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Cooking

  • Empanadas, as an appetizer or main course, are flavorful and filling

    If you’ve never tried an empanada, you’re in for a real treat. Similar to Cornish pasties, Italian calzone, Polish pierogies and turnovers, these Latin American pastries have become extremely popular.

  • Not quite sure what cut of beef to buy or how to prepare it?

    How many of you have gone to the grocery store or butcher shop and picked up a London broil to bring home to cook? Ever wonder what cut of beef is it? I doubt if you’ll find it on a beef chart that shows the various cuts of beef from a steer.

  • Cabbage can be steamed, boiled, braised, stuffed or stir-fried

    While many of us will be having corned beef and cabbage this week in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, myself included, I was thinking about the first time I can remember the aroma of cabbage cooking in the kitchen.

  • Enhance those spring salads with toppings of meat or beans

    If there’s one food that really captures the essence of spring, it’s salad.

    A salad is the perfect way to use up leftover grilled chicken or steak. You can also use different types of lunchmeat, such as corned beef, ham, turkey and tuna on your salad. I even like to add various types of beans on mine. Try making your next salad with a sprinkling of kidney beans, garbanzos or black beans for a great tasting and satisfying topper.

  • No-bake desserts require little time and minimal ingredients

    When you think of no-bake desserts, what usually comes to mind are pies, cakes and cookies that are made with ingredients that don’t require any baking.

    There are many other desserts that don’t need baking, such as ice cream, certain types of cookies and desserts made with fruits and/or cake. But the traditional no-bake types don’t use many ingredients and most require freezing or refrigeration.

  • My first taste of cheesy grits was served with red-eye gravy

    Before ever tasting shrimp and grits, I must admit I was more than a little bit apprehensive about it. Grits were something you only ate at breakfast with your eggs and ham or bacon, or so I thought.

    I love shrimp, whether it’s boiled, fried, sautéed, baked or grilled. But combining it with grits? “No way,” I said. Boy, was I wrong.

  • Today's popular casseroles could be referred to as 'comfort foods'

    How did casseroles get to be so popular? Although it seems they’ve been around forever, casseroles didn’t really attract attention until condensed, canned soups came on the market in the ’50s. The casserole was an American staple during the Depression, when families needed cheap, filling meals to put on the table.

    Do we only make casseroles because they are convenient? Is there really any reason to make a casserole?

  • Brie soup is enhanced with the delicate flavors of leeks and celery

    My introduction to cheese while growing up was limited to sliced American cheese, packaged cream cheese and that little jar of pimento cheese spread that everybody had. It wasn’t until I was much older that I was introduced to the world of “real” cheeses like Gouda, Edam, Swiss, mozzarella, Roquefort, Camembert and Brie.

    Brie cheese is not usually associated with the soup pot, probably due to its appearance and the fact it might not be, to some, the proper use of such a celebrated cheese.

  • The Cobb salad is a truly American main dish salad

    The Cobb salad is one of the earliest main dish salads to appear on restaurant menus and continues to be one of the most popular. Its origin is credited to Bob Cobb, owner of The Brown Derby, the famous eatery in Hollywood, Ca., in the early ’30s and ’40s.

  • Corned beef and cabbage makes a good meal 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 we ate it quite often throughout the year.