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Cooking

  • 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.

    Baked Parmesan Artichoke Baguettes

  • Tomato-picking at the local farmers market can be a family event

    Last weekend, my wife and I decided to go to the local farmers market and pick some tomatoes. I had never done this before, so I didn’t really know what to expect.

    Once there, we grabbed some boxes and hopped on the hay wagon. There were five or six others onboard with us for the tomato-picking experience.

  • With zucchini almost gone, it's time to look for some winter squash

    Once our weather begins to cool off, it’s time to look for some winter squash. If you’ve been frequenting our local farmer’s markets and farm markets, it’s hard to miss them in the produce section this time of year. Spaghetti and butternut squash are bright yellow or orange; some are small and some are really big, like the Hubbard squash, which comes in blue and orange!

  • Old-fashioned molasses a good source of iron for your body

    One day last week when I was looking for some rice vinegar and sesame oil on the turn-table in my corner kitchen pantry, I came across a bottle of molasses I had bought a couple years earlier for a recipe I no longer even remember. This got me to thinking maybe I should read up a little on molasses and find some good recipes that use it.

    Table-grade molasses contains about 60 percent sugar, is economical and can be used on cereal, baked apples, stewed fruit, peanut butter, baked ham and even bread and butter.

    What is molasses?

  • It's time to enjoy oysters, shrimp, crab and clams at local festivals

    October is one of my favorite times of the year, as oysters, shrimp, crab and clams are featured at the many seafood festivals in our area. Shrimp, because they are so rich in food value, are the most popular of seafood products. But you can’t beat the oyster stew and clam chowder that is prevalent this time of the year.

  • Thanksgiving is the one holiday most people celebrate at home

    The Thanksgiving holiday is all about traditions. Most American families usually have their own tradition when celebrating Thanksgiving, from preparing the turkey and/or ham, to attending the holiday parades, to watching the many football games on TV, or to just lounging around with many friends who have gathered for the holiday event.

  • Celery is excellent as a vegetable, side dish or used in stuffing

    I have been writing this food column for almost four and a half years now, and recently a friend of mine asked me how I came up with all my ideas to write about each week. I told him I had this long checklist made up of possible food articles and I just checked them off week after week. I probably had enough for 10 years! “Really?” he said.

  • Green pepper soup tastes like stuffed peppers without all the work

    It’s a satisfying meal that warms you up on a chilly winter day. Soup can be good for you and, best of all, it’s easy to make. Now that fall is here, soup is the perfect way to “warm up” after coming in from the cool, evening air.

    Whether you choose soup or chili, these fall comfort foods can include whatever ingredients you like. They are easy to make and can be made in large batches, if you choose, for tasty leftovers. We all know that soups taste better the second day, anyway.

  • Sweet potatoes combine easily with other herbs and vegetables

    Research shows the sweet potato is an excellent energy food containing Vitamins A, B and C and other minerals. Since Vitamin A is associated with yellow coloring, the varieties deeper in color contain more of this vitamin than the whiter ones. The sweet potato is mild in flavor and combines nicely with many other foods.

  • Rice perfectly absorbs the flavor of any dish it's cooked in

    Rice is the most commonly used of all the grain products of the world. It is grown in many countries, but the United States has developed some of the finest types and varieties of rice, which have met with high favor at home and abroad.

    American rice, in fact, commands a premium in foreign markets. In this country, rice is produced chiefly in the states of Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and California. Arkansas is the largest rice producing state, with California right behind.

    Cooking rice is easy