Connection Corner: Food Favorites

For this issue, we asked the Meredith community to share some of their food favorites including recommended recipes, cooking shows, and celebrity chefs.

Associate Professor of History Angela Robbins: “I have been enjoying Vivian Howard’s new PBS show, Somewhere South. If you are a foodie, or a Southerner, or you love Southern food, this show is sure to please. In the most recent episode, Vivian explores barbecue in all its variations from North Carolina and Tennessee down to Florida and Texas, with a nod to the heritage and history – plus some modern twists – that foster fierce debates over which style is best!”

Rosemarie Cafaldo, Administrative Assistant for the Department of English and the Office of the Chaplain: “Ice cream! Ice cream all the way… summer, spring, fall, winter, doesn’t matter!  Chrissy Teigen has got to be one of my favorite celebrity chefs. Her cookbooks have great recipes that are easy to follow and she has a story to tell about each one. Her Eggplant Cheese Boats are my new go-to dish. It’s just delish! My other favorite celebrity chef is Dom DeLuise. I know – most people have never heard of Dom DeLuise (so google him). His cookbook, EAT THIS…It’ll Make You Feel Better!, has the best recipes. My copy of this book is stained and coming apart at the seams! His Mushroom Barley Soup is sooooo good and oh so easy to make.  This is the one book I give to people, over and over again.”

Professor of History Dan Fountain: “My wife and I have fallen in love with this recipe during the lockdown.  We have substituted baby bella for porcini mushrooms but this dish reminds Michele and me of the porcini pastas we made with Eloise and Steve Grathwohl in the palazzo when we taught together in Sansepolcro. It’s delicious!”

Bob Autry, Campus Engagement Assistant:  Comfort foods of choice are chocolate, ice Cream, Greek or Southern (Mom’s meatloaf or red-skin potato salad, especially), Seafood or fresh fish, but the list has many others.  I always loved food because it brings people/family together & creates a setting for memories. I made a spin on rice pudding, which is typically white rice, but I only had brown rice. I cooked rice in an instant pot, for the other half made an Orange Asian Chicken & mixed Veggies. Favorite chefs include Juila Child (from childhood on PBS), Giada De Laurentiis, Tyler Florence, Jamie Oliver, Emeril, the “Barefoot Contessa”, Ina Garten, and most recently Rachel Allen and “The Urban Vegetarian,” Dietitian Desiree Nielsen.

Amanda Sullivan, Research and Instruction Librarian: “I subscribe to Bon Appétit, but during this quarantine, I’ve become slightly obsessed with their videos series. My favorite is Brad Leone’s It’s Alive. He is a hilarious, good natured guy and his editor makes the videos even more funny (and who doesn’t need some laughs now). I also love One of Everything with Alex Delany. It’s a fun way to live vicariously and pretend that I still live in New York and could go visit these places. It’s also a lovely reminder of how things used to be and how things will hopefully be again soon in restaurants.

Some of the bigger projects I’ve tackled in the kitchen have been the Shockingly Easy No-Knead Focaccia and BA’s Best Lasagna (recipe herevideo here that makes it look a little too easy). The bread was a total success and very easy to make, you just need the necessary time for all of the steps. My husband hasn’t stopped asking me to make it again since we finished it. To go with the bread I made a Curried Sweet Potato Hummus that was delicious. Now, onto the 9 hour saga that was the lasagna. I wanted an all day project and boy did I get one with this recipe. The bechamel about broke me, but I conquered it and lived to tell and make it again the next night riffing on this mushroom pasta recipe. Would I make this recipe again, probably not, but I’m glad to say I did once and could do it again (if forced). An easier recipe I tried out, and would happily make again, was this Chicken-Lentil Soup With Jammy Onions.

I also have a lot of cookbooks I’m reading too, but I’ve only attempted a few recipes from them. One successful one I’ll be making again in the coming weeks is Alison Roman‘s Lemony Turmeric Tea Cake from her Nothing Fancy cookbook.”

For next week’s Connection Corner: What are your favorite podcasts? Send your recommendations, along with a brief description of why you like it, to Melyssa Allen, Campus Connections editor, at

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330