers. But roasting or sauteing cauliflower is a different story. The veggie’s natural sugars caramelize and its tasty inner cauliflower suddenly blossoms. Think popcorn with an attitude.

Meatballs bursting with the flavors of Southeast Asia

This Jan. 10, 2017 photo provided by The Culinary Institute of America shows Hanoi pork meatballs in Hyde Park, N.Y. This dish is from a recipe by the CIA. (Phil Mansfield/The Culinary Institute of America via AP)

Though students at The Culinary Institute of America face a seemingly endless to-do list, central to their course work is recipe and menu development. At the CIA, food is life, and even the best-managed restaurant is nothing without flavorful, exciting, and innovative recipes.

Bruschetta, 3 ways, for a satisfying main dish

This Sunday, May 22, 2016 photo, shows salmon salad in a jar, left, next to the white bean salad and chopped greek salad on grilled bread in New York. This recipe spells out three different toppings, all vaguely Mediterranean: a white bean salad with fresh fennel thickened with mashed beans so that the filling sticks to the bread; smoked salmon rillettes, finely-chopped salmon flavored with capers, lemon and fresh herbs and bound with sour cream; and a chopped Greek salad. (AP Photo/Sara Moulton)

There are few dishes more elemental and satisfying than bruschetta. A mainstay at many Italian restaurants, it’s an appetizer comprising slices of grilled bread adorned with any number of toppings.

Winter’s hottest trend has its heart in the home

This undated photo provided by Birch Lane shows their teak candleholder. This year's shelter magazines, decor retailers and lifestyle mavens are touting "hygge," Scandinavian-style coziness, ease, conviviality and a warm glow. (Birch Lane via AP)

Search the term online and nearly 10 million results roll in. It’s being touted by this winter’s shelter magazines, decor retailers and lifestyle mavens.

Leek, sausage and split-pea soup

This November 2016 photo shows leek, sausage and split-pea soup in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Katie Workman. (Sarah Crowder via AP)

This makes a ton of soup, and you can freeze it at will. It’s the kind of soup that sells itself, hits the spot, and has so much flavor and such a high level of comfort-foodness that you instantly feel better about life while eating it.

Baking whole fish in foil tastier than steaming it

FILE - This Nov. 16, 2015, file photo shows baked whole fish in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead, File)

The Chinese like to feature whole steamed fish on the menu of their New Year’s feasts. Said to signify togetherness, abundance and long life, it’s a dish with symbolism that is as important as taste. Indeed, you’re supposed to leave the bones, head and tail intact, a way to help ensure that the new year will be a winner from beginning to end.

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