Green Glossary

Confused about the terms that are cropping up in the produce section of your local supermarket or when you wander around a farmer’s market?  I sure have been – sustainable, local, and organic.  What is the difference?  I found this simple explanation in the April 2009 issue of Better Homes & Gardens.   Sustainable – […]

Chicken Stock

Yield:  2 quarts   INGREDIENTS   2 tablespoons olive oil 2 large carrots, cut into chunks 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks 1 medium onion, halved 1 garlic bulb, halved Reserved chicken bones 2 quarts cold water 4 sprigs of fresh parsley 2 bay leaves   PREPARATION   Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to stockpot […]

Panda’s On Parade

Aren’t these cute?  Amazing what you can do with a couple of cupcakes.  My daughter and I made these last night using two types of cupcakes and the directions from a wonderful book entitled Hello Cupcake by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.  It has step by step instructions on how to make some awesome cupcakes.  […]

Educational Benefits of Baking with Your Kids

When you allow your little ones to help you in the kitchen, along with having a great time, children receive lots of extra educational benefits in spending time baking with you.  Consider these:   1.   Math – baking offers children an opportunity to sharpen their math skills.  Whether your child is helping you measure out […]

Cookie Chemistry

  Ever wonder what part fats, sugars and other ingredients play in creating the perfect cookie?  Consider:    Fats The fats used in cookies can include butter, shortening or margarine.  Since butter melts the minute it hits a hot oven, cookies made with butter will spread more than those made with margarine or shortening.  Taste […]

Apple Chart

Apple Name Season Color Flavor/Texture Eating Baking Baldwin Oct-Jan Red/Yellowish Mellow Fair Fair Cortland Oct-Jan Green/Purple Mild, Tender Excellent Excellent Delicious, Red Sept-June Scarlet Sweet, Crunchy Excellent Good Delicious, Golden Sept-May Yellow Sweet, Semi-Firm Excellent Excellent Empire Sept-Nov Red Sweet, Crisp Excellent Good   Fuji Oct-June Red Sweet, Crisp, Juicy Good Not Recommended Gala      […]

Comforting Travels…..Waynesville, North Carolina

On your way to Asheville, North Carolina from Atlanta, you’ll come across the small town of Waynesville, North Carolina.  Snuggled in the Smoky Mountains, Waynesville lies within a few miles of some of Western Carolinas favorite tourist spots like Maggie Valley and Cherokee.  In response to the active tourist population, Waynesville has developed a wonderful […]

Toasting Nuts

One thing that I believe is overlooked in many recipes is toasting nuts before you include them in your recipes.  This is especially true in baking.  Lightly toasting nuts, prior to adding  them into your recipe allows for the oils in nuts to be released.  By doing this, it produces a nuttier tasting nut and […]

Eggs-in-a-Poke

Yield: 4 servings INGREDIENTS 4 slices of country bread 4 eggs 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste PREPARATION Melt 4 tablespoons of butter into a large skillet.  Cut a hole in the center of each slice of bread, approximately 1 ½ – 2 inches in diameter (use a round cookie […]

Raspberry Banana Yogurt Freezer Pops

Raspberry-Banana Yogurt Freezer Pops Yield:  10 Pops INGREDIENTS 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt 1 banana 3 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, blueberries or strawberries (halved) ½ cup honey PREPARATION In a blender process 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt and 1 banana for 30 seconds or until smooth.  Bring 3 cups of fresh fruit and honey […]

Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Honey Drizzle

I have made this recipe a number of times and it always turns out great.  Soaking the chicken overnight in buttermilk is the key.  The chicken fries up tender and moist and the overnight soak gives the chicken time to absorb all the great spice flavors. Yield:  Serves 4-6 INGREDIENTS 1 quart buttermilk, plus 2 […]

Ten Tips For Great Food Photography

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Since beginning my food blog, I have picked up some tips on how best to photograph food.  Currently, I use a Canon Power Shot S5 IS and it does a credible job in photographing the foods that I prepare to showcase on the blog.  My daughter, 11 year old […]

6 Layer Cookie Bars

Yield:  24-36 bars   INGREDIENTS 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs ½ cup (1 stick) butter 1 – 14 ounce can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut 1 cup chopped nuts PREPARATION Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 325 degrees F for glass baking pan […]

Chidren’s Snacks – 20 Tips to Healthier Snacking

We all need to be more cognizant of our snacking habits and particularly those of our children. In June, 2007 the Mayo Clinic published these helpful tips on children’s snacking. Take a look….. 1. Give you kids a say. Offer comparable choices, such as regular or frozen yogurt, celery or carrots, whole-grain toast or whole-grain […]

French Toast

Yield: 4 Servings INGREDIENTS 1 cup half-and-half 3 large eggs 2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds ¼ teaspoon salt 8 (1/2-inch) slices of day old or stale country loaf bread or brioche 4 tablespoons butter PREPARATION In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey and salt. This can […]

Twenty-Five Great Ways To Use Meyer Lemons

An article appeared in the Los Angeles Times by Amy Scattergood that listed 100 ways to use Meyer lemons. Here are my favorite 25 from Amy’s list that will give you some ideas on how to incorporate Meyer lemons into your cooking and more. Make Meyer lemonade Make Meyer lemon-cardamon ice cream Assemble sandwiches of […]

Chiffonade – (shiff-oh-NAHD)

