The Leonard Lopate Show

The Leonard Lopate Show

From WNYC Radio

Host Leonard Lopate lets you in on the best conversations with writers, actors, ex-presidents, dancers, scientists, comedians, historians, grammarians, curators, filmmakers, and do-it-yourself experts. Live interaction is critical to Lopate's conversational and personal style.More from The Leonard Lopate Show »

Most Recent Episodes

Leonard Lopate Weekend: Dating Advice, National Parks, and Natalie Merchant

The New York Times' Social Q's columnist Philip Galanes returns to answer all of your questions about love, dating etiquette (online and elsewhere) and romance - just in time for Valentine's Day! Director Greg MacGillivray and world-renowned ice and mountain climber Conrad Anker discuss the new film "National Parks Adventure," a new documentary directed by and starring Singer and songwriter Natalie Merchant joins us to talk about her 35-year-music career and social activism.

Listen to the Episode

Why Amy Sedaris Loved Waiting Tables on Valentine's Day

Actress and writer Amy Sedaris loved being a waitress so much that until recently, she occasionally waited tables at Mary's Fish Camp in the West Village. She tells us why she especially enjoyed waitressing on Valentine's Day, and shares some of her favorite recipes from her latest book Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. Recipe: SUSAN AND GRACIE'S AMAZING BUTTER COOKIES (From Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris. Copyright 2010 by Amy Sedaris. Reprinted by Permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.) Ingredients: 1⅓ cups unsalted butter 1½ cups sugar 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 2 eggs 8 teaspoons milk 4 cups flour 3 teaspoons baking powder Method: Mix your dough and refrigerate overnight. Roll dough out (I use 2 pieces of wax paper and a rolling pin, flour if needed) and use cookie cutters to make your shapes. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Get your cookies to room temperature and refrigerate them overnight. Frost cookies the next day (see frosting recipe below) and place the cookies back in refrigerator for another night until the frosting hardens. You cannot eat enough of these. FROSTING Ingredients: 1 box powdered sugar ¼ cup half-and-half 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 stick unsalted butter Method: Mix longer than usual. MY CARAMELS (From Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris. Copyright 2010 by Amy Sedaris. Reprinted by Permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.) Ingredients: 1 cup sugar ¾ cup dark corn syrup ½ cup butter 1 cup heavy cream ½ cup nuts (pecans, walnuts, or black walnuts) ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract Method: Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter, and ½ cup of the heavy cream; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the remaining ½ cup heavy cream and cook slowly to very-hard-ball stage (260 degrees F on your candy thermometer) or use the cold water test method. Remove from heat; add nuts and vanilla. Pour into greased 8 x 8 x 2-inch square pan. Mark in squares when partially cool. Cut when cold. Wrap caramels in squares of wax paper; keep in airtight container. Makes about 36 pieces. A personal note: I oftentimes will stop cooking the caramels just shy of the 260-degree mark. When it sets up in the pan, you can scoop out spoonfuls of caramels, sort of like a soft caramel-sicle. Courtesy of Cindy Selman.

Listen to the Episode

From Insects to Hot Dogs, Charting the Evolution of Our Diets

How did humans go from being hunter gatherers to harvesting genetically modified crops? Anthropologist Stephen Le takes us through the major landmarks in our diet evolution in 100 Million Years of Food: What Our Ancestors Ate and Why It Matters Today. Le traveled the globe to chart the transformation of food and examines the effects of modern diets on our health and longevity.

Listen to the Episode

The Secret Ingredient is Xanthan Gum, or Maybe Acesulfame Potassium

Processed foods tend to have long lists of ingredients that add flavor, color and texture, along with preservatives to extend shelf life. On today's Please Explain, we'll take a close look at the most common food additives, from xanthan gum to MSG. Photographer Dwight Eschliman and author Steven Ettlinger created a detailed visual guide in Ingredients: A Visual Exploration of 75 Additives and 25 Food Products, and they'll help take the mystery out of the ingredients list. Charles Mueller, clinical associate professor of nutrition at NYU Steinhardt, will discuss the health effects of the common additives. Do you have questions about food additives? Send us your questions in a comment below, or let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

Listen to the Episode

Would You Buy Wine Based on the Label?

Can a great label convince you to buy a wine you've never heard of? Corey Miller, founder and CEO of Barrel + Ink, a company that pairs small winemakers with graphic designers, Andre Mack, owner of Mouton Noir wines and a graphic designer and Jennifer Hische, a graphic designer who's designed for Barrel + Ink, join us to talk about wine labels. They'll tell us all that goes into designing the eye-catching labels which often do more to sell the bottle than the actual quality of the wine.

Listen to the Episode

The Untold Story of D-Day's Forgotten African-American Heroes

Despite the selflessness and valor exemplified by segregated African-American troops during World War II, their heroic stories have been largely overlooked. Journalist and photographer Linda Hervieux discusses her book Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day's Black Heroes, at Home and at War which offers detailed accounts of their heroism and interviews with the 12 living members of the all-black 320th Barrage Battalion who fought in D-Day. Check out the book trailer (Courtesy of Linda Hervieux).

Listen to the Episode

'Is it Too Soon to Text Back?' Your Dating Questions, Answered

Navigating the world of online dating can be tricky, but it's quickly becoming the new norm for relationships. The New York Times' Social Q's columnist Philip Galanes returns to answer all of your questions about love, dating etiquette (online and elsewhere) and romance - just in time for Valentine's Day! Have a question about online dating or relationships? Leave us a comment below.

Listen to the Episode

Family Tensions, Secrets Come to Dinner in a New Broadway Play

Deep-seated emotions, anxieties and tensions are laid bare when a middle-class American family gathers together in their Manhattan apartment for Thanksgiving dinner in a new Broadway play, "The Humans." Actors Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell join playwright Stephen Karam to talk about the show, which recently finished a critically-acclaimed run off-Broadway. Event: "The Humans" opens February 18th at the Helen Hayes Theater (240 West 44th Street). Tickets and performance dates are available here.

Listen to the Episode

A Look Inside Afghanistan's Most Progressive School

In a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Kabul is one of the most successful private schools in Afghanistan. The Marefat School offers a progressive education to 4,000 students – both girls and boys. Journalist Jeffrey E. Stern joins us to discuss his book, The Last Thousand: One School's Promise in a Nation at War , about the school and its uncertain future when America's military occupation in Afghanistan ends.

Listen to the Episode

Natalie Merchant Returns to 'Tigerlily' in 'Paradise is There'

Singer and songwriter Natalie Merchant joins us to talk about her 35-year-music career and social activism. For her latest project "Paradise is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings," she re-recorded her 1996 multi-platinum debut album "Tigerlily," and released a companion documentary. Event: Natalie Merchant will be in conversation with Anthony DeCurtis on Feb. 10th at 8:15 p.m. at the 92nd Street Y (1395 Lexington Ave). She will be on tour in March and performing at the Beacon Theatre on March 11th and March 28th. For tickets and more information, visit her website.

Listen to the Episode

Back To Top

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from