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Cooking

  • 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.

  • You don’t always have to drink coffee to enjoy its many benefits

    Almost every morning, millions of Americans reach for that cup of “Joe” to help wake up. At our house, it sometimes takes two pots to be able to speak or think clearly.
    Not only is coffee the beverage of choice for most Americans to help jump start their days, but when consumed in moderation, coffee also has many health benefits.
    It’s not just for drinking anymore. With its strong, earthy, slightly bitter flavor, coffee can help to create complex flavors and add those flavors to many different dishes.

  • Making ice cream at home is becoming more popular than ever

    Ice cream is made by mixing cream, sugar and flavorings (like chocolate or strawberry) and then carefully lowering the mixture’s temperature until it sets. Using salt to help control the temperature of the ingredients, along with the invention of the home ice cream freezer, was a major breakthrough in creating ice cream as we now know it.

  • Cooking pasta is as easy as boiling water, but requires care

    Few of us have the time to make fresh pasta at home, except maybe for a special occasion. Most of the time, it’s just commercially prepared dry pasta out of a box. But when properly cooked, good quality commercially prepared pasta can taste just as good as making it at home.
    Cooking pasta is as easy as boiling water, but it does require a little care. Use about a quart of water per quarter pound of pasta, or six quarts per pound. The pasta will be become slightly gummy if you don’t use enough water.

  • Providing a little background on my unique slant on cooking

    I was born and raised in Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Growing up in northeastern Ohio, I soon learned there was only one sport played in that area—football. From the sandlots, to Pee-Wee League, to Junior League, to high school, to college, to pro football…football was and still is king.
    My wife, Karen, and I were married in May 1966 and we (she) raised two football players (what else?), Sean and Aaron, and called Akron, Ohio, our home until retiring to southeastern coastal North Carolina in 2001.

  • Preparing Steak Diane at home for a classic show-stopping dish

    Steak Diane was popular back in the ’50s and ’60s at most of the fancy restaurants, but this fabulous dish can easily be made at home.
    I prefer using strip steaks pounded down to about one-half inch thick, if needed. If you prefer, tenderloin also works well.

  • Eye of round roast is the easiest roast you’ll ever cook

    This week, I thought I would post some of my favorite recipes and one that seems to be a favorite, or at least the most requested, by readers.
    Even though it’s a relatively easy recipe with few ingredients (only one, if you don’t count salt and pepper), the baking temperature and time still seem to be a puzzlement. We’re talking about cooking a beef eye of round in the oven.