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Cooking

  • Preparing meals for two can make cooking fun again

     When my wife and I go out to a restaurant, the dinner always seems special. A table for two, whether you’re a couple or just a couple of old friends, always seems like a special occasion. Unfortunately, when that table for two is at home, the occasion isn’t regarded with the same kind of reverence.

  • Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian, but garlic makes it good

     Garlic has always been recognized for its smell, flavor and medicinal properties. Although it is actually a vegetable, most people, including me, regard garlic as an herb, and powdered garlic is usually found on the spice rack at grocery stores.

    Available peeled, chopped, minced, creamed, preserved in oil or powdered, fresh garlic still remains unsurpassed in its taste. Elephant garlic is really not true garlic, but a relative of the leek. It has a very mild flavor and characteristically has larger heads.

     

  • March is National Peanut Butter Month, so let’s celebrate!

     Roasted in their shell for a ballpark snack, peanuts have found their way into almost everything we eat, from breakfast to lunch to snacks to entries to deserts!

    This month celebrates one of America’s favorite foods — peanuts. National Peanut Month began in 1941 as National Peanut Week, and was later expanded into a month-long celebration in 1974.

  • Saltimbocca is a classic Italian dish easily made at home

     

     

    Traditionally made with veal in combination with prosciutto and fresh sage leaves, Saltimbocca is a dish that you just want to keep eating because it tastes so good.

  • Bleu cheeses are strong flavored and have a unique ‘tang’

     The characteristic blue-green veining of bleu cheese (blue cheese), made from cow, sheep or goat’s milk, is easily identifiable.

    Like a cold, iced martini, people either love it or hate it!

  • Chicken thighs are surprisingly juicy and flavorful

    For a long time, the only parts of a chicken that held my interest were the legs, wings and breasts — I was never much of a thigh guy. Lately, though, I decided to embrace them and have begun looking around for different ways to cook them.

    Surprisingly, they have the best flavor and tend to stay juicy even if you overcook them. Full of flavorful dark meat, they are much cheaper than those top-dollar skinless chicken breasts.

  • ‘Laissez les bons temps rouler’ – Mardi Gras season is here!

    Mardi Gras means fat Tuesday, the culmination of the season between Christmas and Lent. Fat Tuesday falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

    That catchy Cajun French phrase that we all know or have heard at this time of the year literally translated means, “Let the good times roll!

  • A simple trinity of vegetables will deliver a foundation of flavor

    If you’ve spent time over the years watching the myriad of food and cooking shows on television as I have, you’ve undoubtedly heard chefs refer to the “holy trinity.” In this case, they are referring to the simple trinity of ordinary vegetables known as mirepoix.

  • Liven up boring lettuce salads with these tasty alternatives

    Salads have always been a part of our meals, especially at dinner. When you think of the word salad, an image of leafy greens probably comes to mind, but salad is just a general term that can refer to just about any dish that is dressed or tossed together.

    Alternative salads

    Tuna salad, potato salad, pasta salad, chicken salad, fruit salad and veggie salads are all easy to make. As salads are often dishes brought to potlucks or picnics, they make for great travel-friendly side items.

  • Homemade stir-fry will satisfy your take-out cravings

    Stir-frying is one of the best techniques to produce dishes with vivid colors, vibrant flavors, and varied textures. It combines vegetables and protein in a single dish, it’s relatively healthy, and it requires no accompaniment other than rice or noodles.
    In addition, it’s a great way to use up produce that has been in the fridge for a couple days and that hunk of steak or pork that you cooked a few days ago that you haven’t gotten around to eating yet.