• Enjoy these hot summer days while keeping cool in the kitchen

     When it’s hot outside and you’re entertaining guests, or just hanging around with your better half, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven and spend more time in a roasting kitchen than you have to.

    While your outside grill is occupied with the main course, you can have some make-ahead appetizers ready to go. Just pull these special dishes out of the fridge and serve cold or warmed slightly. And don’t forget to have plenty of cool beverages on hand during these hot, summer days of August.


  • Beef Wellington is a simple, elegant dish perfect for a dinner party

     Named after Arthur Wellesley, the first the Duke of Wellington, this dish became an entertaining extravaganza back in the 1960s.

    Beef Wellington is an English preparation of filet of beef tenderloin assembled with liver pate and duxelles, a finely chopped mixture of mushrooms and onions sautéed in butter and reduced to a paste, and then encased in a puff pastry, making the outside buttery and crispy. This dish should always be served with the center slightly pink.

  • Bringing back memories of classic Steak Diane served at tableside


  • What cut of beef do I buy for London broil?

     First of all, London broil is a cooking method, not a cut of beef, but many grocery store meat departments and butcher shops sell a cut of beef labeled “London broil.” What cut of beef is it? It is usually either top round roast or top round steak

    No one knows where the “London” comes from in the name, since this is a decidedly American dish, but it has become such a popular cooking method that many butchers simply use the term “London broil” since the method has become nearly synonymous with that cut of meat.


  • Local farmers markets have an abundance of fruits and veggies

     Fruits and vegetables are now at the peak of their season, so all you have to do is just clean them, peel or cut them and just toss them into a salad bowl and enjoy their raw, fresh taste.

    Local farmers markets like Indigo Farms Produce and Holden Bros. Farm Market have an abundance of lettuces, squash, berries, corn, cucumbers, peppers, peas, fruits, melons, and, of course, tomatoes. Take home everything that looks good, but don’t worry about how you’re going to use it all; you only need a salad bowl and an appetite.


  • The drought is over…‘Cleveland rocks! Cleveland rocks!’

     As a long-time Cleveland sports fan and native Clevelander, Drew Cary used to belt out “Cleveland rocks! Cleveland rocks!” during the many commercials for sports events featuring the Cavs, Indians and Browns.

    With the Cavs recent NBA championship run, the 52-year drought of no championships has finally ended. Maybe the Indians will follow up this season. The Browns?

  • Baseball, apple pie and barbecue!

     What could be more American on the Fourth of July? This year, millions of households will be firing up the grill or smoker to celebrate the birth of the United States of America. It’s time for the Great American Cookout!

  • Use spinach for salads, soups, pasta sauces and dips

     When I was kid growing up, I remember the commercials for spinach featuring “Popeye the Sailor Man” with his pronounced muscles attributed to his eating of spinach. Spinach may have provided Popeye with superhuman strength, but its real life potential is far less lofty. In fact, its nutritional reputation is somewhat inflated.

  • N.C. Blueberry Festival this weekend in historic Burgaw

     Pender County is hosting its 13th annual North Carolina Blueberry Festival this weekend Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18, in historic downtown Burgaw.

    Attracting more than 30,000 people annually on the third Saturday in June, the festival provides an opportunity for people to enjoy a full day of family entertainment, while experiencing the southern hospitality of a small town. More than 20 events ranging from entertainment to a car show, a street fair, recipe contest, barbecue cook-off, a 5K run and special exhibits are staged by more than 100 volunteers.

  • Daikon radishes will win you over once you’ve tried them

     My wife and I enjoy making our weekly jaunt to the local farmers market for lettuce, tomatoes or whatever. Each time we go, I notice these really large, overgrown white radishes, called Daikon radishes. They are one of the largest radishes, ranging from six to 15 inches in length, and two to three inches in diameter. A bunch of three are less than $1.50, so it seems like a great deal. But now what would I do with them?