Monday, May 25, 2015
     

Comfort and Joy

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS  A Nacho Burger is an unexpected start to the summer grilling season.

When I told my husband the other day I wanted to come up with a recipe for Memorial Day, he suggested Nacho Burgers. I looked at him like his sombrero was on backward.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love nachos. I would eat them every night if I could; or at least every other night. But nachos on a burger?

It took a little convincing, and the promise that there would be no actual nacho chips on the burger.

We batted the idea around.

Actually, he batted. I clung to the belief that he had lost his mind.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Greens with Red Wine and Garlic can be made with dandelion greens or curly endive. Both have a slightly bitter taste, and pair well with plenty of garlic.

Dandelions are for more than wishing. And they aren't just an evil yellow stalker, determined to ruin your well-manicured lawn.

They are also delicious as well as nutritious.

Every part of the dandelion is edible, from the flower, which can be used to make wine or dipped into batter for a fritter, to the roots, which can be eaten raw, cooked, or even dried and ground up as a coffee substitute.

My favorite part of the dandelion, however, are the greens. And my favorite way to eat them is as a salad.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Peach-Glazed Pork Roast combines the tanginess of roasted garlic with the sweetness of maple syrup and peach jam.

Generally, I can take pork or I can leave it. But when it's well made, which usually means well-seasoned and roasted with tons of garlic, I'm more amenable to eating it.

And that's exactly the case with this recipe. I got slammed with some horrible late-winter cough and chest cold recently, and ended up spending a couple days in bed.

My husband, bless his heart, came to the rescue, knowing I would need a recipe for this column. To give credit where credit is due, this is one of his creations.

Not only does he get a thumbs-up, I'm nominating him for Husband of the Year.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Asparagus Frittata with Ham and Cheese

With spring just around the corner, I wanted to focus on a recipe that featured that cruciferous harbinger of the season: asparagus.

One of my favorite ways to feature seasonal vegetables is in a frittata. Added bonus? It's a one-dish meal.

I found a basic recipe, and as usual, decided to mix it up. It called for a cheese I don't like and a few herbs I also didn't care for. I decided to add some ham for added protein, and Swiss cheese, just because.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS California Chocolate Bark and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Merlot is a perfect pairing of wine and chocolate.

A few years ago my daughter and son-in-law went to a wine and chocolate tasting hosted by local wine expert Bart Springer, while my husband and I baby-sat.

When they got back to the house, the two of them were brimming with excitement, and my son-in-law, Chris, who has become quite a decent winemaker since then, couldn't wait to demonstrate some of what they'd learned in the class.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Chicken with Soft Rice

My husband, Jim, gets 100 percent of the credit for this recipe. It's another of his winners. He's had lots of those, as well as some real stinkers. (I still shiver when I think of the bacon-flavored spaghetti sauce.)

This is a really tasty dish for a cold winter night, and it really hit the spot.

We had it for dinner Sunday, and I had leftovers twice this week, it was that good.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Lemon Chicken

I love lemon. My husband hates it. He ate a green chicken hanging in the open air market in Thailand, but turns up his nose at a nice tart lemon. His mouth even starts to pucker at just the thought of eating a lemon.

Funny thing is, he loves this lemony chicken and the last time we ate it, I didn't see him pucker once.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Cream of Mushroom Soup

When the weather outside is frightful, I think soup is most delightful.

That was certainly the case this past Saturday, and the next few days promise more of the same.

This mushroom soup is another one of my favorites. It's a very rich soup, so we don't eat it too often, but when we do, it pairs well with some nice, crusty bread and a salad with lightly dressed, flavorful greens, such as chicory or arugula.

If you're looking for a more substantial meal, however, you can always have it as your first course.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Left-over Christmas ham baked with pineapples and a simple glaze.

When my husband and I honeymooned in Williamsburg, we brought back with us a smoked Virginia ham. It was wrapped in a cloth bag and we hung it from the ceiling in our small apartment kitchen.

When I unwrapped it four months later on Christmas Eve I was horrified to find out that it not only had spots of mold on it, I needed to scrub it, then soak it overnight, and then scrub it again in the morning with a stiff brush before cooking it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Fred Pattie's Peanut Butter Patties are a Christmas tradition.

I once knew a man whose name was Fred Pattie. His wife's name was Patty Pattie. I'm not kidding.

But wait, it gets better.

Fred Pattie, who was an over-the-road trucker, made the most amazing candy, which he would give as gifts during the holidays.

My favorite? Peanut Butter Patties. This candy tastes just like those iconic, round favorites we all love.

Ever since Fred gave me that recipe, this candy has been a holiday staple in my house, and now my kids even make it, and not just for the holidays.