Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition. In her long-standing capacity as a Newsday columnist, Contributing Editor for Cooking Light, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, restaurant critic, recent columnist for several leading magazines (Better Homes & Gardens, Prevention); regular contributor to many magazines, (including Self, More, Coastal Living, and Relish) and frequent guest on television and radio, Perry is an accessible and authoritative guide for anyone who cooks, eats and travels.

In addition to Dinner Tonight, the cookbook based on her daily Newsday column, Ms. Perry has contributed recipes and text to nearly 20 other food and nutrition books. Her articles have been syndicated internationally in magazines and books, and her recipes have appeared on the Television Food Network and numerous television news segments.

Perry teaches cooking and food writing at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, food writing at, and is a guest lecturer at the culinary management graduate school at New York University. Her extensive involvement with the food industry ranges from writing and reporting about cooking and nutrition, chefs, restaurants, growers, producers and manufacturers; restaurant reviewing; menu consulting; consumer trend analysis; and volunteering to bring food and cooking/nutrition know-how to those in need. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Libby Hillman Award for Culinary Excellence and the Food Writers’ Symposium scholarship and the Association of Food Journalists Award for Best Food Essay for an ode to her mother and strawberry-frosted cupcakes.

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Serve over buttered egg noodles.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound Italian turkey sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1/4 cup lower-sodium chicken broth

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1 Granny Smith, empire or Jonagold apple, thinly sliced with peel on

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add sausage and cook until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Push sausage to side of pan and add fennel. Cook 2 minutes, or until pan is dry. Add chicken broth and apples, and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes, until apple and fennel are soft.

2. Stir in sage, salt and pepper; serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 241 calories, 22 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 80 mg cholesterol, 1105 mg sodium


4 slices bacon

2 large Granny Smith, Braeburn or gala apples, cut into 1/2-inch dice, peel on

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2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

8 cups baby spinach leaves

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1. Cook the bacon in a large, nonstick skillet. Remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Crumble when cool.

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2. Meanwhile, pour off and reserve all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings from pan. Heat drippings in pan over medium high; add apples and cook until lightly golden on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer apples to a plate to cool.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon drippings back to the pan. Heat over medium and whisk in the vinegar and Dijon. (Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.) Toss the warm dressing with the spinach, cooked apple, onion and bacon; serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 193 calories, 5 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 10 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 304 mg sodium


2 Granny Smith, empire or gala apples, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

4 ounces Neufchâtel cream cheese at room temperature

2 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

2 (10-inch) flour tortillas

Cinnamon sugar, optional: Combine 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1. Toss the apples, cinnamon and sugar together; set aside.

2. Mix cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth.

3. Spread half the cream cheese on the surface of each tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border clear.

4. Working one at a time, place the tortillas in a nonstick skillet heated over medium high. Top half the tortilla with half of the apple mixture and fold the unfilled side over to enclose the apples. Press lightly on the top of the quesadilla and cook until the underside is golden, about 1 minute longer. Flip and cook until the underside is golden and cheese is very soft, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

5. Sprinkle warm quesadilla with cinnamon sugar, if desired; repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut each quesadilla in half. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 273 calories, 6 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 21 mg cholesterol, 317 mg sodium


Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples keep their crisp texture especially well when cooked.