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Cold snap. A time for building fires and settling into sweaters, long books, hot toddies. A time for pulling out the things you started but were too busy to finish. A time for seed catalogues and their poetry of impending spring. We pause, even if we have almost forgotten how to, and take stock.

Skin is where all the nutrients are, right? You can justify plenty of guilt-inducing toppings if you just have the right mindset.

As the jaded palates of many Americans drive up the demand for spicier foods, real flavor is a frequent casualty. As hot wings and spicy variations of everything from chain burgers to snack mixes proliferate as fast as we can purchase them, complexity and pungency are often tossed to the wayside, completely out-stripped by heat level.

Very quickly: for those who want pulled pork in 2 or 3 hours: please check out this almost-as-good-as-smoked Faux-Smoked Pulled Pork recipe. Once pulled, use the sauce recipe below. For the real deal, keep reading.

We've been enjoying taking brisk walks here lately. When the weather cooperates and isn't trying to wash out the driveway or cause mudslides, nothing makes your cheeks rosy quite like a 30-minute jaunt up the mountain (okay, so maybe calling it a mountain is a bit of an exaggeration--but it's a pretty big hill).

We like to-do lists around here. We have them for long-term projects and little piddly things like "water plants" or "thaw chicken." We are children of a digital era, and so we use handy software programs to keep our lists in. This gives them the aura of organization, perhaps making the whole affair even more treacherous than old-fashioned, pen-and-paper to-do lists.

You may have noticed a certain enthusiasm for citrus fruits around here lately. I think our situation is hardly unique--citrus in winter is like a jolt of warm sunshine.

One of the really charming things about the Joy of Cooking is the juxtaposition of modern and retro recipes in its pages. Having Quick Chicken Rice Casserole in close proximity to Artichoke Frittata is a subtle reminder of our not so distant culinary past.

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Joy of Cooking App for iPad and iPhone

After three years of collaborative effort with our friends at Culinate and Scribner, it is our pleasure to introduce the Joy of Cooking for iPad and iPhone! Please check out this full-featured, digital version of the 2006 edition. In addition to the recipes and indispensable reference information our readers know and love, the app has many features that are brand new to JOY:

  • Built-in recipe timers (you can have multiple timers going simultaneously)
  • Search for and filter recipes by key word, ingredient, cuisine, season, technique, diet, and more
  • Create shopping lists from within the app
  • Convert any recipe to metric automatically
  • Give voice commands or have recipe steps spoken to you
  • Create menus in the app
  • Share recipes from within the app
  • Color photography

Truly a JOY for the 21st century! Download by directing your browser to www.joyofcookingapp.com. Don't forget to review the app!