Apricot Almond Coffee Cake is a special treat

This Nov. 15, 2017 photo shows an apricot almond coffee cake in New York. It’s a special treat that features a cream biscuit dough packed with intensely flavored dried apricots, layered with almond paste and glazed with apricot jam. (Sara Moulton via AP)

If you’re expecting overnight guests during the holiday season, you might want to stock up on the ingredients for this recipe. Doing so will allow you to throw together a knockout coffee cake for breakfast, a special treat that features a cream biscuit dough packed with intensely flavored dried apricots, layered with almond paste and glazed with apricot jam.

Big Butterscotchy Oatmeal Cookies

This January 2017 photo shows butterscotchy oatmeal cookies in New York. This dessert is from a recipe by Katie Workman. (Sarah Crowder via AP)

I haven’t been consistently happy with my oatmeal cookie recipe for a while. Sometimes they turn out perfectly — fairly flat, chewy and moist in the middle, with crinkly, caramelized edges (not cakey or rounded) and a butterscotch-esque flavor. Other times, they don’t follow orders, staying too puffed, or becoming a little dry and less damply dense than I crave.

Whip up a pumpkin cheesecake with ginger

This Oct. 16, 2017 photo shows a Pumpkin Cheesecake with Crystalized Ginger Crust. This recipe is adapted from Natalie Dupree's companion cookbook "Nathalie Dupree Cooks for Family and Friends" to her PBS show, "Food for Family and Friends," published in 1991. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Karmel)

Pumpkin is so popular today that there is hardly anything that hasn’t had a pumpkin variation. Some of them are no-brainers, others are so far-fetched that I don’t understand who is buying them, much less eating them.

Try this healthy winter salad

This Nov. 6, 2017 photo shows a green salad with roasted apple and pumpkin vinaigrette in Bethesda, Md. This dish is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (Melissa d'Arabian via AP)

Summer may officially be the season of green salads, but wintertime versions have advantages that make them worth exploring.

Basmati rice makes Greek Style Rice Pilaf special

This photo shows a Greek-style rice pilaf served with chicken in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (Sara Moulton via AP)

With the exception of ooey-gooey potato concoctions, side dishes rarely get any respect. Most of us devote our love and attention to the protein in the center of the plate and then throw together some kind of vegetable and/or starch as an afterthought. Here, however, is a pilaf fully capable of stealing the limelight from the usual star of the show.

Christmas Eve the Italian way means fish

This Nov. 8, 2017 photo provided by The Culinary Institute of America shows a seven fishes sauce served over pasta in Hyde Park, N.Y. This dish is from a recipe by the CIA. (Phil Mansfield/The Culinary Institute of America via AP)

For a holiday so widely celebrated, the traditions surrounding Christmas are as unique as the ornaments that decorate your tree. From decor, songs, stories and gifts, Christmas looks a little bit different in every home across the world, but of course, here at The Culinary Institute of America, we’re especially interested in what’s on the table.

Green Salad with Pear Dressing for Thanksgiving

This Oct. 31, 2017 photo shows a green salad with pear dressing, Gorgonzola cheese and toasted walnuts in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (Sara Moulton via AP)

Digging into the Thanksgiving Day feast is a joy, but preparing it takes work. This Green Salad with Pear Dressing is a simple but elegant first course, and it will take some of the stress out of the gig. And — bonus! — it’s lighter than the usual holiday recipe. How did we do it? By swapping out some of the oil in favor of a very flavorful pear puree.

Creamed Kale with Parmesan

This Jan. 11, 2017 photo shows creamed kale made with Parmesan cheese in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Katie Workman. (Sarah E Crowder via AP)

My father and grandfather, both no longer here, loved nothing better than a serious steak dinner at their favorite steakhouse, Peter Lugar’s, in New York City. If there was something to celebrate, an out-of-town guest to impress or the desire to indulge an extravagant comfort-food craving, there was one clear choice.

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