Friday, July 11, 2014
     

Columns

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Pear and Pistachio Breakfast Cake

Sheila O'Neil is a gracious, intuitive hostess and innkeeper with a flair for entertaining and a talent for creating delicious, beautifully presented dishes.

As the owner of The Gilded Cupid Bed & Breakfast in Jim Thorpe, naturally, the first meal of the day is one of her favorites to prepare.

Sheila recently invited me to spend some time with her in her large, well-appointed kitchen, where we cooked, chatted and ate.

For Sheila, food is a hobby, her business and much more.

"Food is love and an expression of yourself," says Sheila.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Roast Chicken and Avocado Mashed Potatoes get an A+

I read recently that Julia Child once said, "You can always judge the quality of a cook or a restaurant by roast chicken."

She said a lot more about basting and hovering over that bird, but I'm going to ignore that. I don't do either. However, if you are going to judge my cooking, based on my roast chicken, then I am A-OK with that!

I have been roasting chickens for years. Sometimes they were dry, and other times they were juicy, but bland. I eventually hit upon what, for me, is perfection.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Q. I have friends in France who take St. John's wort for depression. Do you think this stuff works?

St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum or Klamathweed) is one of the most commonly purchased herbal products in the United States. However, do not take this product unless you have consulted your family physician.

The St. John's wort plant has been used as a medicine for many centuries. It was popular in ancient Greece. Today in Europe, it is used widely to treat mild-to-moderate depression.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
This tomato sauce recipe is a great go-to sauce for pasta or pizza and is a family favorite.

There's nothing better than a good meatball, and as far as I'm concerned, nothing harder to find.

My grandmother, Grace Lombardi, made a terrific meatball, and my Aunt Francie's were pretty darn good too. If I had to say those were my two favorites, then they only edged my mother out by the tiniest margin. (Sorry Mom!)

That being said, I've never met anyone who makes a meatball that comes even close to my mom's, my aunt's or my grandmother's. That is, until I met Emeril Lagasse.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Q. How important is exercise when you are a senior? Is it worth the risks of hurting yourself?

All the current scientific evidence shows that geezers should exercise, even though many older people think it could harm them.

Study after study demonstrates that seniors hurt their health a lot more by being sedentary.

If you're inactive, you deteriorate. Physical activity can help restore your capacity. Most older adults, regardless of age or condition, will benefit from increasing physical activity to a moderate level.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Turkey Pot Pie

When my husband would be out of town and I had just myself to worry about for dinner, I'd often stop at the grocery store on the way home and pick up a turkey pot pie. They are one of my favorite go-to quick dinners.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find them lately. Not to worry. I have a much better solution.

On Sunday we had a turkey breast for dinner (I had been dreaming about turkey sandwiches). Since it was just the two of us, and it was a pretty meaty turkey breast, there were plenty of leftovers. I decided to make homemade turkey pot pie.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Q. I'm 79 and I've taken a couple of spills in the last few months. I'm concerned that I might not be as steady on my feet as I used to be. What should I do about this?

About one in 10 people over 65 experience difficulty with balance. More than 40 percent of Americans will go to a doctor complaining of dizziness. Getting older is only part of the problem. Inner-ear disturbances are the primary cause.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Porcupine Balls have been my daughter Margaux's favorite food for about as long as I can remember. It's a recipe she makes often for her own children now, and one I will frequently make if she and her family are coming to visit.

It's a recipe I also made a lot when Margaux was in Girl Scouts, as every time there was some type of dinner meeting or pot luck supper, she would volunteer me to make Porcupine Balls.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Q. What exactly is a medical family tree and is it worth doing?

A medical family tree is like the ones genealogists prepare, but it also includes all the maladies suffered by members of the family. A medical tree can reveal patterns and help a family choose medical tests.

Many of the causes of our illnesses are inherited from our ancestors. Almost a third of known diseases have family links. These include colon cancer, heart disease, alcoholism and high blood pressure.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
KAREN CIMMS/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Creative Kielbasa is an odd dish to make, but it's very tasty.

I've taken to calling this dish "Creative Kielbasa," because it's shorter than its original name, which is "What to make when there is nothing in the house to eat casserole."

Credit for this dish goes to my husband, Jim. He first made it about 28 years ago. It was a late Sunday afternoon, and we had just driven home from upstate New York.

Back in the "old" days, grocery stores would close around 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and other than a corner pizzeria and a seedy bar, there was little in the way of fast food in our rural town.