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Cooking

  • 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?

  • 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.