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Cooking

  • Bring out the natural flavor of fruits and veggies on the grill

     Outdoor grilling isn’t just for steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs. Next time you throw some steaks and burgers on the grill, add some grilled fruits and veggies to your next cookout menu. Grilling fruit brings out its natural sweetness and the flavor of grilled veggies is greatly enhanced when they are lightly charred.

    Almost any fruit can be cooked on the grill. Apples, pears and pineapple are easier to grill than softer fruits such as peaches, plums and watermelon, which require more attention to prevent overcooking. They only need to be heated, not cooked.

  • The new ‘superfood’ has been a Southern staple for many years

     Recent studies have shown that dark, leafy greens lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. These greens also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect cells in the eyes from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays, helping to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.

  • Chicken à la King has been popular for more than 100 years

     Consisting of diced chicken in a creamy sauce, and often with sherry, mushrooms and other vegetables, chicken à la king can be served over rice, noodles, toasted bread or biscuits.

     

  • Families celebrate spring with simple backyard dining

     Do you remember when picnics used to be the norm? Didn’t our ancestors eat outdoors more often than not? Small towns in the Midwest where I grew up nearly all included a small public park, usually located at the center of town surrounding the courthouse. These centralized parks frequently hosted dances, bands, socials and picnics.

  • Grilling season is here, so it’s time to review the basics

     Grilling season is here, so it’s time to review the basics

    The Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the beginning of the grilling season for many in the country, and no matter where you live, new equipment, new techniques, new cookbooks and new recipes await the seasoned grill master for yet another summer of delectable delights.

  • Onions lend themselves to a variety of cooking methods

     Onions lend themselves to a variety of cooking methods

    Highly versatile, onions are an indispensable commodity throughout the world, lending themselves to a variety of preparations and cooking methods.

    So why do they make you cry?

    When you pierce an onion, you cut its cellular network, releasing a series of sulfur-based compounds that instantly combine and re-combine, causing sulfonic acid to be given off and triggering our tear response when we breathe it in. Now, aren’t you sorry you asked?

  • Super easy ‘dump’ recipes that will satisfy your appetite

     It seems as though everybody is constantly on the move these days, but no matter how hectic your day is, it’s important you enjoy a good, hearty meal at the end of the day.

    Dump recipes are super easy to prepare and are great for that weeknight dinner or late afternoon lunch. They can be enjoyed all year round; however, they’re a great option during the hot summer months when we tend to slack off cooking over the hot stove or grill.

  • Braising turns a tough cut of meat into a fabulous cooked meal

     Many of you have probably used a braising method when cooking meat or vegetables and didn’t even know it.

  • Balsamic vinegar brings out the fresh flavor of herbs and fruits

     Balsamic vinegar has a variety of uses. Have you ever tried drizzling a little on a baked potato instead of using butter or sour cream? How about over steamed vegetables or in place of soy sauce in stir-fried vegetables? Some use it as a substitute for salt with either meat or poultry.

    I think one of the best uses of balsamic vinegar is over fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, with just a little touch of basil. It just seems to bring out the flavor of the basil.

  • Strawberries ready for picking at local produce farms

     Strawberries typically peak during May in our area. Producing good strawberries depends on ideal spring weather conditions. Although our area has been hit hard by cold and rainy weather this spring, berries are ripe for the pickin’ and hopefully the weather will improve enough to extend the season.