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Cooking

  • Halushki is ‘coal food’ to immigrants from western Pennsylvania

        My aunt and uncle were from Beaver Falls in western Pennsylvania, which is about 20 miles from Pittsburgh. We always enjoyed going there, especially when Aunt Jeanne was going to have some “halushki.”

  • Corned beef and cabbage is good any time of the year

     My grandmother on my father’s side was from the Irish Kirkbride clan. I had many aunts, uncles and cousins from this side of the family. With this background, I remember eating many traditional Irish dishes, especially corned beef and cabbage, which we always had on St. Patrick’s Day. But we liked it so much that we would have quite often throughout the year.

  • Kofta kabobs served with tzatziki sauce is a truly unique dish

     The distinctive flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine come alive in one of the more common Persian dishes, called kofta kebabs. Essentially, it’s an elongated meatball grilled on a skewer. What makes this dish truly unique is the amazing blend of herbs and spices, including ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice and fresh parsley and mint. You want to savor each bite.

    Kofta kebabs go well with rice, a salad or just serve them in a pita served with tzatziki sauce for an awesome pita pocket!

  • Look for good, bright color when selecting salad greens

     Salads are easy to prepare and you can mix and match different type of greens with raw or grilled veggies, cheeses, nuts and fruits. Most any combination of these will work, so just pick a few of your favorite flavor combinations and “start mixing.”

     

    Types of salads

    There are four main types of salads: appetizer, accompaniment, main dish and dessert.

  • A creamy mustard sauce turned a simple veal stew into stroganoff

     Have you ever just started out to make a simple dish for dinner and all of a sudden it turns into a fantastic entrée?

    I’m sure this happens all the time to most of us, right? Seriously though, I did start out to create a simple veal stew and somewhere along the way ended up with a modified version of veal stroganoff. Most veal stew consists of braised veal combined with potatoes, carrots, onions, etc., stewed in a large pot with some stock over low heat for a couple of hours.

  • Don’t cook your pasta before baking: Hydrate it first

     How often have we looked at recipes for a baked pasta dish that instructed us to boil the noodles until cooked halfway before baking them? This technique allows the pasta to finish cooking in the oven as it bathes in the sauce.

  • Use of spices and bread crumbs make for a ‘devilish’ dish

     According to Webster’s dictionary, deviling is just “preparing food with hot seasoning.” The term is apparently linked to Hell’s temperature. Deviling is more liberally applied to recipes that are coated in mustards and hot sauces and crumbs and then baked, grilled or eaten as is. The effect can then be doubled by serving a deviled sauce alongside!

  • Colder weather calls for comfort foods, not extravagant creations

     Many of our comfort foods once considered “ethnic” have actually become mainstream and are now accepted as American fare. Some of my favorite ethnic comfort foods are lox and bagels, matzah ball soup, Polish dill pickle soup and Hungarian beef goulash.

    Comfort food is typically inexpensive, uncomplicated and easy to prepare.

    Many people turn to comfort food for familiarity, emotional security or as a special reward. Most of us adults eat comfort food for a sense of continuity.

  • Few foods are as prevalent in our culture as the apple

     

    At one time or another, we’ve all used the phrase, “She/he is the apple of our eye.” When exalting the health benefits of the apple, we say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” When wanting to ingratiate ourself with a teacher, we give her the gift of an apple.

  • When thinking Italian cuisine, it’s more than just pasta

     One of my favorite ethnic foods, if not the favorite, is Italian. We had many family-owned Italian restaurants to choose from back in Akron, Ohio.

    You could go to any of those Italian restaurants and choose from chicken Parmesan, pasta Alfredo, spaghetti and meatballs, or maybe even a pizza. It was easy to think some type of pasta, a good marinara sauce, a piece of crusty Italian bread and a glass of red wine was the beginning and the end of Italian cuisine.

     

    Italian cuisine is regional