Tag Archives: Cooking

In Search of a Few Good Salmon Recipes

For years the health benefits of salmon have been touted in the media. As a source of Omega-3 fatty acids – one of the good fats – salmon’s health benefits also have been widely researched. Chief among the advantages is lowering one’s risk of heart disease. Although some other fish are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids (including mackerel, herring, and sardines), salmon seems to be most frequently mentioned. The American Heart Association currently recommends that adults try to incorporate two or more servings a week of one of these fish into their diet. Continue reading

Tomato Paste to the Rescue?

IMG_0198Do you cook? If you do, then like me, you’ve undoubtedly made at least one dish that just didn’t turn out as predicted. Most of my flops occur when I’m creating a dish without the help of a recipe. But some recipes, even those praised by numerous individuals on the web, don’t measure up to my tastes.

Unless a dish is absolutely horrible — in which case it goes down the garbage disposal — I normally try to rescue it by use of one of my go-to ingredients.

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Family Traditions

apple-layer-cake-01Around this time of year, I start thinking of my favorite foods. There are plenty, but there are two desserts that I associate with Thanksgiving and Christmas. One of them is a dried apple cake.  This type of cake has been passed down from generation to generation in my family.  My grandmother taught her three daughters, but my mother is the only one who continued the tradition.  While I helped her, I haven’t made it on my own.  I am afraid that if I had it around, I would eat the whole thing in a couple of days.  In a bit of a role reversal my brother has served it at least three times during the holidays to his family. One day I will make it because it is on my bucket list. Continue reading

Cooking with Greens

swisschardI’ll be the first to admit that I have periods in which I eat an incredibly unhealthy diet. But on a day to day basis, I try to focus on including as many nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables as possible to my diet. Recently, I’ve become obsessed with the wonders of greens. Now I’m not talking about lettuce. I’m talking about those old-fashioned, newly fashionable greens such as kale, Swiss chard, and turnip greens.

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Crock Pot Cooking

vegetable soup crock pot 009For most of my adult life  a crock pot has been a staple in my kitchen. My current version is starting to show its age and I’ll be replacing it at some point over the next few weeks. Until recently, however, I’ve always thought of a crock pot as something to use in the late fall and winter.

A few weeks ago, a friend commented that she was making a roast in her crock pot. I was shocked, and asked, “Why are you using a crock pot in the summer?” Her response, “I use a crock pot a lot in the summer, because it doesn’t heat up the kitchen like the oven or stove do.”

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In Praise of the Frittata

spinach-frittata-goat-cheeseFor most of this hot summer my evening meal of choice has been anything cold. I’ve eaten salads in every variety possible. I’ve also done a few cold soups. I’ve had various combinations of cheese and fruit and/or veggie plates. And some nights I’ve just had Greek yogurt piled with fruit and a few nuts. But finally this past week my stomach — and taste buds — started to rebel. At last, the longing for warm food returned.

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A flood of fruit

miraMy parents dropped by on Saturday, and left behind mountains of fruit. More specifically, about three pounds of blackberries, about seven pounds of mirabelles, and an unknown quantity of pears. The thing is, my parents know a great number of people with large garden, lots of trees and far more fruit than they can deal with. Which they pass on to friends. And so my mother makes pies and jams and compotes as much as she can, and hands the rest of the fruit on to others, preferably her children. Continue reading

The Perfect Ear of Corn

Corn-on-the-CobSeems like we’re on a bit of a summer food binge here at AAR. A few days ago Jean talked about a new salad recipe she’d tried (mango salad that sounds divine) using fish sauce. A few weeks ago, I was all about summer cherries. Well, my summer food obsession hasn’t waned. This morning I woke up thinking about fresh corn on the cob.

Corn on the cob is definitely a comfort food for me, reminding me of summers growing up. My mother would make corn on the cob for us several times a week while corn was in season. As kids, we would stick our little yellow plastic corn cobs in the ends of the corn, slather the cob with butter, dump on way too much salt, and be in heaven.

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Adventures in Cooking: Fennel

fennelI like to think of myself as fairly adventurous in both cooking and eating. With the exception of making yeast breads (too many failures to count), I’m willing to try making just about anything. And vegetables? I’ve yet to meet one that I don’t like, if not love.

All that aside, somehow, the mighty fennel completely slipped under my radar. Not only had I never purchased or prepared fennel, I’ve never even eaten it (unless some chef slipped it into a dish without my knowledge). It’s not that I was unaware of fennel, I just didn’t know how to prepare it.

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My Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

milk-frotherI’ll admit it, I’ve had a long love affair with kitchen gadgets. Let me set eyes on an infomercial for the latest “must have” gadget, and, well, I must have it! Fortunately, procrastination, laziness, and my bank account have stopped me from calling in and buying the gadgets I see on TV. But let a friend mention a spectacular gadget to me, or have a chef on a TV food show demonstrate something new, and I hit the stores looking for it.

Many of these wonder gadgets have been tossed out over the years, for not being quite as wondrous as hoped. But right now, I’m still feeling the love for two inexpensive gadgets (under $10). One is at least eight years old, and the other is just a month old. Continue reading