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T. Susan Chang

T. Susan Chang regularly writes about food and reviews cookbooks for The Boston Globe, NPR.org and the Washington Post. She's the author of A Spoonful of Promises: Recipes and Stories From a Well-Tempered Table (2011). She lives in western Massachusetts, where she also teaches food writing at Bay Path College and Smith College. She blogs at Cookbooks for Dinner.

  • Rather than waiting for someone to give you a treat, why not make one of your favorites for yourself? Something you can snack on all week when no one's around. Or, better yet, something you don't have to share. Food writer T. Susan Chang recommends slow-roasted pecans, salty-sweet matzo candy and more.
  • Salted and aged, the fruit develops mellow yet intensely lemony flavor, with none of the nose-tickling bright, high notes of the fresh version. Though they do take some time, preserved lemons are easy to make, keep practically forever, and make everything around them seem a little sweeter.
  • Like many other intrinsically boring foods — say, tofu or grits — lentils shine because they get out of the way. They provide a vehicle and a backdrop for other flavors — whether it's good olive oil and gently gilded onions, or ground spices and lemony pesto.
  • The rebels, rule breakers and renegades who rule this year's Top 10 list aren't looking for a Ph.D. in Traditional Cooking. They're pleasure seekers whose books are filled with quirky facts, gorgeous pictures and ingredients deployed in unexpected places.
  • When T. Susan Chang was young, her mother would make egg soup for her when she got sick. Now, the food writer poaches a few eggs from her chickens' nests to make these soups when her kids get the sniffles.