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Cooking

  • Shallots are for babies—onions are for men—garlic is for heroes

    "Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French; sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek; soy sauce makes it Chinese; but garlic makes it good," said Alice May Brock (of Alice's Restaurant fame).

    Garlic has been alleged to perform everything from curing countless illnesses to warding off evil spirits and vampires. The Egyptians fed garlic to the slaves who built the pyramids believing it increased their physical strength.

  • Asian food recipes are easy to cook and are extremely healthy

    If you’re looking for some great recipes that will also let you practice healthy cooking, you really can’t go wrong with Asian food recipes. They really aren’t difficult to cook and most of them are extremely healthy.

    There are so many types of Asian food recipes you’ll never get bored with any of them. The ingredients are all basically the same; lots of vegetables, meats and rice. The spices are basically where they differ.

  • Southerners love fried green tomatoes, and fried red tomatoes, too

    Fried green tomatoes are one of my favorite summer foods. If you haven’t tried them, you’re in for a treat.

    Native to Mexico and Central America, it’s not clear how tomatoes came to the United States. Thomas Jefferson grew them in the 1780s and credited one of his neighbors with the introduction, but Harriott Pinckney Horry recorded a recipe, “To Keep Tomatoes for Winter Use” in 1770.

  • Create chicken dishes by using your own tasty sauces

    Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the ultimate fast food for family and guests—quick to prepare and low in fat. But if you’re like me, they can be boring. You throw them in a skillet and then wonder, “Now what?”

    A magazine once published more than 50 ways to prepare chicken. I’ve since decided that figure must be closer to 5,000!

  • Many Southern dishes were created with frugal ingenuity

    Southern food is home cooking, comfort food, Creole, Cajun, Carolina low country, soul food and Tex-Mex. It includes an abundance of fresh vegetables, rice or corn, inexpensive cuts of meat (usually pork or chicken) and fresh seafood.

    Popular Southern dishes include barbeque, country fried steak, catfish, smothered pork chops, black-eyed peas, grits, biscuits and gravy, fried green tomatoes, collard greens, okra and sweet potatoes. And no Southern meal is complete without libations, especially sweet iced tea and mint juleps.

  • Iced tea: A popular year-round southern tradition

    Southerners drink iced tea year-round, and have been drinking iced tea since the 19th century when ice became generally available.

    If you order tea in a restaurant in the South, you’ll get iced tea, probably sweetened, so if you want it hot or unsweetened, you’d better say so!

  • Fresh peaches are now available at local fruit markets

    When selecting fresh peaches, look for ones that are soft to the touch, blemish free and have a fragrant smell. Peaches that are mildly fragrant ripen into sweet and delicious flavors. Choose fruit that has a background color of yellow or cream and has a fresh looking appearance. Peaches may have some red “blush” depending on the variety, but this isn’t a sign of how the fruit will taste after it’s ripened.

  • Spinach is great for salads, soups, pasta sauces and dips

    Spinach may have provided Popeye with superhuman strength, but its real-life potential is far less lofty. In fact, its nutritional reputation is somewhat inflated.

    Spinach contains oxalic acid that inhibits the absorption of its calcium and iron. In addition, it contains other nutrients that are not fully absorbed when it is consumed raw.

    This is not to say spinach is not good for you, but like many health and nutritional claims, the surface hype usually obscures the underlying scientific reality.

  • Control salmonella risk with careful food preparation

    Food poisoning is the common term many people use to refer to foodborne illness. When a source for an outbreak is identified, salmonella is one of the most common types of foodborne illnesses reported. It is responsible for millions of cases of foodborne illnesses each year.

    What is Salmonella?

  • Celebrating the N.C. Blueberry Festival in historic Burgaw

    Pender County is hosting its fifth annual North Carolina Blueberry Festival this weekend on Friday and Saturday, June 20-21, in historic downtown Burgaw.

    Last year’s event attracted an estimated 25,000 people and this year organizers expect to surpass that number.

    Celebrating the home of the first cultivated blueberry in North Carolina, the Blueberry Festival celebrates the historical, economic and cultural significance of blueberries in the southeastern region of the state.

    Currently, Pender County ranks second in blueberry production in North Carolina.