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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Apple Cinnamon Olive Oil Cake

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/3 cup brown sugar

5 apples, sliced

3 cups flour

1 1/2 cups granulated ugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

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1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 cup olive oil

1/4 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan with cooking spray; set aside.

2. Combine the cinnamon and brown sugar; toss with the apples until thoroughly coated.

3. Combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, oil, orange juice and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, beat until smooth.

4. Pour about half the batter into the prepared pan; top with about half the apples. Add the remaining batter and arrange the remaining apples decoratively on top. Drizzle the juices remaining in the apple bowl evenly over the apples.

5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 75 minutes. Cool in the pan on rack at least 30 minutes.

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6. Run a knife along the edge. Place the wire rack over the cake, invert it, and tap firmly on the counter to release it. Place a plate over the cake and invert it again to serve. Makes 16 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 346 calories, 4 g protein, 50 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 15 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 329 mg sodium


Apple-Fig Chutney

Serve with chicken or meat; keeps well in the refrigerator for several weeks.

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2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 cups chopped red onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 apples, peeled, cored and diced, about 2 cups

1/2 cup chopped figs (about 7 whole)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch cayenne (optional)

2 tablespoons apple jelly

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly golden and soft, about 25-27 minutes.

2. Stir in the vinegar and cook 1 minute or until nearly evaporated. Add the apples, figs, cumin, ginger and cinnamon and cayenne (if desired) and cook, stirring occasionally, 7-8 minutes or until the apples are crisp tender and the figs are softened. Remove from the heat and add the jelly, salt and pepper, stirring until the jelly melts. Makes 10 servings (about 2 ½ cups).

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 113 calories, 1 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 3 g fat, 0 saturated fat, 63 mg sodium


Honey Baked Apples With Dates and Pistachio

6 apples

4 dates, chopped

1/3 cup shelled pistachios

2 teaspoons orange zest

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup honey, divided

2/3 cup orange juice, divided

1/2 cup water (or more, as needed)

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut in 8 bits

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 7 baking dish with cooking spray. (Or any baking dish just large enough to hold the apples.

2. Make a very shallow cut along the bottom of each apple as needed to help it stand upright. Cut across to remove the top 1/4-inch. Remove the core, leaving about a 1/2-inch "floor" at the bottom. Arrange the apples in the prepared dish.

3. Combine the dates, pistachios, orange zest, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, 1/4 cup of the honey, and 1/3 cup of the orange juice in a bowl. Spoon the mixture into the apples.

4. Combine the remaining honey, orange juice and water and pour over the apples. Place a bit of butter on each apple and bake, basting occasionally (and adding water if needed), until the apples are fork tender, 45-50 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 302 calories, 3 g protein, 63 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 41 mg sodium

TIP: Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples are good choices for baking.