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Cooking

  • Add a little wine to your holiday meals

    Whether entertaining friends at home or just making a meal for two or three, it’s always important to know which wine to serve with which food. Even if you prefer red wine or maybe a dry white wine, sometimes it’s best to choose a wine with the same characteristics as your entrée.

  • Potatoes are a staple of the American diet

     

    If your cupboards are looking bare but you have a bag of potatoes in the house, here are some delicious options that can make filling dishes and add flair to your meals. While plain cooked potatoes may seem bland, try adding your favorite condiments, toppings and flavorings to get the taste your want.

    Baked potato skins (see recipe below) with chives, bacon and sour cream offer a great introduction to any meal. The addition of cheese, salsa or mushrooms will provide even more flavors to enhance this popular hors d’oeuvre.

  • It’s time to kick baking season into high gear

    Thanksgiving has come and gone, so it’s time to start baking. And remember, Christmas cookies don’t have any calories, so you can bake up as many batches as you want!

    The Christmas holiday season means cookies… lots of cookies! It’s time to start thinking about what cookies to bake for your family, for gifts and for just munching while wrapping all those holiday presents.

  • Most people prefer to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday at home

     

    Of all the holidays, Thanksgiving seems to be the one time of the year we traditionally know what to expect and what we will be eating. It’s the one holiday most of us like to celebrate at home, unlike the Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve, when everyone usually goes out somewhere to celebrate.

  • Caesar is still the king of all salads

    Born in Italy in 1896, Caesar Cardini emigrated to the U.S. after World War I. He lived in San Diego, but operated a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, to circumvent Prohibition. While at this restaurant, Cardini made a salad from scratch using leftover ingredients for a gathering of hungry dignitaries. The salad, made with all its tableside showmanship by waiters, became a sensation.

  • The easiest beef stew you will ever make

    When I make a beef stew, the first step is batch-searing pieces of chunked beef, usually splattering grease all over my stovetop. It’s messy, but a necessary step when making stew — always brown the meat!

  • Southern-style food is synonymous with comfort food

    When I think of Southern-style cooking, I imagine poultry like chicken and pork cooked “low and slow” in the kitchen from early morning until time to eat later in the afternoon or evening. Greens thrown in a pot and cooked slowly until almost a “mushy” consistency, but unbelievably flavorful and delicious.

    Creating great Southern food incorporates many ways of cooking, such as grilling and barbecuing outside for family and friends and utilizing all of the fresh seasonal produce from the garden or famers market.

  • Halloween isn’t just for the kids

    When looking at the calendar last week, I noticed that it’s time once again for my annual Halloween column. It’s clearly the perfect time to serve up your best party food creations.

    Decorating for Halloween parties is half the fun of throwing them. The dining room table is the perfect place for a classic Halloween centerpiece. Use a jack-o’-lantern with dry ice fog to impress kids of all ages.

  • Seafood festivals abound in eastern North Carolina this time of year

    We really live in a special place! In addition to our warm, sunny weather and sandy beaches, eastern North Carolina provides an abundance of seafood festivals to take advantage of in early October every year.

    On Oct. 6-8, the North Carolina Seafood Festival took place in the town of Morehead City. The festival is held the first weekend in October every year to help promote the positive social and economic impact of the seafood industry in North Carolina during the non-summer months.

  • Nothing can spoil a great tailgating party

    Touchdowns … fight songs ... cheerleaders ... food. What’s a football game without a tailgate party? From burgers to hot dogs and baked beans to potato salad, no pre-game is complete until the hunger is tackled. Tailgating is as American as apple pie or political scandals.

    If you can’t make it to the big game, throw a bash at your home.