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Cooking

  • Numbers that add up to the perfect snack

    Did you know 2 ounces of popcorn kernels makes about 8 cups of popcorn containing about 240 calories and costs about 30 cents? Naturally low in fat and gluten-free, these numbers add up to the perfect snack to have on hand this time of the year.

    Popcorn is a simple yet satisfying whole grain and makes for a great choice when trying to lose holiday weight. The fiber in popcorn makes you feel fuller longer, which helps curb hunger.

     

    Stovetop popcorn tips

  • Just about anything goes well with bacon

    Bacon seems to be everywhere these days. Over the years, it seems that bacon has gone from being a simple breakfast food that went with eggs and toast (and grits) to showing up all over the place.

    Blended into ice cream, wrapped around hot dogs or pizza, piled on hamburgers and other sandwiches and even deep-fried on a stick at state fairs, it seems like just about any food imaginable can be enhanced by bacon.

  • Homemade recipes from years gone by haven’t lost their appeal

    Since I’ve been writing this food column, the most requested recipes have been ones using ingredients that we have in our pantries or fridge, and the fewer ingredients, the better.

    I have always liked to try different techniques and different types of foods on occasion, but we always come back to our comfort foods in the end. I have many old recipe books from libraries, churches, clubs and even relatives that I haven’t paid a lot of attention to until lately. The recipes below are from books from such organizations dating back to 1924.

  • The popularity of the blender led to today’s food processor

    Most kitchens these days are filled with the latest and greatest countertop appliances, from specialized coffee makers and indoor grills to mixers and food processors! But back in the day, our favorite small appliance was the Waring Blender, made popular by Fred Waring, a well-known entertainer of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

  • Tomatoes are not a main ingredient in a classic Bolognese

    Bolognese sauce, also known as simply ragu, is a meat-based sauce that originated in Bologna, Italy. It is a slowly cooked sauce made with onion, celery and carrots, ground or chopped beef and ground pork. White wine and milk are added, along with a small amount of tomato paste or whole, cooked tomatoes. The dish is then gently simmered for hours to produce a thick, creamy sauce.

  • A pork loin roast and tenderloin are not the same

    Pork loin roasts taste their best when rubbed with a spice mixture and then cooked on a rotisserie, barbecued over indirect heat or baked in the oven. They should not be braised or stewed, as they have a tendency to lose tenderness and will fall apart when cooked using moist heat.

  • A slow cooker just makes life easier

    One of the most essential pieces of equipment in the kitchen is the slow cooker, or CrockPot can add the worst quality (toughest) meat to a slow cooker, and once finished cooking, it will be the tenderest meat you have ever tasted!

    If your slow cooker isn’t already your favorite thing ever for cooking, it’s time for it to become that! Liquids can be decreased in slow cooking. And if your dish contains rice or pasta, one cup of liquid is usually enough. To enhance the taste, try substituting wine for some of the water in your recipes.

  • Tidings of good joy for the holidays

    The holiday season brings family and friends together like no other time of the year. Traditional Christmas dinners will be served along with many delectable appetizers.

  • 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.