Marge Perry

Marge is an award-winning food and travel writer whose work appears regularly in many magazines and websites; on her blog, A Sweet and Savory Life; and in more than 20 books.
8 Things I Bought for My Home Kitchen After I Started Teaching at Culinary School
Number 8 is a total game-changer.
Feb 3, 2022
My Mom and I Are in the High-Risk Group for COVID, but My Sister Is Insisting We Travel to Be at Her Wedding This Fall. What Should I Do?
Ask Marge
I love my sister and I don’t want to ruin our relationship, so how do I tell her my mom and I can’t risk our health (and maybe even lives) by coming to her wedding?
Sep 2, 2020
I Don’t Want to Invite a Couple Friends Over for My Socially-Distanced Barbecue Because They Haven’t Been Careful During the Pandemic. Is That OK?
Ask Marge
I know anyone I don’t invite will hear about it, so should I just scrap the whole idea?
Jul 13, 2020
My Friend Eats Loudly on Our Calls and It’s Driving Me Bonkers. What Should I Do?
Ask Marge
My friends and I have a regular Zoom cocktail hour once a week. I love seeing them (I MISS them!!!) but one friend not only slurps her drink, she snacks really loudly throughout the call.
May 30, 2020
Recipe: Chicken Guacamole Burgers
This is unimaginably better than a burger merely topped with guacamole. In this love child of a burger and guacamole, the guac is mixed right in with the ground chicken, making its presence felt in every bite. Serve the burgers with shredded lettuce for a little crunch, a thin slice of ripe summer tomato, and a little smear of canola mayonnaise on the roll. Want to take it to the next level? Gild the lily by topping the burger with extra avocado slices.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Baked Black Bean and Avocado Burritos
Lean ground beef or turkey can stand in for the beans in these burritos — season it with salt and pepper and brown it in a skillet, and drain and cool slightly on a plate lined with paper towel before combining it with the chipotle sour cream. Also, pump up the nutrient power by adding sautéed chopped bell peppers, zucchini, or leftover cooked vegetables such as cauliflower. Make your own salsa in just minutes, if you prefer.
Jan 21, 2020
Help! My Mom Insists on Bringing Shrimp to My Home for Christmas Even Though I’m Very Allergic. What Should I Do?
I'm hosting Christmas dinner this year and my mother wants to bring shrimp cocktail as an hors d'oeuvre. I appreciate the offer, but the problem is that I have a severe shellfish allergy and am sensitive to cross-contamination, which she knows.
Dec 20, 2019
Help! I Have Embarrassing Stomach Issues. How Do I Handle It When I Go to a Friend’s House for Dinner?
Ask Marge
I have ongoing stomach issues. Sometimes my stomach makes really loud, nasty-sounding snarls, and other times… well, I can’t always control my, uh, flatulence.
Nov 12, 2019
5 Potluck Sins You Do NOT Want to Make This Year
Potluck Week
As a guest, there are certain cardinal rules you must not break.
Nov 6, 2019
My Friends Expect Leftovers When They Come Over for Dinner. Please, How Do I Make It Stop?
Ask Marge
I don't want to seem petty.
Jun 13, 2019
My Roommate Keeps Stealing My Food, but She Totally Denies It. What Am I Supposed to Do?
I asked her really nicely to please respect my stuff in the fridge, and she acted as if she didn’t know what I was talking about.
May 9, 2019
Recipe: Dubliner Cheese and Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts
I usually make this with reduced-fat Dubliner cheese, which melts beautifully and gives us the same gooey, rich cheesiness with fewer calories and less saturated fat. You can use chicken thighs (cooked to 170°F) instead of chicken breasts, which reheat better because they are not quite as lean. Either way, the chicken is also very good served cold the next day.
May 1, 2019
My Friends Think I’m a Control Freak Because I Don’t Want Anyone in My Kitchen. Are They Right?
Dear Marge, My friends and family think I am a control freak because I don’t want them in my kitchen when I am working. They even tease me about it — and totally ignore the fact that I don’t want everyone underfoot in my small kitchen while I am trying to get food out for dinner. I find it really distracting, and I need to focus on what needs to get done to get everything plated nicely and on the table while it is still hot.
