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September 8, 2015, by

What do you think is the most important cooking ingredient, and you will rarely see it in the ingredient list of any recipe? It is water. Water is the basis for soup, the builder of sauces, the braise of beef. It deglazes a pan, fluffs up a cake and adds crunch to a cookie. We

Chanukah Cupcake Menorah

September 7, 2015, by

I think this Cupcake “Menorah” (not to replace the real one!) is such a cute and easy idea. You can start with any boxed cake mix recipe and use ready-made frosting or make your favorite basic cake and frosting recipe. Make a healthier choice using recipes for Banana Bread or Carrot Cake. Just bake them

Cooking with Basil

September 7, 2015, by

It’s that time of year when I’ve got to get a handle on cleaning up the plot of land I loosely call my garden. The tomato plants are pretty much picked clean and the peppers are gone (not that they were ever there to any great extent). My sunflowers are just a memory and the

Rice Pudding

September 7, 2015, by

Like many other well-loved comfort foods, rice pudding recipes have a long and delicious history. It’s believed to have originated, as a recipe, in the Middle East as a kind of porridge like dish made up of several indigenous grains. Rice puddings are a staple in many cuisines that have rice as a staple, usually


September 7, 2015, by

The old saying “you say tomato I say tomatoe” is never more true than in the foodie realm of stuffed dough pockets. In some cultures they’re called calzones, other empanadas or perhaps the word you prefer pierogi or in my world the bourekas. Basically we’re talking about an all in one hand held meal or


September 7, 2015, by

What is buttermilk? Does buttermilk contain butter? Inquiring minds want to know. So many people labor under the misconception that buttermilk is a buttery, high-fat milk-ly drink. Nope, surprise, surprise there is no butter in buttermilk. Rather this slightly sour liquid is what’s left over after the “butter” has been churned out of it. Old

Good Ol’ Okra

September 7, 2015, by

If you happen to be traveling the back roads of Alabama the last week in August you’ll certainly want to make a stop at the Okra Festival held every year in Burkville. Neighbors will taste one another’s fried okra and rich gumbo, and you can buy loads of it cheap as chips right off the

Whole Grain For the Whole Family

September 7, 2015, by

Most whole grain recipes call for whole wheat flour. But I have come to notice kids don’t like the taste. So I began to experiment with other whole grains. I found that substituting 1/2 whole grain barley and 1/2 whole grain oat made a nice consistency and tasted better. Also for those dairy sensitive people,

Summer Reading, Summer Eating

September 7, 2015, by

They call it summer reading, but if you’re like me, you don’t need a season to open a book. Some credit Oprah with starting the phenomenon, but, according to Rachel Jacobsohn, author of “The Reading Group Handbook,” there are approximately 500,000 book clubs in the United States, double the number since 1994. And those that

Breaking the Fast with a Fast Trip Across the Street, Chicago Style

September 7, 2015, by

You think you have a big crowd coming to your house to break the Yom Kippur fast? Not compared to my friend Marsha, you don’t. This September, Marsha and her husband, Brian, along with another couple, will be co-hosting the Ninth Annual Easy Access Break-Fast for the families of her Chicago shul. Marsha lives across

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