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Barbara Hansen

  • Pan de Muerto, Ghoulish and Good

    This bread is as good as it is ghoulish. It’s pan de muerto (bread of the dead), which is a must to eat on the Day of the Dead November 2. Mexican custom is to place the bread on an ofrenda, an altar laden with food, drink, candies, photos and other offerings that will please […]...

  • Picnicking on the Food of Bangladesh

    Home-cooked Bangladeshi food is hard to find, but there was plenty of it when friends from Bangladesh gathered for a picnic in Lake Balboa Park in Van Nuys. Two women brought the food, one a professional caterer, the other a home cook....

  • Indian Food To Make You Healthy

    When you want to have an Indian feast, serve food that is triply good: good-tasting, good for you and that benefits a good cause. You can do this with the cookbook “Deepa’s Secrets: Slow Carb/New Indian Cuisine” (Skyhorse Publishing), a memoir of an engaging Indian woman combined with healthy recipes....

  • The Return of South African Wines

    Hunting for wines that are interesting, a bit off the beaten track and, mostly, affordable? Then keep these three C’s in mind: Chenin Blanc, Cap Classique and Caperitif. There is a P you must remember also. Chenin Blanc may not sound unusual, but if from South Africa, it fits the guidelines. This is because South […...

  • Getting to Know Georgian Wines

    I”m eating humble pie today or, rather, drinking humble wine. Last year I attended a tasting of the wines of Georgia–the country, not the American state. I thought they were awful, spoiled-tasting, undrinkable. So when another tasting was announced I didn’t want to go. But at the last minute I did. And I have t...

  • Salads and Pasta in Sor Tino’s Patio

    On a sunny hot day (and we have so many of these in Los Angeles), the place to eat is the shady patio of Sor Tino in Brentwood. What you should order is a lunch salad such as grilled calamari with arugula, tomatoes, capers and a squeeze of lemon (above). It’s so fresh and light....

  • A Whiskey-Laced Dinner at Commissary

    This hip bar at Commissary in the Line Hotel can serve whatever you want. Instead of a cocktail, I had a tasting flight of whiskeys from Cedar Ridge Distillery in Swisher, Iowa. They are, from left, bourbon, rye and a single malt whiskey. Each is based on a different grain–corn, rye or barley–yielding different taste...

  • Cool Food for a Really Cool Cause

    It was hot outside but really cool inside Melissa’s Produce in Vernon, not just the chilly temperature but what was going on there. A team from Special Olympics Southern California (at the top) had come to promote their cause, including Special Olympians who spoke and circulated as greeters....

  • A Book of Healthy Food in Bowls

    Wonderful food is coming out of my kitchen these days. The person responsible is Carolynn Carreño, whose recipes I can’t resist. They’re in her new book, “Bowls of Plenty: Recipes for Healthy and Delicious Whole-Grain Meals.”...

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