Apr 18, 2019
Help! I Don’t Want My Friend to Bring Her Dog Over.
Dear Marge, My friend is incredibly devoted to her dog, and feels like when she is not at work, she wants to bring her dog everywhere with her, including my house. Her dog is great, and when it is just the two (or, I should say three) of us hanging out, I don’t mind as much.
Apr 4, 2019
I’m a Germ Freak and I Hate Sharing Food. How Do I Say “No”?
Dear Marge, I don’t really like sharing drinks or biting from someone’s food to taste it. All too often I am in the situation when a coworker or friend hands me their drink or something they’re eating and says, “Oh, you have to try this!” Once someone was so pushy I finally cut a piece from the end she hadn’t bitten into, and then she looked at me like I was a freak. Well, maybe when it comes to germs I am.
Mar 7, 2019
Can I Ask My Vegan Uncle to Bring His Own Meal to Dinner?
Dear Marge, I come from a long line of carnivores, but one of my extended family members is vegan. Whenever we get together, I make a separate meal to accommodate his diet. I realize we don’t have to do this, but I am trying to be hospitable. Is there an appropriate way to ask him to bring something he can eat, or should I just continue to make an extra meal? Signed, Overextended Host Dear OH, You are SO not alone!
Feb 21, 2019
I Think My Friend Is Faking Her Food Allergy. Can I Say Something?
Dear Marge, I think my friend is faking food allergies. We go to restaurants and she has long conversations with the waiter about how she will get really sick if there is even a hint of … and then she names like seven or eight foods she can’t eat. And when any of us want to get together at each other’s houses, it becomes this whole big production to make something she will eat.
Jan 16, 2019
Help! My Mother-in-Law Is Feeding My Kid Sugar Against My Wishes.
This week Marge tackles a question for a reader whose mother-in-law is giving her daughter sweets even when she has repeatedly asked her not to. What is she supposed to do?
Jan 2, 2019
Dear Marge: Am I Supposed to Serve the Wine My Guest Brings to Dinner?
Dear Marge, Can you please settle an argument for us? My partner says that when we go to our friends’ house for dinner and bring a bottle of wine, they should serve it. I point out that means the reverse is also true — so if friends bring over a bottle of crisp white and we’ve splurged on big, beautiful steaks, that’s what we’d have to pour. My partner’s response is that guests should ask what’s being served and bring a bottle that goes with it.
Dec 13, 2018
A Friend Asked Me to Pay $50 for Thanksgiving Dinner. Is That Weird?
We asked Marge to tackle one of Kitchn’s most divisive questions we’ve ever received: Is it OK to ask your friend for money for Thanksgiving? Dear Marge, A friend just invited me to his home for Thanksgiving dinner — and asked me to pay $50 upfront. I understand that hosting can be expensive, and I wouldn’t mind being asked to bring a dish, but asking guests for cash seems incredibly rude. Am I crazy to be a bit miffed? Has anyone else experienced this?
Nov 21, 2018
Dear Marge: Was It Rude for My Friend to Bring an Unexpected Guest to Friendsgiving? (It Ruined My Dessert Plan!)
Dear Marge, I’m planning my annual Friendsgiving, and I don’t want to repeat my hosting crisis from last year — but I’m not sure what I can do to prevent it. I love to entertain, even in my small place. I plan my menu really carefully and try to make the table look beautiful. Last year, I invited as many friends as I could fit (12!), and scrounged to make the seating work around my regular table plus a borrowed folding table.
Nov 19, 2018
Yes, You Can Drink on Keto — Here’s What You Need to Know
Okay, first: Vodka, whiskey, tequila, and other clear spirits have zero carbs. Wine has about two grams of carbs per glass, and Champagne has one gram. But before you toast your good luck at being able to drink, there are a few things you need to know. Drinking will probably slow your weight loss down, even if you choose a no-carb option, because your body will use (metabolize) alcohol before fat. Once it’s burned, you’ll go back into ketosis, so all you lost was a little time.