The French translation of chiffonade literally means “made of rags”. Although the name chiffonade conjures up thoughts of a fancy French dessert like a chiffon cake or something, in the culinary world, chiffonade is simply a term for slicing herbs into very thin strips. This technique is particularly useful in introducing basil into any number […]

Rosemary Infused Oil

I found this recipe in Lora Brady’s Slow Cooker Cooking cookbook and it’s a great way to use the rosemary or basil that you have growing in your garden this summer. You can use it to flavor pasta, vegetables or great for dipping with good Italian bread. Yield: 1 cup INGREDIENTS 1 cup mild olive […]

Fresh Herbs – Parsley

Flat Leaf or Italian Variety Parsley is a fresh-flavored herb with a slightly peppery taste. It is commonly used as a flavoring or garnish. There are a number of varieties of this herb, but the most common varieties are curly-leaf and the more strongly flavored Italian or flat-leaf parsley. Both varieties can be found in […]

Fresh Herbs – Rosemary

Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean where it grows wild, but it is now cultivated throughout Europe and the United States. Rosemary is a member of the mint family with silver green, needle-shaped leaves. It is highly aromatic, with flavor that hints of lemon and pine. Rosemary can be used to season a variety of […]

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Fresh Herbs – Chives

Chives belong to the same family as onions, leeks and garlic. They grow in clumps from an underground bulb. Chive leaves are round and hollow and produce large round purple or pink flower heads in June or July. Chives have a mild onion flavor, similar to a green onion. Growing chives is easy. They thrive […]

Cheesey Burger Mac

Serves 4 INGREDIENTS 1 box Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ½ lb ground beef ½ sweet yellow onion – finely chopped 1 clove garlic – finely chopped ½ green or red bell pepper – finely chopped 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese PREPARATION In large skillet, add ground beef, onion, garlic and peppers. Saute’ on medium heat […]

Cooking Resources for Kids

I haven’t met a child yet that doesn’t get excited about helping in the kitchen. From an early age, children can begin to assist you in the kitchen, with age appropriate tasks. Cooking with your children can benefit them in so many ways. They can learn valuable lessons about nutrition, measuring, following instructions and how […]

Fresh Herbs – Mint

There are over 30 varieties of mint with the two most popular being peppermint and spearmint. Peppermint has bright green leaves, purple-tinged stems, a peppery taste and a more pungent aroma than spearmint. In contrast, spearmint leaves are gray-green or true green and have a milder flavor and fragrance. Mint grows wild throughout the world […]

Fresh Herbs – Thyme

There are several varieties of this mint-family herb. Garden thyme, the most common variety, is a bush plant with gray-green leaves. It has a pungent, minty, light-lemon aroma. Sub-varieties include French thyme, English and Lemon thyme, which has a pronounced lemon aroma. Thyme can be found fresh in the supermarkets or dried in a powder […]

Fresh Herbs – Basil

  Basil is an annual plant that is a member of the mint family. It was referred to by ancient Greeks as the “royal herb”. Fresh basil has a pungent flavor that can be described as a cross between licorice and cloves. Basil is used frequently in Mediterranean and Italian cooking. However, it is becoming […]

Substitutions

It is always best to use the specific ingredients that are called for in a recipe. However, in some cases you can use substitutions. Some of the more common ones are listed below. Be aware that using substitutions may vary the texture or flavor of a recipe, therefore you should only use substitutions when absolutely […]

Crushed Heirloom Potatoes

I discovered this recipe for Crushed Heirloom potatoes in the 2005 edition of Bon Appetit’ magazine. If you can’t find the more unusual heirloom potatoes, you can substitute the Yukon Gold’s that are readily available at your grocery store. Unique alternative to the traditional mashed. Serves 6-8 INGREDIENTS 2 lbs unpeeled whole heirloom potatoes 3 […]

Cooking Terms

A Aerate: To pass ingredients through a fine mesh device to break up large pieces and to incorporate air into ingredients to make them lighter. Al Dente: The pasta is cooked just enough to maintain a firm, chewy texture. B Bake: To cook in the oven. Food is cooked slowly with gentle heat, causing the […]

Glossary of Baking Terms

Bake: To cook in an oven with dry heat. The oven should always be heated for 10-15 minutes before baking, unless specified differently. Batter: A mixture of flour, liquid and other ingredients that is thin enough to pour. Beat: To thoroughly combine ingredients and incorporate air with a rapid, circular motion. This may be done […]

Potatoes

The potato is the world’s most widely grown tuber crop and the fourth largest food crop in terms of produce behind rice, wheat and maize. The potato originated in the area of Peru and Bolivia and in the late 1500’s was introduced in Europe. It quickly became an important food staple and field crop. However, […]

Heirloom Plants

HEIRLOOM PLANTS The resurgence of heirloom recipes is an outgrowth of the heightened interest in growing heirloom vegetables and plants. An heirloom plant, heirloom variety or heirloom vegetable is an open-pollinated cultivar that was grown in earlier times, but is not used in modern large-scale agriculture. In modern agriculture, most crops are grown in large […]

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs

  ROASTED FINGERLING POTATOES WITH GARLIC AND HERBS SERVES 4-6 INGREDIENTS 2 lbs. fingerling potatoes ¼ cup olive oil 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 gloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped 2 tablespoons basil – finely chopped 2 tablespoons parsley – finely chopped Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste PREPARATION Preheat oven to 350 degrees […]