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Cooking

  • Spring onions add flavor and flair to your favorite dish

    Spring onions are genetically identical to the common onion, but they look and taste differently because they are planted very close together and harvested prematurely to give a milder flavor than a common onion.
    Though spring and green onions are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between them. Spring onions have larger leaves and are harvested after a small bulb has formed. Green onions are harvested before any bulb has formed.

  • Bananas are actually a large herb, not really a fruit

    The banana tree is not a really a tree, nor is what we call a banana actually a fruit. The “tree” is actually a large herb and the banana is seedless and thus, botanically speaking, not a fruit. Each banana tree produces one and only one bunch of 100-400 bananas during its lifecycle.

  • Tips for grilling hamburgers for maximum flavor and juiciness

    The oldest hamburger chain is White Castle, founded by a short-order cook and an insurance executive in 1921 in Wichita, Kan. It served steam-fried hamburgers cooked on a bed of chopped onions for a nickel.
    The “Big Mac” was introduced in 1968. It was more expensive than a regular hamburger. Its price was 49 cents.
    Even with all the fast-food chains serving hamburgers today, most of us still prefer grilling our own burgers. The fresh grilled taste just can’t be beat. When making a hamburger, the goal is to maximize flavor and juiciness.

  • Versatile, dry onion soup mix is more than just an onion dip

    Mixing sour cream with one of those dry onion soup mix envelopes was a staple at parties at our house for years. It was a cheap and easy way to make a pretty darn good dip. And, with a bag of nacho chips and a bottle of wine, the dip would make the occasion festive.
    Then one day, I read the label on the onion soup mix envelope. The company suggested mixing its onion soup with ground beef for an onion meatloaf. It really added some zest to it. I decided to ask some friends what they used it in.

  • Onions, carrots and celery deliver a ‘trinity’ of flavor

    The simple trinity of ordinary vegetables, commonly called mirepoix, forms the foundation of a myriad of dishes. You’ve probably made it a thousand times without even knowing it. It’s one of the essentials of classical French cooking, but equally important in all cooking.

  • Soup offers a filling, warming break from traditional meals

    There is nothing wrong with serving soup as a main dish, as it can be less time-consuming than planning a large meal.
    Delicious and filling soups can be prepared in a relatively short amount of time, left to simmer throughout the day. Many can be made in just a few hours or less.
    You may also want to offer a variety of appetizers with your soup. Use simple appetizers, including a light dip with crackers (save the bread for the soup) and fresh-cut vegetables and fruit for sweetness and crunchiness.
    Bread is your best friend

  • With warmer weather, it’s time to fire up the grill

    Gas grills are still the most popular type for grilling, but today’s units are multi-tasking appliances. In addition to the burners, many now include infrared searing “zones,” charcoal pans to convert to charcoal grilling and built-in smoker boxes with dedicated burners for smoke cooking.
    Charcoal grills are still quite popular because of the “true” charcoal flavor obtained when grilling. Today’s electric grills seem to burn hotter than their predecessors, now reaching temperatures high enough to actually sear a steak.

  • Throughout Greece, stuffed grape leaves are a culinary classic

    Stuffed grape leaves are a common Greek dish, usually served as an appetizer before a main course.
    Also called dolmathes (dol-MAH-thes), they are filled largely with minced lamb, a bit of rice and touches of crushed mint, fennel or parsley leaves, dill, garlic, pine nuts or currants.
    They are served hot, sometimes with a chicken broth and lemon-based sauce called avgolemono, or cold with just a touch of olive oil.

  • Celebrate Easter this year with a variety of traditional recipes

    Easter was originally called Pascha after the Hebrew word for Passover, a Jewish festival that happens at this time of year.
    The date for Easter is determined by the lunar calendar. For most of us, the first Easter food to come to mind is probably colored hard-boiled eggs.
    It seems the practice of hiding eggs, and the Easter Bunny, came from the Germans. Popularized by a German children’s book published in the 1600s, a bunny laid colored eggs in the garden for children to find.

  • If not from Binghamton, you probably never heard of spiedies

    I was first introduced to spiedies years ago while visiting with my wife’s brother in Binghamton, N.Y.
    Spiedies are cubes of meat, typically lamb, but they can also be beef, pork, chicken or venison cubes, or a mix of them, marinated for many hours, often overnight, in a mixture of oil and vinegar with lots of garlic and green herbs and served on a type of hoagie bun.