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Cooking

  • Sauerbraten is perfect for large gatherings over the holidays

     Sauerbraten is a favorite of mine to be served around the holidays. It’s not just a dish you can make for just two, three or four people. Since I start out with a 4- to 5-pound beef roast, it is more conducive to a larger gathering around the holiday season.

  • Holiday party hors d’oeuvres can be creative and tasty

     No matter what you call them, simple presentations such as cheese and crackers can require as much work as your main course. Although primarily served as an appetizer, hors d’oeuvres can also function as the main attraction when served at cocktail and holiday parties.

  • After bird day, it might be time to think about Christmas cookies

     If you’ve been to our local Walmart or Belk’s (who hasn’t?), you’ll know that the holiday season is in full swing and that means it’s time for baking cookies! So many recipes, so little time…

  • Thanksgiving signals the start of the Christmas shopping season

     It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving is the time to gather with your friends and family, turn on some football and enjoy your Thanksgiving meal…the one meal of the year that you usually know what to expect and what you will be eating.

    Even though I’m not really a turkey lover, I do manage to get my fill of the traditional trimmings, such as mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes and more.

  • Veal is not only healthy, but also quick and easy to prepare

     The unique flavor of veal is delicate and unobtrusive. What this actually means is that veal is easily incorporated into your favorite recipes, including roasts, pasta dishes, sautés, stir-fries and even casseroles that use ground meats.

  • Brown ground beef ahead of time for quick and convenient use

     When planning for your weekly meals, sometimes it’s more convenient to make some things ahead of time. This may be especially true for ground beef, especially if you plan on making some chili, casseroles, tacos or even spaghetti sauce during the week.

    Maybe it’s just me, but when browning ground beef, do you typically end up with large chunks that are hard to break down? Don’t you just hate that? Or maybe you just like it all chunky.

  • Olive oil is not only healthy, but adds taste and flavor

     Like a lot of people these days, I’m trying to watch my weight without having to give up my indulgences. Good trick if you can do it! I checked out what is called the Mediterranean diet that is associated with sensible tasty portions and slower, more enjoyable eating. Olive oil is an integral part of this diet.

  • Who says Halloween is just for the kids?

     My first introduction to a Halloween dinner “not just for the kids” was years ago at the home of a good friend of mine from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He graciously allowed me and my wife to be a part of this tradition with his kids and family.

    “It’s not really about the food,” he said. “It’s more about the atmosphere you create and the presentation of the dishes and the implication of what they might be.”

  • You can taste the difference in fresh, homemade salsa

     Homemade salsa requires little more than a good food chopper or blender, quality ingredients and imagination. The traditional chip salsa is called “pico de gallo,” a mixture of tomato, onions and peppers. Real salsa incorporates many more ingredients. There are also fruit salsas, bean salsas, nut salsas and meat or vegetable salsa.

  • It’s time to enjoy oysters, shrimp, crab and clams at local festivals

     October is one of my favorite times of the year, as oysters, shrimp, crab and clams are featured at the many seafood festivals in our area. Shrimp, because they are so rich in food value, are the most popular of seafood products, but you can’t beat the oyster stew and clam chowder that is prevalent this time of the year.