• 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

  • Cold temperatures outside call for warm, hearty chili inside


    Find winter’s warmth in a big bowl of easy-to-prepare chili. This quick and easy recipe is a hearty meal that we have enjoyed at our home for many years. It tastes like it’s been cooking on the stove for hours, but can be eaten in about 30 minutes.

    I must confess this recipe is strictly my wife’s, and since she has been making it for us for a long time, I asked her if she would share it with our readers. Not a problem— until I asked her for the recipe!

  • Fennel is a classic flavoring for fish, soups and vegetables

    A member of the dill family, fennel has a sweet anise flavor, which is due to a chemical known as anethole, which is 13 times sweeter than sugar. This compound is also found in star anise. Its flavor is strongest when eaten raw and declines slightly as it is cooked. Both the feathery leaves, which resemble dill, and its seeds, are commonly used.

  • For entertaining friends and relatives, try these holiday appetizers


    Are you planning to go out on New Year’s or stay home with many of your friends and relatives? We used to go out a lot, but lately we’re just comfortable staying put and maybe having a few friends stop by during the day to enjoy the new year.

    If you’re going to be staying at home and are expecting guests to pop in, why not have some scrumptious holiday appetizers for everyone to munch on while downing a favorite beverage of choice? These are not only good on holidays, but just about any other time of the year.


  • Christmas dinner traditions are celebrated throughout the world

     We all look forward to that customary Christmas dinner of roast turkey (or ham) garnished with chestnuts, vegetables and cranberry sauce. Afterwards, all those homemade cookies and other delectable sweets await.

    Most every country has its own Christmas dinner traditions, but the food served differs from country to country.