Enjoy the Easter Season
Sunday is Easter. I hope it will be a time of celebration and renewal for you and your family. I also hope that it won't be a stressful cooking day. The recipes here today are not labor intensive recipes so they will give you time to spend with your family. Maybe even hiding some eggs!
LUSCIOUS GRILLED CHEESE
I love grilled cheese sandwiches. That's probably true of most of us. But, when you think of a grilled cheese sandwich, what do you think of? Two slices of bread, a bit of butter and the kind of cheese that is individually wrapped that you put on most of your other sandwiches. Right? That was always my vision of a grilled cheese sandwich. Mostly because that is what my mother made when I was growing up.
North Carolina Sweet Potatoes
I’m sure that I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. I love sweet potatoes. I have very fond memories of eating them as a child. My mother always baked them. We rarely had them any other way. But, they were wonderful. On Thanksgiving, we always had sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top. I may have to make some when I finish this article!
Reductions add zip to flavor
When I cook, I often don't have a lot of time to spend making exotic meals, so I decided that I want to get more for less. In cooking that often means reductions. It’s amazing how the taste of something can change just by cooking it down until most of the liquid is gone. Reductions are so ridiculously easy that I often ask myself why I don’t use them more often. They also keep well in the refrigerator for several days.
When creating reductions, it’s important that the ingredients be good quality. Concentrating a flavor that was mediocre to begin with changes it from mediocre to terrible. That particularly applies to wines, oils and vinegars. Buy the best that you can afford and don’t use anything that you wouldn’t want to taste alone.
It’s also important to cook the reduction sauce moderately and until it reduces to a thick, syrupy consistency. It doesn’t take very long, but don’t be in a hurry or it will burn.
My husband and I love to entertain. We also love fondue. There is no more fun way to surprise guests with a great meal than to fondue. I have 4 or 5 fondue pots. I use them regularly.
There are several ways to fondue. You can make the dessert fondue and I have a great chocolate fondue recipe below. Another fondue option is to have a cheese fondue for a starter before the meal or at a party.
The last fondue option is to make the main course the fondue. With this option you can use either wine, a broth or oil for the fondue. I alternate usually between the broth and the oil. Sometimes I use peanut oil and sometimes I use canola oil. I don’t generally use vegetable oil because it has a lower smoke point.
The first recipe is my wine fondue. The important thing to remember is to use a good white wine. Never cook with a wine that you wouldn’t serve to guests. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it does have to be a table wine. You can play with the spices to find the taste that you like.
Sweets for the Sweetheart in your life
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you don’t want to give your honey drug store candy, you might think about something more unusual and tastier! These homemade treats are sure to win someone’s heart. If you want them to look like Valentine’s Day treats, put them in red cellophane paper or sprinkle them with red candy hearts. But, homemade treats are always better than drug store candy!
How to Make Knock off Latte's and more...
One of my weaknesses is Starbuck's Grande latté with 3 packets of Splenda. However, I live in a small town, like Tarboro, that doesn't have a Starbucks and I'm a cheapskate and don't want to spend that kind of money on a regular basis. The answer to that is to learn to make your own. Obviously I am not the only one who has that I idea as I found recipes all over the internet. Many of the called for buying expensive equipment. If I have to do that, I might as well drive to Starbucks. So, these recipes don't require anything except blenders and pots. In a few cases they require a little patience. Find me on Facebook and let me know what you think!
Game Day will be here before you know it! Are you having a party? Are you watching at home with your family? Either way, it's a great excuse for some fun food. Here are a few recipes that you should give a a try.
Even though the weather has been very warm lately, it will be cold again soon. When the cold comes back, it will be soup time. Of course, any time can be soup time! We love soup around our house.
Our first recipe is ham and potato soup. It's a simple soup but will smell good and taste even better.
The second soup is my all-time favorite - French Onion. I love it with a good gooey cheese on top. It's not a hard soup to make, so give it a try.
The third is potato and cheddar. That's a hardy soup but will become one of your favorites. It also has ham so it's almost the same as the first soup but with cheddar cheese.
The last soup is a leftover or potluck soup with pasta in it. This recipe makes 20 servings so you will have some to freeze or share!
When winter rolls back around, enjoy the cold with one of these soups.
Getting in Shape with Low Carb
I can't wait for summer to come back. But, when it does, I want to be ready. So, I have decided that it's time for my low carb diet. It's not a hard diet; you can have almost any type of meat and green vegetable, salad, onions, squash. There are lots of choices. They just mostly can't be white.
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