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Cooking

  • Herbs and spices are essential to any respectable kitchen

    As a general rule of thumb, herbs come from grassy plants and spices from barks or seeds. Many of us grow and cultivate our own herbs, but few of us grow our own spices.
    Although fresh herbs are increasingly accessible year round in our local supermarkets and farmers markets, they are easily grown in containers on decks or planted in gardens. Nothing compares to the flavor and aroma of an herb snipped moments before use.

  • Serving some non-traditional dishes on Thanksgiving Day

    Even though I’m not really a turkey lover, I do manage to get my fill of the traditional trimmings, such as mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes and more.
    I must admit the taste of deep-fried turkey has caused me to consider eating more than my usual quotient of the bird, rather than mainline the ham, which is usually part of the Thanksgiving spread.

  • Ham goes well with breakfast, lunch or dinner

    As many of you may know, or not know, a ham comes from the rear leg of a hog, and is usually preserved by a combination of salting, smoking or drying. Which leg? It has been said that pigs scratch themselves using there right leg; therefore, the left leg of the pig should be tenderer than the right leg. Right? This is only a guess on my part.

  • Veal is not only healthy but quick and easy to prepare

    The unique, delicate flavor of veal can be easily incorporated into your favorite pasta recipes, including casseroles and even meat loaf. Substitute veal for other meats in your favorite recipes.
    Veal can be sautéed, stir-fried, broiled, stewed and grilled. When using less tender cuts of veal, the meat should first be marinated and then cooked with wet heat at low temperatures for longer periods of time. These methods would include braising, roasting, stewing, steaming, poaching and using a slow cooker.

  • Stuffed green pepper soup can warm up cold days

    It’s a satisfying meal that warms you up on a chilly winter day. Soup can be good for you and, best of all, it’s easy to make. Now that fall is here, soup is the perfect way to warm up after coming in from the cool, evening air.
    Soups are easy to make and can be made in large batches, if you choose, for tasty leftovers. We all know soups taste better the second day around, anyway.

  • Have a ‘ghoulish’ Halloween party with these tasty recipes

    Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of Oct. 31. Most other Western countries have also embraced Halloween as a part of American pop culture.
    Halloween is also called Pooky Night in some parts of Ireland, presumably named after the pookah, a mischievous spirit.
    Many European cultural traditions believe that Halloween is when the spirit world can make contact with the natural world and when magic is most potent.

  • Olive oil is not only healthy, but adds taste and flavor

    Extra virgin olive oil is one of the few oils that we consume that doesn’t go through some type of chemical processing. Fresh- pressed olive oil can be eaten immediately, retaining its natural flavors, vitamins and minerals.
    Like a fine wine, each variety of olive oil must be evaluated through tasting and its acidity measured before bottling.

  • Some of my favorite foods come from the Southern pantry

    Many Southern foods are similar to Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, of which I am quite familiar. That’s not so surprising, though, because the heritage of both of these cultures is deeply rooted in farming. Of course, each region has some of its own unique ingredients and methods.
    The Southern pantry
    Some of my favorite foods, like shellfish, catfish, sweet potatoes, pecans and red beans and rice, are included in the Southern pantry.

  • Casseroles are a good way to use up leftovers

    My definition of a casserole is a combination of foods that are cooked together slowly in an oven in the dish/pot that will be used for serving. As a cooking method, it was derived from the ancient practice of slowly stewing meat in earthenware containers.

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

    Cabbage is one of our oldest vegetables and continues to be a dietary staple and a fairly inexpensive food. It is easy to grow, tolerates the cold and is rich in vitamin C and fiber.
    Just cut up some fresh cabbage, sprinkle it with lemon and enjoy it as a mid-day snack. Or, use it with your favorite tossed salad or pasta dish; or, my favorite, make some fresh cabbage soup.