Feb 4, 2018
10 Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Keto
The Keto diet takes some getting used to. At first, it may be hard to follow, but as long as you know what you’re getting into, the transition to a keto lifestyle — and the weight loss and health benefits — may really be worth it. Many people find the food really satisfying, but get tripped up by these potential pitfalls. It is incredibly satisfying and a vital source of fuel, but that doesn’t mean you should indulge mindlessly.
Feb 1, 2018
Here’s What You Can and Can’t Eat on the Ketogenic Diet
The keto diet is getting a lot of buzz lately. Are you considering trying it out to see how it makes you feel this year? We’ve rounded up a bunch of recipes (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) to get you started, but before you jump in let’s get back to the basics: What can (and can’t) you eat exactly? Doing keto right means getting into a state of ketosis, or where your body burns fat rather than carbs for fuel.
Jan 31, 2018
What’s the Difference Between Keto, Paleo, and Atkins?
The Ketogenic, Paleo, and Atkins diets are all low-carb, but they have important differences that could help determine which is right for you. Here’s a rundown on the underlying philosophies, food dos and don’ts, and pros and cons of each. This granddaddy of popular low-carb diets began in the 1970s, and by 2004, when it was known as the “Steak and Eggs Diet,” supposedly one out of 11 adults was on the diet.
Jan 30, 2018
Why Shallow Pantry Shelves Are the Best Shelves
I have had many pantries in the past. Pantries I thought I liked, but that actually frustrated me on a daily basis; pantries I was always trying to straighten up, or reorganize to make finding things easier; pantries with big, deep shelves that held a ton of boxes and jars and bags that I could somehow never seem to find. It is said you have to kiss many frogs to find your prince: I built many pantries with luxuriously deep shelves before I learned two valuable lessons.
Oct 23, 2017
Why Shallow Pantry Shelves Are the Best Shelves
I have had many pantries in the past. Pantries I thought I liked, but that actually frustrated me on a daily basis; pantries I was always trying to straighten up, or reorganize to make finding things easier; pantries with big, deep shelves that held a ton of boxes and jars and bags that I could somehow never seem to find. It is said you have to kiss many frogs to find your prince: I built many pantries with luxuriously deep shelves before I learned two valuable lessons.
Oct 23, 2017
When (and Why) You Should Spring for the Good Champagne
Bubbly makes everything better: a night becomes an evening, and lunch becomes a rendezvous; a gathering is a celebration, and an intimate dinner for two becomes a pronouncement of intention. Bubbly is, in all its forms (Prosecco, Cava and Champagne), magical in its ability to enliven and uplift every occasion — but never quite as much as when the bubbly is Champagne.
Dec 23, 2016
Why Cava Is the Best Bubbly Wine for Punch
If you’re looking to add some pop, fizz, and bubble to your holiday occasion, cava is pretty much always a good solution. Spain’s answer to Champagne can make the leap from office white elephant party to black-tie dinner party with aplomb. In fact, we’d argue cava is so versatile that you should just buy a case now. But our favorite way to use cava this time of year is in punch. (Because what are the holidays without something fizzy, festive, and spiked?
Dec 12, 2016
Why Prosecco Is the Best Bubbly for Brunch
There are a million good reasons to pop a cork. The real question is what kind of cork we want to pop. There are basically three categories of bubbles to choose from: Champagne, Cava and Prosecco. Each has its own distinct characteristics, flavors, and style, which dictate when and how I want to serve and sip each one. For brunch, my choice is Prosecco.
Nov 30, 2016
The One and Only Wooden Spoon You Really Need
I own and use many wooden spoons. You might say that I am something of a wooden spoon collector. There’s nothing that delights me more than when, in my travels, I come across a wooden spoon in an entirely new shape. Perhaps the bowl is elongated or deeper, or the handle is thick or graduated or offset — the list goes on.
Sep 8, 2016
5 Reasons to Start a Collection of Wooden Spoons
I remember the exact moment that began my lifetime of collecting wooden spoons. It was 20 years ago and I was hanging out with my friend Trudy as she cooked on her Garland, a commercial range which was rarely seen in home kitchens, and was the mark of a very serious cook. Just to the side of the stove, there was a canister crammed with all kinds of wooden spoons: light, dark, tall, short, fat-handled, and fragile-looking. I pulled one out that had a squat handle and long flat bowl.
Sep 6, 2016