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Cooking

  • Hasselback potatoes: an elegant alternative to a baked potato

    This Swedish dish takes its name from Hasselbacken, the Stockholm restaurant where it was first served.

    These thinly sliced, seasoned potatoes, called “accordion potatoes” by most other European eateries, is an elegant alternative to the everyday baked, fried or mashed potato.

    When properly made, the potato will open just like an accordion, into a fan shape. The outside will be crispy and the inside will remain soft and tender.

  • With just a few basic techniques, you can cook seafood like a pro

    Cooking seafood is really rather simple once you know the basic cooking techniques and a couple of tips to ensure success.

    When cooking fresh or even frozen fish, the standard rule of seafood cookery is 10 minutes cooking time per each inch of thickness. This will vary, though, depending on the density of the flesh or whether it’s being stuffed or cooked from frozen. You can tell when it’s done when the flesh becomes opaque all the way through and flakes easily with a fork.

  • Chicken thighs are juicy, tender and can be cooked in a variety of recipes

    I am still amazed I knew almost nothing about chicken thighs until I moved here about 10 years ago.

    We ate a lot of chicken breasts and whole chickens, but always thought the thighs didn’t have much meat on them. Boy, was I surprised. Now I can’t get enough of them. I can’t even seem to over-cook them. They always come out juicy and tender.

  • After bird day, it might be time to think about Christmas cookies

    Goodbye, turkey. Hello, Christmas cookies. The bird may reign at Thanksgiving, but cookies will be king for the next few weeks, when almost every gathering and party will feature holiday sweets.

    A great idea after baking all those holiday treats is to have a Christmas cookie exchange with friends and family. We do it every year and end up with many cookies, cakes and other “sweeties” that we would not usually indulge in.

  • Sauerbraten is a perfect dish for large gatherings during the holidays

    Sauerbraten is a favorite of mine to be served around the holidays. It’s not just a dish you can make for just two, three or four people. Since I start out with a 4-5 pound beef roast, it is more conducive to a larger gathering around the holiday season.

    The meat is marinated for two to three days in vinegar and wine, onions, carrots and celery, along with various spices, such as cloves, juniper berries, allspice and peppercorns.

  • Enjoy classic Christmas holiday drinks with your family and friends

    Over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, it’s a time for family and friends, which means a lot of eating and drinking. Make your holiday gathering special by including some classic Christmas tried-and-true holiday drinks.

    If you’re throwing one of these parties, it’s essential to serve a combination of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for a successful get together. You want everyone, drinkers and non-drinkers, to have a variety of drink options in having a fun night.

  • 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?