I cook a lot, especially during the summer. Weekends find me doing breakfast (egg sandwiches, biscuits, gravy, bacon and eggs or some sort of casserole), lunch which can be anything from sandwiches to a full four course meal and dinner, which normally comes from the crock pot. I also customize a lot – adding mac and cheese to the menu to accommodate a fussy eater or cooking a quick pizza for the kids while my husband and I eat Thai food.
All that cooking means when I get the chance to eat out I am delighted. However, in a recent conversation with some new friends my husband talked about how he really didn’t enjoy eating out. He far preferred to eat at home, even when the at home meal was just sandwiches and a side. Part of that might be that he rarely cooks But I do have several friends whose husbands also feel that way. For them the wholesomeness and simplicity of home fare wins out over polishing off their company manners and heading to a restaurant for fancier fare.
Even among my friends that do enjoy eating out there is some debate about what kind of meals should be eaten when away from home. I don’t eat burgers that aren’t homemade and won’t even eat a salad from McDonald’s. Their food just doesn’t agree with my digestive system and I prefer to eat a quick sandwich at the house than eat there. One of my friends recently went to one of the more pricey restaurants in our town and disliked the way everything was a la carte. I hate to experiment with my food and tend to eat only dishes made from familiar ingredients and spices. I like family restaurants such as Olive Garden or Red Lobster. I rarely feel like truly “fine dining”.
So, different strokes for different folks. What about you? Do you prefer to eat in or go out? What restaurants do you like?
– Maggie AAR
My coconut cookies are no long family tradition, but they are a rather recent addition to my baking repertoire. They were an instant hit with who have tried them, however, and they are ever so easy to make. So here they are. Have fun baking! Continue reading
What can I say about the pomegranate? The seeds (the part we eat) are a dark, beautiful shade of red that seems particularly appropriate at this time of year. It’s supposedly one of the “super foods,” rich in antioxidants. And it can be quite tasty. But just what do you do with a pomegranate?
No report of visiting Bavaria is complete without mentioning the food. It’s just that delicious! When I speak of Bavarian food, what I really mean is Southern German and Austrian food, because reciped have been traded in these regions for centuries, local cuisines have enriched each other and the result is a variety of cooking that is similar in all these areas.
I want to begin with the beer, because no proper Bavarian would dream of sitting down for a full meal without a beer. There are several sorts, most important Pils, Helles (similar to but not the same as lager), and Weißbier. For those who try to avoid alcohol, there is alcohol-reduced beer and alcohol-free beer these days. I prefer the latter; when we went to Oktoberfest last weekend and I ordered some there, my husband was quite shocked it was actually available! Continue reading
Years ago, during a particularly hot summer spell, a friend told me about her favorite hot weather snack. She would clean a bunch of seedless grapes, put them in Ziploc bags, and freeze them. I was a bit skeptical, but gave it a try. Wow! I was instantly hooked on frozen grapes. They’re a bit sweet (depending on the variety), cold, and juicy. And best of all, they’re a healthier snack than an ice cream bar.
My husband and I don’t make much of Valentine’s Day, but we do tend to use it as an excuse to go out for a nice meal together. This year this is especially important to me, as we are both in for a very busy workday today due to long scheduled meetings. And it’s snowing, which will getting to restaurant a bit awkward (cycling is out of the questions, and there are few buses at night). Anyway, if you go out on such a night it shows that the relationship is important enough to make an effort! Continue reading
I’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.
For 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.”
For 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.
My 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