As much as I love to cook, I still have nights that it seems like a chore.  I don’t think it is the actually process of making the food that wears me out, it is the fact that I’ll have to clean it up when it’s done. I’ve tried to leave clean up until the next morning but that is bad scenario in itself.  The dishes are harder to clean and there is no joy in waking up to a mess.  I learned the hard way that fairies do not come into the house and clean your kitchen when you sleep.  Garden gnomes don’t doRead More →

I love soups that can be considered a meal.  They are warm and completely satisfying while only dirtying one pot. Plus it gives me an excuse to eat with a spoon and I love to spoon! To me, there is nothing better than homemade soup.  In canned soup, the flavors seem to mush into each other and the veggies have lost their bite.  In homemade soups, each ingredient is allowed to evolve on its own.  If you close your eyes and take a bite, you can taste each piece of celery, carrot or chicken.  The other part is by tasting the soup as you goRead More →

Recently, my in-laws sent us a ten-pound box of tangelos from Florida. I thought it was wonderful to have some wonderful, fresh Florida fruit to brighten our winter. But then I was honest with myself because I didn’t know where a tangelo fit in the citrus family. Why hadn’t I heard about this “black sheep” of citrus? I’ve come to learn that a tangelo is a hybrid of tangerine or grapefruit. They seem to resemble the size of a grapefruit but have the piquant taste of a tangerine. (Props to Scrabble Bill for using piquant, 92 points, in our most recent game). The other endearingRead More →

  I have found as an ex-picky eater that the more I learn about a food, the better odds I will have to prepare it perfectly.  But what do you do with a food that has a bad reputation like Okra.  It doesn’t matter what I read about okra, someone will mention the “slime”. I’m sure Okra isn’t thrilled with it’s name always being assoiated with slime.  So I took it on myself yesterday to clear Okra’s good name. I found 3 general thoughts on cooking the slime away. The first, suggests to freeze it.  The second was to wash, dry, steam, and dry again. Read More →

Do you ever see a dish on the television that looks so good you just have to eat it?  You may know nothing about what is on the plate but the yummy noises coming from the chef making it has convinced you that you want that meal. I am one of the thousands of people who love to watch cooking programs on television.  The banter the television chef provides entertains me while I am learning something new.  One of my favorite chefs is Gordon Ramsay.  Yes, I know people don’t like his abrasiveness on American television but if you watch him on the BBC heRead More →

The more I write about food, the more I realize that I am polyamorous.  I love so many different types of foods from so many different regions of the world. One of my many loves is Chinese cuisine.  I think most of people just lump it all together but did you know there are technically eight Chinese cuisines?!  You don’t get more polyamourous than that! The eight regional cuisines are Shandong, Sichuan, Cantonese, Fuijan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, and Hunan.  (Yes, there will be a quiz later).  I will spend another blog going into all of the differences because I love my blog cliffhangers but forRead More →

I have received a bunch of requests for the recipe for the shells that I made in one of my earlier posts.  I guess this was a bit of a blog cliffhanger but it I guarantee that it will have been worth the wait. Print Manicotti Shells   Ingredients 6 eggs 1 cup milk 1½ cups flour ½ tsp salt Instructions Beat the eggs well and I mean well! Whisk in the milk. Slowly incorporate the flour and salt. It needs to be mixed smooth with no lumps. Heat a lightly greased, non-stick pan over medium heat. Pour about 1 gravy ladle on pan. YouRead More →

In honor of my last blog, I thought I should share a really good chicken breast recipe.  I love stuffed chicken breasts because they really are simple to make but still have a rich taste. The other thing I like about a stuffed chicken breast is it is exactly what the name implies, a stuffed chicken breast.  One of the most important things I’ve learned as a foodie is that good food is really simple.  Fancy names and multiple specialty ingredients won’t make your meal better.  Your knowledge and care in the food’s actual preparation will make it delicious even to the most discriminating gourmets.Read More →

I discovered, as I got older, if I did the cooking, I could control the content of what was being placed in front of me at mealtimes. The added bonus was that my mom, who was a good cook, didn’t really like to cook.  She did like to clean up. So our deal was whoever cooked didn’t clean. It was great deal for me since I could manage my food and make a mess at the same time. One of the easiest proteins I was able to learn from was the chicken breast.  I felt if you gave me a chicken breast, I could giveRead More →

Even though I was a picky eater as a child, there was one meal that always got me to clean my plate….Grandma’s Manicotti.  It usually graced the table during the holidays or special birthdays.  I didn’t appreciate back then that everything from the sauce to the shells was made from scratch.  I did know it was the most delicious meal I had ever had and I couldn’t wait until the next time it was served to me. When I got married, one of the gifts Grandma gave to me was her recipe for the manicotti shells.  It is one of those legendary family recipes.  YouRead More →